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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Powell goes disco for Asean forum
Colin Powell
Powell: Between a rock and a hard place
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has wowed fellow foreign ministers at an Asean security meeting, with a rousing rendition of a disco classic.

Mr Powell donned a hard hat and stuffed a hammer in his belt for the Village People's YMCA, a massive 1970s hit.

He was backed by five US officials, all imitating the gaily flamboyant outfits of the original band.

Ministers regularly give their own take on classic tunes at the after-dinner show, a highlight of the annual forum.

Mr Powell and his colleagues - in costumes including those of a policeman and a native American - were happy to wind down from a hard day discussing security issues.

"President Bush, he said to me, Colin I need you to run the department of state," the secretary of state to the tune of the original. "We are between a rock and a hard place."

Love duet

But Mr Powell was not the only minister vying for the audience's attention.

Makiko Tanaka and Colin Powell
Powell's roll on the floor with Tanaka was universally ridiculed
The Russian delegation traditionally seeks the limelight, and this time Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made waves with his version of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

Nor was it the first time Mr Powell has caused a sensation at the forum.

Three years ago, a skit in which he rolled around on the floor in a love duet with his then Japanese counterpart Makiko Tanaka was universally panned, and prompted harsh words from his wife Alma.

A year later, he ran a video compilation of the world and his wife, literally, begging him not to sing again.

The BBC's Tim Willcox
"In any league table of politician's most embarrassing moments, it must rank pretty high"

Asean talks turn to song
02 Aug 02 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Powell's love song
27 Jul 01 |  Asia-Pacific
Village People back at the YMCA
15 Nov 99 |  Entertainment


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