Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Halsey take part in New Jersey benefit concert

The state has been hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
The state has been hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Halsey were among the stars taking part in a virtual benefit concert for New Jersey, after their home state was one of the hardest hit by coronavirus.

More than 96,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Jersey, while Governor Phil Murphy said on Wednesday that more than 5,000 had died from complications of the disease.

That number is second only to New York in the US.

The Jersey 4 Jersey virtual concert was broadcast online, featuring some of the state’s most famous stars raising money for the relief effort.

Springsteen, 70, is from the city of Long Branch and his music has been heavily influenced by his upbringing in New Jersey, where he still lives.

Introducing the concert, he said: “We’re here tonight dedicated to our healthcare workers and all of those who lost loved ones who are suffering and dying from this terrible disease right here, right now, in our beloved state.”

He and wife Patti Scialfa then played an emotional version of Land Of Hope And Dreams followed by a stirring rendition of Jersey Girl.

Bon Jovi stood in front of a portrait of himself and performed his band’s hit Livin’ On A Prayer, strumming along with a guitar.

He earlier played Do What You Can, a new song inspired by the outbreak, and praised frontline workers fighting the virus.

Pop star Halsey is from the town of Edison. She performed a stripped-back version of Beautiful Stranger.

Tony Bennett, who took part despite being born in New York, defied his 93 years and stood throughout his performance of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile.

Other performers included Fountains Of Wayne, whose appearance had an added poignancy after their co-founder, Adam Schlesinger, died earlier this month after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Before singing Hackensack, the band’s frontman, Chris Collingwood, said: “This is for Adam, his parents, his children and New Jersey.”

Hollywood actor Danny DeVito made an appearance at the benefit concert and promised to hold a party once the pandemic is over.

Charlie Puth and SZA also took part.