And finally tonight, at the memorial for nelson mandela today the music was everywhere as it has been through his struggle and through his triumph in prison. Tonight abc's dan harris shows us how that... See More
And finally tonight, at the memorial for nelson mandela today the music was everywhere as it has been through his struggle and through his triumph in prison. Tonight abc's dan harris shows us how that music spread his message with the persistent rhythm of change. Reporter: During his decades behind bars, nelson mandela's message was carried across the world by music. Peter gabriel's cry for a south african freedom fighter. ♪ ♪ Reporter: Paul simon bringing south african music to america. ♪ ♪ Reporter: But one extraordinary song was a game changer. ♪ Time to accept our responsibility, yeah ♪ Reporter: In the 80's when many american's hadn't even heard of apartheid, a galaxy of stars came together to declare they would not perform at sun city, a ritzy whites only resxort in south africa. ♪ Got to say i, i, ain't going to play sun city ♪ Reporter: Bono, dylan, run dmcen and bruce springsteen. Suddenly mtv was plastered with images of apartheid oppression. All organized springsteen's guitar player, steven van zandt. Congressmen and senator's children were coming up saying we just saw this video on mtv. What's this south africa thing all about? We want freedom in south africa! Reporter: The apex of this musical movement came in 1988, in a concert in england to celebrate mandela's 70th birthday while he was still in prison. It was seen by 600 million people in 67 countries, but it was banned in south africa. ♪ I, I ain't going to play sun city ♪ Reporter: Nelson mandela once said music could "ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent." He was right. Dan harris, abc news, new york.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.