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The 1971 concert that debunks Chance The Rapper’s claim of hosting the biggest concert ever in Ghana!

Following statements made by Chance The Rapper on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on hosting Ghana’s biggest concert ever, fact finders have brought out evidence that his claim is false.

Ghana’s social media was divided in opinions when Grammy-award winning, Chance the Rapper asserted that his inaugural Black Star Line Festival in January, 2023 is the biggest concert to be held in the country.

The rapper, in an interview on the Tonight Show with Fallon, stated that performances by Erykah Badu, T Pain, Vic Mensah, Sarkodie among a host of others at the event, were magical.

He explained that, “It was very successful, the Black Star Line Fest was magical. 52,000 people showed up, the largest concert in the history of Ghana and it was way deeper than trying to do a festival in Ghana.”

According to the American rapper, “It was an opportunity for Black people from around the world to get together and commune safely and like have some good music.”

While many on social mocked him over his  assertion that Black Star Line Festival hosted the biggest concert ever in Ghana, citing some other concerts, we had to go into the history books to find another concert of a similar concept at the same venue to disprove the assertion!

Image: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The year was 1971 and the event was the legendary ‘Soul to Soul independence day concert’. In March 1971, Tina and Ike Turner and Wilson Picket arrived in Accra, Ghana to play an epic 15-hour Independence Day concert.  

It promised the unprecedented experience of watching prominent black Americans visiting Africa for the first time, just 14 years after Ghana won independence from Britain.

The show also featured the Staples Sisters, Santana (who played with the drummer Willie Bobo,) Roberta Flack, Voices of East Harlem, Les McCann and Eddie Harris, as well as local musicians like Kwaa Mensah, Charlotte Daddah and the Magic Aliens.

Around 100,000 people had paid for tickets and it was a magical experience for those who attended, according to Ghanaian journalist Cameron Duodu, who shared his experience in a feature published on Quartz in 2018.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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