Saturday night many of us watched the two-hour special One World: Together At Home, a benefit for Trump’s bête noir the World Health Organization (WHO) organized by Lady Gaga and Global Citizen. If we were watching TV, on a computer, or other gizmo we hardly had a choice—it was aired on the heritage broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC; several cable channels, social media platforms like Facebook, and on YouTube. Fox New was conspicuous by its absence. Go figure.
The show came on the heels of other celebrity heavy programs to benefit various Coronavirus causes like Country Music Association (CMA) show in lieu of their cancelled awards ceremony and several streaming projects put together by music stars from every genre. It went just about as you would suspect only more so.
|Late night hosts Stephen Colbert and the two Jimmies, Fallon and Kimmel.|
Co-Hosted by the three network late night stars Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel, the program had several highlights. Organizer Lady Gaga, sans glam costume and in restrained make up, her hair pulled back under headphones in a severe bun with dark roots encroaching deeply into her bleached blonde hair eschewed her own power pop to give a powerful and emotional versions of Charlie Chaplin’s bittersweet ballad Smile. Other musical highlights included the Rolling Stones performing You Can’t Always Get What You Want in a Zoom style slit screen from their homes with Charlie Watts caught without his drum kit and having to mime his part to a recorded track; Jennifer Lopez channeling Barbra Streisand on People; Sir Elton John, veteran of so many celebrity benefit collaborations; Stevie Wonder with Bill Withers Lean on Me; and Taylor Swift confounding her detractors with an emotional version of Soon You’ll Get Better originally written for her cancer stricken mother.
Lady Gaga singing Charlie Chaplain's Smile.
Several global leaders made un-musical appetences including WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom and United Nations Secretary General Secretary António Guterres. But the joint appearance of former First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama must have driven the TV and ratings obsessed Cheeto-in-charge completely around the bend with jealousy and rage.
The climax of the show was a powerful rendition of The Prayer performed from the homes of Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, classical pianist Lang Lang, and John Legend. The song was written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, and Tony Renis for the 1998 animated feature The Quest for Camelot. It was recorded by Dion in English and Bocelli in Italian and then as a duet by both singers. The song won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.