Bedford musician collaborates with Ed Sheeran songwriter for Parkinson’s charity

Anita Gabrielle
Anita and Amy

A Bedford-based singer-songwriter and a Grammy award winner have collaborated to record a charity single to raise money for Parkinson’s charities.

Anita Gabrielle, who says she has spent her life fighting against obstacles put in her path as an artist, from being a woman to being gay and as an older woman in the music industry, has been inspired by her brother, Michael for her latest release, Best Friends.

And she’s joined on the track by Amy Wadge, who collaborated on Thinking Out Loud with Ed Sheeran – which sold over 2.5m in the UK.

Anita’s brother Michael lives with Parkinson’s Disease and she is hoping to raise both awareness and funds to assist others affected by the disease.

Inspired to first pick up a guitar and write music after he introduced her to the music of Joni Mitchell in the late sixties, the EP is a tribute to their relationship and features the  talents of Grammy-award winning Amy Wadge, who sings and plays piano on the record.

Based in Bedford, Anita achieved national coverage in the 1980s of her band, The Crew, in Melody Maker, as they supported icons such as Divine and Labi Siffre.

She has continued to write and perform ever since, firstly with ZeNaNa and with ‘mature girl group’, The Favourite Aunties.

Last year, after her brother, Michael, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease Anita resolved to find a positive from the challenging situation.

“Obviously, I was absolutely thrilled to be supported by someone with the credentials of an artist like Amy, who not only has worked with Ed Sheeran but many other major artists such as Camila Cabello and Lady Antebellum too,” said Anita.

Anita is a passionate campaigner for older women’s rights and LGBTQ+ issues, herself having being ‘outed’ as a lesbian by a newspaper in the 1980s.

Despite recently battling a cancer scare, the removal of a kidney and a hip replacement, her passion and energy undoubtable.

The EP is released on 7 December. All money from the sale of the EP will go to Parkinson’s research and Anita has also set up a Just Giving page.

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