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MIDEM 2006 To Honour Live 8 Trio
By Mi2N
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MIDEM, the World's Music Market, will honour Live Aid founders and Live 8 co-producers Sir Bob Geldof, Harvey Goldsmith CBE and John Kennedy OBE, on January 23rd in Cannes, France.

The trio will receive the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award, in recognition of their outstanding work in bringing the music industry together to help alleviate poverty and famine in Africa.

This will be the first time in its 17-year history, that the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award has gone to more than one person. MIDEM, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2006, will take place in Cannes, France, January 22-26.

"The Live Aid and Live 8 concerts were astonishing events and a testimony to the music industry's ability to transcend pure entertainment and mobilise people on a global scale," says MIDEM Chief Executive Officer Paul Zilk. "The money raised in 1985 by Live Aid and the huge political impact of Live 8, are a tribute to the efforts of these three outstanding men. It is a pleasure to honour them as MIDEM 2006 Personalities of the Year."

"What was truly impressive about Live 8, was that for the first time ever music and technology were used to communicate a humanitarian cause to the largest audience possible and carry the "fight against poverty" message across the globe," adds MIDEM director, Dominique Leguern.

In 1985, Harvey Goldsmith and John Kennedy teamed up with Bob Geldof (who received a Knighthood the following year) to organise the Live Aid concert, which raised over $140 million in support of famine relief in Africa. The trio joined forces again to co-produce Live 8 - a series of 10 simultaneous concerts around the world, which took place on July 2, 2005, and which were watched by a global audience of some three billion viewers.

Live 8 was designed to draw massive public attention to the annual G8 summit of leading industrialised nations and to generate support for the Make Poverty History and its sister campaigns around the world.

Bob Geldof burst onto the music scene as lead singer and songwriter of award-winning Dublin band the Boomtown Rats in 1976. He launched Band-Aid in 1984 and the Band-Aid Trust in 1986 (of which he remains chairman), in order to raise funds for poverty-stricken African countries. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions. Over the past two decades he has lobbied and worked strenuously for the reduction of worldwide poverty, particularly in Africa and for the reduction of Third World debt.

In 2004, British Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed him a commissioner on the Commission for Africa, which released its report in March 2005, recommending steps the G8 leaders could take to reduce economic and social difficulties in Africa. Following Live 8, the G8 summit accepted 50 of the 90 Commission for Africa recommendations, including a doubling of aid to Africa and a debt cancellation for the poorest countries.

Harvey Goldsmith will celebrate 40 years in the entertainment business in 2006. In 1973 he founded Artiste Management Productions Limited to produce and manage artists in the music industry. Three years later he launched Harvey Goldsmith Entertainments Ltd, one of the UK's leading concert and events promoters. His career has seen him produce and promote most of the world's major musicians and groups including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart and Sting. In addition to Live Aid and Live 8, Harvey Goldsmith has lent his production and promotion skills to a string of charitable events, producing shows for the Red Cross, for victims of the World Trade Center disaster and for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Harvey Goldsmith was honoured with a CBE medal in the British Queen's birthday Honours List in 1996, in recognition of his work in the entertainment business.

John Kennedy entered the entertainment business in 1978 as a contracts manager for Phonogram. In 1983, he took over as Director of Business Affairs at CBS UK (now Sony Music), before setting up JP Kennedy & Co, legal representatives to a large number of successful music artists. In 1984 he was appointed legal adviser and trustee for Band Aid. His work at Band Aid and Live Aid earned him an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 1995. The following year, John Kennedy was appointed chairman and CEO of Polygram UK, a post he held for three years before becoming Chairman and CEO of the newly-created Universal Music UK, Britain's largest record company. Following a successful two-year spell, he was promoted to president and COO at Universal Music International. In October 2004 he was named chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

The MIDEM Personality of the Year Award was created in 1989 to pay tribute to exceptional careers and contributions to the international music industry. Previous recipients include Nesuhi Ertegun, former president of the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry); producer and musician Quincy Jones; Jan Timmer, president of Philips; Jean-Loup Tournier, chairman of the Board of French copyright society SACEM; Arista President Clive Davis; Atlantic Records founder and co-chairman Ahmet Ertegun; Frances Preston, president and CEO of BMI; noted composer and producer David Foster; William H. Roedy, president of MTV Networks International and chairman of MTV Networks Europe; and Bruce Lundvall, president EMI Music, Jazz and Classics, U.S.

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