Music

Lady Gaga and other stars unite for One World coronavirus special

LOS ANGELES: Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey on Saturday headlined a special broadcast of music, comedy and personal stories celebrating those around the world on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-hour One World: Together At Home event, broadcast across television channels in the US and overseas, featured a who's who of pop culture in the biggest celebrity gathering so far to mark effects of the virus.

Contributions, filmed in their homes, also came from Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, David Beckham, Michelle Obama, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Billie Eilish, Bill Gates and dozens of others.

"I'm so grateful for the healthcare workers, the medical workers, all the grocery store workers and delivery people, the postal workers, all the other nonprofits working so hard," said Gaga, who helped organise the event.

"This is really a true love letter to all of you all over the world, and I hope a reminder of the kindness that's occurring right now," she added.

The event, led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the nonprofit group Global Citizen, told the personal stories of teachers and healthcare, grocery, delivery, postal and other workers.


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It showed social media postings and news clips of doctors and nurses being applauded around the world, families greeting each other through windows, and acts of kindness in support of those who are isolated and frail.

TALK SHOW HOSTS

"We aren't asking for money tonight," said Stephen Colbert, who hosted the broadcast with fellow US talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.

Instead of seeking public funds, the event encouraged philanthropists and companies to contribute to the WHO's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Corporate and other donors have already contributed some US$150 million (S$213 million), organisers said.

Beyoncein a video message noted the disproportionately high death rates in the black community. "This virus is killing black people at an alarming rate in America," she said.

Swift, on piano, gave an emotional rendition of Soon You'll Get Better, written during her mother's battle with cancer.

Winfrey said: "We need to ensure governments step up and provide healthcare workers with the equipment and the funds they need." - REUTERS

coronavirus