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Las Vegas Gears Up for Jackson Fan Fest; Sugarland Faces Lawsuit

Las Vegas Gears Up for Jackson Fan Fest; Sugarland Faces Lawsuit
Las Vegas Gears Up for Jackson Fan Fest; Sugarland Faces Lawsuit
Mary Morningstar

Las Vegas Gears Up for Jackson Fan Fest

The first Estate-authorized Michael Jackson Fan Fest will take place December 3-14 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  Visitors will be given the opportunity to walk through Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and view many of his personal items.  They include his 1999 Rolls Royce limousine, tour memorabilia, 1980s Fantasy glove collection, costumes, recreated video sets, and more.  Three of Michael’s brothers, Marlon, Jackie and Tito, will appear at the event on December 4 to hold a Q & Asession with fans.

Stage Collapse Survivors Sue Sugarland

Jennifer Nettles, left, and Kristian Bush from the band Sugarland pose backstage with the award for vocal duo of the year at the 45th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 9, 2011.
Jennifer Nettles, left, and Kristian Bush from the band Sugarland pose backstage with the award for vocal duo of the year at the 45th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 9, 2011.

Country duo Sugarland is being sued by 44 survivors and family members of four people killed when a storm blew through the Indiana State Fair on August 13 causing the stage to collapse.  According to one of the victims’ attorneys, Mario Massillamany, Sugarland’s contract stated that the band had the final word on whether to cancel the concert due to bad weather.  He says, “Unfortunately, this tragedy could have been prevented if the responsible parties had been concerned about the concertgoers that night.”  Sugarland returned to Indiana on October 28 to perform a free concert.  Donations were accepted for the State Fair Remembrance Fund, which is aiding those who have suffered financial hardship due to their injuries.

Hendrix Tops Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists List

Jimi Hendrix performs on the Isle of Wight in England (1970 file photo)
Jimi Hendrix performs on the Isle of Wight in England (1970 file photo)

Rolling Stone magazine has released its list of the greatest guitar players of all time.  Topping the list is the late Jimi Hendrix.  Rounding out the top 10 in descending order are Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend.  The list was compiled by music experts and guitar players.

Springsteen Working on New Album

Bruce Springsteen (file photo)
Bruce Springsteen (file photo)

Bruce Springsteen recently posted on his website that he plans to release a new album with the E Street Band in 2012.  The collection will mark their first since the June 18, 2011 death of the group’s saxophonist Clarence Clemons.  Springsteen also announced that the band will support the album with a world concert tour, which is set to begin in Europe in May.

Drake Tops Billboard 200

Drake's "Take Care" CD
Drake's "Take Care" CD

Canadian hip-hop artist Drake debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart this week.  His sophomore album, Take Care, sold 631,000 copies its first week to become the third-largest-selling debut of 2011.  The two biggest first-week sellers of the year were Lady Gaga, whose Born This Way album sold 1.1-million copies, and Lil Wayne, who moved 964,000 copies of Tha Carter IV its opening week.

Robin Gibb Battles Cancer

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees
Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees

The Bee Gees Robin Gibb is reportedly battling liver cancer.  Although the 61-year-old singer hasn’t spoken  about the diagnosis, he issued a statement on his website that says, ”I wish to thank my family, friends and fans and the many thousands of people who do not know me but have enjoyed Bee Gees music and have wished me well. I am very touched by your love, kindness and support.  This concern from people all over the world has demonstrated the depth of feeling and love that the Bee Gees have achieved over the years.  It is humbling and I take your prayers and good wishes for my health very seriously.  I have been very unwell and am now on the road to recovery, and your prayers and wishes are a great tonic to me.  I believe because of you I will get well and my deepest love goes out to you all.”

Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' Among Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees

Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor

The Recording Academy has announced its 2012 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees.  The 25 new titles include Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. album, the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street album, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech, Bill Cosby’s I Started Out As A Child comedy album and Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 Number One hit, I Will Survive.  A total of 906 recordings are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.  The complete list can be viewed at www.grammy.or/recording-academy/awards/hall-of-fame.

On November 30, the “Grammy Nominations Concert Live - Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night” television special will air on CBS.  The show takes place at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.  During the one-hour special, Grammy nominees in some of the major categories will be announced.  Performers include Rihanna, Usher, Lady Gaga, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Jason Aldean, Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco.  The 54th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012.

New Album Releases / November 29:
“Inevitable” by Trey Songz
“Addicted” by Smoov-E
“Aphrodite: Les Folies” by Kylie Minogue
“Bestival Live 2011” by The Cure
“Follies” Broadway Cast Recording

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On November 28, Country/bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs will kick off a holiday tour in Clemson, South Carolina.  His wife Sharon, their children Luke and Molly, and extended family members will join him on the eight-city tour.  Sharon says, “We started singing these songs in our living room all those years ago, with no idea that we would ever take “A Skaggs Family Christmas” to so many places.  It has been such a blessing to share all of this as a family.”

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A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

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