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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 01:48 GMT
Music stars look back on 2004
2004 has been another busy year for music, filled with new releases, chart successes and flops, festivals and gigs, plus the annual round of awards ceremonies. Musicians who have been busy in the last year tell us their personal highlights of the past 12 months - and the events that made the musical world rock.

Keane

Lemar

Duran Duran
Katie Melua

Travis

Razorlight

KEANE'S TIM RICE-OXLEY

Sussex "guitarless rock" trio Keane, including songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley, came top of the BBC News website's Sound of 2004 poll, and went on to realise their promise with a chart-topping debut album and a flurry of hit singles.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

We've had a ridiculously amazing year, but I think for all of us in the band the highlight was 10 May, the day our album came out.

Keane
Everyone was singing, people were crying - it was much more than just another festival moment
Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley

We had been playing together and struggling along as a band for a good six or seven years without any success.

To finally have a record we could hold in our hands, see in the shops and hear on the radio was a massive thing for us.

We played at the Forum in London that night and I can remember at the end of Somewhere Only We Know, looking up and seeing everyone on their feet, hands in the air, singing along.

It really felt like everyone was willing us on, that everyone really knew what that day meant to us. I'll never forget that moment.

The best musical moments of the year?

Paul McCartney headlining Glastonbury was very special.

He's had his fair share of ups and downs and is certainly not considered a cool person to like.

I felt that at Glastonbury there was a great sense of laying down arms.

Everyone in that enormous crowd was saying forget fashion, forget cool, this is possibly the greatest songwriter ever up on stage, ripping through one genuine classic after another.

Everyone was singing, people were crying - it was much more than just another festival moment.

LEMAR

R&B singer Lemar emerged from the BBC Fame Academy to become a credible recording star - he has released two albums, scored hit singles and walked off with the Brit Award for Best Urban Act.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

For me it was recording my album, and also the return of Usher - a real talent and a great guy.

The best musical moments of the year?

Lemar
Brit Award-winner Lemar took part in the Band Aid 20 recording

It's got to be Band Aid 20, which has turned out to be huge. Being part of that was such an honour.

I feel it's been an especially good year for music in this country.

Just take a look at the album charts - they are so diverse, and full of real British talent in all genres, from Dizzee Rascal to Keane.

It's an honest reflection of the broad taste of music fans in this country, and long may it continue.

DURAN DURAN'S JOHN TAYLOR

1980s band Duran Duran made a high-profile comeback in 2004, releasing their first record to feature the original line-up since 1983, including bassist John Taylor. They won the Brit Award for their outstanding contribution to music.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

Touring Britain so successfully and after so many years, and making a deal with Sony against the odds.

We also made a damn good album that we all feel good about - astounding!

The best musical moments of the year?

Duran Duran
Duran Duran enjoyed a renaissance in 2004

It was such an incredible year for myself and the band that all highlights involve us.

But if I had to reach out for a highlight that wasn't Duran-orientated, I'd say it was singer Ashlee Simpson getting busted for miming on Saturday Night Live, perhaps?

Kelis's Trick Me was the song of the summer, and Madonna's show this year was awesome.

KATIE MELUA

Singer-songwriter Katie Melua made a rapid rise to musical fame after being championed by Terry Wogan. Her debut album Call Off The Search reached the top of the charts, and she was considered part of the easy listening revolution.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

Katie Melua
Katie Melua's middle-of-the-road sound has won numerous fans

It was playing at the same venue the late Eva Cassidy played called The Alexandria in Birchmore, the US. It felt very special to be on the same stage as she had been.

Before that it was when the album went to number one in the UK - that was incredible and something I certainly didn't expect.

The best musical moments of the year?

It was the reformation of Band Aid to raise money for something so extremely critical.

It was a very humbling experience to see what has been achieved due to the original Band Aid single, and I hope that 20 years on we can, once more, make a difference.

FRAN HEALY OF TRAVIS

Scottish band Travis, including frontman Fran Healy, capped off another year with their first greatest hits package, Singles, which flew high into the album chart.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

It has to be doing Band Aid. It was an amazing experience. I was there from the backing track onwards, playing with Thom Yorke and Paul McCartney - all these amazing people, your heroes.

It was a total surprise at the end of the year which I'll never forget.

The best musical moments of the year?

There are two bands that have done amazingly well - Franz Ferdinand, a brilliant band. I was in New York on holiday and we blagged our way into their gig.

Fran Healy in Sudan
Fran Healy travelled to Sudan on behalf of Band Aid

When you're on your way up you don't appreciate what's happening, and I watched them playing and remembered doing it myself - living vicariously through other people's success is great!

Keane are fab - Tom Chaplin's one of the best singers to come out of the UK. Doing the Band Aid thing, when he started singing, everyone was saying how incredible his voice is.

They've so much scope for them to take their sound. We had them on tour with us - they were great.

RAZORLIGHT'S JOHNNY BORRELL

Rock band Razorlight, fronted by Johnny Borrell, were highly fancied for success in the BBC News website's Sound of 2004 poll. They went on to break both the singles and album charts, and picked up the Q Award for Best New Act.

Your own musical highs of 2004?

Our own high point of the year has to be playing a headline concert at London's Brixton Academy.

People were moshing all the way to the back, which just has to prove that our fans are undoubtedly the best.

The best musical moments of the year?

In terms of recordings, the best album of the year has got to be Aha Shake Heartbreak by the Kings of Leon.




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