News / Arts & Entertainment

Underwood Lands Movie Role; Quincy Jones' Album Features R&B Superstars

Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Oprah Winfrey Among Kennedy Center Honorees

The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts has announced its 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees.  Receiving medals this year are former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, Country legend Merle Haggard, composer Jerry Herman, dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.  The 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors gala, featuring musical and spoken tributes, will take place on December 5 CBS-TV will air the special on December 28.

Robert Plant Releases New Album

Rounder Records will release Robert Plant's new album, Band of Joy, on September 14.  The Americana collection follows his 2007 album Raising Sand, which won six Grammy Awards.  Band of Joy includes covers of the Kelly Brothers' "Falling In Love Again," Los Lobos's "Angel Dance" and Low's "Silver Rider" and "Monkey."

LFO's Rich Cronin Dies

Carrie Underwood's CD single
Carrie Underwood's CD single

Former LFO (Lyte Funky Ones) lead singer Rich Cronin died of leukemia on September 8.  He was 35.  The Boston native was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in March of 2005.  In early 2006, the cancer went into remission, but his condition worsened over the past few months.  In 1999, LFO had a Top 5 hit with "Summer Girls."  Their next single, "Girl On TV," reached the Top 10.  After LFO disbanded in 2003, Cronin appeared in the VH1 reality show "Mission: Man Band" with 'N Sync's Chris Kirkpatrick, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and Color Me Badd's Bryan Abrams.

Underwood Lands Movie Role

LFO's "Girl On TV" CD
LFO's "Girl On TV" CD

Country star Carrie Underwood will appear in the upcoming film Soul Surfer.  She'll play the role of a youth counselor in the movie, which is based on Hawaiian champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003.  Underwood says, "It's definitely an uplifting movie.  Everybody would definitely feel a lot better coming out (of the theater) than they did coming in."  Soul Surfer is scheduled to be released in 2011.  It stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, Jeremy Sumpter and Craig T. Nelson.

Quincy Jones' New Album Features R&B Superstars

Quincy Jones' "Ultimate Collection" CD
Quincy Jones' "Ultimate Collection" CD

Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse are among the many stars featured on Quincy Jones' upcoming album.  Q: Soul Bossa Nostra is Quincy's first album of new recordings since 1995's Q's Juke Joint.   "Each artist picked a song that resonated with them for different reasons," Jones says. "I am honored that everyone wanted to be a part of this celebration of these songs.  They all made them their own and knocked them out of the park."  The album will be released in November.

New Album Releases September 14

"A Thousand Suns" by Linkin Park
"Hurley" by Weezer
"Flamingo" by Brandon Flowers
"Passion, Pain & Pleasure" by Trey Songz
"Everything Comes and Goes" by Michelle Branch
"Now That's What I Call Country Volume 3" by various artists,
"Luis Miguel" by Luis Miguel
"The Guitar Song" by Jamey Johnson
"Shake What God Gave Ya" by James Otto
"Grace and Gratitude Renewed" by Olivia Newton-John
"You Are Not Alone" by Mavis Staples
"Songs From The Road" (CD/DVD) by Leonard Cohen

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival will take place in Telluride, Colorado September 17-19.  The three-day event will feature performances by B.B. King, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Derek Trucks, the Susan Tedeschi Band, Jimmie Vaughan, and many others.  In addition to the music, the festival offers tastings of more than 150 beers from over 50 microbreweries.  

Look Who's Going On Tour!

On September 15, Pink Floyd's co-founder Roger Waters will kick off a North American tour in Toronto, Ontario.  The 49-date outing will feature his performance of Pink Floyd's entire 1979 album "The Wall."  Waters performed the band's 1973 album "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety on his 2007-2008 tour.

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In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
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Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
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Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
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