Thursday, June 26, 2008
Dinner in Honor of Nelson Mandela
A host of stars from the worlds of music, movies, and sport were out in full force in London tonight to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90 birthday.
Among the the array of guests at the star-studded bash in London's Hyde Park was Naomi Campbell, who had been removed from the playlist of Mandela's birthday concert on Friday at the request of the man himself.
The former South African leader personally told organisers to take the supermodel off the list of presenters following her recent air rage conviction.
Representing Hollywood was Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower, Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta, acting couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Forest Whitaker, and Uma Thurman with her tycoon boyfriend Arpad Busson.
U.S. talk show titan Oprah Winfrey had also flown over from Chicago for the party.
Charity campaigner Bob Geldof, who has worked with Mandela on projects in Africa in the past, dumped his usual scruffy style for a smart white suit.
For the music world, X Factor winner Leona Lewis joined Sugababes, soprano Katherine Jenkins, Annie Lennox, Queen frontman Paul Rodgers, Peter Gabriel and Joan Baez.
Other guests included Boris Becker, Sir Richard Branson and his family, Cherie Blair and designer Oswald Boateng.
Many of the celebrities in attendance of tonight's dinner are ambassadors for the former South African president's many charities, including The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664.
Providing the food was celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who took time out of manning the kitchen to mingle with the a-list guests and attend to his wife Tana.
Many of the attendees will be gracing the stage at Mandela's birthday concert on Friday.
Rapper/actor Will Smith will host the event, which will feature performances by Amy Winehouse, Queen with Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Razorlight, Jamelia, Joan Baez and Simple Minds.
Special guests set to appear include Gordon Brown, Lewis Hamilton, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.