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Features Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 01:02 GMT
Sting sings at Winter Olympics
Sting let it slip at the Golden Globes
Sting let it slip at the Golden Globes
British music star Sting will headline the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics, organisers have confirmed.

The Salt Lake City organising committee (Sloc) were forced to announce the line-up on Monday after names of some performers were leaked on the Golden Globe Awards television show.

"They surprised us," said Mitt Romney, president of Sloc.

"We had planned to make a separate announcement but they beat us to it."

You have to want to be part of something that is bigger and more important

Don Mischer on Olympic ceremony performers
The opening ceremony on 8 February at Rice-Eccles Stadium, is expected to pull in a television audience in the billions and will feature a diverse group of performers.

Topping the list of acts will be Grammy Award winning singer-song writer Sting, who claimed a Golden Globe Award on Sunday for best original song in a movie.

Joining the former-Police frontman on stage will be American performers Rita Coolidge and Robbie Robertson.

Others include country artists the Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes as well as the Bunkhouse Orchestra, a band that explores the pioneer and cowboy music of the old west.

The world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, classical cellist and 14 time Grammy award winner Yo-Yo Ma and the Utah Symphony will also perform.

Emmy winning producer Don Mischer, who is in charge of the opening ceremonies, said that acts such as N'Sync will be paid the minimal union wage of $900 to $1000 for appearing at Salt Lake City.

They normally command fees of $150,000 to $200,000 per performance.

"The artists who are doing this have to do it for another reason," said Mischer, who auditioned 15,000 performers before deciding on 5,000 cast members.

"They have to want to be part of the Olympics.

"When you perform at the Olympics you have to be willing not to be the sole focus, you have to want to be part of something that is bigger and more important."

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