News / Arts & Entertainment

Jeff Bridges Signs Record Deal; Music Reality Show 'The Voice' Debuts

Britain's Elton John smiles during the morning conference at The Independent newspaper's editorial offices in London (file photo)
Britain's Elton John smiles during the morning conference at The Independent newspaper's editorial offices in London (file photo)
Mary Morningstar

Elton John Prepares to Open New Vegas Show

On April 25, tickets will go on sale for the first 16 dates of Elton John’s new Las Vegas show, “The Million Dollar Piano.”  Elton will begin the three-year engagement at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in September.  Elton’s first Las Vegas show, “The Red Piano,” ran from 2004 to 2009.

Jeff Bridges Signs Record Deal

Jeff Bridges won Best Actor for his moving portrayal of country singer Bad Blake in
Jeff Bridges won Best Actor for his moving portrayal of country singer Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart".

Actor Jeff Bridges recently signed a recording deal with EMI’s Blue Note Records.  He’ll collaborate in the studio with T-Bone Burnett, who co-wrote several songs for the soundtrack to Crazy Heart.  Bridges won the Best Actor Academy Award for playing the role of Country singer Otis “Bad” Blake in that film.  Burnett won the Best Original Song Oscar for “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart.”  Bridges’ major label debut album, which is due out later this year, will include guest appearances by Rosanne Cash, Sam Phillips and Benjie Hughes.

Tim McGraw to Headline NY SiriusXM Concert

Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw

On April 27, Country star Tim McGraw will headline a SiriusXM concert in New York City.  The show celebrates the satellite radio network’s 10th anniversary of broadcasting Country music.  Also appearing at the event are Luke Bryan and The Band Perry.  SiriusXM launched its new channel, “Tim McGraw Radio,” on April 20.

Music Reality Show 'The Voice' Debuts

Christina Aguilera before singing the National Anthem at Superbowl XLV, February 6, 2011
Christina Aguilera before singing the National Anthem at Superbowl XLV, February 6, 2011

On April 26, the new musical reality show The Voice will premiere on NBC-TV.  Artist coaches include Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.  Their decisions will be based on vocal talent only.  Aguilera said, “I love that I get to sit here with my back turned and just use one sense to see if I’m really moved.  Do they move me with a song?  I’m not looking for a big range.  I’m looking for raw talent.”  Once each star mentor has chosen their favorite contestant, they’ll bring in their own songwriters, producers, choreographers and stylists to assist.  Viewer votes will determine the winner.

Glee's Matthew Morrison Records Duet with Elton John

Matthew Morrison's CD
Matthew Morrison's CD

Elton John and Glee cast member Matthew Morrison have recorded a duet, which is on sale at Amazon.  “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters/Rocket Man” will appear on Morrison’s upcoming debut album, which is scheduled for release on May 10.  The album also features his duet version of “Over The Rainbow” with actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Foo Fighters Top Billboard 200 Chart

Foo Fighters'
Foo Fighters' "Wasting Light" CD

Foo Fighters debut at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 with Wasting Light. This marks the band’s first chart-topper on that list.  The album’s lead single, “Rope,” debuted at Number One on the Rock Songs chart, where it spends its eighth consecutive week.  “Rope” also holds the top spot on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart for the sixth week.  Other Billboard 200 Top 10 debuts include Paper Airplanes by Alison Krauss and Union Station (Number 3), Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What (Number 4), and Latin rock band Mana’s Drama y Luz (Number 5).

New Album Releases / April 26:

“Hard Bargain” by Emmylou Harris
“Augustana” by Augustana
“Fishin’ For Woos” by Bowling For Soup
“I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” by Steve Earle
“Electric Love” by Dirty Vegas
“Layla and Other Love Songs” by Derek & The Dominos

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi

The 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins this week.  The two-weekend event runs from April 29-May 1 and May 5-8.  This year’s headliners include Bon Jovi, Arcade Fire, John Legend, Willie Nelson, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Buffett and Jeff Beck, among others.  In addition to many established artists, hundreds of local musicians will perform on the festival’s 12 stages.  The annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana is now in its 42nd year.

Bruno Mars, Wiz Khalifa, Motley Crue, Plain White T’s, Travie McCoy and Lil Wayne are among the artists performing at this year’s Bamboozle festival.  The three-day festival takes place April 29-May 1 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  According to promoter Live Nation Entertainment, the festival draws over 80,000 music fans each year.

On April 30, the 2011 Stagecoach Country music festival will kick off in Indio, California.  The three-day event will feature headliners Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts.  Also on the bill are Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Chris Young, Leon Russell, and more.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Kylie Minogue's
Kylie Minogue's "Aphrodite" CD

On April 28, Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue will kick off the North American leg of her “Aphrodite - Live 2011” tour.  The 17-date outing begins in Montreal, Quebec and wraps up on May 22 at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Also on Kylie’s itinerary are eight concerts in Australia from June 3-22.

Country star Joe Nichols will head to Australia on April 29 to perform six shows.  This is his third tour of Oz.  Joe says, “My previous visits to Australia created fantastic memories, so I’m definitely looking forward to another visit.  I can’t wait to get back to Australia - it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  I think every person in the entire country is nice.  Seriously - I haven’t seen or heard of a mean person yet.  And they love country music.  Gonna be a great time.”

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Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”