The broadcast of Global Citizen Live on social media opened with a pre-recorded performance by pop superstars BTS in Seoul before the show kicked off in Paris with Elton John.
The “once-in-a-generation” music event circled the world Saturday, with a slew of megastars taking the stage in New York and beyond for Global Citizen Live — 24 hours of shows across the planet to raise awareness on climate change, vaccine equality and famine.
Between star-studded sets of some of the biggest names in music — including Coldplay, Lizzo, Jennifer Lopez, and Billie Eilish — actors, politicians, company executives, royals, actors and activists made appeals or announced donations to tackle major global challenges.
NGO Global Citizen wants one billion trees planted, two billion vaccines delivered to the poorest countries and meals for 41 million people on the brink of starvation.
After the show ended in Paris and handed off to New York, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, took to the stage to advocate for COVID-19 vaccine access to be treated “as a basic human right.”
“My wife and I believe the way you’re born should not dictate your ability to survive,” the Duke of Sussex said to cheers from the thousands-strong crowd at Central Park.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex followed pop veteran Cyndi Lauper with a rendition of her «Girls Just Want to Have Fun» dedicated to Afghan women.
Between sets, funding announcements poured in and calls to action were hammered home, even from the International Space Station.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced in a recorded message the United States would «contribute more than $295 million to countries around the world to stave off famine and extreme hunger, confront gender-based violence and address the urgent humanitarian needs the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving in its wake.»
Global Citizen co-founder and CEO Hugh Evans urged the audience to “take action” to help raise $6 billion needed by the World Food Programme, tackle vaccine inequality and pressure leaders ahead of the UN COP26 climate change conference in November.
“Charity alone… will never be sufficient to end extreme poverty or tackle climate change. The actions of a movement of people is needed to drive lasting change,” he said.
After an appearance by renowned 92-year-old American biologist Edward O. Wilson, the show moved to Los Angeles, opened by pop band 5 Seconds of Summer at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, with Demi Lovato, Adam Lambert, and Stevie Wonder, among others, also billed.
Lead vocalist Luke Hemmings celebrated being in their first concert in almost two years «and for an honorable cause.»
Ed Sheeran was the headliner in Paris alongside Black Eyed Peas and Stormzy.