A-list stars in live virus relief concert

Sir Elton John has hosted an hour-long benefit concert to raise money during the coronavirus crisis.
Sir Elton John has hosted an hour-long benefit concert to raise money during the coronavirus crisis.

Sir Elton John has enlisted some of the biggest names in music to perform live from their homes in a televised concert to raise money for the coronavirus relief effort.

The hour-long, ad-free living room concert on Sunday night included performances from Billie Eilish, Dave Grohl, the Backstreet Boys, Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato and Mariah Carey.

It was broadcast shortly after President Donald Trump announced he was extending the voluntary national shutdown to April 30.

It was against that backdrop Sir Elton opened Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert with a tribute to health workers around the world and said money raised from the show was going to the charities Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.

Despite hosting the evening, Sir Elton initially said he was unable to perform, explaining he was quarantined "in the only house I've ever been in without a piano".

However, he later found a keyboard and sang the chorus from Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

Sir Elton, who postponed a string of tour dates due to the pandemic, ended the show by saying: "Stay safe, cherish your loved ones and when this is all over and done with, I'll be out there playing for you again."

Carey performed her 1996 hit Always Be My Baby before revealing she has been wearing gloves in her own home.

Eilish was joined by her brother and collaborator Finneas O'Connell as the pair performed their Grammy-winning single Bad Guy from a sofa at home.

Keys sang her hit Underdog, which pays tribute to teachers and student doctors as well as those "on the front line knowing they don't get to run".

The Backstreet Boys - each streaming from their individual homes - performed I Want It That Way, while Grohl dedicated the song My Hero to health workers.

Australian Associated Press