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"We allow each other to pursue our goals. I wouldn't want to be married to someone who was not happy with what they were doing with their life and Bono wouldn't either." — Ali Hewson

Stars are Set for Pavarotti Gig

U2's Bono, Eric Clapton and Ricky Martin are just a few of the stars who have been preparing for Luciano Pavarotti's annual charity show.

This year's "Pavarotti and Friends Annual Charity Show" in Modena, northern Italy, aims to raise money to help Iraqi refugees return home after the war.

Bono, who is performing "Miserere" with Pavarotti, says he finds mixing rock and opera easy.

"Look, I grew up listening to Pavarotti, listening to opera. My father was working class, Dublin man, and his head was filled with opera.

"As I grew up, I was only shouting at my father 'turn that down' because I thought opera was like heavy metal. But it's in my blood somewhere, and I think in an odd way, U2 is opera. You know, it's very emotional music.

As a United Nations ambassador, Bono has visited many countries to outline the plight of refugees and the hardship brought by war.

Asked if he would consider visiting Iraq one day, Bono said he would like it, but not in a near future.

"I am looking forward to going to Iraq. I don't want to go right now in case I start another war. Oh God, Bono is coming! Peace ends! Irish person, megalomaniac ran amok!"

After a two-year break, Ricky Martin recently returned in the spotlight with his first Spanish language album in five years, Almas del Silencio.

The Grammy-winning pop star, who has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, will sing "La Mia Canzone al Vento" with Pavarotti. He is also set to perform the song "Jaleo" on his own.

Ricky is due to release his next English language album early next year, and says he will hold off touring until after its release.

Singer Liza Minnelli failed to turn up for the rehearsals after breaking her right kneecap by tripping off a small set of stairs.

But Liza, who is set to sing "New York, New York" with Pavarotti, still plans to do the concert.

The producer of the event, Nicoletta Mantovani, has been Pavarotti's partner for ten years. She gave birth to their baby girl, Alice, on January 14.

© ITV, 2003.