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Eurovision star Sonia performs with a refugee choir in Liverpool

26th April 2023

As her home city gears up to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of war-torn Ukraine, Liverpool’s very own pop sensation, Sonia, performed one of her hit songs with a National Lottery supported choir made up entirely of young refugees from all over the world.

Sonia, who was runner-up at Eurovision in 1993 with the song ‘Better the Devil You Know’, has joined forces with the European Youth Music Refugee Choir (EYMRC) at the National Lottery funded Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.

The European Youth Music Refugee Choir
includes a number of Ukrainian refugees who have fled the conflict which has gripped their homeland. In a show of solidarity and promoting a message of hope, love and unity, Sonia performed her 1989 UK number one hit ‘You'll Never Stop Me Loving You’, with the choir.

Sonia said: “I think music unites us all and that’s why I was delighted The National Lottery asked me to sing with the refugee choir and show solidarity with and pay tribute to Ukraine and the hundreds of refugees from all over the world they support.”

“The National Lottery has been uniting people through music and other cultural projects for years, as well as supporting refugees and community groups throughout the UK such as this choir.”

A choir and a singer (Sonia) performing together
Sonia and the The European Youth Music Refugee Choir permorning at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.

With good causes funding from The National Lottery via Arts Council England and The National Lottery Community Fund, EYMRC brings together young refugees and asylum seekers living in England, enabling them to meet new people in a fun way whilst developing crucial skills needed to continue living in a new country.

Sarah Pickstone, the Director of Marketing and Fundraising for European Youth Music, said: “Singing has the incredible power of bringing communities together and our members, especially our Ukrainian contingent, are ecstatic that they have been able to perform with a former Eurovision star in the city which is hosting the competition this year on behalf of Ukraine.”

Liverpool’s diverse musical heritage goes back hundreds of years thanks to the city’s development as one of the world’s most important ports.

The National Lottery has also played an important role in developing and harnessing that talent, raising more than £330 million for over 3,600 music and cultural projects in Liverpool over the years. This includes funding of more than £3.6 million across 18 grants towards The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres and the Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust Limited who manage both venues.