Dozens of Broadway’s biggest stars joined together onstage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday to perform the classic tune “What the World Needs Now Is Love” in tribute to victims of gun violence.
More than three dozen theater stars — including Idina Menzel, Debra Messing, Lena Hall, Audra McDonald, Kristen Bell, Rosie Perez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ben Vereen and Darren Criss — took turns trading verses on the classic 1965 hit, originally written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach but most recently re-recorded and released to benefit the victims of the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack in Orlando.
Gun control was a major theme of the third night of the Democratic National Convention, with The Butler director Lee Daniels, actress Angela Bassett and survivors from the Orlando attack all taking the stage in Philadelphia to call for increased gun control measures.
Attendees at the convention could be seen linking arms and swaying as the Broadway stars belted out the tune. But with so many singers on stage, the performance was rough in some spots.
After the song concluded, the singers led the audience in a chant of “Love! Love! Love!”
The re-release of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” rose to No. 1 on the iTunes charts shortly after its release. All proceeds from the song benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
Watch the full performance above.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum