At a reception last week for the upcoming Global Citizen Festival, Hugh Evans, the festival's founder and CEO of The Global Poverty Project, said that the already vaunted lineup of Jay Z, Carrie Underwood, Tiësto, the Roots, fun. and No Doubt would see a special guest added to the lineup. On Thursday, organizers revealed that Sting would join No Doubt to help raise awareness of the fight against global poverty. Alicia Keys, one of last year's headliners, was also announced as a separate guest performer.
"Our earliest musical influences were artists from around the world who made us aware of issues beyond our own backyards," No Doubt said in a statement earlier this year. "We hope to continue that tradition of raising awareness by joining an incredible group of performers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival to shine a light on the unacceptable fact that over 1.2 billion people on our planet still live in extreme poverty."
Jay-Z will headline Saturday's annual charity event, which takes place on the Great Lawn in New York's Central Park. "Change only takes place when and where there is action," the rapper said in a statement. "I'm joining the 2014 Global Citizen Festival because I believe through actions, whether it be by raising awareness, getting involved or educating ourselves, the goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is possible."
Saturday's show will be No Doubt's first in two years, but bassist/co-founder Tony Kanal told Rolling Stone in July that the band did not want to miss the opportunity. "It's a great way to get us back on stage," Kanal said. "It was such an honor to be asked to play this particular concert. It's unacceptable that over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty, and it's got a pretty eclectic lineup, which reflects the event's true spirit of diversity."
The Global Poverty Project was formed in 2008 to promote awareness and encourage action to end the worldwide plight of extreme poverty. As in past years, organizers have timed the festival to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly to bring the issue of poverty to various world leaders. Organizers have said that since it began the festival two years ago, advocacy demanded by its attendees has encouraged $1.3 billion in new funding. "We've found the power of this movement can create bigger, and more impressive, change," Evans told Rolling Stone.