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Coldplay offers free single, gigs

Setting the stage for the arrival of Coldplay’s new album, “Viva la Vida,” the British group is making the first single, “Violet Hill,” available for free download for one week starting today and has announced free concerts in London and New York City around the time the album comes out June 17.

The shows will be June 17 at Brixton Academy in London and June 23 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets will be available through a contest on the band’s website, which also will be the platform for downloading the single before it’s available from digital retailers on May 6.

The new album, the follow-up to Coldplay’s multi-platinum 2005 collection, “X&Y;,” is widely considered one of the year’s biggest releases and was produced by Brian Eno and Markus Dravs.

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-- Randy Lewis


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