Photo: Global Citizen

With the coronavirus forcing the world into self-quarantine and social distancing, live entertainment has taken a serious blow. Concerts for the remainder of the year have largely been canceled, leaving people with very little to look forward to in the way of music entertainment. 

Thankfully, creativity has found the ability to prevail in this difficult situation. Live streaming performances have allowed live entertainment to survive, even while social gatherings are prohibited. Global Citizen, and their One World: Together At Home event, is one of these innovative live broadcasts. 

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Global Citizen is a foundation focused on ending global poverty, with a mission statement of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030. The platform allows members to learn about the causes of systematic poverty, and take action against these root causes. To this end, Global Citizen organizes massive global campaigns to raise both money and awareness around the world. 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Global Citizen has continued its mission. Unable to organize any large live events, they chose instead to create a massive streaming event involving a number of incredibly popular musical artists and global celebrities. Partnering with singer, songwriter, and actress Lady Gaga, the One World: Together At Home concert was intended to benefit frontline healthcare workers as well as the World Health Organization. 

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The special was streamed and televised on April 18th, 2020, and featured a variety of different hosts and celebrity appearances. A six-hour pre-show was streamed on YouTube, and then the televised portion aired on multiple different cable television networks including NBC, ABC and CBS in the United States, and BBC One in the United Kingdom. 

Full Concert – One World: Together At Home

Video: ABC NEWS

Many different music, film and television celebrities appeared on One World: Together At Home. The six-hour YouTube pre-show featured a different host every hour, providing a big variety of hosts. The show began with actress, radio presenter and activist Jameela Jamil as the host, who is best known as a host of radio show The Official Chart and for her role in the television comedy The Good Place

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For the show’s second hour, Jamil was replaced as host by Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey, most recently seen in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, historical drama Amistad and sci-fi thriller Interstellar. Hour three saw McConaughey replaced by actress Danai Gurira, best known for her roles as Michonne in the horror series The Walking Dead and as Okoye in the Marvel Studios films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

In the fourth hour Gurira was replaced as host by singer Becky G, best known for the 2014 single “Shower” and her 2016 collaboration with rapper Pitbull titled “Superstar”. Hour five saw actress Laverne Cox replace Becky G as the show’s host. Cox is best known for her roles as Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black and Cameron Wirth on Doubt. The sixth hour saw Cox replaced by actor Don Cheadle, well-known for his roles in the Iron Man and Avengers films, along with the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. 

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Along with the big-name hosts, the event had a plethora of musical appearances. Adam Lambert, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones were among the musical guests to perform on Together At Home. Actors such as Laurence Fishburne, Rainn Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Idris Elba also made appearances. International celebrities that made an appearance are Andrea Bocelli, Awkwafina, Beyonce, Celine Dion, Camilla Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Hussain Al Jasmi, David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, Ellen Degeneres, Ellie Goulding, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Matt Bomer, Lilly Singh, Oprah Winfrey, Rita Ora, Shah Rukh Khan,  etc. 

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The online event was, by all accounts, a rousing success. The songs performed on the program experienced a huge rise in sales, particularly for performers Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves and Maluma. The songs performed on the two-hour televised show gained a total of 12,000 downloads, an increase of 735% compared to the day before the broadcast. In total, the digital event raised about $128 million for health care workers across the country. Of this huge amount, Global Citizen will give $55 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and $73 million to local and regional responders. 

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One World Concert – Full list of appearances:

  • Adam Lambert, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Andra Day, Andrea Bocelli, Angèle, Anitta
  • Annie Lennox, Awkwafina, Becky G, Ben Platt, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Black Coffee, Bridget Moynahan, Burna Boy, Camila Cabello, Cassper Nyovest, Celine Dion, Charlie Puth
  • Chris Martin, Christine and the Queens, Chrissy Teigen, Common, Connie Britton, Danai Gurira, David Beckham
  • Delta Goodrem, Don Cheadle, Eason Chan, Eddie Vedder, Ellen DeGeneres, Ellie Goulding, Elton John, Erin Richards
  • Finneas O’Connell, George the Poet, Heidi Klum, Hozier, Hussain Al Jasmi, Idris Elba and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin
  • Jack Black, Jack Johnson, Jacky Cheung, Jameela Jamil, James McAvoy, Jason Segel, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez
  • Jess Glynne, Jessie J, Jessie Reyez, John Legend, Juanes, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Kesha
  • The Killers, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Lewis Hamilton, Liam Payne, Lili Reinhart
  • Lilly Singh, Lily Tomlin, Lindsey Vonn, Lisa Mishra, Little Mix, Lizzo, LL Cool J, Luis Fonsi, Lupita Nyong’o, Maluma
  • Maren Morris, Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey, Megan Rapinoe, Michael Bublé, Milky Chance, Naomi Osaka
  • Natti Natasha, Niall Horan, Nomzamo Mbatha, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Pharrell Williams, P. K. Subban
  • Picture This, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, The Rolling Stones, Sam Heughan, Sam Smith
  • Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sebastián Yatra, Shah Rukh Khan, Shawn Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Sho Madjozi, Sofi Tukker, Stevie Wonder, SuperM, Taylor Swift, Tim Gunn, Tom Jones, Usher, Vishal Mishra, Victoria Beckham, Zucchero
  • Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert

On April 21st, three days after the broadcast, Global Citizen and Universal Music Group also began producing a four-hour, 79-song-long album version of the event. Proceeds produced from streaming One World: Together At Home, The Album will be donated to Global Citizen in order to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The album is available on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. 

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Coronavirus continues to affect people around the world. Self-quarantine is the least of our worries, as sickness and even death are still very real threats. However, Global Citizen and the One World concert has proven that life can still continue in some capacity. By bringing entertainment and a sense of community through digital streaming, Global Citizen has also managed to raise millions towards supporting the fight against COVID-19.

By Thomas McNulty

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