Tony Christie charity single: Music for Dementia song explained - when was Amarillo singer diagnosed?

The Amarillo hitmaker dedicates the new re-recorded version of Thank You For Being A Friend to carers 'who never get mentioned'
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Tony Christie is releasing a brand new charity single dedicated to careers just months after he revealed his dementia diagnosis.

The 79-year-old who is best known for his hits including “Amarillo” will record a new version of Andrew Gold’s 1978 hit “Thank You For Being a Friend”, in support of Music for Dementia’s Thank You Day 2023, which will take place this summer.

The singer who will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 25 is still performing despite his diagnosis, with a full UK tour, two albums and a trip to Nashville on the horizon.

So, what has Tony Christie said about his charity singer and when was the singer diagnosed with dementia? Here’s everything you need to know.

What has Tony Christie said about his charity single?

Christie was asked to record the charity single for Music for Dementia’s Thank You Day. Their campaign helps to raise awareness about the important role that positive impact music therapy plays in helping people with the condition. He will release a free downloadable version of the hit single “Thank You For Being a Friend” by Andrew Gold, which was also the theme tune for the popular sitcom The Golden Girls.

Tony Christie revealed he was diagnosed with dementia in January 2023 (Photo: Getty Images)Tony Christie revealed he was diagnosed with dementia in January 2023 (Photo: Getty Images)
Tony Christie revealed he was diagnosed with dementia in January 2023 (Photo: Getty Images)

Reported by Music for Dementia, Christie announced the charity single on BBC Breakfast, where he thanked the “UK’s unseen and unsung army of careers.”

He said: I continue to tour as I’ve found music improves the symptoms associated with my dementia, so every time I go on stage and work it’s helping me. It’s important for me to stay positive and try not to let dementia affect my life but I still need some support. If anyone deserves a thank you it’s the UK’s unseen – and unsung – army of carers. This one is for them!”

He continued: “When Music for Dementia asked me to sing Thank You for Being a Friend by my old friend Andrew Gold it really felt like the stars were aligning. It is the perfect song for a day that celebrates all the good in the world and I’m so proud to be part of it.”

When did Tony Christie get diagnosed with dementia?

Christie revealed he had been diagnosed with dementia during an interview on BBC Breakfast in January 2023. The singer explained he was diagnosed with the condition in 2019 after he started to find himself unable to do his daily crossword puzzles.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast Christie said: “I used to go through two or three crosswords a day and [I wasn’t able to]. I was like, what’s happening to me? My wife said let’s go and get checked. They told me I had early onset dementia and that was two years ago. I ignored it.”

He continued: “I just said carry on and I just did carry on and worked. So why have I come out about it? Well I’ve met a lot of people who have got it and they’re worried about it. I am not worried about it. I’ve spoken to specialists and they’ve given me tablets and they gradually worked. The advice to people who are worried about it is to go and see a specialist and get on tablets.”

He added: “I’m used to working, it’s daunting when I don’t work, and I love music - and that is good for what I have got, it’s medication. Whatever this is, it is, and we will deal with it. I was a little bit down but I thought ‘I can still work, it’s not affecting my singing, my voice, my show. As long as I can get on that stage and do what I was born to do.”

When is Music for Dementia’s Thank You Day?

Music for Dementia’s Thank You Day will be taking place on Sunday July 2, 2023. The event aims to raise awareness about the important role that music therapy can play in dementia care.

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