News / Arts & Entertainment

Chris Brown Agrees to More Community Service; John Mayer's New Album Drops

Chris Brown arrives at the 8th Annual Bear Trap Entertainment All-Star Celebrity Kickoff Party at the Playboy Mansion on Monday, July 15, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Chris Brown arrives at the 8th Annual Bear Trap Entertainment All-Star Celebrity Kickoff Party at the Playboy Mansion on Monday, July 15, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Mary Morningstar
R&B singer Chris Brown had his probation reinstated by a judge in Los Angeles on Friday after the Grammy winner agreed to complete an additional 1,000 hours of community service stemming from his 2009 sentence for assaulting singer Rihanna. Brown's probation had been revoked last month by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin after he was charged in a May hit-and-run traffic accident, which could have led to a probation violation and possible jail time.

John Mayer's New Album Drops
 
John Mayer attends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.John Mayer attends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.
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John Mayer attends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.
John Mayer attends the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.
On August 20, Columbia Records will release John Mayer’s sixth studio album, Paradise Valley.  Guests include R&B singer Frank Ocean and Mayer’s girlfriend, pop star Katy Perry, who duets with him on the track “Who You Love.”  Mayer is currently performing a U.S. tour.  One dollar from each ticket sold will go to military veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.


Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley Purchase AFL Team
 
Gene Simmons of Kiss poses at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.Gene Simmons of Kiss poses at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.
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Gene Simmons of Kiss poses at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Gene Simmons of Kiss poses at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Legendary rock band KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have purchased an Arena Football League (AFL) team.  The Anaheim, California-based team named LA KISS begins playing in March.  “As a fast-paced, high-action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us," Simmons said in a statement released to the ESPN network. "Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action.”  Stanley added: “The whole idea of an alternative to what has perhaps become a corporate sport is very intriguing, and resonates with us.  We’ve always tried to be a band that relates to everybody, and the AFL is built on that whole premise.”
 
Civil Wars Tops Billboard 200 

In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo, Joy Williams, left, and John Paul White of the band The Civil Wars pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert in Los Angeles.In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo, Joy Williams, left, and John Paul White of the band The Civil Wars pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert in Los Angeles.
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In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo, Joy Williams, left, and John Paul White of the band The Civil Wars pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert in Los Angeles.
In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo, Joy Williams, left, and John Paul White of the band The Civil Wars pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert in Los Angeles.
Folk-rock duo the Civil Wars scores its first Number One on the Billboard 200 albums chart with its new self-titled collection.  The set moved 116,000 copies its first week of release.  The Civil Wars went on hiatus last November.  Members John Paul White and Joy Williams issued a statement to their fans that said, "We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates.  It is something we deeply regret.  However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time.  We thank each and every one of you for your amazing love and support.  Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013.”
 
Three other albums make a Top 10 entry on the Billboard 200 chart this week.  The multi-artist NOW 47 compilation debuts at Number 2, rock band Asking Alexandria’s From Death To Destiny opens at Number 5 and gospel singer Tye Tribbett’s Greater Than comes in at Number 9.  Industry prognosticators expect Country star Luke Bryan to debut in the top spot on next week’s Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts.  They say his fourth studio project, Crash My Party, will likely sell upwards of 450,000 copies its first week of release.
 
New Album Releases August 20: 
 
“Songs From St. Somewhere” by Jimmy Buffett,
“Sway” by Blue October
“Warp & Weft” by Laura Veirs
“Frames” by Lee DeWyze,
“A Place Called Loveland” by Raheem DeVaughn,
“Graffiti on the Train” by Stereophonics
“Made Up Mind” by Tedeschi Trucks Band
“Headlights, Taillights and Radios” by Tracy Lawrence,
“Where You Stand” by Travis
“3 Kings” by TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank).

Star Birthdays
 
Lee Ann Womack performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions, Oct. 21, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.Lee Ann Womack performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions, Oct. 21, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.
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Lee Ann Womack performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions, Oct. 21, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.
Lee Ann Womack performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions, Oct. 21, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.
August 19 - Country singer Lee Ann Womack turned 47.  The Texas native became internationally famous for her 2000 crossover hit, “I Hope You Dance.”  Her album of the same name sold three million copies in the U.S.  Last year, Womack left MCA Records and recorded the new album, “The Way That I’m Living.”  That album has not yet been released.
 
August 20 - Singer Robert Plant celebrates his 65th birthday.  Plant performed in the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin, which disbanded in 1980.  Since then, he has performed with The Honeydrippers, Band of Joy, the Sensational Space Shifters, and as a solo artist.  In 1995, Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Plant teamed with bluegrass star Alison Krauss in 2007 to record the million-selling album, “Raising Sand.”  Its track “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.  The following year, Plant and Krauss won Grammy Awards in each of the five categories they were nominated, including Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk Album and Record of the Year for “Please Read the Letter.”
 
August 21 - Country legend Kenny Rogers turns 75 years old.  Before launching his solo career, Rogers performed with The Scholars, the Bobby Doyle Trio, The New Christy Minstrels and the First Edition.  His 21 Number One solo hits include, “Lucille,” “The Gambler,” “Coward of the County” and “Lady.”  In 2012, Rogers recorded his latest album, “Amazing Grace.”  That same year, he released his autobiography, “Luck or Something Like It.”  Later this year, Rogers will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
August 22 - The Backstreet Boys’ Howie Dorough turns 40.  Since 1996, the five-member vocal group has recorded eight albums and sold more than 130 million records worldwide.  Their biggest hits include “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart),” “I Want It That Way” and “As Long As You Love Me.”  Earlier this year, The Backstreet Boys received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The group is currently performing a North American tour to support its new album, “In A World Like This.”
 
August 23 - Birth date of the late British rock drummer Keith Moon (born 1947).  Moon first performed with The Beachcombers before joining the High Numbers in 1964.  Later that year, the band changed its name to The Who, and began recording such classics as “My Generation”, “I Can See For Miles,” and many others.  Moon died of a drug overdose on September 7, 1978.
 
Awards Presentations / Winners
 
The Gibson Brothers lead the contenders for the 24th annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards.  The band and its individual members earned a total of eight nominations.  They include Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year for “They Called It Music.”  Following close behind is Balsam Range with seven nods.  The Boxcars, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Russell Moore & IIIrd Time Out picked up six apiece.  During the ceremony, bandleader and singer Tony Rice and fiddler Paul Warren will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.  The IBMA Awards will be handed out on September 26 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
 
Billboard has announced this year’s recipient of its Legend of Live Award.  Country star George Strait will receive the honor at the 10th annual Billboard Touring Awards, taking place on November 14 in New York.  Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde says, “From his days in Texas honky-tonks, through the creation of country music touring festivals in stadiums, and his top-shelf, professional touring strategies and production, George Strait’s talent and style transcends musical trends.  Billboard is honored to name George Strait as our first country music Legend of Live.”  Last year, Strait announced that he’ll retire from touring after he wraps up his “Cowboy Rides Away” trek in 2014. 
 
Look Who's Going On Tour!
 
On August 20, the Allman Brothers Band begin a 12-date tour in Chicago, Illinois.
Steve Winwood and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will join the classic rock group on the outing.  Prior to hitting the road, the Allman Brothers Band hosted its 2nd Annual Peach Music Festival.  The event was held August 15-18 in Scranton, Pennsylvania and included performances by the Black Crowes, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, among others.  
 
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are planning concerts in Australia and New Zealand in early 2014.  The group’s manager Jon Landau released a statement that says, “Our shows in Australia earlier this year were among the very best and most satisfying of our whole 128 show tour.  The crowds were tremendous, the fans as warm, friendly and welcoming as we could ever hope for, and the quality of the performances, as virtually every reviewer commented, were spectacularly high.”  Shows begin in Perth, Australia on February 7, 2014.  The band will wrap up the seven-city tour in Auckland, New Zealand on March 1, 2014.  It’s been more than 10 years since Springsteen and his band performed in New Zealand.

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Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
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