Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart Reportedly Headlining VE Day Celebration
There probably isn't a party big enough to commemorate the joy that swept the world after Allied victory in Europe ended World War II with a pair of treaties signed on May 7 and 8, 1945 — but hiring Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart to headline the event's 70th anniversary bash is a good start.
The trio reportedly has been tapped to perform at a "1940s-themed concert" to mark this year's VE Day, scheduled to take place at Horse Guards Parade in London on May 9. Although representatives have yet to issue an official confirmation, participation from all three performers has been widely rumored for weeks.
ABC News Radio reports that the concert will just be one part of a three-day celebration that also includes a service at London’s Cenotaph on May 8, a Royal Air Force flyby commemorating the Battle of Britain, a veterans’ parade and a nationwide lighting of beacons, as well as an appearance from Dame Vera Lynn, the 97-year-old singer who scored a hit in 1943 with "We'll Meet Again."
Like most members of their generation, McCartney, John and Stewart have an emotional connection to VE Day; Stewart has even credited his decision to record a fifth volume of his bestselling American Songbook series of albums to a conversation he had with a World War II veteran.
"I met this American GI in a coffeehouse in the Valley and we were sitting there talking about the war," Stewart told Billboard. "He was in the second wave of landings at Normandy on Omaha Beach — so he wasn't part of all the bloodshed — but he was telling me how he went to England for VE Day and he had fish and chips and went into the pubs. He said, 'By the way, Rod, are you still going to make an 'American Songbook'? You make those old songs sound brand-new.' That was one of things that inspired me to go back and start recording again."
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