In March, Ed Sheeran performed at a $16 million fund-raising Concert for Ukraine. Now, as he prepares to release new music, the British singer has revealed that the video for his latest single, 2step, was filmed in Kyiv before the Russian invasion began.
"We filmed the 2step video last year in Kyiv and although it was my first time there, I quickly loved the people and the place," Sheeran said on Instagram, sharing a 21-second preview of the video, which features rapper Lil Baby.
Sheeran said that he planned to donate proceeds from the YouTube streams to a Ukrainian charity.
"There was no sign of the horror that was to come to Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone there. The video comes out on Friday this week and proceeds from the YouTube streams will go to the DEC’s Ukraine appeal."
The Concert for Ukraine benefit is available in full on the ITV YouTube channel.
The line-up for the two-hour concert in Birmingham, UK, also featured Ukrainian singer Jamala, who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, music veteran Nile Rodgers & Chic, as well as groups Snow Patrol and Manic Street Preachers.
“It's such an important cause, I'm so honoured to be here,” said Sheeran during his set. He then performed with Cabello, who also sang a version of Coldplay's Fix You.
“We are all praying tonight for the peace and the safety of the people in Ukraine,” Cabello said.
A poignant moment in the evening was a performance by young virtuoso violinist Illia Bondarenko, who played the Ukrainian folk song Verbovaya Doschechka from a basement shelter in Kyiv along with 94 violinists from around the world.
Singers Emeli Sande and Gregory Porter, violinist Nicola Benedetti as well as the gospel Kingdom Choir also performed.
Unable to attend in person, singer Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas sent their support in a video message.
“We still wanted to offer all of our love and support to everyone performing and most importantly to express the support and solidarity with the millions of people who have been forced to flee their homes and leave everything behind,” Eilish said.
Additional reporting by Reuters