News / Arts & Entertainment

    Spice Girls Take On Olympics; Troubled Travis Arrested

    The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, August 12, 2012.
    The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, August 12, 2012.
    Mary Morningstar
    The closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London featured the Spice Girls, George Michael, the Pet Shop Boys and Queen’s Brian May.  Among other acts participating in the extravaganza -- Jessie J, Annie Lennox, The Who, Kate Bush, One Direction, Tinie Tempah and Paul McCartney. The show was widely praised by critics.

    Troubled Travis Arrested

    Country singer Randy Travis is in trouble with the law for the second time this year.  On August 7, he crashed his car in a construction zone near his hometown of Tioga, Texas.  A passerby found him lying naked in the middle of the road.  Travis was charged with driving while intoxicated and retaliation or obstruction for threatening to shoot and kill the police officers who responded.  Six months ago, Travis was charged with public intoxication after he was found sitting in his vehicle with a bottle of wine at a local church.

    Amy Winehouse's Ex on Life Support
     
    Blake Fielder-Civil, ex-husband of late British singer Amy Winehouse, is on life support in a London hospital.  “They said they put him in a coma to help him and due to infection," explained Sarah Aspin, Fielder-Civil’s girlfriend.  According to reports, Fielder-Civil arrived at the hospital after a drug and alcohol binge, which resulted in multiple organ failure.  On August 9, Winehouse’s father tweeted, “Terrible news about Blake this morning.  Remember Amy loved him.  Let’s pray for his recovery.”

    Gospel Hall of Fame Honors Aretha

    Aretha Franklin (July 26, 2010 file photo)Aretha Franklin (July 26, 2010 file photo)
    x
    Aretha Franklin (July 26, 2010 file photo)
    Aretha Franklin (July 26, 2010 file photo)
    On August 14, soul legend Aretha Franklin will be inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Hall of Fame in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  This year’s other inductees include bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs, gospel family band The Hoppers, contemporary Christian singer Dallas Holm, Christian rock band Love Song and the late television evangelist Rex Humbard.

    Olympics Boost Idol Phillips Sales

    The debut single by 2012 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips has received a huge sales boost thanks to the Summer Olympics.  According the Nielsen SoundScan, “Home” was the Number One selling download with 288,000 copies purchased during the past week.  NBC used the song in pieces it produced on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.  “Home” has sold a total of 884,000 downloads since its release in late May.


    98 Degrees Back Together

    American boy band 98 Degrees has reunited to perform two concerts this week.  On August 17, original members Nick Lachey, his brother Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons will make their first television appearance in more than a decade with a performance on the NBC Today Show.  The following day, 98 Degrees will perform at the inaugural MixTape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

    Jepsen Tops Billboard Hot 100

    Pop newcomer Carly Rae Jepsen remains at Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart again this week with “Call Me Maybe.”  The song has spent nine weeks in the top spot to become this year’s longest-running chart-topper on that list.  Digital sales of “Call Me Maybe” have reached more than five million downloads to date.

    Ross Scores Billboard 200 Hit

    Rapper Rick Ross scores his fourth Number One album on the Billboard 200 this week with “God Forgives, I Don’t.”  British singer Joss Stone has the only other new Top 10 entry with “The Soul Sessions: Volume 2.”  Re-entering the list at Number 5 is the Bee Gees’ 2004 compilation “Number Ones.”  The boost was due to Amazon’s 99 cent sale of the 20-song collection.


    New Album Releases / August 14:

     “Based On a T.R.U. Story” by 2 Chainz
    “Anastasis” by Dead Can Dance
    “Story of Light” by Steve Vai
    “Rock N Roll Revival” by Loverboy
    “Mighty Death Pop” by Insane Clown Posse
    “Just Tell Me What You Want - A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac” by various artists
    “Songs of the Century - An All-Star Tribute to Supertramp” by various artists
    “Whippoorwill” by Blackberry Smoke
    “Live: Rock in Rio” by George Michael
    “Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield” by Mike Oldfield

    Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

     The “Teachers Rock” benefit concert takes place August 17 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.  Performers include Fun, Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Dierks Bentley.  Proceeds from the show honoring America’s educators will go to DonorsChoose.org, Feeding America and Teach for America.  “Teachers Rock” will be televised live on CBS.

    The first MixTape Festival will take place August 17 and 18 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Artists appearing at the event include Kelly Clarkson, The Fray, NKOTBSB (New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys), Carly Rae Jepsen and The Wanted, among others.

    Star Birthdays

    August 13 marks the birthdate of folk/rock singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg (born 1951).  The Illinois native began performing in local coffeehouses while studying art at the University of Illinois.  He left college after two years to pursue a career in music.  In 1971, he signed his first recording contract with Columbia Records.  Three years later, Fogelberg recorded his breakthrough album, “Souvenirs.”  His Top 10 singles include “Longer,” “Same Old Lang Syne,” “Hard To Say” and “Leader Of The Band.”  In 1997, Fogelberg celebrated his 25th anniversary in recording with the four-CD career retrospective, “Portrait: 1972-1997.”  The compilation contains many of his hits, several previously unreleased tracks and two new songs.  In 2000, he issued the live CD “Something Old New Borrowed and Some Blues” on his own Morning Sky record label.  He returned to the style of his 1970s and ‘80s recordings on his 2003 CD, “Full Circle.”  In 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.   He succumbed to the disease on December 16, 2007.

    Singer David Crosby will turn 71 on August 14.  Crosby began his musical career in the early 1960s as a member of The Byrds.  In 1968, he left to form Crosby, Stills & Nash.  The following year, Neil Young joined the famous group, which later recorded the Top 20 hits “Woodstock,” “Teach Your Children” and “Ohio.”  In 1994, Crosby performed with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash at the Woodstock 25th anniversary concert.  In 1995, Atlantic Records released his live anthology album, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now...”  That same year, he underwent liver transplant surgery.  After making a full recovery, Crosby joined Stills and Nash on a 1996 U.S. concert tour.  In 1999, he reunited with Stills, Nash and Young to record “Looking Forward.”  The album marked their first new studio project in more than ten years.  In 2004, Crosby and Nash recorded their first album as a duo in nearly two decades.  Crosby, Stills & Nash were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.  The trio is currently performing a U.S. summer tour.

    On August 15, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers will celebrate his 23rd birthday.  They made their acting debut in the second season of the Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana.”  The Jonas Brothers’ debut album, “It’s About Time,” was released in late 2006.  Since then, the trio has released three more albums - a self-titled collection in 2007, 2008’s “A Little Bit Longer” and 2009’s “Lines, Vines and Trying Times.”  Joe’s debut solo album, “FastLife,” was released last year.  He collaborated with R&B star Chris Brown on its first single, “See No More.”  Joe supported “Fastlife” by opening shows on the European leg of Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” tour.  Earlier this year, the Jonas Brothers left Hollywood Records and bought back the rights to their master recordings.  Joe recently announced that the group is working on a new album, which might be out by the end of the year.

    Pop star Madonna (file photo)Pop star Madonna (file photo)
    x
    Pop star Madonna (file photo)
    Pop star Madonna (file photo)
    On August 16, Madonna will celebrate her 54th birthday.  After bursting onto the music scene in 1983, she dominated the pop charts with a string of Number One hits that included “Like A Virgin” “Vogue,” “This Used To Be My Playground” and “Take A Bow.”  Since 1992, Madonna has run a multi-media company under Time Warner, Inc.  In 1994, Madonna recorded the album “Bedtime Stories.”  That was followed by her first greatest hits collection, “Something To Remember” (1995), and the studio albums “Ray Of Light” (1998) and “Music” (2000).  In 2001, Maverick Records released her anthology, “GHV2 - Greatest Hits Volume 2.”  One year later, she recorded the theme song for the James Bond movie “Die Another Day.”  Her 2002 movie “Swept Away,” which was directed by her former husband Guy Ritchie, bombed at the box office.  Ticket sales reached only $600-thousand.  In 2006, Madonna announced plans to raise millions of dollars to fund programs to support orphans in Malawi.  Two years later, she adopted her son David from that country.  Madonna added her Malawian daughter Mercy to the family in 2009.  In 2008, Madonna was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  That same year, she fulfilled her obligations to Warner Brothers Records with the album “Hard Candy.”  Madonna signed a new recording and business deal with Live Nation.  Her 2008-2009 “Sticky and Sweet” tour earned $408-million to become the highest-grossing tour ever by a solo artist.  In 2010, Madonna and her teenage daughter Lourdes launched their Material Girl clothing line.  The junior designs are being sold exclusively at Macy’s stores throughout the U.S.  In May, Madonna kicked off a world tour in Tel Aviv to support her new album, “MDNA.”  This week, she has concerts scheduled in Finland, Norway and Switzerland.  The North American leg begins on August 28 in Philadelphia. 

    Singer-pianist Vanessa Carlton will turn 32 on August 16.  The Pennsylvania native began playing the piano at age 2 and composed her first piano piece when she was only 8.  Six years later, she was accepted into New York’s School of American Ballet.  In 2002, Vanessa recorded her debut album “Be Not Nobody,” which included the smash hit “A Thousand Miles.”  Her second CD, “Harmonium,” was released in 2004.  In 2007, Vanessa recorded “Heroes and Thieves,” her first album for The Inc. Records.  Promotions for her latest album, “Rabbits on the Run,” included a stop at Voice of America last year to talk to “Border Crossings” host Larry London.

    Pop singer Belinda Carlisle will celebrate her 54th birthday on August 17.  In the early 1980s, she began performing with the Go-Go’s.  The group disbanded in 1984, and two years later, Carlisle made her solo debut with the album “Belinda.”  The collection included the Top 5 single “Mad About You.”  In 1987, she scored her first solo Number One hit with “Heaven Is A Place On Earth.”  That song and 12 other tracks appear on Carlisle’s 1992 “Greatest Hits” collection.  The next year, she recorded the album “Real,” then took a four-year break before returning in 1997 with “A Woman & A Man.”  The Go-Go’s reunited to record the 2001 CD, “God Bless the Go-Go’s.”  It marked their first studio project in more than fifteen years.  Since 1993, Belinda has lived in France with her golfer husband Morgan Mason and their 17-year-old son James.  In 2007, Belinda released the album, “Voila,” a collection of French chansons and pop standards.  Her memoir, “Lips Unsealed,” was published in 2010.  Last year, the Go-Go’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Look Who's Going On Tour!

    Lady Gaga arrives at the Sungshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan.Lady Gaga arrives at the Sungshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan.
    x
    Lady Gaga arrives at the Sungshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan.
    Lady Gaga arrives at the Sungshan airport in Taipei, Taiwan.
    On August 14, Lady Gaga kicks off the European leg of her “Born This Way” tour in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Twenty-nine shows are on her itinerary through October 6.  Stops include Romania, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sween, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, France and Spain and Dublin, Ireland.  

    Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will begin a 31-date North American tour on August 14 in Boston, Massachusetts.  They’ll perform twelve of the 31 shows in stadiums.  Springsteen is supporting his latest album “Wrecking Ball,” which debuted at Number One in 16 countries.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures