If Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion’s “The Prayer” doesn’t already make you wail like a child, then the rendition they did with John Legend and Lady Gaga last night certainly will. Coming together for Global Citizen’s ‘One World: Together At Home’ virtual concert (from their respective homes, of course) the four superstars performed a stirring version of the 1999 classic ballad along with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang, which made the little hairs on our arms stand up (and of course left us awash in tears).
Hosted by Lady Gaga, the broadcast benefit featured six hours of online livestreamed performances to honour and raise funds for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which aids the frontline medical workers who are so bravely risking their lives in the fight against Coronavirus. Along with the spectacular, spine-tingling finale of “The Prayer”, the biggest names in music and pop culture tuned in from their homes across the world to partake in the charitable virtual concert.
Lady Gaga led the performances with Nat King Cole’s “Smile” in her at-home studio. Legend also did a soul-stirring duet with Sam Smith, who covered Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”, while Lizzo covered the King of Soul, crooner Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”.
Hozier performed a haunting version of “Take Me To Church” replete with pianist and mood lighting, while Billie Eilish & Finneas performed “Sunny” because it’s always “warmed my heart and made me feel good and I wanted to make you guys feel good” (and that she did).
This sentiment of banding together and spreading cheerful solidarity was rife, with Taylor Swift singing “Soon You’ll Get Better”, Jack Johnson “Better Together” and JLO performing Barbara Streisand’s “People”.
Annie Lennox was joined by daughter Lola Lennox who performed the Eurythmics hit “There Must Be An Angel”, while iconic Beatle Paul McCartney sang “Lady Madonna” and shared personal story of his mother serving as a nurse and midwife during World War II, saying “so I have a lot of time for the doctors, the nurses and all the medical staff to keep us healthy. We love you, thank you.”
Another highlight was The Rolling Stones’ hearty rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, as Mick Jagger was joined by Ronnie Woods, Keith Richards (with a whisky on hand) and drummer Charlie Watts, who instead of tapping a drum kit, hit makeshift drums made up of musical instrument storage cases and a nearby couch in his study.
Of course, there were plenty more highlights (even personal messages from the likes of David Beckham and former US first ladies, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush), but above all else it was a spectacular display of humility in crisis, the coming together of the most privileged (and talented) to give their gift of music to the world.
Watch Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, John Legend perform “The Prayer” below for the ‘one world: together at home’ concert: