One of oldest singers to be given a record contract releases single supporting NHS

One of the oldest singers to win a music recording deal has released a charity single to support the NHS staff who have helped save his life.

Afrobeats musician Rex Martey, 82, from Sydenham, released his single Thank You, with all proceeds from the sales going to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

The lyrics to Thank You are about a patient suffering from coronavirus, who is looked after by doctors and nurses – as well as housekeeping and catering staff.

Rex, pictured above, himself has been treated for prostate cancer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for 37 years – his condition is currently stable and he has dialysis three times a week as a patient of Guy’s renal and urology services.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that without Guy’s and St Thomas’ I would not be here today,” said Rex. “I am so grateful to all of the staff who have looked after me over the years.”

Rex worked on the single at home with his wife, who contributed backing vocals. The pair recorded parts of the song on to Rex’s phone, before sending them to his engineer, Stefan Inglis, who pieced the track together.

Rex said: “I have been lucky enough to not catch coronavirus, but know how hard the staff have worked to make sure that vulnerable dialysis patients stay safe.

“This song is my way of repaying some of the gratitude I feel towards those who have cared for me.

“That’s everyone, from the doctors to the cleaners. I can’t say thank you to everyone in person, so I will say it in song.”

Rex made headlines in 2019 after securing his first record deal at 81 years old, having performed in pubs and clubs in London for more than 60 years.

His lifelong dream came true last August, with the release of his debut album African Touring Holiday.

The album included the single My Louisa, dedicated to Louisa Fleure, lead urology clinical nurse specialist at Guy’s.

All proceeds from the sale of My Louisa on Bandcamp also go to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity raises money to make the Trust’s life-saving care go above and beyond, from big things to small touches that help patients and their families feel looked after. The charity has funded a series of well-being initiatives to ensure that staff are cared for and supported throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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