News / Arts & Entertainment

    Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' a Huge Hit; Pink Named Billboard's Woman of the Year

    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
    This week, Miley Cyrus collects her first Number One hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with “Wrecking Ball.”  According to Nielsen SoundScan, the track sold 477,000 digital downloads.  In only six days, the music video for “Wrecking Ball” became the fastest video ever to draw 100 million views on VEVO’s online service.

    Pink Named Billboard's Woman of the Year

    FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 file photo, Alecia Moore aka Pink arrives at the premiere of "Thanks for Sharing" at the ArcLight Hollywood, in Los Angeles.FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 file photo, Alecia Moore aka Pink arrives at the premiere of "Thanks for Sharing" at the ArcLight Hollywood, in Los Angeles.
    x
    FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 file photo, Alecia Moore aka Pink arrives at the premiere of "Thanks for Sharing" at the ArcLight Hollywood, in Los Angeles.
    FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 file photo, Alecia Moore aka Pink arrives at the premiere of "Thanks for Sharing" at the ArcLight Hollywood, in Los Angeles.
    Pink has been named Billboard’s 2013 Woman of the Year.  She’ll receive the award on December 10 at the 2013 Billboard Women in Music event in New York City.  Billboard’s Editorial Director Bill Werde said, “Pink has almost been in a class by herself among women in music this year, and we’re thrilled to recognize her successes by honoring her with the Billboard Woman of the Year Award.”  Pink responded, “I was absolutely shocked and surprised to hear that Billboard named me Woman of the Year.  It’s been an incredible year and I feel so grateful to radio for sticking by me, and to the fans and friends and all of the incredible talent that I was fortunate enough to work with for this album.”  Previous Woman of the Year recipients include Ciara, the Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

    Urban Tops Billboard 200 Chart 

    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.
    Country star Keith Urban leads six new entries in the Top 10 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart.  His new album, Fuse, sold 98,000 copies its first week of release, enough to also debut in the Number One position on the Top Country Albums list.  Fuse features Urban’s recent Number One hit, “Little Bit of Everything” and his new hit with Miranda Lambert, “We Were Us.”  The duet rockets 20 spots to Number 29 on this week’s Country Airplay chart.  The five other new Top 10 entries on the Billboard 200 chart include Kiss Land by The Weeknd (Number 2), B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME by 2 Chainz (Number 3), The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae (Number 5), AM by Arctic Monkeys (Number 6) and Feels Like Home by Sheryl Crow (Number 7).
     
    Britney Spears Moves to Las Vegas

    Britney Spears arrives to her announcement for her new show at Planet Hollywood Vegas, Sept. 17, 2013 in Las Vegas.Britney Spears arrives to her announcement for her new show at Planet Hollywood Vegas, Sept. 17, 2013 in Las Vegas.
    x
    Britney Spears arrives to her announcement for her new show at Planet Hollywood Vegas, Sept. 17, 2013 in Las Vegas.
    Britney Spears arrives to her announcement for her new show at Planet Hollywood Vegas, Sept. 17, 2013 in Las Vegas.
    Britney Spears is set to begin a two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on December 27.  “Britney: Piece of Me” will feature the 31-year-old pop star’s greatest hits and new material from her upcoming eighth studio album, due out December 3.  She says the new album includes some personal tracks she wrote following the breakup of her four-year relationship with former manager Jason Trawick.  Spears will perform 50 shows per year in 2014 and 2015.

    MusiCares to Honor Carole King

    Carole King attends the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, in New York, Nov. 20, 2011.Carole King attends the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, in New York, Nov. 20, 2011.
    x
    Carole King attends the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, in New York, Nov. 20, 2011.
    Carole King attends the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, in New York, Nov. 20, 2011.
    The MusiCares Foundation has announced that legendary singer-songwriter Carole King will be honored as its 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year.  The 24th annual benefit gala dinner and concert takes place in Los Angeles on January 24, 2014.  Among the artists who will pay tribute to King at the event are Lady Gaga, the Dixie Chicks, Bette Midler, James Taylor, Steven Tyler and Jason Mraz.  Neil Portnow, President/CDO of the MusiCares Foundation said, “We are honored to celebrate Carole King as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year.  Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have truly changed the landscape of pop music, and her philanthropy speaks volumes about her generosity and personal passions.”
     
    Fogerty Exhibit Opens at Grammy Museum

    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.
    On September 26, the Grammy Museum will open the new exhibit “John Fogerty: Wrote a Song for Everyone.”  The exhibit features a unique look at his 45 years in music with personal artifacts that include costumes, instruments, handwritten lyrics, his high school diploma and yearbook, awards, and much more.  The display runs through January 2014.
     
    New Album Releases September 24: 
     
    “Closer To The Truth” by Cher
    “Louder” by R5
    “Nothing Was The Same” by Drake
    “The Diving Board” by Elton John
    “Shout!” by Gov’t Mule,
    “This Is…Icona Pop” by Icona Pop
    “The Bluegrass Album” by Alan Jackson
    “Mechanical Bull” by Kings of Leon
    “Arrows of Desire” by Matthew Good
    “Sammy Hagar & Friends” by Sammy Hagar
    “The Last Ship” by Sting

    Musical Events / Benefits 
     
    On September 25, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium will host the 16th annual Concert for Cumberland Heights.  Country legend Kenny Rogers is this year’s headliner.  Proceeds from the concert will go to the John Hiatt Fund for Adolescent Treatment, which helps teenagers recover from addiction.  Since 1996, the annual concert has raised nearly $2 million for the John Hiatt Fund for Adolescent Treatment.
     
    The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
    x
    The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
    The Zac Brown Band, from left, John Driskell Hopkins, Coy Bowles, Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, Clay Cook, and Chris Fryar are shown in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 29, 2010.
    The Zac Brown Band hosts its second annual Southern Ground Music and Food Festival September 27 and 28.  The event will be held at Nashville’s Riverfront Park. This year’s lineup includes Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kacey Musgraves, and others.  
     
    On September 28, the 2013 Global Citizen Festival takes place at New York’s Central Park.  Headlining artists include Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer.  Free tickets were distributed to fans who took part in various online actions that help bring awareness to the work of The Global Poverty Project.  The organization hopes to end extreme poverty by 2030 through education, women’s equality, global health and global partnerships.
     
    Star Birthdays 
     
    Joan Jett of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration, Aug. 29, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI.Joan Jett of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration, Aug. 29, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI.
    x
    Joan Jett of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration, Aug. 29, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI.
    Joan Jett of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration, Aug. 29, 2013 in Milwaukee, WI.
    September 22 - Rock singer Joan Jett turned  55.  Born in Pennsylvania, Jett performed during her teenage years with The Runaways.  She served as an executive producer on the 2010 film “The Runaways,” which told the story of her former band.  Jett formed The Blackhearts in 1980, and two years later, topped the chart with “I Love Rock 'n' Roll.”
     
    Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli celebrated his 55th birthday.  Since 1994, Bocelli has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.  In 1999, he became the first classical artist to be nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy since Leontyne Price in 1961.  In early 2013, Bocelli released his latest album “Passione.”  The collection of love songs includes duets with Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado, as well as a virtual duet with the late French singer Edith Piaf.
     
    September 23 - Rocker Bruce Springsteen turned 64.  The 20-time Grammy winner has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide.  His most successful albums were 1975’s “Born To Run” and 1984’s “Born In The U.S.A.”  In 2003, “Born To Run” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.  Springsteen’s accolades include induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, a 2009 Kennedy Center Honor and being named the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year.  Springsteen and his E Street Band wrapped up a South American tour on September 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  In February and March 2014, they’ll perform 13 concerts in Australia and New Zealand.
     
    Will Smith arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.Will Smith arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
    x
    Will Smith arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
    Will Smith arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
    September 25 - Actor and rapper Will Smith will celebrate his 45th birthday.  His hit songs include “Men In Black,” “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” “Just The Two of Us,” Miami” and “Wild Wild West.”  Smith recorded his latest album, “Lost and Found,” in 2005.  He’s had more success as an actor, having starred in the “Men In Black” film series, “Ali,” “I Am Legend” and “Pursuit of Happyness,” among many others.  Will is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross more than $100 million in the U.S. and open at Number One at the box office.
     
    September 26 - Pop singer Olivia Newton-John turns 65.  Her 1970s Number One hits include “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “You’re the One That I Want,” a duet with John Travolta that was featured in the film “Grease.”  Last year, she opened The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center in Melbourne, Australia.  Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and made a full recovery.  Also in 2012, she teamed with John Travolta to record the holiday album, “This Christmas.”
     
    Avril Lavigne tapes an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live," April 16, 2007 at MTV's Times Square studios in New York.Avril Lavigne tapes an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live," April 16, 2007 at MTV's Times Square studios in New York.
    x
    Avril Lavigne tapes an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live," April 16, 2007 at MTV's Times Square studios in New York.
    Avril Lavigne tapes an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live," April 16, 2007 at MTV's Times Square studios in New York.
    September 27 - Canadian singer Avril Lavigne turns 29.  Discovered by producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Lavigne recorded her debut album, “Let Go,” in 2002.  The set sold 17 million copies worldwide.  Since then, Lavigne has recorded four more albums.  Her new self-titled collection will be released on November 5.  This past July, Lavigne married Chad Kroeger, lead singer of the rock band Nickelback.
     
    September 28 - Actress and pop singer Hilary Duff celebrates her 26th birthday.  In 2001, Duff landed the lead role in the Disney Channel series “Lizzie McGuire.”  Her 2003 debut album, “Metamorphosis,” sold close to four million copies in the U.S.  Since then, Duff has released two more albums, a self-titled collection in 2004 and 2007’s “Dignity.”  More recently, she has written three young adult novels.  The series includes “Elixir,” “Devoted” and “True.”  In 2010, Hilary married professional hockey player Mike Comrie.  They welcomed their son Luca Cruz Comrie in March 2012.
     
    Legendary soul singer Ben E. King (real name Benjamin Earl Nelson) celebrates his 75th birthday.  King launched his career during his high school years singing in a student doo-wop group, called the Four B’s.  He later joined the Five Crowns, which changed its name to The Drifters in 1959.  King left the group in 1960 to pursue a solo career.  The following year, he recorded his biggest hit, “Stand By Me.”  In 1988, The Drifters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  
     
    Awards Presentations / Winners 
     
    On September 26, the 24th annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards will be presented in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The Gibson Brothers lead this year’s contenders.  The band and its individual members earned a total of eight nominations.  They include Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year for “They Called It Music.”  Following close behind is Balsam Range with seven nods.  The Boxcars, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Russell Moore & IIIrd Time Out picked up six nominations apiece.  During the ceremony, fiddler Paul Warren and bandleader and singer Tony Rice will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.  
     
    Look Who's Going on Tour!
     
    On September 27, Beach Boy Brian Wilson and British rock guitarist Jeff Beck will kick off a 21-city U.S. tour.  Shows begin in Hollywood, Florida and wrap up on October 30 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Beck told USA Today, “He’s got a truckload of hits to play, but we’ll build on that and interact.  Brian will kick things off, but I’ll also be given enough time to establish what I’m about.  In the end, we’ll mix and match.  It’s a complete honor to be on stage with him.”
     

    You May Like

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    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.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.