News / Arts & Entertainment

Psy's New Single a YouTube Hit; Paramore Tops Billboard 200

South Korean rapper PSY poses during a news conference for his concert
South Korean rapper PSY poses during a news conference for his concert "Happening" in Seoul, South Korea, April 13, 2013.
Mary Morningstar
The video to South Korean rapper Psy’s new single “Gentleman” has been viewed nearly 165 million times since its release on April 13.  First-day views worldwide reached 18.9 million to set a new YouTube record.  “Gentleman” is the follow-up to Psy’s debut hit “Gangnam Style.”  Its video was the first ever to be viewed more than one billion times.  This week, “Gentleman” debuts at Number 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.



Paramore Tops Billboard 200

Paramore, from left: Zac Farro, Josh Farro, Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor.Paramore, from left: Zac Farro, Josh Farro, Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor.
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Paramore, from left: Zac Farro, Josh Farro, Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor.
Paramore, from left: Zac Farro, Josh Farro, Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor.
This week’s Billboard 200 chart includes six new Top 10 entries.  Paramore scores a Number One debut with its self-titled album, giving the rock band its first chart-topper on the Billboard 200.  Also entering the Top 10 this week are Brad Paisley’s “Wheelhouse” (Number 2), Eric Church’s “Caught In The Act: Live” (Number 5), Tyga’s “Hotel California” (Number 7), Volbeat’s “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies” (Number 9) and Stone Sour’s “House of Gold & Bones: Part 2” (Number 10).

American Idol Gives Janelle Arthur 'The Boot'

Janelle Arthur attends the meet the Janelle Arthur attends the meet the "American Idol" finalist event at The Grove, March 7, 2013 in Los Angeles.
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Janelle Arthur attends the meet the
Janelle Arthur attends the meet the "American Idol" finalist event at The Grove, March 7, 2013 in Los Angeles.
On April 18, 23-year-old Tennessee native Janelle Arthur was voted off  American Idol.  The final four contestants are Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller.  This week (April 24), they’ll perform one song of their choice and another by a “One Hit Wonder” artist.

Jose Feliciano, Julio Iglesias Among Latin Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductees

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias as he performs during a concert at Cap Roig festival in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain.Spanish singer Julio Iglesias as he performs during a concert at Cap Roig festival in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain.
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Spanish singer Julio Iglesias as he performs during a concert at Cap Roig festival in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain.
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias as he performs during a concert at Cap Roig festival in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain.
The Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (LSHF) will hold its inaugural induction gala on April 23 in Miami, Florida.  Songwriters entering the Hall include Manuel Alejandro, Jose Angel “Ferrusquilla” Espinoza, Jose Feliciano, Julio Iglesias, Armando Manzanero and Concha Valdez Miranda.  The LSHF was co-founded by composers Desmond Child and Rudy Perez “to honor the world’s greatest Latin songwriters and their music in every genre.”

Bette Midler to Premiere One-Woman Broadway Play

Entertainer Bette Midler, center, gestures as she poses with dancers during a news conference at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, May 3, 2007.Entertainer Bette Midler, center, gestures as she poses with dancers during a news conference at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, May 3, 2007.
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Entertainer Bette Midler, center, gestures as she poses with dancers during a news conference at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, May 3, 2007.
Entertainer Bette Midler, center, gestures as she poses with dancers during a news conference at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, May 3, 2007.
On April 24, singer and actress Bette Midler will premiere her one-woman play “I’ll Eat You Last” at Broadway’s Booth Theater.  The show is based on the late Hollywood agent Sue Mengers, who died in 2011.  This marks Midler first time on Broadway in more than 40 years.  She made her Broadway debut in 1967 in “Fiddler on the Roof.”  

New Album Releases / April 23:

 “Side Effects of You” by Fantasia
“Armchair Theatre” by Jeff Lynne
“Massachusetts” by Lori McKenna
“To Be Loved” by Michael Buble
“Tate Stevens” by U.S. “X Factor” Season 2 winner Tate Stevens
“Raven” by Paula Cole
“Frequency Unknown” by Queensryche
“Love Has Come For You” by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
“Reincarnated” by Snoop Lion
“Spirit In The Room” by Tom Jones
“#willpower” by Will.I.Am.

Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits

Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's
Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine performs on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 29, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
The annual two-weekend New Orleans Jazz Fest begins April 26-28 at the New Orleans Fairgrounds.  Artists from many genres, including blues, jazz, rock, R&B, Cajun, gospel, Country, zydeco, and more will perform at this year’s event.  They include Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, B.B. King, Dianne Reeves, Jill Scott and a host of others.

The 7th annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival takes place April 26-28 in Indio, California.  The lineup includes Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, the Zac Brown Band, Hank Williams, Jr., and many other Country stars.  In addition to concerts, the event offers camping and a variety of family activities.

Star Birthdays

Recording artist Peter Frampton poses for a portrait in New York, April 29, 2010.Recording artist Peter Frampton poses for a portrait in New York, April 29, 2010.
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Recording artist Peter Frampton poses for a portrait in New York, April 29, 2010.
Recording artist Peter Frampton poses for a portrait in New York, April 29, 2010.
On April 22, British rocker Peter Frampton celebrated his 63rd birthday.  Frampton made his professional debut at age 16 with The Herd.  Three years later, he formed Humble Pie.  Frampton launched his solo career in 1974, and the following year, recorded “Frampton Comes Alive” at the Winterland in San Francisco.  The release topped Billboard’s Top 200 chart for 10 weeks and became one of the best-selling albums of all time.  It produced the Top 10 singles “Show Me The Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do?”  Following a seven-year absence from recording, Frampton returned with a self-titled album in 1994.  2001 marked the 25th anniversary of the release of “Frampton Comes Alive.”  To celebrate the occasion, the album was re-released with four bonus tracks.  In 2003, Frampton released “Now” on his own Framptone Records.  He included a cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as a tribute to his late friend George Harrison.  Frampton’s 2006 album, “Fingerprints,” earned him a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.  His latest collection, “Thank You Mr. Churchill,” was released in 2010.  In 2011, Frampton kicked off a world tour to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his multi-million-selling live album, “Frampton Comes Alive.”  Last year, Frampton was honored by publishing rights organization ASCAP.  He received ASCAP’s Global Impact Award “in recognition of the enduring popularity of his music and major success on the worldwide stage.” 

April 23 marked the birth date of the late Roy Orbison (b. 1936).  During the 1960s, his chart hits included “Running Scared,” “Crying” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.”  In 1987, Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The following year, he began performing with the rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys.  Orbison died of a heart attack in December 1988. 

Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
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Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Nov. 5, 2012.
Grammy-winning singer Kelly Clarkson turns 31 on April 24.  After winning the “American Idol” Season One title in 2002, the Texas native was signed to RCA Records.  Her 2003 debut album, “Thankful,” entered the Billboard 200 at Number One.  Since then, Kelly has recorded four more albums, “Breakaway,” “My December,” “All I Ever Wanted” and “Stronger.”  Sales of the albums total more than 23 million copies worldwide.  Hits from her latest album, “Stronger,” include the Number One title track and “Mr. Know It All,” which was also released in a Country version.  Kelly is working on her sixth studio album.  Her current single, “People Like Us,” is one of three new tracks on her first greatest hits album.  On August 1, Kelly will join Maroon 5 on the 2013 Honda Civic Tour, which runs through early October. 

Barbra Streisand attends the Governor's Ball following the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.Barbra Streisand attends the Governor's Ball following the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.
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Barbra Streisand attends the Governor's Ball following the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Barbra Streisand attends the Governor's Ball following the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.
On April 24, singer and actress Barbra Streisand will celebrate her 71st birthday.  Streisand made her Broadway debut in 1962.  Two years later, she won the lead role in Broadway’s “Funny Girl.”  In addition to a successful recording career, she has appeared in several motion pictures, including “The Way We Were,” “Hello, Dolly” and “Yentl,” a film Streisand also produced, directed and co-wrote.  In 1994, she embarked on her first concert tour in 28 years.  Her sold-out show at New York’s Madison Square Garden was recorded for a live album.  In 1997, Streisand recorded the album “Higher Ground,” which featured her Number One duet with Celine Dion, “Tell Him.”  Her 1999 CD, “A Love Like Ours,” included the hit duet with Vince Gill, “If You Ever Leave Me.”  Streisand announced her retirement from live performing in 2000.  In 2002, she recorded the album “Duets,” which compiled many of her previously released collaborations.  The collection also included two new duets with Josh Groban and Barry Manilow.  Streisand’s 2003 CD, “The Movie Album,” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.  In 2004, she made a return to the big screen after an eight-year break to star with Dustin Hoffman in “Meet the Fockers.”  In 2005, Streisand collaborated on a new studio album with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.  “Guilty Pleasures” was released in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of their 1980 collaboration “Guilty.”  Streisand performed a 2006 concert tour to raise millions of dollars for environmental, educational and women’s health organizations.  In 2008, she received a Kennedy Center Honor.  That same year, Streisand began work on “Love Is the Answer.”  She collaborated on the project with Grammy-winning Canadian jazz artist Diana Krall and her quartet.  Streisand’s Grammy-nominated 2011 album, “What Matters Most,” is a collection of songs written by her longtime collaborators and friends Alan and Marilyn Bergman.  This week (April 22), Streisand will receive the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award for lifetime achievement on screen and stage.  She’s scheduled to begin a European tour on June 1.

April 25 marks the birth date of the late jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald (born 1918).  In 1938, she scored her first hit with “A-Tisket A-Tasket.”  The song sold more than two million copies, spent 10 weeks at Number One and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1986.  Fitzgerald received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967.  She died on June 15, 1996 of complications from diabetes.  In 1998, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. displayed an exhibit that chronicled Fitzgerald's life and career with awards, stage outfits and many personal items from her estate.

Tionne Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, left, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas pose backstage at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.
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Tionne
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, left, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas pose backstage at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.
TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins will turn 43 on April 26.  Watkins was born in Des Moines, Iowa, where she began singing in church.  In 1991, TLC was signed to LaFace Records, which released the trio’s debut album the following year.  TLC recorded its second CD, “CrazySexyCool,” in 1994.  The collection sold more than 11 million copies and earned the group two Grammy Awards.  Their next album, 1999’s “FanMail,” sold six million copies.  In August of 2000, “T Boz” married rapper Mack 10.  The couple welcomed a daughter in October of that year.  In 2005, she filed for divorce, saying Mack 10 committed adultery and threatened to kill her.  In 2002, TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in an automobile accident in Honduras.  “T-Boz” and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas completed the album they were working on prior to Lisa’s death. “3D” was released in November of 2002.  Three years later, T-Boz and Chilli auditioned singers on the seven-episode UPN Network series “R U The Girl.”  They chose O’so Krispie, a choreographer from Atlanta, to record a song and perform one concert with them.  Their first single together, “I Bet,” never charted.  In 2011, T-Boz filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 1995.  Earlier this year, she starred in her own four-episode reality show “Totally T-Boz,” which aired on the TLC Network.  She told Billboard that she also hopes to relaunch her music career as a solo artist.

Scottish singer Sheena Easton performs during her concert at a casino in Vina del Mar, Chile.Scottish singer Sheena Easton performs during her concert at a casino in Vina del Mar, Chile.
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Scottish singer Sheena Easton performs during her concert at a casino in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Scottish singer Sheena Easton performs during her concert at a casino in Vina del Mar, Chile.
On April 27, singer Sheena Easton celebrates her 54th birthday.  In 1981, Easton burst onto the pop music scene with her self-titled debut album, which contained the Number One single “Morning Train (Nine To Five).”  She later recorded numerous other hits, including “You Could Have Been With Me,” “The Lover In Me” and her 1983 Top 10 duet with Kenny Rogers, “We’ve Got Tonight.”  In 2000, Easton performed in Las Vegas with David Cassidy in the Broadway-style show “At the Copa.”  That same year, she recorded her latest album, “Fabulous,” a collection of dance cover songs.  Sheena is the only artist in Billboard history to have Top 5 hits on five different charts - Adult Contemporary, Dance, Pop, Country and Rhythm-and-Blues. 

Awards Presentations / Winners:

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2012 file photo shows Carly Rae Jepsen performing at the 40th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The song put 27-year-old Jepsen, who finished third on a season of FILE - This Nov. 18, 2012 file photo shows Carly Rae Jepsen performing at the 40th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The song put 27-year-old Jepsen, who finished third on a season of "Canadian Idol,” in the spotlight and on a path to potential
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FILE - This Nov. 18, 2012 file photo shows Carly Rae Jepsen performing at the 40th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The song put 27-year-old Jepsen, who finished third on a season of
FILE - This Nov. 18, 2012 file photo shows Carly Rae Jepsen performing at the 40th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The song put 27-year-old Jepsen, who finished third on a season of "Canadian Idol,” in the spotlight and on a path to potential
On April 21, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences held its 2013 Juno Awards in Regina, Saskatchewan.  The Juno Awards are Canada’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards.  British Columbia-born pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen was this year’s leading nominee.  She received five nominations, including Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year for “Kiss,” Single of the Year for “Call Me Maybe” and Juno Fan Choice Award.  Other multiple nominees included Justin Bieber, who’s up for four trophies, and Leonard Cohen, Metric, Hedley and Marianas Trench, all nominated in three categories.

The 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards will be presented on April 25 in Miami, Florida.  Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Don Omar leads the contenders with 18 nominations, including Artist of the Year, Male Albums Artist of the Year and Digital Album of the Year for “Don Omar Presents MT02: N32 Generation.”  This year’s other top nominees are Romeo Santos, lead singer of the Bachata group Aventura, with 12 nominations; Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel and the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera, with 11 nods each; American singer-songwriter Prince Royce, who picked up 10; and American rapper Pitbull, with nine mentions.

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On April 25, Paramore will kick off a North American tour in Houston, Texas.  The Tennessee-based rock group is supporting its new self-titled album, which debuts at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 chart.  After wrapping up U.S. and Canadian concerts on May 21, Paramore will head to Europe to begin a 16-city tour.  The group’s itinerary also includes a South American leg, which runs from July 18 to August 4.

Willie NelsonWillie Nelson
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Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson’s April 28 concert in Austin, Texas will benefit the West Volunteer Fire Department, which responded to the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.  Nelson was born and raised in the nearby town of Abbott, Texas.  Nelson said in a statement, “I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up.  This is my community.  These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life.  My heart is praying for the community that we call home.”  Willie Nelson turns 80 years old on April 30.  The concert was originally planned as a birthday celebration for the legendary Country singer.

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Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.