Among the most poignant eulogies was one from U2 singer and global activist Bono, who penned a lengthy item on Time.com that described Mandela as “a forceful presence” in his life.
“Mandela would be remembered as a remarkable man just for what happened — and didn’t happen — in South Africa’s transition,” Bono wrote. “But more than anyone, it was he who rebooted the idea of Africa from a continent in chaos to a much more romantic view, one in keeping with the majesty of the landscape and the nobility of even its poorer inhabitants. He was also a hardheaded realist, as his economic policy demonstrated. To him, principles and pragmatism were not foes; they went hand in hand. He was an idealist without -naiveté, a compromiser without being compromised.”
R. Kelly, who wrote the song “Soldier’s Heart” in honor of Mandela in 2009, performed an emotional take on the piano ballad on “The Arsenio Hall Show” on Thursday night. “When the mountain seemed impossible to climb/Until he stood on the front line/He led the way/Out of the darkness/He didn’t let us go astray,” Kels sang amid a montage that included one of him with the late South African icon.
Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Hillary Clinton, Harry Styles, director Steve McQueen, Nicki Minaj and will.i.am were among the chorus of additional voices who posted words of respect and admiration for the late Mandela.
It is such a sad yet beautiful moment that Nelson Mandela has passed. A time to celebrate him & remember his contributions to humankind.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela was a champion for justice & human dignity, with unmatched grace. I'll remember him as Madiba, truly an unconquerable soul.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 6, 2013
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 6, 2013
"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela
— Steven McQueen (@McQueeninchains) December 6, 2013
Advising all my young ones that follow me to research a small piece of Nelson Mandela Life. That's how you pay your respect…… GO!
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela…I'm so sad…#theWORLDisCRYING
— will.i.am (@iamwill) December 6, 2013
— Victoria Justice (@VictoriaJustice) December 6, 2013
One of our GREATEST leaders… Thank you for BEING the true meaning of compassion. May you be at peace now. #RIPNelsonMandela
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) December 5, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela.
— Harry Styles (@Harry_Styles) December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela was a true inspiration to all humanity. He will truly be missed.
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) December 6, 2013
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela
— Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) December 5, 2013
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) December 5, 2013
1 of the most important&greatest individuals to walk on this Earth. Nelson Mandela. He walked the walk. He was 4 THE PEOPLE. Nelson Mandela.
— Janelle Monae (@JanelleMonae) December 5, 2013