Live 8: Then and now

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Live 8: Then and Now

Some of the performers who will be playing the Live 8 concerts made a contribution to Live Aid in 1985. Just how much has their musical style, looks and fashion sense evolved over the last 20 years - and how have their careers fared?


When Madonna performed at the Philadelphia Live Aid concert in 1985, her musical career was beginning to take off on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the UK, the singer was about to enjoy her first chart topper with Into The Groove, which would be the first of many.

In the 20 years which has elapsed since Live Aid, Madonna has remained a musical force to be reckoned with, reinventing herself on numerous occasions and remaining in the headlines.

After taking to the stage in London's Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, the musician will have a new album and another world tour to contemplate.


Sir Paul McCartney's contribution to Live Aid at Wembley Arena was a rendition of Beatles classic Let It Be ahead of the London finale and chorus of Do They Know It's Christmas?

McCartney sang with the likes of Wham, Bono and Freddie Mercury on the rousing end to the 1985 concert.

Just months earlier, the singer-songwriter had an unlikely hit with We All Stand Together performed with The Frog Chorus.

This musical recipe was revisited on the 63-year-old's most recent chart hit, Tropic Island Hum.

But appearances in the UK Top 40 have become less frequent in recent years.


Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton had notched up five chart hits when they performed the anthemic Sunday Bloody Sunday at Live Aid.

Irish quartet U2 also performed a lengthy medley of Lou Reed and Rolling Stones on 13 July 1985.

In the 25 years since the landmark event, U2 have become a chart powerhouse, claiming six chart-toppers, including two of their three most recent hit singles.

Frontman Bono has become a frontline campaigner against African debt and poverty in his own right, famously addressing the Labour Party conference last autumn.


Sting - real name Gordon Sumner - had barely started on his solo chart career by June 1985, scoring just two hits, Spread A Little Happiness and If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.

In 1985 he was best known as frontman of defunct trio The Police, with whom he captured five chart-toppers in the late 70s and early 80s.

The 53-year-old will take his place on the Live 8 stage as a musician who has often used his art to promote various causes.

As well as African issues, Sting has made a stand for the Amazonian rainforest and Amnesty International.


New Romantic combo Duran Duran were one of the British acts to perform Live Aid across the Atlantic at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium.

Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Andy Taylor were already at the peak of their powers with hits like Planet Earth and Save A Prayer, winning them a fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic.

The band's fortunes dwindled until 1993, when the hit Ordinary World brought a significant chart comeback.

They played a string of arena dates across the UK in late 2003, playing to more people than in their 80s heyday.

Winning the Brit Award for outstanding contribution to music in 2004 brought a new album and another pair of hit singles.


Sir Elton John was already a very well-established figure when he performed a lengthy set on stage at Wembley's Live Aid in 1985.

As well as singing well-known solo hits such as I'm Still Standing and Rocket Man, Sir Elton duetted with Wham! and Kiki Dee.

The singer-songwriter has rarely been out of the headlines since.

His music for Disney's The Lion King has proved durable and popular while in 1997 his reversioned Candle In The Wind in the wake of Diana, Princess of Wales' death became the best-selling single of all time.

The singer recently topped the charts again with Are You Ready For Love, while a sample of his music on late rapper Tupac Shakur's song knocked Crazy Frog from his number one pedestal.

An exhibition of photographs from Live Aid in 1985 is being shown at the Getty Images Gallery in London until 16 July.

Courtesy BBC NEWS