Nordoff Robbins' first virtual Christmas concert has raised £300,000 so far, with thousands of viewers tuning in from around the world.
The music therapy charity lost more than half its income due to the pandemic, but funds from last night's event will help to recuperate some of the funding gap.
Hosted by Nile Rodgers, The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas featured performances and readings from Tony Bennett, Neil Young, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Florence Welch, Chic, Bill Nighy, Katherine Jenkins OBE, Roger Daltrey and Paul Weller, Rebecca Ferguson, Jack Savoretti, Lily James, Kaiser Chiefs, Saving Grace ft. Robert Plant and Suzi Dian, Noma Dumezweni, Alexis Ffrench, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Freya Ridings, Simple Minds, Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), Mica Paris, James Dean Bradfield, Danny O’Donoghue, Friederike Krum, Freddie Fox and Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE.
“I’m very happy to have been able to do this for Nordoff Robbins and that Merck and I were able to bring so many of our artist friends along in support of Nordoff Robbins’ important work," said Rodgers. "Thank you to those who gave generously and I hope this continues to bring joy to everyone throughout this holiday season. It’s crucial that we raise as much as possible for Nordoff Robbins to continue to provide music therapy to every who needs it. It truly makes such a difference.”
The annual event is normally held in the 900-capacity St Luke’s Church in Chelsea and is available to watch on demand until January 5.
Rodgers worked with his manager, Hipgnosis Songs Fund's Merck Mercuriadis, to rally many of the artists together for the special Christmas concert.
“We’ve had an incredible year at Hipgnosis, which we are extremely grateful for, but we are very aware 2020 has not been a comfortable year for the vast majority of the planet," said Mercuriadis. "This has made it virtually impossible for people that know, appreciate and support the incomparable work of Nordoff Robbins to be as generous as they have been in the past. It was therefore important that we give back in a way that would help bridge that financial gap.
"Hipgnosis, Nile and I are delighted to have not only supported financially but also to have had the support of so many wonderful artists and friends, both in and outside of the Hipgnosis Family, to ensure this is almost as special as the work of the Nordoff Robbins therapists it is in aid of. I hope everyone will take advantage of the on demand feature which makes it possible to enjoy this over and over again throughout the holidays. Please enjoy and give what you can.”
Hipgnosis was funding partner for the event. SSE was partner, while Scala Radio was media partner for a second year running and Modern English Digital was digital partner.
Sony ATV and YouTube Music also made significant donations. There is still time to donate at carols.nordoff-robbins.org.uk.
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins, said: “What a truly amazing night. Christmas is all about coming together, and music plays such a huge part in those celebrations, so to see everyone come together to support Nordoff Robbins through the gift of music this Christmas is simply wonderful.
"Not only was the event amazing, but so is the money that has been raised so far. This year we’ve lost over half of our income due to the pandemic, yet we have seen demand for our services increase, so the £300,000 raised will help Nordoff Robbins to provide more music therapy for people like Thomas, Innez, Ava and Dot, who you all saw throughout the night.
"I cannot thank all the artists, our sponsors, Hipgnosis, LSEG, OE and SSE, and our committee enough for making this magical event happen, it would not have been possible without them. And I want to especially thank everyone who joined us last night and donated, helping more people access music therapy - which is such a lifeline for so many.
Thank you again, and remember the show is on demand, so you can watch again and share with your family and friends, all the way up to January 5.”
Catch all the highlights here.