The epitome of courage and optimism, Nelson Mandela spent 18 years behind bars for ideals he believed in. To celebrate such resilience, the world has a huge old birthday party for him each year. This time around, on Friday, June 27, you’re invited to the celebration as well. “The 46664 Concert Honoring Nelson Mandela at 90″ will be streamed live from London’s Hyde Park on VH1.com, starting at 1:30 pm EST. Will Smith is the host. Highlights from the concert will premiere on VH1 on Monday, June 30, at 9 EST/PST.
This year’s artists include a 1-2 punch of British sirens: Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis are on the bill. Make that a 1-2-3 punch: Annie Lennox is part of the show, as well. Other performers include Queen + Paul Rogers, Simple Minds, The Sugababes, Andrea and Sharon Corr, Johnny Clegg, Papa Wemba, and Dame Shirley Bassey. More artists will be announced as added.
The concert name refers to Mandela’s prison number (46664 – pronounced four double six, six four). Proceeds will benefit his HIV/AIDS charity of the same name. “I’m supposed to be retired, but my friends and the charitable organizations that bear my name want to use my 90th birthday to raise funds to continue our work, so of course I want to help them,” says the Mandela. More as it develops.