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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”