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Rick Wakeman Plays David Bowie's "Life On Mars"

Following the overwhelming response to Rick Wakeman’s piano tribute to David Bowie on BBC Radio 2 on the day of Bowie’s death, he has recorded new piano versions of both "Life on Mars" and "Space Oddity" with royalties going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Wakeman, a close friend who worked with Bowie, was the pianist on the original 1971 release of "Life On Mars". Wakeman returned to the studio after video of his emotional performance was viewed over 2 million times on the BBC Radio 2 website and after receiving thousands of requests from fans. He ended up re-recording three tracks:  "Life on Mars," "Space Oddity" and "Always Together".

It's always a joy to hear Wakeman tickling the ivories, but when it's done for a cause, with masterpiece melodies such as this, it becomes something that transcends the boundaries of simply music. This represents a humanitarian mission that unites us all under the songs of one of the most respected and admired artists to ever grace our planet.

"I feel extremely fortunate to be able to release my piano version of David Bowie’s "Life On Mars" and "Space Oddity," both of which I performed on the original releases. I think it’s very apt for the proceeds to go to Macmillan, a charity that is so crucial to so many people. I witnessed this first hand when I lost my mother to cancer and the work they do comes from the heart and is truly priceless," Wakeman said. “Whilst some amazing advances in medicine mean that some form of cancers have a very high survival rate and indeed prolonged life in others, with all cancers it is a very tough time for both the patient and their loved ones. Hopefully the songs will not only be a fitting tribute to David, but will also raise some money to help Macmillan with the wonderful work they do, ensuring no-one faces cancer alone.”

Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “We know that music is something that not only brings people together, but also helps them through difficult times and so we are deeply grateful that Rick has decided to donate the proceeds from these tracks to Macmillan. The money raised will help us to continue to offer a range of support for anyone affected by cancer.”

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