Watch Eddie Vedder Perform 'Better Man' With Soweto Gospel Choir - Rolling Stone
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Watch Eddie Vedder Perform ‘Better Man’ With Soweto Gospel Choir

Pearl Jam frontman played at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa alongside Beyonce, Jay-Z, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams

The Global Citizen Festival came to Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday to honor Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The anti-poverty show featured a keynote address by Oprah Winfrey and performances by Beyonce, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, D’banj, Femi Kuti and Sho Madjozi.

“Let’s leave this great gathering allowing the music and the message of this centennial celebration to renew our commitment to genuine transformation,” Winfrey told the crowd at FNB Stadium. “Let’s insist on a world where every girl, child, is protected, and every little boy feels safe. Let’s pledge ourselves to being true global citizens—and let us at long last become the change we want to see in education, in clean water, in health, in gender equality everywhere.”

Midway through the show, Vedder came for a brief set that included “Porch,” “Long Road” and “Imagine.” As seen in the above video at 6:08:00, the Soweto Gospel Choir joined the Pearl Jam singer for “Better Man.” “It’s an honor to be here, and for someone who has never played in your country before, it’s a dream come true,” Vedder told the audience. “It’s also a dream come true to open for Beyonce and Jay-Z.”

Other highlights of the night included Pharrell Williams singing “Happy” with Usher and Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman duetting with Kacey Musgraves on her song “Rainbow” and Ed Sheeran leading a stadium singalong to his hit “Shape of You.” Beyonce and Jay-Z, however, reigned with their headlining set that featured guest spots from Pharrell Williams (“I Just Wanna Love U”) and Ed Sheeran (“Perfect Duet”).

The event did face some some severe difficulties. A rigger fell to his death while setting up the stage and there were reports of brutal knife-point muggings outside of the stadium.


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