Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, and Michael Buble were among the stars teaming up on Sunday for a virtual sing-along to Bill Withers classic Lean on Me for Canada’s coronavirus relief fundraiser.
The TV special, titled Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble, also featured fellow Canadian musicians Bryan Adams, Rush’s Geddy Lee, and Sarah McLachlan performing the song remotely to lift spirits during the global pandemic and pay tribute to soul legend Withers, who died on March 30.
A memorial card shown onscreen during the event read: “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.”
The cover is now available to purchase, with proceeds from the track benefitting the Canadian Red Cross.
Meanwhile, the big charity show, designed to support the nation’s food banks, included appearances from the likes of Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Ryan Reynolds, and exes Amy Poehler and Will Arnett, who reunited to show their support for frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19.
Another meaningful moment came courtesy of rapper Drake, who delivered a message of thanks to first responders for working to keep others safe.
During the video, Drake revealed he required medical attention himself just recently: “I actually ended up in the hospital the other day due to a foot injury, and just to see their (healthcare staff’s) morale, the smiles, the high spirits on everyone’s face that I got to encounter in that situation, despite everything going on, it’s just incredible…”
He closed his clip by encouraging viewers to make sure they are taking care of their mental health as he urged them to “find the silver lining in the times that we’re living through right now”.