TROMSOE, Norway - Nelson Mandela teamed up with more than 50 international music stars to press the world's richest nations to take increased action against AIDS and poverty.
"Let every child be a healthy child," Mandela told a crowd of almost 18,000 at a benefit concert held Saturday under the midnight sun in Norway's Arctic. "We know what to do and how much it will cost. We now need leadership, vision and political courage."
The 46664 Arctic Concert, named for Mandela's prisoner number during his 27 years in South African detention, is part of a series of AIDS charity concerts. It has drawn such stars as Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Robert Plant, Brian May, Angelique Kidjo and the group Razorlight.
Since stepping down as South African president in 1999, Mandela - whose own son died of an AIDS-related illness in January - has campaigned to raise awareness about AIDS, especially in Africa where about 25 million of the world's 40 million HIV-infected people live.
"Many years ago, I said that my long walk has not yet ended," said Mandela, 86. "As we stand here tonight, I gain great comfort in the knowledge that we are not alone on this journey."
In introducing Mandela, Gabriel, who rose to fame with the group Genesis, said to cheers, "If the world only had one father, it would be him."
Lennox said she was honored to be part of an effort to counter such a terrible worldwide problem.
"This concerns every part of our world," said Lennox, the lead singer of the 1980s band the Eurythmics. "Music is a huge, powerful, positive force that can bring people together."
Despite being 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsoe's streets were packed with people enjoying round-the-clock sunshine and stunning scenery that includes snowcapped mountains that seem to burst from the sea.
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KEYPORT, N.J. (AP) - Charlie Barreca is too sick to rock 'n' roll, but too young to die.
The longtime sound man for the heavy metal group Twisted Sister, Barreca needs a liver transplant, but has nothing left from the money he made traveling around the world, making sure every dirty word that flew from Dee Snider's lips was heard clearly.
So the band has planned a benefit show on July 15 at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, hoping to raise at least $100,000 for Barreca's medical costs.
"The guy dedicated his life to rock 'n' roll," Snider said. "As his friends, we feel an obligation and a responsibility to a friend in need."
The quintet best known for "We're Not Gonna Take It" considered Barreca a member of the group, crediting him on their album jackets as Charlie "Sixth Sister" Barreca.
"This is one of the hard stories about the music business: There are no benefits," Snider told The Associated Press. "There is no medical, there is no retirement plan. There's no real union for sound men. Once the money runs out and you get older, you've got no retirement fund. You retire with what you put away, and your memories, and that's it."
Barreca, 63, fell ill in January after steadily losing weight last fall. His liver had been damaged beyond repair by hepatitis C; he says he was never a heavy drinker or drug user, but he became so weak he couldn't lift a glass of water during a recent hospital stay that cost him $78,000.
"I was lime green, and down to 135 pounds," said Barreca, who has since regained about 30 pounds. "I was creepy-looking."
SANTA FE (AP) - Country music star Randy Travis and his wife will serve on a newly established New Mexico Music Commission, designed to promote and showcase the state's music industry.
Travis and his wife, Elizabeth, who also is his manager, were among 24 people appointed to the commission by Gov. Bill Richardson last week. Travis has a home in Santa Fe.
Also named to the commission was singer Tony Orlando, who doesn't live in New Mexico but volunteered to help the state in its music promotion efforts, according to Billy Sparks, a spokesman for Richardson.
The pop-rock group Tony Orlando & Dawn had the hit 1970s song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree."
AHAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to trim the fat - and not just from the state budget.
The former champion bodybuilder announced last week that the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has established a new Web site to encourage fitness and healthy living.
"We have the perfect conditions to exercise every day," Schwarzenegger said at Disney's California Adventure theme park. He was joined by famous athletes including baseball great Reggie Jackson and 90-year-old fitness guru Jack LaLanne.
The Web site urges residents to set aside as little as 30 minutes a day, a few days each week, to start an exercise regimen. It also allows participants to take part in an online challenge in which they can set fitness goals, track their progress and get advice.
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