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Friday, 06 December 2013 10:40

Musicians react to Nelson Mandela's death

UNDATED (AP) - More than just a world leader, Nelson Mandela was an international icon. And with his death yesterday, various musicians mourned his passing. Aretha Franklin says it was "a sad day that such a great man has passed on." She says what impressed her most about Mandela was that "he rose above his being imprisoned and exalted himself above apartheid and hatred" to help unite South Africa. Franklin says Mandela remains "an unbelievable example of humanitarianism and courage." Paul Simon calls Mandela "one of the great leaders and teachers of the 20th century" - and says his death "should re-ignite a worldwide effort for peace." Simon teamed up with South African musicians for the 1986 album "Graceland." The project was criticized for working with South African musicians at a time artists were boycotting the country because of its racist apartheid policies. Later, with Mandela's approval, Simon toured South Africa in the 1990s. One of the South African artists that worked with Simon on the Graceland project also issued a statement. Ladysmith Black Mambazo said while many people might want to use big words to describe Mandela, the former South African president "never thought of himself as big. He was one of us, one of the people."