Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis Ralph Vaughan Williams
As evidenced by his nickname, ‘The People’s Tenor’, and any number of awards and millions of album sales, Russell Watson’s popularity in the UK is beyond question. But now it’s the Americans who can’t get enough of him – so much so that they’ve invited him to sing at the White House’s July 4 Independence Day celebrations.
Watson will be the sole UK representative at the celebrations. The invitation came on the back of an impromptu performance Watson gave after his scheduled slot at the televised Memorial Day concert in Washinghton on May 31 was cancelled when torrential rain necessitated the evacuation of the 350,000-strong crowd.
Finding himself in a private hall in the Capital Building with various dignitaries and military personnel, Watson burst into song after acquiescing to a request for him to sing.
Such was the impact of Watson’s voice that the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey thanked the singer and broadcaster PBS invited Watson to be the UK’s only representative at the July 4 2012 Independence Day celebrations at the White House.
A spokesperson for PBS said: "We would be thrilled to have Russell perform his fantastic version of Because We Believe‚ in a special salute to our Olympians heading to London for the 2012 games."
Accepting the invitation, a delighted Watson enthused: "I've not visited the States for a few years and to be invited twice in a month to such prestigious events is an honour for me. It's a great privilege to be performing for the American Olympians and I'm so excited to be a part of the 4th July celebrations."