Singers Christine Anu and Greg Gould have collaborated on a powerful new song.

Without You, originally from the hit musical Rent, is about love, loneliness, and the impact of HIV.

Anu played the character Mimi in the original Australian production of Rent in 1998 and 1999.

The musical, which has a huge LGBTI following, is about struggle, survival, love, relationships, identity, and community in the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

“I have lost many dear friends to AIDS,” Anu said.

“Society’s mindset has shifted since the Grim Reaper ad, and the stigma of the ‘gay cancer’.

“It is by no coincidence I wound up in a lead role in a critically acclaimed musical theatre show, with one of the central themes being about people ‘living with’ and not ‘dying from’ AIDS.”

The song is particularly special to Anu after losing a friend and colleague from the musical.

“Around this time last year, we lost a dear friend and cast mate of the original Rent crew, Mark Richard Ford,” she said.

“I wanted to honour his memory, highlight the era in which the story of Rent is based, and reflect on how far the world has come in regards to what we know about AIDS.

“We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. The song Without You is about pain and loss, but it’s equally about strength and survival.”

Anu said she was excited to work with Gould.

“Greg’s talent grabbed me, but also, his drive,” she said.

“Greg and I have kicked off a life-long friendship with an honest rendition of a tune from a revered musical theatre show as our little gift to each other, and the world!

“It doesn’t get better than that.”

Gould said he has always been a big fan of Anu, and they hit it off in the studio.

“I grew up listening to Christine Anu on repeat,” he said.

“Whether it was watching her on Video Hits on a Saturday morning, singing Party with my Young Talent Time mates or watching the Indigenous dance troupe at my high school perform Sunshine on a Rainy Day.

“I met Christine at the studio and she made me feel comfortable straight away, even if I was fangirling hard. She’s extremely down to earth and hilarious—I’ve never had so much fun in a session, we just clicked.

“I’m unbelievably proud of this duet and I know I share that feeling closely with Christine.

“We have a beautiful connection and a special bond that I hold very dear.”

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