Ten years ago, Irish singer Foy Vance released his breakthrough 2013 album Joy of Nothing, which boasted the closing track “Guiding Light” featuring Ed Sheeran. To mark a decade since the song’s arrival, Vance and Sheeran reunited with two more singers you’ve probably heard of — Elton John and Keith Urban — for the “Anniversary Edition” of “Guiding Light.”
The new rendition, produced by Johnny McDaid, was also paired with a video starring actress AnnaSophia Robb:
In a trio of statements, Sheeran, John, and Urban all explained why they wanted to take part in the anniversary version of “Guiding Light,” with John calling the 2013 track “the most beautiful song.” “When Foy asked me to do it, it was a no brainer for me because I’m such a huge fan of his,” John said.
Urban added, “To be on the song period is incredible because it’s such a beautiful song. It’s more of a hymn—it captures all of the beauty and the struggle and everything that it is to be a spiritual being having a human experience. I think this song captures it. So it was an immediate yes from me to be a part of it.”
Sheeran, who appeared on the original version, reminisced on social media about collaborating on “Guiding Light” a decade ago, and declared that his appearance on the anniversary rendition would be “my final thing I release for a while, certainly my final collab for a very long time it’s time to knuckle down into the next big album mode.”
“What a fitting way, by stopping with one of my favourite artists of all time. I’ve been a fan of Foy Vance since my early teens, I used to go watch him with my dad and wait til after to talk to him. He used to end his shows back then with this song Guiding Light, but he never released it,” Sheeran wrote.
“When I got successful I met him as an equal and we jammed in Dublin after a show, I asked him to come on tour with me, and he did for a few years. We ended up writing together on Multiply with songs like Tenerife Sea and Afire Love. It was kinda a dream come true to be working with an artist I adored so much. I always asked him why he had never released Guiding Light, as it was my favourite song of his, and one day we sung it together at the Ryman in Nashville in 2013, this is a video from the day we sung it together for the first time then, that I found this morning.”
Vance added of the song, “When I wrote ‘Guiding Light,’ I was feeling lost in my life due to a loss of family, friendships and reason. The music lit up the darkness. Melody reminded me to keep going no matter how long the road or how pointless it seemed. ‘Guiding Light’ is the person or the thing that brings you back to a safe space, somewhere to lick your wounds and convalesce. To see this song resonate with so many people over the years has truly been a beautiful thing.”