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The Diplomats Of Rock

2 minute read
Harriet Barovick, Ann Marie Bonardi, Beau Briese, Rhett Butler, Christina Lewis, Ellin Martens, Benjamin Nugent, Ryan Schick, Heather Won Tesoriero and Kadesha Thomas

Never mind those world leaders meeting in Genoa. The globe’s most potent ambassadors are often its traveling rock stars. With Madonna launching the U.S. portion of her Drowned World tour after a five-city European swing, Notebook looks at how rock’s headliners are promoting–and pummeling–international harmony.

MADONNA On her new tour, the rock provocateur shows a film that depicts her as a battered woman. Some feminists have objected. In London, M cried, “God save the Queen!” but drew catcalls for her high ticket prices. For 85[pounds], a British paper quipped, “you’d expect her to lap-dance for you privately.”

U2 The tireless rockers and advocates for the Third World made a brief stop on tour to commend French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin on the debt relief France has offered poor countries and to ask France to “finish what we have started.” The group is also pushing gun control in its show, with a film mocking Charlton Heston.

USHER Prince Azim, son of the Sultan of Brunei, attended one of the shows on the singer’s European tour and, according to a report, proffered the R.-and-B. sex symbol $250,000 worth of gifts. Usher’s publicist wouldn’t comment on the gifts story, but confirmed that the prince and the rock star met at a concert. Any talk of oil prices?

EMINEM Australia granted the bard of spousal abuse a visa to perform this week, but Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock says the rapper was warned that it “carried with it a responsibility of respect for our multicultural society and values and the need to avoid vilifying or inciting discord.” Is there an instrumental version of Kim?

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