VH1 to Televise ‘The 46664 Concert Honouring Nelson Mandela

VH1 is joining in the global birthday celebration 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 on VH1.com that day at MandelaConcert.VH1.com. Artists already committed to perform include Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, The Sugababes, Simple Minds, Dame Shirley Bassey, Andrea and Sharon Corr, Jerry Dammers and Razorlight will take the stage to honor Nelson Mandela. Many other world-renowned artists and performers will also be performing.

Hosted by multi-talented actor/rapper Will Smith, VH1’s coverage of The 46664 Concert will stream live at MandelaConcert.VH1.com on Friday, June 27 at 1:30 PM EST. A 2-hour special of concert highlights will premiere on VH1 on Monday, June 30th at 9 PM EST/PST. The event will also be simulcast on VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul and MHD, MTV Networks’ music high-definition channel. In addition to being a monumental birthday celebration, the event also serves as a response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic designed to invite the whole world to 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 his 27 years in prison on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa.

Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker are among those who will attend some of the events surrounding the three-day celebration in London which culminates in the evening concert.

South African and African artists Johnny Clegg, Sipho Mabuse, Loyiso, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Papa Wemba, Sudanese ‘war child’ rapper Emmanuel Jal, and AIDS orphan choir: The Children of Agape will also join in the celebration.

The concert proceeds will benefit Nelson Mandela’s HIV/AIDS charity 46664 that he founded in 2002. “I am supposed to be retired but my friends and the charitable organizations 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,” said Nelson Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela epitomizes strength and courage around the world. He has come to symbolize hope, working tirelessly through his 46664 organization to raise awareness about the impact of AIDS, especially in Africa, and promote HIV prevention measures globally,” said Tom Calderone, VH1’s Executive Vice President, General Manager. “We at VH1 have a long history of proactively engaging our viewers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We are proud to be a part of this momentous occasion and are eager to share the celebration with music fans across the U.S.”

SOURCE VH1

(Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)