• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
DEC
6
4 MOS

Nelson Mandela's Musical Tributes: R. Kelly, Nicole Scherzinger, 'Lion King' Cast (Video)

Watch the R&B singer perform "Soldier's Heart," the "X Factor" judge sing hymnal praise and Broadway's "The Lion King" cast join for "One by One."

R. Kelly Arsenio Mandela Tribute - H 2014

As the world continues to mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela -- who died on Thursday at age 95 -- a handful of musicians have chosen to pay tribute though music.

PHOTOS: Nelson Mandela With His Hollywood Friends

R. Kelly composed a special song for the late civil rights icon and said he had performed it in Mandela's living room. He sat down at a grand piano to perform part of "Soldier's Heart" on Thursday night's episode of The Arsenio Hall Show.

"He just nodded his head, man -- he was very happy and very honored, as I was being in his presence," the singer told Arsenio Hall after playing through the chorus. "When I started performing the song on his piano, it was an unbelievable moment for me, man, as it is now."

Watch the performance below:

Nicole Scherzinger also paid tribute to Mandela through song on Thursday night at the Cosmopolitan Awards in London. The former Pussycat Dolls lead was accepting her award for Ultimate TV Personality as a judge on The X Factor U.K. when she shared an anecdote of singing for the late civil rights icon.

"I sang one of my favorite spiritual hymns called 'Precious Lord,' and I don't know if he liked it because afterwards, he said, 'Do you know anything else?'" she said to the audience's laughter. Scherzinger then sang the chorus of "This Little Light of Mine" while clapping. "I didn't expect to sing, I just was moved. Keep shining your light, especially for the late, great, Nelson Mandela."

PHOTOS: Nelson Mandela and Apartheid: 13 Hollywood Portrayals

Watch the musical portion of her speech at the 4-minute mark in the video below:

Additionally, Good Morning America asked the cast of The Lion King on Broadway to perform the song "One on One" during Friday morning's broadcast. Some of the song's translated lyrics read, "Hold on tight my people/don't get weary/don't lose your strength/we can see/they will not succeed."

"To sing these words today means a great deal because without Nelson Mandela -- without his leadership and also his ideology of a non-racial democratic South Africa, we would not be where we are today," Lion King lead and South African Ron Kuene explained. "This is the man that really prevented streams of blood in our streets."

Watch Kuene's moving words below, and watch their performance here:

What do you think of these special musical tributes? Sound off in the comments below.

Twitter: @cashleelee