Lady Gaga was the big name behind tonight's celeb-packed Together at Home benefit concert for the World Health Organization, and she delivered. Gaga started the show by singing a beautiful cover of "Smile":
Ahead of the concert, Gaga announced she and Global Citizen had already raised $35 million for WHO. Global Citizen's CEO Hugh Evans spoke to Variety about how Gaga spearheaded the fundraising efforts. He said Gaga took on a "leading role" with getting companies and philanthropists to contribute. "She and her manager, Bobby (Campbell), and her colleagues have literally set up a little war room," he said. "You would have seen her talk about it on Fallon. You know, I think you and I would agree that everyone wants to know what to do in this situation, but people don’t often know how to respond. And I think this has given people a rallying point, a focal opportunity to respond both globally and locally."
He added that beyond fundraising, Gaga had been "helping with the curation of the lineup, helping with the music, and with the artist engagement."
Gaga spoke to Oprah for ELLE's December 2019 issue about what she believes life asks of her and all of us—a principle she embraced as she sought to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic months later. "I believe life is asking of us to accept the challenge," she said. "Accept the challenge of kindness. It’s hard in a world the way that we are; we have a very, very grave history. We’re in trouble, and we have been before. But I think life asks us amid these challenges, this hatred, this tragedy, this famine, this war, this cruelty: Can you be kind and can you survive?"
Alyssa Bailey News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).