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
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 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
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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.