(12-19-2002) Bono, other rock stars write song for Nelson Mandela - AP - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-19-2002, 10:56 AM   #1
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(12-19-2002) Bono, other rock stars write song for Nelson Mandela - AP


Bono, other rock stars write song for Nelson Mandela

By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - U2 star Bono and two other rock veterans have written a song in tribute of former South African President Nelson Mandela and hope to use it to raise money to fight the AIDS pandemic ravaging Africa.

Dave Stewart, of The Eurythmics, Joe Strummer, of The Clash, and Bono named their song "48864" after the number Mandela wore as a prisoner of the apartheid regime. They plan to play the new song at a Feb. 2 AIDS benefit concert Mandela is sponsoring at his former prison on Robben Island, Stewart said Thursday.

The song, which focusses on Mandela's courage in speaking out against apartheid, ends with the musicians defiantly chanting 48864, said Stewart, the musical director of the concert.

Stewart said he hopes to work out a deal with international telephone companies that will allow people to dial that number to donate money to AIDS charities.

The daylong concert will take place in a grassy field enclosed by barbed wire outside the prison walls on the island off the coast of Cape Town.

The musicians scheduled to perform include Queen, Bono, Macy Gray, Nelly Furtado, Shaggy, Jimmy Cliff, Johnny Clegg and Youssou N'dour.

Yusuf Islam, the former pop singer who was known as Cat Stevens until he converted to Islam in the late 1970s, will make his first public appearance in three decades at the concert, though it is unclear whether he will perform, organizers said in a telephone conference with journalists.

Many artists "have responded to Mr. Mandela's call to arms on the issue of HIV/AIDS," Stewart said.

A maximum of 2,500 tickets will be distributed for the event. They will be given free to invited guests and those winning radio promotions, organizers said.

A simultaneous concert will be held in a Cape Town stadium that can hold 30,000 people, said Ned O'Hanlon, the concert's executive producer. A large screen there will show the Robben Island concert, and several of the musicians will play both venues, he said.

The concert will be broadcast live on the Internet and television rights to a two-hour concert special are being negotiated, he said. Money from those sales and sponsorships will benefit AIDS charities.

Michael Jackson, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Janet Jackson have also been approached to play at the event titled "Mandela SOS."

An estimated 4.7 million South Africans one in nine are HIV positive, more than in any other country in the world.

Mandela, 84, one of the world's most revered figures, emerged from prison to become South Africa's first democratic president in 1994. He stepped down in 1999 and has since become a vocal activist in the fight against AIDS.
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