Emmanuel Kelly knows firsthand how music can carry people through difficult times.
Kelly was discovered in a box in a park by soldiers as a baby in his home country of Iraq, and raised in an orphanage.
For him, music is a form of salvation and an art form that he uses "to inspire and motivate others to love themselves," he said on Tuesday, during his performance for Global Citizen's "Together at Home" series. Kelly sang songs about staying strong and finding joy in the face of adversity.
As he performed his first song, "My Sky," which Kelly said is about "finding happiness, in the saddest times," he encouraged fans to clap their hands to the music at home and to get up and feel the energy as he played.
Kelly has a song called "Never Alone," which he hopes will help people realize that "even during the darkest times, we are never alone."
Singer Pia Toscano, who appeared in Kelly’s video for "Never Alone," called in on video to join Kelly’s session.
"I think this is a time right now where we’re all being shaken," she said. "I feel like a lot of us feel displaced, and we feel alone mentally, physically."
Kelly also sang "Your Story" and spoke through video chat to film producer Brian Grazer and his wife Veronica Smiley Grazer.
"Being a mentor to a lot of young people, they feel like it's abnormal to be alone," Smiley Grazer said. "I don't care how successful you are, I don't care what you have on Instagram . . . everybody feels alone, it's just natural."
Kelly wrapped up his peformance, fittingly, by playing "Never Alone."
"Just remember, it doesn't matter how dark things get," Kelly said. "Always, always, always, remember that there's a way out, and that there's someone there, and that you're not alone."
The "Together At Home" campaign was launched on March 16 by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO), bringing together musicians, actors, and influencers to provide solidarity and solace to those isolating at home, as well as to support organizations and workers on the frontlines of coronavirus relief efforts and the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
On April 19, Global Citizen and WHO put together One World: Together at Home, a special broadcast that featured some of music’s biggest stars and greatest legends, including Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, the Rolling Stones, and Sir Paul McCartney. Prior to this broadcast, the series featured dozens of artists including Chris Martin, John Legend, Jason Mraz, and Icona Pop.
Globally, there have been over 3.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 240,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.