MUSIC

Eddie Vedder Releases 'Imagine' Cover To Benefit Middle East Charity (VIDEO)

10/02/2014 08:44 EDT | Updated 10/02/2014 08:59 EDT

Eddie Vedder has released his powerful cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" to raise funds for an organization that connects Middle Eastern youth through music.

"Imagine" is now available on iTunes for $0.99, with proceeds going to Heartbeat, an organization that promotes dialogue between young Israeli and Palestinian artists.

The track itself is a recording of Vedder's performance of the song at a concert in Portugal last July.

Playing solo on acoustic guitar, he had his audience singing along to every verse as he performed what he called the "most powerful song ever written," according to Consequence of Sound.

He also expressed his anti-war views at the time, telling his audience that, "If you're anti-war it doesn't mean you are pro one side or the other in a conflict. However, it does make you pro many things."

Vedder's comments came after he was criticized in Israel over controversial remarks he made at a previous concert in England.

"I swear to f--king god, there's some people out there who are looking for a reason to kill," he told the crowd at the Milton Keynes National Bowl.

"They're looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn't belong to them and they should get the f--k out, and mind their own f--king business. Everyone wants the same goddamn thing."

At the time, Israeli DJ Ben Red, who had previously campaigned to see Pearl Jam play in his country, said that Vedder's true face was "finally being revealed" with his comments, though the singer never specified a country.

Vedder later posted a statement on the the band's website saying he would not stop speaking out, though again, he didn't mention the country he was talking about. He also quoted lyrics from Lennon's "Imagine."

Two days later, he played it in Portugal. And now Pearl Jam fans everywhere have a chance to hear what his audience did that night.

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