Two weeks ago, Lady Gaga postponed the release of her highly anticipated sixth studio album Chromatica, claiming that the "incredibly tough decision" came after realizing that "it just doesn't feel right to [her] to release this album with all that is going on during this global pandemic." Instead, the pop star wanted to "spend this time focusing on finding solutions" like "getting essential medical equipment to healthcare professionals, making sure kids who depend on public schools for meals get the assistance they need, and [helping] those who will be financially impacted by this pandemic." Though it is heartbreaking to imagine a world where Chromatica isn't blasting out of my speakers on April 10th, it is comforting to know that Gaga made the decision for a real reason. Today, she joined the World Health Organization for a COVID-19 media briefing where she announced that she had raised $35 million for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and was now in the process of planning a benefit concert.
"We are so very grateful to all of the healthcare professionals across the country and around the world who are on the frontlines during COVID-19. This global pandemic is a catastrophe and I'm so thankful for them," Gaga said at the beginning of the live-streamed press conference. Later, she detailed some of what she's been up to: "I am proud to say that, over the past seven days, we've raised a total of $35 million for the Solidarity Fund. This money will go to essential PPE, supplies and testing kits around the world, and will help improve lab capacity to rapidly process tests. It will also coordinate research development." The "Stupid Love" singer also made sure to thank the medical professionals that are sleeping in cars to make sure that they don't affect their families or their patients. "What you are doing is putting yourself in harm's way to help the world and we all salute you and you are a triumph truly," she noted.
Of course, the bulk of Gaga's announcement boiled down to her involvement in the upcoming 'One World: Together At Home' benefit concert. "It has been an honor to help with this huge broadcast event," she said. "We need to tell the stories of and celebrate the frontline community healthcare workers and their acts of kindness." According to her announcement, the concert will be broadcast on "many networks" with the intention of accomplishing three essential goals:
- "We celebrate and we highlight the singular kind global community that is arising right now."
- "We want to highlight the gravity of this historical, unprecedented cultural movement.
- "We want to celebrate and encourage the power of the human spirit."
As such, Gaga hopes to raise all funds tied to this concert ahead of time, so when the concert (which she insists is "not a fundraiser") rolls around, viewers will be able to "put your wallets away, put your credit cards away, put anything away that you need to, and sit back and enjoy the show that you all very much deserve."
The benefit concert, which will take place on April 18th, was curated by Gaga and organized in a partnership with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen. According to the flyer, the concert will feature appearances by (in alphabetical order) Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, Finneas, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan, and Stevie Wonder. The proceedings will be hosted by the Holy Trinity of late-night television: Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert.
Check out the flyer for One World: Together At Home and watch footage from Gaga's press conference below.