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 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
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 Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013", June 29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
x
Singer Beyonce performs during her
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 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
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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”