News / Arts & Entertainment

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

    Robin Thicke performs on NBC's "Today" show on July 30, 2013 in New York.
    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.
    x
    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.
    x
    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.
    x
    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.
    x
    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
    x
    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 "Masterpiece" from the film "W.E." during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP)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)
    x
    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)
    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 "Good Morning America", July 26, 2013 in New York.Selena Gomez performs on ABC's "Good Morning America", July 26, 2013 in New York.
    x
    Selena Gomez performs on ABC's "Good Morning America", July 26, 2013 in New York.
    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.
     

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    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.