News / Arts & Entertainment

Coldplay Tops Billboard 200; Michael Jackson Re-enters Hot 100

Coldplay performs at the Beacon Theatre, May 5, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)
Coldplay performs at the Beacon Theatre, May 5, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)
Mary Morningstar
​Coldplay sold 383,000 copies of its new album “Ghost Stories” the first week of release, giving the set the highest sales week so far this year.  “Ghost Stories” debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200, Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums and Digital Albums charts.  Also new in this week’s Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart are Country singer Brantley Gilbert’s “Just As I Am,” Phillip Phillips’ “Behind The Light” and the motion picture soundtrack to “The Fault In Our Stars.”

Iggy Azalea Ties Beatles Record
 
Iggy Azalea performs on stage at 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango at the StubHub Center on May 10, 2014, in Carson, California.Iggy Azalea performs on stage at 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango at the StubHub Center on May 10, 2014, in Carson, California.
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Iggy Azalea performs on stage at 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango at the StubHub Center on May 10, 2014, in Carson, California.
Iggy Azalea performs on stage at 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango at the StubHub Center on May 10, 2014, in Carson, California.

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea ties a record held by the Beatles since 1964.  She ascends to Number One on the Hot 100 chart with “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX and also holds the Number Two spot on the list as a guest on Ariana Grande’s “Problem.”  According to Billboard, Azalea and the Beatles are the only acts to rank at Number One and Number Two simultaneously with their first two Hot 100 hits.  “Fancy” also tops this week’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.


Michael Jackson Makes Hot 100 Comeback
 
This CD cover image released by Epic shows This CD cover image released by Epic shows "Xscape," a release by Michael Jackson.
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This CD cover image released by Epic shows
This CD cover image released by Epic shows "Xscape," a release by Michael Jackson.

The late Michael Jackson re-enters this week’s Hot 100 chart at Number 14 with “Billie Jean.”  The song last appeared on that chart in 1983, when it spent seven weeks at Number One.  A new Michael Jackson single from his new album Xscape has the second highest debut at Number 45.  The album’s lead single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” slips to Number 16.  That track is a duet with pop singer Justin Timberlake.

Lennon Memorabilia Up for Auction

British publisher Tom Maschler is offering an 89-piece collection of John Lennon material to Sotheby’s Auction House.  The collection includes drawings, poems, short stories, a cartoon and a nine-page manuscript.  The auction takes place on June 4 in New York.
 
Jimmy Page arrives for the 59th Ivor Novello Awards at the Grosvenor House in London May 22, 2014. (Photo by Mark Allan /Invision/AP)Jimmy Page arrives for the 59th Ivor Novello Awards at the Grosvenor House in London May 22, 2014. (Photo by Mark Allan /Invision/AP)
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Jimmy Page arrives for the 59th Ivor Novello Awards at the Grosvenor House in London May 22, 2014. (Photo by Mark Allan /Invision/AP)
Jimmy Page arrives for the 59th Ivor Novello Awards at the Grosvenor House in London May 22, 2014. (Photo by Mark Allan /Invision/AP)

The first three albums by legendary rock band Led Zeppelin were released on June 3.  The group’s guitarist Jimmy Page remastered “Led Zeppelin,” “Led Zeppelin II” and “Led Zeppelin III,” which will be followed by six additional albums in chronological order.  The reissues are available in six different formats: single CD, deluxe edition (2-CD), single vinyl LP, deluxe edition vinyl, digital download and super deluxe boxed set.  Jimmy Page said, “The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin.  It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at the time.”

New Album Releases / June 3:

 “Animal Ambition” by 50 Cent
“Meteorites” by Echo & The Bunnymen
“Beauty & Ruin” by Bob Mould
“Road Between” by Lucy Hale
“Platinum” by Miranda Lambert
“Now That’s What I Call Country Volume 7” by various artists
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone” by Nazareth.

Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits:
 
Darius Rucker performs on stage at the American Idol XIII finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on May 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)Darius Rucker performs on stage at the American Idol XIII finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on May 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
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Darius Rucker performs on stage at the American Idol XIII finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on May 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
Darius Rucker performs on stage at the American Idol XIII finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on May 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

Darius Rucker’s fifth annual “Darius and Friends Benefit Concert” took place June 2 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Also on the bill are Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Thompson Square, the Eli Young Band, David Nail, Cassadee Pope and Corey Smith.  One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Rucker said, “St. Jude does such amazing work for young cancer patients and their families, and I’m grateful to all my fellow artists and friends for coming together to have some fun and support such a great cause.”  On June 3, Rucker hosted his annual “Darius and Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament,” which also raises money for St. Jude.

On June 5, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry will host its 6th Annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction.  Up for bid are guitars autographed by such popular Country stars as Luke Bryan, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, and others.  All proceeds go to the Opry Trust Fund, which assists members of the Country music community in need.

On June 5, Big & Rich will officially kick off the 2014 CMA Music Festival with a concert at Nashville’s Riverfront Stage.  The four-day festival, created in 1972 as Fan Fair, draws tens of thousands of Country music fans from around the world.  In addition to daytime and nighttime concerts, the annual event offers many activities and artist autograph signings.

Star Birthdays

June 1 - Singer Alanis Morissette - 40; Country singer Ronnie Dunn, formerly of the award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn - 61; guitarist Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones - 67; legendary singer Pat Boone - 80.

June 2 - Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward - 28; singer Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet - 54; drummer Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones - 73.

June 3 - Australian Country singer Jamie O’Neal - 46; singer Mike Gordon of Phish - 49; singer Deniece Williams - 63; singer Ian Hunter, formerly of the British rock band Mott the Hoople - 75.

June 4 - Bassist JoJo Garza of Los Lonely Boys - 34, bassist Stefan Lessard of The Dave Matthews Band - 40; singer and actress Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas - 70.

June 5 - Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy - 35; singer Brian McKnight - 45; saxophonist Kenny G - 58; Country singer Don Reid of the Statler Brothers - 69.

June 6 - Singer Uncle Kracker - 40; singer and bassist Tom Araya of Slayer - 53; guitarist Steve Vai - 54; Country singer Joe Stampley - 71.

June 7 - Guitarist Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers - 47; drummer Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots - 48; singer and multi-instrumentalist Prince - 56; singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg - 61; legendary singer Tom Jones - 74.

Awards Presentations / Winners:

The 2014 CMT (Country Music Television) Music Awards will be presented in Nashville on June 4.  Miranda Lambert leads the nominees with six nods, including Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Automatic.”  She’s also up for two trophies with Keith Urban for their duet “We Were Us” and two as a member of Pistol Annies.  Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan received five mentions apiece, and Taylor Swift and Keith Urban are nominated for four each.  Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church are Carrie Underwood are among the many Country stars scheduled to perform at the show.  Actress Kristin Bell is hosting the ceremony for the third consecutive year.  (See complete list of nominees at www.cmt.com.)
 
Singer Miley Cyrus performs during the World Music Awards at Monte Carlo Sporting Club, on May 27, 2014 in Monaco.Singer Miley Cyrus performs during the World Music Awards at Monte Carlo Sporting Club, on May 27, 2014 in Monaco.
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Singer Miley Cyrus performs during the World Music Awards at Monte Carlo Sporting Club, on May 27, 2014 in Monaco.
Singer Miley Cyrus performs during the World Music Awards at Monte Carlo Sporting Club, on May 27, 2014 in Monaco.

At the end of May Miley Cyrus and One Direction dominated the 2014 World Music Awards with four wins apiece.  Cyrus took home trophies for World’s Best Video for “Wrecking Ball” and was named World’s Best Female Artist, World’s Best Pop/Rock Artist and World’s Best Pop/Rock Female Artist.  One Direction won for World’s Best Selling Record Act, World’s Best Selling British Artist, World’s Best Group and World’s Best Pop Act.  Other multiple winners included Lorde, Eminem, Mariah Carey, Avicii, Daft Punk and Belgian singer Stromae.

Look Who's Going on Tour!
 
Singers Gianluca Ginoble, left, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto of the group Il Volo, show their awards at the Latin Billboard Awards, April 24, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.Singers Gianluca Ginoble, left, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto of the group Il Volo, show their awards at the Latin Billboard Awards, April 24, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.
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Singers Gianluca Ginoble, left, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto of the group Il Volo, show their awards at the Latin Billboard Awards, April 24, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.
Singers Gianluca Ginoble, left, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto of the group Il Volo, show their awards at the Latin Billboard Awards, April 24, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla.

On June 5, Italian pop opera group Il Volo kick off a 15-city North American tour in Modesto, California.  The trio released three albums in 2013, “We Are Love,” “Il Volo’s We Are Love: Live From The Filmore Miami Beach” and “Buon Natale: The Christmas Album.”  The outing wraps on June 26 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Country legend George Strait will end his touring career on June 7 with an all-star event in Arlington, Texas.  The show, which sold out within hours, will be held at the 100,000-seat AT&T Stadium.  Scheduled to help Strait say goodbye to his fans are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Vince Gill, and many others.

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Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”