Funeral arranger launches country single to raise money for hospice

A funeral arranger and award-nominated country music artist aims to raise thousands of pounds for an Eastbourne hospice with the release of her new single.

Michelle Kinneavy of Payne and Sons Funeral Directors, known by her stage name Belle Cannon, will donate proceeds from the sales of her cover of the hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ to St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Kinneavy moved to Nashville, Tennessee in her 20s where she “fell in love’ with country music and began touring the state with her own songs.

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She released her debut album Rewind featuring Grammy Award-winning guitarist and two-time CMA Musician of the Year Brent Mason, which was nominated for Best Album and Best Single at the British Country Music Awards.

She then decided to care for those coping with loss after losing several family members of her own and became a funeral arranger at Payne and Sons after working in palliative care for several years.

She has since combined her passion for care and music by releasing fundraising singles for healthcare charities, including a cover of the song ‘Queen of Hearts’ for the British Heart Foundation.

She said: “I want to support causes dear to my heart as a funeral arranger, as well as challenge old-fashioned perceptions of the industry, and music captures people’s imaginations like nothing else.”

The new single was produced in Nashville and features vocals from Just Choir based in London.

Sarah Marsh, community fundraising manager at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, said: “This is the first time someone has released a fundraising single for St Wilfrid’s. We are excited and proud to be the charity that Belle has chosen to support with this.

“We are grateful to everyone at Payne and Sons for the support they have given the hospice over many years. The hospice relies on the continued generosity of local people and businesses to provide care to patients and their families during the most difficult of times, and we wish Belle great success with the project.”

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