The former Beatle McCartney sang “Long and Winding Road” before the finale, “Hey Jude”, at midnight (2300 GMT) as the other artists crowded onto the stage to join in, along with the rest of the massive crowd.
“Everybody who’s come along today has come for the right reason,” McCartney said.
“We hope that the people, the heads of G8 (Group of Eight industrial countries), are listening hard.
“They can’t avoid this, they cannot have missed it and all you people who’ve come along for this message – we love you.”
McCartney and U2 frontman Bono had kicked off the concert 10 hours earlier,
launching quickly into the Beatles classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
“It was 20 years ago today…”, McCartney began, the song’s opening phrase referring to the original Live Aid charity in 1985.
As parallel concerts were held in Russia, Germany, France, Italy, The United States, Canada, Japan and South Africa, organisers said more than 26.4 million people sent text messages in support of the campaign to cancel the debts of the poorest countries.
They claimed a world record.
AOL.com, which streamed video of the concerts, also claimed a world record, saying that more than five million logged on globally to watch, making it the biggest streaming event ever.
Unlike its predecessor, Live 8 was not intended to attract donations from a
global television audience.
It aimed to focus global attention on African poverty ahead of the summit of the Group of Eight rich nations’ club this week.
In Scotland, where the G8 leaders will meet, more than 200,000 protesters took part in a peaceful march, urging the politicians to take action.