Prince Harry, J-Lo lead ‘Vax Live’ concert
May 04 2021 01:16 AM
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, arrives onstage to speak during the taping of the ‘Vax Live’
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, arrives onstage to speak during the taping of the ‘Vax Live’ fundraising concert.

AFP/ Los Angeles

Britain’s Prince Harry joined pop royalty including Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) at a star-studded concert in Los Angeles on Sunday to urge faster and more even global vaccinations, as he voiced support for India during its devastating coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
“Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World” featured video messages from the Pope and President Joe Biden, and in-person appearances from Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck and Sean Penn.
The show will air on television and YouTube on May 8, after being pre-taped in front of thousands of fully vaccinated spectators at a vast California stadium on Sunday.
“Tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India, who are battling a devastating second wave,” said Harry, who was greeted with a standing ovation.
“The virus does not respect borders, and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography,” added Harry, making his first in-person appearance at a major public event in California since moving last year to the United States with wife Meghan Markle, who did not appear.
The concert organised by Global Citizen, an international advocacy organisation, aims to battle vaccine disinformation while calling on world leaders and corporations to take action and make donations.
Thousands of spectators gathered inside Los Angeles’ giant, recently-completed SoFi stadium for the first time.
Most attendees were frontline medical workers, many dressed in nurse and doctor uniforms.
Selena Gomez hosted proceedings, calling for “doses and dollars” to go to the world’s poorest countries even as California and parts of the West emerge from lengthy lockdowns thanks to massive inoculation progress.
A glittering J-Lo told fans that she had been forced to spend Christmas without her mother for the first time due to the pandemic – before bringing the Lopez matriarch onto an elaborate meadow-themed stage for a feel-good singalong of Sweet Caroline.
The Foo Fighters were joined by surprise guest Brian Johnson of AC/DC for a rendition of Back in Black.
“We ain’t out of the woods yet ... let’s work as hard as we can to make sure we can do this” every night, said frontman Dave Grohl.
Organisers said the event had surpassed its fundraising goal need to purchase 10mn vaccine doses for low and middle-income countries, drawing more than $53mn in donations from corporations and philanthropists.
In pre-taped messages, President Biden said he is “working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production” while Pope Francis said: “I beg you not to forget the most vulnerable.”
Other video messages came from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Harry, who took to the large circular stage in the middle of the arena dressed casually in a blue shirt, described online disinformation about vaccines as a “humanitarian crisis” that is “getting worse”.
The concert will stream on YouTube along with American television networks ABC and CBS on May 8 at 8pm ET (midnight GMT).
It will also air internationally on Brazil’s Globo, Colombia’s Caracol, SABC in South Africa, and MultiChoice in Africa.

US singer Jennifer Lopez performs onstage with her mother Guadalupe Rodriguez during the taping of the ‘Vax Live’ fundraising concert.

US actor Ben Affleck (left) and US television host Jimmy Kimmel wave as they walk off stage after speaking during the taping of the ‘Vax Live’ fundraising concert.

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