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Africa Day concert raises awareness for Covid-19

Over 100 artists and celebrities from across Africa and the diaspora came together on Africa Day on 25 May to take part in a two-hour virtual concert aimed at raising awareness about the fight against the pandemic.

Modelled on the Lady Gaga-curated One World: Together at Home concert, the show saw performances from artists including Angelique Kidjo, Wizkid, Salif Keita and Fally Ipupa and was hosted by actor and musician Idris Elba.

Senagalese star Youssou N’Dour also sang a remote duet with Coldplay’s Chris Martin as part of the awareness-raising event.

The show was broadcast online by the World Afro Network (WAN) and on 200 African television channels.

“We must show our resilience and share our commitment as Africans to overcome this and grow stronger from it”

“We face an extraordinary challenge but we cannot afford to be spectators. We must show our resilience and share our commitment as Africans to overcome this and grow stronger from it,” commented supermodel Naomi Campbell as part of the broadcast.

“Use your voice to call our leaders in Africa to use this crisis as a moment to build our solidarity and deal with deep structural issues that affect our nations and their economies.”

More than 115,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported across Africa, with the virus reaching every country on the continent of 1.2 billion people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Covid-19 could kill up to 190,000 people across the continent and infect between 29 million and 44m in the first year if containment measures fail.

 


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Growing number of artists contract coronavirus

Updated 8/4/20: US folk and country singer John Prine has passed away due to complications from Covid-19, aged 73. Garnering praise from the likes of Johnny Cash and Roger Waters over the years, artists including Bruce Sprinsteen, Ron Sexsmith and Bonnie Raitt are among those to have paid tribute to the late singer.

 


As cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, continue to mount around the world, members of the live music community are among those falling ill.

Pink, whose Beautiful Trauma tour was the highest grossing of 2019, raking in $215.2 million, is among artists to have contracted coronavirus. The singer, who has now recovered, is donating $1m to support health care workers in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Other artists to have contracted the virus include English singer Marianne Faithfull, who is being treated in hospital, US singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, actor and DJ Idris Elba, producer Andrew Watt, rapper Slim Thug, rock artist Jackson Browne and Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo.

‘Love Song’ singer Sara Bareilles recently revealed she had been ill with the virus, but is now fully recovered.

Tragically, the live music world has lost a number of great talents to coronavirus in recent weeks. Artists to have passed away from Covid-19 include Fountains of Wayne bassist and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, who died on 1 April, aged 52. Schlesinger’s achievements include co-writing Fountains of Wayne hits including ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and his soundtrack work on Crazy Ex Girlfriend, A Colbert Christmas and That Thing You Do!.

Tragically, the live music world has lost a number of great talents to coronavirus in recent weeks

US country music singer Joe Diffie, passed away on 29 March, aged 61, known for hits including ‘Bigger Than the Beatles’ and ‘John Deere Green’. Tributes have been paid to the late Diffie by country stars including Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley and Travis Tritt.

Singer and songwriter Alan Merrill, best remembered for co-writing the original ‘I Love Rock’n’Roll’, died over the weekend from Covid-19, aged 69. Artists including Meat Loaf and Joan Jett have paid tribute to the singer on social media.

The world of jazz has also lost some greats to coronavirus in recent days. Trumpeter Wallace Roney passed away on 31 March, aged 59. The Grammy-winning trumpeter played with the likes of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman.

Jazz pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis Jr lost his life on 1 April, aged 85, due to complications caused by coronavirus. Four of Marsalis’ six sons are also prominent musicians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

African jazz great Manu Dibango died on 24 March, from coronavirus, aged 86. The Cameroon-born saxophonist gained international fame with his 1972 song ‘Soul Makossa’.

 


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