'One World: Together At Home' raises $128M for fight against coronavirus pandemic

Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Billie Joe Armstrong and Shawn Mendes were among the performers
The "One World: Together At Home" benefit concert raised more than $128 million to address the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The tall-star special event, a collaboration between the World Health Organization and Global Citizen, featured some of music's biggest performers, including Taylor Swift, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stone and many others.

The historic broadcast, which aired on ABC and other television networks, was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, alongside friends from Sesame Street. The even was curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga.

The show included a surprise appearance from Beyonce, who thanked frontline workers and pointed out the disproportionate impact being felt in the U.S. among black Americans as a result of COVID-19.

"Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home," she said. "And African American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis."

African Americans account for more than one-third of COVID-19 deaths in the United States where the race of victims has been made public. Data from states, cities and counties show black people are regularly overrepresented compared to their share of the population.

Former first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush also joined in to share words of gratitude to medical professionals, first responders and many others on the frontlines.

"We're thankful for our pharmacists, the veterinarians, the police officers, the sanitation workers, and those of you working in grocery stores, or delivering food and supplies to our homes," Bush said. "You are the fabric of our country, and your strength will carry us through this crisis."

"We will continue to be here for one another and we will get through this crisis together," Obama added.

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Oprah Winfrey offered positive words during Saturday's TV special "One World: Together At Home."

Gaga 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."

"I care so much about the medical workers that are putting their lives at risk for us," Gaga said.

Wonder 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." John Legend and Sam Smith, each from their own homes, duetted on "Stand by Me"; Lizzo sang "A Change Is Gonna Come" with passion; and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, sitting together, performed "What a Wonderful World."

Paul McCartney sang the Beatles' "Lady Madonna" and talked about the work his mother did as a nurse. The members of the Rolling Stones - from four different locations - joined forces to perform "You Can't Always Get What You Want." And Taylor Swift sang "Soon You'll Get Better" while playing piano.

Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Pharrell Williams, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong'o and Henry Golding offered positive words while photos of health care workers and everyday people were shown on the screen.

Gaga, John Legend, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Lang Lang closed the special with a collaborative performance of "The Prayer."
Global Citizen said $55.1 million will benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the remaining $72.8 million will go toward local and regional responders.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was created to help global health officials track the virus, to get frontline workers get the resources they need and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. Some of the regional and local organizations benefiting include food banks and financial institutions are offering loans and assistance to those finding themselves without work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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