Did you watch the One World: Together at Home concert this weekend? Even before it started, Lady Gaga and her team had reportedly raised $50 million, stressing repeatedly to viewers that the point of the event was not for the audience to give but for people around to the world to honour healthcare workers and researchers, and to keep the faith that we can and will get through this. Still, nearly $130 million was raised for COVID-19 relief efforts, and Gaga’s leadership in putting this together has been outstanding.
In addition to recognising the efforts of those on the front lines, many celebrities called for stronger leadership in meeting this global health crisis and increased awareness, talking about the children from underserved communities who will fall even further behind in school during the lockdown and about how the virus disproportionately affects the marginalised. Both Beyoncé and Alicia Keys made a point of pointing out that, in Beyoncé’s words, “This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America", underscoring the fact that social justice inequalities which existed before the pandemic have only been exacerbated during this time. And then the Blue Ivy Carter demonstrated a science experiment to encourage people to wash their hands:
As was expected, two of the highest profile entertainers on the list showed up at the end. Taylor Swift performed “Soon You’ll Get Better” for the first time live – it’s a song she wrote about her mother’s battle with cancer and she’d previously said that she didn’t know if she’d ever be able to perform it. On Friday Taylor cancelled all her shows for 2020, presumably because of pandemic but probably also, sadly, because of family priorities.
And then the finale. If you weren’t already wrecked by Taylor’s song, the Queen of All Feelings, Celine Dion, closed the show with Andrea Bocelli and Lang Lang, joined by John Legend and Lady Gaga, for "The Prayer".
I know this wasn’t for everyone. Maybe at another time it wouldn’t be for me. But it’s been sh-t for weeks around the world and here in Canada, it was sh-ttier than ever, and not only because of the pandemic.
Love to those of you who are visiting our site from Nova Scotia. A prayer for Heidi Stevenson and the family and friends of the 16 others who are now lost.
Yours in gossip,