Guide to Live 8 Hyde Park acts
Here’s a brief guide to the acts who will be appearing at the Hyde Park gig this Saturday, July 2.
Annie Lennox – former member of synth-pop 80s band The Eurythmics which had transatlantic hits including Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Who’s That Girl and Here Comes The Rain Again. After the group disbanded in 1991, Annie embarked on a solo career with albums Diva, Medusa and Bare and singles Why and No More ‘I Love You’s.
Sir Bob Geldof – former member of the Boomtown Rats (Rat Trap; I Don’t Like Mondays) from 1975 who has since become a political and charitable force in himself. He organised star-studded Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? in 1984 and the massive Live Aid events in London and Philadelphia the following year to raise funds for the poor in Africa. Once Geldof was knighted, the Rats disbanded and he continued with a solo career as well as campaigning for the cause against world hunger and poverty, such as 2002’s NetAid and the current Live 8 phenomenon to pressure the G8 leaders into action.
Coldplay – members Chris Martin (now married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow), Jon Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman formed the band at University College of London. Their first album, Parachutes was released in 2000 including their breakthrough single Yellow, lining them up for commercial and critical success with 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head album. Their third studio album, X&Y, was a transatlantic number one. Unfortunately their first single from the album, Speed of Sound was denied the UK top spot by the Crazy Frog.
Dido - formerly part of trip-hop group Faithless along with older brother Rollo from 1995, Dido released her first solo album No Angel in 1999. Her publicity soared when Eminem sampled her Thank You on his Stan single, boosting her release of the song to a top five position in 2001. She followed No Angel up with 2003's Life For Rent.
Sir Elton John - a veritable music legend, Reg Dwight and song-writing partner Bernie Taupin first hit the charts with Your Song in 1972 and became the biggest-selling pop artist of the 1970s with hits such as Daniel, Crocodile Rock and Don't Go Breaking My Heart. He has been irremovable from the charts ever since and released his latest album Peachtree Road last year. Elton appeared at 1985's Live Aid, and founded his own charity - the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Joss Stone - winning the BBC show Star For A Night at 14 in 2001 with a performance of (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman, Joss crashed onto the music scene with The Soul Sessions and more recently Mind, Body And Soul.
Keane - consisting of childhood friends Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes and Tim Rice-Oxley, Keane released their first single Call Me What You Like in 2000. They only really hit the big time when they signed to the Island label and released Hopes And Fears, one of last year's must-own albums and rated best album at this year's Brit Awards. The band won the award for best British breakthrough act.
The Killers - Las Vegas quartet Brandon Flowers, David Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci formed in 2002 and were given their first break by London label Lizard King. They emerged as a heavyweight force with last year's Hot Fuss album after signing a worldwide deal with Island.
Madonna - Madge as well known for her private life as her musical career. After fleeting involvement in disco outfit the Patrick Hernandez Revue, pop/dance group the Breakfast Club, and then Emmy, she was signed as a solo artist in 1982. She quickly propelled herself to stardom with a barrage of 35 top ten hits beginning with 1984's Like A Virgin. Reinventing herself through the years, her last album was 2003's American Life. Her movie credits include Evita and A League of Their Own.
Mariah Carey - a Grammy-winning diva who started writing her own material in school, Carey was the best-selling female artist of the 1990s. Although her success failed after the turn of the millennium, she has made a strong come back this year with the album The Emancipation of Mimi.
Ms. Dynamite - known to her friends as Niomi McLean-Daley, she started out on pirate radio station RAW FM. With the release of her A Little Deeper album in 2002 she became the first female black artist to be given a Mercury Music Prize.
Paul McCartney - Macca holds claim to the most successful solo career of the former members of The Beatles. After the group disbanded he formed Wings with late wife Linda (of vegetarian food fame) in 1971, having hits such as Band On The Run and Mull of Kintyre. Paul's latest release was 2003's Back In The World.
Pink Floyd - made up of Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, Floyd went from their psychedelic experimental albums of the 1960s to the mainstream with their critically-acclaimed 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon. This album arguably complements The Wizard of Oz if watched at the same time. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and have reformed specifically for Live 8.
Razorlight - formed in 2002 by Johnny Borrell, Bjorn Agnen, Carl Dalemo and Christian Smith-Pancorvo (now replaced by Andy Burrows), their debut album release Up All Night last year with singles such as Somewhere Else made the band one to watch.
R.E.M - forming in 1980 in Athens, Georgia, the band consisted of Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry (who left in 1997), the band gathered a cult following. In 1987, Document brought them more mainstream success with single The One I Love, which was solidified by 1992's Automatic For The People with the haunting anthem Everybody Hurts. Currently touring the UK, R.E.M. performed with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the Dave Matthews Band on the Vote For Change Tour in a protest against the Bush administration.
Robbie Williams – the former singer from Take That has shaken off the ex-boyband member tag with ease, arguably becoming the UK’s favourite solo male artist. Powerful pop-anthemic tunes such as Angels and Millennium underline his strengths, although his versatility has been proven with the #1 album Swing When Your Winning, in which he covers songs by classic crooners. A short break in an attempt to break into the US market did nothing to diminish his popularity at home- Radio, released last year, shot straight to the top of the charts.
Scissor Sisters – bursting onto the UK pop scene in early 2004 with the glam/dance/rock reworking of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, the New Yorkers have become the cutting edge of gay culture and mainstream pop music. Much of their success is owed to the band’s unique fashion sense coupled with memorable tunes.
Snoop Dogg – Calvin Broadus, former protégé of Dr. Dre, had instant chart success when his debut album Doggystyle entered the top of the US charts (the first to do so at the time). Subsequent run-ins with the law tarnished his image and he veered away from gangsta rap to a more rock-oriented sound, collaborating with artists renowned in that field, such as Beck. The 2004 American smash hit Drop It Like It’s Hot shows the enduring popularity of Mr. S.D.
Snow Patrol – despite having been around since 1997, it has taken the release of last year's anthemic Run and parent album Final Straw in 2004 for the Scots to be recognised as chart heavyweights. The rocky yet emotional sounds of their breakthrough album have proved a massive hit, rendering them one of the hottest acts around.
Stereophonics – originating as a cover band, the Welsh rockers burst onto the mainstream music scene in the 1990s amidst accusations of being a mere Manic Street Preachers (inferior) duplicate. However, the talents of frontman Kelly Jones as a songwriter and singer were not to be denied; after mediocre success, the band had a run of top 10 hits with the release of The Bartender and the Thief. Earlier this year the band reached the top spot with Dakota.
Travis - Francis Healy, Andy Dunlop, Neil Primose, Dougie Payne formed band at art school. After they finished their studies, they became more devoted to the band, releasing the All I Wanna Do Is Rock EP followed by album Good Feeling. Their breakthrough came with 1999's The Man Who, with singles including Why Does It Always Rain On Me?. They are back on the scene this year with Walking In The Sun Part II.
U2 – spearheaded by charismatic frontman Bono (Paul Hewson), this religious and political Irish band has garnered a massive following with monster hits such as The Fly and Where The Streets Have No Name, often breaking records for sales and live appearances around the globe. Their album The Joshua Tree was the record that propelled them to international stardom, hitting the US and UK number one spot. They continue to wow audiences today, with material from the well-received How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album in 2004.
UB40 – this Birmingham group had major success in the UK with political songs such as Signing Off and Present Arms but, disillusioned with the lack of cross-Atlantic success with their original material, the group focused their attention on covering reggae songs, following the US chart success of their Labour of Love album and UK number 1 single Red Red Wine.
Velvet Revolver – reunites ex-Guns N’ Roses members Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Matt Sorum (drums) along with ex-Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Wieland. Their 2004 debut, Contraband, revealed ambition in the new band’s material whilst retaining the famed rock sounds of the members’ former bands.
The Who - Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Roger Daltry and John Entwistle made up this legendary live act before the original line-up gave way to a series of personnel changes resulting from the death of Moon following the massive album Who Are You in 1978. In their prime, their music mesmerized fans with its creativity and guitar-driven rhythms, spawning massive hits such as My Generation, Substitute and I’m a Boy, whilst their charisma and energy created perfect live performances. However, strains in the quartet’s relationship became apparent as musical differences led the band to take numerous breaks throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, although the band continued to wow audiences with a series of concerts.
Youssou N’Dour - The versatile Grammy-nominated Senegalese singer is one of the most exciting artists to emerge from Africa. As well as being renowned for being part of the ‘Star Band of Dakar’ (renamed Super E’toile De Dakar) that pioneered mbalax (an up-tempo blend of African, Caribbean and pop rhythms), he is also an immense solo talent, forever pushing his love for music to newer heights, including creating an African opera, and collaborating with some heavyweights of the modern music scene, including Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Nenah Cherry, the latter with whom he collaborated on the British top-three hit 7 Seconds.