The East London Gospel Choir Performs an INCREDIBLE Duet of “Holy Mother” by Eric Clapton and Luciano Pavarotti

In 1986, Eric Clapton included the rather obscure pop-rock ballad “Holy Mother” on his brand-new album “August.” The song had a magnificent gospel edge and was about prayer and salvation. In the following decade, Eric’s stunning live duet of the album track with renowned opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti would garner 12.8 million views on YouTube—millions more than the original upload!—and permanently establish Clapton’s track in the popular mind.

The opening section of the song was performed solo by Eric, who was 51 years old at the time, preserving its original wash of clarity while the East London Gospel Choir swayed and provided gentle supporting vocals. In contrast to the traditional rock ballad, Luciano Pavarotti’s daring operatic vocals—added to a lush Italian accent—completely transformed the song into an extraordinarily emotional hymn during the second verse.


Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir - Holy Mother (Live)


When the song initially starts, Luciano’s voice is jarring because it doesn’t fit the style and sounds weird next to Eric’s verse. A strong sense of togetherness emerged, however, after Luciano (who was 61 years old at the time) took charge and Eric Clapton’s dazzling guitar solo sounded fantastic with the Gospel Choir’s sumptuous accompaniment. Even Luciano appears astounded by the music being created on stage by the conclusion of the popular film!

After a groundbreaking performance at the 1990 FIFA World Cup with operatic supergroup The Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti—who was born in Modena, Italy—broke the pattern for opera singers, moving from the classical niche to mainstream prominence. “The Essential Pavarotti,” Luciano’s most recent album, became the first classical album to reach number one on the UK album charts that same year, solidifying his legend.

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