David and Victoria Beckham led the British celebrities appearing in the star-studded Global Citizen One World: Together at Home telethon on Saturday.
The famous couple said they’ve been grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time together as a family during the lockdown, before introducing a performance from close friend Elton John.
Also among the British stars who delivered incredible performances was Beatle Paul McCartney, who also paid tribute to his mother Mary, who worked as a nurse and midwife during World War II.
Speaking from their home in the Cotswolds, David said: ‘It’s great to join you for this amazing event. If there’s any silver lining to come from this situation it’s to spend time together as a family and for that we are grateful.
‘We know there are people out there risking their lives to keep us all safe, we want to join with all of you to say a massive thank you to them.’
Victoria then added: ‘Our thanks goes to all the healthcare workers all around the world who are working so so hard leaving their families to go to work to protect us and their children.’
The pair then introduced their close friend Sir Elton John, who said: ‘This is for everybody out there whose been out there working on the front line 24/7 thank you for your humanity. Thank you,’ before breaking into a rendition of I’m Still Standing.
Ahead of the broadcast kicking off, Elton took to Instagram to share a snap of himself sat at an outdoor piano, while husband David Furnish stood next to him holding a camera phone and mic.
He wrote alongside: ‘I’m going to be sitting down tonight with David and the boys to watch One World: #TogetherAtHome, a global display of unity to support @WHO in the fight against #COVID19.
‘Tune in at 8pm ET for performances from fantastic artists and stories from workers on the frontline of the crisis who need our support.
‘For more info on how to watch from wherever you are, visit globalcitizen.org/togetherathome #CoronaVirus #HealthForAll @davidfurnish @ladygaga.’
Also taking to his piano was Paul, who took a moment to pay tribute to his late mother, who worked as a nurse and midwife.
He said: ‘I’m very honoured to be part of this programme that celebrates healthcare workers.
‘As this COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, let’s tell our leaders we need them to strengthen the healthcare systems all around the world.
‘My mother, Mary, was a nurse and midwife before and during World War II. I have a lot of time for healthcare workers. We love you, thank you,’ before launching into a rendition of Lady Madonna.
The main event came after a six-hour pre-show delivered a stellar collection of performances from musicians all over the world.
Leading the UK stars was Ellie Goulding, who spoke candidly about her struggles with anxiety during lockdown, admitting she was finding the concept of performing to the online audience ‘quite hard’.
Performing from her home, she said: ‘I think it’s amazing that we’re all staying home keeping ourselves safe, keeping others safe.’
‘And amazing that we all get to be in something together, terrible as it is,’ she added, before praising the feeling of widespread solidarity amid the crisis.
Playing her guitar, the star put on an emotional performance of her 2015 pop hit Love Me Like You Do while sitting in her home.
Later Ellie then re-appeared on-screen, where she spoke about the anxiety she’d been struggling with during the pandemic.
She said: ‘I know music has saved me, I mean it really saved me in my life but saved me recently having to be indoors and if you’re like me you love exploring, love to walk, but because we’re all staying into together this will be over soon hopefully we can catch the last of the summer.
‘But this has proved that humans can be awesome and the fact that everyone has come together and shown such incredible kindness towards each other, and just following on social media just making each other laugh and making videos and making memes, it’s the stuff that keeps us going and laughing.
‘Watching funny stuff has helped me through this time, I can get quite anxious, actually I’m finding it really hard. Music has really helped , I’ve been listening to a lot of old music from the 40s and 50s.’
Preparing to sing a rendition of Burn, Ellie then joked: ‘And I just became aware that I look like I’m wearing a carpet.’
Ahead of the show, Ellie admitted that despite her incredible success she still struggles with insecurities surrounding her appearance.
‘I thought I had a big nose and my hair was really weird or that I didn’t have a great figure.’
‘That’s why talking and being frank and open about it is really important because every single one of us – even my husband – has our own insecurities.’
David also stunned young fans as he joined them on FaceTime during the concert, reminding them to keep practising their football skills no matter what the circumstances.
The sportsman offered advice on how to practice and improve their skills, even agreeing to watch one youth ‘play for England’ one day.
Liam Payne, 26, also sang a powerful rendition of his new song Midnight after sharing a poignant message.
He said: ‘It’s a pretty dark time for us at the moment. For my personal benefit, I’ve been trying to think of the positives.
‘I really feel, at the moment we’re all being brought a lot closer together by this solidarity that we have to feel right now.’
Rita Ora, 29, gave an upbeat, soulful performance of her hit track I Will Never Let You down, before joining forces for a stellar duet with Liam.
Introducing the show was The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, 34, who suffered a hilarious blunder when she stood in front of a chalk board covered in scribble to present her segments, realising only after it was too late that it read: ‘I have to pee.’
Taking to Instagram following her appearance in the concert, Jameela shared a screenshot of herself and circled a particular scribble behind her and captioned the post: ‘F*ck.’
She added: ‘Oh no, I did this in front of my landlord’s wall and didn’t know ‘I need to pee’ was written on it as I presented in aid of Covid-19 relief.’
Joining the stars was Irish singer Niall Horan, 26, who sang an acoustic rendition of his track Black and White after thanking key workers.
The former One Direction singer sent a heartfelt message to those working in an ‘essential service’ during the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
Niall said: ‘Thank you so much to anyone out there working in an essential service, whether it be a doctor, a nurse, a grocery store worker, teacher, anyone working in an essential service.
‘You are doing an unbelievable job and we thank you for your service so much. You were already doing a great job anyway but you’ve really stepped up to the plate on another level. Thank you so much.’
As she joined the star-studded broadcast, Jessie J said: ‘I have no words to really explain how grateful I am for each and everyone of you across the world. The love and admiration is undeniable.’
A healthy-looking Idris Elba was cracking jokes and smiling as he appeared on the concert alongside his wife Sabrina, who both tested positive for COVID-19.
Idris reminded viewers across the globe that the coronavirus is beatable and told the story of a women who survived it — after living through the 1918 flu pandemic.
‘Last month, in 2020, at 102 year’s old, she survived COVID,’ Idris said, referring to 102-year-old Italica Grondona, who is believed to be the only person to survive COVID-19 while also living through the Spanish Flu.
The two capped off their speech by urging viewers to support the World Health Organization’s efforts to ‘provide essential PPE supplies to healthcare workers all around the world to help patients like ItaIica.’
Meanwhile, Annie Lennox told viewers: ‘We have a collective responsibility to make sure that global health systems are strong enough to identify and prevent global pandemics before they happen again. Be safe, be well and please stay home.’
She then performed the Eurythmics track I Saved The World Today during the livestreamed show.
The stars participated in a marathon, six-hour livestreamed event, putting on a series of performances from their homes around the world ahead of the main One World: Together at Home show.
With 100 performers singing for the global audience, the event was put on to support healthcare workers as they continue to treat patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has infected more than 2.3million and killed 159,667.
Following the epic eight-hour One World: Together at Home extravaganza, Global Citizen and Lady Gaga announced that a whopping $127 million had been raised in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for The World Health Organization.