Eric Clapton & Luciano Pavarotti’s INSANE “Holy Mother” Duet With East London Gospel Choir

In 1986, Eric Clapton buried an album track on his all-new record, “August” — the semi-obscure pop-rock ballad, “Holy Mother,” a song of prayer and salvation with a sublime gospel edge. Fast forward 10 years, and Eric’s breathtaking live duet of his album track alongside legendary opera tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, would earn him 12.8M views on YouTube (millions more than the song’s official upload!), cementing Clapton’s track in the mainstream consciousness forever.

Eric, aged 51 during this performance, took on the song’s first segment alone, keeping its original wash of clarity intact, fluffed out by the soft backing vocals of the swaying East London Gospel Choir. But when the second verse rolled around, Luciano Pavarotti’s bold operatic vocals, touched with a lush Italian accent, swerved the track’s tone incredibly, creating a phenomenally passionate hymn in place of the classic rock ballad.

At first, Luciano’s voice is a shock to the system, hardly fitting the song’s style and clashing strangely against Eric’s preceding verse. But by the time Luciano (61 at the time) had firmly grasped the reins and Eric Clapton’s virtuosic guitar solo rang out stellar against the Gospel Choir’s plush backing, a powerful moment of unity arose. By the end of the viral video, even Luciano looks amazed at the music crafted on that stage!

Luciano Pavarotti (born in Modena, Italy) broke the mold for opera singers, crossing from the classical niche to mainstream recognition after his game-changing 1990 performance at the FIFA World Cup with operatic supergroup, The Three Tenors. That same year, his latest record, “The Essential Pavarotti,” became the first classical album to hit #1 on the UK album charts, setting Luciano’s legacy in stone.

Eric Clapton broke into showbiz decades before Pavarotti, initially during his two-year stint with The Yardbirds, then with psychedelic rock legends Cream, followed by the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith before kicking off his solo career in 1970 (now host to 21 studio albums). Credited for “expanding the vocabulary of blues guitar,” Eric’s virtuosic guitar skills led him, like many rock stars of his era, to battle devastating addictions to heroin and alcohol; life-changing experiences which would lead to the composition of “Holy Mother.”

“Holy Mother” disguises a prayer within a rock song, packed with countless heart-breaking lines including, “Holy Mother, hear my cry / I’ve cursed your name a thousand times / I’ve felt the anger running through my soul / All I need is a hand to hold,” and, “When my hands no longer play / My voice is still, I fade away / Holy Mother, then I’ll be / Lying in, safe within your arms.”

Eric’s duet with the powerhouse voice of Luciano drives his song’s message exceptionally deep, moving countless viewers to tears as they relate Eric’s raw lyrics and Luciano’s overwhelming emotions to their own stories of struggle and perseverance.

If you would like to hear more from this talented guitarist, you can subscribe to his YouTube Channel for more incredible music. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram for updates, or visit his official website for more information.

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