Bono, Macy Gray and Shaggy will play a benefit show that Nelson Mandela is organizing in South Africa to raise money to fight AIDS.
Mandela SOS will take place February 2 at Robben Island, where the former president of South Africa had been a political prisoner for nearly two decades, organizers announced Friday. Robben Island, long used as a place of exile for those who spoke out against apartheid, has been a museum since 1997, Mandela’s third year in office.
South Africa’s first democratic president has also invited Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Michael and Janet Jackson to perform, according to the Associated Press. Sting regretfully declined an invitation, a spokesperson for his management said, because he’ll be recording his new album at the time. It wasn’t known at press time whether the other artists plan on attending.
Bono has been a crusader in the fight against AIDS in Africa for some time, founding the nonprofit advocacy group Debt, AIDS, Trade for Africa earlier this year and embarking on a speaking tour of the Midwest last week (see “U2’s Bono Sings New Song At AIDS Tour Kickoff” ).
South Africa is one of the nations hit hardest by AIDS/HIV epidemic. Nearly one in nine South Africans, or 4.7 million, is HIV positive, according to published statistics, the highest ratio of any country.
For more on the fight against AIDS, check out MTV’s “Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself” campaign.