On Sunday, March 29, Elton John hosted a benefit concert entitled the iHeart Living Room Concert for America which aired on all iHeart Media platforms, as well as FOX. The concert will continue to stream on YouTube through Wednesday, April 1 at 10 P.M. EST.
The live musical event raised funds for nonprofit organizations Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation in the wake of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The live streaming experience, hosted by the 8-time Grammy Award-winning musician, took the place of the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards which were set to air this month but were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The one-hour celebration allowed fans to enter the homes of some of the most influential musical acts of today and yesteryear. The star-studded lineup included performances by Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., FINNEAS, the Backstreet Boys, Camila Cabello, Sam Smith, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, and more.
Here are our top five favorite moments from the event;
5. Elton John was the most perfect in-home host
iHeart couldn't have picked a better personality to host their Living Room Concert than Sir Elton Hercules John. Throughout his six-decade musical career, the singer/songwriter is responsible for selling over 300 million records and earning over fifty top forty hits throughout various chart systems around the globe. Last year, the "Bennie & The Jets" singer revealed that he was ending his career as a live performer with a final excursion he's entitled the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour which has extended into this year and hopefully will continue in the near future.
During the special one-time event, the music icon revealed that he was quarantined in his only home that didn't have one of his own personal pianos. During the final moments of the presentation, Elton John performed his 1974 hit "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" while using his son's digital keyboard as the credits rolled past the screen. The decorated musical genius dedicated his performance to "the incredible heroes" on the front lines of the current global pandemic.
4. Billie Eilish & FINNEAS performance of "Bad Guy"
Billie Eilish was the most-nominated artist for this year's iHeart Music Awards with a total of seven nominations, but with the ceremony postponed, who knows how many honors the 18-year-old pop star would have taken home. Instead, Eilish allowed iHeart and FOX into her home for an exclusive performance of her hit song "bad guy" with the assistance of her brother Finneas O'Connell on the guitar. Billie Eilish effortlessly delivered a flawless performance as FINNEAS also provided background vocals for his little sister during the acoustic production.
3. H.E.R. performed their unreleased song, "Keep Holding On"
H.E.R. has quickly become of the most revered standout artists of this current generation for her songwriting ability, soulful vocal cadence, and elite guitar skill. At the tender age of just 14-years-old, the artist born Gabriella Wilson signed a deal with RCA Records, but did not emerge into her current artistic form until the release of her debut EP, H.E.R. Vol. 1 (2016). During her in-home performance from her New York residency, the now 22-year-old singer/songwriter performed an unreleased song entitled "Keep Holding On" which has now become one of the most sought-after tracks since the nation's quarantine regime. Her powerful performance is sure to translate into her becoming an artist of superstar caliber once the world rises from these trying times.
2. Mariah Carey performance of "Always Be My Baby"
Mariah Carey's dedicated her intimate performance of her hit single "Always Be My Baby" to her twin children, Moroccan Scott and Monroe Cannon. The five-time Grammy Award winner thanked her beautiful kids before getting beginning her session from her home studio. The songstress was accompanied by pianist Daniel Moore and two background singers who appeared during the performance from the comfort of their homes. Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" became her eleventh chart-topping Billboard Hot 100 single officially tying Madonna and Whitney Houston for most number-one singles at the time.
1. Alicia Keys performing "Underdog"
Before Elton John officially closed out the iHeart Living Room Benefit Concert, Alicia Keys delivered what is arguably the most powerful performance of the night with her latest single "Underdog." While the song was originally released in Jan., the lyrical content is terrifyingly appropriate for the challenges humanity is currently facing. During her segment, the multifaceted musician sits as her purple, Prince-dedicated piano as she recognizes the "student doctors" and "single mothers waiting on a check to come" before adding the new lyrics in commemoration of the first responders and essential workers singing, "people on the frontlines knowing they don't get to run."
Alicia Keys' performance, as well as all those who chose to participate in iHeart's Living Room Concert, eased the hearts of many despite the world's ongoing battle against COVID-19.