News / Arts & Entertainment

New Bon Jovi Movie Drops Nov 27; One Direction Tops Billboard 200

From left Tico Torres, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Richie Sambora from US rock band Bon Jovi share a laugh backstage in Munich, June 12, 2011
From left Tico Torres, Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Richie Sambora from US rock band Bon Jovi share a laugh backstage in Munich, June 12, 2011
Mary Morningstar
On November 27, select movie theaters in the U.S. will show the film event “Bon Jovi: Inside Out.”  The one-night viewing features performances from the rock band’s sold out, 12-night engagement at London’s O2 Arena and additional concerts taped at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  Group members Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan and Tico Torres will also appear in a live broadcast from New York’s Times Square.  They’ll answer questions from fans and promote their 2013 “Because We Can” world tour and upcoming studio album.

One Direction Tops Billboard 200 Chart

Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York March 12, 2012.
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Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's
Members of British-Irish band One Direction pose after performing on NBC's "Today" show in New York March 12, 2012.
One Direction debuts at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with its second album, Take Me Home.  Sales reached 540,000 copies its first week of release to become the superstar boy band’s second Number One in less than one year.  Only two other acts have had a stronger opening week in 2012.  Taylor Swift moved 1.2 million copies of Red and Mumford & Sons sold 600,000 copies of Babel.



Billboard Magazine to Honor Katy Perry

U.S. singer Katy Perry at the European Premiere of her film U.S. singer Katy Perry at the European Premiere of her film "Part of Me" in London, July 3, 2012.
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U.S. singer Katy Perry at the European Premiere of her film
U.S. singer Katy Perry at the European Premiere of her film "Part of Me" in London, July 3, 2012.
On November 30, Billboard’s 2012 Women in Music event will take place in New York City.  The annual affair honors the most powerful and talented women in the music business.  Katy Perry has been chosen as Billboard’s Woman of the Year.  The award recognizes “achievements of a trailblazing female recording artist over the past 12 months, and acknowledges her overall success in the music business and her leadership in embracing the changing industry.”  “Katy Perry broke into the industry not even five years ago and has already accomplished more than most artists can hope for in an entire career," Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde says. "With what seems like a never-ending supply of record-breaking, chart-topping hits, coupled with her unique and fresh style, Katy Perry is hands-down one of the most exciting and inspiring artists in the industry today.”  Carly Rae Jepsen will be honored as Billboard’s Rising Star.  Werde said, “Carly Rae Jepsen’s infectious debut single has become nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon, leading to unprecedented viral fanfare.  Few artists have achieved this level of success this early in a career.  We are thrilled to honor her extraordinary U.S. debut, and we look forward to seeing where she goes next.”

Carey, Cee Lo Among Stars Performing at NY Christmas Tree Lighting

Mariah CareyMariah Carey
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Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
On November 28, the 15th annual “Christmas In Rockefeller Center” will air on NBC-TV.  In addition to the traditional lighting of the 80-foot tall Christmas tree, the show will feature performances by some of today’s biggest music stars.  They include Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green, Rod Stewart and Trace Adkins, among others.  This year’s “Christmas In Rockefeller Center” will be hosted by NBC Today Show host Savannah Guthrie and weatherman Al Roker.

Shania Featured in Vegas Show

Country star Shania Twain, May 5, 2011.Country star Shania Twain, May 5, 2011.
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Country star Shania Twain, May 5, 2011.
Country star Shania Twain, May 5, 2011.
Country star Shania Twain will open her new Las Vegas show on December 1.  “Shania: Still The One” is a two-year engagement at the 4,300-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace.  Shania made her official arrival in Las Vegas on November 14.  She rode a horse to the Caesars fountains, where she greeted hundreds of her fans.



New Album Releases / November 27:

 “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
“XX” by Great Big Sea
“Fall To Grace” by Paloma Faith
“Tenology” by 10cc
“An All-Star Salute To Christmas” by various artists

Musical Events / Benefits

On December 1, Julien’s Auctions will hold its Icons & Idols Rock ‘n’ Roll Auction in Beverly Hills, California.  More than 100 autographed guitars will be auctioned to benefit The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.  Celebrities who signed the guitars include the Jonas Brothers, Bon Jovi, Eddie Van Halen, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and actor Robert Pattinson, among many others.  The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has raised more than $600,000 for cancer prevention, research and education.  Ronnie James Dio performed in several rock groups, including Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Heaven & Hell and his own band Dio.  He died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at age 67.

Star Birthdays

On November 25, singer Amy Grant celebrates her 52nd birthday.  Amy performed contemporary Christian music for several years before crossing over into the pop field.  In 1986, she recorded the Number One duet with Peter Cetera, “The Next Time I Fall.”  Her 1991 album, “Heart In Motion,” produced several chart hits, including “I Will Remember You,” “That’s What Love Is For,” and the Number One single “Baby Baby.”  On a personal note, she divorced Gary Chapman in 1999 and married Country star Vince Gill the following year.  Vince and Amy welcomed their first child in 2001.  Amy returned to her gospel roots on the 2002 CD, “Legacy … Hymns and Faith.”  In 2005, she released the Grammy-winning collection of hymns, “Rock of Ages.”  The title track is a duet with Vince Gill.  In 2006, Amy was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In 2010, Amy recorded the Christian album, “Somewhere Down the Road.”  Its single, “Better Than a Hallelujah,” was a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s Top Christian Songs chart. 

Singer Tina Turner will turn 74 on November 26.  She performed with husband Ike Turner from 1958 until their divorce in 1976.  In 1984, Tina recorded “Private Dancer,” a multi-million-selling album that produced such hits as “Let’s Stay Together,” “Better Be Good To Me” and the Number One single, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”  She also won that year’s Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Female Rock Performance and Record of the Year.  In 1995, Turner recorded the theme to the motion picture “Goldeneye.”  The following year, Virgin Records released her album, “Wildest Dreams.”  After performing a tour in support of her 2000 album “Twenty Four Seven,” she announced her retirement from the road.  In 2004, Turner made her highest debut ever on the Billboard 200 chart with the greatest hits CD, “All the Best.”  It entered the list at Number 2.  In 2005, Turner received a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.  She returned to the road in 2008 for the first time in eight years.  Her 2008 anthology, “Tina!,” included many of her biggest hits, some live tracks, plus the new tracks “I’m Ready” and “It Would Be A Crime.”  Turner collaborated with Buddhist singer Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Christian vocalist Regula Curti on her latest album, “Beyond.”  The collection was only released in Europe.

On November 26, British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield will celebrate her 31st birthday.  Natasha launched her career in the 1990s performing with her siblings Daniel Bedingfield and Nikola Rachelle in the Christian group The DNA Algorithm.  In 2004, she recorded her first pop album “Unwritten,” when went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide.  2008’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” sold two million copies in the U.S.  Its title track was a Top 5 hit.  In 2010, Epic Records released Natasha’s latest album, “Strip Me.”

Country singer Joe Nichols will turn 36 on November 26.  The Arkansas native got his break in Country music with his second album, “Man With A Memory.”  It was released in 2002 and produced four hits.  One of them, “Brokenheartsville,” became his first Number One single.  Since then, he has recorded five more albums.  Joe’s latest collection “It’s All Good,” produced only one chart hit, called “Take It Off.”  He recently signed a new deal with the independent label, Red Bow Records.

November 27 marks the birth date of the late Country singer Eddie Rabbitt (born 1941).  In 1968, Eddie moved to Nashville in search of a career in music.  Two years later, he became an established songwriter after Elvis Presley recorded his song “Kentucky Rain.”  Eddie launched his own professional singing career in 1974.  Throughout his long career, he recorded such hits as “Drivin’ My Life Away,” “I Love A Rainy Night,” “The Best Year Of My Life” and “The Wanderer.”  Eddie was diagnosed with lung cancer in March of 1997, but returned to recording later in the year with the album, “Beatin’ The Odds.”  He lost his battle with cancer in May of 1998.

On November 28, singer-songwriter Randy Newman will celebrate his 69th birthday.  Before achieving success as a recording artist, Newman wrote hits for several other performers, including Judy Collins, Peggy Lee and Three Dog Night.  In 1977, he gained national attention with his Top 5 song “Short People.”  Following a long break from recording, Newman made a comeback in 1988 with the critically acclaimed album “Land Of Dreams.”  He has written music for many motion pictures, including “Awakenings,” “The Paper,” “Hoffa,” “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” “James And The Giant Peach,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Seabiscuit” and “Meet The Fockers.”  In 1998, Rhino/Warner Archives released his four-CD box set, “Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman.”  The 105-track anthology includes hits, rare demos and unreleased tracks, plus songs he composed for films.  Newman signed with DreamWorks Records for the release of his 1999 CD, “Bad Love.”  In 2001, Billboard presented him with a Century Award, its highest honor for distinguished career achievement.  In 2002, Newman received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Disney’s “Monsters, Inc.”  His 2003 “Songbook, Vol. 1” album includes his versions of 18 songs written in the 1960s and ‘70s.  Newman recorded the tunes with piano and vocals only.  In 2008, he released his first original album in nine years, “Harps and Angels.”  Newman composed the music for 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog” and 2010’s “Toy Story 3” films.  “Toy Story 3” won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture.  “We Belong Together,” from “Toy Story 3,” brought him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.  Most recently, he composed songs for the 2013 animated Disney film, “Monsters University.”  Newman is among the initial nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The final five inductees will be announced in the coming weeks.

On November 29, flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione will turn 72.  Mangione is best known for his 1978 Top 5 hit “Feels So Good.”  His 1980 recording of “Give It All You Got” went to Number 18 on the pop charts, and was featured during television coverage of that year’s Winter Olympics.  In 1989, after 25 years in music, he took several years off from the business.  He returned in 1994 with the album The Hat’s Back.  Since then, Mangione has recorded two more collections, The Feeling’s Back and Everything For Love.

Clay Aiken will celebrate his 34th birthday on November 30.  Aiken grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and began singing before he entered the first grade.  As a teenager, he performed in the Raleigh Boys Choir and many local stage musicals.  In college, Clay majored in special education and planned to get his Master’s degree in administration at The College of William & Mary.  That plan was scrapped after he auditioned for a chance to become 2003’s “American Idol.”  Clay placed second behind Ruben Studdard and was offered a recording deal with RCA Records.  His debut album, Measure of A Man, sold more than 600,000 copies its first week in record stores to debut at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.  His next release was the 2004 holiday album Merry Christmas with Love, which entered Billboard’s holiday chart at Number One.  Clay covered 10 rock classics on his 2006 album, A Thousand Different Ways.  He also recorded four new songs for the collection.  Clay became a father in 2007.  The mother of his son, Parker Foster Aiken, is Aiken’s best friend Jaymes Foster.  Jaymes is the sister of famed producer David Foster.  In 2008, Clay returned to Broadway to play Sir Robin in “Spamelot.”  His run ended when the show closed on January 11, 2009.  The title track from his album, On My Way Here, was included on the 2008 Beijing Olympics album, Super Hero.  In 2009, Aiken signed with Decca Records for the release of his latest album, Tried and True.  The collection features his covers of 13 classic songs from the 1950s and 1960s.  Aiken is currently performing his fifth “Joyful Noise” tour, which runs through December 21. 

November 30 marks the birth date of television host and producer Dick Clark (born 1929).  He became famous as host of “American Bandstand,” a televised music show that began in 1952 as a local program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  At that time it was called “Bob Horn’s Bandstand.”  In July of 1956, Dick Clark took over as the show’s host.  When ABC-TV picked the program up, it was renamed “American Bandstand.”  The first national broadcast ran on August 5, 1957.  It later became one of the longest-running national television shows.  Clark also hosted numerous game shows and variety programs.  In December 2004, Clark suffered a minor stroke and was unable to host ABC-TV’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” show, which he emceed every year since 1972.  He returned in 2005 to co-host the special with “American Idol” host Ryan Secrest.  Clark died this past April at age 82.  At last Sunday night’s 40th anniversary American Music Awards, Stevie Wonder performed a tribute to Clark. 

On December 1, actress and singer Bette Midler will celebrate her 67th birthday.  Her many films include “The Rose,” “Down And Out In Beverly Hills,” “Ruthless People,” “Beaches” and “First Wives Club.”  Midler began her singing career in 1972.  The following year, she received the Best New Artist Grammy award.  In 1995, she recorded “Bette Of Roses,” an album that produced the singles “To Deserve You” and “In This Life.”  Midler was dropped from Warner Brothers Records in 2002 and signed with Columbia Records for the release of her 2003 tribute album, “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook.”  She recorded the collection with her original pianist and musical director, Barry Manilow.  In 2006, Columbia Records released her first holiday album, “Cool Yule.”  Midler’s 2008 compilation “Jackpot! The Best Bette” includes such hits as “Wind Beneath My Wings,” “From a Distance” and “The Rose.”  From February 2008 to January 2010, she performed “Bette Midler: The Showgirl Music Go On” at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Performances from the engagement aired as a 70-minute HBO New Year’s Eve special.  Last year, Midler auctioned many of her possessions to raise money for the New York Restoration Project.  She founded the initiative in 1995 to help transform neglected open spaces in New York City into sustainable parks and gardens.  She was among the producers of the Broadway show, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”  A national tour of the show will begin on January 8, 2013.  Midler co-stars with Billy Crystal in the upcoming film, “Parental Guidance,” which opens on December 25.

Awards Presentations / Winners

On November 25, the 2012 Soul Train Awards will be presented in Las Vegas.  Usher is this year’s most-nominated artist with five nods, including Album of the Year for “Look For Myself,” Song of the Year and The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award for “Climax,” Best R&B/Soul Male Artist and Best Dance Performance for “Scream.”  Other multiple nominees include John Legend, Beyonce, Trey Songz, Nas and Estelle.  This year’s Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award will go to New Edition.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards is second from left)The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards is second from left)
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The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards is second from left)
The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards is second from left)
This week, the Rolling Stones play their first two “50 and Counting” concerts.  On November 25 and 29, the band will perform at London’s O2 Arena.  The legendary rock group’s itinerary also includes appearances in Brooklyn, New York on December 8, and Newark, New Jersey on December 13 and 15.  The December 15 show, titled “One More Shot,” will be televised on pay-per-view.  The concerts mark the Rolling Stones’ first live performances in more than five years.

On November 30, the Dave Matthews Band will kick off a U.S. tour.  The band is donating $1 million from the first two shows in East Rutherford, New Jersey to benefit the region’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.  The tour supports the Dave Matthews Band’s new album Away from the World. Joining them on the 14-date outing is Jamaican reggae star Jimmy Cliff.  Concerts wrap up on December 22 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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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.”