World Cup Buzz: Kick-Off celebration line-up finalized!

FIFA and Control Room, a leading producer of global music events, today announced the final line-up of African and South African artists for the inaugural FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert. Five-time South African Music Award (SAMA) winners Freshlyground, legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela, the Soweto-based Mzansi Youth Choir, two-time Grammy Award winners and three-time SAMA winners the Soweto Gospel Choir, as well as African hip hop artist K’NAAN, will take to the stage at Orlando Stadium in Soweto/Johannesburg on the eve of the opening match of the first FIFA World Cup™ on African soil.

“As South Africans we are proud to be hosting the first ever World Cup on African soil. I am very humbled and flattered to be part of this global event and am looking forward to the concert with great interest and excitement,” said Hugh Masekela.

Indeed this historic music event, which also features the earlier announced artists Alicia Keys, Amadou & Mariam, Angélique Kidjo, Black Eyed Peas, BLK JKS, John Legend, Juanes, Shakira, The Parlotones, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Touré and Vusi Mahlasela, will be broadcast live worldwide. It is scheduled to begin at 20.00 local time (GMT+2) on 10 June.

“We wanted to have an eclectic, international mix of music genres to appeal to as many people as possible around the world whilst at the same time showcasing the immense home-grown talent of the host country,” said Niclas Ericson, FIFA Director of TV.

Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo said: “This concert will be broadcast into hundreds of millions of homes across the globe and as such represents a remarkable opportunity for our nation to show off our rich cultural heritage.”

South African broadcaster SABC will transmit the event live nationwide. “The South African Broadcast Corporation is proud to be the exclusive free to air broadcaster in South Africa and to be the technical co-producer  to ensure this concert reaches millions of people through television and radio around the world,” said SABC CEO Solly Mokoetle.

The South African Roadies Association (SARA) will provide technical assistance during the concert. “It is a great opportunity for our staff to gain further experience with a worldwide broadcast event. Working with an international world-class production ensures extensive knowledge and skills transfer for our technical team,” said SARA President Freddie Nyathela.

All net proceeds from the concert will be donated to “20 Centres for 2010”, the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, whose aim is to achieve positive social change through football by building 20 centres across Africa offering education and healthcare services as well as football training to disadvantaged communities.

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