MTV joins Mandela vs. AIDS

Charity songs only available via phone lines

LONDON — In another global campaign, former South African prexy Nelson Mandela and MTV Networks have joined forces to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

The “46664 Give One Minute of Your Life to Stop Aids” campaign announced Tuesday in London combines a music launch on the Internet and telephones along with a concert, CD and DVD releases featuring artists 50 Cent, Anastacia, Beyonce, Bono, David Bowie, Ms Dynamite, Eurythmics, Britney Spears and Sting, among others.

46664 was Mandela’s prison number. Listeners will be able to call that number to hear music and donate funds.

The first music track “Long Walk to Freedom,” written by Bono, Dave Stewart and the late Joe Strummer and performed by Bono, Youssou N’Dour, Abdel and Dave Stewart, was released Tuesday.

In a music industry first, audiences will be able to listen to the track via phone lines only, but it will be made available on the Internet at 46664.com. AT&T is providing the service in the U.S.

Funds raised from premium-rate phone lines will be ploughed into the Nelson Mandela Foundation to help AIDS sufferers in South Africa.

The 90-minute concert special, “46664 — The Concert in Association With MTV’s Staying Alive,” is being filmed by Endemol U.K.’s Initial and will air on MTV globally on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. Broadcast rights are being offered free to radio and TV stations worldwide.