Saturday night’s Global Citizen Festival in New York harnessed some major star power to highlight extreme poverty in the developing world. And amid the rallying cries and raucousness of the star-studded evening, two of music’s biggest players brought things back home with the night’s most poignant moment.
During his set, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam beckoned none other than Queen B herself on stage for a muted rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”
And though the coupling of Vedder and Beyoncé sent audience members into raptures, the musicians were sure to take a back seat to the greater cause. Near the end of the duet, the musicians briefly paused for video of Nelson Mandela speaking about eradicating poverty: “Poverty is not natural. It is manmade, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings, and overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It’s the protection of a fundamental human right.”
And this was just a pinpoint in a powerhouse of an evening. First Lady Michelle Obama launched a new campaign #62milliongirls to address equal education, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim spoke with Big Bird about the need for clean water and sanitation, and Bono introduced 18-year-old Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and four young women from Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria to speak about the urgency of equal education in eradicating poverty. As one tweeter put it, major #squadgoals.
The evening was the fourth Global Citizen Festival, which is organized by the Global Poverty Project. The nonprofit was founded in 2008 with the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
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