At a press conference in London this morning, Nelson Mandela announced that on November 29 Sir Paul will join Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Pink, Shakira, Bono and a host of other artists in Cape Town, South Africa for a benefit concert to raise AIDS awareness. The event will be called 46664, a very significant number for the former president of South Africa:
"46664 was my prison number for over 18 years. I was imprisoned on Robben Island [and] known as just another number. Millions of people today infected with AIDS are just that a number. They, too, are serving a prison sentence for life. No longer is AIDS just a disease, it is a human-rights issue. For the sake of Africa and the world we must act and act now, and to raise funds to help those affected by Aids and raise awareness to help to prevent the further spread of HIV."
The event is expected to draw 40,000 people to the Cape Town event. In addition, the concert will be broadcast live over the Internet, followed by a 90-minute television special to be aired on MTV on December 1, World AIDS Day. The organizers of the even hope to achieve an audience of two billion people around the globe. The event will be recorded for CD and DVD release and will feature an additional 15 new studio recordings by various artists. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
In the coming weeks, you will be able to preview Sir Paul's track over the telephone as part of a worldwide initiative called Give 1 Minute Of Your Life To Aid. This awareness and fundraising campaign will use Nelson Mandell's prison number on Robben Island as a telephone number that one can dial to hear a celebrity message and a previously unreleased songs recorded by top artists. Callers will have one dollar charged to their credit card for every minute spent on the line.
An estimated 30 million people in Africa have HIV, and AIDS has killed 17 million people on the African continent.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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