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Pop Star Shakira Headlines World Cup Closing Ceremony

  • Sonny Young

The closing evening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup football tournament will be held Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

World Cup organizers say the 30-minute ceremony at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium will feature some spectacular performances and unique special effects. The show will begin two hours before the kickoff of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Organizers say it will be broadcast in 215 countries to an audience of more than 500 million viewers.

Nearly 800 cast members, including some of Africa's top musicians and dancers, will perform at the stadium.

For a second World Cup in a row, Colombian pop star Shakira will sing at the closing ceremony.

Shakira will perform her song "Waka Waka" (This Time For Africa) with the South African group Freshlyground. World football's governing body, FIFA, designated the tune as the official song of the tournament, and it has been a big hit around the world, topping the music charts in 15 countries. The song was also the most-watched video on the Internet during the month of June, with about 80 million views on YouTube to date.

Among the other artists scheduled to perform are Nigeria's 2Face, Ghana's Samini, and the popular South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who rose to international fame after singing with Paul Simon on Simon's album, Graceland.

Derek Carstens, the chief marketing officer of the 2010 World Cup Organizing Committee, says the closing ceremony will have a distinctive African feel, with world-class technology and a contemporary, youthful theme. He says Africa's first football World Cup has showcased the unique and colorful spirit and warmth of the African continent and its people. Carstens says the closing ceremony will pay tribute to that spirit.

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