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Beyoncé shows that women really do run the world

LADY OF THE NIGHT: Beyonce

IT WAS certainly a star-studded day to remember.

An almost unbelievable line-up of celebrities from Beyonce and J-Lo to John Legend, Timbaland and a surprise appearance from Mary J Blige all on the same bill.

They had given their time to support the Sound of Change Live charity concert on Saturday (June 1).

Over 50,000 people packed into Twickenham Rugby stadium to help raise money and awareness for female empowerment across the world.

A further one billion people were able to enjoy the action when the show was broadcast in 150 countries.

Singer Jessie J opened the show with her uplifting No.1 hit Price Tag and warmed up the crowd, followed by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea who performed tracks Work and Bounce.

Producer Timbaland hit the stage pumped full of energy performing a medley of popular hits, which included Justin Timberlake’s Suit & Tie and Sexy Back.

But while the excited crowd swayed to the amazing performances, discussed Beyonce’s ‘racy’ costume and Madonna’s puffy face, it was important to remember why everyone was there.

On hand to spread the message of positivity was Reverend Mpho Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who delivered a poignant speech about the change that can be achieved when people join together.

She said: “We all agree that racism is intolerable, but we all tolerate second class citizenship for girls and women. Look at the people gathering in this stadium, we are the carriers for hope. Let’s not think that individual acts are too small to make change and make history. Imagine want the world could do if women are fully empowered. We can make change - we’ve done it before in South Africa.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a leading figure during the 1970s and 80s anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, appeared via video link to speak directly to the men at the event.

“By standing up for girls and woman that we really measure up as men,” he urged.

But it was still girl power that ruled the day as US singer Jennifer Lopez proved with a show-stopping performance of her first ever hit single Love Don’t Cost A Thing along with follow-up club bangers Jenny from the Block, Get Right and latest release Live It Up.

She said: “We can make a change, but when we come together we can all do amazing things.”

What quickly followed were piercing screams as she introduced surprise guest, R&B legend Mary J Blige to the stage to collaborate on The Beatles’ track Come Together.


SURPRISE GUEST: Mary J Blige was greeted with piercing screams when she joined Jennifer Lopez on stage to collaborate on The Beatles’ track Come Together [IMAGE: Getty]

Grammy award-Winner John Legend gave soulful performance of R&B favourites Ordinary people, Used to Love U and a touching acoustic of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, an advocate of female empowerment, then took to the stage calling for change and support in stopping violence against women and girls.

“Together we can make the invisible visible, we can turn victims into survivors who thrive and make sure that their voices are heard,” she said.

She added: “There are an estimate 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, it is also estimated 8 out of 10 of these victims are women and children who have been denied their birth human right of freedom.”


MESSAGE: Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith was also in attendance [IMAGE: Getty]

As the sun faded and night set it, the anticipation of Beyonce’s 50-minute set could be seen on the thousands of faces around the stadium.

As expected Queen Bey arrived looking stunning in a leather one-piece and showcased her impressive vocal range with renditions of Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come and Etta James’ At Last, a stark reminder of the event’s true purpose.

A fiery performance of Run the World followed and smash hits Irreplaceable and If I Were a Boy were also included in the high-energy set.

She also sang Destiny's Child classic Survivor to pay homage to women who had overcome struggles.

But it was a surprise appearance from her rapper husband Jay-Z, who performed a guest verse in her debut solo track Crazy In Love, that really sent the crowd into a frenzy.


HIGHLIGHT: Jay-Z joins wife Beyonce on stage

Bey ended the event she described as “such an incredible night for us all” with emotional power ballad Halo.

Chime for Change is a global campaign founded by luxury fashion house Gucci, whose committee includes Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, the show’s headliner Beyonce Knowles-Carter and actress Salma Hayek Pinault.

So far ticket sales have raised more than $4.3m (£2.6m) and will fund approximately 200 projects for women and girls across 70 countries.

Beyonce, the concert’s artistic director, said: “Women’s rights [are] something that has always been close to my heart…being a mother it is really important that I can do what I can and use my voice.

“There are women around the world that don't have a voice so we have to use our voices and raise awareness and be part of something where we can leave a legacy and help improve this world.”

To donate, visit www.catapult.org or follow Catapult on Twitter: @wecatapult and Facebook at facebook.com/catapult

Alternatively, donations can be made via the offical chime for change website www.chimeforchange.org and fb.com/chimeforchange

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