Lady Gaga united an array of famous faces and familiar voices for the One World: Together at Home benefit to celebrate health workers and get fans smiling.
The singer and actress began proceedings with an uplifting cover of Nat King Cole‘s classic “Smile” from her home, telling viewers: “What I’d like to do tonight is give you permission, at least for a moment, to smile.”
The Oscar-winner went on to pay tribute to “unbelievable acts of bravery, courage and kindness all around the world in response to this global pandemic”.
“Everyone from the doctors and nurses on the frontlines to the volunteer mental health specialists, grocery store workers, delivery workers, mail workers have all shown unprecedented levels of kindness throughout the fight against COVID-19,” Gaga continued.
“It’s our love letter to the world.”
The 34-year-old star – who has been social distancing with tech CEO boyfriend Michael Polansky – welled up with emotion as she later thanked fans on Instagram Live.
“I love you all so much, I love the world so much,” she said. “What Global Citizen has done with the World Health Organisation is so beautiful.”
She then added: “Since I was a little girl I always wanted to make people happy and I didn’t know why, but I think I know today. I love you very much.”
The Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation gala is 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”.
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There’s one thing that I realized during this whole time, and it’s how much we all need each other…✨💕 With a few old Christmas lights from the garage and some candles leftover from our Super Bowl party here at the house, I tried to put together with all the love in the world a thank you to everyone out there fighting, working, sacrificing and doing their part. I love you, I’m with you and I MISS YOU! #People And a humble thank you to my idol @barbrastreisand for always inspiring me in the best and toughest times…and thank you to @glblctzn for having me! #TogetherAtHome @who Tap the link on my bio to see my full performance on the #GlobalCitizen’s YouTube Channel.
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, and has never performed before.
Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli teamed up from their respective homes to give a stunning performance of their 1999 song “The Prayer”.
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.