Pop star Mika is urging music fans to tune in and dig deep when he hosts a livestream benefit for the survivors of last month's Beirut explosion over the weekend, insisting locals are desperately in need of help.
The singer has organized the "I Heart Beirut" fundraiser, which will also feature performances from Kylie Minogue, Laura Pausini, and Rufus Wainwright and an appearance by actress Salma Hayek.
All proceeds and donations will benefit charities and organizations helping those impacted by the blast in the Lebanese capital get back on their feet. The explosion flattened a large part of the city and cost nearly 200 people their lives.
Mika, who was born in Beirut, says, "Lebanon has always been present in my life and the images I saw provoked such a strong reaction in me." Feeling he had to do something to help, he quickly organized the "I Heart Beirut" event. "There are some people in tremendous need of support," he adds.
"What we are trying to do, being musicians and artists and actors and actresses, is just for an hour and 45 minutes we can turn off the political conversation and reply using music and do our jobs, which is to provoke emotion and empathy," he tells the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Kylie says in her statement, "Mika and I have been friends for a while, so when he asked me to be part of his 'I Love Beirut' project of course I said yes! The situation in Lebanon is so sad, but I hope this event will raise lots of money to support the incredible work of Save the Children and the Lebanese Red Cross and their teams working on the ground in Beirut. I'm so happy to be part of it."
The gig will begin at 8 pm on YouTube on Saturday and tickets and details are available here: https://shops.ticketmasterpartners.com/mika-livestream.