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Metallica, Rihanna to headline anti-poverty concert

By AFP 26 July 2016

by Shaun TANDON Heavy metal greats Metallica and pop superstar Rihanna will headline the latest Global Citizen Festival, which will mobilize fans to fight the world's most extreme poverty.

The festival, to take place on September 24 in New York’s Central Park, “sells” tickets based on actions taken such as social media postings and letters to promote development goals.

The fifth edition of the festival will feature Metallica in one of only a handful of 2016 shows by the pioneering thrash metal band, although expectations are building that the group will release a new album within the year.

Rihanna, one of the most successful contemporary pop singers, will play the Global Citizen Festival weeks after she is scheduled to complete her “Anti” global tour.

Other headliners will include pop sensation Selena Gomez as well as Major Lazer, the crowd-pleasing electronic outfit whose “Lean On” is the most streamed song ever on Spotify.

Rounding off the headliners will be Kendrick Lamar, the introspective and socially conscious rapper whose 2015 “To Pimp a Butterfly” has quickly entered the hip-hop canon.

Other guest performers will include R&B star Usher and Yusuf Islam, the folk rocker formerly known as Cat Stevens, as well as Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and English pop singer Ellie Goulding.

Coldplay vocalist Chris Martin, who has taken on a supervisory role in the festival, will also play.

Bringing a more global touch to the lineup, the festival will also feature Yandel, the popular Puerto Rican reggaeton singer, and hosts will include Bollywood starlet Priyanka Chopra and Mexican-born Hollywood star Salma Hayek.

The concert will be broadcast in the United States on MSNBC and streamed internationally on YouTube and iHeartRadio.

– Support for Yazidis -Taking place each year around the time of the UN General Assembly, when hundreds of world leaders converge on New York, the Global Citizen Festival seeks to show public pressure on governments over development assistance.

This year, the festival takes on a new level of urgency with the migrant crisis as hundreds of thousands of people flee Syria and other war-ravaged countries.

Among actions to earn points toward tickets, Twitter users can voice support for a movement by Nadia Murad, a woman from the Yazidi minority in Iraq who endured three months of sexual slavery by the Islamic State group.

Murad is leading a bid to press the International Criminal Court to identify perpetrators and try them on genocide charges.

The festival will also put a focus on encouraging equal education for girls and refugee children — with literacy considered a key prerequisite in the fight against poverty.

Some 58 million adolescents around the world are not in school, with the gaps especially acute around Africa as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

“This year’s festival — and this incredible lineup — is an annual touch point to hold our world leaders to account on their commitments to solve the world’s biggest problems,” Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen which organizes the event, said in a statement.

Last year’s festival brought surprise appearances by US First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Hollywood mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

sct/sst

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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