Johnny Clegg "Asimbonanga (featuring Nelson Mandela)" (1999)
To honor the legacy of the great Nelson Mandela, who died earlier today at the age of 95, here is a selection of songs written and recorded about this great man who spent his lifetime in the fight against racial oppression. So inspiring a figure was Mandela that he had the distinction of having more songs written in his honor than perhaps any other global political figure in history.
These include Johnny Clegg's "Asimbonanga" (above) -- a very special live concert version from 1999 featuring a walk-on cameo from Mandela himself who blesses the mic for a bit and grooves to the music of Clegg's band.
Other songs (all below) include the best known of all the songs recorded about him: the 1984 hit single by The Specials/ The Special AKA (free) "Nelson Mandela," a live version of Hugh Masekela's inspired "Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)," Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms' "Nelson Mandela Song," (my personal favorite) Youssou N'Dour's "Nelson Mandela" (live in NY in the early 90's), and a cool song and video remix of "Number 46664" which was Nelson Mandela's prison number when he was incarcerated on Robbin Island, Cape Town (Mandela spent a total of 27 years in prison after being convicted of treason by the white minority government of South Africa). Read the full news report here on the Los Angeles Times. Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela!