Singer Tony Christie will release a new single to thank Britain’s carers following his dementia diagnosis. The star, 79, already has a full diary with a UK tour, two albums and a trip to Nashville in the pipeline. And now he’s revealed he will record Thank You For Being A Friend as the anthem of this year’s Thank You Day, which aims to highlight the work done by unsung carers.
The song, originally a hit for his late pal Andrew Gold and also used as the soundtrack The Golden Girls hit Eighties TV sitcom, will be available as a free download.
Tony said: “When I go to my local shop, I’m stopped so many times by people saying ‘thank you’ for what you’ve done. People are saying their partners have dementia and they’ve been struggling with their diagnosis, but since seeing me talk about it, it’s helped.
“If anyone deserves a thank you it’s the UK’s unseen and unsung army of carers.
“I knew Andrew years ago when he did the original hit, so it’s special to be recording it.
“It’s a great song and we’re getting together some top star names to be on it. I’m sure it’s going to be big. I’m so proud to be part of it.”
Tony was asked to record the song for Music For Dementia, a which calls for music to be an integral part of dementia care.
The star – famed for his hits (Is This The Way to) Amarillo, Las Vegas, and I Did What I Did For Maria – says singing has helped him since his diagnosis.
He added: “The specialist said that the fact I’m listening to music and singing is one of the best things that slows dementia down.
“I’m finding it difficult to do my crosswords, but I just accept it and carry on. I’m 80 in a couple of weeks, but I’m busy and I like it that way.
“I’m working hard and it’s helping me.”
Music for Dementia is leading the music activities for Thank You Day 2023, which will be on July 2.
Last year, nine million people took part in festivities to show their appreciation.