The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara performing for 24 hour Global Citizen event

Broadcasting from around the world for 24 hours, a trio of Canadian stars have joined the lineup for this year’s Global Citizen Live concert to help fight poverty. 

Scheduled for Saturday, September 25, dozens of performers including Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd will participate in the international blockbuster to help unite the world in defense of Earth and to fight poverty. Performances will be filmed on six continents — Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America — and will be broadcast on ABC ABC News, BBC, FX, iHeartRadio, Hulu, YouTube Twitter and other platforms. 

“Global Citizen Live is part of an ongoing effort to defend the planet and defeat poverty, powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations and philanthropists to make change,” the organization said Tuesday, announcing the first round of performers. 

Also slated to perform are Ed Sheeran, Adam Lambert, BTS, Angelique Kidjo, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Burna Boy, Lizzo, Camila Cabello, Andrea Bocelli, Christine and the Queens, Metallica, Davido, Lorde, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, DJ Snake, Keith Urban, Green Day, Usher, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, H.E.R, Rag’n’Bone Man, Duran Duran, Ricky Martin, Femi Kuti, The Lumineers, Tiwa Savage and Lang Lang, with others to be announced in August. 

This year’s event has some concrete goals too: to restore and protect at least a billion trees by next year in order to fight climate change and to provide food for the 40 million people facing starvation. 

“It is very important to me to be a part of this historic event to spread awareness and encourage action toward helping the people of Ethiopia during this devastating humanitarian crisis they are faced with,” The Weeknd said of his participation. “It’ll be an honour to perform and help bring support to these citizens who are suffering so severely.”

In a statement seemingly directed at both Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Minister of Nigeria, says “As we humans spend billions of dollars in search of newer worlds in outer space, Global Citizen Live brings us back down to earth by remind the global community that charity should begin at home  and we must preserve our earth and be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We owe it to ourselves and generations yet unborn. Space can wait!”  

The concert takes place just before the G20 Summit and COP26 and is part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World, a year-long campaign focused on unifying the world to fight COVID-19 and help kickstart the economy around the world. 

The event follows Global Citizen’s successful livestreamed concert in 2020, One World: Together at Home, which raised $127m for coronavirus charities from lockdown performances by artists such as Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones. In May, the advocacy organisation hosted Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin and others.

Hugh Evans, Global Citizen’s CEO, says that COVID “drastically reversed the progress toward achieving the United Nations Global Goals, pushing upwards of 160 million people back into extreme poverty and more than 40 million to the brink of starvation. Progress on climate change has halted, as the majority of the Fortune 500 fail to set science-based carbon reduction targets. We must rectify the damage done and hold world leaders accountable for ensuring that the entire world recovers from this pandemic together. ‘Equitable recovery’ is not an act of charity — it is the only way we can ensure a fighting chance at achieving a sustainable world free from extreme poverty.” 

Among the stated objectives from Global Citizen to world leaders: 

  • Help end the pandemic by donating at least a billion doses of vaccines to those most in need, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where infections continue to increase faster than anywhere else in the world, yet less than 3% of the population has received a single dose. 
  • Work to reverse the hunger crisis by contributing at least $6 billion in famine relief efforts and providing urgently needed meals, an amount that represents less than 1% of the $1 trillion stored in private U.S. foundations. 
  • Help contribute $400 million toward education to help 4.5 million kids most in need have access to schools. 
  • Combat catastrophic climate change by convincing the largest companies in the world to join the Race to Zero, helping to conserve trees while committing to becoming carbon neutral and working toward science-based targets to reach zero net emissions. 
  • Work for an equitable pandemic recovery for all through mobilizing $250 million to support COVID response efforts, especially those targeted people-centered justice, gender equality, racial equity, LGBTIQ+ rights and disabled persons. 

 More information will be coming out in August, but additional details are available here

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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