New York City’s Central Park came alive Saturday night with the iconic sounds of Stevie Wonder accompanied by thousands of adoring screaming fans all gathered for the Global Citizen Festival to end poverty worldwide. “This is a global celebration,” Wonder roared to the crowd. “We will end extreme world poverty in our lifetime.”
Introduced charismatically by Bono, Wonder took to the stage to sing a compilation of his prominent compositions including “Isn’t She Lovely,” “Superstition” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Wonder invited the audience to sing along for his rendition of John Lennon’s peace anthem “Imagine,” with the message to lobby for more gun control. Wonder joked to the crowd offering some shocking irony, “Can you believe blind people have guns?” He continued to say, “Let’s keep it real.”
Wonder has been a United Nations messenger of peace with a special focus on disabilities since 2009. The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon attended the charitable event along with celebrities Will.I.Am and Olivia Wilde. Other celebrity acts included performances by John Mayer, the Kings of Leon and Alicia Keys singing “Empire State of Mind” and “No One.”
R&B singers Maxwell and Janelle Monae accompanied Wonder on stage as he sang and played both the piano and harmonica.