Lady Gaga just managed to pull off an epic, star-studded affair that could well be in the league of Live Aid, or the time producer Ken Kragen brought together the likes of Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Richie and Cindy Lauper to record “We are the World” for Africa in 1985. Working with international advocacy group Global Citizen, Gaga curated an incredible lineup for a 6-hour live-streaming show this weekend called “One World: Together At Home,” to pay tribute to the heroic front-liners working tirelessly during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over 100 artists took part, including big names like the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez. While the concert was mainly to thank health and medical workers, and others in the frontlines like those working in grocery stores, delivery services and food banks, the event managed to get US$127m (£100m) in pledges, all of which will go to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation (WHO).
And so between stirring montages, inspiring messages from Barbara Bush, Michelle Obama, Melinda and Bill Gates, and some needed comic relief from hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, there were beautiful performances that were uplifting, heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring, and here are our favourites:
Following a live streaming pre-show, Lady Gaga kicked off the 2-hour concert with a soulful performance of “Smile,” a classic by Nat King Cole and Jimmy Durante. While we all enjoy watching Gaga perform in her spectacular costumes and eccentric choreography, we love her raw performances most, where we are reminded of her truly incredible voice.
We adored SuperM’s performance because it was well, fun. Ten kicked off their performance, saying: “Even though we are miles apart from each other we are still thankful to connect together at home.” Singing their track, “With You”, we watched Taemin cook as Lucas lifted weights, while Mark drew. Proving they can multi-task, they were all in perfect pitch! Watch it and we guarantee, it will make you smile.
Stevie Wonder paid tribute to soul legend and friend, Bill Withers, with a cover of “Lean on Me”, which has become an anthem of some sorts during this pandemic. He also sang a portion of his own song, “Love’s In Need of Love Today” during his at-home performance. And when Wonder sings, he does so from the heart.
Before his heartfelt performance of “Lady Madonna”, Sir Paul McCartney got personal sharing that his mother, named Mary, was in fact a nurse and midwife just after and during the second World War, so he didn’t hesitate for a second taking part of this concert that thanked this community. “I have a lot of time for the doctors, the nurses and all the medical staff that keep us healthy. We love you, thank you.”
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Couple Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes from their candle-lit living room sang a beautiful rendition of “It’s a beautiful world”. The pair appeared completely comfortable with each other, harmonising perfectly and the performance was just beautiful to watch.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts reunited, well sort of, to sing “You can’t always get what you want”. Recorded from their homes, Jagger shows us he still has what it takes as he he begins with a solo on acoustic guitar, with the rest of the Rolling Stones make their entrance. Richards is in background vocals, Wood killing it with his guitar solo and Watts proves he hasn’t lost his touch as he air-drums.
Taylor Swift gave a raw, heartfelt version of “Soon you’ll get better”, a song which to her own admission, she didn’t think she could ever play live because it was about her mother battling cancer. “I don’t know if I’ll ever play it live. It’s just really difficult for me. It was hard to write. It’s hard to sing. It’s hard to listen to for me, but sometimes music is like that. Sometimes it’t not just about stuff that is pleasant to feel.” And true to form, the emotions just poured.
Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, John Legend, Andrea Bocelli and Lang Lang
Naturally, they saved the best for last. As the finale to the Together At Home concert, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, John Legend and piano virtuoso Lang Lang performed a heart-wrenching rendition of “The Prayer”. If this does not bring you to tears, we’re not sure what will.