Eddy Grant, Amy Winehouse Rock Mandela Birthday Bash
Will Smith charmed the crowd, Amy Winehouse wowed them just by showing up - but Nelson Mandela proved the biggest star of all at a concert in honour of the South African statesman's upcoming 90th birthday.
Acts including Eddy Grant, Razorlight, Leona Lewis and a host of African stars joined more than 40,000 music fans for today's outdoor show in London's Hyde Park, hosted by Hollywood star Smith and held to mark Mandela's birthday on July 18.
American singer Josh Groban and the Soweto Gospel Choir also performed at the event, which comes 20 years after a 70th birthday concert at London's Wembley Stadium that helped press South Africa's apartheid authorities for Mandela's freedom.
The biggest cheers of the night were reserved for Mandela, who told the crowd that the 1988 concert had made a difference.
"Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away," said Mandela who spent 27 years in South African prisons.
"We are honoured to be back in London for this wonderful celebration.
"But even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete."
Proceeds from the show - for which there were 46,664 tickets - are going to 46664, the AIDS charity named for the number Mandela wore in prison.
Mandela looked frail and leaned on a cane as he was helped onto the stage by his wife, Graca Machel. But his brief speech brought thunderous applause.
"Where there is poverty and sickness including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done," Mandela said.
"Our work is for freedom for all.
"We say tonight after nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now."
Also in the lineup were Annie Lennox, Queen, girl group Sugababes and African artists including Emmanuel Jal, Johnny Clegg and Papa Wemba
Associated Press Writer Emily Ristow contributed to this report.
The Reggae News Agency