Beyonce warned the coronavirus was having a disproportionate impact on black Americans as she made an appearance during the One World: Together At Home concert.
The pop superstar paid tribute to medical staff who have been putting their lives at risk during the global pandemic, describing them as “true heroes”.
She singled out “those in the food industry, delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees” and thanked them for their “selfless service”.
Beyonce then highlighted the deadly impact of Covid-19 in America’s black communities, after several states and cities released worrying data earlier this week.
She said: “Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home. African-American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis.
“Those with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk. This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America.”
Beyonce then cited statistics from her home city of Houston, Texas, that showed 57% of fatal Covid-19 cases are African-American.
She added: “Please protect yourselves. We are one family and we need you, we need your voices and your abilities and your strength all over this world.
“I know it’s very hard but please be patient, stay encouraged, keep the faith, stay positive and continue to pray for our heroes. Good night, and God bless you.”
The One World: Together At Home concert was curated by Lady Gaga to support the Covid-19 Response Fund, set up by the UN Foundation.
Other stars to feature included Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift.