Madonna championed a revolution of love, J-Lo performed a surprise duet with Mary J Blige and Jay-Z appeared to give his superstar wifey a peck. Yesterday's Sound Of Change concert at London's Twickenham Stadium was nothing short of star-studded and all in the name of a good cause - ticket sales raised no less than $4.3 million to support girls’ and women’s empowerment. Grazia Daily was lucky enough to meet the A-list performers and presenters backstage to discuss everything from girl power to Beyonce's bootilicious moves...
1. BLAKE LIVELY TALKS BFF FLORENCE WELCH
When Blake Lively met us on the red carpet, we were almost blinded by all that bling! 'Crazy, right? Lorraine Schwartz knows how to do it.' Indeed she does. The actress looked resplendent in a white cape dress courtesy of Gucci (obvs) topped off with pink Christian Louboutin heels and lashings of jewels, as well as that mega engagement ring.
As the face of the Italian brand's latest fragrance, it's no wonder Blake agreed to take part in the charity gig when Creative Director Frida Giannini called. She was enlisted to introduce her BFF Florence + The Machine - and adorably hung around to watch the set with hubby Ryan Reynolds - so we wanted to know more about the friendship considering it fits perfectly with the girl power theme.
'It made it a little easier for me to see her backstage before I went on knowing that she'll be experiencing this too and performing to 52,000 people,' Blake told us. 'Florence is a dear friend of mine. She's very much a woman who empowers young women. She sings beautiful music and she's such a stoic woman. But all the women in my life - my sisters, my mother - have shown me that no obstacle is too great and that's the important message to spread; that everyone has a voice.'
As for being in the company of so many superstar women, Blake says it's pretty surreal. 'It's crazy to watch Madonna backstage about to announce this woman who's made such a difference in her country and then you see Florence on stage performing. To be standing on the same stage is indescribable.' And has she nailed her Beyonce moves? 'I wish! I'm so in love with her, it's nuts.' We hear you, sister.
2. SALMA HAYEK ON BEYONCE & JAY-Z'S PDA
The Sound for Change concert would never have happened if it wasn't for Salma Hayek who teamed up with Frida Giannini and Beyonce in support of the Chime for Change female empowerment campaign. Speaking to us after the show, the Hollywood star was blown away by the headline act: Queen Bey and of course, her husband Jay Z who joined the singer on stage for a surprise duet. 'How lovely was that?' she said of the loved-up couple's PDA during Crazy in Love. 'I knew the surprise but it was great to see the audience shocked'.
But she almost didn't see anything at all! 'There was a moment when I arrived there and I saw the stadium and how big it was and all the people backstage where I really thought I was going to faint and miss the whole thing. This is for real! I've never seen this amount of seats. I really thought I was going to faint.'
3. RITA ORA ON BEING CRAZY IN LOVE
Rita Ora was another star performer at the event and we were mighty impressed to see her cracking out the dance moves on stage. 'Can you believe it?' she grinned. 'I had to go into rehearsals, it was a big deal to learn those dance moves!' So has she been working on her fitness recently? 'I've not been doing what I was supposed to be doing,' she revealed. 'I had a diet ready for the festivals but I've been eating burgers.' That's our kind of diet.
But when asked about her new album, Rita refused to divulge. 'With my first album, I was telling everybody everything but for the new album, all I can say is I'm going back to my roots and it's going to be something that you haven't heard before'. As for collaborations, 'I want to surprise you.'
Of course, we couldn't let her go without mentioning a certain Calvin Harris who Rita has recently started dating. 'It's amazing,' she said of being the DJ's girlfriend. 'There's nothing better than when a girl falls in love.' N'aww.
4. FREIDA PINTO TALKS SEXISM IN SHOWBIZ
When Gucci's Frida Giannini - who founded the new global campaign for female empowerment - approached Freida Pinto to take part in the event, the actress jumped at the chance. It was from Frida to Freida! 'That's the thing that I'm most excited about - that we have the same name!' Freida joked. 'No, the thing that has me filled with so much hope is that this event is on such a massive scale. It's not just for the UK or America, it's being broadcast to over 150 countries and will help so many societies'.
With so many strong female celebrities performing to raise awareness of female inequality across the world, we wanted to know whether the Slumdog Millionaire actress feels that the press treat her differently to her actor boyfriend Dev Patel by focusing on her looks rather than her career. 'It's sometimes just how it is but I would have to be fair to the male population in the entertainment industry as well because they have their problems which we don't focus on or think of,' she said. 'Ours feel bigger compared to theirs, but we don't want to look at ourselves as victims. We want to change it by being strong and empowering ourselves and other women.'