The first president of the USSR and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mikhail Gorbachev celebrated his 80th birthday on March 30th. His family and friends joined him to mark the occasion with an exclusive gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
The Black Tie event was co-hosted by A-list Hollywood stars Sharon Stone and Kevin Spacey. The red carpet played host to international celebrities and politicians including Shimon Peres, the President of The State of Israel, former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and movie stars Milla Jovovich and Goldie Hawn.
The star-studded event included performances from Dame Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins, Bryan Ferry, Paul Anka, Melanie C and Valery Gergiev. Other stars include Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Scorpions to name a few.
The Gala unveiled the winners of the Gorbachev Awards, which were created to honour those people who have changed the world for the better, like Mikhail Gorbachev. The categories were:
· Perestroika (contribution to the development of global civilization) which was won by Evans Wadongo, who invented a solar powered LED lantern when he was 18, used by thousands of homes in Africa. Mr Wadongo collected his award on stage at the gala.
· Glasnost (contribution to the development of the culture of an open world) which was won by Ted Turner, founder of CNN, who was at the gala to collect his award from Gorbachev himself.
· Uskorenie (contribution to the development of modern science and technology) which was won by Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web in 1989.
The concert also raised money for cancer charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support UK and the Raisa Gorbachev Children's Institute for Transplantology and Haematology in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.