News / Arts & Entertainment

Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' Tops Billboard 200; Rimes, Cibrian Reality Show Planned

Robin Thicke performs on NBC's
Robin Thicke performs on NBC's "Today" show on July 30, 2013 in New York.
Mary Morningstar
Robin Thicke debuts at No. 1 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with his new album Blurred Lines.  This marks Thicke’s first time at the chart’s summit.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, Blurred Lines sold 177,000 copies its first week of release.  The album’s title track spends its ninth week at the top of the Hot 100 chart.  Billboard reports that Thicke’s nine weeks at Number One is the longest run by a solo male artist since January 2008, when Flo Rida began his 10-week lead in the top spot with “Low.”  This week’s other Top 10 entries on the Billboard 200 chart include The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell: Volume 1 by Five Finger Death Punch (Number 2), Tech N9ne by Something Else (Number 4), In A World Like This by Backstreet Boys (Number 5) and Nothing To Lose by Emblem3 (Number 7).

Rimes, Cibrian to Star in Reality Show 

This April 1, 2012 file photo shows country singer LeAnn Rimes, right, and her husband Eddie Cibrian at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.This April 1, 2012 file photo shows country singer LeAnn Rimes, right, and her husband Eddie Cibrian at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
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This April 1, 2012 file photo shows country singer LeAnn Rimes, right, and her husband Eddie Cibrian at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
This April 1, 2012 file photo shows country singer LeAnn Rimes, right, and her husband Eddie Cibrian at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Country singer LeAnn Rimes and her husband, actor Eddie Cibrian will star in their own reality show later this year.  The couple has been at the center of controversy since ending their first marriages.  In 2009, LeAnn left her husband, dancer Dean Sheremet, and Cibrian walked away from his marriage to reality star Brandi Glanville. LeAnn and Eddie married in 2011.  They issued a joint statement that says: “We are really excited to be working together on a unique show that will give you a glimpse into who we really are or better yet who we’re really not.  We’re thrilled to partner with VH1 and The Gurneys to put our spin on a project full of love, humor and music.”
 
Celebrity Auction Raises Money for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
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Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, May 1, 2012.
An online celebrity auction is underway through August 18 to raise money for victims of the tornadoes that ravaged parts of Oklahoma this past May.  The auction was organized by Cori McFadden, founder of eDrop-Off and Trish Townsend, who’s a stylist to such Country superstars as Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton.  Items up for bid at www.shopedropoff.com include the gown Underwood wore to the 2013 CMT Awards, a dress worn by Miranda Lambert at the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards, an outfit Blake Shelton wore during “The Voice” blind auditions, and other apparel donated by Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts.  All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to help rebuild Oklahoma.
 
Buddy Guy Scores Billboard Hit

Buddy Guy arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala, Washington, December 2, 2012.Buddy Guy arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala, Washington, December 2, 2012.
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Buddy Guy arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala, Washington, December 2, 2012.
Buddy Guy arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala, Washington, December 2, 2012.
Blues legend Buddy Guy earns the highest charting album of his career this week. The 77-year-old’s latest release, Rhythm and Blues, debuts at Number 27 on the Billboard 200 list.  The collection gives Guy his fourth Number One on the Blues Albums chart.  Rhythm and Blues features many guests, including Gary Clark, Jr., Beth Hart, Kid Rock, Keith Urban and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford.
 


In Memoriam

Last week, three music legends died.  67-year-old jazz keyboardist George Duke lost his battle with lymphocytic leukemia on August 5.  Last month, Duke released his final album DreamWeaver, which he recorded as a tribute to his wife who died one year ago.  The album reached Number One on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart.  On August 8, 82-year-old “Cowboy” Jack Clement died at his Nashville home of liver cancer.  During his long career, Clement produced records for such artists as Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, Charley Pride, Louis Armstrong, U2, and many others.  Earlier this year, it was announced that Clement is among the latest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The official induction for Clement, Kenny Rogers and Bobby Bare takes place on October 27.  And, Marilyn King, the last surviving member of the King Sisters, died on August 7.  The King Sisters are credited with influencing generations of jazz vocal groups. They recorded some 150 records from the 1940s through the 1960s.
 
New Album Releases / August 13:
 
“The Nextwave Sessions” by Bloc Party
“See You There” by Glen Campbell
“Crash My Party” by Luke Bryan
“Superorganism” by the Mickey Hart Band
“Overnight” by Parachute
“Blown Away Tour: Live” (DVD) by Carrie Underwood
“Push Any Button” by Sam Phillips
 
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits:
 
This is a 1977 photo of country western musician Johnny Cash.This is a 1977 photo of country western musician Johnny Cash.
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This is a 1977 photo of country western musician Johnny Cash.
This is a 1977 photo of country western musician Johnny Cash.
The 3rd annual Johnny Cash Music Festival takes place August 17th in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Each of the artists performing at the event has a personal connection to the late Country legend.  They include Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and The Statler Brothers’ Jimmy Fortune, among others.  Proceeds from the annual festival go toward refurbishing Cash’s childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas and funding college scholarships.  Vince Gill said, “He really was a great man and I was lucky enough to know him.  Any time you get a chance to do something that’s a part of making things better for people that don’t have those opportunities, you feel great.  …To help anybody with the opportunity of an education, you can’t do any better than that.”  The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is expected to open to the public in early 2014.
 
Star Birthdays
 
August 11 - Pop singer Eric Carmen turned 64.  Carmen sang lead vocals with The Raspberries from 1970 to 1974.  The group had a Top 5 single in 1972 with “Go All The Way.”  Three years later, Carmen launched his solo career, recording such hits as “All By Myself,” “Hungry Eyes and “Make Me Lose Control.”
 
August 13 - Birth date of late folk/rock singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg (born 1951).  His many hits include “Longer,” “Same Old Lang Syne” and “Leader of the Band.”  In 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.  He succumbed to the disease on December 16, 2007.
 
August 14 - Singer David Crosby celebrates his 72nd birthday.  Crosby is a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, a trio that later added Neil Young to the lineup.  The group’s best-known songs include the Top 20 hits “Woodstock,” “Teach Your Children” and “Ohio.”  In 1994, Crosby underwent a liver transplant.  After making a full recovery, he joined Stills and Nash on a 1996 U.S. concert tour.  Crosby, Stills & Nash were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.  They’re scheduled to kick off a European tour in October.
 
Joe JonasJoe Jonas
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Joe Jonas
Joe Jonas
August 15 - Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers turns 24.  Since 2006, the trio has recorded four albums.  Their fifth collection, “V,” will be released later this year on their own Jonas Enterprises label.  Joe Jonas released his debut solo album, “FastLife,” in 2012.  The Jonas Brothers are currently performing a North American concert tour.
 

Madonna poses backstage with the award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for the song Madonna poses backstage with the award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for the song "Masterpiece" from the film "W.E." during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP)
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Madonna poses backstage with the award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for the song
Madonna poses backstage with the award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for the song "Masterpiece" from the film "W.E." during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP)
August 16 - Madonna will celebrate her 55th birthday.  Madonna dominated the pop chart in the 1980s and ‘90s with such hits as “Like A Virgin,” Vogue” and “Take A Bow.”  She has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female artist of all time in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Last year, Madonna released her latest album MDNA,” which produced three consecutive hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart.  She holds the record for most Number One singles on that list with 43 titles.  In 2008, Madonna was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
 
August 16 - Singer and pianist Vanessa Carlton turns 33.  The Pennsylvania native began playing the piano at age 2.  At 14, she was accepted into New York’s School of American Ballet.  In 2002, Carlton recorded her debut album “Be Not Nobody,” which includes the smash hit “A Thousand Miles.”  Since then, she has released three more studio albums.  Carlton visited VOA in 2011 to promote her fourth release “Rabbits on the Run” on Larry London’s “Border Crossings” show.  She recently announced on Twitter her plans to kick off a concert tour in October.  Carlton also said she’ll finish recording her fifth album in December.
 
August 17 - Belinda Carlisle, formerly of the Go-Go’s, celebrates her 55th birthday.  The group disbanded in 1984 and Carlisle made her solo debut in 1986 with the album “Belinda.”  Her solo hits include “Mad About You” and the 1987 Number One single “Heaven Is A Place On Earth.”  Carlisle has lived in France since 1993.  Her latest album, 2007’s “Voila,” is a collection of French chansons and pop standards.  In 2010, Carlisle’s memoir, “Lips Unsealed,” was published.

Look Who's Going On Tour!
 
Selena Gomez performs on ABC's Selena Gomez performs on ABC's "Good Morning America", July 26, 2013 in New York.
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Selena Gomez performs on ABC's
Selena Gomez performs on ABC's "Good Morning America", July 26, 2013 in New York.
On August 14, pop singer Selena Gomez will kick off a brief Canadian tour in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Last week, Gomez entered the Billboard 200 chart at Number One with her new album Stars Dance. Opening concerts for Gomez is 2012 “X Factor” fourth place finalist Emblem3.  The California-based group will be supporting its debut album Nothing To Lose, which enters this week’s Billboard 200 chart at Number 7.  Gomez and Emblem3 will launch the U.S. leg of the tour on October 10 in Fairfax, Virginia.  They’ll stop in 34 cities and wrap up shows on November 24 in St. Louis, Missouri.
 

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Border Crossings: Nnekai
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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.