Music spectacular to kick off World Cup

17 March 2010

The Black Eyed Peas, Shakira, Alicia Keys, John Legend … just some of the stars who will be performing at the inaugural Fifa World Cup Kickoff Celebration Concert at Orlando Stadium, Soweto on 10 June – the day before South Africa meet Mexico in the first match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.

It’s being billed as the greatest entertainment event to be held on the African continent, and will be broadcast to over a billion people in 92 countries. According to, 30 000 tickets will be available for the concert.

“We are thrilled to have a concert of such magnitude and performing talent raise the curtain on the first Fifa World Cup in Africa,” Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke told this week.

“It is testament to the universal and unifying power of football and music, and will start the competition off on the right note – of celebration.”

Big names

The big names include the Black Eyed Peas, who will be performing in South Africa for a third time. John Legend returns to the country for a fourth time, while Alicia Keys is back for a second visit. Colombian sensation Shakira will be visiting South Africa for the first time.

Billboard, the music industry’s most important magazine, ranked the Black Eyed Peas 12th on the Billboard Decade-End Chart Artist of the Decade and 7th in Hot 100 Artists of the Decade for the years 2000-09. Billboard also named Alicia Keys as the top R&B artist of the decade.

John Legend is a six-time Grammy Award winner, while Shakira, also a multiple Grammy winner, is the most successful Colombian artist of all time and the second most successful female Latin singer, with worldwide sales of about 50-million albums.

From Africa, Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo will be in action with music that covers multiple genres. The Malian duo of Amadou & Mariam will add African blues and jazz to the mix, while Touareg musicians Tinariwen will show off their rolling rhythms and blues.

South African artists

From South Africa, Vusi Mahlasela will share African folk music with the world. Also flying the flag for the Rainbow Nation will be the Parlotones, who are sure to increase their international following with their energetic indie rock and alternative music.

Colombian artist Juanes, the winner of 17 Latin Grammy Awards as well as one Grammy, will show why he has sold over 10-million albums in the Spanish-speaking world with his mix of Latin rock and pop.

There will also be appearances by past and present football legends.

Football for Hope

All proceeds from the concert will go to the official 2010 Fifa World Cup charity which aims to build 20 Football for Hope centres across Africa. Five of those centres will be in South Africa.

Each will feature a mini-pitch along with classrooms and health care facilities, providing youngsters with a place to play, as well as access to counselling, health and educational services.

Still to be announced is the list of invited guests that includes international celebrity guests, Hollywood actors, sports legend and heads of states.


Tickets for the Kick-Off Celebration Concert are available from Computicket.

They cost from R450 to R1 400 and include park-and-ride for all ticket holders.

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