News / Arts & Entertainment

Miley Cyrus Tops Billboard 200; Taylor Swift Launches Music School

Recording artist Miley Cyrus attends an album release signing event, on Oct. 8, 2013 at Planet Hollywood in New York.
Recording artist Miley Cyrus attends an album release signing event, on Oct. 8, 2013 at Planet Hollywood in New York.
TEXT SIZE - +
Mary Morningstar
Miley Cyrus scores her fifth Number One album on the Billboard 200 chart with “Bangerz.”  The set sold 270,000 copies its first week of release, giving Cyrus this year’s biggest sales week for a solo female artist. “Bangerz” reached Number One on iTunes in over 70 countries.  Six additional albums debut in the Billboard 200’s Top 10, including Panic! At The Disco’s “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” (Number 2), Pusha T’s “My Name Is My Name” (Number 4), “Glee: The Quarterback” soundtrack (Number 7), Korn’s “Paradigm Shift” (Number 8), Cassadee Pope’s “Frame By Frame” (Number 9) and Mayday Parade’s “Monsters In The Closet” (Number 10).

Taylor Swift Launches Education Center

FILE - Taylor SwiftFILE - Taylor Swift
x
FILE - Taylor Swift
FILE - Taylor Swift
Superstar Taylor Swift has opened her Taylor Swift Education Center at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  The $4-million center features classrooms and a hands-on instrument room.  The popular singer-songwriter plans to show up at the center from time to time.  “We’ve been talking about different programs I can be involved in," Swift said. "I hate to call it a lecture because that sounds like I’m yelling at people, but we could do a Q&A talking to students here and a songwriters discussion would be really fun to have at some point.”

Clarkson to Release Holiday Album

Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
x
Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
Singer Kelly Clarkson will release her first holiday album on October 29.  Wrapped In Red features a few guests, including her soon-to-be mother-in-law Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and Ronnie Dunn.  Clarkson will tape a Christmas special on October 30 in Las Vegas.  “Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale” will air on NBC-TV later this year.  In other news, Clarkson and her fiancé, Brandon Blackstock, obtained their marriage license on October 15.  They haven’t announced their wedding date, but the license expires in 30 days.

YES, Nirvana, Ronstadt Among Hall of Fame Nominees

Musican Linda Ronstadt smiles during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., May 5, 2009.Musican Linda Ronstadt smiles during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., May 5, 2009.
x
Musican Linda Ronstadt smiles during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., May 5, 2009.
Musican Linda Ronstadt smiles during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., May 5, 2009.
The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for its class of 2014.  Eight of the 16 artists are first-time nominees.  They include YES, Link Wray, The Zombies, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, The Replacements and Peter Gabriel.  The repeat nominees are KISS, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, The Meters, N.W.A., The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Chic.  Five inductees will be announced in December.  The induction ceremony will take place in April 2014.

Lion King Musical Approaches $1 Billion in Ticket Sales

Dancers from "The Lion King" perform during the opening number at the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, June 15, 2008.Dancers from "The Lion King" perform during the opening number at the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, June 15, 2008.
x
Dancers from "The Lion King" perform during the opening number at the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, June 15, 2008.
Dancers from "The Lion King" perform during the opening number at the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, June 15, 2008.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Broadway’s “The Lion King” is close to becoming the first show to reach $1-billion in ticket sales.  As of October 6, “The Lion King” had grossed $997-million.  The Disney musical has been running on Broadway for 16 years and has been seen by more than 11 million people.  “The Lion King” is also about to take over the Number 4 spot on the list of longest-running Broadway shows, moving “Les Miserables” into fifth place.  The top three longest-running shows are “Chicago,” “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
 
New Album Releases Oct. 22:

  • “Prism” by Katy Perry
  • “Guilt Trips” by Ryan Hemsworth
  • “Love In Portofino” (CD+DVD compilation) by Andrea Bocelli
  • “Love To Love You Donna” (Donna Summer tribute album) by various artists “Foreward” by Tori Kelly
  • “Fade Away” by Best Coast
  • “Double Cup” by DJ Rasha

Musical Events

Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
x
Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
On October 22, the T.J. Martell Foundation will hold its 38th annual Honors Gala in New York City.  This year’s honorees include Country star Carrie Underwood, who will receive the 2013 Artist Achievement Award.  Since 1975, the T.J. Martell Foundation has raised more than $250 million for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.  The foundation was created by former music industry executive Tony Martell in honor of his son T.J.  T.J. died of leukemia in 1975 at age 19.

Neil Young’s 2013 Bridge School Benefit takes place October 26 and 27 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.  This year’s lineup features Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Fun., Heart, and others.  Young and his wife Pegi held the first Bridge School Benefit in 1986.  The annual acoustic show benefits their Bridge School, which educates children with severe speech and physical impairments.

Star Birthdays

October 20 - Rocker Tom Petty turns 63.  The Florida native formed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 1975.  The band’s hits include “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin’.”  In 2005, Petty received a Century Award, Billboard’s highest award for creative achievement.  Reprise Records released Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ latest album, “Mojo,” in 2010.

October 21 - Birthdate of late jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (b. 1917).  In 1937, Gillespie moved from his native South Carolina to New York City and soon gained respect from local jazz musicians.  He performed with Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker and others before forming his own band in 1944.  In 1989, Gillespie received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award for his nearly 50 years of contributions to jazz.  Gillespie died at his home in New Jersey on January 6, 1993 at age 75.

October 22 - Jamaican singer Shaggy (real name Orville Richard Burrell) celebrates his 45th birthday.  At 18, Shaggy moved to Brooklyn, New York where he began focusing on a career in music.  He earned his big break in 1993 with the hit single “Oh Carolina.”  That led to a recording deal with Virgin Records.  Shaggy’s biggest hits include collaborations with Rayvon (“Angel”) and Rik Rok (“It Wasn’t Me”).  Last year, Shaggy formed his own record label and began working on a new album with Jamaican producers Sly and Robbie.

October 24 - Birthdate of late singer-songwriter J.P. Richardson (b. 1930).  Nicknamed “The Big Bopper,” Richardson is best known for his 1958 song “Chantilly Lace.”  In 1959, Richardson died in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

R&B singer Monica turns 33.  Monica arrived on the music scene in 1995 with her debut album, “Miss Thang.”  Three years later, she recorded the long-running duet with Brandy, “The Boy Is Mine.”  Monica’s latest album, “New Life,” was released in 2012.  It features another duet with Brandy, called “It All Belongs To Me.”  Earlier this year, Monica announced that she and her husband, Shannon Brown, were expecting their first child together.  They welcomed their daughter Laiyah Shannon Brown on September 3.

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.
x
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.
October 25 - Pop star Katy Perry will celebrate her 29th birthday.  Perry burst onto the pop music scene in 2008 with her multi-million-selling album, “One of the Boys.”  Her follow-up album, “Teenage Dream,” made her an international superstar.  The set sold 5.5-million copies worldwide and produced six Number One singles.  Her new album, “Prism,” released on October 22, features her smash hit “Roar.”  She recently partnered with ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to give high schools across the U.S. a chance to have Perry perform at their school.  The students created their own videos for “Roar.”  The winner was Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colorado.  Perry will spend her birthday at the school.  It was recently announced that Perry is the new face of Cover Girl cosmetics.

Keith Urban performs on NBC's "Today" show, Sept. 10, 2013 in New York.Keith Urban performs on NBC's "Today" show, Sept. 10, 2013 in New York.
x
Keith Urban performs on NBC's "Today" show, Sept. 10, 2013 in New York.
Keith Urban performs on NBC's "Today" show, Sept. 10, 2013 in New York.
October 26 - Country star Keith Urban will turn 46.  Urban was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia.  He moved to Nashville in 1992 and made his U.S. Country chart debut in 1999 with “It’s A Love Thing.”  Since then, Urban has recorded seven albums and topped the Country singles chart 15 times.  His new album, “Fuse,” debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts.  Its latest single, “We Were Us,” is a duet with Miranda Lambert.  The track climbs to Number 10 on this week’s Country Airplay chart.

Awards Presentations / Winners

On October 24, the 2013 Inspirational Country Music Awards will be presented in Nashville.  Trophies will be handed out in more than 20 categories representing Inspirational Country, Mainstream Country and Bluegrass music.  This year’s Entertainer of the Year finalists are Chuck Day, Dennis Agajanian, Guy Penrod, Jeff Bates, Kali Rose and Steve Richard.  The Mainstream Country Male Artist category includes Alan Jackson, Andy Griggs, John Berry, Scotty McCreery and Vince Gill.  Nominated for Mainstream Country Female Artist are Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Lauren Alaina, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire.  (See complete list of nominees at www.faithfamilycountry.com.)

Look who's Going On Tour!

FILE - John LegendFILE - John Legend
x
FILE - John Legend
FILE - John Legend
On October 20, Grammy-winning artist John Legend kicks off a North American tour in Mashantucket, Connecticut.  He’ll be supporting his latest album Made To Love.  Twenty-seven shows are scheduled through December 1.  From December 5 to 20, Legend will be in Australia and New Zealand, where he’ll appear with Alicia Keys.

Country trio Lady Antebellum has postponed its upcoming 60-date U.S. tour, which was set to launch in early November.  The first leg of the band’s “Take Me Downtown Tour” will now begin on January 10 in Peoria, Illinois.  Lady A will spend the next couple months promoting the November release of a deluxe version of its latest album “Golden.”

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.