News / Arts & Entertainment

Jackson Kids Get New Co-Guardian; Avril Lavigne Engaged

In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, from left, Prince Jackson, Prince Michael II
In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, from left, Prince Jackson, Prince Michael II "Blanket"Jackson and Paris Jackson arrive on stage at the Michael Forever the Tribute Concert, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Mary Morningstar
Michael Jackson’s nephew TJ Jackson has been appointed co-guardian of the late pop icon’s three children.  Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff made the decision on August 22.  According to The Associated Press, the judge noted that Paris, Prince and Blanket Jackson consented to the ruling.  TJ will share responsibilities for raising the children with their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, 82.  If either becomes unable to serve, the other will be given sole guardianship.

Avril Lavigne Engaged

Canadian actress-musician Avril LavigneCanadian actress-musician Avril Lavigne
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Canadian actress-musician Avril Lavigne
Canadian actress-musician Avril Lavigne
Canadian rock artists Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger of Nickleback have announced their engagement.  They’ve been secretly dating for six months.  Kroeger, 37, proposed to Lavigne, 27, on August 8 with a 14-carat diamond ring.  She married Sum 41’s lead singer Deryck Whibley in 2006.  They separated three years later and were officially divorced in 2010.  This will be Kroeger’s first marriage.

Carey to Receive BMI Award

Mariah Carey (Oct 2010 file photo)Mariah Carey (Oct 2010 file photo)
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Mariah Carey (Oct 2010 file photo)
Mariah Carey (Oct 2010 file photo)
On September 7, Mariah Carey will receive a BMI Icon Award for her “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”  Previous recipients include James Brown, the Jacksons, the Bee Gees, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, among others.  Mariah holds the record for most Number One songs by a solo artist.

John Lennon Assassin Denied Parole

On August 22, John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, 57, was denied parole for the seventh time by a three-member board.  Board member Sally Thompson wrote, “Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime.”  Chapman shot Lennon in 1980 outside of the Dakota, a New York apartment building he shared with his wife Yoko Ono.  He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.  Chapman can request another parole hearing in two years.

Aldean, Lady Antebellum to Anounce CMA Award Nominees

Nominations for the 46th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards will be announced on September 5.  Country stars Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum will read the list of nominees live from New York City’s B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.  The announcement is scheduled to air during the last half-hour of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”  The 2012 CMA Awards will be presented on November 1 in Nashville.

New Album Releases / September 4:

“North” by Matchbox Twenty
 “4th Street Feeling” by Melissa Etheridge
 “When I’m President” by Ian Hunter
 “Silver Age” by Bob Mould
 “Hot House” by Chick Corea & Gary Burton
 “The North” by Stars
 “The Ringmaster General” by Dave Stewart
 “Boys Don’t Cry” by Rumer
 “Can’t Go Back” by Tanita Tikaram
 “Magic” by Smash Mouth
 “Disney Pixar All Time Favorites” by various artists

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Paul McCartney during 26 Oct concert performancePaul McCartney during 26 Oct concert performance
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Paul McCartney during 26 Oct concert performance
Paul McCartney during 26 Oct concert performance
On September 7, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will present the North American debut of Paul McCartney’s classical work “Nova.”  McCartney wrote “Nova” as a tribute to his late wife Linda, who died from breast cancer.  Special guests include Royal Academy graduate and Pittsburgh native Annie Rago, world renowned pianist Peter Beets, Country duo Steel Magnolia, Country singer Sarah Darling, jazz vocalist Paulette McWilliams and Bill Champion, a 30-year member of the pop group Chicago.  The show benefits the Rock for the Heart Foundation to support pediatric cardiac research.

Star Birthdays:

BeyonceBeyonce
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Beyonce
Beyonce
On September 4, R&B star Beyonce Knowles will celebrate her 31st birthday.  In the mid-1990s, she founded the R&B vocal trio Destiny’s Child.  The group’s 1997 self-titled debut album featured the Top 5 single, “No, No, No.”  Following the release of its second album, “The Writing’s on the Wall,” the two other original members left the group and were replaced by Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.  The trio’s 2001 album, “Survivor,” produced several hits, including “Bootylicious,” “Emotion” and the title track.  In 2002, Beyonce starred opposite Mike Myers in the motion picture comedy, “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”  The following year, she made her solo debut with “Dangerously In Love.”  The album entered the Billboard 200 at Number One and earned her five Grammy Awards.  Its hits included “Crazy In Love,” “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy,” “Me, Myself & I,” and her duet with the late Luther Vandross, “The Closer I Get To You.”  Also in 2003, Beyonce recorded several songs for the soundtrack to the film “The Fighting Temptations.”  She co-starred in the movie opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr.  Following the release of Destiny’s Child’s 2005 album “Destiny Fulfilled,” the three members released a statement that said, “We have been working together as Destiny’s Child since we were nine, and touring together since we were 14.  After a lot of discussion and some deep soul-searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny’s Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other.”  Beyonce appeared in the 2006 film version of Broadway’s “Dreamgirls.”  Her second solo album, “B’Day,” was released in 2006.  Its hits included “Déjà vu,” “Irreplaceable” and “Beautiful Liar.”  In 2008, Beyonce married rap star Jay-Z.  From March 2009 through February 2010, she performed a world tour in support of her album, “I Am Sasha Fierce.”  After wrapping up the trek, she said, ”It’s definitely time to take a break, to recharge my batteries.  I'd like to take about six months and not go into the studio.  I need to just live life, to be inspired by things again.”  Billboard presented Beyonce with its 2009 Woman of the Year Award.  In 2010, Beyonce won six Grammy Awards, which set a new record for most wins in a single year.  Her latest album, “4,” debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 after selling 310-thousand copies its first week of release.  The clip to its latest single “Love on Top” earned her a MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Female Video.  The awards show will take place on September 6.  This past January, Beyonce and Jay-Z welcomed their first child, daughter Blue Ivy Carter.  

September 5 marks the birth date of the late Freddie Mercury (born 1946).  In 1972, he helped form the British rock group Queen, which later topped the charts with “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”  In addition to his work with Queen, Mercury wrote the soundtrack to the 1980 motion picture “Flash Gordon.”  In the mid-1980s, he scored solo chart hits with “Love Kills” and “I Was Born To Love You.”  Mercury died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.  In 1992, a Freddy Mercury tribute concert was held at London’s Wembley Stadium.  The event featured appearances by Extreme, Roger Daltrey, George Michael, David Bowie, Robert Plant, and many others.  

On September 6, bass guitarist Roger Waters will turn 69.  He was an original member of the British rock band Pink Floyd, which formed in 1965.  In 1980, Pink Floyd recorded its Number One hit, “Another Brick In The Wall.”  Four years later, Waters left the group to pursue a solo recording career.  In 2004, he released “Killing the Child” and “Leaving Beirut,” which he made available on various paid download sites.  Waters reunited with Pink Floyd to appear at the 2005 “Live 8” concert in London.  It marked the first time since 1981 that David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright had performed together on stage.  From 2006 to 2008, Waters performed a world tour, playing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album in its entirety.  In 2008, Waters and Nick Mason accepted Pink Floyd’s Polar Music Prize.  Waters recently wrapped up his “The Wall” world tour, which he launched in 2010.  The trek featured performances of “The Wall” album in its entirety.  As of now, it’s the highest-grossing tour of 2012.  

Pretenders’ lead singer Chrissie Hynde will celebrate her 62nd birthday on September 7.  During the 1980s, the group appeared on the pop chart with such hits as “Brass In Pocket,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong” and “Back On The Chain Gang.”  In 1985, Hynde teamed with the reggae band UB40 to record the Top 30 single, “I Got You Babe.”  The Pretenders’ 1995 album, “The Isle Of View,” was recorded before a live audience at Jacobs Studios in London.  In 1997, the group contributed two songs to the “G.I. Jane” motion picture soundtrack.  The Pretenders earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.  In 2008, the Pretenders recorded “Break Up the Concrete,” their first new studio album in seven years.  Last year, the group performed a CMT Crossroads special with Country star Faith Hill.  The Pretenders will perform at the Singapore Grand Prix on September 22 and 23.  

Pop/rock singer Pink will turn 33 on September 8.  She got her start in the music business at age 16 as a member of the group Basic Instinct.  The band didn’t get off the ground, so she joined the LaFace Records act Choice.  After Choice dissolved, Pink decided to pursue a solo career.  In 2000, she made her solo debut with “Can’t Take Me Home.”  Her sophomore collection, “Missundaztood,” was released in 2001.  Its hits included “Get the Party Started,” “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” “Just Like A Pill” and “Family Portrait.”  In 2003, Pink recorded her third album, “Try This.”  Pink’s 2006 album, “I’m Not Dead,” featured the hits “Stupid Girls,” “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand.”  Pink’s latest album, “Funhouse,” includes her first Number One single, “So What.”  Her 2009-2010 “Funhouse Summer Carnival Tour,” sold a total of three million tickets worldwide.  Pink’s 2010 anthology, “Greatest Hits…So Far,” features two new tracks, including the Number One single, “Raise Your Glass.”  Last year, Pink and her husband Carey Hart welcomed their first child, a daughter named Willow Sage Hart.  Pink’s new album, “The Truth About Love,” will be released on September 18.  Its lead single, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” was a recent Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 chart.  (“Blow

September 8 marks the birth date of Country legend Patsy Cline (b. 1932).  Her six years of enormous recording success was cut short by her tragic death in a 1963 plane crash, but Patsy’s popularity has continued over the past four decades.  In 1995, the Recording Industry Association of America certified her “Greatest Hits” album six times platinum (six million copies sold).  She was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1972.  Cline’s innovative music influenced many female vocalists, including Loretta Lynn, Lorrie Morgan, Reba McEntire and the late Dottie West.  Patsy’s signature songs include “I Fall To Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Crazy.”  

Awards Presentations/Winners:

RihannaRihanna
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Rihanna
Rihanna
On September 6, the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles.  Rihanna and Drake lead this year’s contenders with five nominations apiece.  Katy Perry follows close behind with four, including Video of the Year for “Wide Awake.”  Also nominated for Video of the Year are Gotye for “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Rihanna for “We Found Love,” Drake featuring Rihanna for “Take Care” and M.I.A. for “Bad Girls.”  Artists confirmed to perform on the awards show include Taylor Swift, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Pink and One Direction.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On September 5, Owl City will kick off a North American tour in Nashville, Tennessee.  Twenty-three shows are scheduled to run through October 7.  The international leg begins on October 18 in Paris, France.  Owl City’s new album, The Midsummer Station includes the current hit “Good Time,” a duet with Canadian pop newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen.

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Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.