07/18/2013 12:21 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2013

Top 15 Song Tributes to Madiba in Honor of Mandela Day

In spite of rumors that the beloved Madiba (as his native South Africans call him) has been on life support, Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi told the Washington Post that her father had made "dramatic progress" on the eve of his 95th birthday, and that the former South African president hopes to go home from the hospital soon.

Nelson Mandela, whose July 18th birthday is known and celebrated worldwide as Mandela Day, is hugely influential and inspirational to musicians, who've found it easy to wrap poetry and melodies around the leader's tragic and triumphant life since he was first jailed for militant action against government apartheid back in 1962.

Mandela's life has not been without controversy -- or good deeds -- and he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Below are are few of the most notable musical tributes to Mandela over the years, including performers such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Bono, Neil Young, Angelique Kidjo,, Amy Winehouse, Paul Simon and others.

Mandela Day was established in 2008 as a way of inspiring people to take small steps toward changing the world -- by volunteering, serving the community or giving to charity.

For more information about Mandela Day, click here.

Top 15 Music Tributes to Nelson Mandela