75 of Ireland’s biggest musicians and artists have gathered together to virtually honour Van Morrison for his 75th birthday with a week-long online series, called ‘Rave On, Van Morrison’ after his song Rave On John Donne. Van Morrison’s birthday was yesterday, August 31st. They have all recorded cover versions of Van Morrison’s vast back catalogue including big hits like; Moondance, Into the Mystic and Gypsy Queen. The event will run until Sunday September 15th and will finish with a big finale.
The series is being done by Irish music magazine Hot Press and all of the covers are on their YouTube channel. Speaking about the event, Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said; “The result is a feast of extraordinary music, brilliantly delivered by artists from all over the island of Ireland. This is a hugely deserved tribute to a brilliant, internationally acclaimed artist from East Belfast. But Rave On, Van Morrison has also turned into a powerful confirmation of the outstanding talent that exists in this extraordinary place on the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Long may it continue.”
The impressive line-up includes Hozier, Imelda May, Una Healy, Glen Hansard and Mary Coughlan to name a few. There was even a contribution from President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. The poet and one-time culture minister took on a spoken word version of Rave On John Donne and changed the words to honour the late American politician and civil-rights leader John Lewis. President Higgins was also joined by Bill Whelan, composer of the Irish dancing show Riverdance.
View this post on Instagram
Taking the #RaveOnVanMorrison Birthday Celebrations to the next level for the man himself’s big day! We are delighted to be announcing back to back performances on our YouTube tonight from 7pm GMT+1 It’s our absolute honor to have President Michael D. Higgins starting tonight’s proceedings of the impressive line up of showcases we have for you this evening. #VanTheMan @presidentirl
A post shared by Hot Press (@hotpressmagazine) on
Van Morrison is a Northern-Irish, who shot to fame in the 60’s when he was a part of Northern Irish R&B and rock band, Them. His solo career lead to great hits such as Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance and Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile). He has received two Grammy Awards, the 1994 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, the 2017 Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award for Song Writing and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Rave On, Van Morrison event will run until Sunday September 15th. You can watch all of the covers on the Hot Press YouTube channel, here.