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Live vote: should celebs be part of the indyref debate?

Never mind the politicians, the celebrities are making the indyref debate colourful.

After recent heavyweight speeches by Chancellor George Osborne and First Minister Alex Salmond, in the past 48 hours Scots designer Christopher Kane has backed a United Kingdom, while David Bowie indirectly used his Brit Awards acceptance speech to plead: "Scotland, stay with us."

As our comment threads on Bowie and Kane demonstrate, it's a contentious issue.

So today, as an experiment, we're running a unique real-time text vote, posing the question: Do you think celebrities should be part of the independence debate?

If you want to hear their views, text "stars yes"  to 80360 - if you think they should keep out, text "stars no" to 80360.

Texts cost 50p plus your normal operator text charge. Text lines open 20/02/2014 and close 21/02/2014 at 11:59am.

We'll update our chart below regularly throughout Thursday, from early on Friday, and let you know the result after the voting closes at noon.

For and against

Aberdeen-born singer Annie Lennox is the highest-profile musician to have backed the principle of an independent Scotland. The Eurythmics star and environmentalist said: "There is an opportunity for something innovative and visionary. Scotland could have some kind of new, ethical, visionary stance and it could take on some fresh ideas. That could be amazing, really amazing."

Former Oasis manager Alan McGee is another to have tied his colours to the pro-independence mast. The music guru and founder of Creation Records said: "Scotland should have more powers. It should be much more like Ireland and a Celtic haven for artists. We should be making it easier for people to exist, with tax breaks not just for musicians to live in their home country but artists like Jim Lambie who shouldn't have to live in New York."

English singer Billy Bragg proclaimed in 2011 the only way England could politically "wake up" was if Scotland becomes independent. A supporter of Scottish independence, Bragg wrote in 2014 the campaign was "an attempt to break with the Thatcherite agenda and create a new settlement that puts people before profit. Those in England who believe that our own society needs to be rebalanced along similar lines should wake up and join the debate."

Scots folk-band The Proclaimers have long been in support of Scotland going it alone. In an interview in July 2013, Craig Reid said: "For me and Charlie it's not about patriotism or nationalism. I'm not into flag waving and it's not about identity. It's about where the power lies and who wields it, and we believe independence would give a more equitable society."

But Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri has questioned the viability of an independent nation. The Scottish-born singer said: "I think it's very important to have a Scottish Government who make decisions for Scotland but I can't understand how Scotland would survive independently. We don't have the resources - like oil and gas - we'd need to keep Scotland afloat. And to me, if you can't survive, then what's the point of breaking away?"

Rockstar Rod Stewart has also spoken of his opposition to Scottish independence. The singer, who is of joint Scottish and English ancestry, said: "I'd hate to see the union broken after all these years. It's always been a spiritual home - but as I don't live there I shouldn't comment on independence. If it's good for the Scots I'm happy."

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