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.
    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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.

    New in Music Alley

    Beyond Category: Arturo Sandovali
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 02, 2016 3:53 PM
    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.

    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.