SHARON Corr said that meeting Nelson Mandela was "one of the most precious moments" of her life.
The Irish siblings were a huge favourite of the anti-apartheid legend and he even got up to dance during one of their performances for him when he received an honorary degree at NUI Galway in 2003.
Footage of a beaming Mandela, who was then 85 years old, dancing to a traditional Irish music set played by the band, was posted on YouTube yesterday and has already received almost 30,000 hits.
The former Voice of Ireland coach said yesterday she had been hugely touched by her meetings with the African leader.
"To have met Mandela, spent time with him and to play for him has been one of the most precious moments of my life. We, The Corrs, were truly honoured," she said.
"We have lost a truly beautiful human being with a capacity for forgiveness that is rarely if ever found, with a capacity to inspire goodness in others and to, by example, change our world and make it a more loving, equal place."
She urged the public not to forget the South African leader who had such a profound impact on the world. "We should carry his message of love, forgiveness and endurance of spirit with us throughout our lives and pass it on to every generation going forward," she said online.
"Thank you Madiba for giving so much to all of us."
His former political colleague Melanie Verwoerd told in recent days how the anti-apartheid leader was charmed by the Irish band.
The partner of the late Gerry Ryan and former UNICEF chief told how Mandela hushed chat show legend Oprah Winfrey at the 46664 Concert in Cape Town in 2003 so he could watch the "beautiful Irish girls", The Corrs.
"I sat right behind him at the concert and when the Irish Corrs came on stage and Oprah was sitting next to him, he actually asked Oprah to keep quiet because 'I want to watch these beautiful Irish girls'.
"He liked women but never in an offensive way. He was very charming and of course you felt like gold when you were standing next to Nelson Mandela."