Sun 29th Sep
Unity - A Concert for Stephen Lawrence
@ The O2, London
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Unity - A Concert for Stephen Lawrence: Emeli Sandé + Rizzle Kicks + Labrinth + Plan B + Jamie Cullum + Jessie J + Tinie Tempah + Rudimental + Ed Sheeran + Soul II Soul + Rita Ora + Beverley Knight
20 years after the tragic murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence, music's biggest names unite for a special concert championing youth and social empowerment. The concert is to raise funds for The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which helps to develop brighter futures for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This event sees UK artists and the music industry working together to create a one-off concert and raise awareness and money for the Stephen Lawrence Trust, further providing opportunities for those disadvantaged by their colour, their postcode, their ethnicity or their poverty – across the UK. All the artists will perform tracks specially chosen for their social message.
Through the work of Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence and the Stephen Lawrence Trust, Britain is changing but there is still much more to be done. The SL20 campaign, set up by the Trust to mark this important anniversary, aims to highlight Stephen’s legacy and the vital work undertaken by the charity in his name. This concert will play a pivotal role in the SL20 initiative.
Unity – A Concert for Stephen Lawrence is supported by Mayor of London Boris Johnson as well as Lewisham and Greenwich Council.
This event takes place at The O2, which has achieved Gold Status for disabled access from Attitude Is Everything.
A soul singer, songwriter, and pianist from Aberdeen whose treacle on gravel voice has made her hotly sought after as a collaborator by such artists as Chipmunk and Wiley. Smart, sussed, talented, entrepreneurial, shiningly engaging in the flesh, utterly transfixing on stage and unforgettable in her words and melodies, Emeli Sande is the epitome of the brilliant modern artist.
Emeli Sandé tour dates
Harley Alexander-Sule and Jordan Stephens are two of the most exciting young talents to emerge in recent years, serving up a tasty mix of pop and hip hop incorporating the fun elements of the old school hip-hop era circa 1988-92. With over 1 million singles sold, plus platinum and gold albums, the guys continue to get their kicks.
Rizzle Kicks tour dates
Since featuring on, and producing, Tinie Tempah's 'Pass Out' and 'Frisky', the singing, songwriting and producing phenomenon Labrinth has rapidly become one of the most significant emerging artists of the past 18 months. Originally from Hackney, east London, Labrinth is the youngest of nine musically gifted siblings. He discovered his talent for music by going to the local studio whilst still at school. Making beats at the age of 13 and playing guitar and keyboards by 15, Labrinth is completely self-taught.
Labrinth tour dates
A truly defiant figure in the world of music, Plan B’s diverse creativity is inexhaustible. His raw, incendiary debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words broke new ground for UK hip hop in 2006, a loud, proud, obscenity-riddled scream of anger and pride from the streets of East London.
But a part of Ben always stayed faithful to the soul he’d first heard as a child, and his sophomore album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks saw him marry the two together with astounding success, achieving quadruple-platinum status, hitting the #1 album spot and selling over 1.4 million copies in the UK alone, plus seeing him win both a BRIT and three Ivor Novello’s.
His 2012 directorial debut (and accompanying album) iLL Manors saw him smashing boundaries with his creative style of overlapping stories and interweaving rap-narrative, boldly addressing socio-political issues with his often brutal cultural commentary, seeing Ben nominated for his fifth BRIT Award, being nominated for his first Mercury Music prize, and once again hitting #1 in the UK album chart.
Plan B tour dates
This young jazz-influenced pianist and vocalist from the West Country is a favourite of Radio 2 listeners and record company accountants. He has been likened, apparently, to Harry Connick Jnr and has even been described as 'Sinatra in sneakers'. True fans of Ol' Blue Eyes will no doubt have their own views...
Jamie Cullum tour dates
Essex-born songwriter Jessie J has penned tunes for the likes of Alicia Keyes, toured with Chris Brown and notably wrote Miley Cyrus's Number One billboard smash 'Party In The USA!' Jessie kicked off her solo career with “Price Tag”, the anti-materialistic anthem of its year, and an album that sold in its millions going platinum several times over. But that was just the beginning of a journey that would see Jessie become the first British woman in history to take six top ten singles from one album and never mind that it was her first outing.
While her multi-octave voice and self-made attitude has earned Jessie J the respect of music's glitterati; from Kylie to Justin Timberlake commenting 'Who is the best singer? Jessie J!', to Cyndi Lauper pulling her on stage at Shepherds Bush to sing her legendary anthem 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' alongside her.
Jessie J tour dates
Tinie Tempah originated from South London, gaining notoriety in 2006 with his underground debut single 'Wifey'. Later, Tinie Tempah (real name Patrick Junior C. Okongwu) would come to top the UK charts in 2010 with 'Pass Out', a song 'about getting so out of it that you pass out'. In less than six months Tinie Tempah has gone from underground buzz artist to bona fide pop phenomenon.
Tinie Tempah tour dates
This Hackney-based quartet is made up of musicians Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Leon (DJ Locksmith), who navigate through genres effortlessly. With a number one chart position already under their belts, with 'Feel The Love', Rudimental have an exciting career ahead of them. They've already managed to collect a whole host of accolades along the way including early backing from Zane Lowe as his Hottest Record in the World and plays from Mista Jam and Annie Mac.
Rudimental tour dates
The Brit award-winning singer/songwriter from Suffolk who found fame by fusing traditional acoustic and folk melodies with hip hop beats, Sheeran has created an inimitable sound and built a massive legion of fans through his constant live gigging.
Sheeran made chart history at the beginning of 2017 by being the only artist to debut two brand new singles in the top two positions, with 'Castle Of You' reaching no.2 and 'Shape Of You' reaching no.1 simultaneously, along with each individual track from his '÷' album entering the top 20 of the singles chart.
He also achieved the prestigious UK Christmas no.1 spot in 2017 with 'Perfect', while the '÷' album had notched up sales of over 2 million by the end of 2017 and became the fastest-selling album by a UK male artist of all time.
Ed Sheeran tour dates
Soul II Soul have been producing memorable quality music since the late eighties. They've sold over 6.8 million albums in 35 territories across the globe and appeared on over 100 compilation albums. Their Club Classics Vol. 1 album was named one of the top 50 British Albums Ever by Q Magazine.
They began as a sound system in the early 80s, playing at various house blues parties, street parties and local youth clubs, adopting a unique style which became known as 'Funki Dred'. Soul II Soul signed to Virgin Records, and the rest is history. Tracks such as 'Keep On Movin' and 'Back To Life' have stood the test of time.
Soul II Soul tour dates
British-Albanian mezzo-soprano r'n'b queen Rita Ora has been around for a while, but came to full prominence in 2012 when she provided the vocals for DJ Fresh's 'Hot Right Now', which topped the UK singles chart. Rita followed this with her own string of no.1 singles; 'R.I.P', 'How We Do (Party)' and 'I Will Never Let You Down'.
Still keen on recording collaborations outside of her solo work, Rita has also teamed up with the likes of Charli XCX, Avicii and Iggy Azalea, amongst others. Outside of her music, Rita is a regular face for cosmetics and a former mentor and judge of TV talent show The Voice.
Rita Ora tour dates
The sassy soulful singer, three times MOBO award winner and Lifetime Achievement recipient from the Urban Music Awards. Beverley is a versatile British soul sensation, able to record unforgettable catchy pop songs and perform in musical theatre, taking the lead role in UK productions of The Bodyguard and Memphis. Her true love is classic soul though, as her 2016 album 'Soulsville' demonstrated, containing a mix of classic soul cover versions and self-penned new soul tracks.
Beverley Knight tour dates