Millions of COVID captives were glued to their television sets for a musical extravaganza and helped raise millions in the process for health care workers.
The stars sang to faceless audiences but the line-up was tough to beat.
Things kicked off with familiar late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen T. Colbert, each appearing from the cozy confines of their very own living rooms or kitchens.
After welcoming viewers to the show, it was off to Lady Gaga’s posh pad. Dressed down and almost unrecognizable, she gave a perky rendition of the classic “Smile” (you might recall the Nat King Cole rendition).
She tossed to Stevie Wonder who paid tribute to his pal Bill Withers, belting out the late musician’s No. 1 hit, “Lean on Me.”
Sir Paul McCartney said how grateful he was to “honor these heroes”—doctors, nurses, caregivers, research experts, lab workers, grocery shop workers, teachers, delivery drivers... all the people on the front lines—adding, “we have to strengthen the environment for healthcare workers around the world.” Appropriately, he went on to play “Lady Madonna.”
Usher went on to give a shout-out to food charities. Victoria and David Beckham introduced Sir Elton John, who pulled his piano into a garden setting to delight with his theme song “I’m Still Standing.”
Beyoncé tipped her sailor’s-style hat to all the frontline workers, “for the selfless help,” closing with “keep the faith and pray for our heroes.”
The Rolling Stones played, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from a quad screen at their individual homes.
Former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama were on and said, “Tonight, we stand with people around the world to honor our heroes. You are the fabric of our country and we will get through this together.”
With a little help from their friends, Lady Gaga and the group Global Citizen helped raise $127 million to support healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos already kicked in $100 million for a separate organization called Feeding America, while Bill and Melinda Gates gave up to $100 mil toward development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
They say they are optimistic that a vaccine could be ready for testing shortly.
Back to the music, country crooner Keith Urban played a sweet acoustic version of “Higher Love” and new phenom Lizzo sang “A Change is Gonna Come.”
For some of us, change can’t come soon enough.
While it’s entertaining watching these big-name stars from the comfort of your living room, nothing beats the real thing.