On Saturday June 27th, Global Citizen appeared on cable stations and streaming platforms for their “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future | The Concert.” Global Citizen is a community of people from around the world, working to end extreme poverty. Within their movement, they have worked to stop child marriages in Tanzania, advocated for better access to water and sanitation in India, and promoted vaccination in South Africa.
This over two hour concert, hosted by Dwayne Johnson, brought together actors, athletes and performers for a united cause; to end COVID-19 globally. As this is a global organization, they know how fundamental it is to treat this as an international crisis, writing on their website, "Putting an end to the COVID-19 pandemic means putting an end to it for all people, everywhere — including people of color, those living in extreme poverty, and all marginalized communities.”
But what was the music like? Well the concert was kickstarted with Jennifer Hudson in her hometown floating down the Chicago River, perfectly socially distanced between her acoustic guitarist and her cajón player. As she sang Gladys Knight’s “Where Peaceful Water Flows,” her melodies were moving and projection was powerful; it makes you think, how did she not win American Idol? This concert, being virtual, includes a live chat; except it’s much less an actual conversation, and more a place for Beliebers to fangirl--for the entire two hours. But this concert did not focus solely on the Coronavirus, Global Citizen took this time to comment on the other pandemic in our country, but also globally- racism. Oppression and inequality is still present, and it was vital to speak about the life of George Floyd, as well as the Black Lives Matter Movement. And on that wavelength, the next performance was of For Love Choir, covering Beyoncé’s anthem, “Freedom.” This was a striking choreographed presentation, all circled together, six feet apart in a dusk field, united. Miley and her mullet covered The Beatles,’ “Help!,” Justin Beiber sang an acoustic version of his track “Intentions,” and Chloe x Halle performed their “Rest of Your Life.”
One thing that Global Citizen certainly made sure of, was to be inclusive. The performances and speakers were varied while the music especially highlighted and celebrated the differences in cultures. Shakira sang “Sale el Sol” in her native language, Spanish. French performer, Christine and The Queens sang her upbeat track, “La Vita Nuova,” from her extended play of the same title. Columbian artist J Balvin took the screen over with a medley of “Que Calor” & “Mi Gente,” in a MarioKart-like scene, completed with the talented Nigerian dance group, The Dreamcatchers. And to finish the star-studded concert, Nigerian Afropop singer/songwriter Yemi Alade dazzled our screens with her catchy and rhythmic tune, “Shekere.”
Overall Global Citizen was able to thank healthcare workers, entertain fans, all while raising $6.9 billion (pledged)- to combat the disproportionate impact of COVID-19. If you didn't catch the concert you can view it here, or bump out to the playlist below!
LONG STORY SHORT: Just click the playlist. This list of global artists will freshen up your summer palette.