Elton John-Hosted iHeartRadio Concert Raises Over $1 Million for Food Banks and First Responders
Among other performances, Mariah Carey sang "Always Be My Baby" and Dave Grohl rocked "My Hero," in honor of those on the front lines of COVID-19 relief
A slew of musical artists came together Sunday night in support of food banks and first responders during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and it paid off in a big way.
Hosted by Elton John, the virtual iHeart Living Room Concert for America, presented by Fox, saw performances from big-name musicians like Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw, Billie Joe Armstrong, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, during the time slot the iHeartRadio Music Awards would’ve been held if it hadn’t been postponed.
Others who joined the star-studded lineup included singers Lizzo, Ciara and Mariah Carey, plus celebrities like Russell Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest, The Masked Singer‘s Ken Jeong, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone.
According to multiple outlets, including the New York Daily News and Deadline, the concert raised over $1 million thanks in large part to sponsor Procter & Gamble’s $500,000 contribution and a match from Fox. The money will benefit Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.
“I am hosting the @iHeartRadio Living Room Concert For America on @FOXTV TONIGHT!” John, 73, captioned an Instagram photo less than two hours before the broadcast, featuring himself and husband David Furnish. “@davidfurnish and I are standing by … 📹📹🚀🚀 We are raising money for @FeedingAmerica and @1strcf as we enjoy performances and contributions from some amazing artists!”
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According to Forbes, John addressed the audience during the show and said, “I can’t tell you how important it is for you to take this pandemic seriously. Not long ago, there was another infectious disease that was ignored. Day in and day out, the disease got worse because we did nothing. Too many forgot about compassion and decency, so millions and millions of people perished from AIDS.”
“But this time we aren’t going to let that happen. So stay home for the ones you love,” he continued. “We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your soul. And maybe bring you some strength.”
The musical portion of the show kicked off with Keys, 39, who said, “I hope we remember how resilient we are. And how we defy the odds,” the New York Daily News reported.
Among other performances, Grohl, 51, rocked an acoustic version of his band Foo Fighters‘ hit “My Hero,” the Backstreet Boys sang “I Want It That Way” (impressively, from their individual homes!) and Carey, 50, belted out, “Always Be My Baby,” all in honor of those on the front lines of COVID-19 relief.
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As of Monday morning, there are at least 141,995 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States — the most worldwide ahead of Italy and China. At least 2,486 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illnesses.
On March 19, Italy officially surpassed China in number of deaths related to the virus, and as of Monday, 10,779 people in the European country have died. Across the globe, there are now 737,929 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 35,019 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.