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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."