Coldplay Address Brexit Vote And Honor Muhammad Ali During Glastonbury 2016 Set

Barry Gibb joined Coldplay during their Glastonbury grand finale for two Bee Gees covers: “To Love Somebody” and what lead singer Chris Martin called “the greatest song of all time,” “Stayin’ Alive.” BBC reports “Gibb was meant to play Glastonbury’s “legend” slot this year, but pulled out when a family member fell ill.” During their set, the band invited Glastonbury organizer Michael Eavis on stage for a rendition of “My Way.” Coldplay hold the record for headlining the U.K. music festival, having topped the bill in 2002, 2005, 2011 and 2016.

NME reports that Chris kissed the Pyramid Stage floor as the band hit the stage for their headlining set. The group opened with Charlie Chaplin’s iconic speech from the 1940 film The Great Dictator. The speech begins, “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.”

Martin dedicated the show to the fans who braved “through the rain, and the mud, and the carnage” of the festival. He then told the crowd that they’ve seen the “collapse of the country” following the Brexit vote.

“I was walking around all yesterday with my two kids, Apple and Moses, and I take my proverbial hat off to everyone who’s been here through the rain and mud and the carnage essentially, the collapse of a country, everything. You’ve been through everything in the last few days and you’re still looking wonderful and happy and together and positive and all the great things that link us,” Martin said.

You can watch highlights from Coldplay’s set via the player below.

The Glastonbury Festival is a five-day celebration of contemporary music, dance, comedy, theater, circus, and other arts. The event was held intermittently from 1970 until 1981; since then, it has been held every year. Headliners and performers had included David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, Florence + the Machine, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Adele, The White Stripes, Dolly Parton, Earth, Wind, and Fire and Kanye West.

Coldplay has won 62 awards throughout their career, including nine Brit Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards. The British rockers have sold more than 80 million records worldwide. The band has been together for nearly 20 years, originally forming under the name Pectoralz, but they changed it to Coldplay in 1998.

Coldplay also paid tribute to the late Muhammad Ali during their Glastonbury set. A projection of a clip of Ali being interviewed after a match in 1977 appeared after the band performed “Everglow.” In the clip, Ali says, “God is watching me. God don’t praise me because I beat Joe Frazier. God don’t give nothing about Joe Frazier. God don’t care nothing about England or America as far as we aware of.”

Continuing, Ali said, “He wants to know how do we treat each other, how do we help each other. So I’m going to dedicate my life to using my name and popularity to helping charities, helping people, uniting people…..we need somebody in the world to help us all make peace. So when I die, if there’s a heaven, I want to see it.”

The champ battled Parkinson’s disease for the last 32 years of his life. Considered the greatest boxer of all time, he remains “the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion of the world,” taking home the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Ali left behind nine children from his four marriages.

You can watch a moment from the Ali honor via the Twitter clip below.

Coldplay were preceded on the Pyramid Stage by Beck, whose career-spanning set included tributes to David Bowie and Prince. Martin’s ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow watched the group’s performance, which was at one point hit with a technical issue, forcing Chris to briefly play solo. During Coldplay’s performance of “Up & Up,” the actress snapped photos and filmed the former couple’s children on stage singing with their father.

[Photo by Matt Sayles/AP Images]

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