The star-studded festival brought about amazing duets

By Nick Maslow
Updated September 27, 2015 10:50 AM
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Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

There was so much star power at Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival in New York City, you just might have been able to see it from space.

Beyoncé, Pearl Jam and Coldplay – and Common, Sting and Ed Sheeran – are some of the big acts who performed at Central Park on Saturday.

The free event, which sought to help the United Nations meet its new global goal to end extreme poverty by 2030, was also a veritable who’s-who of Hollywood, politics and philanthropy.

Kerry Washington, Katie Holmes and Olivia Wilde shared the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden, and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Read on to see the biggest moments from the show, which aired live on MSNBC and YouTube.

1. Beyoncé’s Duet with Ed Sheeran

Bey’s biggest surprise of the night was a duet with Sheeran, who returned to the stage hours after his own set to sing “Drunk in Love.” The duo switched things up, delivering an acoustic slow jam you must watch.

2. Michelle Obama and Beyoncé’s Cute Embrace

Beyoncé and Obama shared a sweet hug onstage and the First Lady sang Beyoncé’s praises, describing her as “someone who believes as much as I do in the boundless promise of girls worldwide.”

Obama went on to discuss her new 62 Million Girls initiative and introduce Bono to the stage. And although he wasn’t on hand to perform, the U2 singer sang a line from Alicia Keys‘ “Girl on Fire” – a song he said reminded him of Obama.

3. Ariana Grande Joins Coldplay on Stage

Coldplay mixed things up a bit when Ariana Grande joined the band for a duet of her song “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart.”

The powerhouse vocalist belted out the ballad as Chris Martin strung his guitar and sang along.

As for how the collaboration came about, Martin explained that his and Gwyneth Paltrow‘s children, Apple and Moses, are big Grande fans. (Paltrow and the kids were spotted dancing along in the front row during Martin’s set as well.)

4. Sting Joins Up with Common

Common already had the crowd’s attention with “Glory” before an unmistakeable voice pierced through the park. Sting joined the rapper for a powerful medley of The Police‘s “Every Breath You Take” and “One World (Not Three).”

5. Beyoncé and Pearl Jam Cover Bob Marley

Beyoncé’s festival showstoppers didn’t stop with her own set: The singer laid low backstage for a couple hours and reemerged near the end of Pearl Jam’s performance to sing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”

Eddie Vedder played his guitar and harmonized with Queen Bey in the final duet of the night. Then Pearl Jam brought out a big group of stars for its rendition of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” ending the show on a high note worthy of the cause.