A flock of global entertainment notables and politicos, including France's first lady Carla Bruni, toasted Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday with an all-star concert at Radio City Music Hall. Bruni made her American stage debut at the show held Saturday night. She paired with Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart, as her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, sat cheering in the audience. She paid homage to Mandela's social activism by covering Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind, calling it a song by another famous activist.
African artists such as Suzanna Owiyo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Sipho Mabuse, and the Soweto Gospel Choir played backup for the night. Queen Latifah performed a booming rendition of There's a Light that ended with thunderous applause. Alicia Keys and African artist Angelique Kidjo performed the spiritual Afrika.
Mandela appeared last year for a concert in London's Hyde Park to celebrate his 90th birthday but since then, Mandela's doctors advised that he no longer travel internationally.