7thton (7thton) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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Glastonbury to have "black American" headliner



Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis says he has booked "a black American headliner" in an attempt to attract a younger audience to this year's festival.

The annual music event's line-up is traditionally kept under wraps until the gates open, so fans won't find out who the artist is until June.

But who are the contenders to be the main act at the UK's biggest festival?


KANYE WEST

Who is he? Egotistical rap supremo, who last year completed his trilogy of education-themed hip-hop albums.

Festival form: Kanye played last year's V Festival and delivered a short greatest hits set at the influential US festival Coachella in 2006. He has also won rave reviews for his recent world tour, which hit the UK in November.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: The Ray Charles-sampling Gold Digger, from Kanye's second album Late Registration, is a club favourite. The song was also covered by Glastonbury veterans The Automatic.

Will he play Glastonbury: Kanye's recent forays into electronic music would seem perfect for the Sunday-night slot, which is traditionally more dance-orientated.

While his world tour has drawn to a close, he has played one-off special concerts before, including an invitation-only gig at Abbey Road studios with a full symphony orchestra.

BEYONCE

Who is she? Globe-straddling R&B diva, with a stunning 10 Grammy awards lined up on her mantelpiece.

Festival form: Beyonce was the main attraction at two festivals in 2007 - as a singer at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, and an actress at the Cannes Film Festival.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: Too many to mention - but Crazy In Love, Survivor and Beautiful Liar are among her UK chart-toppers.

Will she play Glastonbury: The singer is in the studio working on her third solo album, which she is due to be promoting over the summer. But her pop sensibilities might be too mainstream for the Glastonbury audience.

JAY-Z

Who is he? Record label boss, clothes designer, rap star and Beyonce's boyfriend.

Festival form: Before his brief retirement from hip-hop, Jay-Z was the Prince of Wales' special guest at the 2004 Prince's Trust Urban Music Festival.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: The rapper's signature track Izzo (Hova) is a fan favourite, but he has more than a decade's worth of hits to choose from.

Will he play Glastonbury: Michael Eavis has hinted his headliner hails from New York, which would make Jay-Z a frontrunner.

The rapper is also known to be good friends with former Glastonbury headliners Coldplay - with Chris Martin joining him on stage at the Royal Albert Hall two years ago. Maybe the singer has put in a word for the good people at Worthy farm.

RIHANNA

Who is she? A 19-year-old Barbadian bombshell, based in the US, whose third album Good Girl Gone Bad has established her as a global star.

Festival form: She played Nigeria's ThisDay Festival and Radio One's One Big Weekend last year, and has stadium experience from the Tokyo leg of Live Earth.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: All-conquering number one hit Umbrella - an appropriate anthem for Glastonbury's famously inclement weather.

Will she play Glastonbury: Rihanna would definitely draw in younger audiences, but she is probably too inexperienced to be given the coveted headline slot.

TIMBALAND

Who is he? Super-producer Timbaland is the mastermind behind Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Aaliyah and Missy Elliot. Last year, he stepped out from behind the mixing desk to release his own top 10 album, Shock Value.

Festival form: None to speak of, but the rapper spent the majority of 2007 on Justin Timberlake's Futuresex / Loveshow world tour.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: Justin Timberlake's SexyBack would be a sure-fire arms-in-the-air Glastonbury moment.

Will he play Glastonbury: Unlikely, given his lack of live experience. But if he could bring along the acts he's worked with - a list which now includes Madonna and Elton John - he would be a major draw.

PRINCE

Who is he? The pint-sized purple purveyor of pop, who spent a majestic 21 nights at London's O2 arena last year.

Festival form: Prince tends to play his own concerts, but after more than 30 years on stage he would have very little trouble getting the Glastonbury crowd on their feet.

Crowd-pleasing anthem: He rehearsed 150 songs for his O2 residency, with greatest hits like Purple Rain and Raspberry Beret interspersed with more recent tracks like Musicology.

Will he play Glastonbury: Michael Eavis has spoken of his attempts to get Prince to the festival before, but his desire to attract younger audiences could rule the rock legend out of the running.


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