Concert for Ukraine: Big names arrive ahead of two-hour fundraiser

ITV's Concert For Ukraine fundraiser gets underway at Birmingham's Resorts World Arena from 8pm on ITV and the ITV Hub.

Our team have been bringing you backstage updates throughout the day.

Sunderland-born Emeli Sande will also be taking to the stage.

She explained she hoped it'll feel like to be in the crowd at the Resorts World Arena this evening.

"I hope they feel uplifted, I hope they feel inspired to help themselves," Sande says.

"I'm just happy I can see brighter days, which is quite an uplifting song, and just positivity. We're all going through quite difficult times these past few years. And just a reminder that it through unity through us thinking hopefully, of a positive future that can be realised.

"So I hope my voice comes back. And I just hope people feel inspired to donate to give and we can do some serious, serious justice for the people in need."

"Having to do it is what sort of breaks my heart a bit", says disco legend Nile Rodgers.

He's part of the international lineup for Concert for Ukraine, and has been sound checking with his band throughout the day.

"Once we knew that it was going to happen, we just sat down and we figured out what we would do. That was the difficult part, figuring out what was appropriate because typically my music is to make people feel good and happy. I decided I would go back to the very beginning and think about the very first song I ever wrote.

Rodgers continued: "A lot of my friends are Ukrainian, some of my employees are, I support so many people and I wanted to try and help as quickly as possible.

"For me to have to do the music that I normally would be doing for people that are feeling good to now to try and raise money to help people that are feeling bad. Of course, by all means, I would do it without even a thought. But having to do it is what sort of breaks my heart a bit."

New artists added to the lineup

Ukrainian singer, actress and songwriter and winner of the 2016 Eurovision competition Jamala and the Grammy winning violinist Nicola Benedetti will join tonight’s all-star line up for Concert for Ukraine.

Jamala represented Ukraine with "1944" won the Grand Final of the 61st annual Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm in 2016. Credit: PA images

Jamala (real name Susana Alimivna Jamaladinova) and Nicola will join Anne Marie, Becky Hill, Camila Cabello, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé, Gregory Porter, The Kingdom Choir, Paloma Faith, Manic Street Preachers, Snow Patrol and Tom Odell at the two-hour fundraiser.

In 2016 Jamala represented Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden and has released six studio albums within the last ten years.

Our reporter Sarah Kilburn-Wilson has been taking us on an extra-special tour backstage, to see where the concert's artists will be getting ready.

Gregory Porter has been speaking to ITV News about the importance of holding tonight's concert.

The American jazz star said: "People are coming in from different parts of the world in different different styles and genres.

"This is what's beautiful, is because it's all of us, coming from different places saying in chorus in harmony that we are singing for peace.

"This is about bringing our light to light a dark situation."

The Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal say at least 3 million people have fled their homes to escape the conflict in Ukraine.

They predict 18 million people are projected to be impacted by the ongoing conflict, while 4 million people are expected to be displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Stars have pledged their support for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

Ed Sheeran said he is "so proud to be playing" at the fundraiser, while Camila Cabello said her "heart is breaking for the people of Ukraine."

Scottish singer Emily Sande - who is also performing later - said she will be taking part in support of the refugees who have experienced racism at borders as they try to escape the war.

The stage is set with the finishing touches being put in place.

Here's a stunning first look at where some of the world's biggest stars will be performing.

Rehearsals are underway for tonight's fundraiser.

It's just hours to go until ITV's Concert For Ukraine fundraiser gets underway at Birmingham's Resorts World Arena.

It'll be hosted by radio presenters Roman Kemp, Marvin Humes and former Spice Girl Emma Bunton.

Stars including Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Emeli Sande, Tom O'Dell, Snow Patrol, Manic Street Preachers and Gregory Porter will all be performing.

The fundraiser will feature some of the world's biggest stars, all to raise money for the humanitarian crisis as a result of conflict Credit: PA images

Cash donated by viewers will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which is helping the millions of people who are being forced to leave their lives in Ukraine and flee to other countries.

ITV is donating all the advertising revenue from the broadcast – an estimated £3 million – to the DEC appeal.

It comes on the day that fresh talks are underway to try and stop the conflict in Ukraine.

Credit: PA images

Where can I watch?

It airs on ITV and STV at 8pm and is also being streamed online on the ITV Hub and STV player.

A few tickets are still available to see the show in-person.