The stars came out in full force last night (Nov. 11) for the first-ever Concert For Valor at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Taking the stage to honor all those men and women in the armed forces, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Eminem, Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson were a handful of singers who powered through their most well-known hits and patriotic classics. Fortunately, for non-HBO subscribers, the network opened their signal for everyone.
Hudson kicked off the evening with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, later joining Jessie J (who first performed a solo "Bang Bang") for "Titanium" (originally by David Guetta and Sia). Additional performers included Foo Fighters' frontman Dave Grohl, Zac Brown Band and Bruce Springsteen, as well as The Black Keys and Metallica. Some of the anthemic songs performed were "Born In The U.S.A." (Zac Brown) and "Fortunate Song" (Brown, Springsteen). Underwood's three-song set included the uptempo inspirational track "See You Again" (from 2012's Blown Away) and her new baptismal "Something In The Water." She then closed out her set with "Before He Cheats." Needless to say, the country powerhouse had the entire crowd in awe and chanting along.
Last night was a moment I will never forget. Representing my country the UK in paying respect to every… http://t.co/SELiBXjbg5— Jessie J (@JessieJ) November 12, 2014
Rihanna's set featured "Diamonds" and "Stay." She then launched into "The Monster," with Eminem popping out for his first verse. Eminem's solo set included "Lose Yourself" (video below).
In between performances, video packages (including Reese Witherspoon, First Lady Michelle Obama, among others) helped raise awareness for issues affecting veterans and their families. Concert goers (reportedly in the hundreds of thousands) were encouraged to donate to the efforts. "This is the first time since I've been back that I've felt honored to be back home, and I'm 65 years old," one disabled Vietnam veteran, Bobby Monk, said during the show (via Billboard). "They treated us like criminals when we came back home. They didn't give us a parade."
Check out a slew of performances below:
Jennifer Hudson & Jessie J ("Titanium")
Dave Grohl ("My Hero")
Zac Brown, Springsteen and Dave Grohl ("Fortunate Son")
Carrie Underwood ("See You Again")
Metallica (full set)
Rihanna ("Diamonds," "Stay") and Eminem ("The Monster," "Lose Yourself")
[PHOTO CREDIT: John Lamparski/Rick Diamond/Getty]