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Global Citizen Fest 2015: Beyonce & Ed Sheeran Do 'Drunk In Love,' Ariana & Coldplay Duet & More
New Yorkers, world leaders and celebrities alike and joined together on Saturday (Sept. 26) for the 2015 Global Citizen Fest.
Each year, Global Citizen Fest brings awareness to social issues through high-profile speakers and musical performances -- this year featured Beyonce, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran, Tori Kelly, and more.
These were some of the many highlights.
3:00 p.m. Coldplay kicked off the concert with a performance of some of their biggest hits including “Yellow” and “Viva La Vida.” The band even brought out singer Ariana Grande for a surprise duet of Ariana’s song “Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart.”
"Events like today make us feel like loads and loads of people care about the same stuff. It gives me hope." - Chris Martin #GlobalCitizen— Aggi Ashagre (@agerenesh) September 26, 2015
4:00 p.m. Tori Kelly was the next performer, singing her cover of “Blackbird” by The Beatles, “City Dove,” “Nobody Love,” and her latest single “Should’ve Been Us.” Backstage, the singer couldn’t resist asking for a selfie with Bill Nye (you know, the science guy).
5:30 p.m. After an introduction by actress Kerry Washington, Ed Sheeran hit the stage to perform early hits like "A-Team" and “Lego House” as well as a few songs from his last album including “Photograph” and a mashup of his song "Don’t" with Chris Brown’s “Loyal” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity."
6:00 p.m. Ed surprised the crowd by bringing out Coldplay’s Chris Martin to play piano and sing a duet to “Thinking Out Loud.”
In between performances, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Salma Hayek and even Vice President Joe Biden took the stage to put a spotlight on many of the issues that the festival aimed to address such as ending world poverty and the world's current migrant crisis.
"For the children of Syria, we are the only hope they have for the future" - Salma Hayek #GlobalCitizen— Aggi Ashagre (@agerenesh) September 26, 2015
6:30 p.m. After performances of "Glory" and "The Light," Common brought out Sting to perform "Every Breath You Take" and "One World." After the performance, Common posted behind the scenes footage of the duo's rehearsal on Instagram.
7:30 p.m. Beyoncé hit the stage and launched her set with her sultry remix of "Crazy In Love," similar to the way she began her last set at the Made In America Festival.
7:50 p.m. Beyoncé followed the night's trend of bringing out a surprise guest with an acoustic performance of "Drunk In Love" featuring Ed Sheeran.
8:30 p.m. After shutting down the stage with performances of everything from Destiny's Child's "Survivor" to "Flawless," Beyonce introduced the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, to the stage.
"I am honored to follow a woman whom I admire and adore, someone who believes as passionately as I do, the boundless promise of girls worldwide," the First Lady said.
"She got both feet on the ground and she's burning it down...This girl is on fire."
After being introduced to the audience by FLOTUS, Bono sang an impromptu snippet of "Girl On Fire," saying the lyrics reminded him of the First Lady.
9:15 p.m. The final performers of the night, Pearl Jam, took to the stage to a crowd that was much more sparse than the one that was anxiously waiting for Beyoncé. However, the band wasn't fazed and performed an electric set.
"This one's for Malala" lead singer Eddie Vedder said into the microphone as the band began playing their song "Given To Fly." They dedicated the song to 18-year-old Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was also in attendance.
"Never before have we played for an audience full of activists and it's an incredible feeling and we just want to thank you," Vedder said to the crowd before playing the band's song "Alive."
In a move that was fitting for the night's purpose, Vedder then brought out his acoustic guitar to play the song "Imagine," dedicating the performance to John Lennon.
"Not every day you get to sing with a queen," Vedder said as he brought Beyonce back to the stage to perform a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." In a powerful moment during their performance, all that was heard was the strum of Vedder's guitar and Beyonce's ad-libbed vocals underneath a speech by Nelson Mandela that played on the Jumbotron.