Kofi Annan, who died Saturday at the age of 80, led the United Nations through the divisive years of the Iraq war and the trauma of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The first secretary-general from sub-Saharan Africa, Ghanaian-born Annan was credited for raising the UN's profile during his two-term tenure, from January 1997 to December 2006. The charismatic, quiet-spoken career diplomat will be remembered as the United Nations' star secretary-general -- and arguably the world body's most popular leader. But, as peacekeeping chief, two of the UN's darkest chapters -- the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian war -- happened on his watch. "I have sought to place human beings at the center of everything we do -- from conflict prevention, to development, to human rights," Annan said in his 2001 speech after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. At the time, as the world was reeling from the September 11 attacks, Annan and the organization were jointly given the honor "for their work for a better … [Read more...] about Kofi Annan: the UN’s ‘rock star’ secretary-general
1970s rock stars
The fabled trickle-down effect isn't lifting Kiwis' wages because their bosses are still focused on cutting costs, it's been claimed. Wage growth in New Zealand, like in much of the developed world, has lagged behind economic growth for decades. This means while there is more wealth than ever before, the share going to those who work for a living has been declining. HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, best-known for describing New Zealand's economy as a "rock star" in 2014, told The AM Show on Thursday managers are doing what they can to keep their businesses profitable amid technological upheaval. "Businesses are still very focused on cost-cutting - they're still very much of the mindset that's something they can control. They can't control a lot of the things that are going on in the rest of the world in terms of technology and globalisation and how that adds into competition, but they can control that cost space," Mr Bloxham explained. "The thing that normally happens though, that … [Read more...] about When will NZ’s ‘rock star’ economy trickle down to workers?
The closest most people get to pop stardom is miming into the mirror to their favourite song whilst holding a hairbrush. The dream of appearing on Top of the Pops or Later... With Jools Holland is an elusive goal, but what about those who get there, decide they don't like the limelight, or are forced out of music as their fortunes in the industry head south? Sometimes a pop star can forge a second career as an actor, West End star or reality TV show contestant. But not all musicians want that. Here are nine who beat a retreat to do something completely different - a job on civvy street, just like the rest of us. Russell Senior (Pulp) - antiques dealer The Sheffield-born guitarist and violinist left Pulp at arguably the height of their success in 1997 - the year after Jarvis Cocker famously wagged his derriere at Michael Jackson at the Brit Awards, and some 14 years after Russell joined the band. There were no tantrums - Senior remained in the band's home city while … [Read more...] about 9 pop stars who quit music for very relatable day jobs
Sending the completed draft of his book on the music of theatrical rock singer Alice Cooper to the man himself was a nerve-wracking experience for Dunedin author, lecturer and musician Dr Ian Chapman. "I had a few nerves waiting for feedback from him, but in the end the response was positive - which was a relief,'' Dr Chapman said. The book, Experiencing Alice Cooper - A Listener's Companion, is to be launched on Wednesday, May 30, at 6pm in the Dunningham Suite, fourth floor, Dunedin City Library. During the launch, Dr Chapman will be joined by fellow musicians Liam Donnelly (piano) and Pania Simmons (string bass) in performing stripped-down acoustic versions of some Alice Cooper songs. Well-known for his passion for the music of David Bowie, Dr Chapman also has a long-standing fondness for Alice Cooper and his special brand of theatrical rock. "Both of these men were absolute masters of theatrical rock, and have had a big influence on me,'' he said. Recalling seeing both men perform … [Read more...] about Musicologist delves into rock star’s life
Tristram Fane Saunders 20 May 2018 • 11:00am Lou Reed quit the music business forever in August 1970. At least, that was the plan. Leaving his Velvet Underground bandmates while they were still tinkering with their fourth album, Loaded, Reed moved back to his parents’ house in Long Island to work as a typist for his accountant father. He swore he would never play rock'n'roll again. From now on, he would be a poet. This resolve did not last long. By December 1971, the singer was already recording his first solo album. But for about a year Reed threw himself into New York’s poetry scene, publishing a handful of poems in small magazines. In March 1971, he gave a reading at St Marks-in-the-Bowery, Manhattan’s oldest church, to a crowd of enthusiastic... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per … [Read more...] about From Lou Reed to Bono, why do rock stars make such rubbish poets?