News / Arts & Entertainment

    Luke Bryan Tops Billboard 200; James Brown Biopic Planned

    Luke Bryan performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival at LP Field on June 6, 2013 in Nashville Tennessee.
    Luke Bryan performs at the 2013 CMA Music Festival at LP Field on June 6, 2013 in Nashville Tennessee.
    Mary Morningstar
    Country star Luke Bryan keeps his place at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with his new album Crash My Party. The set entered last week’s list in the top spot after selling close to 528,000 copies.  Second week sales added another 159,000 to the count, enough to hold back a Number One debut for John Mayer’s new release Paradise Valley.  Mayer lands on the chart at Number 2.  This week’s four other Top 10 entries include Three Kings by TGT (Number 3), Songs From St. Somewhere by Jimmy Buffett (Number 4), Doris by rapper Earl Sweatshirt (Number 5) and Trap Lord by A$AP Ferg (Number 9).

    James Brown Biopic Planned
     
    James Brown with wife, Adrienne Lois Brown (1993 file photo)James Brown with wife, Adrienne Lois Brown (1993 file photo)
    x
    James Brown with wife, Adrienne Lois Brown (1993 file photo)
    James Brown with wife, Adrienne Lois Brown (1993 file photo)
    Director Tate Taylor plans to make a movie about the life of late soul music legend James Brown.  Filming is expected to begin in November. Taylor told the Associated Press, “Every frame will be shot in Mississippi.  We’re even doing Paris, France in Mississippi …Vietnam, as well, in Mississippi.”  Brown was known as the “Godfather of Soul.”  The South Carolina native, 73, died of complications from pneumonia on December 25, 2006.

    Paul McCartney Promotes 'New' Album
     
    Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There!" world tour in Orlando, Fla., May 18, 2013.Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There!" world tour in Orlando, Fla., May 18, 2013.
    x
    Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There!" world tour in Orlando, Fla., May 18, 2013.
    Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There!" world tour in Orlando, Fla., May 18, 2013.
    The release date for Paul McCartney’s new album is set for October 15.  The 12-track collection, titled New, will also be released in a deluxe version with two bonus songs.  New is McCartney’s first album with all original songs in six years.  Its title track is the lead single.





    No More Touring for George Strait 
     
    Country music singer George Strait. (Sept. 2009 file photo)Country music singer George Strait. (Sept. 2009 file photo)
    x
    Country music singer George Strait. (Sept. 2009 file photo)
    Country music singer George Strait. (Sept. 2009 file photo)
    Country star George Strait will retire from touring next year, but his music career is far from over.  At a recent event in Nashville to honor his accomplishments during the past three decades, it was announced MCA Nashville Records has extended his recording deal for five more albums.  Mike Dungan, Chairman and CEO of UMG Nashville, said, “George Strait - the artist, the performer, the personality, the man - simply defines country music, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  I can’t tell you what a pleasure and a privilege it is to work with this artist, and what an honor it is to represent the man and the music.  We know the best is yet to come.”
     
    New Album Releases / September 3:
     
    “Love In The Future” by John Legend
    “Strangers Only” by My Ticket Home
    “Yours Truly” by Ariana Grande
    “Hesitation Marks” by Nine Inch Nails
    “Pain Is Beauty” by Chelsea Wolfe
     
    Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits:
     
    The inaugural Interlocking Music Festival takes place September 5-8 at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Virginia.  This year’s lineup includes John Fogerty, the Zac Brown Band, The Black Crowes, Grace Potter, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and many others. The four-day event was organized by HORDE Festival founder Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro. “Most festivals these days are trying to be everything to everyone," Shapiro said, "very eclectic with an emphasis on a large number of artists in various genres.  With Lockn', we want to break away from that mold and create something more identifiable and distinct.”
     
    Star Birthdays
     
    Singer Gloria Estefan pays a visit to her first grade teacher during the Festival People en Espanol 2013, on Aug. 30, 2013 at Winston Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.Singer Gloria Estefan pays a visit to her first grade teacher during the Festival People en Espanol 2013, on Aug. 30, 2013 at Winston Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.
    x
    Singer Gloria Estefan pays a visit to her first grade teacher during the Festival People en Espanol 2013, on Aug. 30, 2013 at Winston Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.
    Singer Gloria Estefan pays a visit to her first grade teacher during the Festival People en Espanol 2013, on Aug. 30, 2013 at Winston Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas.
    September 1 - Latin pop singer Gloria Estefan celebrated her 56th birthday.  She and husband Emilio Estefan formed Miami Sound Machine in 1975.  The group’s hits include “Conga,” “Bad Boy,” “Words Get in the Way” and “Don’t Wanna Lose You.”  While on tour to support her 1989 debut solo album Cuts Both Ways, Gloria was critically injured when her bus was struck by a tractor-trailer.  Estefan returned one year later with the concept album Into the Light.  Since then, she has recorded nine more collections.  Her new album, Standards, will be released on September 10. Celebrating tunes from the American Songbook, the album features international classics sung in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French.  Estefan has written two children’s books and she also collaborated with her husband on the cookbook Estefan Kitchen.
     
    September 3 - Guitarist Al Jardine, a founding member of the Beach Boys, turns 71.  The group’s Number One hits include “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “Good Vibrations.”  Last year, the Beach Boys reunited to perform its 50th anniversary tour.  They also recorded the new album, That’s Why God Made the Radio.  A 41 song, 2-CD set, titled Live - The 50th Anniversary Tour was released this past May.  Jardine is performing a U.S. tour with the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and British rock guitarist Jeff Beck through late October.
     
    Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    x
    Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    September 4 - R&B star Beyonce celebrates her 32nd birthday.  The Houston, Texas native has sold more than 118 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time.  Billboard named her the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and the Artist of the Millennium.  Since 2003, Beyonce has recorded four albums that produced such hits as “Crazy In Love,” “Baby Boy,” “Irreplaceable,” “If I Were a Boy,” “Single Ladies” and “Halo.”  She has also appeared in many films, including “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Dreamgirls” and “Cadillac Records.”  Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z welcomed their first child, daughter Blue Ivy Carter, in January 2012.
     
    September 5 - Arnel Pineda, lead singer of the rock band Journey since 2007, turns 45.  The Filipino singer was discovered on YouTube by Journey’s guitarist Neal Schon.  At that time, Pineda was a member of The Zoo, a band that performed rock cover songs.  Journey’s debut album with Pineda, 2008’s Revelation, debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to sell one million copies.  In 2011, the band released its latest studio project, Eclipse.
     
    Max George attends the US Weekly AMA After Party for The Wanted at Lure on November 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.Max George attends the US Weekly AMA After Party for The Wanted at Lure on November 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
    x
    Max George attends the US Weekly AMA After Party for The Wanted at Lure on November 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
    Max George attends the US Weekly AMA After Party for The Wanted at Lure on November 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
    September 6 - British singer Max George of the English-Irish band The Wanted will celebrate his 25th birthday.  Formed in 2009, the group earned its first hit in the U.S. two years later with “Glad You Came.”  The song peaked at Number 3.  The Wanted’s third album, Word of Mouth, drops on September 23.  The album features collaborations with Pitbull, Chris Brown, LMFAO and others.
     
    September 7 - Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of the Pretenders, turns 63.  The Pretenders’ 1980s hits include “Brass In Pocket,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong” and “Back on the Chain Gang.”  In 2005, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2008, the Pretenders recorded Break Up the Concrete, their first new studio album in seven years. 
     
    Awards Presentations / Winners: 
     
    Elton John performs at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS Event "Love to Erase MS" at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 3, 2013 in Los Angeles.Elton John performs at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS Event "Love to Erase MS" at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 3, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    x
    Elton John performs at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS Event "Love to Erase MS" at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 3, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    Elton John performs at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS Event "Love to Erase MS" at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 3, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    On September 2, pop legend Elton John received the BRIT Icon Award.  The six-time Grammy winner was presented with the honor during a ceremony in London 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 before the ceremony. During the event, Elton John performed some of his classic hits as well as new songs from his upcoming album The Diving Board.  BPI and BRIT Awards “We’re proud to be launching our first ever BRITs Icon Award with an artist of Sir Elton’s incredible stature," Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said. "He represents the very embodiment of what the BRITs Icon is all about, having achieved a level of creativity, originality, critical acclaim and global success that few others can match.”
     
    Kendrick Lamar leads the nominees for the 2013 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Hip Hop Awards.  He picked up a total of 14 nominations, including Best Hip Hop Video for “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Album of the Year for Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City.  Other leading contenders include Drake with 13 nods and J. Cole with 10.  The BET Hip Hop Awards, presented on September 28 in Atlanta, Georgia, will air on October 15.
     
    Look Who's Going On Tour!
     
    John Fogerty performs on his 68th birthday at the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday, May, 28, 2013 in Los Angeles.John Fogerty performs on his 68th birthday at the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday, May, 28, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    x
    John Fogerty performs on his 68th birthday at the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday, May, 28, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    John Fogerty performs on his 68th birthday at the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday, May, 28, 2013 in Los Angeles.
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Fogerty kicks off a two-month U.S. tour this week.  Dates begin on September 7 with an appearance at the Interlocking Music Festival in Arrington, Virginia.  Fogerty will wrap up the 29-date tour with three nights at New York’s Beacon Theatre November 12, 13 and 14.  The outing supports his new album Wrote A Song For Everyone, which recently became his highest debut on the Billboard 200 chart ever.  The set opened at Number 3.
     

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Border Crossings: A Great Big Worldi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    April 27, 2016 12:30 PM
    Duo Ian Axel and Chad King who are better known as "A Great Big World" released their sophomore CD in 2015, "When the Morning Comes" and they join Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from the new CD and also their biggest hit, "Say Something."

    Duo Ian Axel and Chad King who are better known as "A Great Big World" released their sophomore CD in 2015, "When the Morning Comes" and they join Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from the new CD and also their biggest hit, "Say Something."