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MAKE POVERTY HISTORY: MUSIC UNITES ALL THE WORLD; 10 gigs, 9 countries, 2bn people.

Byline: By Cath Bennett

THEY promised the greatest show on earth - and they delivered.

Music royalty from across the globe united in a bid to convince G8 leaders to end poverty.

An estimated two billion people tuned into the Live8 gigs - being staged in 10 venues across the world.

They watched as 170 acts performed from Philadelphia to Moscow and Johannesburg to Tokyo.

The Live8 gigs created the world's most widely witnessed event - with the simple message, Make Poverty History.

London's concert in Hyde Park was staged in front of an audience of 200,000.

The event was opened and closed by former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who was one of the highlights of Live Aid 20 years ago.

The 10-hour spectacular featured a poignant climax which included Macca's rendition of The Long And Winding Road - and a call to march on Edinburgh.

Superstars Madonna, U2, Robbie Williams, The Who and REM all played.

Musical differences were put aside as Pink Floyd performed for the first time in 24 years.

The most emotional moment of the Live8 concert for organiser Sir Bob Geldof came at the very start - when McCartney and U2 opened with the Beatles classic Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Geldof said: 'There was all this optimism and hope that rock music had always promised - exemplified by the Beatles. All that,with the passion of U2.

'Everything came together at the moment. It was incredible. I know it's show-bizzy but even the most hardened people turned away and started crying.'

But Pink Floyd gave Geldof another highlight. He had phoned Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters to get them to patch up their bitter differences and help the cause of Africa.

He said: 'There's something about the Floyd that always makes you question your life.

'Seeing them together was one of the greatest moments of the evening.'

U2 frontman Bono, who sang Beautiful Day with the lyrics adapted to mention Live8, said: 'This is our moment, this is our time, this is our chance to stand up for what is right.

'We are not looking for charity, we are looking for justice It was feared that as many as 20,000 people would be forced to spend the night at Hyde Park after the concert over-ran by two hours.

However, the park was empty within an hour as people either walked home, turned to taxis and night buses or partied in clubs.

In America, 800,000 fans turned out in Philadelphia for Live8.

Stevie Wonder, who ended the seven-hour event, said: 'We cannot stop now. The only way we can end hate is to give more love.

'People are pushing the various powers to do what they need to do and what they should have done a long time ago.

'Taking resources and not giving them to the people is a joke.'

While London and Philadelphia provided the focus for the global Live 8spectacular, eight other concerts took place around the world. The first kicked off in Japan, where Bjork, Good Charlotte and McFly headlined.

Faith Hill, Duran Duran and a host of Italian stars took to the stage in Rome's Circus Maximus, playing to 200,000 fans.

Duran Duran played Save A Prayer, as they had done at Live Aid 20 years ago.

Singer Simon Le Bon said: 'We have to take responsibility for our brothers and sisters in Africa.'

Thousands of Russian fans attended a concert near Red Square to watch the Pet Shop Boys and Russian rock bands.

In Paris, a line-up including Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and British group The Cure, performed to a crowd of 100,000 at the opulent Chateau of Versailles.

Concertgoers got a surprise at the end of the eight-hour show when Dido performed a duet of Seven Seconds with Youssou N'Dour.

The pair had performed the number just hours earlier in Hyde Park and at a concert featuring African performers at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

In Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela drew bigger cheers than any of the acts, while in Berlin, Brian Wilson and Green Day fired up a crowd of 150,000.

Neil Young brought an end to Live 8 with a rousing rendition of Keep On Rockin' In The Free World before 35,000 fans in Canada.

In total, 182 television networks and 2000 radio networks provided live coverage of the events.

Nearly 26 million people had signed the Live8 online petition by the end of the day


HAPPY ENDING; The stars of the show on stage for the finale
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 4, 2005
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