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15 July - ICON #44
The 44th issue of the official Madonna fanclub magazine is available now. It contains a letter from Madonna where she talks about the following :she's been editing the documentary since October 2004; she enjoys reliving the tour over and over and can't wait to share the final product with us; she collaborated with Mirwais and Stuart Price which she called "fun"; she hopes to finish the album next month and release it by the end of the year; and she talks about her book signing and the story of the book (Lotsa De Casha)
15 July - Ladies Home Journal interview online
The Ladies Home Journal interview from March is available online here.
14 July - Vogue magazine info
According to fansite Drownedmadonna, the Vogue magazine is releasing its August 2005/ Madonna issue to the print and television media on Monday, the pics will be premiered in US Weekly Magazine & People Magazine late next week. TV Shows (including Access Hollywood & Entertainment Tonight) will be premiering the photos on Monday or Tuesday.
12 July - Ingrid Casares will promote the new album
To some it's a revolution, to others it's just evolution. But, whatever you call it, TAI, the nocturnal troika of Tommy Pooch, Alan Roth and Ingrid Casares, has just lost its I. According to Casares, who was with TAI for just over a year, the parting is purely amicable -- it's just that the partners didn't see eye to, uh, I.
"It's nothing personal," she says. "We just want to do different things. No hard feelings."
Her former partners agree.
"Ingrid is great, and Tommy and I will always care for her. But we just had different directions we wanted to take the company,'' Roth says.
On Casares' to do list: "I'm working on Madonna's new album, which is a dance record," she says. "I'll be working on that nationwide.'' She's also doing an MTV Video Music Awards party at the Raleigh with Maverick Records honcho Guy Oseary; Pink, the gay-friendly monthly event at the Raleigh, and she's reteaming with former Joia partner Nicola Siervo in the restaurant biz again when Quattro opens on Lincoln Road in December.
"I get offers every day," she says. "Thank God, life is good." How can it be bad when you're BFF with Madge? (source: Herald.com)
11 July - Vogue magazine cover revealed
Fansite Madonnalicious revealed the cover of the August 2005 issue of Vogue magazine. The photoshoot also featured Lola and Rocco. (Legal representatives have asked Madonnalicious to take the picture down, so we have removed it too.)
07 July - Don't kill innocents, learn from them
The Madonna.com splash page shows a picture of the Music performance on Live8. The text reads "Terrorism is the worst way to make your voice heard. Instead of killing innocents, try and learn from them. Peace", a great message hinting at today's tragic events in the city of London. Mad-Eyes, just like Madonna, condemns all such barbaric terrorist attacks. Peace!
07 July - Madonna and McCartney duet?
Madonna discussed collaborating with rock legend Sir Paul McCartney backstage at the Live 8 concert in London on Saturday (2JUL05).
The pair were among the star-studded line-up at the charity extravaganza in the capital's Hyde Park.
And, according to the New York Daily News, Madonna took the opportunity to approach McCartney for a guest spot on her upcoming disc.
A source tells the newspaper, "She was spending quality time backstage with Paul McCartney, and they had a 15-minute chat about her new CD and him possibly doing something with her for the record." (source: ContactMusic)
07 July - Madonna's extravagant vacation
Pop superstar Madonna is going on a summer vacation so extravagant, it will cost her and husband Guy Ritchie a staggering $300,000 (GBP150,000).
The pair will take Madonna's eight-year-old daughter Lourdes and the couple's four-year-old son Rocco on a 12 day trip to Italy and Greece.
The Material Girl has even enlisted some help so she looks good on the beach, claims the New York Daily News.
A source tells the newspaper, "She even had pal Donatella Versace whip her up duds just for the vacation, including some hot bikinis." (source: ContactMusic)
05 July - Madonna's still queen of pop
Best-selling author and Daily Mirror writer Miranda Sawyer explains why Madonna's Live 8 performance proves the 47-year-old is still the..
On a day when rock and pop veterans showed the new kids how to do it, Madonna stole the show.
Whether welcoming Birhan Woldu, the Ethiopian famine survivor saved by Live Aid's efforts, or berating VIPs in the "golden circle" in front of the stage - Lady Madge was in complete control.
All in white, an angel in strides, she led her band and dancers through an uplifting set that included Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light and Music.
Memories of a plump chick in leggings rolling about at the original Live Aid were forgotten as 21st century Madonna proved the older generation can do it better.
More than 20 years of performing means she know what she's doing - and 47 years of life means she knows why.
Madonna, like Bono, understands the power of a perfect moment. And she was bold enough to seize it, combining both the Live 8 message and its medium, pop music, in a performance nobody watching will ever forget.
And it was a reminder of just how famous and special Madge still is. The girl has still got it - by the bucket-load.
Just weeks ago at the London premiere of Sin City, a red carpet paparazzi-fest where Brittany Murphy posed prettily alongside Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen and Jessica Alba, she stole the show.
When Her Madgesty and Guy turned up unexpectedly, it triggered a frenzy of photos. Her impromptu night out made the crowd's day and was covered in every paper.
And even the fuzziest of camera phone pictures couldn't disguise how great Madonna looked. In slick black gown, with beret, footless tights and T-bar shoes to remind us that she knows a) where fashion is at and b) that this wasn't her night (no upstaging premiere frock), she looked sparkly-eyed, glossy-haired and gorgeous.
Before Saturday night's breathtaking performance we were in danger of taking Madonna, a middle-aged working mother-of-two who just six years ago made London her home, for granted.
At the time, we couldn't believe it - the world's most famous woman has decided to move in with us.
Is that allowed? Shouldn't she be ensconced in some Beverly Hills enclave, some Miami mansion, New York penthouse, Cannes hideaway?
What's she doing in the UK, doing British things? Can that really be the Queen of Pop, in flat cap and baggy tracksuit, nipping along bus lanes on a bicycle?
Next thing she'll be extolling the virtues of drinking beer. Oh... "I love ale," said Madge last year. "I get drunk, but all it takes is half a pint. I'm a cheap date."
Yes, Madonna has fitted in just fine, adapting her efficient US habits to the UK's more relaxed way of life. When I interviewed her in 2000, she bemoaned British slackness - "At six o'clock, everyone goes home and no one works at the weekend and people go away for a month in the summer," she said, incredulously. But she also admired the way we enjoy "music and art and literature and nature".
Now, ever the culture sponge, she's taken on our characteristics. So we see Madonna going hunting (boo), going to a public gym (hooray) and writing children's books (hmmm).
A combination of a British marriage and British environment has changed her from distant superstar into a high-achiever who knows her way around, one who combines American drive with UK humour and a European appreciation of life's joys.
She's part of the British furniture these days. But has this familiarity bred contempt? Have we stopped caring what Madonna is up to? Judging by the crowd's reaction at Live 8, the answer is no - she's still one of the world's brightest, shiniest most talented celebrities.
A star who's famous because she's achieved more than any of us could ever imagine - unlike the wannabes who hit the headlines after a drunken fumble with Calum Best.
Even in the short time she's been here, Madonna has produced a lifetime's work. She's released two albums, written four children's books, made one film with her husband and another with cult director Jonas Akerlund. She's starred in a West End play and progressed to the Third Series in Ashtanga yoga, which makes her one of the most advanced yogis in Britain. Enough to make you want to sit down for a cup of tea.
It's a shame her last album, American Life, was so ropey. Still, her forthcoming new one, reputedly called Defying Gravity (well, her body certainly does) is rumoured to be a return to form.
Saturday's performance was a corker, proving that with a back catalogue that Britney would kill for, a dancer's grace and a showwoman's sense of occasion, Madonna is one of the few pop stars who can pull off a stadium show.
There's been controversy about Kabbalah, a form of Judaism that's become an important part of her life since she moved to London.
And though Kabbalah seems hokum to most of us, Madonna is a devotee and if it makes her happy, what's the problem? If she's donating money to a non-violent cause, one that promotes peace, she's alright by me.
In her Re-Invention show, she showed a film of Palestinian and Israeli children holding hands.
It's not going to change any politician's mind, but it's better than pretending such problems don't exist, that it doesn't matter if the West turns its back on the Middle East.
Whatever Madonna does, she'll get attention, good or bad. She knows that, but it doesn't stop her having a go, trying new ideas.
Sometimes she succeeds, sometimes she fails. But she doesn't stop trying.
Live 8 proves her star still shines and reminds us how lucky we are to have her. (source: The Mirror)
~ Although Madonna has already announced her album title to be "Confessions On A Dance Floor", there'll probably still be articles using the old rumoured title "Defying Gravity".
05 July - Dirty Madonna
Madonna and Snoop Dogg's foul mouths during Saturday's Live 8 London concert elicited "just under" 400 complaints by viewers, reported BBC News. A spokeswoman for BBC stated, "Millions of people enjoyed our 12 hours of live broadcasting. We are sorry if any offense was caused." Madonna added an expletive while greeting London, and Snoop Dog did not bother to edit his curse-riddled lyrics for the family friendly daytime audience. The BBC did not use a time delay during the broadcast. (source: Boston Herald)
04 July - Madonna reveals album title
In an interview with John Norris at Live8, Madonna has revealed that her new album, which includes a song 'I Love New York', will be called 'Confessions On A Dance Floor'. She also said that she wasn't sure yet whether the documentary 'I'm Going To Tell You A Secret' would be released before or after the album.
Here's the transcript from the interview on MTV News:
Madonna: "First of all, going out there and meeting that little girl, that was wild. She hugged me so tight and that was great, one of the best hugs I ever had. I felt very emotional. And I thought: "You know, you can't sing and cry at the same time"
John Norris: "Did it take some arm twisting to get you to do this?"
M: "Yes! Well it did because [Bob Geldof] sent me a letter asking "will you do Live8?" and he didn't really tell me anything and I went "Oh common dude, you gotta do better than that. Prove to me that it's gonna make a difference and I'll be there for you." And he did."
JN: "You mentioned you were in the studio for a new record; it's gonna be out in the fall, I understand?"
M: "Yup, that's the idea - hopefully"
JN: "And more dance?"
M: Oh yes, it's called 'Confessions On A Dance Floor'.
JN: OK great. I'm gonna run through the rumours real quick: there's a song called 'I Love New York'?
M: "Yeah there is and I think you'll probably gonna love it."
JN: If you love [New York] so much, you should spend more time there.
M: Well, the reason I don't spend more time there is coz my kids are here and my husband likes it here and I'm being a good wife.
JN: "And the documentary is gonna be out... when?"
M: "I don't know when the documentary is gonna be out. We're almost done with the offline, the edit is almost finished, and I don't know what's gonna come out first, my record or the documentary, one or the other."
~ Download the interview at madonna-tv.com
04 July - Birhan: 'Madonna gave me strength'
Birhan Woldu, the famine survivor who joined Sir Bob Geldof on stage at Saturday's (02 JUL 05) London Live 8 concert, was intimidated by the worldwide audience watching her until Madonna held her hand.
Woldu, who was reminded of her dead mother and sister when she took to the stage, was terrified by her appearance until the Ray Of Light superstar's calming influence made her realise Live 8 will help provide salvation for her troubled continent.
She recalls, "The crowd seemed to stretch for miles, but I'd been telling myself not to be nervous.
"There was just a huge picture of me as a child on the screen. That photo still upsets me.
"It was 20 years ago when both my mother and sister died. I knew I must be strong for them but when I walked on I could feel my body shaking.
"Then Madonna took my hand and looked into my eyes. The crowd roared and I realised the world wanted to save my continent.
"I felt myself grow stronger."
Woldu survived Ethiopia's terrible 1985 famine thanks to aid supplied by 1985's Live Aid fundraising, organised by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. (source: ContactMusic)
04 July - Berated by Madonna, rocked by Robbie, stunned into silence by images of famine
Virtually every act at Live 8 makes some reference to the concert's capacity to change the world. Certainly, the world of rock and pop seems to capsize for its duration. The sheer overload of artists and celebrities is disorientating enough - as they scuttle on and off stage, it's like trying to watch a rock festival with your finger permanently stuck on the fast-forward button - but in addition, your expectations keep being confounded in the most unlikely ways. The most cutting-edge stuff on offer keeps falling a bit flat. [...]
Alt-rock stars Razorlight kick over mic stands, take their tops off, bend iron bars with their teeth, etc, in the hope of making an impression. It might have worked if they hadn't been followed not just by Madonna, but Madonna on top form, hand in hand with a former victim of the Ethiopian famine, loudly berating the assembled journalists and VIPs in the "golden circle" in front of the stage. Within seconds of Like A Prayer starting, you forget Razorlight were ever on stage. (source: Guardian Unlimited)
04 July - Lady Madonna
In one of the most emotional moments of Live 8, Queen Madge took to the stage with 24-year-old Birhan Woldu - the living symbol of hope from Bob Geldof's 1985 Live Aid campaign.
Woldu was caught on film twenty years ago – given just ten minutes to live by doctors.
Sir Bob said: "See this little girl? She had 10 minutes to live 20 years ago and because we did a concert in this city and Philadelphia and all of you came and some of you weren't born, because we did that, last week she did her agricultural exams in the school she goes to in the northern European highlands."
Woldu herself addressed the crowd: ‘Hello from Africa...We Africans love you very much . It's a great honour to be here to stand on the Live 8 stage and please continue to support Live 8 and we love you very much and thank you.'
Madonna was visibly moved and appeared humbled as she clasped Woldu's hand and sang eighties classic Like A Prayer. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror after her performance Madonna said: "Today has been successful in terms of raising awareness but more than anything the pressure its going to put on the world leaders to decide whether to remove debt and increase funding - that's the most important thing and hopefully we will have achieved that." (source: Gigwise)
03 July - Madonna is defying logic
[...] But it was Madonna everyone wanted to see, and even the most jaded of the A-list poured out from behind the celebrity barrier to catch her three song set of Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light, and Music. Dressed in her white mom-goes-to-a-chic dinner suit Madonna launched the first song with a gospel choir and had the newly dense crowd swaying and clapping. But was this Madonna or a replacement android? Maybe she even sensed it. By the time Ray Of Light began off came the jacket, up went the middle finger, and she sent out the F-word to wake up her old fans. Madonna was back!
And here's the thing: she's never looked better. Her face is tight and shining. Her body is lithe as ever. Her voice is rich, supple and perfect. However she's doing it, Madonna is defying logic. She's doing Madonna, and while it seems a little sterile compared to the real Madonna, it works. She's still the superstar. Joss Stone, the 18-year-old phenom, should take note: you can have a great voice but you need a persona. Madonna's is overflowing. (source: Fox News)
03 July - Jay-Z, U2, Madonna, Pink Floyd deliver Live 8 highlights
Bob Geldof promised "the greatest concert ever" as he revved up his global jukebox one more time on Saturday. And, with fierce sets from original Live Aid participants U2 and Madonna, a reunion of psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd and the first-ever live performance of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by a Beatle, he delivered.
With millions watching the globe-spanning concerts in person (see "In The Crowds At Live 8: Music, Mud And A Shared Desire To Help") and an estimated billion or more tuning in to the broadcast for what will likely be the most-watched music event in history, the twin messages of Live 8 were inescapable: "We don't want your money, we want you" and "Three seconds."
The latter was the figure given for how often a child dies in Africa of extreme poverty. Will Smith dramatically illustrated the point by repeatedly snapping his fingers and exhorting the estimated million-plus crowd in Philadelphia to do the same, creating an eerie crackling sound that slammed the point home.
It was just one symbolic gesture in a day full of strong words and energetic performances aimed at influencing this week's G8 conference in Scotland (see "What Is The G8, Anyway?").
Perhaps the day's highest drama came during a set by Live Aid alum Madonna, who also provided one of the musical highlights with an electric performance of Like A Prayer. Twenty years after she took the stage as a budding star, Madonna was introduced by concert organizer Bob Geldof, who called her the "queen bee of rock." Geldof also introduced a woman who had had "10 minutes to live" when she was featured 20 years ago in the African-famine documentary that inspired the original concert.
With the dramatic image of her emaciated face frozen on the stage's massive screen, Geldof invited the now grown woman to stand beside him. Smiling broadly during an extended ovation, she urged the crowd to keep up its support and was eagerly embraced by Madonna, who kissed her and held her hand for several minutes.
"Are you ready to start a revolution?" asked Madonna, who, like many of the day's performers, was dressed in an all-white outfit. "Are you ready to change history?" Backed by a choir also dressed in white, Madonna pranced the stage for a spirited gospel-rock rendition of her 1989 hit with the crowd clapping along and repeating the event-appropriate line "I hear your voice." The set also included a run-through of Music, during which Madonna bumped and grinded with a pair of breakdancers. Continue article (source: VH1)
03 July - Madonna meets comedy hero Gervais
Madonna's most memorable moment from yesterday's (02 JUL 05) Live 8 concert in London was meeting her hero - British comedian Ricky Gervais. The veteran superstar pleaded with The Office actor to give her a job, however menial, when she met him at Hyde Park, because she is so desperate to spend time with him.Madonna, who wowed the crowd with her performance at the show watched by five billion people worldwide, says, "My highlight of the day was that I got to meet my favourite, favourite, favourite comedian in the whole world, Ricky Gervais. "I worship him and I told him that I would sweep his floor for him if he would employ me in such a fashion and he agreed with it, so that was cool." (source: ContactMusic)
03 July - Madonna overcome by Live8
Madonna struggled to keep her emotions in check when she went on stage at London's Live 8 concert yesterday (02 JUL 05) - she came face-to- face with a young African woman whose life was saved by Live Aid. Concert organiser Sir Bob Geldof introduced Birhan WolduU, who appeared in video footage at Live Aid in 1985, before introducing Madonna.Geldof explained, "See this little girl? She had 10 minutes to live 20 years ago... She is here tonight... Don't let them tell us it does not work."Caught up in the moment, Madonna hugged the girl when she ran out onto the stage in Hyde Park, and was so overcome she almost couldn't perform. She tells MTV News, "It was one of the best hugs I've ever had. It was so emotional but you can't sing and cry at the same time."
Madonna performed, insisting the thrilled African, who is now studying at a university in Ethiopia, stay with her onstage. (source: ContactMusic)
02 July - George Michael praises Madonna
Jo Whiley (BBC) just interviewed George Michael and asked him what he thought of Madonna's performance. In spite of his recent blasting of Madonna, George Michael was very nice about Madonna, saying she never sang better and that it was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
02 July - Madonna leads a revolution
Madonna wowed crowds at Live 8 this evening with a spectacular performance.
The star kicked off her set with Like A Prayer, backed by the a full choir, who - like the star and her band - were dressed completely in white. Madonna was also joined onstage by an Ethiopian woman who had been, in Bob Geldof's words "10 minutes from death," until the money raised at the first Live Aid concert helped save her.
"Are you ready to start a revolution," Madonna asked the crowd. "Are you ready to change the world?"
Running through Ray Of Light she finished with an extended version of Music bringing break-dancers to the stage and leading 200,000 fans in a singalong. The concert marked a return to the Live 8 stage for the singer.
Madonna performed at the American leg of the first Live Aid concert in 1985 where she played Holiday, Into The Groove and Love Makes The World Go Round.
Speaking about her involvement with the 2005 concert, which aims to raise alleviate developing world debt and establish fairer trade, she said she wanted to thank Bob Geldof for making the whole thing happen.
The singer is currently working on the follow-up to 2003's American Life album and her appearance marked her first live engagement of 2005. (source: NME)
02 July - Madonna wears white
The skies over London's Hyde Park had been threatening to open up all day long. Heavy gray clouds hung lazily in the sky, pregnant with raindrops. A cold breeze whipped over the barren parkgrounds, sending the assembled Live 8 crew and band techs running for their windbreakers and hoodies. Most of the grass in the park had turned from a robust green to a tired, weary brown, and huge tracts of mud had been opened up by foot traffic and the odd Caterpillar tractor. Even the ducks in Hyde Park's pond looked miserable — and they live here.
And in the middle of all this, standing on a barren stage, Madonna had chosen to wear white — fabulous, virginal white. In fact, she'd dressed her entire backing band (complete with a full gospel choir) in white too, the type of wardrobe mandate only Madge could make. And this was all just for her soundcheck, which lasted for the better part of an hour.
Before an audience of about 100 stagehands and various members of the media, she ran through a bumping medley of her hits: Like A Prayer, Music, Ray Of Light, all of which had grips and gaffers dancing in their workboots while Sting braved the drizzle to watch. In fact, the music was so loud that the throngs of fans gathering outside the concert grounds — on the other side of a massive field, across crowd-control barricades and huge green walls put up only days ago — were able to hear it. And they were dancing too. (source: VH1)
02 july - Madonna wows Live 8 crowds in London
The Queen of Pop sent over 200,000 Live 8 music fans into delirium this evening, performing three souped-up versions of her biggest hits.
Before the hits though, we got a glimpse of Birhan Woldu, the child featured in the 1985 Live Aid film, which touched the world. Recently qualified as an agricultural student, Woldu was just weeks from death when featured in '85, according to Geldof, who used her appearance as an example of how just one life had been saved due to Live Aid.
Taking to the stage in a silver satin suit, Madonna was rousing, passionate and demonstrated clearly why her 'Queen of Pop' tag is so deserved. Opening with Like A Prayer, the star questioned the crowd 'Are you ready to start a revolution!', 'Are you ready to change the world'. Accompanying her was a full choir, also dressed in white.
By the time Ray Of Light and Music came, the mix had changed into a bass-heavy breakbeat hybrid, with a myriad of b-boy dancers invading the stage. Music weighed in at six minutes running time, with an extended chorus of 'Music, makes the people, come together' in which Madonna convinced pretty much every one of Hyde Park's 200,000 crowd to clap along. The 15-minute set was received by many as the day's standout performance - so far that is.
Madonna also performed at the first Live Aid concert in 1985. Then, the set list included Holiday and Into The Groove. (source: SoundGenerator)
02 July - Madonna gives one of the best performances at Live8
Just moments ago, Madonna performed live at Live8 in Hyde Park, London. Her performance was introduced by Bob Geldof himself, who called her the "queen bee of rock 'n roll". Geldof brought an African woman called Birhan Woldu to the stage, whose life was in critical danger 20 years ago at the Live Aid concert. Thanks to the concert aid she survived her illness and now completed her studies. Madonna then came on stage, hugging Woldu. She looked gorgeous and natural with blond curls and a white suit. With Woldu next to her, she started Like A Prayer, backed up by the London Community Gospel Choir. The version of the song was like on the Re-Invention Tour and the screens used the same imagery. At the end of the song Madonna fell on her knees and ended the song beautifully. She pleaded to the crowd to make a difference, to help make poverty history. She kicked into Ray Of Light and gave her best ever vocal performance of this song. Again there was tour imagery on the screens. Cloud, the Re-Invention Tour dancer appeared on stage at the end doing some flipflops, while Madonna hit a high note. Cloud and another dancer stole the show during Music, in a performance that borrowed choreography and screens from the Re-Invention Tour. The end was a blast, when the whole choir joined Madonna, backup singers Donna DeLory and Lisa Fischer, and the dancers for a great choreography. All dressed in white and dancing together, they urged the crowd to sing, clap and dance. Madonna was in great shape and smiling all the time. It was already clear that Madonna's performance was one of the highlights of Live8.
Right after her performance, Madonna was interviewed by the BBC. She said this was the biggest crowd she had ever played for, and probably the closest gig to her home: "my kids probably could hear me sing at home". She told about how Bob Geldof had sent her a letter asking to join in Live8. She hadn't said yes immediately, but after discussing it with Geldof she realised it was a good cause and that no personal issue or agenda could prevent her from joining. She also briefly talked about what she's been up to lately: mixing her album, editing her documentary and right now she'll spend 2 weeks holiday with husband and kids.
~ If you haven't yet added your voice to the Live8 campaign, DO IT NOW! Together we can make a difference. Music makes the people come together!
01 July - Performers rehearse for Live 8 concerts
They're wishing away the rain in London, preparing to dance in the streets of Philadelphia and stringing up the lights at the Palace of Versailles. From Canada to Japan, organizers made last-minute preparations Friday for Live 8, a starry series of free concerts urging the world's richest nations to strike a new deal for the poorest.
"You will never see it again. You will never see this happen again, it will be the greatest concert ever," organizer Bob Geldof said Thursday. "It's all the promise of rock 'n' roll — all of it."
Announcing the gigs just over a month ago, musician and anti-poverty campaigner Geldof said Live 8 would be a chance for "the boys and girls with guitars ... to turn the world on its axis."
There has been no shortage of guitar-wielding volunteers. Among the acts scheduled to perform for free in London's Hyde Park on Saturday are U2, R.E.M., Coldplay and Pink Floyd, reunited for the first time in more than 20 years.
The hastily assembled Live 8 campaign has grown to 10 shows around the world — in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Moscow, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Philadelphia and Toronto, with a related all-African concert at the Eden Project in southwest England.
More than a million people may attend, and organizers say 85 percent of the world's population will have access to a television, radio or Internet broadcast of the day's events.
The concerts come four days before leaders of some of the world's richest nations meet in Scotland for a G-8 summit, and 20 years after the twin Live Aid shows in London and Philadelphia that raised millions for victims of famine in Africa.
Live Aid was about raising money — some $80 million by day's end. Live 8, Geldof says, is about raising awareness.
He wants G-8 leaders meeting at Gleneagles, Scotland to double aid, cancel debt and rework unfair trade laws to lift African nations out of poverty.
"All of that promise will be made concrete in nine cities, four continents, one culture, 1,000 artists — all because too many people are dying on one continent," Geldof told an audience of young people at an MTV question-and-answer session Thursday.
The alternative, he said, was "to watch the carnival of death every night on our television screens forever in full glorious color and stereophonic sound, and indulge in the pornography of poverty. Not my world. I don't want it."
Despite Geldof's passion, some doubt whether Saturday's events can match the magic of Live Aid, a sometimes shambolic, occasionally inspiring trans-Atlantic showcase that included many of the era's biggest stars — David Bowie; Queen, Duran Duran; Phil Collins — and youngsters like Madonna, described at the time as an "up-and-coming singer."
Madonna will be onstage again in London this Saturday, as will Live Aid veterans U2, Elton John, Sting, Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox, alongside the likes of Mariah Carey, Robbie Williams and teen soul diva Joss Stone.
In Philadelphia, performers include Destiny's Child, The Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, P. Diddy and Jay-Z.
Green Day and Brian Wilson will join German bands at the Berlin show near the Brandenburg Gate that once divided east and west.
Eclectic lineups are the order of the day: Neil Young and Motley Crue in Barrie, north of Toronto; Icelandic eccentric Bjork and boy band McFly in Tokyo; the Pet Shop Boys and Russian performers in Moscow; Goth-rockers The Cure and Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour in Paris.
In Britain, 2 million mobile phone text messages were sent applying for 150,000 tickets to the outdoor show in Hyde Park. Thousands of people lined up for hours when 55,000 more tickets to watch on giant screens in the park were released on Wednesday.
"I'm not political at all, but there shouldn't be poverty, there shouldn't be children going without food in the world and we want to be part of the event," said Ray Williams, 47, who lined up for tickets at a theater in Birmingham, England. "People power does work sometimes." (source: AP)