Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Queen, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis And Others Come Out For Nelson Mandela Birthday Concert

By: Lauren Moraski

A wide range of musicians came out for Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London over the weekend. Will Smith hosted the event for Mandela, whose 90th birthday is actually next month. Nearly 50,000 fans packed the show, which featured performances by Amy Winehouse, Queen, Simple Minds, Leona Lewis, Annie Lennox and Razorlight.

According to the Associated Press, Winehouse performed at the event despite her recent hospitalization. Organizers were worried she wouldn't make it after she was a no-show at rehearsal a couple of days earlier. The 24-year-old singer sang "Rehab," as well as a rendition of the Special AKA's song "Free Nelson Mandela" with Jerry Dammers and the Soweto Gospel Choir. She dedicated the song to her jailed husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, changing the words of one verse to add in "Free Blakey my fella."

Lewis personally wished Mandela a happy birthday, adding, "When I was younger, I remember my aunty and grandmother used to tell me stories about this incredible, wonderful, great man, Nelson Mandela."

Queen, featuring Paul Rodgers, Brian May and Roger Taylor, wrapped the night with five songs, including "We Are The Champions."

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