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Shakira, Keys dazzle at kick-off concert

Galaxy of stars has crowd in raptures at Orlando stadium

Jun 11, 2010 11:49 AM | By GABISILE NDEBELE

TENS of thousands of revellers filled Soweto's Orlando stadium last night for Fifa's first-ever Kick-Off Concert - and were treated to top-notch performances by a galaxy of international and local stars.

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Singer Shakira performs on stage during the FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert at the Orlando Stadium
Singer Shakira performs on stage during the FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert at the Orlando Stadium
Photograph by: Michelly Rall
Credit: Getty Images for Live Earth Even

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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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Jun 11 2010 02:02:55 PM
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A nuclear charged crowd!!! Soccer has ignited our 'togetherness' spark. This is what we stand for. The music put tears in the eyes of those who had no faith, those who did not believe......Well done South Africa, a great performance.
Jun 12 2010 01:54:31 PM
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Caity: I endorse your views i was one of the ify ify people but the vibe this last three weeks and this great concert on Thursday just so lekker. And yesterdays vibe was fantastic i am now so into this world cup capped with a goodelectrifying performance last night on the pitch. Well done to the lot of them.
Jun 12 2010 07:18:48 PM
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Ok, I was not that impressed - Black Eyed Peas were shocking - Fergie was flat as a pancake. Shakira was good, but why not let Freshlyground sing Waka Waka, are we embarrassed by our own talent? Parlotones only one song, and the Kwaito dudes performed terribly. Enjoyed some of the other African bands, but the American "commercials" were forced down our throats as usual. And since when has Francois Pienaar become black with dreadlocks? But the general vibe was excellent, just the production a bit chaotic.