Gal Gadot, Natalie Portman and Amy Adams in star-studded Imagine cover

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

  • Published
Gal Gadot and her impromptu choirImage source, Gal Gadot / Instagram
Image caption,
Gal Gadot (centre) was joined by fellow movie stars Natalie Portman (left) and Amy Adams

Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot took to Instagram on the sixth day of her self-imposed quarantine, for a star-studded sing-along to John Lennon's Imagine.

Gadot enlisted fellow superheroes Natalie Portman (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) for the cover, with more than 20 others each singing a line of the song.

Will Ferrell, Amy Adams, Kristen Wiig, Sia and Cara Delevingne also took part.

The star said she had chosen the song for its "powerful and pure" message of unity during the coronavirus pandemic.

She had been inspired by a clip of an Italian man playing the song on his trumpet on his balcony to his neighbours who were self-isolating.

Gadot has previously encouraged fans to stay indoors during the outbreak, saying "staying at home is my super power - and yours".

She wrote on Instagram: "The sooner we all stay home and keep ourselves from catching this very contagious virus, the sooner we can go back to our lives without losing lives."

The actress recently finished filming Wonder Woman 1984, which has a release date of 5 June, but could end up being delayed due to the outbreak.

Meanwhile, U2's Bono released a new song on Tuesday, also inspired by videos of Italian citizens singing from their balconies while the country was on lockdown.

He posted the track, called Let Your Love Be Known, to his Instagram account with the caption: "For the Italians who inspired it… for the Irish… for ANYONE who this St Patrick's Day is in a tight spot and still singing.

"For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line, it's you we're singing to."

Impromptu concerts

They are not the only stars to use social media to connect with fans, and offer some impromptu entertainment, in recent days.

Miley Cyrus has started a nightly chat show on Instagram, called Bright Minded, shot on her laptop.

The latest edition saw her joined by comedian Amy Schumer, who riffed about fake health advice circulating on social media, and why everyone needed to build screen breaks into their daily routines.

"Even watching the news for five minutes will freak you right out," she said.

Later, the comedian turned the camera on her 10-month-old son, Gene, and laughed: "If anyone wants their day brightened, here is a little baby."

Several musicians have also started live-streaming performances for fans, including Frank Turner, Christine and the Queens, and Bastille's Dan Smith, who covered TLC's No Scrubs in an Instagram broadcast from his living room on Wednesday.

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Chris Martin and John Legend have also performed shows under the banner Together at Home - an initiative from the World Health Organization and Global Citizen to help bring people together during a period of social isolation.

One Direction star Niall Horan and rap legend Common are also due to take part in the series this week.

Meanwhile, radio stations across Europe will come together on Friday morning to play Gerry and the Pacemakers' hit You'll Never Walk Alone as a symbol of solidarity.

BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music will all play the track at 07:45 GMT, together with more than 30 broadcasters from the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Finland and Romania.

The initiative was dreamt up by Dutch radio presenter Sander Hoogendoorn, who chose the song as a message to "to those doing an incredible job working in healthcare right now, those who are ill or those who can't leave their house for a while".

Cardi B makes a coronavirus hit

At the same time, fans streaming music at home are exhibiting a macabre streak of humour during the crisis.

Tracks like REM's It's The End Of The World As We Know It and The Police's Don't Stand So Close To Me are seeing a surge in streams and sales, although more hopeful songs like John Legend's All Of Me are also enjoying a resurgence.

But the most bizarre musical phenomenon to emerge from the outbreak has come courtesy of New York rapper Cardi B.

Last week, the star posted a rambling video, sharing her thoughts on the coronavirus and the Trump administration's response, to her 60 million Instagram followers.

Wearing a transparent chain-link dress, Cardi exclaimed: "I ain't even gonna front, I'm a little scared. Coronavirus! Coronavirus!"

Image source, Cardi B / Instagram
Image caption,
Cardi B has inadvertently created a musical anthem about the pandemic

Her speech was then sampled and set to music by a Brooklyn producer called DJ iMarkkeyz, whose song Coronavirus (Remix) is now the seventh most popular song on the US iTunes chart. It has also topped the download charts in Bulgaria, Egypt and Brazil.

DJ iMarkkeyz, whose real name is Brandon Markell Davidson, said he intended to give proceeds from the sales to charity.

Cardi B agreed, writing on Twitter: "Yes, that's what we gonna do!" before sharing advice with Davidson about how music industry payments get made.

"Keep in mind you don't get your money right away," she wrote. "But even months from now there would be families with financial issues for getting laid off due to the virus.

"We will donate!"

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