Virus: Elton John-led concert raises $8M; Rihanna ups aid
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
CONCERT RAISES MILLIONS
The Elton John-led starry benefit concert that featured Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys on Sunday has raised nearly $8 million to battle the coronavirus.
The musicians performed from their homes for the hourlong event that aired on Fox and iHeartMedia radio stations. The money will go to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.
Other performers included Tim McGraw, H.E.R. and Sam Smith, who sang “How Do You Sleep” in a cappella form. Dave Grohl sang “My Hero” from his studio in Hawaii, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong strummed his guitar to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” while Camila Cabello sang “My Oh My” from Miami with a guitar assist from beau Shawn Mendes.
The event took place during the time slot that was to belong to the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Procter & Gamble donated $500,000, which Fox Corporation matched. YouTube, is streaming the concert on iHeartRadio’s YouTube Channel.
RIHANNA OPENS HER PURSE AGAIN
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation is donating $1 million in grants toward COVID-19 response — a number that is being matched by Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation.
The combined $2 million will support undocumented workers, the children of front-line health workers and first responders and the incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles.
Last week, the Clara Lionel Foundation gave $5 million to the response efforts against the coronavirus, with the money going to food banks, testing, healthcare worker training, virus prevention and distribution of critical respiratory supplies.
SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME POSTPONES GALA
Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers and the Eurythmics will have to wait a year before they get inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Hall has rescheduled its annual gala to June 10, 2021. It was originally to happen June 11 but the coronovirus has wrecked most springtime and summer gatherings.
Others who made the 2020 — now 2021 — class include Steve Miller, The Neptunes — a production team comprised of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo — Rick Nowels and William Stevenson.
Songwriter Paul Williams will be receiving the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award and Universal Music Publishing Chairman and CEO, Jody Gerson will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award.
CMA FEST 2020 CANCELED
The Country Music Association announced Tuesday that it will not hold its annual CMA Fest in Nashville this year. The event draws thousands of country music fans every year.
The festival, which has been held for more than 40 years, is held in June and features several stages over a four-day weekend.
A statement posted on the CMA Fest website said those who purchased passes for this year can use them for next year’s festival in 2021 or request a refund. The statement said they “cannot in good conscience risk the health and well-being of our fans, artists, staff and country music community.”
The festival is also a major fundraising event that contributes to the CMA Foundation, which provides money for music education.