Pink Floyd Reunites to Support Ukraine with 'Hey Hey Rise Up,' First New Single in 28 Years

The track samples a recent recording of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, frontman of Ukrainian band Boombox, singing protest song "Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow" in Kyiv's Sofiyskaya Square

Pink Floyd got the band back together for a good cause amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The English rock legends released "Hey Hey Rise Up" on Thursday, their first single in 28 years, which reunites founding member and drummer Nick Mason with guitarist David Gilmour, longtime Pink Floyd collaborator and bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney. All proceeds will go to humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

"We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world's major powers," said Gilmour, 76, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren, in a statement.

The track features vocals from Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukrainian band Boombox, taken from a recent Instagram video of him singing Ukrainian protest song "Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow" in Kyiv's Sofiyskaya Square. The title of the Pink Floyd song comes from the last line, which translates to "hey hey rise up and rejoice."

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Gilmour discovered the video after Boombox (sans Khlyvnyuk) backed him at a 2015 show in London. They were supposed to perform their own set, but Khlyvnyuk, 42, had visa issues and was not able to make it. They performed "Wish You Were Here" for him that night.

Pink Floyd/YouTube

Most recently, Khlyvnyuk left Boombox's U.S. tour and returned to Ukraine, where he's joined the Territorial Defense Forces and is currently recovering from a shrapnel injury.

"Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war," Gilmour recalled. "It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music."

Gilmour has since spoken Khlyvnyuk over the phone from his Kyiv hospital bed. "I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future," he said.

Pink Floyd previously announced that they were removing all of their music since 1987, as well as all of Gilmour's solo recordings, from digital music providers in Russia and Belarus.

Mariupol. SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the devastation change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

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With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and that he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy has vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting. "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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