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LIMHOF airs TV special honoring health care workers

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts were among more

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts were among more than 20 Long Island Music Hall of Fame inductees who performed on Sunday's TV special. Credit: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

Legends of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame shook up the programming on local news channels Sunday. “Supporting Healthcare Heroes,” a 90-minute, commercial-free music program, featured more than 20 LIMHOF inductees performing on News 12 Plus (channel 61) and FIOS (channel 530) honoring of Long Island’s front-line workers

“Music is so much a part of our Island,” said host and News 12 features reporter Elisa DiStefano in the middle of an empty Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh. “Since concerts on this stage and at other incredible venues are on pause right now, we wanted to do our part to bring you the music you love to your living room.”

Throughout the show donations for the United Way’s United Together for Health Care Heroes fund, which is used for delivering food to health care workers on site, were accepted at unitedwayli.org/healthcareheroes.

Former Billy Joel Band saxophonist Richie Cannata set the tone right from the beginning with an emotional instrumental rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts split the screen into four sections as they performed “Make It Back” from their 2013 album, “Unvarnished,” featuring the appropriate lyrics: “I hope this train don’t fall off the track cause I gotta make it back.”

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels rapped Run-DMC classic “It’s Like That” as DJ Johnny Juice assisted on the wheels of steel. Fellow old-school rapper Kurtis Blow broke out a new song written for the program, called “Keep Your Distance,” in which he rapped: “COVID-19 killing people left and right, devastating the planet it seems like overnight. They say we are at war but it’s an invisible fight, never have I seen a thing like this in my life.”

Taking Back Sunday's guitarist John Nolan and singer Adam Lazzara duetted on “MakeDamnSure.” Meanwhile, Randy Jackson of Zebra performed an acoustic rendition of “Who’s Behind the Door?”

Original compositions were played by possible future inductees Alexa Ray Joel (“Hideaway”) and Michael DelGuidice (“Where Do the Heroes Go?”).

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In addition to performances, many inductees such as guitarist John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Jay Siegel of the Tokens, LL Cool J, Ashanti and Taylor Dayne gave shout-outs and messages of hope.

“They don’t call it Strong Island for nothing. It’s in our blood,” said singer Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. “This is probably one of the toughest things that any of us have had to fight. But we will come out of this standing tall as we always do.”

The show concluded with performances from Debbie Gibson, as well as Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo.

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