Stars join Cyndi Lauper’s benefit concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift, Cher, Billie Eilish, LL Cool J and Dolly Parton are adding their voices to Cyndi Lauper’s annual concert to combat youth homelessness, an issue the True Colors singer said has only gotten worse during the pandemic.

“You can say ‘Stay home, protect yourself’. What do you do if you’ve got no home?” Lauper told The Associated Press. “I think it’s time that we make sure all young people have access to lifesaving services without fear of violence or discrimination.”

‘Her Home for the Holidays’ benefit concert will premiere today on Lauper’s TikTok channel at 8pm EST, with an additional stream on Sunday at 8pm EST on Lauper’s YouTube and Facebook handles. This year’s concert will be free to watch, with donations encouraged.

The lineup also includes Adam Lambert, Amanda Shires & Jason Isbell, Bette Midler, Billy Porter, Boy George, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Carson Kressley, Harvey Fierstein, Henry Rollins, Jackson Browne, Judy Gold, Kim Petras, King Princess, Meg Myers, Phoebe Bridgers, Sharon Osbourne, Shea Diamond and Whoopi Goldberg.

Some celebrities will make appearances and others will perform. While organisers try to keep many details private, this year’s show will have performances by Boy George, Parton, Cher, Browne, Lambert, Porter, Myers, Carlile, Shires & Isbell and King Princess, among others, including the cast of the musical Kinky Boots, which Lauper and Fierstein co-wrote.

Cyndi Lauper (L) and Perry Farrell perform during the 9th annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ benefit concert in Los Angeles in this December 10, 2019 file photo. PHOTO: AP

Lauper, whose hits include Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Time After Time, started the nonprofit advocacy organisation that would become True Colors United in 2008.

“We started True Colors 12 years ago on a tour bus,” Lauper said. “We never thought we would be here, but here we are in 2020,” a year she calls “a critical moment in history”.

“I just think that safe and stable housing is one of the best types of healthcare,” said Lauper. “It’s a global problem that really demands boldness and empathy from people.”

This year, True Colors United has partnered with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office for a campaign that includes an animated PSA, with voiceover by Lauper.

“Just the fact that an international organisation as big as the UN actually sees and understands that homelessness is a real issue worldwide is huge,” she said.