A benefit concert for Ukraine featuring Ed Sheeran and the country’s 2016 Eurovision winner has raised £12.2million for humanitarian efforts in the war-torn nation.
The two-hour concert for Ukraine was organized to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and its response to the Russian invasion.
The evening at Resorts World Arena was star-studded, including Camila Cabello, Anne-Marie and Gregory Porter – and was punctuated by short video clips documenting the lives of displaced Ukrainians at home and abroad.
At the end of the evening, the hosts announced that ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships and donations had contributed to the total, which is expected to continue to rise.
Sheeran took the stage solo for a two-song set of his hits Perfect and Bad Habits.
Between tracks, he told the audience, “Thank you for coming. It’s such an important cause and I’m so honored to be here.”
As he began his second song, he paused and admitted lightheartedly, “I have the wrong guitar.”
After quickly changing clothes, he resumed the show to cheers from the crowd.
Pop superstar Cabello was joined by a string section for a performance of Coldplay’s hit Fix You before being joined by Sheeran for a live debut of her new track Bam Bam.
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She told the crowd: “We pray tonight for the peace and safety of the people of Ukraine.”
Ukraine’s Eurovision winner Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladinova, took the stage after fleeing her home country following the invasion.
The 38-year-old performed a rendition of her 1944 song about forced deportations in Crimea during the rule of Joseph Stalin.
She waved a Ukrainian flag during her performance and was dressed in red.
Emma Bunton, one of the presenters, was visibly moved by her song.
“Wow, thank you so much Jamala for being with us and representing Ukraine at this very special concert here tonight – amazing,” she said.
Jamala previously said her close friends and family remain in a bomb shelter in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The evening was hosted by Roman Kemp, Marvin Humes and Spice Girls star Bunton in front of screens showing the sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower.
Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers gave a passionate performance of their song If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, which has lyrics inspired by the Spanish Civil War.
There was also a performance by singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who recently traveled to the Romanian capital, Bucharest, where he performed his hit song Another Love for refugees arriving in the city by train.
Veteran broadcaster and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald took the stage to highlight the work of journalists covering the front lines of the war.
Presenter and actress Mel Giedroyc, whose father fled Poland as a refugee during World War II, hosted a short film on the Ukrainian-Romanian border that was shown to the audience.
Emotionally, she said history “repeat itself.”
There were also video messages from Billie Eilish and her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell.
All sponsorship and advertising revenue generated from the show was donated by ITV to the DEC appeal.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/concert-for-ukraine-raises-122-million-for-humanitarian-effort-41501321.html Concert for Ukraine raises £12.2m for humanitarian aid