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Vietnam to Host World Peace Music Awards - 2004-02-04

The second annual World Peace Music Awards rock concert and ceremony will be held later this year in Vietnam. The event will honor U.S. rock stars from the Vietnam war era.

The voice of Joan Baez is synonymous with the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s. Her hit "We Shall Overcome" has become the anthem of protests everywhere.

So it seems fitting that Joan Baez is among the six artists who will be honored at the World Peace Music Awards in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Other recipients are Vietnam era stars Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Harry Belafonte, and Country Joe and the Fish. All of them made significant musical contributions to the anti-Vietnam war movement.

The sixth musician being honored is a Vietnamese song writer, Trinh Cong Son, who's peace song Lullaby was a hit in Asia in 1969. Mr. Son died last year, but his sister, Trinh Vinh Trinh was at the United Nations in New York Tuesday when the award was announced.

"[For those of you who have] chosen Vietnam as the venue for 2004, and for those of you who nominated my brother as one honoree for 2004 awards, I thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said.

The World Peace Award concert will be held in the Vietnamese capital June 26. It will feature several big names from around the world, including Lionel Ritchie and Gloria Gaynor from the United States, as well the singing star Hakim from Egypt.

At a news briefing Tuesday, Hakim performed together with the U.S. soul music legend James Brown. Producer Miles Copeland says the goal of the Hanoi concert will be to create musical combinations across national and cultural boundaries.

"For instance, Hakim, from Egypt, singing in Arabic and James Brown from the United States singing in English," he said. "These sorts of combinations highlight the purpose of the World Peace Awards, to show that by people working together, we can bridge cultural and ethnic and political differences, and that's really what it's all about."

Mr. Copeland says the World Peace Awards ceremony and concert will be televised live by satellite. The first concert, held last year on the Indonesian island of Bali, featured artists from more than 25 countries, and is believed to have been seen in almost every country in the world.