QUEEN TO TOUR : : SUPPORT AIDS AWARENESS

Queen will make their first appearance with new vocalist PAUL RODGERS at the second 46664 SOUTH AFRICA concert next year.

The band will play at the event which will take place at the Fancourt Hotel And Country Club Estate on March 19. The gig has been organized by Nelson Mandela to fight against HIV and AIDS.

Guitarist Brian May said: "This is a great occasion for Queen to fulfill our continuing commitment to Nelson Mandela's AIDS cause. It is particularly exciting because this will be the first opportunity for Roger and myself to play a full set on stage with Paul Rodgers."

He added: "We will be routining together especially for this concert in the weeks leading up to this date. It will be an international 'first'."

Making the announcement, former President Mandela said: "46664 South Africa will build on the success of our truly memorable concert in Cape Town last year. It will serve to support the efforts of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and to show the world that South Africa is really addressing this most vital issue. And most importantly, it will help us raise more funds to lead the fight to help those infected and affected by this pandemic."

A further number of international artists will join Queen for the concert, together with several South African artists. The full line-up will be revealed early in the New Year. Queen famously included South Africa as part of their 1984 tour despite the country then being under worldwide boycott due to its racial policies. The decision caused the band problems in the British Commonwealth where they were heavily criticized, and group were even faced with protests at some New Zealand shows.

The tour will feature material by both Queen and Rodgers, one-time vocalist with both Free and Bad Company.

Queen stopped touring in 1986, after frontman Freddie Mercury fell ill. He died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

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[Published on: 12/27/04]

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