Lady Gaga opened her own One World: Together At Home musical event in spectacular style on Saturday night.
The event, meant to raise awareness of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, will see performances and appearances from stars including Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, David and Victoria Beckham, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys.
Gaga, 34, who curated the event, kicked things off with a stirring rendition of the Nat King Cole classic Smile.
Curator and star: Lady Gaga opened her own One World: Together At Home musical event in spectacular style on Saturday night
NBC, ABC and CBS teamed up to broadcast the historic event with late night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert coming together to host the show.
During their opening monologue, the trio told viewers to ‘put your wallets away’ as the evening was not about fundraising.
Even before going to air, the Global Citizen event had already raised more than $50million.
Co-host Jimmy Fallon joked that most of that money was raised by ‘holding [Amazon founder] Jeff Bezos upside down and shaking him for loose change’.
Goals: Gaga said the evening was not about raising money but giving people ‘permission to smile’
Powerful: Gaga, 34, who curated the event, kicked things off with a stirring rendition of the Nat King Cole classic Smile
Following Gaga was musical legend Stevie Wonder, who performed Lean On Me and Love’s In Need of Love Today.
Wonder dedicated Lean On Me to that song’s writer, the recently deceased Bill Withers.
Following him was The Beatles star Paul McCartney, who tipped his hat to medical workers fighting tirelessly during the pandemic.
One of the final acts was Taylor Swift, who performed an acoustic version of her son Soon You’ll Get Better.
Still got it: The Rolling Stones performed You Can’t Always Get What You Want via a four-way split screen Zoom call
Lover: One of the final acts was Taylor Swift, who performed an acoustic version of her son Soon You’ll Get Better
Brother and sister act: Billie Eilish was accompanied by her brother Finneas on the organ for a performance of Bobby Hebb’s Sunny
Changes: Lizzo belted out a cover of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come
Stars align: The event, meant to raise awareness of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, will see performances and appearances from stars including Elton John
Lovers: Musical power couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, who are self-isolating together amid the pandemic, performed a duet for the One World event
Meanwhile, Beyonce put forth a passionate speech about how COVID-19 has ‘severely affected’ African American communities during her appearance on the show.
The 38-year-old singer explained to viewers that African Americans make up a ‘disproportionate’ part of the essential workforce and ‘do not have the luxury of working from home.’
‘This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America,’ said Knowles. ‘Those with preexisting conditions are at an even higher risk.’
Passionate: Beyonce put forth a passionate speech about how COVID-19 has ‘severely affected’ African American communities during her stint on the One World: Together at Home concert on Saturday
According to Beyonce, a recent report out of her hometown of Houston, Texas revealed that 57per cent of COVID-19 fatalities within Houston City limits have been of African American descent.
‘Please protect yourselves. We are one family and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities, and your strength all over this world,’ urged the Halo singer.
Beyonce then made a broader statement, when she listed out various essential worker roles and expressed her gratitude for their continued service.
‘Tonight we celebrate true heroes, those who are making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed and healthy…we continue to pray for your safety.
Using her voice: The 38-year-old singer explained to viewers that African Americans make up a ‘disproportionate’ part of the essential workforce and ‘do not have the luxury of working from home’
She continued: ‘To those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers, and sanitation employees who are working so we can be safe in our homes, we thank you for your selfless service.’
In regards to the importance of staying indoors as a means of deterring the spread of the virus, Beyonce empathized with the difficulties of the act, while encouraging viewers to remain strong.
‘I know it is very hard, but please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive, and continue to pray for our heroes.
‘Goodnight and God bless you,’ concluded Beyonce, before blowing a kiss to the camera.
J-Lo: The pop star channeled Barbra Streisand in her rendition of the song People
Jenny from the backyard: The Bronx-born hitmaker performed from a ‘makeshift stage’ at her home
‘Makeshift stage’: J-Lo’s fiance Alex Rodriguez gave a behind the scenes glimpse into the pop diva’s performance on social media
Show-stopper: Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli and John Legend gave the show a riveting finale with their take on Dion and Bocelli’s 1999 duet The Prayer
A true Legend: John Legend made his second appearance of the night in the show’s grand finale
The TV special will celebrate community health care workers and support the WHO’s global fight to end COVID-19.
The broadcast special will also include local and regional charities that provide food, shelter, and healthcare to those that need help most during this time.
There will be educational portions to inspire people around the world to take meaningful actions that increase support for the global COVID-19 response as well as cameos from the worlds of music and arts, sports and comedic sketches.
‘Interviews with experts from the WHO as well as stories from healthcare workers on the front lines of the global pandemic will also be featured.’
Living legend: Paul McCartney tipped his hat to medical workers fighting tirelessly during the pandemic
Superstar: Kacey Musgraves gave a powerful performance of Rainbow during her segment
Sharing the love: Hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert told viewers to ‘put your wallets away’ as the event was not a fundraising exercise
Cameo: Keith Urban’s wife Nicole Kidman made a surprise appearance on the show via some editing trickery
There will be performances from some of the biggest names in music and multi-million dollar pledges to the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund.
‘We want to highlight the gravity of this historical, unprecedented cultural movement… and we want to celebrate and encourage the power of the human spirit,’ Gaga said during a news conference last Monday.
The multi-hour TV special will also stream live on YouTube, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more platforms.
An edited version of the event will be broadcast on BBC One for UK audiences on Sunday 19 April.
The BBC One programme will feature highlights from the live event, as well as exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline workers.
Polarizing figure: The show also featured a message from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whom Gaga called ‘a superstar’ on Friday
Oprah: Gaga said she plans to raise more money and explained that the TV special is not a fundraiser: ‘Put your wallets away … and sit back and enjoy the show you all deserve’
Gaga said she plans to raise more money and explained that the TV special is not a fundraiser: ‘Put your wallets away … and sit back and enjoy the show you all deserve.’
Others taking part in the TV special include Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder.
The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus topped 38,000 on Saturday.
White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.
Triple threats: NBC, ABC and CBS teamed up to broadcast the historic event with late night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel [L], Jimmy Fallon [R] and Stephen Colbert coming together to host the show
Green Day: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day also contributed his talents to the evening