The collective artist initiative, ArtistsCAN, releases the Canadian virtual ensemble performance of the treasured Bill Withers classic “Lean On Me,” in support of the Canadian Red Cross and their COVID-19 efforts. Sung by more than two dozen of Canada’s biggest international stars, homegrown favourites, and brightest newcomers, the single and video are now available on all digital retail platforms.
Conceptualized by JUNO Award-nominated musicians Tyler Shaw and Fefe Dobson, the two gathered other artists, producers, and talent to cover the track from their homes, and completed the song in three short weeks with over 25 artists featured (for the full list of artists please see below). Produced by Jon Levine (Céline Dion, Alessia Cara, Avril Lavigne), mixed by Jason Dufour (July Talk, Lights, The Trews) and musical contribution by Dan Kanter (Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, bülow).
The accompanying video for the single kicked off the charitable endeavor with the premiere of the song on this evening’s historic national, multi-broadcaster event STRONGER TOGETHER, TOUS ENSEMBLE. Produced by The Young Astronauts, the video not only features contributed homemade footage of each vocalist but also boasts 50+ Canadians helping spread the message of support and unity.
“When I heard of Bill Withers’ passing, I was listening to all his legendary music, and I really dove into the lyrics of ‘Lean On Me,’ a song I’ve heard hundreds of times, but now in this current climate, the lyrics seem more profound than ever. I wanted to cover it; I wanted to help. I called Fefe, we called more people, and more people. And in a really short time we had this incredible song, with a message I think people need to hear right now, all while raising money for something every single one of us is affected by,” said Tyler Shaw.
All proceeds of the ArtistsCAN single are donated to the Canadian Red Cross to help fight COVID-19 in Canada. Canadians can contribute to the initiative by simply streaming the song, viewing the official music video, or downloading the single. To make a monetary contribution just text LEANONME to 20222 (standard text messaging rates apply) or go to www.redcross.ca/leanonme.
“ArtistsCAN is a true artist-to-artist connection. We’ve come together to help how we can. We know there a lot of people who are struggling, who have lost their jobs, who can’t financially contribute. So this is a way to help because by just streaming the song, or watching the video, the proceeds go directly to the Canadian Red Cross to help fight this virus,” said Fefe Dobson.
Produced by Jon Levine (Céline Dion, Alessia Cara, Avril Lavigne)
Mixed by Jason Dufour (July Talk, Lights, The Trews)
Music contribution by Dan Kanter (Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, bülow)
Video produced by The Young Astronauts
ArtistsCAN is a collective artist initiative raising funds for COVID-19 relief in Canada. Created by artists Tyler Shaw and Fefe Dobson, the pair gathered other musicians from across Canada to cover a song, with all proceeds from the single “Lean On Me” going directly the Canadian Red Cross. The goal for ArtistsCAN is to connect the artist community with charitable organizations to further help their cause through the arts. Founded by musical ambassadors Tyler Shaw, Fefe Dobson, and Dan Kanter, the endeavor was created in April 2020.