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‘Global Citizen Live’: What We Know About the Star-Studded Global Broadcast Meant to Unite the World Against Poverty and Pandemics


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Global Citizen, an international advocacy organization dedicated to ending world poverty, has just announced their Global Citizen Live event, a 24-hour live broadcast stretched across six continents and featuring performances by dozens of artists, including The Weeknd, Doja Cat, BTS, Lorde, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Shawn Mendes, The Lumineers, H.E.R., Keith Urban, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Lizzo, and more.

The live event/concert, which Global Citizen proudly states will truly be primarily live instead of pre-recorded, takes place on Saturday, September 25, 2021, and will be broadcast from Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Paris, London, Seoul, Los Angeles, and Sydney, with more locations still to be announced. Live audiences will be able to take part in accordance with local COVID guidelines and regulations, and the show will air on many major channels and streaming services.

The event is a major piece of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World, a year-long pledge the organization undertook in response to the crippling effects of COVID-19 on people around the world, especially those who were already at risk. Their goals for the year are admirably ambitious: to donate at least 1 billion COVID vaccines; to contribute $6 billion to famine relief efforts; to kick-start the return to school for millions of kids; and to combat climate change by planting trees—all while maintaining a fully-inclusive, equality-driven mindset. With the announcement of Global Citizen Live, however, this seemingly impossible campaign might just be doable.

The upcoming broadcast truly is the pinnacle of all that Global Citizen has worked toward since its founding in 2008. It’s the biggest event the organization has attempted so far, topping even this past spring’s Vax Live concert, which in itself helped raise more than $300 million for vulnerable populations worldwide. Global Citizen Live is simply a continuation of that goal: to unite citizens of the world to better “defend the planet and defeat poverty.”

Jennifer Lopez performing at Vax Live earlier this year. Though the singer has not yet been scheduled for Global Citizen Live, more performers are to be revealed as the event grows closer. Picture thanks to ExtraTV.

“Ultimately, this feels like something that we’ve been spending the last 10 years as an organization gearing up for,” Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said in an interview. “Because I think you have one opportunity to try to bring the whole world together as one, and this September is our generation’s moment to do just that. Because the needs are urgent.

“We’ve got 150 million people pushed into extreme poverty due to the pandemic, just based on current World Bank estimates. We’ve got 41 million people who are now on the brink of starvation on the horn of Africa… So we see September as this once-in-a-generation opportunity to defend the planet and to defeat poverty. And that’s why we’re going more ambitious than we’ve ever gone before, to really encourage citizens around the world to unite as one on the pressing issues facing humanity.”

Evans’ plan to unite the globe seems to be working so far. With an impressive roster of speakers and performers, the promise of great music, and the added novelty of a full-day show, the event was bound to turn heads. In fact, the campaign is being supported by over 30 governments, including Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, and South Africa. World leaders in support include Prime Minister of Italy, President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Evans has also called on the private sector and Fortune 500 to help play a part in the effort, though Global Citizen makes it a point not to petition regular citizens for donations.

Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans (right) with actor/singer Hugh Jackman (left) at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival. Picture thanks to Rolling Stone India.

In expressing his support of the event, Foreign Minister of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama stated that “Global Citizen Live brings us back down to earth by reminding 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.”

The Weeknd echoed this sentiment in the announcement of his participation, saying, “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. It’ll be an honor to perform and help bring support to these citizens who are suffering so severely.”

More details concerning the show are to be released in a second wave of announcements on August 3, but Global Citizen Live is already lining up to be perhaps one of the biggest philanthropic events—and star-studded, music-filled shows—of 2021.

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