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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
US musicians begin anti-Bush tour
Vote for Change artists
Springsteen said Bush 'manipulated the American people into war'
A group of top US musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and REM, have begun a two-week concert tour to persuade voters to oust President George Bush.

Stars will perform in 36 cities in nine electoral swing states, culminating in an 11 October concert in Washington DC.

The Vote for Change tour will include performances by The Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.

Springsteen told Rolling Stone magazine that Bush had been "fundamentally dishonest" in launching war on Iraq.

Crucial states

"It made me angry... I felt we had been misled," the 55-year-old musician said.

"I felt they had been fundamentally dishonest and had frightened and manipulated the American people into war."

Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks
Dixie Chick Natalie Maines provoked anger by criticising Bush in 2003
The tour will include crucial Midwestern swing states such as Ohio and Michigan where President Bush is running neck-and-neck with Democratic candidate John Kerry, before visiting the equally critical Florida on 8 October.

Proceeds from Vote for Change concerts will be donated to America Coming Together (ACT), a group which aims to motivate voters into defeating Bush in the 2 November election.

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, who faced strong criticism after telling a London audience that she was ashamed to share her home state of Texas with Bush, said it was time for change.

"There's never been a political climate like this, which is so the polar opposite of me as a person and what I believe in," she said.


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Watch Bruce Springsteen and REM take to the stage



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