Back in May, pop star Miley Cyrus admitted she didn’t know what the COVID-19 pandemic was actually like due to her privilege. Now she’s calling on the world tohelp those who aren’t as fortunate.
The musician performed a cover of the Beatles’ classic song “Help!” in an empty Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, as part of the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert & The Summit, presented by Global Citizen and the European Commission on Saturday. The pledging summit prior to the concert, mobilized over $6.9 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable in response to the campaign launched in May.
Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, the globally televised and digitally streamed concert event highlighted the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities.
The lyrics “help me get my feet back on the ground / won't you please, please help me?" resonated more than ever as Cyrus stood on a giant installation of the word “HELP!” across the stadium’s field.
Cyrus dedicated the song to “those who are tirelessly working on testing, treatment, and vaccines so all of us can come together in places like this empty stadium again.”
Ahead of the broadcast, Cyrus tweeted on June 12 at Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar, Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and asked them to step up for communities of color in their COVID-19 relief efforts.
Studies show that Black communities, Indigenous groups, and people of color are being impacted by the pandemic at alarming and disproportionate rates due to systemic health and social inequities. In her tweet, Cyrus pointed out that each country stood up against anti-Blackness and police brutality in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. She urged them to commit to work to tackle the racial injustices of health inequalities, too.
Cyrus also joined Justin Bieber on June 17 in calling on Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to commit to fighting COVID-19.
Spain, you united in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in the US. We must keep standing together to tackle #COVID19 and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, especially communities of color. Please join us, PM @sanchezcastejon? #GlobalGoalUnite⭕️— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) June 12, 2020
Countries responded to the nearly 800,000 actions Global Citizens, Cyrus, and other celebrities took to fight COVID-19 and protect the most marginalized people from its impact. Cyrus and Global Citizens helped secure a €25 million (approximately $28 million USD) commitment toward equitable vaccines from the Netherlands, a €10 million (approximately $11 million USD) commitment to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) from Spain, and from Canada, $120 million CAD (approximately $88 million USD) for the ACT Accelerator, and $180 million CAD (around $130 million USD) for COVID-19 humanitarian and development aid in commitments.
Italy also pledged to continue to support cooperative actions, international solidarity, and the global response to defeat COVID-19.
During the summit Cyrus joined a panel hosted by Mumbai-based Bloomberg Live Deputy Global Editor Mallika Kapur with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Global Citizen CEO and co-founder Hugh Evans.
Kapur asked Cyrus why she decided to join the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign.
“I’ve been really passionate about justice and equality and this campaign is all about making sure everyone, everywhere has access to the tools and solutions to end COVID-19,” Cyrus said.
“I knew that I had to get involved and I wanted to use my platform as an artist to do my part in helping raise the funding needed for testing, treatments, and vaccines, and social media can be an amazing tool to connect us around the world and give us the power to have people like world leaders hear our voices.”
By supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), countries can continue to address racial inequities by helping make testing, treatments, and vaccines available to all.
Cyrus continued to explain her role in helping to end COVID-19.
“As an artist that’s very connected to my fans, I knew that they wanted a way to make a difference and so urging them to take action and call on world leaders and decision-makers, especially in a time like this, has made a very impactful, huge difference, so I’m honored to work alongside Global Citizen and their goal.”
Cyrus recommended that people of her generation continue to educate themselves and fight for a better future.
“My generation is hungry for change and is leading that charge in many ways,” Cyrus told Kapur. “Even though change is taking time, we want it to lead to lasting change. And something that has been on my mind was wanting to go back to normal –– but this new normal ... we don’t want to go back to the ways things were before.
She added: “We want to go back to a more improved, inspired way of life, and so I’m honored to team up with Global Citizen now but then also for the future and educate myself and encourage my fans to do the same.”
Throughout her career, Cyrus has also stood up for various other humanitarian causes and participated in several charity events. She launched the Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014 to support homeless and LGBTQ+ youth. In recent years, she’s specifically spoken out against the mistreatment of women and the planet.
You can join the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign by taking action here to help ensure everyone, everywhere can access the tools that are vital to putting an end to COVID-19, and mitigate its impacts on the world's most vulnerable people.
You can find out more about COVID-19, what's needed to tackle it, and how it's impacting the lives of people around the world, through our COVID-19 coverage here.