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Watch the Dalai Lama Join Patti Smith on Stage at Glastonbury 2015

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Patti Smith performs at Theatre 80 St. Marks on April 12, 2015 in New York City. 

One of the most talked-about appearances at Britain's Glastonbury music festival wasn't a singer or rocker -- it was the Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama Heads to Glastonbury

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader joined singer Patti Smith on stage Sunday, June 28, where she led the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to mark his 80th birthday next week. She then presented him with a birthday cake.

The spiritual leader, who appeared at the festival for the first time, praised Smith's white hair, voice and "physical action," saying she was "very beautiful, very forceful."

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He earlier spoke on a small platform about the need for a moral education at schools and universities. The Nobel Peace Prize winner also praised Glastonbury a "festival of people, not politicians and governments."

He earlier dismissed as a "usual response" criticism from the Chinese foreign affairs ministry, which said it was firmly opposed to any organization that gave a platform to his "anti-China separatist activities."

"Whenever I meet people or an organization, the Chinese officials always protest," he said. "They consider me as a demon so they have to oppose the demon's activities, although I'm not seeking independence or separation."