Country legend Lee Kernaghan has taken on the biggest project of his life.
With more than two million albums to his name, 33 Golden Guitars and three ARIAs, Lee has found a new inspiration at the Australian War Memorial.
Lee was so moved when he read the letters Australian servicemen and servicewomen wrote to their families in the event they never returned home that he wanted to put them to music as a special tribute.
"Something hit me so deep and profoundly in my heart and I think it was when I read the letters of the diggers, their personal accounts."
The letter that inspired the project was the last one written by soldier Ben Chuck to his girlfriend before he was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
"Ben was an outstanding, highly trained commando in special forces and he was on a mission in Afghanistan in 2010, it was 3 days after his 27th birthday and the black hawk helicopter that he was in crashed," Kernaghan said.
Lee wrote ‘I will always be with you’ based on that letter with a deep sense of responsibility and performed it for the first time in Ben's home town of Yungaburra in far North Queensland.
What resulted is a beautiful and poignant album with some of the biggest names in show business including Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian.
“Every single letter was worthy of being turned into music," Kernaghan told Sunday Night.
"There is this huge soft side to these guys. They’re not just hard mean fighting machines. There’s another side to these boys and not just Ben, all of them."
Proceeds from the sales of the Spirit of the Anzacs album will go to Legacy.
The album has also inspired the Spirit of the Anzacs Arena Spectacular - tickets are on sale now. The show will be touring the country in August and September.
The project was initially inspired by letters held at the Australian War Memorial. For more info click here to visit www.awm.gov.au