Ringo Starr’s Star-Studded 80th Birthday Show Goes Virtual

Posted July 7, 2020 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Beatles drummer goes online for 2020 all-star birthday bash, donates portions from proceeds to Black Lives Matter movement

ringostarr-news-00In light of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, Ringo Starr’s annual “Peace and Love” birthday celebration – now in its twelveth installment – will be getting the virtual makeover this year. And with a little help from his friends, it looks to be one of the most STARR-studded installments to date.

The at-home celebration, airing July 7, will include performances from Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Shelia E, Sheryl Crow and Gary Clark, Jr. along with special appearances from a slate of music stars – Kenny Loggins, Keb Mo, Dave Grohl, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Michael McDonald, actor Jeff Bridges and many others.

The live streaming event will also serve as a fundraiser to help benefit several charities, including Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and Wateraid. All proceeds will be divided evenly to all four charities, according to Ringo Starr’s official website.

Giving to Black Lives Matter, particularly during the height of protest over justice equality for African Americans and people of color, is a prominent part of this year’s event. He voices “continuous support to everyone marching and speaking up for justice and a better world”. Part of his reflection comes from how the Beatles handled segregation tactics in the Deep South while touring the US. “We refused to play in Mississippi, we didn’t dig segregation,” Starr told the Financial Times. So everywhere we went we said, ‘we play to all people, and people are people’. And they said ‘OK’. In the South, that was a first for us, and a first for them.” Ironically last month, the Mississippi state legislature motioned that the Confederate flag insignia, a symbol that’s long been associated with hate and racism, emblazoned on the state’s flag finally be removed and that they adopt a new flag.

Ad for Ringo Starr's 80th Big Birthday Show

Ad for Ringo Starr’s 80th Big Birthday Show

To go online to celebrate his birthday proved to also be a smart choice considering the dangers that the coronavirus pandemic has had on many cities and communities. “As everyone knows I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday, but this year, I want everyone to be safe at home,” Starr said, who turns 80 on the day of the show. “I called up a few friends and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all, with some great music for some great charities.”

Last year, the Beatle drummer celebrated his 79th birthday at the Capitol Records tower in Los Angeles.

Of the two living Beatles, Starr is the oldest. McCartney is 78 years old.

To watch it, tune in to ringostarr.com, AXS TV or by clicking here starting at 5 pm PDT (8 pm EDT/1 am BST). You may also stream the online special below.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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