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Learning English - Words in the News
06 July, 2005 - Published 15:24 GMT
Live 8 performers' profit question
Pink Floyd at Live 8 London

Last weekend's Live 8 concerts, organised to draw attention to poverty in Africa, have had the effect of increasing record sales in Britain for several of the artists involved. This report from Lawrence Pollard:

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No one knows what the effect of the weekend's concerts will be on the leaders about to gather for the G8 in Gleneagles in Scotland or on the millions living in poverty in Africa. But we do know what the effect has been on the record sales of several of the rock n roll millionaires who played. They've soared. Sales of Madonna's greatest hits have trebled according to a week on week comparison by one of Britain's biggest chains of record shops. But this is a modest boost compared to an eight fold increase for the veteran rockers The Who and a remarkable fourteen times more copies sold of the latest compilation by Pink Floyd.

This is potentially embarrassing for those involved in the concerts, as the cynics' favourite accusation has always been that rock stars use charity to disguise self promotion.

Perhaps aware of this one of the stars of the London concert has announced that he will not profit from the surge in sales and will donate his royalties to charity. David Gilmour, the guitarist of Pink Floyd is known as a generous donor - again cynics will point out he can afford it, but his is an important gesture in maintaining the moral high-ground of those involved in what was presented as a principled campaign against poverty. Gilmour urged other musicians - as well as their record companies - to make similar donations.

Lawrence Pollard, BBC Arts Correspondent

Listen to the words

increased a lot

a modest boost
increased a little

the veteran rockers
older rock stars from a previous era (for example, the 1960s or 70s)

an album containing a mix of songs from previous recordings (for example, a Greatest Hits compilation)

people who always think the worst of other people's motives and don't believe that they are sincere

use charity to disguise self promotion
use charity to hide the fact they are advertising themselves

surge in sales
increase in sales

donate his royalties to charity
give the money from record sales to good causes

the moral high-ground
to be seen to be doing the "right" thing: in this report, it is important for the artists to be seen not to be making money from their performances

a principled campaign against poverty
an honest effort to fight poverty

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