Keith Duffy has said he would like Boyzlife’s latest single to become an “anthem” for the elderly during the pandemic.
The pop supergroup, formed of Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden, are donating the profits from their single You Needed Me to the charity Age UK.
The song, originally recorded by Boyzone in 1999, features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and appears on their forthcoming debut album, Strings Attached.
Duffy, 45, said he wanted to let the elderly and vulnerable know they could find help amid the lockdown.
He told the PA news agency: “We want to let people know that the elderly are there, and that people care, and that Age UK can fight your corner for you if you are elderly, and help you out if you are unwell.
“If this song becomes an anthem for Age UK, and people listen to it, the awareness is created.
“The lyrics lend themselves very well to reaching out and helping other people – picking somebody up when they are down, letting people know there is somebody out there who cares.
“That’s the message we are putting out there, that’s what this song does.”
Duffy said recording the album had been a “very long but very worthwhile” process, one they only finished weeks before the lockdown.
McFadden, 39, who is working as an NHS volunteer responder during the outbreak, said many Westlife fans were among the elderly left isolated.
“Right now the people who are being affected the most are the elderly,” he told PA.
“Age UK is a fantastic charity that helps them, getting food and medicine to people, just even simple things like talking to people on the phone that are lonely.
“Boyzone goes back 26 years, so lot of our fans who were maybe in their 40s when we started, they are now seen as elderly.
“We wanted to do something for them.
“The single was already coming out so we decided, ‘Why not just give all the profits from this song to Age UK to try and help the elderly?’
“If we can make some money for Age UK, that’s great. But even if we just create awareness of the charity and remind people of the elderly.
“It’s not always about the money. Sometimes it’s about getting the message out there too.”
Strings Attached, due for release on May 29, features orchestral reimaginings of nine UK number one songs from the Boyzone and Westlife catalogues.
Age UK’s fundraising director Laurie Boult said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Boyzlife for their support through You Needed Me.
“Music is so important during this exceptionally challenging time as it can really lift our spirits, so why not share this song with someone you love and show that you care about older people at the same time.
“This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones.
“Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis.
“Thank you for making sure we can respond to the growing needs and unprecedented demand we’re seeing.”
You Needed Me is out on Friday. Tickets to the second leg of Boyzlife’s UK are on sale now at boyzlife.co
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