New Jersey natives Jon Bon Jovi, Halsey, Charlie Puth and more banded together on Wednesday for the Jersey 4 Jersey benefit — an hour-long effort to inspire donations to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.
The Garden State has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with healthcare workers and communities struggling to keep up with the climbing number of cases. New Jersey is second only to New York in having the greatest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
Kicking off the hour-long special was Jersey’s favorite son Bruce Springsteen and his wife, fellow E Street Band singer Patti Scialfa, with “Land of Hopes and Dreams.” They also performed a stripped-down version of “Jersey Girl.”
Jon Bon Jovi sang his new song “Do What You Can,” the lyrics for which he crowd-sourced with his fans. He also closed the show with the Bon Jovi classic “Living on a Prayer,” but slowed the song down to punctuate the lyrics.
Charlie sang Springsteen’s song “Growin’ Up,” while Halsey sang “Finally//Beautiful Stranger” and SZA turned in an impressive performance of “20 Something.”
Legendary crooner Tony Bennett took a page from his friend Lady Gaga — he also delivered a version of the Charlie Chaplin standard “Smile,” which Gaga performed last weekend on One World: Together at Home.
Beyond the artists who banded together to serenade the audience and raise money for their state were celebrities Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart. Each shared a message of support for New Jersey’s strength and the importance of holding your loved ones close.
Interspersed with the performances were stories from the COVID-19 front line, including restaurant owners who spoke about having to lay off their staff, but who then used their resources to help feed front line workers.
In addition, the audience heard from a COVID-19 survivor about his “dance with death”: He spoke about how the virus nearly killed him and, upon his recovery, how the hospital staff sent him home with a standing ovation.
The most tragic story came from a doctor, who emotionally shared his efforts to save a man dying from COVID-19 and how he would help him FaceTime with his wife, who wasn’t allowed to visit. When the man passed due to complications from the virus, the doctor revealed how the wife asked to FaceTime with her husband one last time so she could say goodbye.
Everone who appeared on Jersey 4 Jersey emphasized the importance of family, staying home and supporting those who are working the front lines.
For more details on how you can help, visit NJPRF.org.
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