Madonna thrills Live Earth

Pop queen Madonna got 70,000 people on their feet demanding action on climate change in a stunning finale to the London leg of Live Earth last night.

The singer was one of the highlights of yesterday's event, which also featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, the Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian and even spoof band Spinal Tap.

She began her set with a song especially written for Live Earth, the anti-global warming event billed as the "greatest show on earth".

Dozens of school children in school uniform sang along to 'Hey You', while footage showed images including polluting factories.

But the biggest moment came when the 48-year-old star called on the crowd to get to their feet.

Thousands cheered as she told the audience: "If you want to save the planet I want you to start jumping up and down. Come on mother f***ers.

"If you want to save the planet let me see you jump."

Wearing a black dress and her hair in Thirties-style ringlets, Madonna thanked former US Vice President Al Gore "for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs and for starting an avalanche of awareness that we are running out of time".

"Lets hope tonight's concert and the concerts going on around the world are not just about entertainment but starting a revolution around the world," she said.

"This is your last chance to show that you care about the planet."

Madonna sang 'Hung Up' and then 'La Isla Bonita' with Eugene Hutz and Sergey Ryabatsev from the gypsy band Gogol Bordello.

The stadium switched off all but essential lighting for a few symbolic moments before Madonna took to the stage.

Sir Terence Stamp introduced the switch-off, saying: "Let's not be endarkened by this, let's be enlightened by this."

Organisers say the power used to put on the Wembley concert is being sourced from renewable energy and the audience is being asked to commit to Live Earth pledges.

Plastic water bottles and cups were used and the audience were urged to recycle them in bins at the stadium but some were put in ordinary bins and, at the end of the night, thousands of plastic cups lay on the stadium floor.

Spanning seven continents, pop stars were also doing their bit to "save the world" in New York, Washington, Sydney, Rio De Janeiro, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hamburg.

An estimated two billion people were watching the concerts, the brainchild of Mr Gore.

But some have raised questions about whether Live Earth, which follows in the tradition of Bob Geldof's Live Aid, can do anything more than boost the profile of the stars taking part.

Some bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis stayed away, saying it is hypocritical for jet-setting acts with higher than average carbon footprints to illuminate the problem of global warming.

But Mr Gore called the event an "historic day" when he spoke from a Washington concert, calling for the developed world to reduce carbon emissions.

On a video link, he said: "Not many years from now, our children and grandchildren will ask one of two questions, looking back at us in 2007.

"Either they will ask: 'What were they thinking, didn't they hear the scientists, see the evidence, didn't they care, or were they too busy?'

"Or they will ask the second question, which I prefer. I want them to ask of us: 'How did they get their act together to successfully solve the climate crisis'?"

Stars including David Tennant, Ricky Gervais, Geri Halliwell, comedian Chris Rock, former tennis hero Boris Becker, 'Sex and the City' and 'Desperate Housewives' stud Kyle MacLachlan and actress Thandie Newton took to the stage to talk about global warming and introduce the acts.

Eddie Izzard, presenting Razorlight, admitted: "A lot of us are going to come out and are going to tell you to do things. A lot of stuff we tell you we have to do as well.

"We're probably more guilty than anyone with all this flying around and stuff.

"With two billion people watching, today is the day to start."

Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon also admitted some celebrities needed to practise what they were preaching when he waved his hands aloft, ridiculing some of his fellow performers, as he said: "Everybody who did not arrive on a private jet put your hands in the air."

Sharon Looremeta, a Kenyan Masai woman hammered home the message when she took to the stage to tell the crowd: "I'm here today to tell you that my people are already suffering from the terrible effects of the changing climate, making our survival even more difficult."


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