By Amber Hubenschmidt
Who would have thought that 2020 would start by enduring a global pandemic affecting peoples' lives in such detrimental ways? Popstar Lady Gaga saw how COVID-19 was impacting our society, so she teamed up with Global Citizen and the World Health Organization to put on a two-hour at-home benefit concert, One World, Together at Home on Saturday, April 18th. This event had many purposes such as raising money for the COVID-19 solidarity response fund, raising awareness about the virus’s effects on communities around the world, and educating everyone on how we can do our part to help end this pandemic together.
The three co-hosts of the night were Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen (Jimmy) Colbert, who were all hosting right from their homes. What was unique about this event was that you could watch it from almost any platform. ABC, NBC, and CBS all teamed together to broadcast at the same time on all their network channels as well as on cable channels BET, BET HER, CMT, Comedy Central, Freeform, LOGO, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, NatGeo, NBCSN, NBC Universo, Paramount, POP, TV Land, and VH1. According to Nielsen ratings, 20.7 million viewers watched from their televisions. And if you didn’t have a TV around, that was okay too, because One World: Together at Home was streamed on major platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and even Twitch.
No matter your age, this event was suitable for all with musical performances from artists from different decades such as The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder to Billie Eilish and Shawn Mendes. The musical performances also featured a mix of different genres and cultures, like Colombian singer Mulma and Nigerian singer Burna Boy.
In addition to diversity, there were guest speakers such as health care professionals and activists from all around the world showing the effect COVID-19 has had on them and offering universal support. Priyanka Chopra was one of those activists who teamed up with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan to talk about how the Coronavirus is affecting India. "India is currently facing one of the biggest challenges in her history. With the population of over a billion citizens, the spread of Covid-19 is bound to have a negative impact…But, to beat this pandemic, the world has to come together," said Khan.
Other special guests spoke about the more vulnerable communities in America that are being affected by this pandemic like the homeless, children, and people of color. Beyoncé even made a non-musical appearance to speak on such topics saying, “this virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate in America.”
In between performances and guest speakers, there were also “thank you” videos recognizing the major companies like Target, Verizon, and Citibank that have donated to the COVID-19 relief fund. However, donations didn’t stop at money. A “thank you” was also given for all of the medical supplies donated by corporate and local companies, as well as homegrown businesses who are making supplies by hand. The biggest “thank you” of all that ended the event went to all of the health care professionals risking their lives to take care of and save those infected with COVID-19, including the nurses and doctors who have come out of retirement to give a helping hand.
Global Citizen has reported that after the event One World: Together at Home, a total of $127.9 million was raised, which was able to provide $55.1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and $72.8 million to local and regional responders.
If you missed the show, you can watch it on CBS.com.
Click to learn more about Global Citizen.