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.
x
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 "Xscape," a release by Michael Jackson.This CD cover image released by Epic shows "Xscape," a release by Michael Jackson.
x
This CD cover image released by Epic shows "Xscape," a release by Michael Jackson.
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)
x
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)
x
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.
x
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.
x
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.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."