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Air Supply performing in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) _ Air Supply are performing for two nights in Cuba, adding the communist country to a list of exotic venues including North Vietnam, Lebanon and mainland China.

Vocalist Russell Hitchcock said the rock group, which rose to popularity in the 1980s with the song ``All Out of Love,'' produces music that is able to transcend language.

``We're always very excited to take our music to places we've never been before,'' he said at a news conference Thursday.

Songwriter Graham Russell's ``lyrics and melodies seem to touch people's hearts very deeply, very quickly,'' Hitchcock said.

In May, Audioslave played an outdoor concert in Havana. Rick Wakeman of Yes fame performed in the capital in April.

Cuba invited Air Supply to the island, indicating a new pattern of encouraging rock and pop music in a country where rockers were once chastised for having long hair.

A large crowd attended the Thursday night show in an open-air venue next to the Malecon, the city's famed seawall. A second performance was scheduled Friday at the Karl Marx theater.

Ahead of Air Supply's arrival, Cuba's Juventud Rebelde newspaper said group members ``became idols for thousands of Cubans in the '80s, who `sang' their songs despite barely speaking English.''

``But we would have never imagined that one day they would come here,'' the newspaper said. ``And here they are!''

Among Air Supply's most beloved songs on the island are ``Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You),'' ``Making Love Out of Nothing at All'' and ``Every Woman in the World.''

``It's obvious that we have a lot of fans here that span more than one generation,'' Hitchcock said.
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