United by music in a time of crisis, Lady Gaga mounts One World: Together At Home, an epic virtual concert that more than entertainment, functions as a proactive relief for healthcare front liners.
Nobody does it like Lady Gaga—and we’re not just talking about her pop culturally shifting music here.
By all accounts, the recently concluded One World: Together At Home concert, curated by chief conspirator, Lady Gaga, with the movement, was a rousing success. Even Piers Morgan, who famously slammed the pop culture phenomenon for her involvement in a World Health Organization conference on COVID-19 was compelled to apologize after the star-studded virtual concert raked in $127.9 million in financial pledges for the healthcare workers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This was, of course, on top of the initial $35 million Lady Gaga had already accumulated quietly on her own accord, network, and resources.
Unlike the tepid and surface-level efforts of celebrities in a time of unprecedented healthcare crisis, the pop star and actress has quickly shifted gears, focusing all her attention to relief efforts, even pushing back the release of her highly-anticipated album, Chromatica. “I also think that the fight that I’m in—or that you’re in, right?—is very different than the fight of a woman that is in, perhaps, an abusive relationship and has a child and lost her job and can’t feed her kid and can’t feed herself and also can’t get the help that she needs because she’s in a violent situation,” she says in a conversation with Jimmy Fallon on his broadcast-from-home late night show. “I’ve been really focusing a lot of my energy on figuring out how I can help. Because we all want this to end, but being in this all together—that’s a tricky statement because…I want to honor that that woman is not in the same fight that I’m in, and I want to help her fight that fight.”
The result was One World: Together At Home, a massive virtual coming together of some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports, music, and even healthcare. Unlike most blatant fundraising drives, this one was merely meant to be an exhale at such an asphyxiating point of our lives, most especially for the brave spirits on the front line, who are dedicated to not only saving lives, but also annihilating this virus altogether. With the world on an economical tightening of the belt, there was no active solicitation, Instead, the communal union was steeped in pledges from philanthropists and corporate partners for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. “What’s very important is three things happening for all of us. That we celebrate and we highlight the singular kind global community that is arising right now. Two, we want to highlight the gravity of this historical, unprecedented cultural movement. And three, we want to celebrate and encourage the power of the human spirit,” details Lady Gaga at a previous press conference.
More than just the powerhouse performances and messages of encouragement, appeal, and hope from the roster of stars and personalities, the historic One World: Together At Home also functioned as a public healthcare conference, with experts and front line workers splicing through the entertainment, highlighting the true gravity of the crisis from the battlegrounds. Heart-tugging, gut-wrenching, and ultimately, inspiring, this interdisciplinary approach gave the passion project more purpose and credence.
Gathering the likes of Oprah, David and Victoria Beckham, and Beyonce, there were a lot of performances to enjoy, from the iconic Sir Paul McCartney to the vocal stylings of Jennifer Hudson, all of which was made even more personal because it was as if they all invited us to their homes for an intimate affair. With the weight of the crisis understandably weighing down on us in different capacities, this was that little space the rest of the world needed to be reminded that despite the uncertainty and potential devastation that lies ahead of us, there is still much to be grateful for, especially for the more privileged lot. “We always take moments throughout the day to remind ourselves that we have it very good, actually, and I say that with a lot of respect and gravity,” Lady Gaga ascertains. “I have always believed in kindness, and I think that what is so true about times like now is that there’s financial currency…but then there’s kindness currency, and they’re both equally as important.”
If you missed it, the musical undertaking is now available to watch on YouTube, with a playlist of songs performed available on Spotify, where proceeds of the streams will go to the relief efforts as well. Since we aren’t necessarily over this epic moment just yet, we’ve listed our favorite performances of the night below. Let us know which ones moved you as well.
Billie Eilish and Finneas
John Legend and Sam Smith
The Rolling Stones
Christine and the Queens
Lady Gaga, John Legend, Lang Lang, Celine Dion, and Andrea Bocelli