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Live 8: The Countdown Begins

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Jun 30 2005
More artists and producers join on for the "largest concert ever"
The days are counting down to the what is being billed as "the largest concert ever" taking place Saturday, July 2, when several million people are expected to attend the shows taking place in 10 worldwide locations, while another estimated billion will watch via television and online streams, or listen on the radio.

And it's all free.

Unlike organizer Bob Geldof's '84 single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," and two '85 Live Aid concerts, which raised $100 million to combat the effects of poverty in African nations ( and earned him a honorary knighthood in 1986), Live 8 is aimed not at raising funds, but at raising consciousness and awareness of continuing socio-economic crises in Africa.

The event will happen at the same time eight world leaders will gather in Scotland for the G8 summit.

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Live 8's ultimate goal is to put pressure on this powerful people to eliminate the staggering debt many African nations have been shackled with.

Coverage will be provided by MTV and aolmusic.com, which will offer news, behind the scenes goodies, and special blogs as well as all performances--during and after the shows.

Acts for the concerts include Destiny's Child, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, U2, Stevie Wonder, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John, Jay-Z, Joss Stone and many, many more.

Russell Simmons recently joined on as a producer for the Philadelphia show and has brought on even more artists including Kanye West, Rita, Ziggy and Stephen Marley and ex-Eminem spin master DJ Green Lantern. According to the Boston Globe, Simmons wants to add Prince and Michael Jackson to the mix as well.

"My role in LIVE 8 is focused on America giving and to promote the idea that giving love, compassion and support is the foundation of a successful foreign policy," said Russell Simmons. "There is no defense greater than love."

Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) issued a rallying call to youth around the world "to immediately stand up, speak out, and log on to www.one.org and let the G8 world leaders know your support for debt relief and the containment of poverty and disease in Africa."

"Millions of people every year die from something that is preventable and containable. AIDS and poverty can be contained in our lifetime with a small effort from those in power. You have the power. The power of your voice. I urge each and every one of you to log on to www.one.org and let your voice be heard."

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