Terminally ill Brit fulfills dream, records iTunes hit
Posthumous success

Terminally ill Brit fulfills dream, records iTunes hit

Encouraged by his family, Mike Jacobs overcame his fears to make a song written over 30 years ago a reality. Now, following his death, it has become widely popular

Mike Jacobs (YouTube screenshot)
Mike Jacobs (YouTube screenshot)

A British Jewish man has posthumously fulfilled a decades-long dream of recording a hit single.

Mike Jacobs, a business director who died of esophageal cancer on New Year’s Eve at 62, had written songs for years, but never had the courage to record them.

But when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017, his family convinced him to record one of them. He chose a song he had written over three decades ago while feeling brokenhearted over a breakup.

That song, “Stay,” has now risen near the top of iTunes charts, and on Tuesday this week achieved the number 6 spot in the UK.

Son Josh told the UK’s Express: “He used to write songs but no one ever heard them. They were really for me and my sister, Lauren. We used to love singing along to them in the car.”

“For 30 years he never did anything with them. He struggled with his confidence, so he didn’t want to put himself out there,” he said.

When Mike’s diagnosis arrived, Josh pushed for his father to record the song.

“I wanted the last few months of his life to be the happiest they could be,” he said. “I wanted him to enjoy himself as well, even though a lot of the recording was delayed because he was so unwell.”

The song was first played on the radio on December 20, and Mike was able to hear himself 11 days before his passing.

“He was too ill at that point to make it to the studio so I went and did the interview,” Josh told the Jewish Chronicle. “But I spoke to him afterwards and he was crying uncontrollably.

“He wrote the song over 30 years ago and it was about the heartache caused by a break up. But today it has a different meaning. It can be seen as a song about dad leaving us.”

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