Held at the Johannesburg's FNB stadium, the concert witnessed performances by Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z and Usher. It was the climax of a year of events as they celebrated the hundredth year of Mandela's birth in 1918.
Before commencing the event, she wrote a letter dedicated to Nelson writing, "Your kindness and gratitude for every experience and your ability to forgive are lessons I have learned and will pass on to my three children. My entire family holds you in high regard."
Ahead of the concert, co-host Oprah Winfrey also hailed Mandela's "goodness and integrity", describing him as her favourite mentor.
Mandela, who was imprisoned for decades under South Africa's apartheid regime, led the country's transformation into a multi-racial democracy and was elected its first president. He died at the age of 95 on December 5, 2013.
With an aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, the Global Citizen initiative has staged events in other world cities including London, Brussels, and New York.
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