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Friday, 10 December, 1999, 12:51 GMT
Stones cover enters festive race
The Spice Girls gave up their time for the single
The Spice Girls, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, James Brown and The Corrs feature on an all-star charity bid for the Christmas number one.

The acts are joined by Natalie Imbruglia, BB King, Annie Lennox and actor Robin Williams on a version of the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock And Roll to be released on Monday.

Other performers
Mary J Blige
Jon Bon Jovi
Ozzy Osbourne
Iggy Pop
Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones
Fun Lovin' Criminals
Joe Cocker
Chrissie Hynde
Herbie Hancock
Eric Idle
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt
All profits from the single will go to Children's Promise, a consortium of charities which is asking people to donate their final hour's wages from 1999 to children's charities.

The record was the brainchild of BBC radio football correspondent Mike Ingham and his wife Lorna Dickinson, and Dickinson spent much of the summer ringing agents and trying to persuade acts to appear on the single.

Producer Arthur Baker travelled around the world to record contributions to the single, and director Simon Rinkoff did the same to shoot the video on a shoestring over six weeks.

Annie Lennox also appears
All of the performers, who also include the Womack family, Lionel Ritchie, Jay Kay, and S Club 7, gave their services for free.

The Spice Girls have declined to issue a Christmas single of their own this year, even though they have dominated the Christmas charts since they first came to fame in 1996. They have scored three festive chart-toppers in a row with 2 Become 1, Too Much and last year's Goodbye.

It's Only Rock And Roll faces stiff competition for the Christmas number one. Also released on Monday is the Cuban Boys' much-hyped Cognoscenti Versus Intelligentsia - based on the music used on the internet site.

Another possible novelty hit is Solid Gold Chartbusters' I Wanna 1-2-1 With You - featuring the sound of mobile phones ringing.

Star turn: Actor Robin Williams
Boy band Westlife have been widely tipped with their Abba cover I Have A Dream, as has a re-release of John Lennon's Imagine.

However, Sir Cliff Richard has to be toppled first - his Millennium Prayer is set for a third week at number one this weekend, and if it stays at the top the following week, it will also be the longest-serving number one of 1999.

Proceeds from Sir Cliff's single are also going to Children's Promise, which comprises the BBC's Children Need alongside Childline, The Children's Society, Comic Relief, NCH Action For Children, Barnardo's and the NSPCC.

A documentary about the making of It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, called Rock 'n' Roll In The Making, can be seen on BBC One on Sunday at 2300 GMT.

See also:

08 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Singing hamsters threaten Sir Cliff
27 Sep 99 | Entertainment
The BBC's millennium Spice
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