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Acts from Aerosmith to James Taylor to New Kids on the Block shared the stage at Thursday’s Boston Strong Concert to benefit victims of the marathon bombing.
Thousands gathered for the 5 1/2-hour show at Boston’s TD Garden, where Beantown native Steven Tyler and his band joined forced with the New Kids to close out with a raucous cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together.”
“Boston got its heart broken … but if they think they can keep us down, they can ‘Dream On,'” declared Tyler, before performing the Aerosmith hit of the same name, according to The Associated Press.
During their set, the New Kids — also from Boston — partnered with surprise guests Boyz II Men on the ’90s ballad “One Sweet Day,” which has the lyrics: “And I know you’re shining/Down on me from heaven/Like so many friends/We’ve lost along the way.” Ex-boy bander Joey McIntyre, who crossed the finish line 10 minutes before the April 15 bombing, became emotional, telling the crowd: “I happened to be on a bench in Copley Plaza, Copley Square, but I don’t care where you were that day, because this happened to all of us.”
Taylor played “Sweet Baby James,” accompanied by Carole King on piano. The concert also featured performances from country singer Jason Aldean and the bands Boston and Dropkick Murphys.
Proceeds from the event are going toward One Fund Boston, which provides financial aid to families of those who were killed in the blasts as well as the victims who were seriously injured.
The epic fundraiser was spearheaded by Jared Paul, longtime concert-industry veteran and manager of the New Kids. The concept, he told The Hollywood Reporter this week, came from a phone call in which the group’s members relayed how “taken” they were “by what happened in Boston.” Paul then contacted Live Nation who gifted the venue for the event, which he in turn booked.
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