Burnley's homegrown star and Britain's Got Talent semi finalist among 'supergroup' of top entertainers in charity single and video

Burnley's homegrown celebrity, Andrew Derbyshire,  is among a 'supergroup' of over 40 cruise liner entertainers, from 15 countries around the world, who have released a charity single and video to raise money for the World Health Organsation.

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 3:45 pm

Andrew is one of the 40 artistes performing Josh Groban's Thankful in a bid to unite people and also raise money for the WHO's Covid 19 relief fund.

Andrew, who is a former student at Burnley's Basics Theatre School, said: " I am so thankful to be part of this incredible project.

" This is about 40 performers from around the world joining together to raise spirits during these uncertain times.

Well known Burnley and Padiham singer Andrew Derbyshire is one of the stars of a single and video released this week featuring artistes from around the globe.(photo by pndphotography)

"It’s probably the most challenging to date for me , but releasing this single with my fellow entertainers has been so uplifting and brought a real sense of togetherness."

Padiham born Andrew found fame when he made to the top 50 of Pop Idol, one of the TV's first reality talent shows back in 2001.

He was spotted by producer Bill Kenwright and chosen to play the lead role in the hit musical Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in London.

Padiham born Andrew re located to the capital and reached the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent after belting out Jocelyn Brown’s Somebody Else’s Guy in his audition which won him a standing ovation from the judges.

Andrew with his fellow performers singing Thankful

The concept for Thankful came from talented Cheshire pianist David Schofield who wanted to unite all the entertainers he has shared the stage with on cruise liners worldwide.

With the aim of encouraging people to find things to be thankful for during the pandemic, the artistes performing include, West End star Marisha Wallace, who has appeared in Dreamgirls, Waitress, Aladdin and Hairspray, Broadway stars The Barricade Boys and Britain's Got Talent winners Attraction and Hector Ruiz of The Illusionists who has also appeared on Broadway.

All the performers featured share the same agent, Barry Ball Artists, a premier management company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Barry Ball Artists is one of the largest cruise line agencies in the world, an industry that has been hard hit by the outbreak.

Each of the 40 artistes are known as guest entertainers who headline shows on cruise ships around the world.

David said: " Each and everyone of us, at some point in our lives, take things for granted.

"For me, this pandemic has highlighted this more than ever before. The lyrics of this song share one very important message, to be grateful and thankful for everything we have.”

Dominique Bennett who is vice president of BBA and producer of the record said: “Bringing some of our BBA artistes together for this project has been an inspiration.

"Coming from all over the world, they share one link: stages of theatres at sea.

"It is a true example of global unity and most of all, hope.”

The single was released yesterday and David has just launched the #thankfulchallenge which involves listening to the single (therefore raising money for the World Health Organisation Covid-19 Response Fund), posting a photo of what you are thankful for and then nominating five others to do the same thing.

People can get involved by searching #thankfulchallenge on Facebook or Instagram.