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Beyoncé, Madonna and Tutu team up

Music sensation Beyoncé and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu unite to support women in London gig.

Beyoncé Knowles in New York. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Singers Beyoncé and Madonna, activist Gloria Steinem and ArchBishop Desmond Tutu will be among big names reaching out to a billion people from a pop concert in London on Saturday with a message of empowerment for women across the planet.

The Sound of Change Live gig headlined by Beyoncé, Florence + the Machine and Jennifer Lopez will be broadcasted live from Twickenham sports stadium to 150 countries, and on primetime TV in the United States the following day, organisers said on Tuesday.

The four-hour concert could fund at least 120 projects supporting women and girls in more than 70 nations, if all the tickets are sold, they said.

Organised by the Chime for Change campaign, started by Italian fashion house Gucci, every ticket buyer will be able to choose which project their ticket will fund in what the campaign said was a world first for such a venture.

Madonna will be a presenter at the gig alongside other musicians, public figures, activists, film directors and actors including Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Ashwariya Rai-Bachchan.

"60 percent of the children in the world not in school are girls," Madonna said. "Two-thirds of the world's illiterate are women. I do not accept this. We need to change this and we will change this."

In addition to performances and collaborations from artists, the concert, which starts at 5pm (GMT), will serve as a platform to broadcast inspirational and provocative films and stories highlighting women's issues around the world.

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