News / Arts & Entertainment

Beyonce Starts Mrs. Carter Tour; Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil Show Opens

Singer Beyonce performs during her
Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mary Morningstar
On June 28, Beyonce launched the North American leg of her “Mrs. Carter Show World Tour” in Los Angeles.  Twenty-seven concerts are planned through August 5.  In addition, the R&B superstar will appear at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 7.  According to Billboard Boxscore, Beyonce’s last tour in 2009-2010 was attended by nearly one million fans and grossed more than $85 million.

Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil Show Opens in Vegas

In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, performers dance during a preview of the new Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson ONE”, Feb. 21, 2013.In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, performers dance during a preview of the new Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson ONE”, Feb. 21, 2013.
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In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, performers dance during a preview of the new Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson ONE”, Feb. 21, 2013.
In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, performers dance during a preview of the new Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson ONE”, Feb. 21, 2013.
On June 29, the new Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show opened at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  The cast features 63 performers and dancers.  “This is our second project with the estate of Michael Jackson, which confirms how stimulating this creative partnership was meant to be," Daniel Lamarre, president and chief executive officer of Cirque du Soleil said in a statement. "Michael Jackson is an all-time phenomenal artist, both timeless and contemporary.  As a creative challenge, this project is the ultimate.  Through the use of cutting edge technology, we will produce a new Cirque du Soleil theatrical experience not only respectful of Michael’s legacy but also very distinctive from ‘Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour.’”


Shelton Protege Bradbery Wins The Voice


Danielle Bradbery, 16, from Cypress, Texas was the Season 4 winner of The Voice One day after winning the competition, she was signed to Nashville’s Big Machine Records.  Bradbery will begin recording her debut album this week.  Her label mates at Big Machine include Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw.  Bradbery was coached on the show by Country star Blake Shelton who said, “I think it’s the most important win we have had so far on The Voice because Danielle is the first winner on The Voice that had no professional experience in the past.”  Bradbery also won the $100,000 grand prize.  On this week’s Hot Country Songs chart, she enters at Number 22 with her cover of Jessica Andrews’ “Who I Am” and at Number 30 with her rendition of Tim McGraw’s “Please Remember Me.”  Third place finalists The Swon Brothers also have two songs on the list.  They come in at Number 16 with “Danny’s Song” and at Number 29 with “Turn the Page.”   Pop singer Michelle Chamuel, 27, from Massachusetts was the second place finalist.

Black Sabath Scores No. 1 Album

Singer Ozzy Osbourne, right, and musician Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath pose for a portrait, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.Singer Ozzy Osbourne, right, and musician Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath pose for a portrait, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.
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Singer Ozzy Osbourne, right, and musician Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath pose for a portrait, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Singer Ozzy Osbourne, right, and musician Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath pose for a portrait, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Classic hard rock group Black Sabbath earns its first Number One album on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with 13.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album sold 155,000 copies in the U.S. its opening week.  13 is Black Sabbath’s first album with lead singer Ozzy Osbourne since 1978’s Never Say Die.  The set also entered the U.K. albums chart at Number One, which marks Black Sabbath’s first chart-topper on that list since 1970.  This week’s other Top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200 chart include 24/Seven by Big Time Rush (Number 4), Magnetic by Goo Goo Dolls (Number 8), the motion picture soundtrack to Man Of Steel (Number 9) and The Wack Album by The Lonely Island” (Number 10).

Rolling Stones Catalog Now on iTunes

Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Jersey, Dec. 15, 2012.
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Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their
Mick Jagger (L) and Keith Richards perform onstage during the Rolling Stones final concert of their "50 and Counting Tour" in Newark, New Jersey, Dec. 15, 2012.
The Rolling Stones are offering their entire catalog on iTunes.  The band has its own area at the online store, iTunes.com/TheRollingStones.  The albums are bundled in two sets, “The Complete Collection Box Set 1963-1971” and “The Complete Collection Box Set 1971-2013.”  Also available on their site are an eBook, a Rolling Stones app, documentaries, singles and live releases.

New Album Releases / June 25:

 “Jammin’ With Friends” by Bret Michaels
“VH1 Storytellers” by Alicia Keys
“Zero” by Hawthorne Heights
“Songversation” by India Arie
“Love In The Future” by John Legend
“”One True Vine” by Mavis Staples
“Natalie Cole en Espanol” by Natalie Cole
“Identity Picks” by Ryan Power
“Moonlander” by Pearl Jam’s guitarist Stone Gossard

Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits

Country Stampede 2013 was be held June 27-30 at Turtle Creek State Park in Manhattan, Kansas.  The four-day festival featured appearances by Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Pistol Annies, Scotty McCreery and many other Country stars.  This marks the 18th consecutive year for the Country Stampede.  In addition to concerts, the event offers food, shopping, interactive exhibits, a saloon and camping.  Last year’s festival drew 165,000 Country fans.

The sold-out 2013 Glastonbury Festival took place June 28-30.  The annual event is held on a dairy farm near Pilton, Somerset in southwestern England.  This year’s lineup included the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes and Rufus Wainwright, among others.  Approximately 135,000 music fans are expected to attend this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

Some of the biggest names in jazz, blues and world music are set to perform at this week’s 2013 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.  They include Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John and Wayne Shorter.  Some 3,000 musicians from five continents will perform in 15 concert halls.  In addition, the festival offers hundreds of free outdoor concerts.  The 10-day Festival International de Jazz de Montreal runs from June 28 to July 7.

Star Birthdays

Jason Mraz attends The Star 94 Jingle Jam at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Dec. 13, 2012, in Atlanta.Jason Mraz attends The Star 94 Jingle Jam at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Dec. 13, 2012, in Atlanta.
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Jason Mraz attends The Star 94 Jingle Jam at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Dec. 13, 2012, in Atlanta.
Jason Mraz attends The Star 94 Jingle Jam at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Dec. 13, 2012, in Atlanta.
On June 23, singer Jason Mraz celebrated his 36th birthday.  Jason released five independent CDs before earning his commercial breakthrough in 2003 with the hit single “Remedy (I Won’t Worry).”  It was included on his major label debut, Waiting for My Rocket to Come.  Jason’s third album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, was released in 2008.  Its hit “I’m Yours” spent 76 weeks on the chart to become the longest-charting song in Billboard history.  His latest album, Love Is A Four Letter Word, produced the Top 10 hit “I Won’t Give Up” and brought him this year’s Teen Choice Award for Best Pop Male Artist. 

June 23 marked the birth date of June Carter Cash (born 1929).  The wife of Country legend Johnny Cash, June began performing at age 10 on the Carter Family’s radio shows.  When the Carter Family disbanded in 1943, siblings June, Anita and Helen Carter went on the road with their mother as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters.  June began touring with Johnny Cash in 1961.   They married seven years later.  In 1967, their duet “Jackson” won a Grammy Award.  They earned another Grammy in 1970 for “If I Were A Carpenter.”  June co-wrote Johnny’s 1963 hit “Ring of Fire,” which was first recorded by her younger sister Anita.  Johnny’s version reached Number One on the Country chart.  She won another Grammy Award for her 1999 album, “Press On.”  June died following heart surgery in May of 2003.  Her final album, “Wildwood Flower,” was released in August of that year.  It earned the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album and its track “Keep On the Sunny Side” brought her that year’s Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.  In 2007, Dual Tone Records released “Anchored In Love: A Tribute To June Carter Cash.”  The album features Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Elvis Costello, and others singing songs written or made famous by June. 

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood turned 71 on June 24.  From 1975 to 1990, Fleetwood Mac recorded fifteen Top 40 hits, including “Rhiannon,” “Sara” and “Gypsy.”  Fleetwood Mac reunited in 2003 to record the studio album “Say You Will.”  It marked the band’s first album to feature the classic lineup of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham and John McVie since 1987’s “Tango In The Night.”  In 2002, Mick teamed with California winemakers to create his own Private Cellar label.  In 2009, Savoy Jazz Records released the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band’s latest album, “Blues Again.”  The collection earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album.  Mick is also a photographer.  Last year, his “Rhythm of a Rose” exhibit was shown at the Mouche Gallery in Los Angeles.  Ten percent of proceeds from sales of his art went to the Music Unites program, which works to get music education in inner-city classrooms.  Fleetwood Mac will wrap up its 48-date North American tour on July 6.  European shows begin on September 20.  This past April, the band released the new four-song EP, “Extended Play.” 

On June 25, singer Carly Simon celebrated her 68th birthday.  In 1971, she made her first appearance on the pop charts with the Top 10 single, “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.”  That same year, Simon won the Best New Artist Grammy.  In 1972, she recorded her biggest hit, “You’re So Vain.”  The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.  Several of Carly’s singles have been featured in motion pictures, including “Nobody Does It Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “Coming Around Again” from “Heartburn,” and “Let The River Run” from “Working Girl.”  In 1995, Arista Records released Simon’s 3-CD anthology “Clouds In My Coffee (1965-1995).”  The following year, she signed a book deal with her father’s publishing firm, Simon & Schuster, which issued Carly’s fifth children’s book, “Midnight Farm.”  In 1997, she recorded the album, “Film Noir,” which includes her interpretations of tunes by Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter and others.  Carly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.  She reflected on her health problems in the songs on her 2000 CD, “The Bedroom Tapes.”  Carly’s latest album, “Never Been Gone,” includes acoustic versions of her many hits.  She’s now writing her autobiography, which will be published by Random House. 

On June 26, singer George Michael celebrated his 50th birthday.  Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in London, he formed the British duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley.  Their first album, “Fantastic,” was released in 1983.  The following year, Wham’s “Make It Big” album made them international superstars.  It produced the Number One hits “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper” and “Everything She Wants.”  In 1987, George recorded his first solo album, “Faith.”  Sales of the collection surpassed 10 million copies in the U.S.  It also topped the Billboard 200 chart and became the first album by a white solo artist to reach Number One on the R&B chart.  The album produced four chart-topping singles, including the title track, “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey.”  In 2006, George performed his first European tour in 15 years to support his greatest hits album, “25.”  His 2008 “25 Live” tour marked his first North American tour in 17 years.  “25” was released in the U.S. in April 2008.  It features six new songs, including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige.  To commemorate the 30th anniversary of his first single “Wham Rap” last year, Michael released the new single “White Light.”  Last month, he suffered head injuries from a car accident.  Michael spent a week in the hospital and is reportedly working on new album while he continues to recuperate at home. 

Singer Leigh Nash will turn 37 on June 27.  In the early 1990s, Leigh formed the pop band Sixpence None The Richer with guitarist Matt Slocum.  In 1999, the group gained international attention with its third album.  The self-titled collection included the smash hit “Kiss Me,” which climbed to Number 2 on the Hot 100 chart.  Their fourth and final album, “Divine Discontent,” was released in 2002.  After Sixpence None The Richer broke up, Leigh launched a solo career.  In 2006, she released “Blue On Blue” on her own One Son Records label.  In 2007, Leigh performed vocals on the album “Fauxliage” by the Canadian electronic music group Delerium.  In 2010, Sixpence None The Richer reunited to record a new album.  Following a two-year delay, the group’s latest album “Lost In Transition” was released in late 2012 on its own Sixpence, Inc. record label.

Kellie Pickler arrives at the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 9, 2011.Kellie Pickler arrives at the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 9, 2011.
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Kellie Pickler arrives at the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 9, 2011.
Kellie Pickler arrives at the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 9, 2011.
On June 28, Country singer Kellie Pickler celebrated her 27th birthday.  Kellie finished sixth in the fifth season of “American Idol.”  Following a tour with the other Top 10 finalists, Kellie recorded her debut album for BNA Records.  “Small Town Girl” produced three Top 20 Country singles, “Red High Heels,” “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” and “I Wonder,” a song she wrote about her estranged relationship with her mother.  Kellie’s self-titled second album also included several hits, including “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life,” which features Country star Taylor Swift on guitar, “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” and “Makin’ Me Fall In Love Again.”  On January 1, 2011, Kellie married Nashville songwriter Kyle Jacobs.  Her 2012 album, “100 Proof,” received many positive reviews, but has sold very poorly.  Kellie was paired with professional dancer Derek Hough on this year’s “Dancing With The Stars” show.  They won the competition.  Kellie is currently on the Country chart with her new ballad, “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” the lead single from her upcoming fourth album. 

June 28 marked the birth date (b. 1914) of the late Lester Flatt.  In 1948, he and Earl Scruggs formed the bluegrass duo Flatt & Scruggs.  During their years together, they recorded such bluegrass standards as “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” which topped the Country charts for three months.  The duo split up in 1969 and Lester formed the Nashville Grass.  He died ten years later (5/11/79) at age 64. 

On June 29, rhythm-and-blues singer Evelyn “Champagne” King celebrated her 53rd birthday.  The New York native was discovered at Sigma Recording Studios, where she worked as a cleaning person.  King scored her biggest hit in 1978 with the million-selling Top 10 single, “Shame.”  Her R&B hits in the 1980s included “I’m In Love,” “Love Come Down” and “Betcha She Don’t Love You.”  In 2008, King recorded “Open Book,” her first new studio album since 1995.

Look Who's Going on Tour!

On June 25, pop-rock bands Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 began a co-headlining tour in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Goo Goo Dolls new album, Magnetic, debuted on last week’s Billboard 200 chart at Number 8.  Matchbox 20’s North was released in late 2012 and became the group’s first album to top the Billboard 200 chart.

This image released by Starpix shows singer Pink performing during an appearance on the This image released by Starpix shows singer Pink performing during an appearance on the "Today" show, Sept. 18, 2012 in New York. Pink was promoting her new album, "The Truth About Love."
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This image released by Starpix shows singer Pink performing during an appearance on the
This image released by Starpix shows singer Pink performing during an appearance on the "Today" show, Sept. 18, 2012 in New York. Pink was promoting her new album, "The Truth About Love."
Pink kicked off the Australian leg of her “Truth About Love Tour” on June 25.  The 46-date tour got underway with four shows in Perth.  Also scheduled through September 8 are four concerts in Hindmarsh, eight in Boondall, 18 in Melbourne, four in Sydney and eight in Darling Harbour.  Pink’s North American itinerary includes 36 shows from October 10 to December 14.

The Americanarama Festival of Music Tour began on June 26 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Headliners Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket will appear in 26 U.S. cities through August 4.  Other acts set to perform at some of the stops include the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, Bob Weir and Ryan Bingham.

The “IDOL Live! 2013 Tour” kicked off in St. Louis, Missouri on June 29.  American Idol Season 12 Top 10 finalists Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Burnell Taylor, Candice Glover, Curtis Finch Jr., Devin Velez, Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Lazaro Arbos and Paul Jolley will be joined by 11th place finalist Aubrey Cleland.  During the competition, Cleland won the AT&T American Idol Live! Tour Fan Save.  One dollar from every ticket sold on the “IDOL’s Live” tour will go to The Melanoma Research Alliance to help fund treatments and a cure for the skin cancer.

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Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

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