Stevie Wonder in Rio Christmas show

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Stevie Wonder in Rio Christmas show


Stevie Wonder

RIO DE JANEIRO - Stevie Wonder joined Brazil’s Gilberto Gil late Tuesday for a massive free Christmas concert on Rio’s Copacabana Beach attended by half a million people.

“Tudo bem?” (“Everything alright?”) Wonder shouted out to the crowd in Portuguese after being led on stage by his sons.

Dressed in a golden suit, the blind singer began his set with “What a Wonderful World,” then performed hits like “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and a cover of the late Michael Jackson, “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Earlier, Gil opened the show with “Realce” and “A Novidade” on a stage set with the exclusive Copacabana Palace Hotel as the backdrop.

“Good night Rio, Merry Christmas. Thank you for the gift of your presence,” he said.

Up to a million spectators had been initially expected, but police estimates cited in local media put the number at 450,000 to half a million people who braved sweltering temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on one of the hottest evenings of the year.

During a benefit concert a week ago, Wonder and Gil performed for thousands of people who paid a $400 entry fee each.

Rio is expecting to host 752,000 tourists for its lavish New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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