NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder gave an electrifying performance at New York’s Central Park in front of thousands of fans and several world leaders Saturday, singing his hits and calling for an end to poverty worldwide at the Global Citizen Festival.
Bono gave a funky, rousing introduction to Wonder, who headlined the second annual concert. Wonder wowed audience members, who danced and sang along to songs including “Superstition” and “Isn’t She Lovely.”
“This is a global celebration,” Wonder yelled to the crowd. “We will end extreme world poverty in our lifetime.”
Wonder has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on disabilities since 2009. Messengers have recognized talents in the arts, academia and sports and help bring attention to U.N. work.
The Global Citizen Festival coincides with the U.N. General Assembly. Fans earned free tickets for helping spread the word or volunteering to help end world poverty. World leaders who attended included Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“There is so much energy here tonight. We can power the world,” Ban told the crowd.
Will.i.am and Olivia Wilde were among the celebrity attendees.
Wonder ended the five-hour event, electrifying the crowd during his hour-long performance. He even teased concertgoers before singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”
“That’s it!” he yelled, then added: “Y’all wanna jam some more?”
John Mayer also performed Saturday and was a favorite with his solo work on the guitar. He was full of power when he performed “Slow Dancing In a Burning Room” and “Gravity.”