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The Weeknd and BTS hope to raise billions for Global Citizen

Pop star The Weeknd will be among the

Pop star The Weeknd will be among the featured performers during Global Citzen Live on Sept. 25. Credit: AP / David J. Phillip

The Weeknd, BTS and Billie Eilish will take part in Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour event on Sept. 25 that's intended to raise money and awareness to fight worldwide threats including COVID-19, climate change and extreme poverty.

Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans is hoping the event — timed to the United Nations General Assembly — will encourage governments, corporations and philanthropists to fund a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by September, especially in Africa. The international advocacy group also hopes to raise $6 billion for famine relief efforts for the 41 million people worldwide who are estimated to be on the brink of starvation, as well as enough money to plant a billion trees to help counter climate change.

For anyone who questions whether these institutions will manage to generate more money to donate, Evans points to the current space race.

"As billionaires are leaping into space, we need to remind people that we’ve really only got one planet and we need to make sure that we actually care for it and for those who are on it," Evans told The Associated Press. "This is something the ultra-high-net-worth community can solve the world’s problems right now."

Global Citizen Live — which will run the gamut from pop stars H.E.R., Lizzo, Lorde and Ed Sheeran to rockers Coldplay, Green Day and Metallica, and international artists from Andrea Bocelli and Lang Lang to Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti — will take place on six continents. Live events are planned for Central Park in New York City, the Champ de Mars in Paris, as well as venues in London and Los Angeles. Performances and hosted segments will come from Sydney, Australia; Rio de Janeiro; Seoul, South Korea; and Lagos, Nigeria.

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