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South Africa musicians to play at World Cup opening

South African jazz giant Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela says the World Cup is a 'passing event'

Jazz musician Hugh Masekela and other South African artists will play at the opening concert of the World Cup, football's governing body Fifa says.

The announcement comes after the initial line-up was criticised for ignoring local artists.

Mr Masekela and local groups such as Freshlyground and the Soweto Gospel Choir will join international stars at the event in Johannesburg on 10 June.

The 2010 World Cup begins the following day and runs until 11 July.

Shakira, Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and Angelique Kidjo are amongst the other big names set to play at the concert, which will take place in Soweto's Orlando Stadium.

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Mr Masekela, 71, said he was "humbled and flattered" to be part of the event, AFP news agency reports.

But he downplayed expectations about the opening concert and the World Cup games, which he described as a "passing event", AP reports.

"I'm more concerned with life in South Africa after the World Cup," he was quoted as saying by AP.

"After 300 years of history I don't think the World Cup can change the lives of South Africans too much."

Simon Attwell of afro-pop group Freshlyground told the BBC World Service: "Some South Africans feel that it should be 100% South African artists. South Africans have this notion that the World Cup is their event.

"We're just happy to be involved. It's quite nice that it's artists from different parts of the world, [performing in]different languages."

Waka Waka, a song by Freshlyground and Shakira, has been chosen as the official anthem of the 2010 World Cup.

South Africa's Ministry of Arts and Culture put pressure on World Cup organisers to change the line-up after local musicians expressed anger that international singers would headline the event.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Citizen.co.za Big names to kick off Fifa concert - 39 hrs ago
CNN South Africans added to launch gig - 41 hrs ago
The Independent FIFA adds South African artists to World Cup concert - 41 hrs ago
France24 FIFA adds S.African artists to World Cup concert - 42 hrs ago
Washington PostMore local singers to perform at WCup in SAfrica - 43 hrs ago
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