London Concert Held for Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday
The former South African president Nelson Mandela will celebrate his 90th birthday in style with a fundraising concert held today in his honour.
The concert is taking place at Hyde Park, London, England, and will feature Queen, Razorligt, Leona Lewis, Josh Groban, Amy Winehouse and others. Among the celebrities invited are Gordon Brown, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Robert De Niro.
Jerry Dammers, one of the organisers of Artists Against Apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert and whose song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ became a banner for the 80’s anti-apartheid movement in UK, will make a special appearance
See YouTube video of the song "Free Neslon Mandela" attached.
The proceeds from the concert will benefit HIV victims in Mandela’s native South Africa. Coincidently, it is the national HIV testing day in the US today (see here)
UPDATE | 07:14pm EST — Mandela's B'day Bash Gets Underway
London's Hyde Park turned into a party scene this afternoon as Nelson Mandela kept on celebrating his ninetieth birthday with a star-studded concert. Will and Jada were up and at 'em after last night's Elton John party to get on stage, while Geri Halliwell and Prince William's girlfriend, Kate Middleton, surveyed the scene. Amy Winehouse, who was looking unusually tan, managed to take the stage despite her recent health problems. A crowd of 46,664, a number chosen as that was Nelson's prison number during his 27-year incarceration in South Africa, turned out to mark the occasion. Between this big show and dinner with his friends on Wednesday evening, hopefully Mr. Mandela had a perfect and memorable birthday.
The event was organised to support Mandela's HIV/AIDS charity "46664", named after his prison number, and comes 20 years after the city hosted another concert for the statesman when he was still behind bars for his stand against apartheid.
"Twenty years ago, London hosted a historic concert which called for our freedom," a frail-looking Mandela told the cheering crowd after they had sung him Happy Birthday.
"Your voices carried across the water and inspired us in our prison cells far away.
"As we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete. Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done.
"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, I thank you."
Recent Twitter comments on the events:
NickAnstead: Loved Mandela tonight: "Even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete - our work is for freedom for all" 2008-06-27 19:13:55
ndtp: "thinking Nelson Mandela looks pretty great for a 90 year old man who spent 27 of those years in in prison." 2008-06-27 18:43:06
See NowPublic's previous coverage on this story.