Urban rocks global gig as Beyonce delivers grim message

 

Delta Goodrem has joined Lady Gaga's global concert - live from her Sydney loungeroom.

Goodrem and Keith Urban were the Australian representatives at the Global Citizen One World: Together at Home live concert.

Australians who want to watch Goodrem's performance, or any other earlier songs, can head to Global Citizen's live YouTube stream, which allows you to rewind back to the start of the broadcast.

Delta Goodrem performs as part of the global concert.
Delta Goodrem performs as part of the global concert.

 

The Aussie star performed in front of a bookshelf stacked with ARIA Awards.
The Aussie star performed in front of a bookshelf stacked with ARIA Awards.

 

The event was livestreamed on various social media platforms before a global TV telecast, which began at 10am AEST.

Earlier, stars including Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Ellie Goulding, Sheryl Crow, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Annie Lennox livestreamed their performances.

 

John Legend was joined by wife Chrissy Teigen at their LA home.
John Legend was joined by wife Chrissy Teigen at their LA home.

 

Lady Gaga, who curated the Together at Home event, kicked off the global TV telecast with a cover of Charlie Chaplin's Smile, which she performed on a piano at her home studio.

Gaga told viewers she hoped the song would give them permission to smile during the times of uncertainty.

 

 

US late night talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert are hosting the broadcast, from their own homes.

Sir Paul McCartney, who is in quarantine in the British countryside, told viewers he was dedicating his performance to the "true heroes, our healthcare workers all around the world. Let's tell our leaders we need them to strength the healthcare systems all around the world so this never happens again."

Kesha performs Rainbow during the global event.
Kesha performs Rainbow during the global event.

McCartney said his mother Mary was a healthcare worker during World War II, and while viewers may have expected Let It Be which references her by name, he instead opted for the Beatles' Lady Madonna, complete with pictures of doctors and nurses flashed on the screen next to him.

"You know the coronavirus is in trouble when a Beatle gets involved," Jimmy Kimmel said after McCartney's performance.

Stevie Wonder performed Bill Withers' Lean on Me, in tribute to the musician who died on March 30, aged 81.

 

Wonder said "During hardships like this we have to lean on each other for help, my friend, the late Bill Withers has a song for that, I want us to remember him tonight."

Wonder ended Lean on Me with a burst of his own classic Love's in Need of Love Today.

Goodrem performed Together We Are One, a song she originally sang at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

She performed after US star Ben Platt's version of the Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand and before Annie Lennox's version of the Eurythmics' I Saved the World Today.

 

Stevie Wonder performs Lean on Me in tribute to Bill Withers.
Stevie Wonder performs Lean on Me in tribute to Bill Withers.

 

US singer Lizzo showcased her vocal power with a cover of Sam Cooke's classic A Change is Gonna Come, demonstrating a different side to the singer best known for hits Juice, Good as Hell and Truth Hurts.

"I love you, we got this, we'll get through this together," Lizzo told viewers.

Lady Gaga has been filming updates on her Instagram Live, dancing along to Elton John's performance with the TV screen in the background, saying Eddie Vedder's song made her cry, calling Lizzo "my angel."

 

Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello appear to be in quarantine together. Picture: Getty Images
Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello appear to be in quarantine together. Picture: Getty Images

 

Social media user Brittany Prime joked "hopefully after tonight's concert everyone will understand why it's so important to FILM HORIZONTALLY ON YOUR PHONE" looking at you Paul McCartney and the Beckhams."

 

The Beckhams shot their video in portrait mode. Picture: Getty Images
The Beckhams shot their video in portrait mode. Picture: Getty Images

 

After a performance by Latin superstar Maluma, the event replayed Chris Martin's home rendition of Coldplay's Yellow, the video that started the Global Citizen movement.

Pop couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, who seem to be quarantined together, sang What a Wonderful World while seated next to each other at a piano.

Lady Gaga curated the telecast. Picture: Getty Images
Lady Gaga curated the telecast. Picture: Getty Images

Beyonce wasn't performing but filmed a message thanking those workers, and used the opportunity to point out how many African-Americans were working in essential services such as delivery work, putting them at a high risk of exposure.

"This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate in America," Beyonce said.

Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder performed River Cross, a track from the band's new album Gigatron on an organ in his home studio.

 

 

The Rolling Stones, the final addition to the concert, performed You Can't Always Get What You Want, with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts filmed separately at their homes and edited together in a split screen.

Once again younger viewers were asking in the comments section of the Twitter live feed who was on the screen. "OK, names please?" and "Who's the antique in the bottom right?" were posted, as well as "Fifth Harmony please don't wait until they reach this age", in reference to the girl group's possible reunion.

Lady Gaga, on her Instagram, noted "we love you Rolling Stones."

 

The Rolling Stones performed You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Picture: Getty Images
The Rolling Stones performed You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Picture: Getty Images

 

 

While there was a mixed reaction to Paul McCartney's vocals and song choice online, most social media users (who knew who they were) were full of praise for the Stones.

The other Australian on the line-up, Keith Urban, performed a remake of Steve Winwood's Higher Love.

Urban used technology to have multiple images of himself playing together in the same room - similar to Paul McCartney's Coming Up video.

Musicians clearly prerecorded their live segments for the special. While some kept them simple, others, like Urban, went hi-tech adding extra vocals and instruments - and visual effects.

Nicole Kidman joined in at the end to thank healthcare and emergency workers.

 

Keith Urban used some camera trickery for his performance. Picture: Getty
Keith Urban used some camera trickery for his performance. Picture: Getty

 

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong performed a solo version of the band's hit Wake Me Up When September Ends, complete with shots of key landmarks around the world which are now free of people and traffic.

Lady Gaga, who curated the event, was singing along with the song on her Instagram Live, cuddling with boyfriend Michael Polansky.

Earlier, the livestream's final hour saw Jessie J perform a solo version of Bang Bang, originally performed with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. Jessie J performed Flashlight earlier in the livestream.

Annie Lennox and daughter Lola performed a stunning piano version of Eurythmics' There Must Be An Angel Playing With My Heart, with the women both filmed in separate locations.

Another former One Direction member, Niall Horan, played an acoustic version of his solo hit Slow Hands.

Billie Eilish and brother Finneas covered Boney M's Sunny - which will no doubt send her millions of younger fans to discover the band.

Most of the online comments, apart from those who expected One Direction to reform, were waiting for Eilish and Taylor Swift.

Swift performed Soon You'll Get Better from Lover, an ultra-personal song about her mother's cancer battle and one fans never expected her to sing live.

Swift looked highly emotional during the song - even before the pandemic she had curtailed heavy touring for her Lover album because of her mother's health.

"This song had me sobbing," one Twitter user wrote.

The final part of the livestream saw John Legend sing Bigger Love live from his bedroom, while Jennifer Hudson, who had earlier sung Memory from Cats, performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

 

Canadian superstar Michael Buble performed a stripped-back version of the Beach Boys' legendary God Only Knows, a song he recorded for his 2016 album Nobody But Me.

Buble and wife Lusiana Lopilato have been entertaining their dual fanbases with regular interactive social media sessions, where they do everything from home workouts to quizzes with viewers.

Chart topper Charlie Puth performed his hit Attention from his parents' house, where he told viewers he was spending his quarantine.

Billy Ray Cyrus sang an acoustic version of Sunshine Girl, despite social media users requesting Achy Breaky Heart.

British pop star Ellie Goulding, who earlier sang Love Me Like You Do, returned for a "slightly more chill" version of Burn, which she played on acoustic guitar.

"This tie has really proved humans can be awesome," Goulding said. "People have shown such incredible kindness to each other."

 

Delta Goodrem recording new material in the studio Pic: Marla Altschuler
Delta Goodrem recording new material in the studio Pic: Marla Altschuler

 

 

 

Former One Directioner Liam Payne sang his new single Midnight, as well as his hit duet with Rita Ora, For You.

American singer Kesha performed her emotionally-charged hit Praying, which was co-written with Australian singer/songwriter Ben Abraham.

Adam Lambert tweaked the lyrics of his song Superpower to state "COVID better get outta my way" - he performed karaoke style, singing over an instrumental of the track, unlike many who are playing acoustically. Lambert had earlier sung his cover of Mad World for the global stream.

Finneas, who is Billie Eilish's brother as well as a solo artist in his own right, sang Let's Fall in Love for the Night, telling his young fanbase to keep their families safe.

Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr from the Killers took the chance to play new single Caution - earlier in the stream they had played their classic Mr Brightside.

British singer Jess Glynne was another who took the karaoke option, singing over the backing track for her hit I'll Be There For You.

 

Delta Goodrem at home for a Bunker Down session. Picture: Matt Copley
Delta Goodrem at home for a Bunker Down session. Picture: Matt Copley

 

Delta Goodrem is rediscovering old songs. Picture: Carlotta Moye
Delta Goodrem is rediscovering old songs. Picture: Carlotta Moye

 

 

Goodrem's song became a No.2 hit in Australia and went on to be sung by Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood on American Idol.

She tweaked the lyrics to reference the current state of the world.

"I chose it for the sentiment," Goodrem said earlier. "It still has a powerful message of strength and resilience."

Goodrem has become a fast-learner at being a home broadcaster - she's three weeks into her Bunker Down Sessions, relaxed concerts from her home on 6.30pm Thursdays, streamed on her Instagram account.

"The idea of having a weekly time that we could all come together seemed perfect. It wasn't about jumping on line for a one-off thing, it's about consistency and structure. We're going to have to have things to look forward to. I know that has helped me in troubling times before."

The concerts have seen her take requests from diehard fans, who have been rewarded with obscure b-sides and deep cuts from her albums as well as cover versions and mash-ups.

"We're all pivoting," Goodrem said. " I'm learning every week. The first week my live stream was really blurry. Thank goodness I had that experience before doing a global show this weekend!

"This changes all our lives in every way, in all our fields. When it comes to music we're all finding the new space. But going live on Instagram has been a way to have a beautiful connection with my supporters, that's given me the confidence to be more open online. I didn't come from an era where you were as open on social media. 

"I don't think I'll be getting any awards for lighting any time soon, but I'm definitely trying to do all the crew members who have taught me since I began my career proud each time I try to broadcast from home."

Her most recent Bunker Down Sessions included a song called Flawed, released only in Japan back in 2006.

"I couldn't believe the amount of rare songs people requested. It challenges me. There's songs that I've forgotten about. You forget people gravitate to these b-sides and I was the same as a 13 year old with the b-sides of Britney Spears singles. Even if it's super unrehearsed and I just play what I feel like it's been really special.

"You're always finding that balance between playing the hits and playing songs that you know people who have been to all your shows for all those years have secretly wanted you to sing. Some of the songs that have been requested I definitely had to google the lyrics for, and I wrote them!

"People were asking me to sing Rise. I swear I thought 'I've never had a song called Rise'. I had to Google it and there it was. I remembered the melody straight away. But I'm thankful for the ability to connect with the fans on a weekly basis and sing songs. It's giving me a different path as we all work together to get through this."

cameron.adams@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Urban rocks global gig as Beyonce delivers grim message


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