An all-star South African AIDS awareness concert packed that Nelson Mandela had planned to host next month has been canceled because of problems over broadcast rights and sponsorship, his spokesperson

An all-star South African AIDS awareness concert packed that Nelson Mandela had planned to host next month has been canceled because of problems over broadcast rights and sponsorship, his spokesperson said today (Jan. 18). As previously reported, U2 lead singer Bono, Macy Gray, and Shaggy were among those expected to join the musical lineup of the planned concert at Cape Town's Robben Island, the former apartheid jail where former South African president Mandela spent 18 years in prison.

But the Nelson Mandela Foundation said it canceled the benefit, scheduled to be performed and broadcast around the world on Feb. 2, on Friday because its overseas producer had not arranged the appropriate sponsorship or broadcast rights.

"The aim of the whole thing was to broadcast this concert across the world, and to tell people that the world was standing together to fight HIV/AIDS because they see the impact it has had on human rights," Mandela's spokesperson Zelda La Grange said. "We could probably pull off the concert...but at the end of the day you don't just want to have a concert and not reach the aim of it all," she said.

La Grange said the foundation was considering trying to stage another concert in future. The event was to have been televised globally, with all the money raised going to the foundation, United Nations AIDS work, and the Robben Island Museum.

Coldplay, Ludacris, Jimmy Cliff, Femi Kuti, Queen, Deborah Cox, Baaba Maal, Eve, Angelique Kidjo, Johnny Clegg, Nelly Furtado, Ms. Dynamite, Lamya, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Bongo Maffin, Vusi Mahlasela, and Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) were all to be part of the bill. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics was to serve as the musical coordinator of the event, which would have hosted the premiere of "48864," a Mandela tribute song written by Bono, Stewart, and the late Joe Strummer.

COPYRIGHT: (c) Reuters 2002. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.