Artists including Jennifer Hudson, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and many others came together on Saturday for Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, which collectively raised nearly seven billion dollars for COVID-19 relief.
Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, the online Global Citizen summit and concert featured an impressive lists of singers, actors and other celebrities to help raise funds “to combat the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.”
“The year 2020 has come to be a defining period that has impacted all of us around the world in ways we could have never imagined,” said Dwayne Johnson. “As we’re doing our very best to process the unprecedented hardships this new virus can cause, we also continue to witness another ongoing disease that plagues our world for decades – centuries even: oppression and inequality.”
He called George Floyd’s death in police custody a “flashpoint.”
“In the face of both of these ongoing fights, we must recognize that the people living in poverty are the ones whose health is at greatest risk. It’s no surprise that they’re also the ones who suffer most when economies fail. Our Black Americans and people of color all around the world have been hit the hardest during these unprecedented times,” he said. Access and equality are fundamental rights that “we cannot allow to be dictated by income or race. The future depends on what we do today. And today, we unite for our future.”
The opening performer, Hudson, sang “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” from the deck of a boat floating down the Chicago River, while the For Love Choir performed an a capella rendition of Beyoncé’s “Freedom” from a hilltop in Santa Clarita County, California.
Other performers for the two-hour NBC broadcast include Shakira, Quavo, J Balvin, Yemi Alade and Christine and the Queens.
Cyrus performing a countrified version of The Beatles’ “Help!” from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Coldplay contributed a brightly hued video of their song “Paradise,” prefaced by a quote from Nelson Mandela: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
Gospel icon Kirk Franklin joined with Tori Kelly and Christian music duo For King and Country to perform “Together,” interspersed with photos and footage of last month’s protests.
The original Broadway cast of Hamilton contributed their virtual Tonight Show performance of the Schuyler Sisters-led “Helpless” with the help of star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Tonight Show house band The Roots and Tony winner Daveed Diggs.
Hugh Jackman reunited the original stars of the X-Men franchise after 20 years.
And there was some sabotage by Ryan Reynolds. The Deadpool star looped in younger members of the X-Men franchise like James McAvoy and Sophie Turner, who apologized, thinking she’d logged into a Game of Thrones reunion.” In a failed effort to keep her interested, Reynolds interjected: “You know, Tyrion Lannister was in an X-Men film.”
The effort raised an incredible $6.9 billion during the event.