Music and Sports Combine for World Unity

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This weekend, the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament will begin at several stadiums in South Africa. This is the most popular sporting event worldwide, and after four years, the worldwide audience is eager to have all the arguments settled and a champion crowned. I think Italy won last time, and there was that controversial play with the French player who head-butted someone at the wrong moment. Even if you aren’t into soccer/football, you have to tune in to some of the games and participate like everyone else on Earth. Not coincidentally, music is also part of the activities, and a massive opening night concert has been arranged.

A few of the artists to be featured on the inaugural opening show include Alicia Keys, Vusi Mahlasela, our friend Angelique Kidjo, Amadou & Mariam, Hugh Masekela, the ubiquitous John Legend, Juanes, Black Eyed Peas, K’naan, Shakira (see below), BLK JKS, Soweto Gospel Choir, The Parlotones, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Toure and probably a few more. For more info, please stop by Vevo. That’s pretty African! (It will be a great show)

In addition to showing the opening concert live this weekend, Vevo has released the official video of the official song for the FIFA World Cup. Appropriately, it features one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable artists that isn’t from America or England, Shakira. Last year while Playing for Change was on tour, they performed “It’s Time for Africa,” which had already been chosen by South Africans as the event’s theme.

See Shakira in the Official Video after the jump…

The World Cup is probably bigger than the Olympics, and considering the tournament is actually several years long, anticipation among fans has been building for some time as teams were qualified and eliminated for South Africa 2010. I was in Munich the night that Germany beat Poland in 06 and it was probably the biggest night for the country since the first time they beat Poland in 1939. Flags were waving, people were on every street in outside bars with flat screens watching the boring low-scoring soccer games.

Lucky for us, the baseball season is in full swing and there are even a few hockey and basketball games left. Still, as a sign of worldwide unity, I recommend all Americans tune in for a bit of the FIFA World Cup, or at least the big opening night concert, which will be carried live on VEVO this Friday, June 10. Isn’t it interesting that sports and music are the symbols/mechanisms for world unity? They could probably stop an oil spill too.

It’s Time for Africa!

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