Some of Canada's biggest stars in the music industry came together Sunday night to raise money for the country's food banks and its front-line workers battling the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The event, titled Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble (the French-language equivalent), featured a remote sing-along to Bill Withers' "Lean on Me," performed by Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Geddy Lee, Bryan Adams, Sarah MacLachlan, Buffy Saint-Marie, and more stars.
The beginning of the show included a memorial card in honor of Withers, who died earlier this month of heart complications at age 81.
"To the late, great Bill Withers. Thank you for your lyrics and inspiring message. We are grateful to lean on music during our time of need. Your musical legacy lives on through us," it read.
In addition, Canadian stars like Drake, Céline Dion, Shania Twain, Ryan Reynolds, and ex-spouses Amy Poehler and Will Arnett popped in during the broadcast and offered messages of support to healthcare workers combating the COVID-19 outbreak.
Food Banks Canada Chief Development and Partnerships Officer Tania Little said that every month 1.1 million Canadians feel the pressure of not having enough food to eat. The current pandemic has obviously made things far more grim and dire. She added that her organization kicked off its relief-effort campaign five weeks ago with a goal to raise $150 million — which will, effectively, provide three months’ supply of items to food banks across her country to provide for people in need.
“We’re very fortunate to work in such a caring nation where so many wonderful organizations can partner to address issues of food insecurity in this country,” said Little. “And, I’ll tell you, now more than ever, we’ve banded together to provide that support for Canadians in need.”
Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble debuted one week after the successful and star-studded One World: Together at Home virtual global benefit hosted by Lady Gaga (with appearances made by Taylor Swift, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Oprah, among others) to raise money for, and awareness around, the critical issues facing healthcare workers as they brave the frontlines to fight the coronavirus.
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