Pop royalty in global concerts for climate, vaccines | Show biz


File photo of Billie Eilish posing as she arrives for the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London on February 18, 2020. – Reuters file photo

PARIS, September 25 – From Billie Eilish in New York to BTS in Seoul and Elton John in Paris, one of the biggest international charity events of all time was set to kick off today with concerts around the world to raise awareness for the change climate, vaccine equality and starvation.

Concerts are broadcast around the world from London, Lagos, Rio, Sydney, Mumbai and more, scheduled to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Eilish, Coldplay and Jennifer Lopez will perform in Central Park in New York, where British Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will also be on stage.

Stevie Wonder will perform in Los Angeles, while Ed Sheeran will headlining in Paris alongside Elton John, Black Eyed Peas and Stormzy.

Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend the biggest concerts, subject to vaccination or negative Covid tests.

There will also be pre-recorded performances from BTS in South Korea, Green Day in Los Angeles, superstar DJ Alok in Rio, Kylie Minogue in London and Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany.

“On six continents, artists will help rally citizens by demanding that governments, big business and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and overcome poverty,” the NGO Global Citizen said in a statement.

He said he was focusing “on the most pressing and interrelated threats that hit poor people hardest – climate change, vaccine equity and starvation.”

Many other artists, including Metallica and The Weeknd, are also involved, whether through live or filmed performances.

Global Citizen has said he wants a billion trees planted, a billion vaccines delivered to the poorest countries and meals for 41 million people on the brink of famine.

The organization has been behind other large-scale charity events, including “Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World” earlier this year in Los Angeles.

It brought together musicians, actors, celebrities, world leaders and even the Pope, in a united call for global vaccination to fight Covid-19.

Put pressure on governments

Global Citizen describes itself as a movement with a mission to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Its app uses incentives such as concert tickets to encourage users to lobby governments on issues of sustainability and equality.

Tickets for today’s shows were handed out for free to randomly selected people who signed up for the app and shared its petitions and posts on social media.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus, gave his support to the latest campaign, calling for equality of vaccines.

“We are now facing a two-way pandemic of haves and have-nots,” he said.

“We cannot ignore this blatant injustice or become complacent.”

One artist who almost canceled was Elton John, who announced this month that he was delaying the remainder of his tour dates for this year following a hip injury.

But he said he would wait until after the Global Citizen Live concert for his operation “because I don’t want to drop charity”. – AFP

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