By MESFIN FEKADU
AP Music Writer
NEW YORK – Rihanna ran through her pop and R&B hits, Eddie Vedder partnered with Chris Martin and Kendrick Lamar was enthusiastic and energetic during his hour-long set at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Metallica, Ellie Goulding, Usher and Yandel also performed familiar songs Saturday at the free event on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The multi-hour show aired live on MSNBC.
Major Lazer kicked off the festival, performing hits such as Lean On and was backed by lively dancers. At one point they all wore New York Mets jerseys on- stage. Demi Lovato, who re- placed Selena Gomez, followed with strong singing.
Fans earned free tickets by promoting the importance of education. The event was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, Salma Hayek Pinault, Chelsea Handler, Priyanka Chopra and Hugh Jack- man and his actress-wife De borra-Lee Furness.
Rihanna closed the show with a number of her smash hits, from We Found Love to Umbrella to the recent Needed Me. Most of the performers thanked the feverish audience for doing acts of kindness to earn the tickets.
“We got global citizens in the house tonight – I myself, I’m from Barbados so I came a long way,” Rihanna said. “There are people all over the globe that need help.”
As fans waited for Rihanna to perform, Martin – who had just performed – came back onstage to stall. He sang Prince’s Rasp- berry Beret while strumming the guitar, and freestyles new lyrics about why Rihanna was late, which earned laughs and applause from the crowd. He joked that the singer was doing her makeup and said he would per- form the Prince song again.
Metallica earned one of the night’s loudest ovations and Usher wore a black shirt that read, “Silence is content.”
The Global Citizen Festival is in its fifth year. Last year’s event featured Michelle Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala
Yousafzai, Beyonce and Pearl Jam.