Music News

Check out Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.'s passionate cover of The Beatles' "Blackbird"

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Visual art: Brittany Duncan & Jon Carrasco/EE1/BMG

Former 5th Dimension members Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. have released a second advance single from their forthcoming studio album, Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons, a dramatic version of The Beatles‘ classic 1968 civil-rights anthem “Blackbird.”

The track, which features a passionate vocal performance by McCoo, is available now as a digital download and via streaming services. A companion lyric video also has premiered at McCoo and Davis’ official YouTube channel. The animated clip shows a flock of blackbirds flying across the screen in front of red roses and a list of first names of people who were killed in various violent incidents.

“Why ‘Blackbird’? Why now? It is a reflection of the truth we are living today,” the married duo say in a joint statement. “When a blackbird leaves our mother’s nest, one day, it will not return. In 2021, mothers throughout our country live in the fear that our blackbirds may prematurely not be able to return to the nest of home, because of bigotry and violence.”

They add, “‘Blackbird’ is dedicated to the life and humanity of every blackbird, whether living now or lost in battle.”

Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons, which will be released on April 30, is McCoo and Davis’ first new major-label studio album in over 30 years. As its name suggests, the record is a tribute to the music of The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The first single released from the project was a danceable rendition of “Silly Love Songs,” McCartney’s chart-topping 1976 single with his post-Beatles band Wings.

“The Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons project, each song, image, timeline and video, praises everyone who dares fight hatred,” note the couple, who last year celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

You can pre-order the album now.

By Matt Friedlander
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