Not even the bitter cold seemed to bother the fans, who paid between R450 and R1400 to see artists such as Shakira, Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas and Angelique Kidjo.
By early evening, concertgoers - dressed mainly in Bafana Bafana jerseys - had already jived to the music of local acts including Rebel Story, Kwani Experience, 340ml and Tumi Molekane.
After a stunning performance by Vusi Mahlasela, retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, describing him as ''the man who made all of this [possible]''.
To huge cheers, Tutu said: ''Halala, Madiba, Halala. I am dreaming, wake me up. We are showing the world we are the world.''
One fan, who paid R850 for her ticket, said: "It's freezing here but I don't care as long as I can see my Alicia Keys. I am here with my friends and we are going to have a party."
Hosted by Bob Mabena of radio station KayaFM and Pabi Moloi of 94.7 Highveld Stereo, the concert line-up was laden with more international acts than ever seen in one event in Johannesburg.
US R&B singer John Legend and Somali rapper K'Naan were also on the bill, as were South African groups Freshlyground and the Parlotones.
Keys finally walked onto the stage and sang some of her hits, including With a Broken Heart, Falling and New York. She surprised the crowd when she paid tribute to the late Brenda Fassie, performing the Queen of Pop's hit Too late for Mama with local group Blk Jks.
The show's finale was Colombian pop star's Shakira's performance of the World Cup anthem Waka Waka with local band Freshlyground while confetti rained down on spectators.
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