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Chris de Burgh - A Personal Tribute - There's a new star up in Heaven tonight.

 Princess Diana loved music with many favourite artistes

“She was an outstanding lady… beautiful and vulnerable.”
Chris de Burgh 1997

Of all the royals, Princess Diana was best-known for her love of music. Duran Duran were reported to be her favourite band, while her record collection also included albums by Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Chris de Burgh.

Following the tragic death of Diana in August 1997 - CdeB who became a personal friend of the Princess confessed to the Getaway Gazette "I was destroyed by her death. I was terribly upset. In fact, at the end of that week I was supposed to be in Moscow, headlining three major concerts two of which were in a football stadium to celebrate the 850th anniversary of Moscow, and I just felt I couldn't do those shows. "
There's a new star up in Heaven tonight CD cover.  

"I remember; it was at about 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening, after she was killed...I had no intention of writing a song, per se, I was just playing my piano and these words came out 'There's a new star up in heaven tonight.' And I knew what it was about immediately because, obviously, Diana had been on my mind. It took about ten minutes to get the melody through and then, the following evening, I spent about 45 minutes working on the words.

That wasn't difficult because I knew what I wanted to say, anyway. The whole thing took about an hour.The song was just an expression of grief, in the same way that a lot of people wrote songs or wrote poems. The BBC people heard about it, so the song was filmed and the film was shown as she was being taken back to Althorp House. A couple of weeks later I recorded it properly in a studio and, because of Elton and his success and because he was the one who was asked to do Candle In The Wind, I just made 100 copies and numbered and signed them."

View 2:45 'Real' streaming video - 'There's a new star up in Heaven tonight'.

'There's a new star up in Heaven tonight'    read full lyrics     A&M Press Release

The Lady In Red - The Very Best Of Chris de Burgh

After a request by the American record label 'Arc 21' to include the song on it's year 2000 release - 'The Lady In Red - The Very Best Of Chris de Burgh', it then became possible to purchase a copy of this excellent personal tribute to Princess Diana.

The CD is still available at www.amazon.com

The Lady In Red was one of Princess Diana's favourite songs and Chris de Burgh - one of her favourite singers. CdeB first met the Princess after she contacted him in the late 1980's following the Enneskillin disaster.

View 0:50'Real' streaming video - CdeB talks about how he first met Princess Diana

One of their most memorable public meetings was on the 6th December 1993 when the Princess was asked by Richard Branson to officially name a new Virgin Atlantic Airways aircraft. As Diana pulled back curtains to reveal the name `Lady in Red' on the Airbus, another curtain rose to reveal Chris de Burgh at the piano singing `Lady in Red'.

Princess Diana in a red dress
  

Chris, who went on to present the Princess with a gold record of 'The Lady In Red' during the flight - recalled the days events in 1994 to the Getaway Gazette - read here

 

On the 30th of August 1997, CdeB was in the Czech Republic, in a small town performing at a benefit concert for the victims of flood disasters. Chris recalled "The following morning, Sunday, August 31, I was getting ready to leave, and I called home. Diane told me that Princess Diana had been in an accident. I rang back again and it had been confirmed by then that she was dead. That was just an absolute shocker.. I remember telling Chris Andrews (Chris's personal assistant), and he took it like a punch; you know, he actually fell to the floor. He sat down on a chair and all the wind went out of him. One of the pilots, Big Bill, who was flying our aircraft back home was in tears. He said 'She was our Princess..."
At the funeral of Princess Diana on Saturday 6 September 1997, there was striking acknowledgement of Diana's life beyond the Royal Family, with a guest list including the Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and his then wife, Nicole Kidman, the film directors Steven Spielberg and Sir Richard Attenborough.
Anita Dobson, the former Eastenders actress, was also in Westminster Abbey along with her partner, Brian May, the guitarist with the rock band Queen. Billy Connolly, Chris de Burgh, Clive James and Karl Lagerfeld joined the congregation to represent Diana's interest in the worlds of showbusiness and fashion.

Chris de Burgh at Westminster Abbey 6 Sept 1997
Chris de Burgh at Westminster Abbey

Recalling the funeral to the Getaway Gazette in 1998, Chris said "I was in admiration of what Elton John did. I appreciate the difficulty of what he did, and the courage it took and, secondly, when Earl Spencer made his speech and all of the applause poured in from outside into the Abbey, through the big doors, and everybody picked up on that...that was an extraordinary moment. I remember lots and lots of people inside the Abbey crying their eyes out and applauding the Earl for his courage in saying what he said."

View 2:47 'Real' streaming video - CdeB talks to the BBC about the funeral of Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales Tribute Concert.
On Saturday 27th June 1998, a concert was organized by Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, at Althorp, the Spencer Family estate about sixty-five miles north of London. There were 15,000 who bought tickets with the proceeds going to Diana's charities.

Aerial shot of Althorp - the estate of Earl Spencer

The full line-up of stars taking part in the concert was as follows: Andrea Quinn, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Chicken Shed Theatre Company, Chris de Burgh, David Hasselhoff, Edward Higginbottom, Jasper Carrott, Jimmy Ruffin, Julian Lloyd Webber, Lawrence Gowan, Lesley Garrett, The Lighthouse Family, Maxim Vengerov, Miriam Stockley, Peter Robinson, The Royal Academy of Music, Sir Cliff Richard, New College Oxford, the Soweto String Quartet, T'Pau, Vincenzo la Scola.

CdeB performing at the Princess of Wales Tribute Concert. Chris de Burgh sang classics like 'The Lady In Red', 'Don't Pay The Ferryman' and 'High On Emotion', as well as his own personal tribute 'There's A New Star Up In Heaven Tonight'.
Before singing Chris said: "What an honour it is for me to be here on this exceptional night to celebrate the life of an extraordinary woman."

At the time Chris had put together a new band and their first performance was to be the concert at Althorp. Before the concert began, CdeB was seen walking around with plastic bags tied to his feet. Chris told the Getaway Gazette in 1999 why this had happened:
"Ha-ha! What happened is that there was a number of other people staying at Althorp House and, the thing was, you left your wellington boots inside the door as one does. Now, in the afternoon, I'd soundchecked, left my wellies inside the door but when, at about 8 o'clock, I wanted to go to the stage to do the show. to my horror, somebody had stolen my boots. All that was left was a pair of size 4s. And there was no other way of getting up to the stage area from the house; there was no transportation, the only way was to walk. So I walked up a feeder road, a slip road, and I actually flagged somebody down in a car going to the concert; 'Excuse me -I need a lift!' Because I had been walking along, limping along, in these wellies that were nearly three sizes too small for me. Can you imagine? I take size 6-and-a-half to 7, and these were size 4- and my feet were killing me.I was carrying all of my stage clothes with me and...ah, it was a pitiful sight. Anyway, when I finally got up to the stage area, I just couldn't walk any more so I got two plastic bags, tied them around my feet and that worked a treat in all of the mud."

 

 

Read Chris de Burgh's full account of his
Althorp Diana Tribute Concert memories

Chris de Burgh's full account of his Althorp Diana Tribute Concert memories

 

1:54 'Real' streaming video clip:
Celebrating Diana - The Music Lover
A short tribute by Chris de Burgh

Celebrating Diana - The Music Lover - a short tribute by Chris de Burgh
Steve Bennett 2005 


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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