AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND OZZY OSBOURNE SALUTE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN LENNON’S BIRTH WITH EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL RELEASE ON THE iTUNES STORE
Cover of Lennon’s Iconic song “How?” to be available on iTunes to Benefit Amnesty International
Oct. 5, 2010 (New York) – Amnesty International is joining with Yoko Ono and Ozzy Osbourne in shining a light on the 70th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon with a special new recording of the iconic Lennon song "How?" to be released on iTunes on Tuesday, October 5. All U.S. proceeds will benefit Amnesty International, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organization. The recording will be available worldwide as a digital download exclusively on iTunes. The release on October 5, is just four days before what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday on October 9. The accompanying music video shot on New York streets and at the Lennon Memorial in Central Park is premiering exclusively on AOL’s PopEater.com.
"Lennon was a driving force for humanity,” says Ozzy Osbourne who cites Lennon and the Beatles as his inspiration for becoming a musician. “If we want to survive as a race of people we’ve got to address problems head on. John and Yoko took the bull by the horns and for that you've got to take your hat off to both of them."
Three years ago Ono donated to Amnesty International all of Lennon’s publishing royalties for "Instant Karma" - Amnesty’s album of Lennon compositions performed by many of the world’s leading artists including U2, R.E.M., Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith and Christina Aguilera. "Instant Karma" was critically acclaimed and has raised millions of dollars to benefit Amnesty International's work on Darfur. The album was released for Amnesty’s benefit by Warner Bros. Records. “Instant Karma” is receiving a renewed promotional focus this October in honor of Lennon's 70th birthday
"This year the whole world is celebrating the 70th anniversary of John's birth,” Yoko Ono said. “His spirit and influence is stronger than ever. John shared a common purpose with Amnesty International - shining a light on wrongs and campaigning to protect people's rights. We all shine on!"
Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Larry Cox said, "Once again Yoko Ono has shared the extraordinary legacy of her husband's music to make a difference in the lives of those who have no voice. We continue to be enormously grateful to her for her support and generosity. Yoko and John Lennon were devoted to seeking a better world and used the power of their artistry to work toward that goal. Ozzy Osbourne's gift, with Sharon Osbourne’s strong and generous support, makes the same powerful statement today - that individuals can make a difference when they join with others who share a commitment to justice and freedom..'
The music video shows Osbourne walking the streets of Manhattan and passing some noted "Beatles landmarks" like the Warwick Hotel, where the group stayed on their first U.S. tour. As Osbourne is recognized by passersby, they point their cameras at him and become part of the film. Osbourne's destination is "Strawberry Fields," the memorial to Lennon in Central Park, where in the final scene he lays a flower bouquet. The video was shot in about three hours on Monday afternoon, Aug. 25
The recording was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Hudson. Artwork for the digital release is based on a new photographic portrait of Osbourne taken by Lennon's close friend, New York photographer Bob Gruen. Two-time Emmy winner Ernie Fritz ("Bruce Springsteen: Blood Brothers") filmed the video, which was produced by Martin Lewis (co-creator and producer of Amnesty International's "Secret Policeman's Ball" series).
Lewis said of the song and the video: "It's a philosophical song. Ozzy is filmed on an odyssey. He's pondering life's meaning and he finds the answer through his hero, John Lennon."
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About Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. For more information, please visit www.amnestyusa.org and www.musicforhumanrights.org.
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