Before performing a medley of his classic hits like “Higher Ground,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” and “Overjoyed,” at the Global Citizen Festival, Stevie Wonder made a passionate speech about unity saying, “It is only through life we can make life happen through ourselves and each other.” He added, “Our global brothers and sisters, I didn’t come here to preach, but I’m telling you, our spirits must be in the right place all the time.”
After encouraging everyone to “stand down bigotry” and “condemn sexism,” he insisted that everyone “find love.” Then with the help of his son Kwame, he said, “I’m taking a knee for America — not just one knee, but both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, and leaders of our world” before serving up a musical meal of his hits.
The “taking a knee” is a reference to Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest of the National Anthem during NFL games which has been making headlines as of late. Donald Trump recently went on a Twitter rant about the kneeling saying that NFL players who kneel should be fired.
The music legend has been outspoken when it comes to social and environmental advocacy. During the Hand In Hand telethon for Hurricane Harvey, Wonder made a similar speech saying regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or sexual preference that we must help those devastated by the storms. He also took a jab at climate change deniers saying, “Anyone who believes there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all.”