Beyoncé led an all-star line-up including Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z and Usher in Johannesburg at a concert to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

The concert was the climax of a year of events celebrating the centennial of Mandela's birth in 1918, and part of a campaign to tackle poverty, child malnutrition and boost gender equality.

Chris Martin of Coldplay 

This year's Global Citizen Festival is being held at Johannesburg's 94,736-capacity FNB stadium and began at noon on Sunday.

Thousands of music fans, many of whom had received free tickets to reward their activism and campaigning work, flocked to the stadium hours before the gig began.

Bob Geldof

The line-up also included Pharrell Williams, and Coldplay's Chris Martin.

Bob Geldof also addressed the audience. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted fellow heads of state from Ghana, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

South African stars Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, and Bonang Matheba also made appearances, as the largely local crowd braved heavy downpours to attend.

Trevor Noah and Dave Chappelle 

Ahead of the concert co-host Oprah Winfrey hailed Mandela's "goodness and integrity", describing him as her "favourite mentor".

Mandela was jailed for 27 years under South Africa's apartheid regime. After being released in 1990, he led the country's transformation into a multi-racial democracy. He died on December 5, 2013 aged 95.