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Geldof faces fresh criticism over his handling of Live8
Bob Geldof is unrepentant in the row over African artists and Live8 as he continues to face unprecedented criticism over his handling of the global charity concerts.

The musician insisted yesterday that American rappers were the true musical heroes of Africa's youth dismissing his critics who reacted with dismay at the exclusion of African performers from the original line-up.

Speaking in Paris, where he resolved his dispute with the city authorities over the setting of the Live8 France concert, he said: "We need the biggest artists as defined by popularity and sales ... The fact is that most African kids these days listen to Eminem and 50 Cent."

The row over what role African artists should play in the concerts is the most persistent in a stream of controversies to dog the event, and Geldof in particular. Lord Steel, the former Liberal leader, said Geldof was displaying "slight touches of megalomania" over his demands for a million people to descend on Edinburgh during the G8 summit at Gleneagles.

Teachers expressed dismay at his calls for children to play truant from school to attend the demonstration, The Long Walk to Justice. Coastguards were furious when the singer suggested that a flotilla of small boats cross the English Channel one of the world's busiest shipping lanes to ferry continental demonstrators to the march. Police were also taken by surprise when he let slip that people without tickets would be allowed into Hyde Park for the main concert. Source.

June 21, 2005