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I'VE GOT BRITAIN WEEPING ! Brum star sings on TV ad everyone's talking about.

Byline: CHRISTINA SAVVAS

IT'S the soundtrack to the pounds 6 million TV advert which has got the nation sobbing.

And the voice that has melted the heart of viewers young and old belongs to Birmingham musician Fyfe Dangerfield.

His cover of Billy Joel's poignant She's Always A Woman is tipped to top the download charts this week - 33 years after first being recorded. The song has been used for a 90 second advert for luxury department store John Lewis, which follows the life of a woman from birth to old age.

The commercial, which has notched up more than 200,000 hits on You Tube in just one week, seems to have struck an emotional chord with the British public. And Fyfe, lead singer of cult band The Guillemots, admits the reaction has taken him by surprise.

He told the Sunday Mercury: "I was not anticipating such a big reaction. It's mad, everybody is talking about the ad which is really strange for me.

"This week I had my hero Paul McCartney come to watch me in London and with the advert stuff, it's all taken me by surprise. It's really exciting."

The TV commercial came about after Fyfe, 29, heard John Lewis were looking for someone to cover the track - which he often sings after a boozy night out.

"It's a song I sing to when I'm drunk, so I asked if I could record a demo when I heard John Lewis were looking for someone to cover it,'' he said.

Teary ''I have pretty mixed feelings about using music in adverts but I really like the song, even though I know Billy Joel may not be seen as very cool."

Fyfe, originally from Moseley, said he did not get teary over the advert himself, unlike so many viewers.

But he added: "I can always gauge something by the reaction of friends around me and they all really liked my song and so did my mum and dad. It seemed the right thing to do. As well as being a British brand John Lewis are an ethical company and don't make their products in sweat shop.

"I am a customer myself and have a really nice jacket from there. I'm hoping to get a few freebies after this!" The TV campaign was launched to promote John Lewis' Never Knowingly Undersold customer service promise.

It shows the life of one woman, from being a child at a birthday party, to kissing a boy in a university corridor, her wedding, pregnancy - eventually ending with her in old age surrounded by her grandkids.

Nine actresses were used for the central female character in the shoot, filmed at the end of March in London.

Craig Inglis, director of marketing at John Lewis, said: "We were looking for a timeless classic that we could update for the advert.

"Fyfe has a fantastic contemporary voice that we knew would appeal to our audience."

He added: "Whilst we expected the ad to have impact, we've been overwhelmed by the volume of responses and how deeply it has affected people" She's Always a Woman featured on Billy Joel's 1977 album, The Stranger.

CAPTION(S):

TUGGING AT THE HEARTSTRINGS: Guillemots singer Fyfe Dangerfield and (left) scenes from the John Lewis advert following a woman from birth to old age.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 2, 2010
Words:551
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