Prince Harry and Meghan Markle call for Covid-19 vaccine equity while other stars talk climate and social concerns, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Coldplay, Doja Cat and many more perform new tracks and classic hits!
"Ready or Not," Fugees are back together again, and their reunion comes as part of a worldwide 24-hour concert event put on by Global Citizen in its ongoing efforts to "defend the planet and defeat poverty."
Kicking off in Paris on Saturday, the star-studded event spans multiple cities and continents as it spread its messages from venue to venue across 24 hours of nonstop activism and music.
"As we all know the world today faces many challenges: a spiraling climate crisis, millions on the brink of starvation, and a pandemic that continues to expose the harsh inequalities of power," Priyanka Chopra Jonas told the assembled crowd in France as part of the event's opening ceremonies.
"But every problem has solutions and if we can just rise to them -- if we dare to believe that these solutions are within our power -- throughout this pandemic we have seen what we can achieve when the world works together."
Simultaneous ceremonies were launching and coordinating from New York City's Central Park and London's Sky Garden. Anil Kapoor brought India into the mix from the event's Mumbai stage at the Gateway of India, while Nigeria was broadcasting from its New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, while Scott Evans prepped Los Angeles to join in the festivities and Sydney, Australia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were signed on, as well.
It was a true global effort, perhaps exemplified best by a multi-location, truly international performance of Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" and "One Love." Nile Rodgers started things off in London, joined by Femi and Mada Kuti in Lagos; Black Eyes Peas and Angélique Kidjo in Paris; Jon Batiste, Chris Martin, Cyndi Lauper, and Billy Porter in New York; Delta Goodrem in Sydney; Adam Lambert and Ryan Tedder in Los Angeles; and Anil Kapoor in Mumbai.
While much of the music happened live in these various locales around the globe, some performers beamed in remotely from other locations, like show openers BTS, who kicked off the opening ceremonies with their new song "Permission to Dance" from their home country in Seoul, South Korea.
As for the 24-hour broadcast, that kicked off with the long-awaited reunion of Fugees, back together after 15 years with their smash hit "Ready or Not." Whether fans were ready or not, the broadcast was officially on and would continue to spread its message for 24 hours straight with artists and public figures sharing music and words of empowerment, hope and activism.
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Call for Vaccine Equity
"My wife and I believe that where you’re born should not dictate your ability to survive," Prince Harry asked the assembled crowds. "So Global Citizens, we ask you tonight: Do you think we should start treating access to the vaccine as a basic human right?"
"When we start making decisions through that lens, where every single person deserves equal access to the vaccine, then we can achieve what is needed together for all of us," he continued.
"we know that it feels like this pandemic has been going on forever. We get it. It is a lot and some people are just over it," added Markle, per ABC News. "But if everyone's over it, it's never going to be over.
"There's so much that we can do today, now, that can get us closer to ending this pandemic and that's why we're all here."
Padma Lakshmi & Tan France on Climate Change & Food Insecurity
Drawing a direct link between climate change and world hunger, "Queer Eye" star Tan France said, "Look at what’s happening. New records for all the wrong reasons. Extreme storms. Flooding and droughts. And guess what happens when fields are swamped or turned to dust? We can’t grow food. Take our climate crisis, put it on top of a global pandemic that disrupted our basic food distribution systems, and you have a humanitarian crisis like we do right now."
Padma Lakshmi agreed, as chronicled by Global Citizen, urging action to combat food insecurity around the globe. "Forty-one million people are on the brink of starvation,” she said. “This is seen in the faces of the people of Haiti, the women and children in Afghanistan, and millions more across the Horn of Africa and in Latin America. Listen up. We can feed them all.”
While video isn't yet available -- perhaps it's too hot for video -- performers Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes hit the stage together briefly after she performed a set of some of her biggest hits.
Mendes then joined her on the stage for "Señorita," and the crowd was loving seeing the lovebirds on the stage together. And they didn't disappoint, locking lips at one point to the delight of all attending.
Desus & Mero Discuss Disproportionate Impact of Poverty on People of Color
The comedians and talk show hosts talked about how poverty negatively impacts the potential of everyone it touches, and the fact that it disproportionately affects people of color means that it's holding those communities back more than others.
"Lack of social justice creates a cycle of poverty that women and people of color disproportionately suffer from, and find themselves trapped in," said Desus.
"If you look close enough, you can see the direct line from lack of equity to income insecurity," Mero added. "When people are denied access to resources based on their gender or race, they are also robbed of options and the ability to change their circumstances."
"It may seem like these issues are impossible, but your voice is your power," he emphasized. "And if enough of us join together, saying the same thing, leaders, corporations, and the people in charge will have to listen. Keep fighting."
You can catch it all on the official Global Citizen livestream or keep scrolling for some of the highlighted moments and performances from the incredible event (you can catch many more performances from the below artists and others at the Global Citizen YouTube page):
BTS, "Permission to Dance"
Fugees, "Ready or Not"
Jennifer Lopez & Ja Rule, "I'm Real" & "Ain't It Funny"