Fans lined the streets in New York City on Saturday as stars gathered to celebrate Mandela Day at Radio City Music Hall. The concert, themed to encourage individuals to “make an imprint,” was held on July 18th, Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday.
Celebrities such as Lil’ Kim, will.i.am, Wyclef Jean, Forrest Whitaker and Cyndi Lauper hit the red carpet to express their support of the former South African president’s vision for an improved society. Performers at the concert included Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, the Soweto Gospel Choir and the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Stevie Wonder closed the show, leading the all-star ensemble in a birthday tribute to Mandela with his classic rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
“Mandela Day is an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them,” according to Mandeladay.com.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664, an organization named after Mandela’s Robben Island prisoner number, fostered the event. The Mandela Day celebration, set to be held in Madrid in 2010, “is henceforth every year, July the 18th,” according to Tim Massey, International Director of 46664.
Exclusive video of the red carpet!