Stevie Wonder, Green Day headline global aid gig

NEW YORK • If the President is not keen to help, Stevie Wonder and Green Day are.

The singer and punk rock band will headline a concert in New York to mobilise support for efforts to eradicate global poverty, even as United States leader Donald Trump proposes sweeping foreign aid cuts.

Pop star Pharrell Williams, chart-topping electronic duo The Chainsmokers and alternative rockers The Killers will also be on the bill at the Global Citizen Festival on Sept 23, reported Agence France-Presse.

Wonder said the festival comes at a "crucial time", adding: "When we commit ourselves to life issues, we are showing love of the Most High."

The festival has drawn A-list stars annually since 2012 as the largely young audience press world leaders for commitments to development as they gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

This year's edition comes not only in a sharply different political climate, with Mr Trump's shock win and Britain's vote to exit the European Union, but also amid a rejection of right-wing populism in elections in France and the Netherlands.

"Now is a hugely important point for there to be a line drawn in the sand that says foreign aid matters, investing in education matters, investing in food and hunger matters," said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans.

The festival, which has expanded over the past year to India and Germany, is free, with fans earning tickets by taking actions such as writing letters to their governments.

Hoping to expand its reach, the festival, for the first time, will be proceeded by a Global Citizen Week of discussions, films, art and music around New York.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2017, with the headline 'Stevie Wonder, Green Day headline global aid gig'. Print Edition | Subscribe