From sofas and kitchens, music stars hold coronavirus concert fundraiser

Elton John’s “Living Room Concert” featured a star-studded lineup. (Instagram/@eltonjohn)
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Updated 30 March 2020

From sofas and kitchens, music stars hold coronavirus concert fundraiser

LOS ANGELES: Billie Eilish sang on her sofa, Elton John played a keyboard belonging to his children, and the Backstreet Boys sang in harmony from five locations as dozens of musicians put on a fundraiser for the warriors against a coronavirus.
Those who performed from their homes for the “IHeart Living Room Concert for America” also included Mariah Carey, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith.

The one-hour show, broadcast on Fox television without commercials, was the biggest joint effort in the pandemic to lift spirits, raise money for those in the frontlines, and remind Americans to wash their hands and keep their distance.
“There’s doctors, nurses and scientists on the frontlines. They’re living proof that most superheroes don’t wear capes,” said John, who hosted the show from his kitchen.
“We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your souls.”

All the performances and appearances by celebrities ranging from comedian Ellen DeGeneres to R&B artist Lizzo and country singer Tim McGraw were filmed on phones, home cameras or online platforms.
The songs were interspersed with short personal stories from nurses, doctors, truckers, grocery staff, and other essential workers as millions of Americans entered a third week subjected to orders to stay home.
Dr. Elvis Francois, a surgeon from Rochester, Minnesota, stole hearts on social media with an emotional rendition of “Imagine” performed in medical scrubs.

“Did this doctor just out sing every artist that’s performed?” one viewer, Ender Wiggins, asked on Twitter.
The concert, also broadcast on iHeart radio stations nationwide, urged listeners to donate to charities Feeding America, and First Responders Children’s Foundation.
The amount raised was not immediately known, but more than $1 million was donated in the first 10 minutes, courtesy of $500,000 from household goods giant Procter & Gamble and a matching sum from Fox Television.

“My heart goes out to people who have lost loved ones and also those who are losing their jobs,” said Lady Gaga, clad in pink sweatpants and a hoodie.
Alicia Keys, singing “Rise Up,” Dave Grohl performing “My Hero,” and Billie Joe Armstrong’s acoustic version of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” spoke to the hardships of millions of those working or laid off as stores, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters have shut down.
“After we come out of this horrible thing, I hope we are nicer to each other, and fairer to one another,” John said.


Britain’s Banksy depicts US flag on fire in George Floyd tribute

Updated 06 June 2020

Britain’s Banksy depicts US flag on fire in George Floyd tribute

  • Banksy likened racism to a broken pipe flooding a downstairs apartment
  • Banksy frequently chooses topical themes for his artworks

LONDON: Reclusive British street artist Banksy published a new artwork online on Saturday which depicts the United States flag being set alight by a candle that forms part of a memorial to an anonymous, black, silhouetted figure.
The artwork appeared as thousands of people gathered in London and other cities around the world to protest the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where a white police officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
"People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system," Banksy wrote in a short statement that accompanied the image on the social media platform Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

Banksy likened racism to a broken pipe flooding a downstairs apartment, and said the downstairs occupants would be entitled to break into the apartment upstairs to fix the problem.
"This is a white problem. And if white people don't fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in," Banksy wrote alongside the image.
Banksy frequently chooses topical themes for his artworks, which are normally stencilled on walls.
Last month, he showed a young boy choosing a nurse as the superhero he wants to play with over Batman and Spiderman, in a new artwork to encapsulate the gratitude Britons have felt toward the country's National Health Service during the coronavirus crisis.