Page last updated at 22:02 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 23:02 UK

Reporter's log: Mandela concert

Nelson Mandela and Will Smith

International music and film stars have performed at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London's Hyde Park.

BBC News entertainment reporter Genevieve Hassan was in the crowd. She provided regular updates on the acts and the atmosphere.

Updates were also posted on our new Twitter feed.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2255 LOCAL TIME (2155 GMT)

The concert is over and everyone is trooping out of Hyde Park in high spirits.

It was a brilliant show, full of joy and poignant moments about why we were all there.

I feel like I've experienced an important moment in history - Mr Mandela has said this will be his last visit to the UK.

From the shots I saw of him on the big screen, it looked like he really enjoyed his birthday party.

Happy Birthday Mr Mandela.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2245 LOCAL TIME (2145 GMT)

It's the last song of the night.

Amy Winehouse has come back out to join Jerry Dammers in singing the Special AKA's song Free Nelson Mandela, which Dammers wrote.

Everyone who has performed throughout the show is also now back on stage.

I was told there was no rehearsal for this song and everyone was 'winging it' but you wouldn't have thought it.

It's a fitting end to Mr Mandela's 90th birthday concert.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2235 LOCAL TIME (2135 GMT)

The last act of the night - Queen with Paul Rodgers - proved they really saved the best for last.

After rip-roaring renditions of One Vision and The Show Must Go On, they brought out the big guns.

Nearly 50,000 pairs or clapping and outstretched arms synchronised to the drum beat of We Will Rock You. It really was a sight to behold.

They ended their set of Queen songs with the anthemic We Are the Champions. Everyone was singing at the top of their voices and swaying their arms.

The night sky lit up with lights from flashing cameras at the end of the song - these guys really know how to rock.

They finished up with Free's All Right Now, with the crowd jumping around singing their hearts out.

I've never been to an event before where 50,000 people all sing in unison, but it really was breathtaking

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2219 LOCAL TIME (2119 GMT)

Josh Groban has been on stage with the Soweto Gospel Choir to sing his song Weeping. He was followed by Spanish artist Amaral.

We were then treated to a video message from U2's Bono and The Edge singing Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday and everyone in the crowd joined in.

It's a shame Stevie Wonder couldn't have been here to sing it.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2155 LOCAL TIME (2055 GMT)

Stephen Fry got a huge cheer as he came on stage to announce Queen's Brian May and Andrea Corr.

Then it was the most highly anticipated act of the night.

Amy Winehouse
Winehouse sang two of her biggest hits

The person, after Mr Mandela, everyone wanted to see - Amy Winehouse.

After falling ill last week and being admitted to hospital, it was her first public appearance and performance.

Even all the people in the press room gathered round a small TV to see.

She came out in her very high heels and looked almost nervous in front of the crowd.

As she sang Rehab you couldn't help but think she looked a bit...vacant.

She had a fixed stare for most of the song and almost seemed, dare I say it, bored to be singing it.

She fidgeted continuously with her skirt, pulling it up and down, and didn't smile at all.

But then she perked right up when she began belting out Valerie.

Seemingly more comfortable with her surroundings, there was more animation - arm and hand movements, sly smiles and she even teetered out onto the stage in the middle of the crowd to finish her song.

She gave a brief curtsey and teetered off again without saying anything except to announce the next South African act.

The crowd got what they wanted though and we have more to look forward to later when she comes back out for the final song.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2119 LOCAL TIME (2019 GMT)

Simple Minds are on stage now singing Don't You Forget About Me.

But I'm backstage with Jamelia who's talking to reporters.

She said it was surreal and overwhelming singing Happy Birthday to Mr Mandela.

Jamelia's having a busy day - she only arrived back in the country this morning from her honeymoon!

She also said she plans to release another album first before having anymore children, but she would love to have a baby boy.

"I'm wearing Dolce and Gabanna which I adapted myself because it was a bit too long," she also revealed.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2053 LOCAL TIME (1953 GMT)

There's something surreal about standing in Hyde Park and typing whilst EVERY SINGLE PERSON around you is riotously singing and dancing to Eddy Grant singing Give Me Hope Johanna...

The mood seems to have changed now we've seen Mr Mandela in person. Everyone is deliriously happy.

Formula One boss Eddie Jordan is standing next to me getting in to the swing of things too...

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2048 LOCAL TIME (1948 GMT)

Will and Jada Smith came back out to introduce the 'birthday boy' Mr Mandela.

I've never heard a bigger cheer and suddenly there was a huge crowd of people surrounding me trying to get a better look at the man.

Kurt Darren was right when he said that Mr Mandela has a certain aura about him.

After a rendition of Happy Birthday there was a respectful silence as everyone hung on every word he said.

"We are honoured to be back in London to celebrate but our work is far from complete," he said

"Where there is poverty and sickness, where there is oppression, please keep supporting our 46664 campaign."

He gave a wave to the crowd and they loved him.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2030 LOCAL TIME (1930 GMT)

Peter Gabriel has just been on stage to introduce Emmanuel Jal. It's a surprise because he's not on the running order list - there was a 'tbc' in that spot.

Jal's story is amazing. He was born in war-torn Sudan, taken from his family home when he was about seven years old and sent to fight in the civil war.

He was a child warrior for five years before he was rescued by a British aid worker who smuggled him out and raised him as her own.

He started singing to help ease the pain of what he had experienced and instead of being filled with anger, he is now filled with forgiveness towards the people who took him.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2015 LOCAL TIME (1915 GMT)

Annie Lennox just gave a really powerful speech about a young girl she met in South Africa who's mother had died of Aids.

Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox also performed at the Free Nelson Mandela concert in 1988

The young girl was sick with the disease herself and when Lennox met her, she was gravely ill with little chance of survival.

A shocking picture of her was shown on the big screen.

Then Lennox showed another picture of a young girl - remarkably it was the same girl only a couple of years later.

It showed how with the right care and medication, victims of Aids could carry on to live full lives.

The crowd, who were at first stunned into silence as the images were shown were now filled with applause.

The message had hit home.

Lennox went on to sing a beautiful acapella song with The Children of Agape Choir.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 2005 LOCAL TIME (1905 GMT)

Will Smith got another rapturous round of applause when he came on stage.

Not content with all the artists performing, he did indeed stretch his own vocal cords, much to the crowd's delight.

He even threw in a few verses from the opening sequence of his TV show, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

He got another lot of cheering from adoring fans, including the guy next to me who shouted 'you're amazing, I love you!'

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1955 LOCAL TIME (1855 GMT)

Lewis Hamilton gave a touching speech about what Nelson Mandela means to him.

Sugababes
The Sugababes performed two songs

The Sugababes have also been on stage performed two songs, including Push the Button.

They were their usual sexy selves and a couple of guys standing next to me made appreciative noises in their direction.

I nipped backstage during their second song to find South Africa's Kurt Darren speaking to reporters.

I spoke to him a couple of days ago during rehearsals for the concert where he told me he'd be backstage during the show surrounded by stars like a kid in a sweet shop.

I think he must be vary happy as he's just said his dressing room is next to Queen's!

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1936 LOCAL TIME (1836 GMT)

Two more African artists are performing together now - Susannah Owiyo and D'Gary on guitar. It's a really bright and colourful spectacle.

Lewis Hamilton is due on stage next to introduce the Sugababes

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1924 LOCAL TIME (1824 GMT)

A film of birthday wishes has been screened from celebrities who couldn't be here today.

Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis sang her number one hit Bleeding Love

Gordon Ramsay, Katie Melua, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Henry, Morgan Freeman, Estelle and Susan Sarandon gave messages.

Even Sooty made an appearance!

David and Victoria Beckham individually gave messages too, but the crowd turned a bit nasty and booed her.

They gave David a big cheer though...

Zucchero is up next.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1913 LOCAL TIME (1813 GMT)

Leona Lewis got almost as big a cheer as Will Smith when she came on stage.

After singing Better in Time she wished Mr Mandela a Happy Birthday and told of how she used to sing songs about him with her family when she was younger.

The crowd are now all singing Bleeding Love in time with her.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1910 LOCAL TIME (1810 GMT)

The first South African artists are performing now - Siphio with the Soweto Gospel Choir.

It's a great carnival type song that's got everyone dancing.

Birthday messages for Mr Mandela are scrolling across the bottom of the screens that have been text in.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1900 LOCAL TIME (1800 GMT)

Razorlight really got the crowd going. All I could see was a sea of hands clapping in time to the music.

The bass is really thumping here - I can feel it pounding in my chest.

Stars from the West End dance show Into the Hoods are doing a storming routine now. They've got some moves!

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1843 LOCAL TIME (1743 GMT)

June Sarpong and Christian O'Connell have been on stage welcoming everyone to the concert and kicking off the proceedings.

Will Smith
Will Smith kicked off the concert by telling the audience to "party"

As the music began, an emotional series of images of Mr Mandela throughout his life were shown on two huge screens on either side of the stage.

When it ended a huge cheer erupted from the audience followed by another one to welcome hosts Will Smith and his wife Jada.

Will Smith certainly knows how to get a party started - the crowd loves him.

Razorlight are taking to the stage now.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1825 LOCAL TIME (1725 GMT)
Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr has just spoken to us - they're singing Mandela Day and their classic hit Don't You Forget About Me.

He told us he was looking forward to performing and felt like it was "a bit like getting ready for a school concert, but there are no egos, it's something much bigger than that".

Of Mandela he said: "There still a glint in his eye and he is a wile old fox."

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1750 LOCAL TIME (1650 GMT)

The rain clouds have cleared and the sun has come out for Nelson Mandela!

The stage in Hyde Park
The first act will be on soon.

Then we're expecting another four hours of performances and speeches, including one by Mr Mandela himself.

Backstage some of the stars are giving mini press conferences.

I will let you know who I see...

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1715 LOCAL TIME (1615 GMT)

We have the full running order for the show. All times, as they say, are approximate:

1830 - Live show starts with a performance by Jivan Gasparyan
1833 - Will Smith introduces Razorlight
1847 - Into the Hoods
1853 - Sipho
1858 - Quincy Jones introduces Leona Lewis
1910 - Zucchero and Jivan
1917 - Susannah Owiyo and D'Gary
1920 - Lewis Hamilton introduces Sugababes
1934 - Will Smith performs
1937 - Annie Lennox speech then performance with Agape Choir
1949 - Emmanuel Jal
1955 - Jamelia performance
2005 - Vusi Mahlasela
2010 - Geri Halliwell introduces Johnny Clegg and Joan Baez
2021 - Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith introduce Nelson Mandela, then perform Happy Birthday with all artists
2026 - Nelson Mandela speech
2037 - Eddy Grant and Kurt Darren
2046 - June Sarpong introduces Simple Minds
2059 - Stephen Fry introduces Brian May and Andrea Corr
2105 - Amy Winehouse
2112 - June Sarpong introduces 9ice & Bebe Cool
2119 - June Sarpong introduces Josh Groban and Vusi
2132 - Amaral
2144 - Queen and Paul Rodgers
2202 - Jerry Dammers, Amy Winehouse and all artists perform Free Nelson Mandela.

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE - 1605 LOCAL TIME (1505 GMT)

The gates have opened and the first of the 46,664 ticket-holders have started to pile into Hyde Park.

They are in for a four-hour extravaganza of stars taking to the stage.

I've heard a rumour that Will Smith may be singing a song or two as well. It's already known that he'll be hosting the show, but apparently it's never been on the cards that he was going to get jiggy with it too...

My spies have also told me that Amy Winehouse will be singing the finale with Jerry Dammers - a version of the Special AKA's 1984 anthem Free Nelson Mandela.

Plus Bono and The Edge from U2 have recorded a version of Happy Birthday - this will be shown on big screens during the show.

If you don't want to wait until the highlights are screened on TV later, you can watch the concert live here.




SEE ALSO
Profile: Nelson Mandela
01 Jun 04 |  Africa
Stars set for Nelson Mandela gig
27 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
The day I met Nelson Mandela
27 Jun 08 |  Special Reports
Bassey pulls out of Mandela gig
23 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Winehouse 'still hopes to sing'
20 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Mandela concert line-up unveiled
06 May 08 |  Entertainment

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