News / Arts & Entertainment

    Bieber's 'Believe Tour Sold Out; Whitney Houston Book Upcoming

    Pop star Justin Bieber, front, performs during a free open-air concert in Mexico City, June 11, 2012.
    Pop star Justin Bieber, front, performs during a free open-air concert in Mexico City, June 11, 2012.
    Tickets for pop star Justin Bieber’s “Believe” tour went on sale on June 2.  The entire North American tour sold out in one hour.  It took only 30 seconds to sell out his November 28 and 29 shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  Newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen will open all concerts on the 45-city trek, which begins on September 29 in Glendale, Arizona.  Justin’s third album, Believe, will be released on June 19.

    Whitney Houston Book in the Works

    Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston
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    Whitney Houston
    Whitney Houston
    HarperCollins recently announced that Cissy Houston is writing a book about her late daughter, Whitney Houston.  Cissy released a statement that said, “When I lost my daughter Nippy, the world lost one of the most beautiful voices and an extraordinarily beautiful and charitable woman.  In sharing our story in this book, I hope to give her fans something to treasure, the way we all treasured Whitney.  We are still receiving thousands of letters each day from her fans, and I hope reading this book will provide a deeper understanding into my daughter’s true story.”  HarperCollins will release the still-to-be-titled book in February 2013.

    Mayer Still Tops Billboard 200

    Musician John MayerMusician John Mayer
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    Musician John Mayer
    Musician John Mayer
    John Mayer keeps his place on the Billboard 200 chart for the second week with his new album, Born and Raised. This week’s Top 10 debuts on that list include Regina Spektor’s “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats” (Number 3), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Here” (Number 5) and Sigur Ros’ “Valtari” (Number 7).

    Former Fleetwood Mac Band Member Dies

    Singer-guitarist Bob Welch died on June 7.  Welch, 65, reportedly committed suicide and was found by his wife at their Nashville home.  Police said he left a suicide note.  Welch, who was born in Los Angeles, joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, but left the band in 1974 to pursue a solo career.  His hits include “Ebony Eyes,” “Sentimental Lady,” “Precious Love” and “Hot Love, Cold World.”

    Seger, Lightfoot Among SHOF Inductees

    The 43rd annual Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Gala will take place in New York City on June 14.  This year’s inductees are Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Steinman, Don Schlitz and the songwriting duo Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones.  SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb said, “Each of our 2012 inductees has created a unique range of extraordinary contributions, a body of work that has resonated with audiences around the world, and greatly enriched our global culture.  We are looking forward to celebrating their craft and careers at our annual Awards Gala.”  The Hal David Starlight Award will be presented to R&B star Ne-Yo.  The honor is given to songwriters who “make a significant influence in the music industry through their original songs.”

    American Idol Tryouts Begin

    Auditions for the upcoming Season 12 of American Idol began on June 7 in Los Angeles.  Tryouts will take place in six additional cities: San Antonio, Texas on June 14; Charlotte, North Carolina on June 19; Newark, New Jersey on June 23; Chicago, Illinois on July 12; New Orleans, Louisiana on July 17; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 20.

    Idol Phillips Undergoes Surgery

    On June 6, American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips underwent more than six hours of surgery to remove large stones from his kidneys.  The Georgia native, 21,  suffered from kidney problems throughout the show’s entire season.  Phillip had eight surgeries that allowed him to remain on American Idol.  His father told People magazine, “[America’s] just seen a glimpse of what Phillip can do.  We can’t wait to get him well and 100 percent and really see how he can perform.”  The 2012 “American Idols Live” tour begins on July 6.

    New Album Releases / June 12:

     “Looking 4 Myself” by Usher
     “The Lion The Beast The Beat” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
     “Clockwork Angels” by Rush
     “Punching Bag” by Josh Turner
     “Ashes & Roses” by Mary Chapin Carpenter
     “Dirty Bass” by Far East Movement
     “Dreams” by Brian Culbertson
     “Blow Your Pants Off” by Jimmy Fallon
     “Class Clown Spots a UFO” by Guided By Voices
     “Falling Off The Sky” by The dB’s
     “Now That’s What I Call Country 5” by various artists
     “American Made” by Bodeans

    Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

    Tim McGrawTim McGraw
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    Tim McGraw
    Tim McGraw
    BamaJam 2012 takes place in Enterprise, Alabama June 14-16.  Some of today’s biggest stars will perform at the event, including Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, the Zac Brown Band, Kid Rock, and others.  In addition to the concerts, BamaJam 2012 offers many activities, including camping, a water park, golfing and ATV trails.

    Star Birthdays:

    June 12 marked the birth date of Boston’s co-founder Brad Delp (born 1951).  The rock band originally formed as a quintet consisting of Delp, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Scholz, guitarist Barry Goudreau, bassist Fran Sheehan and drummer Sib Hashian.  During the late 1970s, they recorded two albums that produced such hits as “More Than A Feeling” and “Don’t Look Back.”  After a long absence from recording, Boston returned in 1986 as a duo (Brad Delp and Tom Scholz).  Their album “Third Stage,” contained three major hits, including the Number One song “Amanda.”  In 1994, Boston’s long-awaited CD, “Walk On,” was released.  In 2002, Boston recorded “Corporate America,” its first new studio album since “Walk On.”  Brad committed suicide at his home in New Hampshire on March 9, 2007.  In 2008, the remaining members of Boston hired Tommy DeCarlo to front the group on its summer tour.  DeCarlo was working at a Home Depot store in Charlotte, North Carolina when the band came across his MySpace page, which featured clips of him singing Boston songs.  

    Swedish pop singer Robyn turned 33 on June 12.  At age 14, Robyn was signed to BMG Records, which released her debut album throughout Europe in 1995.  Two years later, “Robyn Is Here” was finally distributed in North America.  The album featured the singles “Do You Know (What It Takes),” “Show Me Love” and “Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect).”  Her second CD, “My Truth,” was released in 1999 only in Sweden.  In 2001, Robyn signed an international deal with Jive Records, which released her single “Keep This Fire Burning” the following year.  Her 2005 self-titled album, which wasn’t released in the U.S. until 2008, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album.  In 2010, Robyn recorded the album, “Body Talk.”  Its Grammy-nominated single, “Call Your Girlfriend” became her first Number One hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.  

    On June 13, keyboardist Bo Donaldson will celebrate his 57th birthday.  Donaldson and his band The Heywoods made several appearances on the pop chart in the early 1970s.  The Cincinnati-based group is best known for its 1974 Number One single, “Billy, Don't Be A Hero.”

    British singer George O’Dowd, better known as Boy George, will turn 51 on June 14.  From 1981 to 1986, he performed as lead singer of the pop band Culture Club.  The group recorded such hits as “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” “Miss Me Blind” and the Number One single “Karma Chameleon.”  In 1983, Culture Club won the Best New Artist Grammy Award.  Four years later, Boy George left Culture Club.  Since then, he has recorded several solo albums.  The 2002 musical “Taboo,” which was loosely based on his life, enjoyed a 15-month run in London.  Boy George wrote 21 songs for “Taboo,” named for the nightclub he frequented as a youth.  In 2003, former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell financed its American Broadway run, which closed after two months due to poor ticket sales.  Following a 2005 drug arrest in New York City, Boy George was given a sentence of community service.  In August of 2006, he fulfilled his punishment by working for the New York City Department of Sanitation.  In 2009, Boy George served four months in jail after being found guilty of false imprisonment and assault of a male escort at his London home.  Boy George’s latest album, “Ordinary Alien,” was released digitally last year in the U.S.  In late-2011, Culture Club reunited to perform concerts in Dubai and Sydney.  During a recent BBC interview, Boy George announced the group will release a new album in 2013.  

    June 15 marks the birth date of Country legend Waylon Jennings (born 1937).  In the late 1950s, he played bass in Buddy Holly's band, the Crickets.  Waylon formed his own group, The Waylors, in 1960.  He moved to Nashville in 1965 and later established himself as a leader in the “outlaw” movement.  Some of his biggest hits include “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” “I’ve Always Been Crazy,” and the Number One duets with Willie Nelson, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” and “Good Hearted Woman.”  In 1996, Waylon made his Justice Records debut with “Right for the Time.”  He was later signed to Miles Copland’s Ark 21 Records, which released his 1998 album “Closing In on the Fire.”  Also in 1998, Waylon teamed with Country legends Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare and Jerry Reed to record the CD, “Old Dogs.”  Waylon died on February 13th, 2002 after a long battle with diabetes.  His son, Shooter Jennings, portrayed him in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic “Walk The Line.”  In 2006, Waylon was posthumously inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk.  

    Awards Presentations/Winners:

    Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
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    Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
    Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
    Carrie Underwood was the big winner at the 2012 CMT Music Awards, which were handed out on June 6 in Nashville.  She took home the Video of the Year honor for her current Number One Country hit “Good Girl” and also shared the Collaborative Video of the Year trophy with Brad Paisley for their duet, “Remind Me.”  Other winners included Luke Bryan, Male Video of the Year for “I Don’t Want This Night To End;” Miranda Lambert, Female Video of the Year for “Over You;” Lady Antebellum, Group Video of the Year for “We Owned the Night;” Thompson Square, Best Video by a Duo for “I Got You;” Scotty McCreery, USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “The Trouble With Girls” and Jason Aldean, CMT Performance of the Year for “Tattoos On This Town” from “2011 CMT Artists of the Year.”

    Look Who's Going On Tour!

    Rascal Flatts began its “Changed Tour” on June 10 with an appearance at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.   The superstar Country trio is supporting its new album “Changed” on the 41-date outing, which wraps up in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 27.  Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band and Edens Edge will open the shows.

    On June 12, pop singer Demi Lovato kicked off a 22-city North American tour in Del Mar, California.  She’ll be joined by special guests Hot Chelle Rae and Owl City on select dates.  Lovato recently wrapped up a sold-out South American tour.  She’s promoting her new album Give Your Heart a Break,”which includes the million-selling hit “Skyscraper.”

    Legendary rock band Aerosmith begins its “Global Warming Tour” on June 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The group will perform in 23 North American cities through August 8.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide.  Aerosmith premiered its new single, “Legendary Child,” on the “American Idol” Season 11 finale.  Lead singer Steven Tyler has been a judge on the show for the past two years.

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    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
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    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.