Liam Payne is no stranger to getting creative in quarantine. Earlier this month, he and Alesso dropped the transatlantic video for their new collaboration, “Midnight,” which they filmed from their respective homes. Then, they reunited for a similarly innovative, at-home performance of the song on The Late Late Show. For his latest trick, Payne polished off the track yet again for an outstanding cause — he performed “Midnight” as part of the One World: Together At Home event on Saturday (April 18).
With a camera zoomed in on his face, we got an up-close view of Payne belting those sky-high notes on the track’s moving chorus: “I just wanna lay here and fall into midnight / And fall right into you.” The singer previously told MTV News that he considers “Midnight” an “uplifting” song about “overcoming something bigger together,” and the lyrics beautifully spoke to that poignancy. “Any problems, we’ll figure it out / Any love lost, we’ll bring back around / Any broken heart, we’ll make it heal,” he sang, while a guitar player joined him remotely. Even without Alesso’s energy-boosting beat drops, Payne’s acoustic rendition was a stunner.
Just before his performance, Payne took a minute to address the uncertainty that so many people are facing amid the global coronavirus pandemic, and to champion a positive mindset. “It’s a pretty dark time for us all right now, I feel,” he said. “For my own personal benefit, I’m trying to think of all the beautiful things that are coming out of it and staying positive. And I think this is one of them. I really feel at the moment we’re all being brought a lot closer together by this solidarity we have to feel right now. … I hope you’re enjoying yourselves at home as much as you can, and I hope that me singing today brings some people some enjoyment somewhere.”
Kesha and Payne’s former One Direction bandmate, Niall Horan, also performed as part of Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home digital special on Saturday afternoon. The event will continue into Saturday evening with a two-hour televised special uniting some of the biggest names in entertainment to raise funds for the global COVID-19 response effort. The primary telecast will be co-hosted by late-night talk show hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon. Performers and presenters set to be featured include Gaga, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, and several more stars.