The 2023 Global Citizens Concert Line-Up is Stacked, Here’s Our Top 5 Performances Of All-Time

On September 23, 2023, the 11th annual Global Citizens concert will make its return to New York City. The festival will be headlined by Ms. Lauryn Hill and Megan Thee Stallion and will be held on the Great Lawn at Central Park.

The annual music event features dynamic performances from the most renowned artists in the world with the intention of ending poverty across the globe. Since its inception, the show has put a worldwide spotlight on famine, climate change, women’s rights and other inequities.

As an international initiative, many of the performances have been held in other countries such as South Africa and Germany with performances by Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Pharrell, John Legend, and Rihanna.

In honor of one of the world’s largest humanitarian festivals, EBONY curated this list of our Top 5 Global Citizens concert performances of all-time.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z-2018

After gracing the stage in 2015 in Central Park, Beyoncé teamed up with her husband, Jay-Z, for an electric performance of  “Ape$hit” at the 2018 Global Citizens Festival in South Africa. Along with The Carters tearing down the stage, the festival also celebrated the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela on what would have been his 100th birthday. 


Performing the fourth single off her last album, Anti, at Global Citizen Festival in 2016, Rihanna wowed the audience with “Love On the Brain.” The music and fashion mogul had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Little did the audience know, that would be one of the last major performances before Rih went on lengthy hiatus.

John Legend-2019

Superstar soul singer John Legend brought all the vibes during his set at the 2019 concert. Along with selections from his immense catalog, Legend gave a stirring rendition of Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change Gone Come.” Although he’s performed at the festival on several occasions, his performance in 2019 is arguably his most memorable.

Stevie Wonder-2017

When it comes to icons in the musical landscape, Stevie Wonder will always be mentioned at the top of the list. He’s not only recognized across the world for his legendary contributions to music but also for his humanitarian work. Fittingly, Wonder was tapped to perform at the second annual festival in 2013. He performed Bill Withers’s classic “Lean On Me” and his own “Love’s In Need of Love Today” adding another remarkable performance to his career.

Alicia Keys and H.E.R.-2019

When you combine two of the most gifted musicians on stage, you are sure to witness a once-in-a-lifetime performance During Alicia Keys’s set at the 2019 concert, she enlisted H.E.R. for an amazing cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Keys commanded the song with her powerful vocals and piano playing, paired with HER’s guitar shredding—the performance was one for the books.

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Updated: July 13, 2023 — 12:01 pm