At the end of June, as part of Entertainment Weekly’s ongoing commitment to the fight against AIDS, our magazine was privileged to help underwrite a benefit concert for LIFEbeat, the music industry’s AIDS awareness and resource organization. Our cosponsors were MTV, The Gap, the Regency Hotel, and VH-1, which taped the show and plans to air it in the early fall.
Entitled The Beat Goes On, the concert was part of a weeklong series of LIFEbeat events that raised more than half a million dollars. The all-star lineup that took the stage at New York’s Beacon Theater featured Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang (who appeared on EW’s very first cover), Queen Latifah, Sarah McLachlan, Milla, Seal, Jon Secada, and the Max Weinberg Seven — all of whom lent talent and energy to this worthy cause.
Someone sitting near me likened the concert to a ”mini-Woodstock,” referring to the talent on stage, the camaraderie and enthusiastic schmoozing that permeated the audience, and the fact that the show seemed to go on forever. Indeed, logistical problems created some extraordinarily lengthy breaks between sets, but no one really appeared to mind. And lang, who closed the night with a remarkable performance of such hits as ”Constant Craving” and ”Pullin’ Back the Reins,” did so in her pajamas, which she said seemed appropriate for the hour. Afterward, at 2 a.m., more than 600 people headed to the Metronome restaurant for a party that lasted even further into the wee hours.
It was a very good night that came together for a very good reason — the need to do more to bring the AIDS crisis to an end. To learn what you can do, please contact your local AIDS organization, and to find out more about LIFEbeat, please call (212) 245-3240 or write LIFEbeat, 810 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10019.
Michael J. Klingensmith, Publisher