Time and again we have seen celebrities come together for a cause to raise funds. Be it singing ‘We Are The World’ (USA for Africa) in 1985 or the later rendition for Haiti; musicians have always ‘raised their voices’. For the current COVID-19 pandemic, Global Citizen organizers planed an eight-hour-long YouTube video, One World: Together at Home. It live-streamed from the houses of several celebrities where they performed to raise funds for coronavirus relief.
How was the video organized?
The online concert of One World: Together at Home was co-organized by WHO and Global Citizen. It featured eminent personalities like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, John Legend, The Rolling Stones, Billie Eilish, who poured out their emotions through music.
The songs they sang were interspersed with messages given by actors like Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o. It later moved on to football player David Beckham, wife Victoria, and more celebrities who had a tribute to give. The video also has messages from Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
Apart from the eight-hour-long YouTube video, they screened two hours of the live broadcast on television. It included the performances by Tom Jones and Paul McCartney. Their contribution was framed as a gift offered to the essential workers. The following six-hour raised donations and a lot of money came in from the corporate sponsors.
Funds raised from One World: Together at Home
The total amount of funds received from the concert is $127 million. Out of the total amount WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will get $55.1 million. Whereas $72.8 million will be offered to charities for housing providers, food banks, and more. The fund received by WHO will be put to use for tests, treatments, and to develop vaccine.
It was inevitable that the fundraising would bring in a political tinge as Donald Trump had withdrawn from US funding for WHO. Hugh Evans, the founder of Global Citizen, said that it isn’t uncommon for leaders to point fingers because politics is survival for them. He is not surprised that the initiative took a political turn. However, he also said people should understand that there isn’t another WHO – there’s only one.
What the celebrities had to share
Alicia Keys and Beyoncé highlighted how coronavirus is disproportionately affecting African Americans. There is research that mentions that 33% of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the United States are black; even though the entire population of African Americans in the country is 13% compared to other nationalities.
Due to pre-existing health issues, lack of information, and affordability of healthcare a lot of people are facing problems during the pandemic. Societal and economical circumstances are also reasons why the virus is more prevalent amongst communities of color.
Beyoncé raised her voice in support of essential workers across healthcare and sanitation. She said that black Americans are a part of such workforce and don’t have the luxury to work from home as many others. African Americans have been severely affected by such a crisis and they need support. Coronavirus is killing black people at a high rate in America. According to reports, Houston, her home town, has 57% of fatal cases, and majority of people are African Americans.
Lady Gaga hosted One World: Together at Home
The celebrity to took the baton and made One World: Together at Home possible was Lady Gaga. She hosted the entire event from her home and had an integral part to play throughout. The televised event was curated by her and she helped assist all the celebrities line-up and gave tribute to the healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 like real warriors.
The singer said that she is honored to be a part of the fight that WHO and Global Citizen are trying to fight and help raise funds for coronavirus treatments. She said that she cares a lot about the medical workers who are putting their lives at risk for people. She thinks and prays for them every day and also the people who are stuck at home. Everyone is wondering when the time is going to be different and she is not alien to that.
Lady Gaga started off the live concert by playing a rendition of Smile on her piano famed by Nat King Cole. Like most other performers, Gaga tried to make music the focal point and chose to wear a simple outfit instead of being her usual aesthetic self. The singer paired striped high-waisted trousers with a black top accented with shoulder cutouts. Along with Céline Dion, John Legend, the concert was continued by Lang Lang and Andrea Bocelli. They all created a rendition of The Prayer and clubbed them together.
Piers Morgan, who had criticized Lady Gaga’s involvement in the initiative later apologized and appreciated the effort. He wrote Tweet stating that it was a great initiative and raised a fortune, entertained people, and will help save lives. He also said that it was a perfect illustration of how stars should use their profiles for a cause and congratulated the people who put in their efforts.
The singer Tweeted after the show giving thanks to all the people who watched Together At Home and shared a global moment of compassion with one another. The initiative did bring in a lot of positivity and was made with loving intentions.
If you’ve missed out on watching the event live, you can go through the YouTube link. The eight-hour-long video is pretty much there for you to watch all night. You can skip and watch your favorite celebrities talk or sing for the cause. Moreover, try to put in your donations towards the COVID-19 relief funds to help the people who need it the most.