Artists sing social anthems for United Nations anniversary

FILE - In this Thursday, April 21, 2016, file photo, singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo poses at the opening of the new photography exhibit "REFUGEE" at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Kidjo uses her artistry and her activism to connect beyond language and skin color. Kidjo and other international musicians are performing social justice anthems for an online fundraising concert called Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, April 21, 2016, file photo, singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo poses at the opening of the new photography exhibit "REFUGEE" at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Kidjo uses her artistry and her activism to connect beyond language and skin color. Kidjo and other international musicians are performing social justice anthems for an online fundraising concert called Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For Grammy-winning international star Angelique Kidjo, her artistry and her activism inform each other because music has the power to connect beyond skin color, language or countries.

“Music has that absolutely powerful side to it that sometimes when I finish a concert, I’m like, ’Why can’t we just live like this?'” said the singer-songwriter from the West African country of Benin.

That sentiment is something that Skip Marley, a third-generation musician and grandson of reggae icon Bob Marley, has grown up knowing as well.

“We’re talking to the people, so it’s all colors, all religions,” said Marley. “Music is music. That’s the beauty of it. It cuts through all of those barriers or borders.”

These musicians are part of an online fundraising concert on Dec. 1 called Peace Through Music: A Global Event For Social Justice, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

The Facebook Live event will also feature performances by Annie Lennox, Becky G, Brandi Carlile and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark Jr., Mavis Staples, Ringo Starr, Run The Jewels, Sheila E, Yo-Yo Ma and more. The event will raise money for the Playing for Change Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, Sankofa, Silkroad and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Kidjo, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and education for young women in Africa through her Batonga Foundation. Kidjo has traveled the world to encourage young people to be leaders in their own communities because she says that is the leverage needed to address systematic issues of poverty and climate change.

“We’ve created a world with billions of people suffering and a minority of people are living on top of them. And if we want to live in a world of peace, we have to take care of Mother Nature and at the same time take care to get people out of poverty,” said Kidjo, from her home in Paris.