Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Stars line up for Lawrence concert

Emeli Sande will perform at a special concert in memory of Stephen Lawrence
Emeli Sande will perform at a special concert in memory of Stephen Lawrence

Emeli Sande, Rizzle Kicks and Labrinth are among the stars who will perform at a concert in memory of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, 20 years after he was stabbed to death.

The event - to be staged at London's O2 Arena - will raise funds for a trust set up in his name to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Plan B, Jamie Cullum, Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Ed Sheeran are also among the stars taking part in the show on September 29 designed to champion young people.

Emeli performed for around 100 people including schoolchildren at a launch event at London's Abbey Road studios, which also included the Rizzle Kicks and was attended by Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence

Multi-award winning Scottish singer Emeli said that Stephen Lawrence's murder and Mrs Lawrence's subsequent campaigning had had a big impact on her family.

"I was quite young when it happened but coming from a mixed-race family it was a big issue that we spoke about, and (we also spoke about) the issues you face being mixed race and this being something that happened in our country.

"It had a big impact on my family and all the work Doreen has done has felt very empowering - that you can speak out about these things and changes can be made if you are brave enough to stand up."

Stephen was 18 when he was stabbed in a racist attack in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993. Two men - Gary Dobson and David Norris - were found guilty of the murder last year and the police investigation still remains "live".

The Metropolitan Police were criticised for their handling of the initial investigation and, as a result, the force was judged to be institutionally racist in a subsequent public inquiry.

The show, Unity: A Concert For Stephen Lawrence, has been backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson. Artists also include Rudimental and Soul II Soul. Tickets will go on sale on Friday at www.aeglive.co.uk.

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