Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas To Kick Off World Cup

Alicia Keys performs at The Apollo Theater on January 7, 2010 in New York City.

Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and Alicia Keys will be joined by a host of South American and African music stars for the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert.

Other acts include Colombian superstars Juanes and Shakira, Mali's acclaimed duo Amadou & Mariam, desert blue's outfit Tinariwen, Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, and Benin's Angelique Kidjo.

So far, host country South Africa has three acts in the line-up: rock acts BLK JKS and the Parlotones, and folk singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela. It is the first time the tournament has been staged in Africa.

The concert takes place June 10 at the newly-renovated Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg's Soweto township on the day before the 2010 tournament gets underway. It's the first time FIFA has staged a multi-artist "kick-off" concert of this nature, with more acts expected to be added to the line-up in the coming weeks.

Local broadcast support for the event comes from three Joburg-based independent regional radio stations Kaya-FM, Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo. Organizers have also confirmed the concert will be televised globally although have yet to announce international TV and radio broadcast partners.

In a press statement, former South African football international and Leeds United player Lucas Radebe said, "Music and Sports are the lifeblood of African culture, so to combine those in this historic event will be a true celebration of African Culture." Radebe will be one of the past and present football legends who will join the international and African music acts on stage at the event.

The FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert is executive-produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall and his company Control Room, in partnership with local promoter, Showtime Entertainment.

Kevin Wall, founder of Control Room, commented: "We believe sports and music transcend cultural, language and geographic barriers... Control Room will present the sights and sounds of unity and celebration for an unforgettable, must-see experience."

Tickets priced from 450 rand ($62) to 1,150 rand ($158) went on sale today (March 17). The capacity of the stadium is 40,000.

The last FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006 attracted a global cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion for the tournament, according to FIFA.


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