On Saturday, celebrities, musicians and healthcare experts came together –virtually, of course -- to raise awareness and to “support frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization” for an event called One World: Together at Home, which was organized, in part, by Lady Gaga, raised more than $50 million for the WHO and was broadcast, in part, virtually everywhere, including on NBC 7.
The six-hour event, which streamed on the major services for the first four hours before hitting network prime time with Gaga, Elton John, Taylor Swift and many others, interspersed messages of hope with live performances by some of pop culture's biggest stars, including a trio by artists with deep ties to San Diego County.
The cultural moment's kickoff performance was by Andra Day, who led the way for a six-hour pre-show of sorts. Before her song, the two-time Grammy-nominated star and San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts alum spoke of gratitude and community.
“I wanted to thank, particularly, all of the workers on the front line who are risking their lives every day so that we can be safe and healthy," Day told the worldwide audience. "We love you all and we appreciate you all.”
Sporting an adorable pink sweatshirt reading Sloth Hiking Team and looking beautiful as ever, she continued, “One of my biggest prayers during all of this, is though we're in the midst of such a terrible tragedy, that we can still gain a deeper sense of community and family instead of allowing ourselves to be divided even further apart.” She then launched into a performance of her hit, “Rise Up,” that just might have you searching for the tissues, with still images from around the world flash that featured signs thanking healthcare workers played in a split-screen slideshow.
After performances by artists like Niall Horan, Maren Morris and Hozier, Sofi Tukker and others, another of San Diego's success stories performed: Adam Lambert, who was a runner-up in Season 8 of "American Idol," was brought up in San Diego County and attended Mount Carmel High. He, too, has been nominated for a Grammy, and has spent most of his post-"Idol" career performing with Queen in the spot left vacant by the late Freddy Mercury.
“This time in history is strange," Lambert said prior to his performance. "We all know that we're here to flatten the curve. We're trying to get through this thing, and we will get through this thing. But, obviously, self-isolation or small social-distancing is strange, and it's something that none of us have experienced before.”
Then, just before starting a song he performed on "Idol," he continued, “It's a very strange world right now, it's a mad world,” and started covering Tears for Fears classic “Mad World” in the slow ballad style of the version by Gary Jules, who also hailed from San Diego.
Later in the program, Lambert performed his 2019 hit “Superpower,” in which he adjusted some lyrics for the times we're living in, singing, “All of the witches and the COVID better get out my way.”
Wrapping it up for our hometown heroes was Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, who took part in the superstar-laden prime-time special. Vedder, with no introduction, performed a haunting rendtion of PJ's “River Cross” in a solo performance on his piano, letting the music speak for itself.
The event can be viewed in its entirety via YouTube .
Viewers are encourgaged to learn more at GlobalCitizen.org/TogetherAtHome.