Not only was Nelson Mandela the first black president of South Africa, but he was also widely regarded as one of the most important philanthropists and revolutionaries in modern history. Throughout his life, the politician's impact on music and culture was also remarkable.
Mandela died Thursday at 95. "We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for our freedom," the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement.
To honor the leader, we take a look at some famous musicians Mandela called friends.
Above, Mandela is pictured with Michael Jackson. The two icons had a very close relationship. After his death in 2009, Mandela wrote about Jackson, "We became fond of him and he became a close member of our family. We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on some many occasion in his life... He will be missed and memories cherished of him for a long time."
The Black Eyed Peas visited Nelson Mandela's office in 2006 when they were in South Africa performing a benefit concert for Johannesburg's underprivileged. Fergie tweeted upon his passing, "Meeting Nelson Mandela at his house in Johannesburg was a truly memorable moment in life for me. He was an angel."
Elton John was invited to a dinner in London to honor the politician on his 90th birthday in 2008. "Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away," Mandela said about the night's performers. "But even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete."
Nelson Mandela and Beyonce exchanged a kiss at the 46664 benefit concert in Cape Town in 2003. The pop star wrote on Instagram, "Thank you for all you have sacrificed to improve the lives of other human beings. Rest in peace. God Bless."