2010 World Cup Kick-Off Concert

South Africa, South Africa, are you ready?" Black Eyed Peas will.i.am shouted to the 30-000 strong crowd 12 minutes into the live broadcast - and from that moment, the first-ever FIFA World Cup Kick-Off concert hit its stride and the pace never let up.

Dressed in glitzy military-themed costumes, Black Eyed Peas ran rapidfire through a medley of hits: "Where Is The Love," "Pump It," "Meet Me Halfway," "Boom Boom Pow," and "I Gotta Feeling" - the latter's refrain of "tonight's gonna be a good, good night" setting the tone for a rare display of stadium-sized international music talent.

The live broadcast had opened with a statement of African past and present, with veteran South African jazzman Hugh Masekela segueing from his classic "Grazing in the Grass" into the late Miriam Makeba's signature song, "Pata Pata" - this time featuring young Afro-soul multi-award winner, Lira on vocals.
The potency of Africa's talent was plain to see: whether it was Benin's Angelique Kidjo in full vocal throttle on the "Malaika/Afrika" medley with Grammy Award-winners Soweto Gospel Choir, Mali's Amadou & Mariam's transporting "Welcome To Mali," and "Africa", the intoxicating sound of Mali's desert Blues outfit, Tinariwen, South Africa's Afro-folk favourite Vusi Mahlasela, previously unannounced South African kwaito (township house) hitmakers Big Nuz and DJ Tira, The Parlotones' full-throttle rock or the deft guitarwork of Mali's Vieux Farka Toure, Africa claimed the spotlight with passion, energy and no small amount of talent.

But it was the collaborations that really stole the hearts of the crowd: among the raft of pair-ups was Alicia Keys and swampy South African art-rock outfit BLK JKS in a version of the late Brenda Fassie's decade-old hit song "Too Late For Mama", and John Legend riffing off Kidjo before heading off into several of his hit songs including "Green Light."

Shakira provided the show's crowning moment, the Colombian singer launching first into "She Wolf" before delivering a show-stopping performance of "Hips Don't Lie" with South African hip-hop artist Tumi Molekane who had performed earlier in the evening as part of the pre-broadcast show. And when the first notes of the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song, "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" were heard and Shakira's South African collaborators - Afro-pop outfit Freshlyground - appeared, the crowd erupted into an unceasing cry of delight. "Ngiyabonga Mzansi," ("thankyou South Africa") Shakira said in closing.

Watch World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert

Source: Getty Images, AP, Yahoo!, Vevo

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