Thousands of people gathered Saturday to attend concerts by Lauryn Hill, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jungkook in Central Park, New York, as part of the Global Citizen festival in support of international development aid.
Rap icon Lauryn Hill, took the stage on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, performing her famous song "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and bringing together the group The Fugees. The legendary hip-hop trio performed tracks such as "Killing Me Softly" and "Ready Or Not."
Africa must control its own natural resources. Haiti must control its own natural resources. The whole world must end famine," said Haitian-born iconic member Wyclef Jean, who waved their mobile phones.
This message was in line with the objectives of the day, which combines musical performance with calls to help international development, especially to fight poverty and climate change.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers closed the evening with their classics including "Can't Stop," "Scar Tissue," "Dani California," "Snow (Hey Oh)" and "Californication."
Covered in a poncho, to protect themselves from the rain and cold, spectators went wild as Jungkook, from the K-pop phenomenon group BTS, performed his most famous hits, including "Still With You".
Jungkook, from the K-pop phenomenon BTS, performed his most famous hits. CAITLIN OCHS / REUTERS
Dressed in faded jeans and a brown shirt, the South Korean megastar reminded his fans of the need to "make an impact together to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to basic rights like food and education."
Although he hadn't been announced as the headliner, Jungkook's performance was one of the highlights of the evening. Many soaked spectators left the Manhattan park just at the end of his time on stage, when the festival was still supposed to last three hours.
Earlier, Anitta went wild on stage with her impressive twerks and dance show, performing hits such as her recent "Funk Rave."
Protecting indigenous peoples
Anitta went wild on stage. CAITLIN OCHS / REUTERS
Brazil's biggest pop star has drawn attention to the importance of protecting the Amazon rainforest, saying it is "the lung of our planet." Before kicking off her concert, she called on governments to do more to "protect the people out there, the indigenous peoples, the communities... whose only reality is the Amazon."
Rappers such as Busta Rhymes and Common paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, which is one of many events held in New York City in recent months.
The festival, which has been taking place since 2012 when world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, offers free tickets to activists who pledge to take action, such as writing to their leaders calling for increased international development assistance.
$150 million donation from France
French President Emmanuel Macron announced via video at the festival the payment of $150 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is currently the highest amount pledged by a government. "We must fight together against poverty, climate change and for biodiversity," said the head of state. "That's why we also want to play our part."
Global Citizen welcomed France's commitment in a statement, adding that "much more needs to be done to provide crucial support to millions of smallholder farmers around the world, who produce 70% of food in low- and middle-income countries."