In the spirit of 1985’s Live Aid concert, the world is once again united through music in “One World: Together At Home.” Announced on April 6, the global live stream special event was Global Citizen’s collaboration with Lady Gaga to celebrate and support healthcare workers as well as the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). The online concert then premiered last Saturday on April 18
Presented by late-night TV hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, the eight-hour live stream combines musical performances from the biggest names in music and real stories from doctors, nurses, grocery store workers and those on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. Global celebrities the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, David Beckham and more were also present to help raise funds.
At the time of writing, the event has raised almost USD128 million, with proceeds going towards vaccine development and local and regional charities. And in case you didn’t catch it live, here are some of the most memorable highlights of “One World: Together At Home” that is definitely worth watching (or re-watching):
Former One Direction member Niall Horan became one of first performers for the virtual concert and was also one of the highlights that many viewers agreed on as one of the best performances. Niall performed two songs from his living room in his London home, first singing “Black & White” from his sophomore album “Heartbreak Weather” and the followed it up with his famous single “Slow Hands.”
Within the first two hours, we got another former One Direction star—Liam Payne—in a separate performance bringing his single “Midnight.” Before the song, he opened by saying: “It’s a pretty dark time for us at the moment. For my personal benefit, I’ve been trying to think of the positives. I really feel, at the moment we’re all being brought a lot closer together by this solidarity that we have to feel right now.” The current face of Hugo Boss also later went on to perform a rendition of “For You” with fellow British musician Rita Ora.
The Killers were busy promoting their sixth and upcoming studio album “Imploding the Mirage” before the pandemic put that to a halt. The Las Vegas band’s set sees vocalist Brandon Flowers on the keyboard and drummer Ronald Vannucci Jr. playing the guitar. They performed the lead single of the album, “Caution,” as well as their classic hit that made them, “Mr. Brightside.”
Great American song book and jazz singer Michael Buble did a cover of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” bringing in his golden Sinatra-esque voice accompanied by a piano. After his performance, Michael spoke directly to the viewers watching at home. “Hey, thank you so much and lets take action and help out frontline healthcare workers,” he said, before reminding his audience to make a donation.
Charlie Puth’s performance is as relatable as it gets. The singer slash songwriter was reported to have moved back to his parents’ house before lockdown, and it wasn’t just his performance “See You Again” that was emotionally relevant. Obviously streaming from his childhood bedroom, he had forgotten to make his bed before showing the room to millions across the world—which naturally set off the Internet—and even had him willingly admit it on his personal Twitter account.
Although having announced last summer that he hadkidney-related health problems, Stevie Wonder appeared in fine form as he was introduced by Stephen Colbert. The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter did a tribute to Bill Withers. “During hardships like this, we have to lean on each other,” he said. “My friend, the late Bill Withers, has the perfect song about that and I want us to remember him tonight.” He then dove straight into Withers’ 1972 classic “Lean on Me,” before launching into his own hit “Love’s In Need Of Love Today.”
Shawn Mendes did a beautiful rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” accompanied by non other than Camila Cabello—at a super comfy piano room lighted up with candles for a soothing mood. They even altered the classic song’s main lyrics in order to to match our current climate, reassuring viewers that “it’s still a wonderful world.”
John Legend & Sam Smith
Billy Joe Armstrong
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong gave a solo performance of his band’s 2004 hit “Wake Me Up When September Ends” from the hit album “American Idiot.” During the punk frontman’s rendition of the 2004 classic, photos of empty streets in major metropolises around the world appeared on screen, including Piccadilly Circus in London, the Times Square subway station in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Former Beatle member Sir Paul McCartney was also one of many legendary names to grace the star-studded list with a stripped-down performance of the band’s 1968 song “Lady Madonna” on his Fender Rhodes electric piano in honor of medical workers. Before the performance, McCartney told viewers that he knows the situation well as his mother was also a nurse. He also told viewers: “Let’s tell our leaders we need them to strengthen the healthcare systems all around the world so that a crisis like this never happens again.”
The Rolling Stones
Legendary rock and roll band The Rolling Stones performed a social distancing rendition of their “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts in their respective homes. Jagger kicked off the song solo on acoustic guitar before other members appeared for the extended version of “Let It Bleed.” And just in case you were wondering, Charlie Watts really is air drumming.
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