Only a party for former South African President Nelson Mandela can get Aretha Franklin to come all the way to New York City’s Radio City Music Hall to celebrate. The Queen of Soul joined a star filled line-up of musicians for the Mandela Day: 46664 concert for his 91st birthday on July 18.
Queen Latifah said she was very aware of the changes in South Africa when she first started her career in the early 1990’s. She performed a song called “I Know Where I Am Going” that brought people to their feet.
Musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who is very close to Mandela, performed during Mandela Day: A 46664 Celebration Concert at Radio City Music Hall. She remarked that Mandela would always say she reminds him of a young Winnie Mandela.
Will.i.am performs at the Mandela Day concert. Each year going forward, the Nelson Mandela Foundation hopes that July 18 will not be a holiday but a day to collectively remember the work and sacrifice of Nelson Mandela.
“This is one of the most important birthdays ever because it commemorates what Mr. Mandela has tried to teach us as the human race,” said singer
Thandiswa Mazwai. “We’re blessed to be living at the same time as this very important man.”
Actor Forest Whitaker speaks on stage during the Mandela Day: A 46664 Celebration Concert in New York City. His wife, Keisha Whitaker said, “It’s been such a wonderful year with Obama and now celebrating Nelson Mandela.”
One of Kenya’s most popular artists Suzanna Owiyo performed during the Mandela Day concert. “Singing political songs is not a sin,” she posted on her website.“Musicians should be allowed freedom of expression.”