The Sound Of Change rocks the world

Beyoncé leads voices calling from London

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If ever there were any argument against Beyoncé being the voice of women’s empowerment in music today, her set list at The Sound Of Change Live on Saturday – featuring Run The World (Girls), If I Were A Boy and a barnstorming version of upcoming hit Grown Woman – was enough to silence her critics.

Beyoncé led a stellar line-up of talents (predominantly female ones), including Rita Ora, Jessica J, Florence + The Machine, Jennifer Lopez (whose duet with Mary J Blige on a cover of The Beatles’ Come Together was a highlight) in performances that had a whole lot to say about girl power.

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The most iconic? When Bey’s multi-million hip-hop mogul husband Jay-Z appeared on-stage to perform his rap portion of Crazy In Love, before kissing his wife on the cheek then disappearing backstage again as quickly as he’d appeared – to near-hysterics from the crowd.

‘Give it up for Mr Carter,’ called an ultra-cool Beyoncé. There was no question whose show this was.

Of course, there was no getting away from the serious underpinning of the event; each act interspersed with inspirational films from women who’ve suffered shocking mistreatment, and lived not only to tell the tale but support other women in doing so too. As the rallying cry for Gucci-founded charity Chime For Change, which demands empowerment for women worldwide ‘in the loudest voice possible’, the concert boasted appearances from the likes of Madonna (who declared she was starting a ‘revolution of love’), James Franco, Ryan Reynolds, Freida Pinto, Jessica Chastain and even, via VT, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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‘Womens' rights, it's something that has always been something close to my heart,’ said Beyonce on the evening. ‘I know now 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.

‘I read some of the statistics about women, health and education and the injustice that is around the world. It is something that is serious and something that is mind-boggling that it is still going on and it's something we have to change. It does start with projects like this and awareness.

‘We have a sold out show tonight and we have some incredible people performing and some incredible people that are telling their stories.’

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