Olympics 2012: Kate Bush, George Michael, The Who Tipped to Perform at Closing Ceremony
LONDON -- Kate Bush is one of the biggest music names mentioned here as a potential performer at Sunday's star-studded closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The singer's name is being bandied about in the British media alongside acts touted as already booked, including Muse, George Michael, The Who and the much-anticipated reunion of Spice Girls.
Also featuring in the hotly anticipated mix is The X-Factor U.K. boy band finalists and Simon Cowell progeny One Direction, an appearance by Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye and a turn from singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Michael tweeted in the early hours of Thursday morning: "Have to get up at a reasonable time to get to the dress rehearsal....xxxxxx"
Madness and Pet Shop Boys, according to reports, also have been added to the stellar bill of music stars, with Paul McCartney tipped to make an appearance to sing another Beatles hit following his role in the opening ceremony.
The music director of the Olympic closing ceremony, David Arnold, told The Telegraph that he thinks the closing ceremony "should be the greatest afterparty in the world."
Said Arnold: “If the opening ceremony was the wedding, then we’re the wedding reception. We’re the one where everyone gets out of their cars at the village hall and goes: 'Wasn’t that lovely? Everyone looked great. Let’s put on Blame It on the Boogie and have a laugh'."
Arnold, who has written an original score to tie together all the booked acts, told the Telegraph the show aims to mark a celebration of Britishness in terms of the arts. That includes "design, fashion, fine art, poetry and playwriting all sitting fairly and squarely on popular music."
Arnold has been working on the music content for the ceremony alongside artistic director Kim Gavin, a theatrical and ballet choreographer, and designer Es Devlin, who has created sets for Lady Gaga and Rihanna for the closing ceremony.
A big part of the ceremony -- outside the required Olympic formalities of the athletes parade, the medal ceremony for the men's marathon and the handover to the next host city Rio de Janeiro in four years' time -- will play out under the name "A Symphony of British Music."
The British media -- from the BBC to newspapers including The Telegraph and the tabloids and music paper NME, have been abuzz in recent days about just what could and should be on the playlist as part of the closing ceremony.
Media speculation and wish lists have included Ray Davies of the Kinks, Adele, Paul Weller and Queen.
And no speculation would be complete from a British point of view without the prospects of an appearance by The Rolling Stones to give Mick Jagger one more opportunity after 50 years of the band to shout "allo London" one more time.
But, as with the opening ceremony, the exact nature and makeup of the show and acts is a heavily guarded secret.
But as the games have already become the most successful Olympics for Team Great Britain, surpassing Beijing 2008's gold medal tally for the team's best in more than a century, it is expected to be a massive media, cultural and musical celebration.
The closing ceremony, featuring more than 4,100 performers, will kick off at 9 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) on Sunday in the Olympic Stadium.