Black Eyed Peas, Shakira and Alicia Keys took to the stage in South Africa to open the World Cup last night (10.06.10).

The music stars performed for 40,000 people at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert in Johannesburg's Orlando Stadium, in an evening inspired by African culture, including drumming, flag waving and dancing.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu thanked all the fans in attendance and welcomed them to the nation.

The Associated Press reports him telling the audience: "We welcome you all. For Africa is the cradle of humanity, so we welcome you home."

The performances by the three global acts were interspersed with songs by local musicians, including trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who opened the evening with 1968 chart-topper 'Grazin in the Grass'.

The Black Eyed Peas - consisting of,, Taboo and Fergie - were the first global stars to take to the stage, where they performed a medley of their biggest hits.

They were followed by blind duo Amadou and Mariam from Mali, before 'Hips Don' Lie' hitmaker Shakira - who was wearing an animal print dress - belted out the soccer tournament's official track 'Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)'.

'Fallin' hitmaker Alicia performed several tracks, while other artists who performed included South African stars Lira and BLK JKS and Colombian rocker Juanes, who performed his latest single'Yerbatero'.

Concertgoer Nana Masithela praised the 'showcase' evening for being a positive event for black people.

She said: "This is a showcase. We are showcasing ourselves, to say, 'Blacks can do it!' "

The soccer tournament kicks off today (11.06.10) with a match between the host nation and Mexico.