Emeli Sande and Jessie J play Stephen Lawrence concert


Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Doreen Lawrence, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Beverley Knight

Musicians including Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and Rita Ora have headlined a concert in memory of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Along with Jessie J and others, they played London's O2 on Sunday night.

The tribute gig marked 20 years since the 18-year-old was killed in a racist attack in Eltham, south-east London.

Speaking about her son, who she described as a music lover, Doreen Lawrence said: "He would have been in tenth heaven.

To be here to use my music to hopefully inspire the audience and people watching is just a real honour for me
Emeli Sande

"To have so many of them [artists] in the same place at the same time is unbelievable."

Mrs Lawrence campaigned for 18 years to bring his killers to justice.

Gary Dobson and David Norris were eventually convicted and given life sentences in January 2012.

Proceeds from Unity: a concert for Stephen Lawrence are going to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran and Jamie Cullum

Jessie J said she met Mrs Lawrence for the first time earlier in the evening.

"She's an inspirational woman. It's the worst thing when you lose a child and the fact that she's still fighting for equality and peace is what I stand for.

"It's about a legacy now, it's about history."

Emeli Sande spoke about how the Stephen Lawrence campaign was something she had been aware of from a young age.

Stephen Lawrence

"I've been so inspired by the Lawrence family since I was young, seeing the story and how it's impacted myself and my family, it's been a big part of our lives.

"To be here to use my music to hopefully inspire the audience and people watching is just a real honour for me."

Artists were asked to perform songs that were important to them and spread a positive message, along with some of their own hits.

Singer and actor Plan B played his hit single, Ill Manors, while Jessie J chose to perform Amazing Grace.

Other artists on the bill included Ellie Goulding, Jamie Cullum, Beverley Knight and Jahmene Douglas.

They were also joined by Labrinth, Rudimental and Tinie Tempah.

The evening was hosted by Reggie Yates and Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, while film-maker Danny Boyle introduced Mrs Lawrence on stage.

Highlights from the show are due to be broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday 1 October and BBC Three on Thursday 3 October.

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