Hugh Jackman and Late Show host Stephen Colbert hosted the event on Saturday (26Sep15), which was held to publicise a drive to end world poverty by 2030, American publication Billboard reports.
Coldplay kicked off the festival, playing hits Yellow and Viva La Vida before bringing out Ariana Grande for a surprise performance of her Harry Styles-penned hit Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart.
"Thanks @ArianaGrande for lighting up our stage. Your voice is a thing of wonder," the band later posted on Twitter.com.
Scandal star Kerry Washington took to the stage to introduce Sheeran, who wowed the crowds at the free concert with a medley of hits including Lego House and The A Team. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin then joined his fellow Brit onstage to play piano and sing Sheeran's hit Thinking Out Loud.
In between performances, Leonardo DiCaprio, Salma Hayek, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gave impassioned speeches on world poverty and the current refugee crisis in Europe.
Rapper Common then took to the stage, and brought out Sting to perform Every Breath You Take and One World. He later posted footage of the pair's rehearsal on Instagram.com, writing, "Some things in life you just imagine or dream about happening. This is one of them. Rehearsing with Sting!"
Beyonce, the penultimate headliner of the event, performed her hits from Destiny's Child right through to the present day, even duetting with Sheeran on Drunk in Love.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama took to the stage and paid tribute to the star, saying, "I am honoured to follow a woman whom I admire and adore, someone who believes as passionately as I do, the boundless promise of girls worldwide."
Pearl Jam then closed the event, dedicating their song Given To Fly to 18-year-old Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was in the audience. Frontman Eddie Vedder told the audience, "Never before have we played for an audience full of activists and it's an incredible feeling and we just want to thank you."
The rockers also brought Beyonce back on stage to sing a cover of Bob Marley's Redemption Song.
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