Jennifer Lopez shares stage with mother at star-studded Vax Live concert

Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World in California included performances by Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.
Jennifer Lopez shares stage with mother at star-studded Vax Live concert

By Jonathan Landrum Jr, Associated Press

Jennifer Lopez embraced her fully-vaccinated mother on stage during one of the largest concert gatherings in southern California since the pandemic rocked the world more than a year ago.

Celebrities and political leaders gathered to talk about the importance of vaccine equity at Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

The taped fundraising event will air on May 8th in the US on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations.

The concert included performances by Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.

Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn and David Letterman appeared as special guest speakers.

Everyone in the audience was fully vaccinated, while media and production staff needed to show a negative Covid-19 test before entering the stadium.

The event was part of a growing chorus seeking wider, more equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

Global Citizen said $53.8 million (€44.6 million) in philanthropic and corporate commitments helped procure nearly 10.3 million doses, exceeding the goal for the Vax Live campaign.

Prince Harry said providing vaccines across the globe is imperative, particularly to those in the poorest countries.

Harry said he is standing in solidarity with India, which is experiencing a “devastating” second wave of the virus.

The Duke of Sussex at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Prince Harry at Vax Live. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere,” he said.

Harry and his wife Meghan are leading an effort to raise money for the vaccine-sharing programme Covax, which hopes to produce $19 billion to pay for the vaccines for medical workers.

“We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world,” he said.

“The virus does not respect borders, and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography.”

The event also highlighted first responders and healthcare workers’ efforts during the pandemic.

Selena Gomez, the show’s host, called essential and frontline workers “reliable” and “brave”.

Selena Gomez hosts the Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Selena Gomez hosted the concert. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“Many of us had to stay home, but you all didn’t have a choice,” the singer said.

“You set an example for all of us, both in how you stayed on the job and that we need to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Each musical performance made things seem almost like normal, with attendees standing at their seats side-by-side while others danced with their masks on.

Some hugged each other with enthusiasm.

H.E.R. performed on a small stage outside the stadium with a group of people playing their guitars.

Before Lopez’s performance, she told the audience that she was unable to spend Christmas with her mother.

The singer went on to invite her fully-vaccinated mother on stage, then the two sang their rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.

Jennifer Lopez performs at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Jennifer Lopez performs at Vax Live. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“When I was thinking about what song to sing tonight, I remembered the song she used to sing to me as a baby,” said Lopez, who later performed her 2016 hit single Ain’t Your Mama.

Eddie Vedder said the concert was the first “taste of the life we’ve all been missing” for more than a year.

“This is a feeling we have not had in some time,” he said.

“There’s a microphone, a crowd. It feels good.”

Foo Fighters rocked on with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson during a performance of the rock anthem Back In Black.

“We ain’t out the woods yet. But let me tell you, I’m a firm believer (in the) idea that music should be shared with people,” Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said.

Vaccinated guests react to the Foo Fighters performance at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
Vaccinated guests react to the Foo Fighters performance. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“Let’s work as hard as we can to make sure we can do this every night.”

Hugh Evans, founder and chief executive of Global Citizen, said he wants to keep the momentum going.

“What we’re trying to highlight is the obvious that we should be fighting for equity,” he said.

“It’s something that shouldn’t require any arithmetic. It is absolutely bleeding obvious.”

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