Nelson Mandela, Sun City, and Changing Times

With Nelson Mandela‘s passing, the world mourns the loss of an amazing man. It is hard to comprehend the changes that Mandela helped make in his lifetime. Back in 1985, while Mandela sat in prison and Artists Against Apartheid released the song “Sun City,” one could not have imagined that within a decade Mandela would be president of South Africa. RIP.

Aritsts Against Apartheid was founded by Steven Van Zandt (aka Miami Steve, aka Little Steven) and record producer Arthur Baker. Sun City was a resort in South Africa, and the song called on artists to refuse to play there until apartheid ended. The song and video features such artists as Run DMC, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Hall & Oates, Herbie Hancock, and Ringo Starr.

Only five years after the song’s release, Steven Van Zandt would appear on stage with Simple Minds, Chrissie Hynde, Lou Reed, and others, to sing “Sun City” at a tribute concert for Nelson Mandela at Wembley stadium. They were celebrating Mandela’s release from prison in early 1990.

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