Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to join Madonna at London concert
After a dazzling show at Cannes Film Festival, Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will join international singing stars Madonna and Beyonce at a mega charity concert in London next month
Rai, who will be joined by actor husband Abhishek Bachchan, has been confirmed as a celebrity presenter at the Chime for Change event on June 1 aimed at raising funds and awareness for women's rights and empowerment around the world.
"I am really happy that so many amazing artists and presenters have come together to support Chime For Change. Our goal is to have a great time together while we unite and strengthen the voices of girls and women around the world," said Beyonce, concert director and co-founder of Chime for Change. In a world first, each ticket buyer will personally be able to choose which of the many projects Chime For Change supports will receive their ticket money.
The Sound of Change Live concert itself at Twickenham Stadium has been underwritten by international luxury fashion brand Gucci and is guaranteed to fund at least 120 projects supporting girls and women globally.
"Sixty per cent of the children in the world not in school are girls! Two-thirds of the world's illiterate are women! I do not accept this.
We need to change this and we will change this," said Madonna, who will not be performing but is one of the celebrity presenters alongside Indian actresses Rai and Freida Pinto, as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former British Prime Minister Gordon and wife Sarah Brown, and Hollywood star Jessica Chastain.
Well-known UK promoter Harvey Goldsmith, behind some of the world's biggest global charity concerts such as Live Aid and Live 8, will produce the four-hour concert.
"We are thrilled that these amazing people are giving their time and support. The stature of our artists and presenters proves just how important this campaign is and we hope that the concert will galvanise the public to support the many important projects," he said.
The Chime For Change initiative is led by Marianne Pearl, the wife of former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl - held captive in Pakistan and beheaded by Al Qaeda in 2002. As managing editor of Chime For Change, she will also fly to London from Spain for the gig with her 11-year-old son Adam.