George Ezra has become the first artist to waive the payment fee for the use of his music in Joe Wicks’ online PE lessons for children, with royalties going directly to the NHS.
Wicks, otherwise known as the Body Coach, is currently hosting live fitness sessions aimed at children on his YouTube channel in a bid to help youngsters stay active while the UK is in lockdown and schools are closed.
Singer-songwriter Ezra made the decision to allow Wicks to use his songs for free after being prompted by his mother, a primary school teacher.
She was doing one of Wicks’ online sessions with her key worker children in school when she learned that Wicks was having trouble getting approval to use his favourite songs in the sessions due to copyright issues.
Ezra has now allowed his songs to be used for free, with his number one hit Shotgun being the first to be used to soundtrack Tuesday morning’s session.
Ezra, 26, wrote on Instagram: “So, yesterday my mum rang me on her lunch break. She’s a teacher at a primary school and each morning her and the kids are tuning in for P.E. With Joe.
“Joe mentioned that it was a shame that there was no music on during the classes but because of copyright issues he couldn’t use songs in the background.
“My mum suggested I offer Joe and the kids my songs to use. I got in touch with Joe and we made it happen.”
He added that “the coolest thing is that all royalties made from the songs being used are going directly to the NHS!
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Joe for being the world’s fitness coach throughout all of this and an even bigger thank you to my amazing mum and all the other incredible teachers up and down the country for everything they’re doing.”
Wicks, 33, said during Tuesday’s session: “Now listen, I’ve got some great news. I’ve got to say a massive thank you to George Ezra’s mum, who is a teacher at school and George Ezra found out that I had no music, so he’s given me his permission to use his music on the workout today.
“If you came to see me on my tour you’ll know that Shotgun is the theme tune to my school’s trip.”
Wicks previously announced that he will donate “every single penny” of the money made by his online PE sessions to the NHS as its workers continue to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
He said last week the viewership of his PE videos had seen advertising revenue “unlike anything I’ve seen or experienced on my channel before”.
Wicks is hosting the daily sessions aimed at children every weekday morning at 9am, with millions tuning in to take part.