Beyoncé gave a surprise guest appearance during the Together at Home benefit to celebrate those on the frontline making sacrifices for our safety, and deliver a powerful message about African-Americans being at risk of coronavirus.
The singer recorded a video message for the star-studded concert curated by Lady Gaga in collaboration with Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation.
From her home in LA, Beyoncé thanked frontline workers and addressed the disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths in the black community compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
“Those who are making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed and healthy,” the star began in her message. “To the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are away from their families to take care of ours, we continue to pray for your safety.
“To those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees, who are working so we can be safe in our homes, we thank you for your selfless service.”
Showing her support for the African-American community amid the pandemic, and explaining how black Americans are more likely to be part of the essential workforce, Beyoncé added: “Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home.
“African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis. ‘Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk.
“This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America. A recent report in my home city, Houston, Texas, showed that of Covid-19 deaths within Houston city limits, 57 percent of fatal cases are African-American. Please protect yourselves.
“We are one family and we need you, we need your voices and your abilities and your strength all over this world.”
Closing her message, Beyoncé concluded: “I know it’s very hard but please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive and continue to pray for our heroes. Good night, and God bless you.”
The gala was raising funds via the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support local and regional charities providing food, shelter and healthcare to those in need amid the ongoing health crisis.
The benefit included performances from Jennifer Lopez, who sang a cover of Barbara Streisand‘s “People”, Ellie Goulding singing an acoustic version of “Burn”, and Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas performing “Sunny”.
Lizzo sang a powerful rendition of Sam Cooke‘s “A Change is Going to Come”, while Taylor Swift gave an emotional performance of “Soon You’ll Get Better”, which she wrote when her mother Andrea was diagnosed with cancer.
BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert tonight (Sunday, 19 April) including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.