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- Posted on Apr 6th 2010 7:00AM by Chris Mugan
He is set to re-release the anti-war song, inspired by the reported average age of US soldiers in Vietnam, to highlight the hardship of troops in operations in the Asian country.
Hardcastle told BBC 6 Music he was inspired by the death of his son's friend George Sparks, a Royal Marine killed during the conflict. "I shouldn't have to be the messenger, but I have got a voice to actually do that," he said. "I was the one that made that record so I think if someone else had done it, it might have been different."
The musician added that he has support from serving soldiers and their relations. "When I get the letters and emails from some of the families, people that have actually been out there, serving there now and they say we're really proud of what you're doing, then to me there is no better accolade."
By far Hardcastle's biggest hit, '19' held the No. 1 spot for five weeks in 1985 and also reached the US Top 20, receiving an Ivor Novello award for the year's bestselling single. Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller used its title to name his company 19 Management, as Hardcastle's success helped him to set up his own business.
The new version is set for release on April 19.