"Elton John is seen after performing "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again nominated for the award for best original song from "Rocketman" at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Picture: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File
"Elton John is seen after performing "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again nominated for the award for best original song from "Rocketman" at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Picture: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File

Elton John's coronavirus 'living room' show raises R143 million for U.S. charities

By Jill Serjeant and Steve Gorman Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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Los Angeles - A weekend benefit broadcast featuring recording stars performing live music online from home raised nearly R143 million for two charities serving first responders and Americans facing economic hardship amid the coronavirus crisis, sponsors said on Monday.

The Sunday night show, hosted by Elton John from his kitchen, featured Billie Eilish, the Backstreet Boys, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Tim McGraw - all appearing by way of smartphones, home cameras or online platforms.

The Fox broadcast network carried the hour-long show, dubbed the "iHeart Living Room Concert for America," live without commercial interruption, drawing 8.7 million television viewers, Fox said.

The songs were interspersed with short personal stories from nurses, doctors, truckers, grocery staff, and other essential workers as millions of Americans entered a second full week subjected to stay-at-home orders designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The concert, also broadcast on iHeart radio stations nationwide, urged listeners to donate to two charities, Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.

As of Monday evening, the benefit special had raised nearly R143 million for the two organizations, including R8.9 million donated by household products giant Procter & Gamble and a matching sum from Fox.

YouTube, which also made a donation in support of the cause, will continue streaming the benefit show through Wednesday on iHeart Radio's YouTube channel. 

Reuters

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