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The 2015 Global Citizen Festival Had A Serious Celebrity Turnout To Support To The Cause

The 2015 Global Citizen Festival Had A Serious Celebrity Turnout To Support To The Cause

Nearly 60,000 people streamed into Central Park’s Great Lawn in New York City Saturday for the Global Citizen Festival—an all-day concert and rally dedicated to putting an end to extreme poverty across the world by 2030. The program, a megawatt collision of high-profile names from politics and pop culture, included Stephen ColbertHugh Jackman, a freshly shaved Leonardo DiCaprioQueen Rania of Jordan, Bill Gates and Melinda GatesLaverne CoxBono, Nobel Peace Prize–winner Malala YousafzaiVice President Joe Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama. And while the fashion on display featured plenty of the usual fringe-and-bootie festival garb, the prevailing style statement was a T-shirt emblazoned with a protest message.

Coldplay kicked off the concert, and lead singer Chris Martin invited surprise guest Ariana Grande to join the band. Common performed a moving rendition of “Glory,” the Oscar-winning song from last year’s Selma, while British sensationEd Sheeran brought down the house with his jaunty guitar abilities.

Not to be topped, however, was Vogue September cover girl Beyoncé, whose feminist-forward anthemic set was accompanied by video montages of martial artist Ronda Rousey and Maya Angelou. At the close of her performance, Queen Bey brought on the über headliner of the day: Michelle Obama. FLOTUS, whose appearance was only announced two days prior, shared the chilling statistic that 62 million girls around the world are not in school. “They deserve the same chances to get an education as my daughters and your daughters,” she said, calling upon women to upload selfies and list one thing they learned in school, using the hashtag #62MillionGirls.

Pearl Jam closed out the concert with a 12-song set that included classics like “Alive” and covers of John Lennon and Neil Young. In all, the day made a case for more responsible and compassionate citizenship, and provided a worthy reason for some serious dancing and good music.



by Emily Barasch

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