Music News

Irish artists to help celebrate Van Morrison's 75th birthday this Monday in streaming special

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Van Morrison turns 75 this Monday, August 31, and in celebration of the Belfast-born singer/songwriter’s milestone birthday, Ireland’s Hot Press magazine will present an online special that day featuring various Irish artists and celebrities sharing pre-taped tribute performances.

The event, dubbed Rave On, Van Morrison!, will be viewable at the magazine’s YouTube channel and will begin at 2 p.m. ET. It will kick off with a special performance of Morrison’s 1983 song “Rave On, John Donne” by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by Riverdance creator Bill Whelan.

Other performers include Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, Clannad‘s Moya Brennan, Glen Hansard and Hozier.

The birthday special is the centerpiece of series of video tributes that began in early August and is featuring new performance clips premiering nightly on the Hot Press YouTube channel through September 15.

The artists who already have contributed videos include Andrea Corr, Damien Rice, Imelda May and Snow Patrol‘s Gary Lightbody. Sinéad O’Connor and actor Liam Neeson are among those who will be featured in upcoming clips.

During his 55-plus-year career, Morrison has created an impressive body of work that includes the raw blues-rock of his early band Them, the folk-pop gem “Brown-Eyed Girl,” the poetic, improvisation-heavy jazz-folk of Astral Weeks, the sultry pop-soul of Moondance, the R&B standard “Have I Told You Lately” and so much more. Among Van’s many other memorable tunes are “Crazy Love,” “Into the Mystic,” “Domino,” “Jackie Wilson Said,” “Tupelo Honey” and “Wild Night.”

Morrison was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2016, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the U.K. music business and the Northern Ireland tourist industry.

By Matt Friedlander
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