Monaco Revue   
Top singers come out to get party started
We dropped in on the World Music Awards at Le Sporting. What can we say? What a party!

The music may not be what would be found on our iPod – if we owned such a device (and such a statement might just betray what an old fogie I am) – but oh my, what a party! All these current and legendary chart toppers performing in the intimacy of the Le Sporting's Salle des Etoiles made for a fabulous evening.

The award show itself was preceded by a dinner and auction, with funds going to build a hospital in the conflict-plagued Darfur region of western Sudan.

Someone agreed to shell out some US$15,000 for one of the giant replicas of the awards that decorated the hall. Among other items on offer was a day in the studio with hip hop and R&B singer Akon. Hearing only, shall we say, conservative bids from the tuxedoed and bejewelled dinner guests, Akon leapt to the stage and showed he could do more than just sing. Putting on quite a salesman act, he reminded the patrons he was also a record producer, so the lucky bidder could find some big-name artiste in the studio with him, or could bring along some young hopeful. It worked. The Akon lot brought the highest takings of the evening, close to US$30,000.

Newcomer Rihanna started the show on an exuberant note with her infectious Umbrella. What a conquest for the 19-year-old Bajan, to come to Monte Carlo and be named entertainer of the year, and be looked upon as the undisputed belle of the soiree in her head-turning green satin number.

Celine Dion (who was hailed for selling 200 million records), Avril Lavigne, Akon, Ciara and 50 Cent (on video), Patti LaBelle (accompanied by Shaggy), Italy's Laura Pausini, Mexican rock band Mana and Egyptian singer Amr Diab all put on a good show.

LaBelle, who was seated at the princely table, was charmed. On stage as she accepted an award for her contribution to R&B, the legendary diva thanked Prince Albert II of Monaco for hosting the event in his country. "Isn't he cute," she declared. From where we stood, we could not see the princely visage, but we'd bet anything it was right royally flushed.

The night brought an unexpected insight. We won't say who, but standing close to the backstage door, we spied one performer pacing and feverishly wringing her hands in an apparent effort to calm herself before taking the stage. Someone more seasoned than Rihanna.

Anybody who's ever had to stand before a crowd and speak knows what a terrifying prospect that can be. But these people called entertainers have to go out there and hit the correct notes, usually while following some choreographed dance routine, and work up the crowd. Seeing this particular performer struggle to conquer herself and then seeing her polished rendition once she had the microphone in her hand, my respect for her tripled. Makes you better appreciate what an effort all those entertainers put out to get us to laugh, sing or dance.

Photos: © Edward Wright of

Prince Albert with Canada's Celine Dion
Patti LaBelle arrives in style in Monte Carlo
Barbados-born Rihanna and hip hop singer Akon
The guys of Mexican rock band Mana

The smooth as velvet Shaggy A glammed-up Avril Lavigne
Host of the event, Nip/Tuck star Julian McMahon  Mika sans his voice but cool in lime green


Comments to date: 9. Page 1 of 1.

Della,  California

Posted at 11:20am on Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Did your reporter hear right? I find it incredible that any woman would describe Monaco's Prince Albert as "cute". But then again, LaBelle is 63 and the Prince is much younger than her. Must be an age thing...she must mean it that he's cute like a bald, chubby baby.

diabfan,  United States

Posted at 4:46pm on Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Amr Diab is a stud.

dany,  israel

Posted at 10:16am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Amr Diab rocks ...

Catherine Thompson-Smith,  London

Posted at 10:00am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Granted, putting oneself before an audience is no walk in the park, but the writer is entirely too generous. Few of today's so-called artistes deserve the appellation "entertainer". Ms LaBelle, certainly. Ms Dion, yes. The others are wanting in vocal range, fluidity of movement, and artistic sinceri... read more »

Fan of Avril,  New Jersey

Posted at 9:20am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Avril is my idol. She's sooo pretty. And talented!

Avril_Rocks,  Manchester

Posted at 6:26am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Yeah, Avril gets my vote for belle of the ball.

Daphnee,  Location unknown

Posted at 6:12am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Wow, Avril is gorgeous! Mika is kinda cute, but he needs to burn that jacket.

Jenny B.,  London

Posted at 3:17am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Re the "effort" entertainers make: in all too many cases it's really a substance and not the person making the effort. And it's not just the present crop. Even a great like Sinatra turned to old Jack Daniels.

Yvette,  Quebec

Posted at 2:40am on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Congrats to Céline. She's the best.


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