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Rod Stewart is encouraging performers to take to the streets and raise money for a cancer research charity.

The 64-year-old has been made a patron of Cancer Research UK's Busking Cancer 2009, an event that will take place in the UK from June 20-27.

“When it comes to busking, I’m your man,” he said. “That’s how I started in the early 60s on the streets of Paris. So the idea of Busking Cancer has my support. It’s what music is all about just getting out there and singing or playing for the sheer joy of it. And if you can earn a few quid for Cancer Research UK – a few quid that might just help to save someone’s life – what could be better?”

Last year’s Busking Cancer event – in which street performers from a wide range of genres donated their takings to Cancer Research UK – was a huge success. Fronted by Madness frontman Suggs, the event featured celebrities such as Sandi Thom.

“If you love music, busking is the perfect way to fundraise,” said Suggs. “You get to do what you enjoy and people love to stop and listen. You decide what you sing, where you play and when you do it. You can go it alone or hook up with other bands for a bigger, organized event. The important thing is that you take part, raise some money and of course – have some fun.”

For more information about the event, see the official website

Edit: Sandi Thom did not perform in 2008, but expressed her official support for the event.

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