Michelle Obama and Laura Bush joined forces while social distancing during the One World: Together at Home special.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to show unity during this moment,” a source on the Obama team tells PEOPLE.
The two former first ladies appeared on the Global Citizen special on Saturday night and were featured alongside A-list performances to share messages of hope.
“Good evening, Michelle and I are thrilled to join you tonight in your homes for this special program,” Bush said at the start, appearing from the breezeway sitting room of her and husband George’s Prairie Chapel ranch in Crawford, Texas.
“Over the years, Laura and I have traveled across this country and around the world,” Obama said, before Bush added, “We’ve visited with you at your schools, libraries, diners, places of worship and even at your kitchen tables.”
“And we’ve had the profound privilege of getting to know you and your families,” Obama said. “Your hopes, your struggles and your triumphs.”
“The spirit and courage of the American people is most evident in times of crisis,” Bush noted. “And during this difficult period of physical separation, we’ve never been closer. Not just in our brave country, but tonight, we stand with the people of the world.”
“Laura and I want to express our overwhelming gratitude to the medical professionals, first responders and so many others on the front lines risking their lives on our behalf,” Obama said.
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Bush continued, “And we’re thankful for our pharmacists, the veterinarians, the police officers, the sanitation workers, and those of you working in grocery stores or delivering food or supplies to our homes. You’re the fabric of our country and your strength will carry us through this crisis.”
“The coming days will not be easy, but this global family of ours is strong,” Obama said. “We will continue to be here for one another and we will get through this crisis. Together. Thank you.”
After the appearance, Obama retweeted Global Citizen’s video, writing, “Thank you to all the essential workers who are getting up every day and risking their lives on our behalf. @LauraWBush and I were honored to show our support for their heroic efforts during tonight’s @GlblCtzn’s One World: #TogetherAtHome Special.”
The Lady Gaga-curated special included several A-list celebrities speaking and performing for those watching at home. Gaga, Global Citizen and WHO announced the special earlier this month with the “Stupid Love” singer revealing at the time that she and Global Citizen had already raised $35 million for WHO.
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Confirmed celebrity performers taking part included Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, J Balvin, Andrea Bocelli, Burna Boy, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, Elton John, John Legend, Chris Martin and Alanis Morissette.
Pianist Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Eddie Vedder and Stevie Wonder were also featured, along with David Beckham, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Kerry Washington, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Shah Rukh Khan.
Rounding out the lineup was Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, LL COOL J, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, Usher and Victoria Beckham.
Frontline doctors, nurses and families around the world were also headlined during the virtual show.
“As we honor and support the heroic efforts of community health workers, One World: Together At Home aims to serve as a source of unity and encouragement in the global fight to end COVID-19. Through music, entertainment and impact, the global live-cast will celebrate those who risk their own health to safeguard everyone else’s,” Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen, said.
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Recently, Martin and Legend took part in Global Citizen and the WHO’s Together at Home series, which has featured virtual performances at A-listers’ homes in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Charlie Puth, Common, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Ryan Tedder, Niall Horan, Steve Aoki, Jennifer Hudson, Miguel, H.E.R., Anthony Hamilton, Rufus Wainwright, Hozier and Julianne Hough have also participated in the campaign thus far.
The One World: Together at Home special is airing on April 18 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET/12 a.m. GMT.
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