AP Music Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — R&B singer Andra Day performed her inspirational anthem “Rise Up,” former One Direction member Niall Horan thanked health care workers and teachers, and pop star Kesha played piano while singing positive lyrics to kick off an all-star event aimed at fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Heidi Klum, Jason Segel, Tim Gunn, Matthew Bomer and Jameela Jamil also made appearances in the first hour of “One World: Together At Home,” an eight-hour event broken in two formats: A six-hour stream which began at 2 p.m. EDT, followed by a two-hour TV special at 8 p.m. featuring Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey and Billie Eilish.
“It’s Kesha from quarantine day 500. I miss my fans so much,” the singer said, sitting in front of her fireplace as her cat made noises in the background. “I know that there’s so many people working and not sleeping and sacrificing so much to help figure this out for everyone and I just think the vulnerability of us all as human beings right now is really showing a really beautiful side to humanity.”
After thanking those working on the front lines, she said: “I’m going to do the main thing I know how to do, which is play some music and hopefully this will just brighten your day, maybe just a little bit. That’s my goal.”
World renowned pianist Lang Lang, country singer Maren Morris, rock performer Hozier, British star Rita Ora and Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi also performed during “One World: Together At Home,” brought on by advocacy organization Global Citizen and in support of the World Health Organization. The six-hour stream, airing on YouTube, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other digital platforms, also included videos focused on health care workers on the front lines fighting the spreading coronavirus. It also aired a package of people getting married — some in front of their homes, others inside — during the pandemic.
The stream will also include performances and appearances from Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Common, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jacky Cheung, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bublé, Juanes and The Killers.
The TV special, curated by Gaga, will air simultaneously on ABC, NBC, CBS, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks. It will feature Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, David and Victoria Beckham, Alicia Keys, Ellen DeGeneres, Pharrell Williams, Eddie Vedder, Kerry Washington, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Celine Dion, Lizzo, J Balvin and Andrea Bocelli. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel will host the TV special.