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London brings down the curtain on Olympics

London staged the final fanfare of the 2012 Olympic Games in a closing ceremony to reflect British popular music through the decades.

The show in the Olympic Stadium, entitled "A symphony of British Music," celebrated a succession of different musical styles from different eras of pop.

There was a sellout 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium, with an estimated 300 million people watching around the world to see the 16-day sporting spectacle draw to a close.

The concert opened with a countdown followed by the chimes of Big Ben and a reading from Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

There was also a mock-up of a London rush hour, featuring cars and trucks; as well as an appearance by Britain's Prince Harry.

The ceremony then switched to a celebration of British music with appearances by artists including Madness, George Michael and Fatboy Slim.

Spectators were also treated to a rendition of the much-loved song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," by Eric Idle of the Monty Python crew and a performance of the official Olympic song "Survival" by alternative rock act Muse .

Also on the bill were acts such as The Spice Girls and The Who, with a section devoted to future hosts Rio de Janeiro, followed by closing speeches by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge and organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe.

rc/ch (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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