Concerts have taken place around the world to put pressure on political leaders to tackle poverty in Africa.

The main concert in the Live8 series of global events took place in London's Hyde Park.

Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, Coldplay, Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams and U2 all performed at the London venue.

The events from London, South Africa, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, the US, Canada, and Edinburgh were expected to attract a global television audience of two billion.

African music was showcased at a Live 8 concert at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The African-only event was announced in mid-June after criticism that the main Hyde Park extravaganza did not feature enough black artists.

In London, Paul McCartney and U2 opened the show with a rendition of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Among those appearing on stage to voice support for the cause were the Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates and the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

A estimated crowd of up to one million people attended the Philadelphia leg of the event, which was hosted by Will Smith.

Organiser Bob Geldof said his aim was to force leaders of the Group of Eight major industrialised nations, meeting in Scotland next week, to do more to alleviate poverty, particularly in Africa.

Meanwhile, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in Edinburgh for a 'Make Poverty History' rally.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, told campaigners at the rally that the fight against poverty in Africa was the 'greatest moral crusade of our times'.

Mr Brown hailed the campaigners from 'Make Poverty History', charities and church groups who have forced the issue to the top of the international agenda.

A 2,000 strong police security operation is in place although police say they are hopeful there will not be any trouble.