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Lady GaGa Leads VMA Nominees; McGraw Outdoes Music Artists on Airplay

Elvis Presley's 'The Essential Elvis Presley' album cover
Elvis Presley's 'The Essential Elvis Presley' album cover

Elvis Items Go On Auction

On August 14, 270 Elvis Presley items will be auctioned at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.  They include his white grand piano, which is expected to fetch more than $1 million.  Other memorabilia up for sale are the 1957 purchase agreement for his Graceland mansion, a four-page love letter he wrote in 1958 to his then-girlfriend Anita Wood, his personal address and phone book and Presley's gun.

Streisand Named MusiCares Person of the Year

Barbra Streisand's 'Love Is The Answer' CD
Barbra Streisand's 'Love Is The Answer' CD

The MusiCares Foundation has chosen Barbra Streisand as its 2011 Person of the Year.  A reception, silent auction, dinner and tribute concert for the eight-time Grammy winner will take place on February 11, 2011 in Los Angeles.  Paul Caine, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board, says, "Barbra is synonymous with artistic excellence.  What is truly remarkable is that an artist of her stature also gives back with such open arms.  As part of her wide philanthropy, over $21 million was directed to causes she supports from her two most recent concert tours."  Barbra released a statement that said, "For me, being able to create is both a gift and a responsibility, and I have seen firsthand the power of philanthropy to make the world a safer, healthier and more peaceful place.  It is an honor to be recognized as the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year.  I have so much respect for the work they do to create a lifeline of resources - whether it's emergency financial assistance or access to addiction recovery resources - for music people in times of need."  Proceeds from the event will go the the MusiCares Foundation.

Rock Band's New Album Debuts at No. 1

Rock band Avenged Sevenfold debuts at Number One on this week's Billboard 200 with its fifth album, Nightmare.  First-week sales totaled 163,000 copies.  This marks the first Number One album for Avenged Sevenfold.  It's the only new entry in this week's Top 10 (week ending August 14).

Wyclef to Run For President of Haiti

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

Haitian hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean has announced he'll run for president of Haiti.  He told People magazine, "The suffering of the people of Haiti, the youth of Haiti - which is the majority of the population - can't take another five years of the corruption that's been going on for the past 200 years.  This is why I'm running."  Elections will be held in November.

McGraw Outdoes Music Artists on Airplay

Country star Tim McGraw had the most airplay of any artist in all genres during the past decade.  According to Nielsen BDS, which tracks and reports all airplay of songs on radio, television and the Internet, says McGraw's songs were played 7,965,000 times from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2009.  Tim is currently on tour in support of his Southern Voice album.  His upcoming film, Country Song, which also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, will hit theaters in December.

Fanklin Falls, Cancels Concerts

Aretha Franklin canceled two free concerts in New York that were scheduled to take place this week.  On August 1, the 68-year-old "Queen of Soul" fell and fractured some ribs.  She also complained of abdominal pain, so doctors advised her to undergo tests.  The shows were set for August 9 and 12 in Brooklyn.  Franklin hopes to make them up in late August.

New Album Releases August 10:

"31 Minutes To Takeoff" by Mike Posner
"All About Tonight" by Blake Shelton
"Emily West" by Emily West
"Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam" by various artists
"Greatly Blessed" by the Gaither Vocal Band
"Déjà vu" by George Duke
"Lost Tracks 1929-1959" (box set) by Judy Garland.

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Country singer Michael Martin Murphey's WESTFEST 2010 will take place August 12-15 in Rifle, Colorado.  Also on the bill are Patty Loveless, Craig Morgan, James Otto, Trailer Choir and bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, among others.  Murphey founded WESTFEST in 1986 as a way to preserve memories and images of the Old West.  He says, "I wanted to present the West to people who might otherwise perceive it only through a movie director's tunnel vision.  I want to show the Real American West!"  Murphey's hits include "Carolina In The Pines," "Wildfire" and "What's Forever For."

Colorado's Mile High Music Festival begins on August 14 in Denver.  More than 40 bands will perform at the two-day music and arts event.  Headliners include the Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Weezer, Train, Keane and Nas & Damian Marley.  

Lady GaGa Leads VMA Nominations

Sheryl Crow's '100 Miles From Memphis' CD
Sheryl Crow's '100 Miles From Memphis' CD

Lady Gaga leads this year's MTV Video Music Award (VMA) nominees.  The pop star received a record-breaking 13 nominations, including Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, Best Female Video and Best Dance Video for "Bad Romance."  Other top contenders include Eminem, B.o.B. and Ke$ha.  Justin Bieber's "Baby" brought him his first VMA nomination for Best New Artist.  The 2010 MTV VMA's will be presented in Los Angeles on September 12.  (Complete list of nominees at

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On August 11, Sheryl Crow will kick off a 30-date North American tour in Rama, Ontario.  She'll be supporting her new album, 100 Miles From Memphis. After wrapping up shows on October 1, Crow will head to Europe for seven shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Denmark.

Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest will begin on August 14 in San Bernardino, California.  The six-city amphitheater tour is also scheduled to stop in Chicago, Illinois; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Hartford, Connecticut; Camden, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts.  In addition to Osbourne, main stage acts include Motley Crue, Rob Halford, Devil Driver and Nonpoint.

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Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

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Beyond Category: Keiko Matsuii
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November 25, 2015 1:45 PM
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.