With hundreds of musicians canceling their highly-anticipated concerts and world tours due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many people have been devastated, and being stuck at home surely doesn’t help much. Although live music has been put on hold for the time being, many artists have found a way around this, taking to live streams and “living room concerts”—and one of the largest yet took place on April 18th.
One World: Together At Home is an ongoing virtual concert series created in collaboration by Global Citizen and Lady Gaga to support frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The whole show was about eight hours in total, although the first six hours of music were only available to be live streamed on places like YouTube and Instagram. The 2-hour special at the end was broadcasted on multiple television platforms and showcased the more well-known artists.
To open the 2-hour special, comedians and hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert started out by making clear that the goal of the show was not to ask for money and donations. With people losing jobs and families being put into a tight financial place during this devastating time, asking for money would not be the right thing to do. The goal was to urge corporate America and large businesses to step up to support the WHO’s urgent needs and local charities who help the most vulnerable people on the front lines, as well as to entertain and bring everyone in their homes together with music.
Lady Gaga reiterated this message through a short speech of her own and lifted everyone’s spirits by singing “Smile” while playing her at-home piano. Numerous artists followed, satisfying a range of all ages.
Some of the most well-known appearances were made by Stevie Wonder (singing “Lean On Me”), Paul McCartney (“Lady Madonna”), Elton John (“I’m Still Standing”), The Rolling Stones (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”), Jennifer Lopez (“People”), Billie Joe Armstrong (“Wake Me Up When September Ends”), and more.
As for the more current artists, there were performances by Lizzo (“A Change Is Gonna Come”), Billie Eilish (“Sunny”), Taylor Swift (“Soon You’ll Get Better”), and others. Additionally, two duets consisted of Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes (who sang the peaceful “What A Wonderful World”), as well as John Legend and Sam Smith (singing “Stand By Me”).
Throughout the show, there were breaks in between these powerful performances to educate people about online learning and give public health officials and world leaders the chance to talk about the coronavirus and its burden on healthcare workers in South Korea, Italy, and in America.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson (the director of infection prevention and control at the University of Kansas Health System), Director-General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Sanam Ahmed (a surgical critical care doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City), Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres, and others spoke about these important issues. Philanthropists Melinda and Bill Gates also brought awareness to the efforts being made to eventually bring this pandemic to an end.
Furthermore, Oprah, David and Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé, and LL Cool J all dedicated a special message to thank workers currently on the front lines and sent out their love and support to everyone being affected by the virus. During these troubling times, they all agreed that music was something that had the power to continue to bring people together.
For the younger children watching at home, Abby Cadabby and Oscar The Grouch from Sesame Street along with Spongebob urged everyone to continue washing their hands and staying at home as much as possible.
The 2-hour special closed with a beautiful performance of “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Lang Lang.
For those unable to catch One World: Together At Home when it was broadcasted live, the full show is still available on YouTube, while the songs that were performed are on Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify.
Remember to stay safe, stay well, and stay home!