Queen guitarist Brian May has joined force with We Will Rock You alumni and musical theatre regulars Mazz Murray, Kerry Ellis, Gina Murray and Anna-Jane Casey to record I’m A Woman, a song released to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month (opens in new tab).
I'm A Woman was originally recorded by Peggy Lee in 1962, and was a hit the following year. The inspiration for the new version was to create something in memory of actress Rebekah Gibbs – best known as paramedic Nina Farr in TV soap Casualty – who was diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer in 2009. She died in 2014.
“We are thinking particularly of our dear friend and fellow performer Rebekah, who we lost," says Murray, "but not before she brought about a change in the rules of diagnosis and specialist referrals through which she has saved so many lives."
"This recording was conceived as a response to a calling to promote this great cause for women’s health," says May. "But it evolved into a magnificently raunchy and defiant rock track in its own right. These four ladies all rock out sensationally, and it was pure joy to underpin their performances with my guitar.
"I actually stole that down-and-dirty riff from [Bo Diddley's] I’m a Man so I would claim this arrangement kicks more ass than all previous! Woman Rocks!“
The guitar May uses in the song's video (below) is his similar to his familiar Red Special, but the paint job is different, after May worked with BMG to create the 'World’s Pinkest Pink Guitar.'
“Try Googling ‘pinkest pink’," suggests May. “As far as I know, this is truly the first pinkest pink guitar. It has a strange effect on the video cameras – coming out burning hot."
“Sometimes things happen for a reason," says Ellis. "This song has been waiting in the wings for the right moment to make some noise! The time is now! Cancer affects us all in some way and I am beaming with pride to have joined with an incredible team of talented friends to produce a powerful performance and message.
"We are strong, we are women, and we can make a difference!"