The Global Citizen organization, as well as the World Health Organization, knows that this is a dark time for many people.
Between unemployment rates skyrocketing, having trouble focusing during online Zoom classes, and stressing about getting the COVID-19 virus, these past few months have been awful.
Depression and anxiety are at its highest, and the time stamp of when this virus will end is unknown.
However, one thing that has proven to have some sort of calming effect is music. According to a study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University, “A small but growing body of scientific evidence suggests that music and other rhythmic stimuli can alter mental states in predictable ways and even heal damaged brains”.
Music can also be recognized as the universal language. Lady GaGa, the WHO and Global Citizen have acknowledged this. So, they worked together to put on a virtual concert series, called One World: Together At Home.
The first bit of musical performances took place on March 17th, and included artists, such as: John Legend, Coldplay, Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, and more. They performed a variety of songs from the comfort of their own homes, and live-streamed it on Instagram.
Last night, Lady GaGa worked together with these organizations, to turn this small concert series into a nation-wide televised event.
The televised version ran for about two hours, and from 2 p.m, until the concert streamed at 8 p.m on television, the Global Citizen YouTube account live-streamed the concert online.
The difference between the televised version, and the YouTube version? Well, mainly the runtime. On Global Citizen’s YouTube page, the concert ran for 8 hours. The televised version, however, only lasted for two hours.
While the March 17th mini concert only contained a handful of artists, about 80 celebrity superstars participated in this event.
Artists ranged, from Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, to Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and Paul McCartney.
Talk show hosts, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon introduced the talented woman who organized this televised special: Lady GaGa. GaGa started off by thanking the WHO/Global Citizen for helping to create the event, and then went on to acknowledge the people working tirelessly on the frontlines.
She then transitioned into a beautiful rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s song, “Smile”.
In between artist introductions, there were video clips of how hard teachers, healthcare workers, and first responders are working to ensure the safety/well being of others.
A lot of teachers have been driving by their students’ houses, or reading to their special education students from afar. One teacher even went above and beyond to make his students laugh, by wearing a colorful unicorn onesie on Zoom.
Country singer, Kacey Musgraves, gave an emotional performance of her popular song, “Rainbow”. All over the world, people have been drawing/painting pictures of rainbows, to signify positivity and hope.
Jimmy Fallon did a humorous performance with his house band, The Roots. The song was called “The Safety Dance”, and it featured many nurses and doctors from all over the world. They were laughing, dancing, and enjoying themselves for a few minutes.
There were discussions by news anchors and food bank founders, discussing how packed food banks have been, since the COVID-19 virus began. A lot of people either can’t afford basic necessities, or they can’t find them in local supermarkets. So, they resort to food banks to provide them with milk, eggs, bread, or anything that they can offer.
On the contrary, homelessness was also a major point of discussion during the televised event. It’s true that while many are able to social distance and stay out of harm’s way, a handful of people are stuck wandering the streets. There are people in California that are forced to live in tents that are so close, they’re touching one another. Personal space isn’t an option for the homeless, and Amy Poehler introduced a special guest to educate us about that.
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello performed a piano-version of “What A Wonderful World”, Lizzo performed “A Change Is Gonna Come”, and The Rolling Stones even appeared to perform their hit song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.
Beyoncé made a cameo appearance, to stress that this virus in particular is killing Black Americans at a dangerously high rate. “57% of COVID-death related cases in my hometown city of Houston, Texas are African American. Please protect yourselves. We need you. We need your voices, your strength, and your ability all over this world”, the singer pleaded.
Jimmy Kimmel ordered food, and tipped his delivery guy with a homemade pizza, disinfected money, and a roll of toilet paper. It was quite adorable.
Spongebob even popped into the show to teach people how to properly wash their hands, and get unwanted bacteria off of dirty hands.
Billie Eilish has admitted in the past, that she’s always felt like an old soul. She’s only 18, and yet, she’s wise beyond ur years. Eilish performed a cover of the 1966 Bobby Hebb song, “Sunny”. Joined by her side was none other than her brother, Finneas — who was playing the piano.
Taylor Swift was one of the last performers, and she gave it her all, when she performed her song, “Soon You’ll Get Better”. The song is track 11 on her album, Lover, and was written about Swift’s mother and biggest supporter, Andrea Swift. Andrea is unfortunately dealing with cancer, and a newfound brain tumor. Taylor has never performed that song live before — the main reason being that it’s such an emotional, heartbreaking track, and she didn’t think that she’d be able to get through the full song.
Knowing the backstory is what made Swift’s live television performance so much more emotional. Although the song has a personal connection to her mother, the lyrics can pertain to families of COVID-diagnosed patients.
You can watch the full 8 hour livestream below.
So far, Lady GaGa and Global Citizen have fundraised over $100 million for the COVID-19 relief fund.
You can do your part to help by going to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and making the pledge to stay home and social distance. Together, in unity, we can fight this disease.