News / Arts & Entertainment

Lady Gaga Tops Forbes Highest Earnings List ; One Direction Sets VEVO Record

FILE - Lady Gaga arrives at the Versace atelier in Milan, Italy, Oct. 1, 2012.
FILE - Lady Gaga arrives at the Versace atelier in Milan, Italy, Oct. 1, 2012.
Mary Morningstar
Forbes has released its latest Top-Earning Celebrities Under 30 list.  Lady Gaga leads with an estimated $80 million earned between June 2012 and June 2013.  It should be noted that Lady Gaga stood to earn much more had she not been forced to cancel her “Born This Way” tour in February due to a hip injury.  Rounding out the Top Five are Justin Bieber ($58 million), Taylor Swift ($55 million), Calvin Harris ($46 million) and Rihanna ($43 million).

One Direction Sets New VEVO Record 
 
Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York March 12, 2012.
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Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's
Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York March 12, 2012.
Pop boy band One Direction has set a new record on the music video website VEVO.  The video to the group’s new single “Best Song Ever” was viewed 10.9 million times in its first 24 hours of release.  Miley Cyrus held the previous record with 10.7 million first-day views of the video to her latest hit, “We Can’t Stop.”  One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” video was filmed at The Temple House in Miami, Florida.  Homeowner Daniel Davidson said in a press release, “I grew up riveted to the Beatles -- One Direction is on a trajectory that takes their beats and messages to the world in every channel, including voracious fans behind additional social media stardom. Watching the One Direction band members behind the scenes, they are 100% authentic, playful, fun, and wildly talented. It was incredible to watch the entire team, [Director] Ben, [Executive Producer] Luti and [DP] Maz work seamlessly together to orchestrate and capture the remarkable energy and magic of One Direction.”

Elton John to Receive BRITs Icon Award

Sir Elton John speaks at the International Aids Conference in Washington, July 23, 2012.Sir Elton John speaks at the International Aids Conference in Washington, July 23, 2012.
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Sir Elton John speaks at the International Aids Conference in Washington, July 23, 2012.
Sir Elton John speaks at the International Aids Conference in Washington, July 23, 2012.
Elton John has been announced as the first recipient of the BRITs Icon Award.  The six-time Grammy winner will be presented with the honor on September 2 during a ceremony hosted by British music industry trade organization BPI.   “I’m really looking forward to participating in what promises to be a very special occasion,” John said. According to his website, the event will feature a live performance by Elton of some of his classic hits as well as new songs from his upcoming album The Diving Board, a candid interview and special guest appearances.
 
Rascal Flatts Teams Up With Journey for Concert Series

Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Performs at Aarons Amphitheater on June 6, 2013, in Atlanta.Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Performs at Aarons Amphitheater on June 6, 2013, in Atlanta.
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Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Performs at Aarons Amphitheater on June 6, 2013, in Atlanta.
Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Performs at Aarons Amphitheater on June 6, 2013, in Atlanta.
Country trio Rascal Flatts and classic rock group Journey are teaming to perform two concerts.  The first show takes place in Hershey, Pennsylvania on August 1.  On August 4, they’ll perform together in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The superstar acts first performed together on the 2012 CMT Music Awards.  Earlier this year, they appeared in a special edition of CMT’s Crossroads series.  Gary LeVox, lead singer of Rascal Flatts, said, “We had a blast performing with Journey.  Our respect for them as musicians deepened through the television shows we did together that talk soon led to wanting to do more.”  Journey’s guitarist Neal Schon added, “Our most recent performances with Rascal Flatts were awesome.  They’re great guys and great musicians.”
 
Billy Ray Cyrus Calls Off Divorce

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2010 file photo, Billy Ray Cyrus, at right, and his wife Laeticia FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2010 file photo, Billy Ray Cyrus, at right, and his wife Laeticia "Tish" Cyrus, arrive to the premiere of "The Spy Next Door" in Los Angeles.
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FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2010 file photo, Billy Ray Cyrus, at right, and his wife Laeticia
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2010 file photo, Billy Ray Cyrus, at right, and his wife Laeticia "Tish" Cyrus, arrive to the premiere of "The Spy Next Door" in Los Angeles.
Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and his wife Tish Cyrus have called off divorce proceedings for the second time.  Billy Ray first filed for divorce in October 2010, but reconciled with Tish in early 2011.  On June 13 of this year, Tish filed for divorce after 19 years of marriage.  Nine days later, Billy Ray’s representative issued a statement to Us Weekly that said, “We both woke up and realized we love each other and decided we want to stay together.  We went into couples therapy, something we haven’t done in 22 years of being together, and it’s brought us closer together and really opened up our communication in amazing ways.  Tish also said marriage can be really hard especially after 22 years of being in entertainment.  We’ve had rough times but we both realized we didn't want to be another statistic and wanted to make it work.”  Billy Ray and Tish have three children together, pop star Miley Cyrus and her younger siblings Braison and Noah.  Tish also has two children from a previous relationship.
 
Pop Number 1 Hits

1973
- Maureen McGovern  “The Morning After” 
 
1983 - The Police  “Every Breath You Take” 
 
1993 - UB40  “Can’t Help Falling In Love” 
 
2003 - Beyonce with Jay-Z  “Crazy In Love”  
 
2013 - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell  “Blurred Lines”  
New Album Releases / July 30: 

 “Rhythm & Blues” by Buddy Guy
“The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1” by Five Finger Death Punch,
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke
“In A World Like This” by Backstreet Boys
“Life After Fame” by Soulja Boy
“All People” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
“Bakersfield” by Vince Gill and Paul Franklin
 
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits 
 
The 59th annual Newport Jazz Festival begins on August 3 at Newport, Rhode Island’s Ford Adams State Park.  The two-day festival will feature performances by the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller, Terence Blanchard, the Lew Tabackin Quartet, Eddie Palmieri, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many other jazz stars.  The Newport Jazz Festival was created in 1954 by producer George Wein.  It was the first annual jazz festival in America.  Each year, thousands of jazz fans from all over the world attend the festival.
 
Star Birthdays
 
July 28 - British singer Cher Lloyd, who placed fourth on the seventh season (2010) of the U.K.’s “X Factor,” turned 20.  Her 2011 debut album, “Sticks + Stones,” produced the Number One U.K. hit “Swagger Jagger.”  Lloyd is currently working on her second album.
 
Recording artist Soulja Boy poses for a portrait in New York, Nov. 29, 2010.Recording artist Soulja Boy poses for a portrait in New York, Nov. 29, 2010.
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Recording artist Soulja Boy poses for a portrait in New York, Nov. 29, 2010.
Recording artist Soulja Boy poses for a portrait in New York, Nov. 29, 2010.
Rapper Soulja Boy (real name DeAndre Cortez Way) celebrates his 23rd birthday. His 2007 debut single, “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” was an international hit.  It topped the chart in the U.S. and sold three million copies.  His other R&B hits include “Kiss Me Thru the Phone,” “Turn My Swag On” and “Pretty Boy Swag.”  Soulja Boy’s fourth album, “Life After Fame,” drops this week (July 30).
 
July 29 - Country star Martina McBride turns 47.  The Kansas native has sold more than 14 million albums in the U.S.  She won the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year honor four times, tying her with Reba McEntire for most wins in that category.  In 1995, McBride scored her first Number One Country single with “Wild Angels.”  Four more chart-toppers followed, including “A Broken Wing,” “Wrong Again,” “I Love You” and “Blessed.”  Martina and her husband, sound engineer John McBride, recently opened the Nashville sound engineering school, Blackbird Academy.
 
Canadian singer Geddy Lee of the band Rush celebrates his 60th birthday.  The group’s rock classics include “Closer To The Heart” and “Tom Sawyer.”  Last year, Rush recorded its latest album, “Clockwork Angels.”  The band wraps up its “Clockwork Angels 2013 Tour” on August 4.  Canadian postage stamps honoring Rush were recently issued as part of the Canadian Recording Artists series.
 
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Patti Scialfa turns 60.  Patti has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1984.  She married Springsteen in 1991.  Since 1993, Scialfa has recorded three solo albums.  She says her fourth is completely written, but not yet recorded.  Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band wraps up a U.K. tour on July 28.  South American dates begin in September.  The group is supporting its 2012 album, “Wrecking Ball.”
 
July 30 - Singer-songwriter Paul Anka turns 72.  Anka’s many pop hits include “Lonely Boy,” “You’re Having My Baby” and “Puppy Love.”  In 1983, he wrote “I Never Heard” with Michael Jackson.  The song was retitled “This Is It” and released four months after Jackson’s June 2009 death.  “This Is It” is among 14 tracks on Anka’s new album, “Duets.”  Also featured on the set are duets with Dolly Parton, Tom Jones, Willie Nelson and Michael Buble, among others.  Anka released his autobiography, “My Way,” earlier this year.
 
The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
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The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
July 31 - Grammy-winning Country singer Zac Brown celebrates his 35th birthday.  The Zac Brown Band’s 2008 debut album, “The Foundation,” sold three million copies and produced four Number One Country hits.  Since then, the group has released the Number One albums, “You Get What You Give” and “Uncaged.”  Its latest single, “Jump Right In,” will likely become the band’s 10th chart-topper.  This week, the song climbs to Number 2.  Only three of the Zac Brown Band’s 12 previous singles haven’t reached Number One on the Country chart.
 
August 1 - Adam Duritz, lead singer of the Counting Crows, turns 49.  Duritz co-founded the rock band in 1990 with David Bryson.  Counting Crows’ debut single, “Mr. Jones,” was a Top 5 hit and is still considered the group’s most popular song.  Last year, the band released “Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation),” a collection of cover songs.
 
Tony Bennett gestures after singing Tony Bennett gestures after singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" during a sound check for a Valentine's Day benefit concert in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Bennett returned the hotel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
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Tony Bennett gestures after singing
Tony Bennett gestures after singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" during a sound check for a Valentine's Day benefit concert in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Bennett returned the hotel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
August 3 - Legendary pop crooner Tony Bennett celebrates his 87th birthday.  The New York native has sold 50 million albums worldwide.  Bennett recorded his signature tune “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” in 1962.  In addition to winning 17 Grammy Awards, his many industry honors include two Emmy Awards, the 2002 ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2005 Kennedy Center Honor and the 2006 Billboard Century Award.  Bennett founded New York’s Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in 2001.
 
Awards Presentations / Winners
 
Kylie MinogueKylie Minogue
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Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
On July 29, Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue will receive a JC Williamson Award.  The honor recognizes outstanding contributions to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry.  Minogue will be presented with the special award during the 13th annual Helpmann Awards at the Sydney Opera House.  The Helpmann Awards recognize distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in Australia's live performance sectors, including musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, cabaret, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre.
 
Look Who's Going On Tour!
 
Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's
Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
On August 1, the 2013 Honda Civic Tour gets underway in Maryland Heights, Missouri.  Headliner Maroon 5 and special guest Kelly Clarkson will be joined by PJ Morton, Rozzi Crane and Tony Lucca, who will share the opening slot throughout the tour.  Maroon 5’s Adam Levine coached Tony Lucca on “The Voice” in 2012.  Lucca placed third in the competition.  The 34-date Honda Civic Tour wraps up on October 6 in Los Angeles.
 

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Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.