Beyoncé made a surprise appearance on Saturday during “One World: Together At Home,” a two-hour concert special organized by the anti-poverty movement Global Citizen to benefit the World Health Organization’s coronavirus efforts.
The superstar singer delivered a poignant message to viewers, celebrating the “true heroes” of the pandemic — “those who are making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed and healthy,” she said.
She also highlighted the disproportionately deadly impact of the virus on Black communities, and urged viewers to “keep the faith.”
“To the doctors, the nurses and other health care workers who are away from their families, taking care of ours, we continue to pray for your safety,” Beyoncé said. “To those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees, who are working so that we can be safe in our homes, we thank you for your selfless service.”
“Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home,” she said. “And African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis.”
The singer pointed to a recent report showing that 57% of coronavirus deaths in her home city of Houston were African-American people.
“This virus is killing Black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America,” she said.
Beyoncé concluded her message by asking fans to “stay encouraged.”
“Please protect yourselves,” she said. “We are one family and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities and your strength all over this world. I know it’s very hard, but please be patient and stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive and continue to pray for our heroes. Good night and God bless you.”
Beyoncé was one of many celebrities who lent their voices to the “One World” event.
Comedians Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon co-hosted the TV extravaganza. Lady Gaga, Elton John, Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones were among those who performed, and Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates offered words of hope and wisdom.
Global Citizen said Sunday that the event raised at least $127 million to go toward vaccine development and supporting health care workers. The organization said the funds will also support more than 100 local and regional charities.