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01 December 2023

Beatles McCartney headlines queen's jubilee concert

Sir Paul McCartney (BANG)


Beatles legend Paul McCartney will headline a large concert in front of Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, organiser Gary Barlow said Tuesday.

Barlow, the frontman of pop band Take That who has been tasked with putting together the June 4 tribute to mark the monarch's 60 years on the throne, said the London gig would "transcend multiple decades of music".

Elton John, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Chinese virtuoso pianist Lang Lang will join McCartney on the bill for the show, which hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend.

The concert is part of four days of celebrations, the climax of five months of jubilee events which began on Monday, the queen's accession day. The 85-year-old spent it making two small-scale visits in Norfolk, eastern England.

"The diamond jubilee concert will celebrate the 60 years of the queen's reign with an amazing line-up of world class artists coming together to play at one of the biggest and most exciting live music shows in recent years," Barlow said.

"With Buckingham Palace as a backdrop, it's going to be a fantastic event which transcends multiple decades of music.

"It'll be a great, unique experience for the thousands attending, watching on TV and listening on radio. I can't wait."

Around two-thirds of the bill is complete. Other performers include Cliff Richard, Annie Lennox, ska band Madness, Jessie J, boy band JLS and tenor Alfie Boe.

British residents can apply for 10,000 free tickets for a spot at the front in a random, online ballot, open between Tuesday and March 2.

But those who miss out are expected to join huge crowds watching from The Mall, the processional route to Buckingham Palace, and the adjacent St James's and Green Parks.

Barlow said Prince William, second in line to the throne, and his brother Prince Harry had both put in requests for artists.

The singer-songwriter could not confirm whether he or his group Take That would perform but added that he wanted the worlds of ballet and stage musicals to be represented on stage too.

He also said he hoped to go beyond artists from Britain and the wider Commonwealth and have US stars performing.