Billie Eilish, BTS, Elton John in concert for climate action, vaccines

Billie Eilish poses backstage with her awards at the 62nd Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, January 26, 2020. — Reuters pic
Billie Eilish poses backstage with her awards at the 62nd Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, January 26, 2020. — Reuters pic

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PARIS, Sept 23 — Some of the biggest names in pop, from Billie Eilish to BTS and Elton John, will lend their star power to Global Citizen Live on Saturday for a round-the-world event to raise awareness on climate change, vaccine equality and famine. 

Concerts staged in New York, Paris, Lagos, Rio, Sydney, Mumbai and more will be broadcast globally for the event, scheduled to coincide with the UN General Assembly this week. 

The star-studded line-up will also push for action at the G20 next month and COP26 climate meeting in November. 

Eilish and Coldplay will headline in New York’s Central Park, joined by Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes and Burna Boy, among others. 

Ed Sheeran will perform in Paris alongside Elton John, with Doja Cat, Black Eyed Peas and Stormzy supporting. 

And then there will be Femi Kuti in Nigeria, Alok in Rio, and Duran Duran and Kylie Minogue in London.

“Across six continents, artists will help rally citizens in demanding that governments, major corporations and philanthropists work together to defend the planet and defeat poverty,” NGO Global Citizen said in a statement. 

It said it was focusing “on the most urgent, interrelated threats hitting those in poverty the hardest — climate change, vaccine equity, and famine”.

A slew of other artists — including Metallica and The Weeknd — are also involved, either through live or filmed performances.

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

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

That brought together musicians, actors, celebrities, world leaders and even the pope, in a united call for global vaccinations to fight Covid-19.

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 into pressuring governments on issues around sustainability and equality.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus, lent his support to the latest campaign, urging vaccine equality.  

“We now face a two-track pandemic of haves and have-nots,” he said. 

“We cannot disregard this gross inequity or become complacent.” — AFP

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