A former Westlife star is hoping to top the Christmas charts in Ireland with a charity single benefiting children’s hospitals in Belfast and Dublin.
Shane Filan has recorded When I Grow Up from the Grammy-nominated musical Matilda.
Proceeds from sales of the single will benefit the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the Children’s Medical Research Foundation at Crumlin in Dublin.
Filan was accompanied on the special recording by a choir of more than 200 children, among them 10-year-old Grace Lee.
Grace, from the Isle of Man, has had 10 heart procedures for Congenital Heart Disease and also has Chronic Lung Disease.
The team behind the recording are aiming to beat X-factor to Christmas No1 in the Irish charts.
Australian musician and comic Tim Minchin, the creator of Matilda the musical, had given his support to the project.
The single was recorded at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin.
Aideen Keaney, clinical director for anaesthetics and surgery and consultant paediatric anaesthetist at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, said: “We are delighted to be included in this project.
“This is a beautiful song that helps us all to reconnect with the hopes and dreams of all children and with the hopes and dreams that began in our own childhood. The proceeds will provide valuable long term assistance in paediatric research”.
The single is the brainchild of music producer Stephen Macken, who has teamed up with Filan, Minchin and the Association of Irish Musical Societies.
Macken said: “We chose When I Grow Up as the charity single because of its deeper meaning in the context of its portrayal of the simple childhood dreams and ambitions that we all once projected into our adult lives, and how those dreams and ambitions are the same for all children, including those who face an uncertain future due to illness and who may never live to see their fulfilment.
“It’s that context that makes the song so special and meaningful.”
The single can be downloaded on iTunes Amazon, Google Play or purchased in HMV stores across Northern Ireland and Xtra-vision stores across Ireland.