ROBBIE Williams will rejoin Take That again for an online lockdown concert to help raise the nations spirits and aid charities.
The gig will see him join the three remaining band members for a lockdown reunion nearly three decades after the release of their first album Take That & Party.
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Angels singer Robbie, 46, Gary Barlow, 49, Mark Owen, 48, and Howard Donald, 52, are said to have agreed a “huge undisclosed” fee with financial services giant BGL Group, which owns Compare the Market, to make the virtual gig happen.
They will perform from “their homes to yours” in the first Meerkat Music show.
Hundreds of voluntary sector organisations are in danger after donations more than halved since the coronavirus outbreak.
And the concert will raise funds and awareness for creative music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins and also Crew Nation, which has been launched to help support concert crews globally during the pandemic.
The show will see the Take That boys play their classic hits live from their homes.
A close source told The Sun that discussions surrounding the collaboration had been taking place for weeks, and said: “The amount of money involved to make this happen is hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“The gig will go out into people’s homes over the internet and each band member will be performing from their own homes so they won’t actually be together.
“They can’t be physically reunited because of travel restrictions and corona rules but it is still them all coming together to perform their hits, something no one has seen in a long time.”
Take That said: “This is a world first for us! Reuniting with our old friend online for a one-off performance! It’s always great getting back together with Robbie and we are really excited to be part of this unique show that everyone can enjoy from home.
“We are also delighted to be supporting Nordoff Robbins and Crew Nation around this show, two charities very close to our hearts.”
Robbie added: “I am really looking forward to performing with the boys again — it’s always a pleasure.
“Nordoff Robbins and Crew Nation are both such brilliant charities and I’m thrilled to be supporting them around this show.
Robbie, who joined as a 16-year-old, famously quit the line-up in 1995 when they were one of the biggest boy bands in the world.
They split a year later but reformed, without Robbie, in 2005.
CHARITIES have been devastated by Covid-19 and face an estimated £4billion black hole in funding due to lockdown.
There are fears up to 135,000 organisations are at risk of closure due to losses. The problem has been caused by traditional fundraising routes being blocked.
The worried public have also cut back on spending.
Philip Webb, from Investors in Community, said some 80 per cent of 169,000 registered good causes “will be in trouble and even the big charities could be at risk”.
He added: “Most have three months of reserves but this crisis could last longer.”
He joined up with them again for the 2010 album Progress and for performances including an X Factor show in 2018.
The four remaining members had continued mostly without him, and then became a trio when Jason, 49, left in 2014.
Robbie has had a successful solo career, with 11 out of his 12 albums going to No1 in the UK.
Chatting on talkSPORT radio recently, he teased that the band might reunite — but in five years’ time.
He said: “I’ve got so many ideas I want to do and so many things I want to fulfil that I know what I am doing for the next five years, and it doesn’t involve Take That.”
But he added: “Yes, I do want to do another gig with Take That.”
Gary, the group’s main songwriter, has already received praise for keeping fans entertained during the coronavirus lockdown by teaming up with the likes of Niall Horan and Sir Cliff Richard on YouTube.
Julie Daniels, head of rewards at comparethemarket.com said: “We are pleased to announce that Meerkat Music will partner with music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, which has been significantly impacted by the current crisis.
“The partnership will provide support to those affected by life-limiting illness, isolation or disability, through its nationwide network of highly skilled music therapists.”
30 year journey from boy band to national treasures
1990 — The boy band is formed in Manchester with the iconic line-up of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams.
1993 — Take That scores their first No 1 album with Everything Changes and its first No 1 single Pray.
1995 — Robbie Williams leaves the band but it vows to carry on without him.
1996 — The four remaining members announce Take That is disbanding and they say farewell with a final No 1, How Deep Is Your Love.
2005 — Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard announce they are reforming as a quartet, and they go on to achieve incredible success with their new album, Never Forget — The Ultimate Collection, hitting No 2 in the UK charts.
2010 — The band announces that Robbie is to return to the fold for a new album and for a tour.
2014 — Jason decides to leave the band. By now, Robbie is also concentrating mainly on his solo career, meaning that the group intends to carry on as a trio.
2017 — Gary, Mark and Howard announce their eighth album Wonderland and heavily backed tour.
2018 — The X Factor viewers are treated to Robbie reuniting with Gary, Howard and Mark for a December episode in which they perform Everything Changes.
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