News / Arts & Entertainment

    'Frozen' Soundtrack Tops Billboard 200; Rapper Benzino Shot, Wounded

    This image released by Disney shows, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen." (AP Photo/Disney)
    This image released by Disney shows, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen." (AP Photo/Disney)
    Mary Morningstar
    As predicted, the soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning animated film “Frozen” spends its seventh non-consecutive week at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.  Sales for the week ending March 23 totaled 202,000 copies, and that was attributed to the film’s release on DVD and Blu-ray.  That’s the highest single sales week for the soundtrack.  Disney reports that first-day home video sales of “Frozen” reached 3.2 million units.

    Rapper Benzino Shot, Wounded

    Reality television star and rapper  Benzino was shot and wounded, allegedly by his nephew, during the funeral procession for his mother outside Boston, authorities said on Sunday. The star of the VH1 show "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,'' was driving in the procession on Route 3 on Saturday when he was shot by his nephew, Gai Scott, who had pulled alongside in another vehicle, the Plymouth County, Massachusetts District Attorney said.  Benzino told TMZ between seven and eight shots were fired and he was hit twice.

    HBO to Air Springsteen Documentary

     
    American performer Bruce Springsteen, left, performs during a soundcheck with band member Steven Van Zandt, right, before performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2014.American performer Bruce Springsteen, left, performs during a soundcheck with band member Steven Van Zandt, right, before performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2014.
    x
    American performer Bruce Springsteen, left, performs during a soundcheck with band member Steven Van Zandt, right, before performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2014.
    American performer Bruce Springsteen, left, performs during a soundcheck with band member Steven Van Zandt, right, before performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2014.
    On April 4, Home Box Office (HBO) channel will air the new documentary, “Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes.”  The 30-minute show gives fans a look at the making of his latest album “High Hopes.”  HBO will also film Springsteen and his E Street Band as they’re honored with the Award for Musical Excellence at the April 10 Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductions.  HBO plans to broadcast the Hall of Fame ceremony in May.




    Showtime Documentary to Focus on New Recording of Unfinished Dylan Songs

     
    FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles.FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles.
    x
    FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles.
    FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles.
    Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops are teaming to record more than 20 unfinished Bob Dylan songs.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the project will be produced by T Bone Burnett and documented for a Showtime television special.  The songs that will be included on “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes” were written in the late 1960s.  Burnett told the newspaper, “These are not B-level Dylan lyrics.  They’re lyrics he just never got around to finishing.”  The album and documentary will be out later this year.

    Eminem's Latest Album Surpasses Two-Million Mark

     
    Eminem performs at the Sound Board theater located inside the MotorCity Casino, Hotel in Detroit, May 19, 2009.Eminem performs at the Sound Board theater located inside the MotorCity Casino, Hotel in Detroit, May 19, 2009.
    x
    Eminem performs at the Sound Board theater located inside the MotorCity Casino, Hotel in Detroit, May 19, 2009.
    Eminem performs at the Sound Board theater located inside the MotorCity Casino, Hotel in Detroit, May 19, 2009.
    Sales of Detroit rapper Eminem’s 2013 album “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” recently passed the two-million mark.  Each of his six previous albums have also sold at least two million units.  With total album sales at 44.91 million copies, Eminem is now the sixth biggest-selling artist in the 23-year-history of record tracking system SoundScan. 

    The top five leaders, in ascending order, are Celine Dion (52.21 million), Mariah Carey (54.24 million), Metallica (54.26 million), The Beatles (65.55 million) and Garth Brooks (69.52 million)

    New Releases Top Billboard 200

    Six of the Top 10 titles on this week’s Billboard 200 chart are new entries.  They include “Krazy Life” by rapper YG (Number 2), “Supermodel” by rock band Foster The People (Number 3), “Recess” by electronic dance artist Skrillex (Number 4), “Going To Hell” by rock group The Pretty Reckless (Number 5), “Sex and Love” by Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias (Number 8) and “Happiness Is” by rock band Taking Back Sunday (Number 10).

    New Merle Haggard Tribute Album Drops

     
    Merle Haggard performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., June 14, 2009.Merle Haggard performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., June 14, 2009.
    x
    Merle Haggard performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., June 14, 2009.
    Merle Haggard performs during the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., June 14, 2009.
    On April 1, Nashville’s Broken Bow Records releases “Working Man’s Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard.”  Artists offering their renditions of Haggard’s many hits on the album include Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith and Jason Aldean, among many others.  In other news, Haggard’s 50 years in Country music will be recognized at the upcoming 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  He’ll receive the Crystal Milestone Awards at the April 6 ceremony, the same day he turns 77 years old.

    Book Re-release Coincides with 20th Anniversary of Cobain's Death

     
    In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, a sign marks the location of "Kurt Cobain Landing," a tiny park blocks from the childhood home of Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana, in Aberdeen, Wash.In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, a sign marks the location of "Kurt Cobain Landing," a tiny park blocks from the childhood home of Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana, in Aberdeen, Wash.
    x
    In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, a sign marks the location of "Kurt Cobain Landing," a tiny park blocks from the childhood home of Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana, in Aberdeen, Wash.
    In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, a sign marks the location of "Kurt Cobain Landing," a tiny park blocks from the childhood home of Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana, in Aberdeen, Wash.
    April 5 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.  To commemorate the date, Carlton Books will re-issue “Eyewitness Nirvana: The Day by Day Chronicles,” written by award-winning journalist Carrie Borzillo in 2000.  The re-issue, due out on April 1, was retitled “Nirvana: In The Words of the People Who Were There.”  A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.



    New Album Releases / April 1:

    “Head or Heart” by Christina Perri
    “Ramblin’ Man” by Hank Williams III
    “Education, Education, Education & War” by Kaiser Chiefs
    “Life Journey” by Leon Russell
    “Salad Days” by Mac DeMarco
    “Turn It Up” by Josh Thompson
    “Where It All Began” by Dan + Shay
    “Man on the Rocks” by Mike Oldfield
    “A Dotted Line” by Nickel Creek
    “Imaginary Enemy” by The Used
    “She’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration” by Cyndi Lauper
     “The CDB - Off the Grid - Doin’ It Dylan” by the Charlie Daniels Band

    Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits

     
    Jason Aldean arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 1, 2012.Jason Aldean arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 1, 2012.
    x
    Jason Aldean arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 1, 2012.
    Jason Aldean arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 1, 2012.
    The NCAA March Madness Music Festival takes place April 4-6 in Dallas, Texas.  Performing at the free three-day event are Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Jason Aldean, The Killers, Tim McGraw, fun., and many others.  The festival is being held at Reunion Park.  The site holds some 40,000 people who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Outnumber Hunger LIVE, the official Academy of Country Music Party For a Cause Concert, will be held April 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The second annual benefit features some of the most popular acts in Country music, including Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Justin Moore.  Proceeds go to Outnumber Hunger, a partnership between General Mills, Feeding America and Big Machine Label Group.  Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States.

    Star Birthdays
     
    Norah Jones poses for a portrait in New York, April 9, 2012.Norah Jones poses for a portrait in New York, April 9, 2012.
    x
    Norah Jones poses for a portrait in New York, April 9, 2012.
    Norah Jones poses for a portrait in New York, April 9, 2012.
    March 30 - Country singer Justin Moore - 30; singer Norah Jones (real name Geetali Norah Jones Shankar) - 35; Canadian pop singer Celine Dion - 46; singer Tracy Chapman - 50; British singer and guitarist Eric Clapton - 69.

    March 31 - Rapper J Rock - 28; singer Ryan Bingham - 33; composer and trumpeter Herb Alpert - 79.

    April 1 - Rapper Kid Ink - 28; Hillary Scott, lead singer of the Country trio Lady Antebellum - 28; Country singer Kip Moore - 34; reggae legend Jimmy Cliff - 66.

    April 2 - Season 9 “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze - 28; rapper Yung Joc - 31; Country singer Billy Dean - 52; singer Emmylou Harris - 67.
     
    FILE - This Jan. 27, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson at the opening night of the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles.FILE - This Jan. 27, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson at the opening night of the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles.
    x
    FILE - This Jan. 27, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson at the opening night of the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles.
    FILE - This Jan. 27, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson at the opening night of the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles.
    April 3 - Late pop icon Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson - 16; British pop singer Leona Lewis - 29; R&B singer Kelly Price - 41; singer Tony Orlando - 70; singer Wayne Newton, nicknamed “Mr. Las Vegas” - 72.

    April 4 - Pop singer Austin Mahone - 18; Country singer Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister of pop star Britney Spears - 23; Grammy-winning singer Jill Scott - 42.

    April 5 - Rapper Juicy J - 39; rapper and producer Pharrell Williams - 41; singer Paula Cole - 46; Swedish singer Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA - 64.

    Awards Presentations/Winners

     
    Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood pose backstage with the award for best record of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, in Los Angeles.Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood pose backstage with the award for best record of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, in Los Angeles.
    x
    Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood pose backstage with the award for best record of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, in Los Angeles.
    Lady Antebellum, from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood pose backstage with the award for best record of the year at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, in Los Angeles.
    On April 2, the 2014 Grammys on the Hill Awards will be presented at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. The Recording Academy will honor Country trio Lady Antebellum with its Recording Artists’ Coalition Award.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will be recognized for their support of music.  In addition, Westfield Academy music teacher Kent Knappenberger has been chosen to receive the inaugural Music Educator Award.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Grammy Foundation’s Signature Schools programs.

    Look Who's Going on Tour!

    On April 3, pop singer-songwriter Joan Osborne kicks off a U.S. tour to support her upcoming album “Love and Hate.”  The 25-date outing begins in Bay Shore, New York and wraps up June 5 in San Francisco, California.  Osborne wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on “Love and Hate.”  The Kentucky native said, “I’m getting better at what I do.  I have an audience that I’ve built up over time, and I feel like they’re with me.  And because of that, I don’t feel any pressure to fit myself into anyone else’s idea of what I should be doing.  So I feel like I can write my own rules at this point.  That can be scary, but it’s also liberating, and it’s an exciting place to be.”

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.

    New in Music Alley

    Beyond Category: Arturo Sandovali
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 02, 2016 3:53 PM
    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.

    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.