CBSN

Rockers, Rappers Unite For Africa

British musician Bob Geldof, one of the original founders and organizers of Live Aid concerts in 1985 that raised millions for Ethiopian famine victims, poses for the photographers prior to a news conference in London, Tuesday May 31, 2005.
AP
There will be at least five dozen performers, from Bono to 50 Cent, in five venues across the world, from Rome's Circus Maximus to the streets of Philadelphia.

All will unite behind one simple message for world leaders: end poverty in Africa.

Twenty years after he organized the landmark Live Aid concerts, Bob Geldof announced plans Tuesday for the Live 8 concerts. They will take place July 2, just days before leaders of the world's richest countries, the G8, meet in Britain.

"We don't want people's money. We want them," Geldof said.

Musicians including Madonna, Paul McCartney, U2, Bon Jovi, Brian Wilson, Crosby Stills & Nash, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Sting, Annie Lennox, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill and Jay-Z will grace stages in London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Paris and Rome.

The 1985 Live Aid concerts, held in London and Philadelphia on the same day, sold out both venues. The concerts raised more than $70 million, reports CBS News Correspondent Sheila MacVicar. Live Aid remains the biggest event in music history with one and a half billion television viewers.

Since then, Geldof said, Africa has only become poorer.

"Twenty years on, it strikes me as being morally repulsive and intellectually absurd that people die of want in a world of surplus," Geldof said. "This is to finally, as much as we can, put a stop to that."

Geldof said he had resisted any re-creation of Live Aid, but relented to pressure from U2's Bono and others: "It seemed to me that we could gather again, but this time not for charity but for political justice."

The aim of the concerts was to create attention and "political heat" ahead of the G8 meeting to persuade the leaders to agree to cancel Africa's unpayable debts, double aid for the continent and make trade fair, Geldof said.

Africa is expected to be high on the agenda of the meeting of the group of eight wealthy nations: Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy and Japan. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he wants rich nations to write off the debts owed by the world's poorest countries and to double international aid, initiatives the White House has ruled out.