News / Arts & Entertainment

Justin Bieber Documentary Flops; Beyonce Still Tops Billboard 200

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki, April 26, 2013.
Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki, April 26, 2013.
Mary Morningstar
Box office numbers for Justin Bieber’s new documentary “Believe” are in.  The film opened on December 25 and earned only $3.1-million its first three days.  Billboard reports that “Believe” had the worst opening of all recent concert documentaries by young pop stars.  Bieber’s “Never Say Never” documentary is the most successful concert film ever released in the U.S. with $73 million earned since opening in February 2011.  “Believe” is expected to have a total gross of only $10 million.

Beyonce Still Tops Billboard 200

FILE - Singer BeyonceFILE - Singer Beyonce
x
FILE - Singer Beyonce
FILE - Singer Beyonce
Beyonce’s self-titled new album holds onto the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for the third week-in-a-row.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album’s 17-day sales total 1.3-million copies.  “Beyonce” sold at least 300,000 copies each of its first three weeks of release.  Beyonce is the first female artist to achieve that feat since 2009.  The last collection to sell at least 300,000 units for three consecutive weeks was “I Dreamed A Dream” by Scottish singer Susan Boyle.

Jepsen to Make Broadway Debut

Carly Rae Jepsen poses backstage with the Old Navy new artist of the year award at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles.Carly Rae Jepsen poses backstage with the Old Navy new artist of the year award at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles.
x
Carly Rae Jepsen poses backstage with the Old Navy new artist of the year award at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Carly Rae Jepsen poses backstage with the Old Navy new artist of the year award at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Next month, Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen will make her Broadway debut in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”  She’ll take over the role of Cinderella for a 12-week run beginning February 4.  Jepsen appeared in several high school musicals.  She launched her music career after placing third on the 2007 season of “Canadian Idol.”  Her 2012 smash hit “Call Me Maybe” made Jepsen an international superstar.  The single has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and was the top-selling digital song of 2012.

Atlanta to Host Allman Tribute Concert

Greg Allman performs at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2013 in New York.Greg Allman performs at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2013 in New York.
x
Greg Allman performs at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2013 in New York.
Greg Allman performs at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2013 in New York.
A Gregg Allman tribute concert is set for January 10 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Joining The Allman Brothers Band to celebrate the 65-year-old’s career are Trace Adkins, Jackson Brown, Natalie Cole, Taj Mahal, Vince Gill and Dr. John, among many others.  Don Was, the show’s Musical Director, said in a statement, “Gregg Allman and his songs have been a deep and unmistakable influence on artists across southern rock, blues, soul, gospel, and country music.”  Producer Keith Wortman added, “This incredible initial lineup of artists coming together to celebrate the man and his music is a genuine reflection of that.  I am honored and humbled to produce a multi-media event of this magnitude.”  “All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman” will air May 14th on the entertainment television channel AXS.

Mellencamp to Release New Album

John Mellencamp performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2013.John Mellencamp performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2013.
x
John Mellencamp performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2013.
John Mellencamp performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2013.
John Mellencamp plans to release a new album in 2014.  The Midwest rocker told Rolling Stone magazine that he’ll enter the recording studio this month with producer T-Bone Burnett to begin work on the set.  This will mark Mellencamp’s first collection since 2010’s “No Better Than This.”  For that album, he switched musical direction to an Americana/folk sound.  Mellencamp will support his upcoming release with a North American tour.

New Album Releases Jan. 7:

“And I’ll Scratch Yours” by Peter Gabriel
“Join the Dots” by TOY

Star Birthdays

January 6 - Birth date of banjo legend Earl Scruggs (born 1924).  Scruggs popularized the three-fingered banjo-picking style.  He’s best remembered for his long collaboration with Lester Flatt in The Foggy Mountain Boys.  The duo’s hit song, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” was featured in the motion picture “Bonnie & Clyde.”  They also performed the theme song of the 1960’s television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”  Scruggs received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  He died of natural causes on March 28, 2012.

January 7 - Pop singer Kenny Loggins celebrates his 66th birthday.  In 1972, he began performing with Jim Messina in Loggins & Messina.  That same year, they had a Top 5 hit with “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”  The pair split up in 1976 and Loggins went on to have a successful solo career.  His biggest hits include “I’m Alright,” “Whenever I Call You Friend” and “Danger Zone.”  In 2005, Loggins reunited with Messina to perform a concert tour, their first in nearly 30 years.  Loggins currently performs with Nashville songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman in the Blue Sky Riders.  The group recently released the holiday EP, “Finally Home For Christmas.”

FILE - R&B singer R. KellyFILE - R&B singer R. Kelly
x
FILE - R&B singer R. Kelly
FILE - R&B singer R. Kelly
January 8 - Hip-hop singer, songwriter and producer R. Kelly (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly) turns 47.  The Illinois native arrived on the music scene in the early 1990s with a string of hits that included “She’s Got That Vibe,” “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)” and “Bump and Grind.”  That led to becoming a much in-demand producer for artists such as Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, and others.  In 1997, Kelly recorded the multi-Grammy-winning smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly” for the “Space Jam” film soundtrack.  Last month, he released his 12th studio album, “Black Panties.”  Kelly plans to release a sequel to that collection in June and a Country music album in 2015.

Birth date of “The King of Rock and Roll” Elvis Presley (born 1935).  Presley is the biggest-selling solo artist in history.  His first of 33 Number One hits came in 1956 with “I Forgot To Remember To Forget.”  Presley also acted in more than 30 films.  In 1986, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2008, Presley topped Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning deceased celebrities.  Since then, he’s remained in the Top 5 on the annual list.  Presley’s Graceland estate will host its annual birthday celebration January 8-10.  The event will feature the Elvis Presley Day Ceremony, which includes free birthday cake for attendees and an official proclamation.  Sixteen-year-old Canadian YouTube sensation David Thibault, who recently attracted more than seven million views of his performance of Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” will lead fans in singing “Happy Birthday.”  Thibault will also perform at the Elvis Insiders Event on January 9.  In addition to various tours and other special events, Graceland will kick off a year-long celebration of the “60 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”  Presley recorded “That’s All Right” at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis on July 5, 1954.

January 9 - A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys turns 36.  The group’s eight albums have sold more than 130 million copies worldwide.  Hits include “As Long As You Love Me,” “I Want It That Way,” “Shape of My Heart” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.”  The Backstreet Boys celebrated their 20th anniversary last year with the new album, “In A World Like This.”  Next month, the Backstreet Boys will begin a European tour that runs through early April.

FILE - Dave Matthews performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.FILE - Dave Matthews performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
x
FILE - Dave Matthews performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
FILE - Dave Matthews performs during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Dave Matthews celebrates his 47th birthday.  The leader of the Dave Matthews Band was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.  He moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1986 and formed his band in 1991.  The group’s hits include “Stay,” “The Space Between” and “Crush.”  In 2009, Pollstar named the Dave Matthews Band the Top Touring Act of the Decade.  In 2012, the band released its sixth consecutive Number One studio album, “Away from the World.”

January 10 - Birth date of the late singer-songwriter Jim Croce (born 1943).  During his brief career, Croce recorded several hits.  They included “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” “I Got A Name” and the Number One songs “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time In A Bottle.”  In 1973, Croce died in a plane crash while traveling to a concert in Sherman, Texas.  He was 30 years old.

Grammy-winning rock singer Pat Benatar turns 61.  Benatar was one of rock music’s most popular vocalists throughout the 1980s.  She’s best known for such hits as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is A Battlefield” and “We Belong.”  Benatar married her guitarist Neil Giraldo in 1982.  The couple lives on Maui where Neil runs the all-natural nutritional supplement company On the Rocks Nutrition.  In 2010, Harper Collins published Benatar’s biography, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.”

British rock singer Rod Stewart will celebrate his 69th birthday.  Stewart was discovered by blues legend Long John Baldry, who invited him to join his band.  Stewart later performed with the Jeff Beck Group and Small Faces (renamed The Faces), which he left in 1975 to focus on his already-established solo career.  His biggest hits include “Maggie May,” “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright),” “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Rhythm of My Heart.”  In 1994, Stewart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Since signing with J Records in 2002, he has recorded five albums of pop standards.  In 2012, Stewart earned his second induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this time with The Faces.  Last year, Stewart released “Time,” his first rock album in 20 years.

January 11 - R&B singer Mary J. Blige turns 43.  The nine-time Grammy winner signed her first recording deal in 1989.  Since then, she has sold 50 million albums worldwide.  Her many hits include “Real Love,” “Not Gon’ Cry,” “Family Affair,” “Be Without You” and “I Am.”  In 2013, Blige recorded “A Mary Christmas,” her first release on Verve Records.  The set includes collaborations with Barbra Streisand, Marc Anthony, The Clark Sisters and Jessie J.

Awards Presentations / Winners

Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
x
Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
The 40th annual People’s Choice Awards will be presented on January 8 in Los Angeles.  Katy Perry leads the contenders in the music categories with five nominations, including Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist, Favorite Song and Favorite Video for “Roar,” and Favorite Music Fan Following.  Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake follow close behind with four nods apiece.  The People’s Choice Awards also recognize the most popular stars in film and television.  (See a complete list of nominees at www.peopleschoice.com.)

Look Who's Going On Tour!

George Strait poses backstage with his Entertainer of the Year award at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.George Strait poses backstage with his Entertainer of the Year award at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
x
George Strait poses backstage with his Entertainer of the Year award at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
George Strait poses backstage with his Entertainer of the Year award at the 47th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
On January 9, Country legend George Strait kicks off the final leg of his “Cowboy Rides Away” tour.  He’ll begin the six-month trek in Bossier City, Louisiana.  Last year, Strait announced his retirement from touring.  The last concert takes place at the AT&T Stadium on June 7.  More than 100,000 fans will attend the show.  Special guests at the final show will include Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Lee Ann Womack.

Country star Brad Paisley will begin his “Beat This Winter Tour” on January 9 in Greenville, South Carolina.  The West Virginia native is supporting his 2013 album “Wheelhouse,” which features such hits as “Southern Comfort Zone,” “Beat This Summer” and his new single, “The Mona Lisa.”  Opening acts on the tour include Danielle Bradbery and Chris Young.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."