'Toast To Freedom' an exclusive commemorative song dedicated to human rights activism around the world and performed by nearly 50 artists, is released today by Amnesty International.
Written by music veterans Carl Carlton and Larry Campbell, performers include Levon Helm, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Angelique Kidjo, Ewan McGregor, Donald Fagen, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, Eric Burdon, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, Rosanne Cash and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
'Amnesty should have their very own song to sing in happy times and in struggling times.' says Carlton. 'To celebrate both small and monumental victories, to comfort loss and overcome pain.'
The track, released to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, is available for purchase online worldwide and proceeds will benefit Amnesty International. Read more about how the song came together here.
'Toast To Freedom' was inspired by Carlton, a longtime supporter of Amnesty International, who teamed up with entrepreneur Jochen Wilms and Art for Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey, longtime collaborator with U2 in their work with Amnesty International.
The basic tracks were recorded at the legendary Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y, and following Helms death on April 19, Wilms said: 'Levon was one great soul. I am so grateful we got to work with him, his outstanding band and team in his barn in Woodstock. He was an inspiration and our muse. The song “Toast To Freedom” is dedicated to Amnesty International but in a certain way is now a 'Toast To Levon' and a celebration for him as well: Truth, heart and soul were always part of Levon’s DNA and are the essential basis of Amnesty International and our project. We will miss him and love him forever.'
It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.