24-hour Covid benefit concert announced with the Weeknd, Billie Eilish and more | Music

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A 24-hour livestreamed concert to benefit global recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic has been announced for 25 September.

Music stars including the Weeknd, Ed Sheeran and Billie Eilish are confirmed to perform at Global Citizen Live. Performances will take place across the world, from Central Park in New York to the Champ de Mars in Paris, as well as London, Los Angeles, Lagos, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul.

The event aims to help to secure a series of pledges from governments and companies, including the donation of a billion doses of Covid vaccine, $6bn (£4.3bn) in famine relief and $400m for education programmes. The French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi and speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi are among politicians supporting the campaign.

The event follows Global Citizen’s successful livestreamed concert in 2020, One World: Together at Home, which raised $127m for coronavirus charities from lockdown performances by artists such as Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones. In May, the advocacy organisation hosted Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin and others.

Also performing in the impressively starry lineup will be BTS, Coldplay, Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, Andrea Bocelli, Metallica, Lorde, Doja Cat, Keith Urban, Usher, HER, Duran Duran, Femi Kuti, Lang Lang, Demi Lovato, Ricky Martin and others.

The BBC has partnered to air the concert, with YouTube, Hulu and other broadcasters and streaming platforms also confirmed.

Announcing the event, Global Citizen chief executive Hugh Evans said: “Covid-19 has drastically reversed the progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, pushing upwards of 160 million people back into extreme poverty.

“There are now more than 40 million people on the brink of famine. Progress on climate change has halted, as the majority of the Fortune 500 [companies] fail to set science-based carbon reduction targets. We must rectify the damage done and hold world leaders and businesses accountable for ensuring that the entire world recovers from this pandemic together.”

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