News / USA

Celebrities Raise Money for Japan Quake, Tsunami Victims; Swift Lands Movie Role

Lady Gaga poses in the photo room at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles (file)
Lady Gaga poses in the photo room at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles (file)
Mary Morningstar

Many celebrities are using their fame to aid victims of the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami.  Katy Perry is donating proceeds from sales of tour merchandise to the Red Cross.  In only 48 hours, Lady Gaga raised $250,000 by selling “We Pray for Japan” bracelets on her website.  Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda is designing T-shirts that will benefit Music for Relief’s support efforts.  And, Blink-182 is auctioning some of its rare band memorabilia, including handwritten lyric sheets and clothing the members wore in a music video.  The sale is taking place on eBay to benefit the Red Cross.

Swift Lands Animated Film Role

Celebrities Raise Money for Japan Quake, Tsunami Victims; Swift Lands Movie Role
Celebrities Raise Money for Japan Quake, Tsunami Victims; Swift Lands Movie Role

Singer Taylor Swift has signed on to voice a character in the upcoming animated film, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.  She’ll play the love interest of Ted, who will be voiced by Zac Efron.  Also in the voicecast are Danny Devito, Betty White, Ed Helms and Rob Riggle.  The movie is based on the 1971 children’s book, which deals with protecting the environment.  It’s expected to hit theaters in March 2012.

Jermaine Jackson Plans Memoir

Jermaine Jackson
Jermaine Jackson

Reuters reports that Jermaine Jackson is writing a memoir about his family and late brother Michael.  “You Are Not Alone: Through a Brother’s Eyes” will reveal what it was like growing up in the famous family and his relationship with his parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.  It will also offer details about Michael’s private life.  The book is due out later this year.

Janet Jackson Signs Production Deal

Janet Jackson (file photo)
Janet Jackson (file photo)

In other Jackson family news, Janet Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter that she has signed a production deal with Lionsgate Films.  She’ll select, develop and produce feature films for the studio.  Janet said, “Many people forget I started out as an actor.  I have been fortunate to work in the film industry, though not as much as I would like.  I have a passion for storytelling, and have been doing it through my music for some time.”

Country Legend Husky Dies

Country legend Ferlin Husky died at a Nashville hospital on March 17.  The 85-year-old had suffered from heart disease for years.  Husky was a 2010 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.  His biggest hits included “Wings of a Dove,” “Gone” and “Dear John Letter,” which he recorded as a duet with 2011 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Jean Shepard.  He’s credited with being one of the first Country artists to bring the genre to television and also one of the first to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

New US Stamps to Feature Latin Legends

The U.S. Postal Service has issued a “Latin Music Legends (Forever)” series of postage stamps.  Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Selena, Carlos Gardel and Carmen Miranda appear on the stamps.  They were chosen for their “lasting impact on American music.”

LA Reid Steps Down as Island Def Jam Chief

Ricky Martin's "Musica Alma Sexo" CD
Ricky Martin's "Musica Alma Sexo" CD

Billboard reports that Antonio “L.A.” Reid is leaving his chairman position at Island Def Jam Records to be a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming singing competition “The X Factor.”  Auditions begin on March 27 and the show will premiere on FOX-TV in September.  The winner receives a $5-million recording deal with Sony Music.  “The X Factor” originated in the United Kingdom in 2004.


“Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia” (12-CD box set) by Aretha Franklin
“The Great American Songbook” (single CD with highlights of the box set) by Aretha Franklin
“Vices & Virtues” by Panic! At The Disco
“I Remember Me” by Jennifer Hudson
“Angles” by The Strokes
“All You Need Is Now” by Duran Duran
“F.A.M.E.” by Chris Brown
“Georgia Clay” by Josh Kelley
“The Most Incredible Thing” by the Pet Shop Boys
“Glam Nation Live” by Adam Lambert
“Forevermore” by Whitesnake
“Losing Sleep” by Edwyn Collins
“The Great Divide” by Tommy Shaw
“Legs & Other Hits” by ZZ Top

Look Who's Going On Tour!

L.A. Reid
L.A. Reid

On March 25, Latin pop star Ricky Martin will kick off his “Musica + Alma + Sexo” world tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He’ll play three additional shows at the city’s Coliseo de Puerto Rico on March 26, 27 and 28.  North American dates begin on April 8 in Orlando, Florida and wrap up in Monterrey, Mexico on May 23.  Ricky will reportedly take the tour to Europe and South America before launching another round of U.S. dates later this year.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs