The doe-eyed Hozier (25) takes to the stage, clad all in black, and before he begins the chart-burning ‘Take Me To Church’, that he wrote himself, he peers out under his mane of luscious, beach hair to take in the crowd and smiles quietly to himself.
The raven-haired Dave Grohl, who has a smile that goes on for miles, shows his humorous side onstage as he fires off jokes, that are seemingly off the cuff. The jokes abruptly stop so he can focus before ripping into ‘Breakout’ and who could be the subject of that song.
Known to all as Taylor Swift’s best friend and Laura Sheeran’s younger cousin, Ed Sheeran has had a busy year. The flame-haired singer has a habit of writing heartbroken songs about his ex-girlfriends – including Ellie Goulding, who allegedly cheated on him with One Direction’s blond bombshell Niall Horan – while maintaining a happy-go-lucky, clean cut image in the press. Who’s next on his list to break his heart? Ladies, watch out. He’ll take that heartache and will make a hit song out of you.
In a white top that reveals just the smallest tease of greying chest hair, light blue denims and a tattered apron around his waist, Bruce Springsteen (65) invites us into his home. The white-washed walls are adorned with gold records, photos with celebrity friends and awards but the greatest achievement, he says, as the air is filled with the smell of the roast lamb he has cooking in the kitchen, is balancing life as a worldwide superstar and being an attentive father to his three children Jessica, Sam and Evan.
Eddie Vedder (50) is no stranger to noise so when the crowd in Dublin start a rousing chorus of ‘Olé Olé Olé’, he tucks his hair behind his ear and bares a toothy grin. Unlike the showy Jack White, Vedder modestly wears figure-hugging jeans and a loose-fitting plaid shirt as he sashays across the stage, guitar strap casually draped around his neck. The father-of-two quickly regains control of the crowd before wowing them with a heartfelt performance of ‘Alive’.
In what can only be perceived as a publicity stunt, the notoriously difficult Prince has called for tapes recorded from the radio with his music on them to be mailed to his Minnesota home. At 57, the twice-divorced, slender singer has been busy touring with his all-female band 3rdeyegirl so it’s a wonder he has the time to do anything else. Yesterday evening, he emerged in skintight yoga pants and a low-cut vintage shirt and pinned the delicately written open letter to the door of studio. The letter, written entirely in lilac calligraphy, asks for all tapes containing copyrighted music to be returned to him where he shall then burn them in a ritual, cleansing bonfire. When asked by a photographer about his slim frame, he says: “I swear by bikram yoga, it’s the only way to stay in shape”, before turning on his heel, flaunting his famous rear and closing the church-like doors to his gothic mansion.
Kanye West is a feisty fellow. Unpredictable and outspoken, he makes sure that no one can pin him down. “I’m just being me, you know?” he explains, as he tries to ignore his phone that keeps vibrating on the crystal glass coffee table. His latest album is raw but he insists that he can juggle the roles of being an adoring father to North West and being an all-powerful, globe-trotting superstar. With the second baby on the way, I ask if he thinks it will slow down his workload. “No,” he chuckles, “my children and my wife inspire me daily. Without them, there would be no Kanye the godlike performer.”
Although many people say that Sting should give it up, the toned 63-year-old has no intentions of retiring just yet. His last album, the folk and jazz fused The Last Ship, was released to 2013 and in this modern age, when EDM and hip-hop are riding high in the charts, he has to compete with young musicians like Justin Bieber (21), Wiz Khalifa (27) and David Guetta (47) to remain relevant.
In person, Damien Rice is petit. Almost waif-like. The 41-year-old ex-boyfriend of Renee Zellweger insists that he loves to have a pizza night, just like the rest of us. “I’m not glitz and glam. Honestly,’ he says, as he takes a sip of his chilled Miller – Lite, if you must know. “I prefer nothing more than a Chinese takeaway or a quiet night out in Brady’s in Maynooth.” He may be known to those in Hollywood but it’s not a rarity to spot the singer hopping on the 67 from Celbridge into town to meet old friends for coffee.
There’s a softness to Bruno Mars. At 29 years of age, it seems as if he has lived this life more than once. What’s next for him? He sighs and looks off into the distance, his long eyelashes batting gently. Dusting a piece of lint of his crisp, white Prada shirt with his well-manicured hands, he shakes his head and asks “Who can ever answer that honestly?” He looks around his pristine beach house in Malibu, where he lives alone, and you wonder if his silence is echoing the silence in this home, which would comfortably fit a wife and three kids.
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