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May 21, 2009 at 03:28am IST

Shilpa to join R&B artist Akon at IPL finale

Johannesburg: Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty will join American R&B sensation Akon as he sings his Grammy award winning Smack That at the closing ceremony of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wanderers on Sunday night.

Organisers also said on Wednesday that Katrina Kaif will join a troupe of Indian and South African dancers led by award-winning choreographer Shiamak Davar to perform the Oscar-winning A R Rahman song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire.

The two actors will be the only ones performing at the finale, ending widespread speculation here that a bevy of Bollywood beauties would feature at the closing ceremony.

IPL'S BOLLYWOOD FINALE: Shilpa Shetty will be performing with Grammy winner Akon.

Caribbean music legend Eddy Grant will perform the ever popular "Walking on Sunshine" and his anti-apartheid hit Gimme Hope Jo'anna, which became an anthem in the days when the white minority government of South Africa strictly regulated everything from music and song to social gatherings.

The five-week IPL will end on a high note for Shilpa performance-wise, but this will be clouded by the fact that her Rajasthan Royals team have no hope of retaining their champion status from the inaugural series last year.

Other highlights on the night will include a perfectly synchronised piece featuring renowned percussionist Shivamani and a group of Indian and South African drummers.

Apart from the various musical acts, the crowd will also be introduced to the Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa finalists, culminating with the crowning of the winner of the beauty competition, who will get a guided tour through Bollywood as one of her prizes.

This apart, 1,500 flying lanterns will be lit and released while a thrilling pyrotechnics show using several thousand rounds of fireworks will light up the Johannesburg skyline as final awards signal the end of an unprecedented cricket event which was keenly taken up by locals, who also opened their hearts to the thousands of Indians who came to watch the series.

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