Post Malone and Doja Cat to headline Global Citizen Festival to mobilize young people

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NEW YORK (AP) — Post Malone and Doja Cat, two of pop music’s biggest stars, will headline this year’s Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 28, as organizers focus on mobilizing young people to help address the world’s pressing problems.

The COVID-19 pandemic erased years of progress the world had made toward ending extreme poverty and those setbacks have been compounded by the wars in Ukraine and Gaza and complicated by climate change, said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans. He estimates that about 10% of the world’s population now lives in extreme poverty and the United Nations expects 575 million people will be at that level in 2030, despite long-term plans to eradicate it.

“In the very environment where we need more ambition, we are seeing many nations step back,” Evans told The Associated Press. “That’s why we know our work is more urgent than ever and why we’re so thrilled that the world’s greatest artists are stepping up at a time when they’re absolutely needed.”

Global Citizen has long partnered with major artists – from Beyonce and Jay-Z to Queen, Stevie Wonder to Ed Sheeran – to generate attention that it can turn into audience actions that lobby political, corporate and philanthropic leaders to support its initiatives. The nonprofit says its events in the past decade have generated more than $14 billion toward eliminating extreme poverty.

Evans said this year’s headliners have an important connection to young people, who are essential to changing how leaders react to current needs.

“There’s a reason why brand managers spend so much time speaking to that 16-to-30-year-old demographic — the major trendsetters of the next 40 years,” Evans said. “Young people have the power to create enormous change when they band together.”

Malone embodies that sentiment in his current music. His current single “Pour Me a Drink” is a duet with Blake Shelton. And so far this year, he has also teamed up with Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Morgan Wallen.

Doja Cat, currently on a European tour promoting her hit “Scarlet” album, is also known for her collaborations.

“We all have a part we can play to help end extreme poverty and stand up for equity,” Doja Cat said in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to being part of this major evening of positive change.”

Tickets for the festival, which will also include sets from country star Jelly Roll and Puerto Rican singer and rapper Rauw Alejandro, are free. But they require taking action on the festival website to “defeat poverty, defend the planet, or demand equity” – generally involving writing to global leaders or posting on social media.

Global Citizen is working to convince countries to increase their contributions to the World Bank’s International Development Association, the fund dedicated to raising the standard of living in the world’s 75 lowest-income countries.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said the timing of the campaign is critical. “As our worst agricultural season in over 40 years takes hold, our nation and our neighbours are facing dire food shortages and severe instability in our power supply,” he said in a prepared statement. “The participation of the world’s wealthy nations in this replenishment is not just generosity — it is life or death for millions experiencing the worst impacts of climate change.”

This year, Global Citizen is also focusing on in-person activities around New York to introduce young people to volunteering in order to receive festival tickets. It has partnered with Black Surfing Rockaway to clean up Rockaway Beach and nonprofits like The Bowery Mission and Citymeals on Wheels to work with new volunteers.

“It’s a low-data entry point for those who want to take action,” Evans said. “It’s an initiative we’ve done across Ghana. We did it in South Africa as part of a big cleanup. It also educates Global Citizens about food insecurity and other needs in New York.”


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit

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