It was night (or early morning for the UAE) to remember as global artists united on a single platform to raise their voices in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the world.
Lady Gaga curated this all-star ‘One World: Together At Home’ event, which was hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel and featured the likes of Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bollywood’s Shah Rukh Khan, Ellen DeGeneres, Pharrell Williams, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong’o and Henry Golding, among others.
Even as every artist poured their hearts into their performances, these renditions, particularly stood out.
John Legend and Sam Smith
The award-winning duo performed Ben E King’s classic, ‘Stand By Me’, leaving many viewers tear-eyed. Legend, who performed in Dubai earlier this year, was playing piano with Smith crooned in for the duet. It was perhaps the most memorable renditions of the night.
The singing legend performed ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers - who died on March 30 - while playing piano. He told viewers: “During hardships like this we have to lean on each other for help.”
The Rolling Stones
The original bad boys of music were on point while performing ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, with Mick Jagger taking the lead, while Keith Richards and co joined in from their various homes to prove these boys still got it.
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Again, a grand piano took centrestage as the real-life couple crooned the Louis Armstrong classic, ‘What a Wonderful World’. The performance may not have captured Armstrong’s raspy voice, but the duo poured their heart into this one.
Hussain Al Jassmi
As the only Arab representative, the talented Emirati singer did the region proud as performed during the earlier part of the special, dressed in a traditional kandoora and playing piano.
The star of the night, who curated this all-star TV event, kicked off it off by urging people weathering the coronavirus pandemic to find a way to smile through the pain with a performance of Nat King Cole’s version of the song ‘Smile’. She performed during the second part of an eight-hour event supporting the World Health Organization alongside advocacy organization Global Citizen. “I care so much about the medical workers that are putting their lives at risk for us,” Gaga said.
Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Lang Lang, John Legend and Lady Gaga
The quartet closed the special with a collaborative performance of ‘The Prayer’, again, one of the most emotional performances of the night. Singing and playing for five different locations, the soulful rendition was a fitting tribute to all the frontline workers risking their lives to protect others during the global pandemic.
Other notable performances
Performers included Paul McCartney who sang the Beatles’ ‘Lady Madonna’ and talked about the work his mother did as a nurse, along with Billie Eilish and her producer-brother Finneas, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Kacey Musgraves, Maluma and Keith Urban.
Breakthrough artist Lizzo sang ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ with passion, with Taylor Swift performed ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ while playing piano – a track from her album ‘Lover’.
Meanwhile, Beyonce and Alicia Keys spoke passionately about how the virus has disproportionately affected black Americans.
Queen Bey made a surprise appearance on Saturday’s TV special ‘One World: Together At Home’, thanking “delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees” for their hard work during the pandemic. - With additional inputs by AP