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A birthday gift for Mandela

June 28, 2008|From the Associated Press

Queen, Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse and a host of African stars joined tens of thousands of music fans Friday to salute Nelson Mandela at a concert honoring the South African statesman's upcoming 90th birthday.

The outdoor show in London's Hyde Park opened in eclectic style with Jivan Gasparyan, an Armenian master of the duduk wooden flute, followed by British band Razorlight. The event was hosted by Will Smith.

Proceeds from the show -- which organizers hoped would be attended by 46,664 people -- will go to 46664, the AIDS charity named for the number Mandela wore while imprisoned for opposing South Africa's apartheid regime.

Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years behind bars and was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994.

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