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John Legend, Coldplay play virtual concerts on Instagram

Concerts around the world have been canceled or postponed in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but for a growing number of musicians, the show will still go on. 

Current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourage mass gatherings including concerts and festivals, so packed shows are a no-go right now. Instead, artists like John Legend, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Katharine McPhee and David Foster are streaming performances to fans live and for free from their own homes. 

Martin organized a concert Monday on Coldplay’s official Instagram, welcoming fans to watch “if anyone feels like chatting and listening to some music,” in an announcement about a half an hour ahead of time. He teased a “new song, which I’m not supposed to talk about, so I won’t” and played some Coldplay classics like “Viva La Vida,” “Trouble” and “Yellow.” 

John Legend, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Katharine McPhee Foster kicked off a trend of musicians performing virtual concerts after the novel coronavirus led to concert cancellations, among other social distancing measures.

“I’m on my own, sort of, in the house where I live,” Martin told fans at the beginning of the stream. “I was supposed to be with the band Coldplay today from which I come but they are stuck in different countries, so we can’t play together. So I thought what would be nice would be to check in with some of you out there and see where you are and what I can do for you … so I’m here at your service for the next 20-some minutes.”

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