Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Martin rock Global Citizen fest
NYC event hosted by Salma Hayek, Neil Patrick Harris and others trying to help end world poverty
Rihanna ran through her pop and R&B hits, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder partnered with Coldplay's Chris Martin and Kendrick Lamar was enthusiastic and energetic during his hour-long set at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Metallica, Ellie Goulding, Usher and Yandel also performed familiar songs Saturday at the free event on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The multi-hour show aired live on MSNBC. Demi Lovato replaced Selena Gomez, who is taking a break from the spotlight to focus on her health.
The annual event is an ongoing effort to help end poverty by the year 2030, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Fans earned free tickets by promoting the importance of education. The event was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, Salma Hayek Pinault, Chelsea Handler, Priyanka Chopra and Hugh Jackman and his actress-wife Deborra-Lee Furness.
Rihanna closed the show with a number of her smash hits, from We Found Love to Umbrella to the recent Needed Me. Most of the performers thanked the feverish audience for doing acts of kindness to earn the tickets.
"We got global citizens in the house tonight — I myself, I'm from Barbados so I came a long way," Rihanna said. "There are people all over the globe that need help."
As fans waited for Rihanna to perform, Martin — who had just performed — came back onstage to stall. He sang Prince's Raspberry Beret while strumming the guitar, and freestyled new lyrics about why Rihanna was late, which earned laughs and applause from the crowd. He joked that the singer was doing her makeup and said he would perform the Prince song again.
The Global Citizen Festival is in its fifth year. Last year's event featured Michelle Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce and Pearl Jam.