News / Arts & Entertainment

Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep Among Kennedy Center Honorees; Kanye Leads Grammy Nominations

Mary Morningstar

Kennedy Center Honorees Include Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts held its 2011 Kennedy Center Honors Gala on December 4.  This year’s honorees included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singer Barbara Cook, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, actress Meryl Streep and singer-songwriter Neil Diamond.  An all-star lineup of surprise guests saluted the entertainers.  The event will air on CBS-TV on December 27.

Kanye Leads Grammy Nominations

Singers Jay-Z (R) and Kanye West perform at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011.
Singers Jay-Z (R) and Kanye West perform at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011.

Kanye West leads the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards.  His seven nods include Song of the Year and Best Rap Song for “All of the Lights” and Rap Album of the Year for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  Kanye’s collaborative album with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, brought him three of his seven nominations.  Other leading contenders include Adele, Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters with six mentions each.  All three appear in the Album of the Year category alongside Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

In the all-genre category of Record of the Year are Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,” “Holocene” by Bon Iver, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons and Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  Best New Artist nominees include The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  This year, the Recording Academy decreased the number of Grammy categories from 109 to 78.  The awards will be presented on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles.  (Complete list of nominees at www.grammy.com.)

Morgan, Beach Boys on Board for USO's 'Christmas Concert for the Troops' Concert

The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" CD

On December 6, the USO of Metropolitan Washington will present “Christmas Concert for the Troops” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The invitation-only event honoring active duty military will feature performances by Country singer Lorrie Morgan, the Beach Boys and Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young, who is currently on Broadway in “The Jersey Boys.”  They’ll be backed by the National Symphony Orchestra.  Co-hosting the show are actor John Stamos and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan.

Winehouse's Posthumous Album Drops

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse

On December 6, Universal Republic will release Amy Winehouse’s posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures.  The 12-song collection includes alternate versions of previously released tunes, as well as two new tracks that she planned to include on her third album.  Also featured are her final studio recording, “Body & Soul,” which she sang with Tony Bennett for his latest album “Duets II,” and covers of songs by Donny Hathaway, the Shirelles and Ruby & the Romantics. 

In other news, the dress Winehouse wore on the cover of her Grammy-winning Back To Black album was recently auctioned for charity.  Museo de la Moda, a fashion museum in Santiago, Chile, paid $67,000 for the dress.  Proceeds will go to the foundation set up by her father to fund programs for at-risk children.

Michael Jackson's Doctor Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail

Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor sits in a Los Angeles courtroom
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor sits in a Los Angeles courtroom

Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has been sentenced to a four-year prison term.  Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor chastised Murray for giving Jackson the operating room anesthetic propofol that was responsible for Michael’s death, and also for the lack of remorse Murray has shown.  Jackson’s family said they were pleased with the sentencing, were not seeking revenge, and plan to move forward with their lives.  Due to overcrowding in California’s prisons, the time Murray spends in jail will likely be much shorter than four years.

Alicia Keys Produces Broadway Show

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

On December 8, the new comedy Stick Fly will open on Broadway.  Singer Alicia Keys produced the show.   “This is a story that everybody can relate to," Alicia says. "I’m passionate about this play because it is so beautifully written and portrays Black America in a way that we don’t often get to see in entertainment. I know it will touch audiences who will find a piece of themselves somewhere inside this house.”

New Album Releases December 6:

“Glee: The Music 7” by the cast of “Glee”
“The Path of Totality” by Korn
“Revolver” by T-Pain
“Love After War” by Robin Thicke
“Hats Off to the Bull” by Chevelle
“El Camino” by The Black Keys
“The MF Life” by Melanie Fiona
“Paramount Sessions” by Adam Lambert & Steve Cooke
“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” the original motion picture soundtrack

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Lady Gaga's
Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" CD

On December 9, New York radio station Z100 will hold its 2011 “Jingle Ball” charity event at Madison Square Garden.  This year’s performers includes Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, LMFAO, Foster the People and Gym Class Heroes.  The sold-out show will benefit the national anti-bullying program STOMP Out Bullying.

The 31st annual John Lennon Tribute takes place in New York City on December 10.  Artists covering Lennon’s classic songs at the show include Steve Forbert, Bettye LaVette, Lucy Kaplansky, Rich Pagano, Richard Barone, Toshi Reagon and Ari Hest.  Performances from last year’s 30th John Lennon Tribute were digitally released on November 15th, with proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross for its ongoing earthquake relief efforts.

Awards Presentations/Winners:

Zac Bown Band's
Zac Bown Band's "The Foundation" CD

The 2nd Annual American Country Awards were presented on December 5 in Las Vegas.  Jason Aldean and the Zac Brown Band led the contenders with eight nominations each, including Artist of the Year.  Following close behind was the new husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square with seven nods.  Taylor Swift and The Band Perry received six mentions apiece.  During the ceremony, legendary Country group Alabama received the Greatest Hits Award.  Between 1980 and 2011, Alabama has topped the Country chart 34 times.  The American Country Awards aired live on FOX-TV.

Look Who's Going On Tour!


On December 7, Country star Vince Gill and his wife Amy Grant will begin their sixth holiday tour in Baltimore, Maryland.  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” outing will stop in 10 additional cities before wrapping up with two sows in Nashville on December 20 and 21.  “Christmas audiences are special," Grant says. "They tend to involve the whole family, and their emotions are a wonderful mix of anticipation and reverence.  It’s a thrilling experience for both of us.”  The shows will feature Grant and Gill singing holiday standards and contemporary Christmas songs.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures