The charity gigs, which aim to “unite the world to defend the planet and defeat poverty,” took place in numerous cities across the world during a 24-hour broadcast and livestream yesterday (September 25).
In Paris, Sir Elton treated his audience to a performance of ‘Tiny Dancer’ at the base of the Eiffel Tower, before sharing some heartfelt words about the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting those in poor areas of the world.
“I have spent most of my life fighting the AIDS pandemic, and we made great progress for two reasons: one, we’ve always followed the science, two, we’ve put our arms around everyone to make sure no one gets left behind,” he said.
“These same lessons apply equally to the COVID pandemic. While most here today have been vaccinated against COVID, only four percent in Africa are. We must not leave anyone behind.”
John went on to urge people to donate to the Go Give One vaccine equity campaign by the WHO Foundation, as donations up to $1million would be matched. “Showing this love and solidarity for others during COVID, like we’ve done with AIDS, is how we’ll make a better future,” he added.
Elsewhere during his set, he performed ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Your Song’, and his new single ‘After All’ with Charlie Puth. It was John’s last public performance before his upcoming hip operation, which he revealed he would be undertaking earlier this month when he announced the postponement of the UK and European dates of his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour’.
In the New York leg of Global Citizen Live, Coldplay were the headliners, and were joined by Billie Eilish and Finneas to share a touching rendition of ‘Fix You’.
Lorde opened up the NYC leg, performing the title track from her recent third album; she also shared a strong message on climate change.