In 2005, beloved pop star Honda Minako (38) passed away after struggling with leukemia for a year. To commemorate her talents, it's been decided that her rendition of the famous song, "Amazing Grace", will be released a single for fans to cherish.
The CD will include two versions of the popular song: one sung by Honda Minako, and another sung by a new singer named Shibata Tomomi. According to Shibata, who made her debut in the industry last October, Honda's cover of the song had such an impact on her that she decided to cover the same song. "I'm so grateful that I could sing a song with such a deep meaning as this one. I cried countless times while singing from the sheer weight of it," she reflected.
Shibata's project stemmed from watching the English movie "Amazing Grace". She says that she was so moved by the song that she wanted to show her love for both the film and the famous tune. The movie will finally premiere in Japan on March 5th, despite it being released five years ago.
The plot of the film takes place two hundred years in the past and depicts the true story of William Wilberforce. William was a member of the British Parliament in the late 1700s who advocated strongly for the abolition of slave trade in the British Empire. After various troubles, joys, and a chronic illness, William's bill is finally passed through Parliament, forever banning slave trade in Britain. Although the story takes place long before our current time, the theme of the movie seems to cross through the ages with the timeless melody of "Amazing Grace."
In Japan, the movie will be advertised under the title "Amazing Grace: Produced by Brian May"; Brian May is the guitarist of rock band Queen, and was a close friend of Honda's. Using a recording of "Amazing Grace" that Honda Minako left behind, May has remixed his friend's vocals with a new arrangement, allowing fans to hear a fresh version of the classic song.
No official release date or track list has been announced, but for those who would like to listen to her rendition of "Amazing Grace," a live performance showcasing her angelic voice has been provided below.