We talked yesterday abut Josh Gad reading bedtime stories during the COVID-19 pandemic. I wrote about Josh because I think he’s really neat, but he’s certainly not the only celebrity trying to help out during this bizarre and scary time. Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner are also reading stories and trying to raise money to feed children affected by school closures. Patton Oswalt did standup on his balcony. In addition, many musicians are doing what they can to raise spirits for fans across the globe. The first performance that I knew of was Yo Yo Ma, a good friend of the late Mr. Rogers, who gave an online rendition of Dvorák’s Going Home.
In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – "Going Home”
Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/S28w6OlXiZ
— Yo-Yo Ma (@YoYo_Ma) March 13, 2020
Following him Chris Martin* from Coldplay, who’d been forced to cancel a show, recorded from his home studio while responding to his fans and taking requests:
As he said in the video, Chris is calling his efforts #TogetherAtHome and suggested other musicians might want to join from their isolation rooms. Chris specifically named John Legend, who happily accepted and performed live yesterday. Chrissy Teigen told fans they got to select her outfit and they voted on a towel. She complied, bless her. My gawd – this man’s voice, especially on his rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water:
— Jack Appleby (@JuiceboxCA) March 17, 2020
Whether they were inspired by Chris and John or not, others also welcomed fans into their homes for a brief respite from isolation. Pink let us sit in on her self-given piano lesson:
Keith Urban, who also had cancelled a gig, recorded in his home studio and was joined by wife Nicole Kidman, who served as his live audience:
David Foster and Katharine McPhee are performing live events each evening at 5:30PM PDT:
View this post on Instagram
🎼was so fun today to go live with my wife-I’m the worlds worst piano accompanist for other people’s songs but Kat is so amazing that she pulls me thru-we are going to try to do it every day-for our own entertainment and hopefully for all of you too-any suggestions are welcome-we were def rookies today and i sucked!! But fun !!! We will try to go live at 5:30pm west coast time every day!!
Rob Thomas called his recording #SocialDistanceSessions and turned it into a challenge, inviting a group of other musicians to post their own:
View this post on Instagram
During these uncertain times the entire world is shutting itself down. Part of that means that people aren’t going out and enjoying live music or any entertainment. I’m kicking this off and I invite all my brothers and sisters in the music world to go on Instagram and share a little something with people to help them while they hunker down in their homes. #SocialDistanceSessions #SDSessions Come on @johnmayer @jason_mraz @ingridmichaelson @christrapperofficial @chrisdaughtry @mattnathanson @johnlegend @matthewkoma @countingcrows @abbyandersonmusic @brandicarlile @gavindegraw @alanis @cyndilauper
The artists to a moment out of their performances to promote coronavirus safety and mention various charities to benefit those most affected (mainly local food banks, just fyi) All of these bring me joy. I’m a huge fan of musicians offering up different variations of their well-known songs. Plus, they all look like they’re having a blast with these recordings, as if they’re getting as much out of it as we are. It’ll be exciting to see how far this goes (a Skype concert?) I’m not usually this sappy but I’ll admit, watching all these celebs trying to find ways to calm the world around them, it’s hitting me in the feels.
NPR posted Harry Styles’ Tiny Desk concert on Monday for folks at home to watch. It doesn’t totally count because it wasn’t recorded at home in response to the self-isolation mandate, but hell, it’s Harry Styles and in my book, Harry always counts:
Harry Styles has proven to be an artist who takes his songcraft seriously, subverting expectations of what a pop star can and should sound like in 2020.
Watch him perform at the Tiny Desk 👇https://t.co/7UNbNyu25P
— NPR (@NPR) March 16, 2020
*As heartwarming as all these videos are, a reader asked me to remind everyone: don’t touch your face (like some of these celebs do) and wash your hands regularly, please. Stay safe!
Photo credit: WENN/Avalon, Instagram, Twitter and Getty Images