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E! to broadcast starry concert for Nobel winner

Festivities will be held in Oslo the day after ceremony

HOLLYWOOD — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya will be feted at a Dec. 11 concert to be hosted by Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey that will air on E!

Festivities will be held in Oslo the day after the award ceremony, where Maathai will become Africa’s first Nobel laureate for her contributions to the environment and women’s rights.

E! has secured exclusive rights to the telecast and will show the two-hour concert Thursday, Dec. 23.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee asked Cruise and Winfrey to host for the stars’ own humanitarian efforts, which cumulatively include fund-raising for education, child literacy, AIDS research and relief for Sept. 11 rescue workers.

Much of Winfrey’s outreach work has also been done in Africa, where she recently partnered with South Africa’s Ministry of Education to build an all-girls’ academy, slated to open in 2007.

Concert lineup includes Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, Diana Krall, Patti Labelle, Cyndi Lauper, Sondre Lerche, Baaba Maal, the Polyphonic Spree, Joss Stone and Martin Yates.

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