Star-studded concert raises money – and spirits – during lockdown

Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones are among a host of famous faces who have taken part in a virtual concert to celebrate healthcare workers.

More than 100 artists performed songs in the benefit concert organised by singer Lady Gaga, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the non-profit group Global Citizen.

The One World: Together At Home event, which was live-streamed online and broadcast on TV, is the biggest celebrity effort to entertain millions of people in lockdown because of COVID-19.

Lady Gaga partly organised the event
Image:Lady Gaga helped organise the star-studded concert

The event brought famous faces in music, sport and other areas together – including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and former first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush – to help raise spirits in the worldwide battle against the pandemic.

Hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, it also included real-life stories from medical staff on the front line of the coronaviruspandemic.

Organiser Lady Gaga said: “I feel very honoured to be a part of the WHO and Global Citizen in the fight against COVID-19.

“I care so much about all of the medical workers who are putting their lives at risk for us right now. I think of them every day, I pray for them every day and I’m also thinking of all of you who are at home and are wondering when all of this will be different.”

More from Coronavirus

  • Coronavirus: Delivery of 84 tonnes of rotective equipment for NHS delayed

  • Coronavirus: Free laptops for disadvantaged pupils during lockdown

  • Coronavirus: Michael Gove says ‘we should not be thinking of lifting restrictions yet’

  • Coronavirus: Pay front line COVID-19 workers military-style bonus, say Lib Dems

  • Coronavirus: Restaurant finds long-lost wedding ring during lockdown renovations

  • Coronavirus: Trump questions whether China started outbreak deliberately

She then sang a piano rendition of Nat King Cole’s Smile.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones perform from their homes
Image:Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones performed from their homes

Commemorating the late Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder reminded us of what is needed during these hard times.

He said: “During hardships like this, we have to lean on each other for help. My friend the late Bill Withers has a perfect song about that, and I want us to remember him tonight.”

How many cases are in your area?

How many cases are in your area?

The Beckhams also showed their support for the healthcare workers all around the world.

“If there’s any silver lining to come of this situation its meant lots of time together as a family,” David Beckham said.

“We know there are people out there who are risking everything to keep us all safe, we want to join with all of you to say a huge thank you to them.”

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham
Image:David Beckham and Victoria Beckham paid tribute to healthcare workers

Victoria Beckham added: “Our thanks goes to all of the healthcare workers all around the world who are working so, so hard, leaving their families to go to work to protect us and our children… thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

She went on to introduce their “dear, dear friend”, Sir Elton John, who sang his 80s hit I’m Still Standing.

:: Listen to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Beyonce had a message for the black community, who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

She said: “African-American communities have been severely affected in this crisis. Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk. This virus is killing black people at an alarming high rate, here in America.

“Please protect yourselves, we are one family and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities and your strength all over this world. I know it’s hard but please be patient and continue to pray for our heroes.”

The broadcast also included social media posts and news clips showing doctors and nurses being applauded by communities around the world, as well as families greeting each other through windows, and acts of kindness in support for the isolated and vulnerable.

Jimmy Fallon (C) sings with musical group The Roots and frontline medical Workers during One World: Together concert
Image:Jimmy Fallon (C) sings with musical group The Roots and front line medical workers during One World: Together

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres praised the world for uniting during these tough times.

“Tonight through the universal language of music we salute the bravery and sacrifice of health carers and others. And please join our call for a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy the virus.”

There were also performances from The Rolling Stones, Annie Lennox, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion.

There are more than 2.3 million known cases of coronavirus worldwide, and more than 160,000 people have died.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *