Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has released a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to benefit Heartbeat.fm, an organization that uses music to foster peace between Israel and Palestine. The song is now available for purchase via iTunes.
Calling it “the most powerful song ever written,” Vedder covered “Imagine” for the first time ever during a solo show in Portugal in July. The performance came on the heels of controversial comments Vedder made regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. “I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” he was quoted as saying during a Pearl Jam concert in London. “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them. They should get the fuck out and mind their own fucking business.”
Vedder later reiterated his anti-war stance in an open letter published to Pearl Jam’s website. “That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon,” Vedder wrote. “Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt, and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.”
Watch footage of his live performance below.