News > Press Release: 46664 Hyde Park

Added on 06-May-2008

Mr. Mandela will arrive in London in June to take part in a series of events to mark his birthday: a very rare occasion since he is now finally “retired from retirement.”President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Will Smith, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro and Forest Whitaker are amongst those who will attend some of the events. Lewis Hamilton, British Formula 1 driver for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team will attend his very first 46664 event.The concert will feature numerous unexpected appearances, with several major artists keeping silent about their involvement in order to take both Mr Mandela and the audience by surprise.Among the specially chosen artists are many whom Nelson Mandela is recognising for having voiced their support for him over the past 20 years, dating back to Londons historic Free Mandela concert of June 1988, which called for Mr. Mandelas release from incarceration on Robben Island and which Mr Mandela has said gave him and his fellow prisoners great inspiration. Simple Minds were instrumental in making the 1988 event happen. Annie Lennox appeared with The Eurythmics and has since become of one of the most active ambassadors for Mr. Mandelas 46664


organisation. Lennox, along with Dave Stewart and Queens Brian May and Roger Taylor played a key part in the foundation of 46664 in October 2003. Since then, Queen and Paul Rodgers have gone on to write songs especially for the organisation, including the track Say Its Not True from their forthcoming album which the band donated to 46664 for World


Day 2007. With the Corrs, Sharon and Andrea Corr appeared at the inaugural Cape Town concert and together and separately have since participated in further concerts for Mr. Mandelas 46664 charitable organisation. Zucchero has been another stalwart supporter, appearing in the first concert as well as two further concerts.Rounding out the twenty years since the Free Mandela event in 1988, the concert will also feature top artists of today including worldwide No.1 artist Leona Lewis and Britains most successful female group, the Sugababes.Fundraising events as part of the celebrations will benefit the charitable organisations established by Mr. Mandela: the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which through their work have sought to bring about change and make a difference to lives in South Africa, Africa and elsewhere over the past 14 years. The concert proceeds will go to the 46664 campaign which raises awareness about the impact of


, especially in Africa, and promotes effective


prevention measures throughout the world.Mr. Mandela said at the announcement of the concert: “You all know that I am supposed to be retired but my friends and the charitable organisations that bear my name want to use my 90th birthday year to raise funds to continue our work and so of course I want to help them. So, we have a bargain – I am going to London and they will host a concert in Hyde Park, which will raise awareness of our continuing work and much needed funds.”As his final public engagement on his visit to the UK, Mr. Mandelas appearance at the concert is sure to be emotional. In stepping down from his campaign work he will use the concert to deliver his message presented in the current 46664 campaign “Its in our hands”, that he is handing over the 46664 mantle to each of us to carry forward on his behalf.The concert has been made possible through the generosity of the private sector to honour Mr. Mandelas 90th birthday. Mercedes-Benz, Zain and Investec lead the companies who have rallied to support the concert. Others including with British Airways, Samsung, Intercontinental Hotels, The Westbury and Live Nation have also assisted. A special mention also for The Royal Parks who have allowed the concert to take place the night before Hard Rock Calling and who have agreed the sale

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

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