Wednesday, July 2, 2008

EVERYONE MUST STAND ALONE: Three years ago today Philadelphia and cities around the globe hosted the Live8 concerts to promote African debt relief, and we blogged about it. Well, the problem hasn't been solved exactly, but this does give me the excuse to pull up a favorite YouTube link or two.

Some setup is required, however: back in 1984-85, an impossibly malnourished child named Birhan Woldu became known as the "face of famine" for her appearance in some moving news stories about the devastation going on in Ethiopia. Twenty years later, she's still alive (and studying to be a nurse), and Sir Bob Geldof brought her on stage at Live8 as a symbol of hope to say, look, Live Aid worked, and we can make a difference here too. The problem being, however, that when Madonna took the stage to sing "Like A Prayer", Woldu didn't leave, and this awkward footage followed. Watch Madonna gamely attempt to involve her in the performance before giving up.

Actual musical highlights from the day, other than Will Smith leading his hometown crowd in chanting the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme (not available online): Annie Lennox, "Why"; Robbie Williams, "Angels; Coldplay w/Richard Ashcroft, "Bitter Sweet Symphony"; and the late James Brown, at the age of 72, in Edinburgh with "I Feel Good" and "Sex Machine".

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