*Thousands of fans and several world leaders were treated to a magnificent performance from Stevie Wonder at New York’s Central Park.
Wonder was performing at the Global Citizen Festival and delivered song after song including “Superstition” and “Isn’t She Lovely,” while calling for an end to poverty.
“This is a global celebration,” Wonder yelled to the crowd. “We will end extreme world poverty in our lifetime.”
The singer first began working as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a specific focus on disabilities in 2009. As a messenger, one highlights talents in the arts, academia and sports and brings attention to U.N. work among other things.
The Global Citizen Festival works hand in hand with U.N. General Assembly and awards fans with free tickets for their help with getting the word out and/or volunteering to help end world poverty.
World leaders who attended included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“There is so much energy here tonight. We can power the world,” Ki-moon told the crowd.
Bono introduced Wonder to the stage and other celebrity guests included Will.i.am and Olivia Wilde. Wonder’s hour long performance closed out the event.
“That’s it!” he yelled, then added: “Y’all wanna jam some more?” before proceeding to sing the crowd favorite, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”
While singing “Imagine” by John Lennon, Wonder was moved to touch on the gun law issues. “Can you believe blind people have guns?” he said. “Let’s keep it real. Ridiculous.”
The festival’s nonprofit partners pledged $1.3 billion in new fundraising commitments last year.
Wonder, who played the piano and harmonica, was joined onstage by R&B singers Maxwell and Janelle Monae.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Maxwell gushed when singing “Superstition.”