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Live 8 Countdown Begins

With just hours to go before the curtain rises on one of the most ambitious concert events in history, Live 8 news keeps pouring in.

NME ran through some rumored special performances, including the Verve’s Richard Ashcroft performing his band’s “Bittersweet Symphony” with Coldplay backing him up. Elton John, who’s no stranger to odd onstage pairings, will reportedly be joined at Live 8 by ex-Libertine Pete Doherty for a cover of T.Rex’s “Children of the Revolution.” Robbie Williams is said to be paying tribute to Queen, and U2 will open the show performing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with Sir Paul McCartney. As previously reported here, a major attraction at the London Live 8 stage is the Pink Floyd reunion.

Music fans worldwide have loads of viewing options for tomorrow’s Live 8 festivities. AOL Music will broadcast streams from several concert venues all day long, plus one “highlight” stream featuring clips from all stages, and they’ll even archive the streams for six weeks. XM Satellite Radio will turn seven of its stations into Live 8 broadcasts. On the tube, both MTV and VH1 will kick off coverage at noon EST tomorrow, and ABC plans a two-hour wrap-up tomorrow night at 8 EST.

Here at Spin, mobile editor Peter Gaston will post running commentary on Live 8 throughout the day tomorrow on his Husky Gentleman blog. Click here to reach his blog page.