Sting, Elvis Costello and will.i.am are among the stars who have recorded new versions of celebrated protest songs to highlight the issue of global poverty.

The superstars are joining forces with dozens of other acts, including British singer Ed Sheeran, folk band Mumford & Sons and rockers Green Day, for the agit8 campaign, which aims to prompt world leaders to focus on poverty ahead of the G8 summit, taking place in Northern Ireland later this month (17-18Jun13).

The mission has been backed by the One Campaign - co-founded by U2 frontman Bono - with videos of the protest songs being shown online to inspire a new generation to fight against injustice.

Sheeran, who has recorded a version of Bob Dylan's Masters Of War, says, "Music is a powerful tool in galvanising people around an issue. There's no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song."

Bono adds, "This week we are reminded of the words of the great agitator Nelson Mandela - 'Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome. Millions of people... are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.'"

Other protest anthem which have been re-recorded include Bruce Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad and The Police's Driven to Tears.