10/06/2005

Blur star criticises Live 8 concerts

British singer Damon Albarn has condemned the Live 8 concert, saying that the event gave a “negative portrayal” of Africa.

The Blur vocalist and mainman behind cartoon band, Gorillaz, also criticised the line-up for the concert, which will take place at London’s Hyde Park on July 2, because there were not enough black artists on the bill.

Mr Albarn said that he had not been asked to appear at Live 8, but said that he did not wish to participate in an event, which was “so exclusive”. He said: “Is this the most effective way to help Africa?”

The singer also slammed the event, organised by Live Aid organiser, Bob Geldof, for portraying Africa as a “failing, ill, sick, tired place”. Mr Albarn told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ show that Africa was also “incredibly sophisticated… if not more sophisticated in some ways, than in the West”.

Mr Albarn also said that there was a lack of black artists on the bill, saying: “This country is incredibly diverse. More than ever, black culture is an integral part of society. So why is the bill so damn Anglo-Saxon?”

The line-up for Live 8 at Hyde Park, which includes Madonna, U2, Coldplay and the Scissor Sisters, has already been criticised for being ‘too white’ by campaign group, Black Information Link.

However, a Live 8 spokesperson said that a number of black artists had been lined up to play at the Hyde Park concert, as well as at the Philadelphia concert, which is happening simultaneously, alongside other events in Rome, Paris and Berlin.

The spokesperson said that rap star Snoop Dogg was playing at the London event, while African singer Youssou N’Dour would play at both the London and Paris events.

Stars such as Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and 50 Cent are also on the bill of the Philadelphia concert.

Mr Geldof also said that he had approached other black stars who had been unable to participate in the event.

(KMcA/SP)

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