Prince Harry received a standing ovation after he offered a heartfelt thank you to front-line workers and urged Americans to ‘look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion’ during the star-studded Vax Live charity concert in Los Angeles.
Harry was among many high profile stars – including Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez and Ben Affleck – to take the stage at Sunday night’s concert taping hosted by Global Citizen at the So-Fi Stadium in Inglewood, where the crowd featured only fully-vaccinated guests.
The concert promoting equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide marked Harry’s first public appearance in the US since his late grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral and since he and wife Meghan Markle – who was not present at the stadium – gave their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.
‘Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,’ the 36-year-old royal told the cheering crowd.
‘You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way, and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude. Thank you.’
Prince Harry received a standing ovation after he offered a heartfelt thank you to front-line workers during the star-studded Vax Live charity concert in Los Angeles on Sunday
‘You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all,’ Harry told the ‘millions of front-line heroes around the world’
Harry was all smiles as he addressed the crowd without his wife Meghan Markle on Sunday night
Harry and Meghan, 39, are Campaign Chairs of Vax Live, which ‘aims to inspire vaccine confidence worldwide and help get the COVID-19 vaccines to everyone, everywhere’ – according to Global Citizen.
In promoting the event organizers said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would deliver ‘an important global message for vaccine equity’.
Meghan, who is several months’ pregnant with the couple’s second child, trusted Harry to share that message on her behalf as she stayed home on Sunday.
In his dramatic address Harry said: ‘We’re coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity.
Harry stepped out on Sunday without wife Meghan Markle (pictured during their bombshell Oprah interview in March)
‘The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that’s what tonight is about.
‘The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.
‘None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering. In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer.
‘We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don’t. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind.
‘What we do in this moment will stand in history and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave.’
The concert is slated to air May 8 on ABC, CBS, Fox, YouTube and iHeartMedia radio stations. It will encourage donations to help meet a goal of ensuring vaccinations for 27 million health-care workers worldwide.
Other headliners will include President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who will seek to ‘increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing’, Global Citizen said.
Also appearing will be: French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and celebrities Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn.
During the taping on Sunday night the crowd watched a message from President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden
Jennifer Lopez and Guadalupe Rodriguez teamed up for a performance at Sunday night’s concert taping
The concert was hosted by Selena Gomez, who also took the stage to perform
Selena Gomez, 28, was on hand to host the event on Sunday night, while Jennifer Lopez, 51, was among its most high-profile performers.
Both women looked stunning as they took over the red carpet before everyone filed into their seats.
The concert marked the biggest event to take place yet at the So-Fi Stadium, which opened in the midst of the pandemic last September.
The stadium has space for 70,000 people but it was unclear how many were slated to attend the Vax Live concert.
The ticket disclaimer required all attendees to have received their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine no later than April 18 – allowing the required two-week time frame to be considered fully vaccinated.
Jennifer Lopez, 51, and Selena Gomez, 28, showed off contrasting glamorous looks as they hit the red carpet at the all-star Global Citizen: Vax Live benefit concert in Inglewood, California, on Sunday
Chrissy Teigen added some more color to the charity concert with a silky orange off-the-shoulder dress
Olivia Munn opted for primary colors with a pajama-like yellow satin suit covered in elegant yet sparse paisley patterns. Her matching slacks reached down to the ground, swallowing up her footwear, and she wore her dark hair parted down the middle and styled in waves across her shoulders
South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha rocked an eye-catching multipatterned blazer over a busy purple-and-green leopard-print top with white slacks. Canadian actress and dancer Keltie Knight looked sleek in a white suit with slits up her pants to showcase her beige heels