News / Arts & Entertainment

Justin Bieber Makes Acting Debut; Lady Gaga Wins Big at MTV Awards

Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart" CD
Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart" CD

Bareilles Tops Billboard Album Chart

Sara Bareilles debuts in the top spot on the Billboard 200 this week (week ending September 25) with her sophomore album, Kaleidoscope Heart.  According to, the album sold 90,000 copies to give Bareilles her best sales week ever.  Other Top 10 debuts include Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy at Number 6, Interpol's self-titled album at Number 7 and Anberlin's Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place at Number 9.

Lopez Signs On as American Idol Judge

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has signed on to judge the upcoming 10th season of American Idol.  According to reports, she originally asked for $15 million and some FOX-TV development deals.  The network, however, didn't commit to any movie or television deals and will pay Lopez $12 million appear on Idol.  It's rumored that Aerosmith's Steven Tyler will be added as the show's third judge alongside Lopez and music producer Randy Jackson.  Randy is the only remaining original judge.

Grimm wins 'America's Got Talent' Reality Show

On September 15, Mississippi blues singer Michael Grimm was named the winner of NBC-TV's reality show, America's Got Talent. Runner-up was 10-year-old classical singer Jackie Evancho from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who many believed was favored to win.  Grimm told People magazine, "I really thought Jackie had it in the bag.  I was preparing my speech to leave.  I couldn't believe I heard my name.  I was trying to make sure that what I thought was going on was going on, you know?  This is definitely an out-of-body experience.  The whole journey has been, but especially now."  Grimm was raised by his grandparents, who lost nearly all of their possessions when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.  He said he'll use some of his winnings to buy them a new home.  The Top 10 America's Got Talent finalists will perform a 25-city U.S. tour, which is set to begin on October 1 in Oakland, California.

Will Smith's Daughter Signs Record Deal

Justin Bieber's "My World" CD
Justin Bieber's "My World" CD

The 9-year-old daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith has signed a recording deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation label.  Willow Smith's debut single, "Whip My Hair," was recently leaked online.  Its official release date is September 21.  Jay-Z released a statement that said: "We at Roc Nation are excited to work with Willow.  She has an energy and enthusiasm about her music that is truly infectious. It's rare to find an artist with such innate talent and creativity at such a young age.  Willow is about to embark on an incredible journey and we look forward to joining her as she grows in all aspects of her career."

Santana Drops New Album

On September 21, Arista Records will release Santana's new album, Guitar Heaven: Santana Performs the Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time.  The 13-track collection contains his versions of rock classics made famous by the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, to name a few.  Rob Thomas, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell are among the many vocal guests on the collection.  It's debut single, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," features India.Arie and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Justin Bieber Makes Acting Debut

Lady GaGa's "The Remix" CD
Lady GaGa's "The Remix" CD

On September 23, teen pop star Justin Bieber will make his acting debut on the season opener of the CBS television drama CSI. He'll play the role of a troubled teenager who's interrogated about his missing brother.  Justin will return to the show for a second episode in February to complete the storyline. 

New Album Releases September 21:

"Hands All Over" by Maroon 5
"The Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti & Spearhead
"You Get What You Give" by the Zac Brown Band
"Wake Up!" by John Legend & The Roots
"Enjoy Yourself" by Billy Currington
"They Call Me Cadillac" by Randy Houser
"Ithaca" by Paula Cole
"Taken" by Rhonda Vincent
"Let It Be Me: Mathis In Nashville" by Johnny Mathis.

Awards Presentations/Winners:

The 45th annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Honors will be handed out on September 21 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.  Recipients include Keith Urban, who will be presented with the Jim Reeves International Award for promoting Country music overseas; Mel Tillis and the late Marty Robbins, who will be recognized for their contributions to Country music with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award; and songwriters Don Schlitz and Cindy Walker, who will be honored with the Poet's Award.  In addition, "Crazy Heart" earns the Tex Ritter Award for featuring Country music in the film, and talent agent Rod Essig will receive the Mae Boren Axton Award for his dedication and service to the Country music industry.  Country star Lee Ann Womack will host this year's ACM Honors.

Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" CD
Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" CD

Lady Gaga led the winners of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.  Her hit "Bad Romance" won for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, Best Dance Video, Best Choreography, Best Editing, Best Direction and Video of the Year.  Lady Gaga shared the Best Collaboration trophy with Beyonce for their duet "Telephone."  Other winners included Eminem, who took home the Best Male Video and Best Hip-Hop Video awards for "Not Afraid;" Justin Bieber, Best New Artist for "Baby;" 30 Seconds To Mars, Best Rock Video for "Kings and Queens;" Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Best Cinematography for "Empire State of Mind;" Florence + the Machine, Best Art Direction for "Dog Days Are Over;" The Black Keys, Breakthrough Video for "Tighten Up;" and Muse, which won the Best Special Effects award for "Uprising."

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Country trio Lady Antebellum begins a U.S. tour on September 20 in Orlando, Florida.  The 35-city outing supports the band's latest album, Need You Now.  This week, Lady Antebellum climbs to Number One on the Country chart with "Our Kind of Love" (week ending September 25).  It's the third consecutive chart-topper from Need You Now. Their tour wraps up in Kansas City, Missouri on November 20.

Beginning September 25, pop singer Sara Bareilles will perform in 29 U.S. cities to promote her new album, Kaleidoscope Heart. The collection includes her current hit, "King of Anything."  Tour dates are scheduled to end on November 24 in Reno, Nevada.  In February 2011, Sara will head to Europe to perform 10 shows with Maroon 5.

On September 25, Country star Carrie Underwood will kick off the second North American leg of her "Play On" tour.  Shows begin in Portland, Oregon.  Carrie will perform 45 concerts before wrapping up the outing in Calgary, Alberta on December 19.   The tour is Carrie's first since her July marriage to professional hockey player Mike Fisher.  Special guests on the tour include Billy Currington and Sons of Sylvia.

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Beyond Category: Keiko Matsuii
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Keiko Matsui’s music has been labeled many things – Jazz, Smooth Jazz, New Age, World Music. But whatever the label, the pianist-composer’s sound is always her own. Keiko Matsui takes the VOA Stage to perform some of her best-loved songs, and to talk with Beyond Category host Eric Felten about her life in music.

Keiko Matsui’s music has been labeled many things – Jazz, Smooth Jazz, New Age, World Music. But whatever the label, the pianist-composer’s sound is always her own. Keiko Matsui takes the VOA Stage to perform some of her best-loved songs, and to talk with Beyond Category host Eric Felten about her life in music.