Metal fans and pop aficionados alike joined together to take action to end extreme poverty and see their favorite artists alongside world leaders at Global Citizen Festival: Accra and Global Citizen Festival: NYC on Sept. 24. 

The 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival delivered stacked lineups in both cities, with celebrations that echoed calls for the international community to step up to build a more equitable and sustainable world for girls, for the planet, to create change. 

Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, MÅNESKIN, Mariah Carey, Mickey Guyton, Rosalía, Angélique Kidjo, and Billy Porter performed in Central Park while Usher, SZA, Stormzy, Gyakie, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, TEMS, and Uncle Waffles took over Black Star Square. 

The artists supported the global campaign to empower girls, close the climate finance gap, and alleviate the global food crisis, culminating in more than $2.4 billion announced. More than US$800 million was announced to end extreme poverty NOW and the European Commission and Canada pledged US$1.6 billion as part of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria on Sept. 21, in addition to the announcement of five companies signing on to the UN-led Race to Zero initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

More than US$440 million was earmarked exclusively to initiatives to end extreme poverty on the African continent, with the remainder intended to reach people around the world, including across Africa.

In no particular order, check out our favorite music moments that helped ring in these major policy commitments across continents. 

1. Jonas Brothers and DNCE guitarist JinJoo Lee performed “Cake by the Ocean.”

2. Charlie Puth performed his hit “Left and Right.” 

3. Charlie Puth also covered Billy Joel's “New York State of Mind.” 

4. Mariah Carey mashed up Megan Thee Stallion’s “Big Energy” and “Fantasy.”

5. Then Mariah brought out Jadakiss and Styles P for “We Belong Together.”

6. Angélique Kidjo performed “Afrika.” 

7. Angélique Kidjo also covered the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.”

8. Mickey Guyton performed “Lay It on Me.”

9. Mickey Guyton then covered Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.” 

10. Rosalía played “Hentai” on the piano. 

11. Billy Porter performed “Because We’re Kids” with children from Harlem’s First Corinthians Baptist Church. 

12. MÅNESKIN rocked out to “I Wanna Be Your Slave.”  

13. Metallica fans raged to “Master of Puppets.”

14. Stonebwoy opened the Accra show with “Run Go.”

15. Sarkodie shouted out the “Strength of a Woman.” 

16. TEMS got the crowd singing along to “Damages.”

17. Stormzy’s performance of “Blinded by Your Grace” got fans emotional.

18. SZA was blown away by Ghana’s reaction to her music.

19. Usher brought out a surprise guest.

20. Gyakie got the crowd swaying to “Waka Waka.” 

21. Uncle Waffles hyped the audience with an amapiano DJ set. 

22. John Legend tuned in from South Africa and dedicated “Wonder Woman” to girls and women who fight for equality. 

Global Citizen Life

Demand Equity

22 of the Best Musical Moments From Global Citizen Festival: Accra and NYC

By Leah Rodriguez  and  Tess Lowery