Celebrities and notable figures from around the world banded together to celebrate and support brave novel coronavirus health-care workers for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in One World: Together at Home, a digital and broadcast event created by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO).
For six hours on Saturday, the special featured dozens of artists from around the globe who performed from their homes via livestream. Celebrities and musicians — among them Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Hudson, BTS, Billy Ray Cyrus and Adam Lambert — reiterated social-distancing and hand-washing recommendations to a worldwide audience.
Among the many songs, Canadian Jessie Reyez performed her song Coffin on an acoustic guitar and Hudson sang the haunting Memory from the musical Cats.
Along with the performances, the special showcased stories of individual people fighting COVID-19 on the front-lines of health care and beyond.
At 8 p.m., the show switched gears and moved to broadcast as well. Musicians like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Billie Eilish and Elton John performed, among many others. The talent list was jaw-dropping in its scope; several of the artists, like John and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, have had to postpone entire tours in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus spread.
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Lady Gaga, who led curation of the remarkable roster of talent, opened the two-hour broadcast special with a rendition of Nat King Cole classic, Smile.
John sang his powerful I’m Still Standing, country star Kacey Musgraves sang Rainbow and Canadian duo Mendes and Cabello performed Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.
Bringing down the house was Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion, who sang a resounding version of The Prayer along with Andrea Bocelli to close out the show.
On April 6, during the opening statements of a WHO media briefing, Gaga “proudly” revealed that with the help of “68 generous corporations,” she had helped to raise more than US$35 million for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The Bad Romance singer said the proceeds would go towards essential personal protective equipment supplies and testing kits around the world, among many other things.
She commended frontline health-care workers and medical professionals during her speech and said that One World: Together at Home would serve ultimately as a “love letter” for medical professionals.
In her speech, she said: “I have witnessed an inspiring and fearless global effort while watching medical workers continue to battle the frontline of this pandemic,” said Gaga, 34.
“Leaders, other nonprofits, artists of many mediums and people of all nations have combined forces to write a love letter to the world. We call it One World: Together at Home,” she added.
Gaga continued: “It is a love letter to our doctors, a love letter to our nurses and other health care professionals who are risking their lives for the sake of ours to the delivery drivers, grocery store workers, factory workers, public transportation workers, postal workers and restaurant workers doing the same.”
— With files from Katie Scott and Adam Wallis
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