Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, John Legend Kick Off World Cup In South Africa

The Black Eyed Peas, K’Naan, Alicia Keys and Shakira were among the international artists who performed in front of 34,000 people in Soweto, South Africa, to kick-off the World Cup.

This year is the first time The World Cup is being held on the African continent. To celebrate the event, fans from across the world packed the Orlando Stadium.

“On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, it is my great honour to welcome the teams, soccer fans, tourists and the entire football fraternity to our beautiful country South Africa,” President Jacob Zuma said in a statement. “We are truly pleased and humbled to host the world in our country for this historical and extra-ordinary event.”

K’Naan performed the official “Wavin’ Flag (The Celebration Mix),” which is the anthem for the entire advertising campaign between FIFA and Coca-Cola.

The Black Eyed Peas electrified the crowd with “I Gotta Feeling (Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night).”

“We came here in the name of love for South Africa, for the World Cup and South Africa,” said will.I.am as the group launched into their song “I Gotta Feeling.”

Alicia Keys performed an acoustic version of “Empire State of Mind,” while other artists like Lira, Hugh Masekela, BLK JKS, John Legend, Shakira an others performed.

“As South Africans we are proud to be hosting the first ever World Cup on African soil,” said legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela.

Millions of people watched the concert, which was broadcast live on SABC 1

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the World Cup’s 20 Centres for 2010.

The social organization is dedicated to positive change throughout Africa and is raising funds to build 20 facilities across the African continent to provide training, healthcare options and soccer instruction.