At Nelson Mandela’s memorial in Johannesburg Tuesday, leaders from around the globe gathered to express their admiration for the beloved freedom fighter and former South African president. Viewers may have noticed that many mourners were singing. Music has always played a huge part in South African culture and Mandela’s own life. In this week’s issue of EW, editor Sean Smith takes a in-depth look at the pop world’s role in the anti-apartheid movement.
A wide range of artists, from westerners like Paul Simon to African musicians like Ladysmith Black Mambazo (pictured above) and Hugh Masekela, have found inspiration in Mandela’s cause and the sounds of his country. We’ve put together a Spotify playlist of some of our favorite tracks below.
Take a listen: