NEW YORK, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."
Notes to Editors:
Mr. Mandela made HIV AIDS the target of his 'new fight' in 2002 and the 46664 campaign was launched with a concert in Cape Town on November 29th 2003 under the direction of Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox and Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor with support from artists such as Bono, The Edge and Beyonce,
46664 takes its name from Mr. Mandela's Robben Island prison number. He was prisoner number 466, incarcerated in 1964.
At the time of Mr. Mandela's release in 1990 South Africa recorded 120,000 people living with HIV. Today the number of South Africans living with HIV AIDS exceeds 5.5. million.
Inspired by the vision and leadership of Nelson Mandela, 46664 is an African response to the global HIV AIDS epidemic that invites the whole world to take the fight in hand.
A campaign vehicle of the Nelson Mandela charitable organisations, 46664 raises funds to support the ongoing 46664 campaign and the HIV AIDS projects it directly supports throughout sub-Saharan Africa. 46664's project funds develop and support practical programmes for the prevention, testing, and care and support for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
46664 recently unveiled its new campaign "It's in our hands," which will build on its past achievements and expand its outreach activities in South Africa to communities and schools to engage the youth who are at most at risk. The not-for-profit organisation harnesses the universal connecting power of music, sport and entertainment to deliver its messages primarily to the younger generations. The campaign is supported by over 80 international ambassadors from the world of sport and entertainment.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 90 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile, VH1Games and extensive broadband video on VH1.com. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.
Launched in May 2000, VH1 Classic is a 24-hour network that presents videos, concerts and music special all day long, featuring the best of rock, soul and pop artists from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and the early 90s including The Beatles, The Stones, Tina Turner, Led Zepplin, Madonna, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Stevie Wonder, The Police and many more. Learn more at www.vh1classic.com.
Launched in 1997, VH1 Soul is the 24-hour network that brings music lovers the hottest, soul, neo-soul an R&B hits from the 90s and today featuring core artists such as Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Outkast, Mary J. Blige and Usher. VH1 Soul, the premier source for all R&B and soul music, is now seen in the Top 20 U.S. markets for African-Americans and is available in nearly 20 million U.S. households.
MHD: Music High-Definition, MTV Networks' high-definition music channel, launched in January 2006 and features original music based programming for a variety of music genres, including hip hop, rock, country, pop, reggaeton, soul and more, as well as HDTV acquisitions and original content from MTV Networks Music Group's MTV, VH1, and CMT family of services.
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