Which artist sang the song People

Music that changed the world

There are many well-known quotes about the power of music, but one thing I particularly like:

,,Music is a moral law. It gives our hearts a soul, gives our thoughts wings, and fills our lives with harmony and bliss. " - Plato

I know, quite a substantial statement. But I can only fully agree with Plato. To some it may sound a little exaggerated to attribute such tremendous power to music, but I think this man knew what he was talking about.

Music is a universal language that we all understand. By specifically addressing our feelings, music has the ability to transform even complicated situations into very simple, understandable things like love, friendship, fear or loss. Music broadens our horizons and helps us see the world through different eyes.

I think using music to get things moving is one of the most important aspects here at Global Citizen - and what makes our organization so unique in my eyes. Even if, admittedly, we will not be the first or the last to use music to inspire people and set things in motion.

So music can move the world and here are 16 examples to prove it:

1. Bob Dylan: "Times They Are A-Changin '"

Flickr: Xavier Badosa

Bob Dylan is known for mincing words. Above all, his socially critical songs as part of the civil rights movement in North America at the beginning of the 1960s made him known worldwide. His hit "Times They Are A-Changin '" became a kind of anthem among the young people who demonstrated against racial segregation and political oppression and who were striving for change. And I am sure that the deep meaning of the song is sure to inspire future generations as well.

2. Haiti mon amour: a worldwide appeal for donations for the earthquake-shaken country

Flickr: United Nations Development Program

This global fundraising marathon, which took place on January 22, 2010, raised funds to support Haiti after the country had been hit by a severe earthquake a few days earlier. During the concert, at which Madonna, Coldplay and Shakira performed, among others, a total of 83 million viewers donated the proud sum of 58 million US dollars (approx. 53 million €). As part of this concert, a song called "Stranded (Haiti mon amour)" was created, sung by Bono, The Edge, JAY-Z and Rihanna.

3. "Sun City"

In 1985 activist Steven Van Zandt and music producer Arthur Baker formed the group "Artists United Against Apartheid" to protest against apartheid in South Africa, with the help of journalist Danny Schlechter two then a group of well-known musicians - including Bruce Springsteen and Miles Davis - to record the protest song “Sun City.” The song was later followed by an entire album and a documentary.

4. Bob Marley and the Wailers: "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"

Also known as "the voice of the third world", Marley was also one of those musicians who made political and social statements through their music. The song "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" was first performed by Bob Marley and the band 'The Wailers' in 1975 and denounces a political imbalance in society, combined with the subtle warning that starving people become angry people become.

5. K'naan: "Wavin’ Flag "

Keinan Abdi Warsame, also known by his stage name K'naan, was born and raised in Mogadishu, Somalia. When the civil war broke out in Somalia in the early 1990s, his family feared for their safety, and so they followed their father first to New York and later on to Canada. K'naan himself does not call himself politically active, but uses his music to give expression to many politically-oriented events. An example of this is his hit "Wavin 'Flag", which in 2010 became the global anthem for the soccer World Cup. The original lyrics are about refugees from war zones and how they suffer from their displacement - but also dream of peace.

6. Live Aid

This 1985 concert, organized by Bob Gedolf ​​and Midge Ure, is often viewed as the first-ever charity concert of its kind, raising $ 245 million for famine relief in Ethiopia. The concert took place at the same time in London (England) and Philadelphia (USA) and a total of 172,000 people were there live. Around 1.9 billion people from 150 countries worldwide watched.

7. The '46664' concerts

The first ‘46664’ concert took place in 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa. With Nelson Mandela as patron and host, the event served to raise awareness of the spread of HIV / AIDS in Africa. Beyonce, Youssou, N'Dour and Queen were just a few of the many big names that performed. The name of the concert - 46664 - was chosen based on Nelson Mandela's 25-year prison sentence, and was his inmate identification number at the time.

8. John Lennon: "Imagine"

John Lennon is known worldwide for his song ‘Imagine’, in which he expresses his wish for world peace. The inspiration for this song came from a poem by Yoko Ono. And even today "Imagine" still hits the nerve of our times as we look to the future and work for a world without extreme poverty.

9. Tsunami Aid: Concert of Hope

This global charity event benefited the tsunami victims who were affected by the severe earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2010. An innovative approach was used to raise funds by allowing viewers to purchase digital versions of performances by musicians such as Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton and Roger Waters. According to estimates, at least 5 million US dollars were raised during the live broadcast of the concert.

10th concert for Bangladesh

This concert was organized by the former lead guitarists of the Beatles, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. The concert took place twice in a row on Sunday, August 1st, 1971, and drew attention to the situation of the refugees in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Among other things, donations should be collected for relief measures to help the country, which has been plagued by war-like atrocities. 40,000 viewers saw stars like Harrison, ex-Beatle colleague Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton live that day. Decades later, Shankar said of the event, “In just one day, the whole world knew the name 'Bangladesh'. It was a great event ... "

11. Live 8

On July 2nd, 2005, a whole series of concerts took place in the G8 countries and in South Africa. At the start of the G8 summit in Scotland, the concerts should serve as a call to demand increased aid for the poorest countries in the world. The event was a success: on July 7, 2005, the G8 participants committed themselves to double the corresponding funds compared to 2004.

12. Patti Smith: "People Have the Power"

She is not afraid to take a political stance: Patti Smith uses her music for political activism and disapproves of war and the violation of human rights. Your song “People Have the Power” is a great reminder that you shouldn't just stand around passively, but help create a world in which we want to live.

13. Farm Aid

Farm Aid has organized a concert every year since 1985 to support family farmers and raise awareness for a more conscious use of food. Thanks to the leadership of the board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Mathews, who perform every year, we have already raised 45 million US dollars.

14. Marvin Gaye: “What's Going On”

Marvin Gaye used his album What’s Going On to raise his voice against the Vietnam War, as well as addressing social issues such as substance abuse and poverty. Despite these serious issues, his song has a positive and motivating message: “You know we've got to find a way to bring some lovin 'here today”. The album was hugely successful, and in 2003 it even made it to number 6 on the Rolling Stones' "500 Best Albums of All Time" list.

15th concert on the occasion of the "It Takes Two" campaign

On March 8, 2014, International Women's Day, 5,000 people gathered in Kampala, Uganda, to take a stand against the high number of teenage pregnancies. The concert coincided with the launch of the 'It Takes Two' campaign - a nationwide campaign aimed at providing girls and women across Uganda with access to sexual and reproductive health care and information. In addition to international reggae and hip-hop artists, two local MPs were also guests to support the campaign.

16. Joni Mitchell: "Big Yellow Taxi"

Joni Mitchell's hit “Big Yellow Taxi” from 1970 deals with a completely different but no less important topic. Joni himself says about the origin of the song: “I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' during my first trip to Hawaii. When I got there, I took a taxi to the hotel, woke up the next morning, pulled the curtain aside, and saw these great green mountains in the distance. Then I looked down and all I could see was a parking lot as far as the eye could see and it broke my heart ... what a scar for a paradise. I sit down and wrote this song. "


Music is a language that is spoken around the world, understood around the world, and has followers around the world. Music knows no borders. And quite a few historical moments in human history are linked to special songs and artists.
In short: whenever it becomes important, music is not far away. And the next important date is ... right! The 06.June! Because then international musicians and artists come together on Königsplatz in Munich to make good music and at the same time to set an example against extreme poverty! More at www.z zusammengegenarmut.de