The star-studded virtual event “One World: Together at Home” concluded over the weekend with a moving rendition of “The Prayer,” put together by Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga, John Legend and the original singers of “The Prayer,” Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, delivered a four-part harmony accompanied by renowned pianist Lang Lang. The song, which became a hit 21 years ago, ended Saturday's concert special with a message of faith and hope.
The event, which was broadcast on numerous networks and streaming platforms, was held to raise funds for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. It came days after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. is halting funding of the WHO as it reviews the organization's "role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has been leading the fight against the new coronavirus as the leader of the WHO, has come under criticism, with reports claiming that he helped China downplay the extent of the disease and mishandled the outbreak initially.
Despite controversy surrounding the WHO, the concert raised $127 million in commitments, according to Global Citizen, which helped organize the concert. Funds are being directed to the WHO as well as the vaccine development alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, UNICEF, and over 100 local and regional charities, including Education Cannot Wait, Direct Care, Feeding America and United Way.
Those who were featured in the concert included Jimmy Fallon, former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Rolling Stones, Billie Eilish and Michael Bublé, among others.
Bocelli’s new performance of “The Prayer” wasn’t the only performance in circulation this month. The Italian opera singer has gone viral for his Easter Sunday special which was livestreamed from Milan. His concert has been viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube.
“I received this invitation by the mayor of Milan and by the authorities of the church and of course I answered yes. I’m very happy to do this,” he said, according to ABC. “It’s not a performance. It’s not a concert. It’s only a prayer.”
“I will go there to pray and I’d like to think that everyone listening to me sing can pray with me.”
The concert, which was livestreamed on YouTube from the Milan Cathedral, showcased Bocelli singing the Catholic hymns “Panis Angelicus,” “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria” and “Domine Deus.” He concluded the concert standing outside on the steps of the Duomo cathedral, where he sang an emotional rendition of “Amazing Grace.”