Truly ‘One World: Together at Home’

A concert raised money for a COVID-19 response fund, while also bringing people together

Jessica Simms, Managing Editor

Despite physical separation, Global Citizen brought the world together through music and words of inspiration on Saturday, April 18, through its massive at-home concert, “One World: Together at Home.”

The concert raised nearly $128 million for theWorld Health Organization’s (WHO) Solidarity Response Fund.

Connor Lawless

Global Citizen is a movement of citizens who are fighting to end extreme poverty and take on the world’s biggest challenges. Right now, that is COVID-19 and before the concert took place, Global Citizen raised $40 million for the Solidarity Response Fund.

The concert was curated by Lady Gaga and is considered to be the largest virtual gathering of major artists and influencers since the Live Aid concert of 1985. “One World: Together at Home” allowed for artists and celebrities to perform and check in with the audience from the comfort of their own homes.

“Today I am so happy that we are one world together at home,” Lady Gaga said at the beginning of the concert. “I feel very honored to be a part of The World Health Organization and Global Citizen in the fight against COVID-19 and raising money for the Solidarity Response Fund.”

Lady Gaga then went on to discuss how she cares so much for the first responders and thinks about those at home who are unsure when life will be back to normal.

The multi-hour event was a cross between a public health conference and a concert. It was hosted by Jimmy Fallon from “The Tonight Show,” Stephen Colbert from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and Jimmy Kimmel from “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Many artists such as Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, John Legend and Taylor Swift performed in the six-hour livestream and the two-hour live show. Celebrities who are not hit music stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Amy Poehler and Oprah Winfrey popped in throughout the program to share some words with the audience and thank healthcare workers and first responders for all that they are doing to protect us during these unprecedented times. Even a character from “Sesame Street” made an appearance.

“I hold myself really tight, and then I take a deep breath and I feel comforted,” said Abby Cadabby, who joined the show in 2006.

What set this concert apart was that everyone was home. Elton John sang from his driveway, DeGeneres came on and said a few words from her living room, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello sang at their at-home piano together. Everyone was home, but “One World: Together at Home” helped bring the world together to fight what is keeping us all apart— COVID-19.

Even though “One World: Together at Home” brought entertainment, inspiration and comfort for those who tuned in, the event aimed at educating the world about the importance of WHO and its Solidarity Response Fund. WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that focuses on international public health, monitoring the risks, coordinating responses to health emergencies and promoting human health and well-being.

WHO’s Solidarity Response fund was launched on March 13, just two days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. It was established to provide a simple way for people, corporations, nonprofits and organizations to be able to donate directly to WHO to support its efforts to defeat COVID-19.

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to COVID-19,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen, in a statement to TODAY. “This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone.”

“One World: Together at Home” was one way to bring global awareness about the Solidarity Response Fund, while also bringing a sense of unity to everyone who attended.

“Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, and all those who are the backbone of our communities,” Evans said.