Paul Simon, Bono, And Others React To The Death Of Nelson Mandela
Rockers are taking to social media to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and a groundbreaking civil rights activist. Rolling Stone reported that Mandela, died on Thursday (December 5th) at age 95.
Mandela, who was one of the foremost civil rights leaders in his battle against apartheid, had spent 27 years imprisoned for treason and his work and eventual release captured the hearts of the rock world -- especially those of U2, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, and Steve Van Zandt -- all of whom went to great lengths to raise awareness of Mandela's imprisonment and the plight of black South Africans living under apartheid.
Most recently, U2 contributed the song "Ordinary Love" to the new biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
Following his presidency, Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Foundation which helped build schools in rural areas South Africa and fight the spread of HIV and AIDS. Mandela is survived by his wife Graca Machel, his ex-wife Winnie Mandela, three children, 16 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.
Paul Simon issued a statement saying: "Mandela was one of the great leaders and teachers of the twentieth century. He conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice and the power of forgiveness. His passing should reignite a worldwide effort for peace."
In a long retrospective on Mandela for Time, Bono wrote in part: "Mandela saw extreme poverty as a manifestation of the same struggle. 'Millions of people. . . are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free,' he said in 2005. 'Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome. . . Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.' It certainly fell to Mandela to be great. His role in the movement against extreme poverty was critical. He worked for a deeper debt cancelation, for a doubling of international assistance across sub-Saharan Africa, for trade and private investment and transparency to fight corruption. Without his leadership, would the world over the past decade have increased the number of people on AIDS medication to 9.7 million and decreased child deaths by 2.7 million a year? Without Mandela, would Africa be experiencing its best decade of growth and poverty reduction? His indispensability can’t be proved with math and metrics, but I know what I believe. . ."
Other musicians took to Twitter to post their tributes...
The Who posted: "R.I.P. Nelson Mandela"
Guns N' Roses posted: "'It always seems impossible until its done.' RIP Nelson Mendela"
Nikki Sixx posted: "RIP Nelson Mandela. A man that changed the world....."
Duff McKagan posted: "RIP Nelson Mandela. He changed the way the world thought. What a great, great man."