Stevie Wonder Takes 'Both Knees' In Prayer For 'Our Future'

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen
Stevie Wonder and Kwame Morris perform onstage during the 2017 Global Citizen Festival: For Freedom. For Justice. For All. in Central Park on Sept. 23, 2017 in New York City. 

Holding onto his son Kwame Wonder, the legendary Stevie Wonder took "both knees" Saturday night at the 6th annual Global Citizen Music Fest in New York City's Central Park. “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” 67-year-old Wonder declared as he knelt down. “But not just one knee. Both knees. Both knees, in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe. Amen.”

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The protest comes, of course, in solidarity with the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick's now-viral move to take a knee during the National Anthem in 2016. But the statement also followed a bitter cry from Trump earlier in the day, stating that NFL players who protest should be "fired."

Wonder's rousing hour and a half performance included him effortlessly belting out greatest hits like "Isn't She Lovely" and "We Are the World", and was punctuated by Pharrell's shockingly uncomfortable cameo (in which the singer arrived on stage around 15 minutes late, looking confused and starstruck and forgetting the words to all three of the songs he was supposed to perform: "Lucky", "Happy" and Wonder's "Superstitious").

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But beyond the beginning prayer and Pharrell's speechlessness, Wonder heavily politicized his set in other ways, nodding to Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un's social media Twitter feud. "We must take care of each other, and this planet. If we don’t, we could lose the ultimate video game of life," the singer and activist said. "Weapons are real and rhetoric is dangerous." He also dedicated "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" to Republican Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, in honor of McCain's refusal to vote for Trump's bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

"Sing it for Senator McCain," Wonder said. "It's about doing the right thing.