Urban posted a behind-the-scenes video and explained that he’ll be a part of people from around the world singing “Imagine” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The beloved tune is one of the most well-known songs of all time. Urban believes that it’s the ultimate song of hope.
“[‘Imagine’ is] one of those songs that feels like it’s just always been there,” he said. “It’s sort of like a spiritual classic. It’s more of a hymn than a song.”
Some of the other performers include John Legend, who is representing the Americas. Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz is performing for Europe, Angelique Kidjo is representing Africa and the Junior Chorus is singing for Asia.
When asked what were his favorite lyrics from “Imagine,” Keith Urban said “just the ones between the beginning and the end. It’s an amazing song.”
“Some of the deceptively simple lines like ‘You may say I’m a dreamer'” That’s an extraordinary, powerful line that speaks to me. It’s the real definition of optimism and hope right there in that one line.”
The opening ceremonies will be broadcast across the world in several languages. But Urban said you can understand the song through the melody, regardless if you understand the words.
Hans Zimmer, the famous film composer, composed this rendition of the song.
How To Watch Keith Urban Perform At Olympics
Since Japan is so many hours ahead of the United States, the performance has already happened. NBC live broadcasts the Tokyo Olympic ceremonies Friday morning from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. But fear not, you can still see Keith Urban and the rest tonight.
NBC will first re-broadcast the opening ceremonies at 7:30 pm Eastern Time and they’ll continue through midnight. Then, the network will rewind the tape and play it again at 12:35 am Eastern.
Along with Keith Urban and the other performers, Leslie Odom Jr., who played Aaron Burr in the Broadway play Hamilton, will discuss some of the hopes and dreams of the Olympians in an opening montage. Dwayne Johnson will introduce the United States team while Uma Thurman will narrate a feature during the Parade of Athletes.
Yoko Ono tweeted her approval of the opening ceremonies rendition of “Imagine.”
“John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other. 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.”