From living rooms, kitchens, home studios and pool decks, a who’s who of recording artists performed Sunday night to raise funds for a pair of charities aiding victims of the coronavirus and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. “From our homes to yours,” MC Elton John said at the top of the broadcast, “we hope this can feed and fuel your soul” as the “Fox Presents The iHeart Living Room Concert For America” aired on Fox, iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio streaming app.
Alicia Keys kicked it off, performing “Underdog” solo on piano from her Los Angeles home. “This song is like a prayer. I hope we can remember how resilient we are and how we defy the odds,” she said, dedicating the song to first responders and medical professionals “risking their lives to keep us safe.”
Backstreet Boys played their worldwide 1999 smash “"I Want It That Way" via split screen from five different homes.
Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl belted out “Hero” on acoustic guitar from his home studio, dedicating the track to first responders on the front lines.
Next it was singer/songwriter Billie Eilish from her living room, accompanied by her brother and collaborator Finneas on acoustic guitar, for last year’s mega-smash “Bad Guy.”
From her home in Miami, Camila Cabello sang “My Oh My,” reading the lyrics from an iPhone while her boyfriend Shawn Mendes played acoustic guitar. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong delivered an impassioned “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” from his home studio, with occasional cameos from his dog.
Perched on a diving board at his outdoor pool, Tim McGraw performed “Something Like That.” McGraw wore earbuds so he could hear his band members, who were seen on split screen, shot at remote locations.
From his home in London, Sam Smith delivered a stirring cappella rendition of “How Do You Sleep.”
Mariah Carey was accompanied by off-site backup singers and a piano player for “Always Be My Baby” from her New York recording studio.
Other performers included H.E.R. (“Keep Holding On”) and Demi Lovato (“Skyscraper”).
Host Elton John, who earlier said he was hunkered down in the only home he’d ever stayed in without a piano, eventually did find a keyboard for a few lines of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”
Occupying the broadcast timeslot for the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which were postponed due to the health crisis, the hour-long commercial-free concert included guest appearances from Ciara and her NFL quarterback husband Russell Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone