I was one of those 20.7 million views that spent last Saturday night watching the One World: Together At Home special on TV. And since, I’ve also watched the 8-hour version that was posted on streaming services to see some of the artists that didn’t make it to the televised version, like Rita Ora, Charlie Puth, Annie Lennox, and Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt. (I swoon for Ben Platt. He is my Evan Hansen.)
These are crazy times! With concert tours and festivals are being canceled, sporting events on “to be determined” hold, and Broadway shut down, it’s been slow. There have been difficult days with nothing to look forward to on your calendar. When Lady Gaga announced what felt like a virtual Live Aid, I was so excited!
The musical event, organized by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization, raised $127.9 million for health care workers and coronavirus relief, according to Global Citizen. Over $55 million of the money raised will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, while nearly $73 million will go toward local and regional responders.
Lady Gaga helmed this amazing star-studded event by inviting artists and actors from all over the world to perform for all of us from their homes. With the televised version being only 2 hours long, there was no way she was going to fit in all the performers that responded to her call. Thank God for streaming because the lineup is very long and so diverse in their genres. There is a musician for everyone playing in this benefit concert!
Plus with artists I love live streaming from their homes, I got a peek into what their personal spaces look like as well. Of course, I’m staring at the bookcases and photos behind each artist. Watching Charlie Puth perform was wonderful, but his messy bed behind him was a little distracting in a funny way. Lady Gaga had a performance space full of energy and gold dumbbells as she performed the song, Smile, with such beauty!
This was such a star-studded event with the likes of Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Celine Dion, John Legend, Andrea Bocelli, and more. Powerhouse voices played gorgeous music, while the broadcast also sprinkled in thank yous to all the health care workers. They included messages from movie stars and politicians and an exercise break with Jack Black. I would totally power walk with Jack Black if I could.
There were so many amazing artists, it’s hard to highlight them all in this review. Some of my favorites were: Taylor Swift’s moving performance of her song Soon You’ll Get Better, which she had originally written for her Mom. Billie Eilish has a beautiful vibrato while singing a cover of the infectiously happy song Sunny by Bobby Hebb. Michael Buble’s cover of the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows is just so magical.
What I really liked about this very large benefit concert was that I found myself discovering new artists throughout these performances! Musicians that are not mainstream or maybe less mainstream here in the U.S. but more mainstream in other countries. Listening to performances from Lisa Mishra from India, Jessie Reyez from Canada, Jess Glynne from the U.K., and Sho Madjozi from Africa made me immediately go look for their social media sites, so I could follow them for more information. Vishal Mishra from India has such an angelic voice! I look forward to hearing more from him. Italian star Zucchero really steals the show, covering The Korgis’ Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes on piano.
It was also really comforting to hear some of the stars talk about how they are dealing in this very stressful climate our world is going through. Ellie Goulding admits, “I can get quite socially anxious, so you’d think [lockdown] would be a breeze for me, but actually I’m finding it really hard.” And K-Pop boyband, SuperM talk about how they are exploring hobbies and exercising while in lockdown. One of them is building a model ship!
I thought, for a show this massive, One World: Together At Home was really well organized! Using feel-good news stories and poignant moments of human life were beautiful transitions between performances. While there was a “Phone-A-Thon” feel to it, there was no push for donations and nothing feeling overtly political. One World: Together at Home was a sincere musical celebration!
You can still view the performance on the Youtube channel for ABC.