Keith Urban performs John Lennon’s song Imagine at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo


Keith Urban gets an endorsement from Yoko Ono as he performs John Lennon’s iconic tune Imagine at the Olympic Games opening ceremony

People around the world stopped in their tracks to view the Opening Ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday.

And sport-lovers were treated to a stunning rendition of the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s song Imagine towards the end of the ceremony.

For the pre-recorded event, Australian singer Keith Urban was joined by fellow artists from across the globe, including John Legend, Angélique Kidjo, Alejandro Sanz and the Suginami Junior Chorus.

conic tune: On Friday, sport-lovers were treated to a stunning rendition of the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s song Imagine towards the end of the ceremony. Australian singer Keith Urban (pictured) performed the tune, alongside other international acts

Just before aired, artist Yoko Ono, 88, tweeted about it, adding the hashtag #olympics. 

‘”IMAGINE. John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other,’ she said of the tune she wrote with her late husband, who was killed at age 40 in 1980.

‘The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together,’ the Tokyo-born artist added.

Yoko Ono's comment: Just before the performance aired, artist Yoko Ono, 88, tweeted about it

Yoko Ono’s comment: Just before the performance aired, artist Yoko Ono, 88, tweeted about it

Moving: '"IMAGINE. John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other,' she said of the tune she wrote with her late husband, who was killed at age 40 in 1980. Pictured together in 1968

Moving: ‘”IMAGINE. John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other,’ she said of the tune she wrote with her late husband, who was killed at age 40 in 1980. Pictured together in 1968

Before the footage was played for worldwide audiences, Keith, 53, shared a behind-the-scenes look in between filming duties.

‘It feels like it’s just always been there. It’s a spiritual classic, it’s more of a hymn than a song,’ he said.

Keith also went on to sing lyrics ‘You may say I’m a dreamer’ – which he said stood out to him.   

The crooner then admitted that there is ‘the real definition of optimism and hope right there in that line.’ 

Behind-the-scenes look: Before the footage was played for worldwide audiences, Keith, 53, shared a behind-the-scenes look in between filming duties

Behind-the-scenes look: Before the footage was played for worldwide audiences, Keith, 53, shared a behind-the-scenes look in between filming duties

Celebrity power: For the pre-recorded event, Australian singer Keith Urban was joined by fellow artists from across the globe, including John Legend (pictured), Angélique Kidjo, Alejandro Sanz and the Suginami Junior Chorus

Celebrity power: For the pre-recorded event, Australian singer Keith Urban was joined by fellow artists from across the globe, including John Legend (pictured), Angélique Kidjo, Alejandro Sanz and the Suginami Junior Chorus

 ‘Even if you don’t speak English and you don’t know what’s being said, you can feel the magic and you can feel the song,’ he added. 

The Tokyo Olympic games opening ceremony was at times sombre – including a moment of silence for Covid victims – and held on a much smaller scale than previous years, but still packed a number of show-stoppers, including the formation of a giant floating globe made out of drones hovering over the stadium.

There were just 950 guests in the 68,000-capacity arena due to virus restrictions with US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron joined by Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Fireworks go off during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic games

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