NEW YORK, June 3 VH1 is joining in the global birthdaycelebration of one the world's greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela.
The music and pop culture network is the exclusive U.S. outlet televising"The 46664 Concert Honouring Nelson Mandela at 90" taking place in London's Hyde Park on Friday, June 27. The concert will also be streamed live onVH1.com that day at MandelaConcert.VH1.com. Artists already committed toperform include Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Queen + Paul Rodgers, AnnieLennox, The Sugababes, Simple Minds, Dame Shirley Bassey, Andrea and SharonCorr, Jerry Dammers and Razorlight will take the stage to honor NelsonMandela. Many other world-renowned artists and performers will also beperforming.
Hosted by multi-talented actor/rapper Will Smith, VH1's coverage of The46664 Concert will stream live at MandelaConcert.VH1.com on Friday, June 27 at1:30 PM EST. A 2-hour special of concert highlights will premiere on VH1 onMonday, June 30th at 9 PM EST/PST. The event will also be simulcast on VH1Classic, VH1 Soul and MHD, MTV Networks' music high-definition channel. Inaddition to being a monumental birthday celebration, the event also serves asa response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic designed to invite the whole worldto take a stance on this worldwide health issue.
The concert name refers to Nelson Mandela's prison number(46664 - pronounced four, double six, six, four) when he spent 18 years of his27 years in prison on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town in SouthAfrica.
Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon Brown,Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker are among those who will attend some of theevents surrounding the three-day celebration in London which culminates in theevening concert.
South African and African artists Johnny Clegg, Sipho Mabuse, Loyiso, theSoweto Gospel Choir, Papa Wemba, Sudanese 'war child' rapper Emmanuel Jal, andAIDS orphan choir: The Children of Agape will also join in the celebration.
The concert proceeds will benefit Nelson Mandela's HIV/AIDS charity 46664that he founded in 2002. "I am supposed to be retired but my friends and thecharitable organizations that bear my name want to use my 90th birthday yearto raise funds to continue our work and so of course I want to help them,"said Nelson Mandela.
"Nelson Mandela epitomizes strength and courage around the world. He hascome to symbolize hope, working tirelessly through his 46664 organization toraise awareness about the impact of AIDS, especially in Africa, and promoteHIV prevention measures globally," said Tom Calderone, VH1's Executive VicePresident, General Manager. "We at VH1 have a long history of proactivelyengaging our viewers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We are proud to be a partof this momentous occasion and are eager to share the celebration with musicfans across the U.S."
Notes to Editors:
Mr. Mandela made HIV AIDS the target of his 'new fight' in 2002 and the46664 campaign was launched with a concert in Cape Town on November 29th 2003under the direction of Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox and Queen's Brian May andRoger Taylor with support from artists such as Bono, The Edge and Beyonce,
46664 takes its name from Mr. Mandela's Robben Island prison number. Hewas prisoner number 466, incarcerated in 1964.
At the time of Mr. Mandela's release in 1990 South Africa recorded 120,000people living with HIV. Today the number of South Africans living with HIVAIDS exceeds 5.5. million.
Inspired by the vision and leadership of Nelson Mandela, 46664 is anAfrican response to the global HIV AIDS epidemic that invites the whole worldto take the fight in hand.
A campaign vehicle of the Nelson Mandela charitable organisations, 46664raises funds to support the ongoing 46664 campaign and the HIV AIDS projectsit directly supports throughout sub-Saharan Afric