The music world has reacted to the death of Nelson Mandela, with artists such as Beyonce, Dizzee Rascal, Chuck D, Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar all posting tributes online via Twitter and various other forms of social media.
Beyonce shared her grief via Instagram, posting a picture of herself and Mandela embracing at a 2003 concert staged to raise awareness of the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. “For all you have sacrificed to improve the lives of other human beings,” she wrote alongside the image.
Last night (December 5), R Kelly honoured the former South African president with an emotional performance of ‘Soldier’s Heart’ on US TV show The Arsenio Hall Show. Kelly wrote the song about Mandela and performed it for him back in 2009. Watch his performance below.
Meanwhile, Bono penned an emotional essay on the South African figurehead, describing him as a “forceful presence” in his life.
Mandela passed away at the age of 95 yesterday (December 5) at home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton.
Other figures in the music world have also reacted to the news. Dizzee Rascal took to Twitter to write: “He fought the good fight. RIP Nelson Mandela #welostagoodone”.
Rihanna posted a picture of Mandela on her Instagram account, with the caption: “One of the greatest men who’s ever lived!!! #Legend We will never forget the things this man has taught us, and we will never truly comprehend the level of strength that it took for him to endure many of his years!! Thank you #Mandela”. She added on Twitter: “#NelsonMandela you made your people proud!! We’ll always love you for it!… #1Love”. Kendrick Lamar simply wrote: “R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, You were a great man !”.
Public Enemy‘s Chuck D posted a series of tweets about Mandela, writing: “The mission to FREE Mandela was woven into the blueprint of PublicEnemy using RAP & Hip Hop to recognize THIS MAN RIP… To recognize what NelsonMandela DID for our RIGHTS to FIGHT wrong simply means building a human bridge across EARTH..”.
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and in 1994 became the first black president of South Africa. The 1984 song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ was written by Jerry Dammers and performed by The Special AKA to protest against Mandela’s imprisonment by South Africa’s apartheid government. An anti-apartheid activist, he was jailed from 1962 until 1990 for sabotage, becoming the world’s most famous political prisoner. Amy Winehouse performed ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ at Mandela’s 90th birthday concert at London’s Hyde Park in 2008.
Elsewhere online, Emeli Sandé tweeted a short message which read: “The king of love is dead” and The Roots‘ Questlove wrote: “Free Nelson Mandela! Nelson Mandela Is Free. #Respect”.
“What a heroic, beautiful life Mandela lived. Rest in peace.”, tweeted John Legend, whilst pop star Jessie J posted a lengthy message on Instagram which read: “Nelson Mandela showed and acted out in front of the world what the true meaning of “fight for what you believe in” is! Thank you for giving humanity your humbling spirit everyday until the very end. I am so happy that one day my future children will learn about you as a genuine leader of love and peace. An example to all. You are an angel. R.I.P”.
Rapper Busta Rhymes also tweeted a tribute, writing: “RIP 2 ONE OF OUR LAST TRULY GREAT KINGS AND GOD OF OUR UNIVERSE, THE LATE GREAT NELSON MANDELA!!! I WILL 4EVER LOVE U GREAT MAN & GREAT MIND”.