Spearheaded by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Dave Stewart, 46664 was a global initiative that brought together leading music icons to spread the message of Nelson Mandela: “AIDS is no longer a disease, it is a human rights issue.” T
he 46664 campaign was set up to benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its work in the South Africa. In addition to raising funds, its aim was to raise awareness of the epidemic sweeping across the continent and to call governments into action.
The launch of the campaign was the 46664 The Concert at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on 29th November 2003. The concert took place in front of an audience of 40,000 and was broadcast to millions around the world via TV, webcast and radio. Those who joined leading South African artists included Anastacia, Baaba Maal, Beyonce, Bono, Johnny Clegg, The Corrs, The Edge, Annie Lennox, Ladysmith Black Mombazo, Dave Stewart and Zucchero. At this concert Queen performed three news songs inspired by Mandela’s appeal; ‘Say It’s Not True’, ‘The Call’ and ‘Invincible Hope’, the last track featuring a sample of one of Mandela’s famous speeches.
Queen’s involvement with the campaign did not stop there. Brian and Roger performed with Paul Rodgers at a 46664 Fancourt, in South Africa in 2005 and then closed the 46664 concert in Hyde Park in 2008 that celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. Brian also performed as a solo artist in Tromso, Norway at 46664 Arctic in June 2006. Queen manager Jim Beach produced all the 46664 concerts, including the last 46664 Concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 1991 featuring many American artists including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Will.I.Am.
Queen did not perform at this concert Queen continue to be inspired by Nelson Mandela and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS through the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity set up following the death of Freddie Mercury. www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com