Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

US Celebrities Hold Coronavirus Concert Fundraiser

US Celebrities Hold Coronavirus Concert Fundraiser

Wednesday, 1 April, 2020 - 05:15
A message is seen on an electronic display inside a mostly empty 42nd Street subway station during the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, March 20, 2020. Reuters.
Los Angeles, London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Billie Eilish sang on her sofa, Elton John played a keyboard belonging to his children, and the Backstreet Boys sang in harmony from five locations as dozens of musicians put on a fundraiser for the warriors against coronavirus.

Those who performed from their homes for the "iHeart Living Room Concert for America" also included Mariah Carey, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith.

The one-hour show, broadcast on Fox television without commercials, was the biggest joint effort during the pandemic to lift spirits, raise money for those in the frontlines, and remind Americans to wash their hands and keep their distance, Reuters reported.

"There are doctors, nurses and scientists on the frontlines. We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your souls," said John, who hosted the show from his kitchen.

All the performances and appearances by celebrities including comedian Ellen DeGeneres and singer Tim McGraw were filmed on phones, home cameras or online platforms.

The songs were interspersed with short personal stories from nurses, doctors, truckers, grocery staff, and other essential workers as millions of Americans are subjected to orders to stay home.

The concert, also broadcast on radio stations nationwide, urged listeners to donate to charities Feeding America, and First Responders Children's Foundation. The amount raised was not immediately revealed, but more than $1 million was donated in the first 10 minutes, courtesy of $500,000 from Procter & Gamble and a matching sum from Fox Television.

"My heart goes out to people who have lost loved ones and also those who are losing their jobs," said Lady Gaga.

"After we come out of this horrible thing, I hope we are nicer to each other, and fairer to one another," John said.

Editor Picks