Gathering a host of world’s most talented artists and renowned activists to raise funds and awareness for girls’ and women’s empowerment, the four-hour concert event was attended by more than 50,000 people and presented by CHIME FOR CHANGE – founded by Italian fashion house Gucci, which campaigns for improved Education, Health and Justice for women and girls worldwide.
Taking the stage at the start of the concert was surprise guest Jesse J, who spotted a bold bald hairdo while singing her worldwide hit anthem “Price Tag”. Some of the greatest names in music joined forces for other surprise collaborations, including Mary J Blige, who took the stage with Jennifer Lopez, belting out “Come Together”.
On the other hand, Simon Le Bon who performed for the first time live with Timbaland, entertaining the crowd with a remix of Duran Duran’s hit ‘Reflex.’
Apart from that, other performers who shared the stage with the like of Beyoncé, Jenny and Mary were newcomers Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea, Florence + The Machine, HAIM, John Legend, Italian songstress Laura Pasini and British sensation Elie Goulding.
Performing performers aside, there were a number of celebrities who took the stage to demonstrate their support of CHIME FOR CHANGE and their commitment to girls and women: Prince Harry opened the show with a video welcome; James Franco joined fellow actor Jessica Chastain; Blake Lively introduced Florence Welch; actress Freida Pinto; Jada Pinkett Smith; Bollywood silver screen icons Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, Mpho Tutu with a special recorded message of support from Archbishob Demsond Tutu; and Gloria Steinem.
In addition to the musical performances, a program of powerful short films was broadcast to the audience, highlighting inspirational stories of girls and women from around the world. Pop culture’s agent provocateur Madonna appeared on stage in a simple all-black trousers and top ensemble with gloved hands to introduce one of the films – HUMAIRA: THE DREAM CATCHER’, directed by Emmy and Oscar® winning documentary filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
The film chronicles the life of a young woman, Humaira Bachal, who is fighting to educate girls in her community in Pakistan.
In an emotional moment, Humaira took the stage while Madonna announced that she would complete the funding for the school Humaira is building in Pakistan, if the CHIME FOR CHANGE community helped to lay the foundation via Catapult.
The finale of the evening was taken by none other than Mrs Carter herself – Beyoncé, who performed a 45 minute set, including special versions of ‘Who Run The World’, ‘Single Ladies,’ ’If I Were a Boy’ and ‘Halo’.
Beyoncé, who was introduced to the crowd on stage by CHIME FOR CHANGE co-founders Frida Giannini and Salma Hayek, also performed a cover rendition of Destiny’s Child classic ‘Survivor’ and a duet with her husband, JAY Z.
In the end, the concert raised $4.3 million in ticket sales alone and the proceeds will be used to fund approximately 200 projects in 70 countries around the world through CHIME FOR CHANGE partner Catapult, the first crowd-funding platform solely dedicated to advancing the lives of girls.
*Photos courtesy of Chime for Change