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Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys kick off 'living room' concert

Last Updated Mar 29, 2020 at 9:28 pm EDT

NEW YORK — Alicia Keys sang softly from the piano — from her home — to kick off the hour-long “living room” benefit concert put on to raise money during the coronavirus crisis.

Keys sang the song “Underdog” on Sunday, thanking first responders and others “risking their lives to keep us safe.”

Elton John, who is hosting the special airing live on Fox and iHeartMedia radio stations, said he hoped the “this entertainment will feed and fuel your soul.”

The five members of the Backstreet Boys performed from separate locations to sing their classic hit, “I Want It That Way.”

Others set to perform include Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and Billie Joe Armstrong. Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy will make appearances.

The artists will be filmed with cellphones, cameras and audio equipment in their homes. The event is taking place during the time slot that was to belong to the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which became part of a wave of public-event postponements and cancellations because of the pandemic.

Besides performances, the commercial-free concert will honour health professionals and first responders.

Viewers are asked to support two of the charitable organizations aiding victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press