News / Arts & Entertainment

Miley Cyrus Breaks VEVO Record; Ariana Grande Tops Billboard 200

Miley Cyrus arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Miley Cyrus arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Mary Morningstar
Miley Cyrus’s video to her new single “Wrecking Ball” was viewed 12.3 million times on VEVO its first 24 hours of release.  The previous record holder was boy band One Direction, which drew 10.9 million views of its “Best Song Ever” video.  “Wrecking Ball” is the lead single from Cyrus’s upcoming album Bangerz, due out on October 8.  The set features collaborations with producers and songwriters Pharrell, Future and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am.  Guests include Britney Spears, Big Sean, Future and French Montana.



Ariana Grande Tops Billboard 200

Ariana Grande performing as part of The Believe Tour at Philips Arena on Aug. 10, 2013, in Atlanta.Ariana Grande performing as part of The Believe Tour at Philips Arena on Aug. 10, 2013, in Atlanta.
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Ariana Grande performing as part of The Believe Tour at Philips Arena on Aug. 10, 2013, in Atlanta.
Ariana Grande performing as part of The Believe Tour at Philips Arena on Aug. 10, 2013, in Atlanta.
Ariana Grande tops this week’s Billboard 200 chart with her debut album, Yours Truly.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, the 20-year-old singer and Nickelodeon star sold 138,000 copies of the set its first week of release.  Billboard reports Grande is the first female artist to enter the list at Number One with a debut album since January 2010, when Ke$ha achieved that feat with Animal.

There are four other Top 10 debuts on this week’s Billboard 200 chart.  Tamar Braxton opens at Number 2 with “Love and War;” The Nine Inch Nails’ first studio album since 2008, “Hesitation Marks,” enters at Number 3; John Legend’s “Love in the Future” comes in at Number 4 to become his sixth consecutive Top 10 album; and R&B singer Jaheim lands on the list at Number 6 with his sixth studio album, “Appreciation Day.”

Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock Among Kennedy Center Honorees

FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.
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FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.
FILE - Billy Joel poses at a piano in New York, Dec. 12, 2011.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced its 2013 Honorees.  They include musicians Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine.  The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded annually for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts.  The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on December 7 at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry.  The Honors Gala takes place on December 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, attended by President Obama and Mrs. Obama.  The all-star tribute will air on CBS-TV December 29.

Bruno Mars to Headline NFL Superbowl Halftime Show

Bruno Mars performs on the NBC Bruno Mars performs on the NBC "Today" television program in New York, June 24, 2011.
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Bruno Mars performs on the NBC
Bruno Mars performs on the NBC "Today" television program in New York, June 24, 2011.
The National Football League (NFL) has chosen Bruno Mars to perform the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVIII.  The championship football game is scheduled to be held on February 2 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  Its halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year.  According to NFL.com, last year’s show, which featured Beyonce, drew more than 110.5 million U.S. viewers.  The NFL is also planning many concerts in New York and New Jersey throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.

Old Crow Medicine Show to be Grand Ole Opry's Newest Member

This undated image released by ATO Records shows members of Old Crow Medicine Show, from left, Kevin Hayes, Gill Landry, Chance McCoy, Ketch Secor, Morgan Jahnig, and Critter Fuqua.This undated image released by ATO Records shows members of Old Crow Medicine Show, from left, Kevin Hayes, Gill Landry, Chance McCoy, Ketch Secor, Morgan Jahnig, and Critter Fuqua.
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This undated image released by ATO Records shows members of Old Crow Medicine Show, from left, Kevin Hayes, Gill Landry, Chance McCoy, Ketch Secor, Morgan Jahnig, and Critter Fuqua.
This undated image released by ATO Records shows members of Old Crow Medicine Show, from left, Kevin Hayes, Gill Landry, Chance McCoy, Ketch Secor, Morgan Jahnig, and Critter Fuqua.
On September 17, Old Crow Medicine Show will be inducted into Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.  The string band was invited to become a member of the prestigious stage last month by Opry member Marty Stuart.  Stuart surprised the group following their performance.  “In 1925, there was a show started in Nashville called the Grand Ole Opry.  It was founded on a traditional fiddle tune.  It was founded on hard-hitting old-time music.  It was founded on being a good-natured riot.  And it’s been going on for 88 years.  It’s a great American story," he said. "Would you all consider becoming a part of this great American story and becoming Grand Ole Opry members?”  The members of Old Crow Medicine Show answered with a resounding ‘yes’ and was given a standing ovation by the sold-out audience.

New Album releases Sept. 17:

 “We Are Tonight” by Billy Currington
“A.M.” by Chris Young
“True” by Avicii
“Long Way Down” by Tom Odell,
“Wise Up Ghost” by Elvis Costello & The Roots
“Bookmarks” by Five For Fighting,
“From Here To Now To You” by Jack Johnson,
“Off the Beaten Path” by Justin Moore
“MGMT” by MGMT
“Loud Like Love” by Placebo
“Dead Language” by The Flatliners
“New Constellation” by Toad The Wet Sprocket
“Hoodoo” by Tony Joe White
“Take Me To the Land of Hell” by Yoko Ono

Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits

Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
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Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Katy Perry arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Bruce Springsteen at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles.
On September 20, the two-day iHeart Radio Music Festival will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Hosted by radio and television personality Ryan Secrest, the 2013 festival features performances by Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, J. Cole, Drake, Elton John, Miguel, fun., Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Ke$ha and Queen with Adam Lambert.  The event will air live in the U.S. on ClearChannel radio stations.  For the first time, the iHeart Radio Music Festival will offer a Fan Village during daytime hours in a nearby parking lot.  The Fan Village will include appearances by Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, AWOLNATION, The Wanted, Ne-Yo, Pete Tong, Twenty One Pilots, The Band Perry and Jason Derulo.

Farm Aid 2013 will be held on September 21 in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Joining founder Willie Nelson and board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews are Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Tim Reynolds and Carlene Carter, among others.  In addition to the day-long performances, Farm Aid will offer a Homegrown Village with local farmers and foods, and educational activities promoting sustainable agriculture.  Since its inception in 1985, the annual Farm Aid events have raised more than $43 million to support programs that help farmers thrive and promote food from family farms.

On September 21, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest takes place at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.  Pop star Robin Thicke, whose smash hit “Blurred Lines” recently spent 12 weeks at Number One on the Hot 100 chart, is this year’s headliner.  Vampire Weekend, the Avett Brothers, MGMT, Kaskade and Icona Pop are among the many other acts making appearances.  Although the event is free, each person who attends the Festival is asked to donate at least $10 to help fight youth homelessness.

Star Birthdays

September 15 - Birth date of the late Country legend Roy Acuff (born 1903).  Nicknamed “The King of Country Music,” Acuff recorded his biggest hit, “Wabash Cannanball,” in 1936.  In 1962, he became the first living artist elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The U.S. Postal Service issued a Roy Acuff commemorative stamp in 2003.  It featured a black-and-white photo of Acuff that appeared in a 1949 issue of Collier’s magazine.

September 16 - Blues legend B.B. King celebrates his 88th birthday.  King’s style of guitar playing has influenced musicians around the world.  His many industry accolades include 15 Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of the Arts, a Polar Music Prize and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers turns 21.  The Jonas Brothers’ four albums have sold 20 million copies worldwide.  Their biggest pop hits include “S.O.S.,” “Burnin’ Up” and “Tonight.”  Last year, Nick Jonas spent five months on Broadway playing the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the Broadway revival “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”  The Jonas Brothers will release their new album, “V,” later this year on their own Jonas Entertainment label.  Nick recently announced he’s dating 2012 Miss Universe Olivia Culpo.

Trisha YearwoodTrisha Yearwood
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Trisha Yearwood
Trisha Yearwood
September 19 - Country singer Trisha Yearwood turns 49.  The Georgia native launched her recording career in 1991.  Since then, she has released 11 albums that produced seven Number One hits, including “She’s in Love with the Boy,” “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl)” and “Perfect Love.”  In 2005, Yearwood married superstar Garth Brooks.  Since 2012, she has hosted her own cooking show on The Food Network, called “Trisha’s Country Kitchen.”
 
Singer Bill Medley celebrates his 73rd birthday.  Medley was the baritone voice of the Righteous Brothers, which formed in 1962.  The duo’s pop classics include “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Unchained Melody” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.”  In 1987, Medley scored a Number One hit with “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes that was featured in the film “Dirty Dancing.”  In 2007, Medley recorded his latest solo album, “Damn Near Righteous.”

September 21 - Country singer Faith Hill celebrates her 46th birthday.  The five-time Grammy winner has 11 Number One Country hits to her credit.  Her latest album, “Fireflies,” was released in 2005.  In 2011, Hill recorded a new album, titled “Illusion,” but it hasn’t yet been released.  On October 25, Faith and her husband, Country star Tim McGraw, will begin their second engagement at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas.  They’ll perform 20 weekend shows through April 12, 2014.

Awards Presentations / Winners

Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
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Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
Taylor Swift arrives at the 46th Annual Country Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.
Taylor Swift and newcomer Kacey Musgraves lead the nominees for the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards.  Each received six nominations and will compete against each other in the Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year categories.  This year’s Entertainer of the Year nominees are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, George Strait and Taylor Swift.  Shelton won his first CMA Entertainer of the Year award last year.  Swift took home the top honor in 2009 and 2011.  This year’s other multiple nominees include Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert with five nods apiece, and Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban with four each.  The 2013 CMA Awards will be presented on November 6 in Nashville.  (See a complete list of nominees at cmaworld.com.)

Look Who's Going on Tour!

On September 20, folk-rock singer Matt Nathanson begins a North American tour in Portland, Oregon with special guest Joshua Radin.  The outing supports Nathanson’s new album, Last of the Great Pretenders.  His biggest hits include “Come On Get Higher,” “Faster” and “Run,” a duet with Country duo Sugarland.

U.S. singer Jon Bon Jovi performs on stage as part of his U.S. singer Jon Bon Jovi performs on stage as part of his "Because we can" tour in Munich, southern Germany, May 18, 2013.
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U.S. singer Jon Bon Jovi performs on stage as part of his
U.S. singer Jon Bon Jovi performs on stage as part of his "Because we can" tour in Munich, southern Germany, May 18, 2013.
Bon Jovi was forced to cancel some concert dates while drummer Tico Torres recovers from surgery.  The rock band was in Mexico City on September 10 when Torres was admitted to a local hospital.  He underwent emergency surgery to remove his appendix.  Bon Jovi will resume the tour on September 20 in Rio de Janeiro.  The band posted a note on its website apologizing for the canceled shows in Mexico, Chile and Argentina and to let fans know they plan to reschedule as many of the dates as possible.

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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.”