News / Arts & Entertainment

Usher, Bieber Face Lawsuit Over Song; Rolling Stones Rock LA

Singer Justin Bieber performs during the Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Gardens in New York, December 7, 2012.
Singer Justin Bieber performs during the Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Gardens in New York, December 7, 2012.
Mary Morningstar
Justin Bieber and Usher are facing a $10-million lawsuit by two songwriters who claim they stole Bieber’s hit “Somebody To Love.”  According to The Wrap, Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton filed the copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in eastern Virginia.  Numerous similarities in a song of the same title written by Copeland and Overton in 2008 are cited in the lawsuit.

Rolling Stones Rock Los Angeles

Rolling Stones band members (L-R) Charles Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards (file photo)Rolling Stones band members (L-R) Charles Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards (file photo)
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Rolling Stones band members (L-R) Charles Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards (file photo)
Rolling Stones band members (L-R) Charles Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards (file photo)
The Rolling Stones rocked a packed house in Los Angeles on Friday on the opening night of their North American "50 and Counting'' tour, but only after websites slashed ticket prices and the band released additional cheap seats at the last minute. The 17-date tour is the veteran British rockers' biggest in six years and follows a handful of dates in London, Paris and New York at the end of 2012 marking 50 years since they burst on to the music scene at London's Marquee Club in 1962

Jones' Signature Tune Tops Billboard Country Chart

George Jones’ signature tune “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is back on the charts.  This week, the song re-enters Billboard’s Hot Country songs chart at Number 21, giving the late Country legend his highest ranking on that list since 1990.  Following his death on April 26, sales of his albums soared.  This week’s Top Country Albums chart includes seven of his collections.  Jones’ memorial service took place on May 2 at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House.  Many artists offered their memories of Jones and performed at the tribute, which was open to the public.

Country Music Hall of Fame Unveils Greenwood Exhibit

On May 10, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is unveiling a new exhibit dedicated to singer Lee Greenwood.  “Lee Greenwood: American Patriot” showcases memorabilia from his 50 years in music.  A special focus will be placed on his best-known song “God Bless the USA” and his work with military organizations.  The exhibit runs until April 25, 2014.

American Idol Says Bye Bye Amber Holcomb

Amber HolocombAmber Holocomb
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Amber Holocomb
Amber Holocomb
On May 2, Amber Holcomb, 18, was voted off American Idol.  The remaining Top 3 finalists are Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller.  This week, they’ll return to their hometowns to perform for local fans.  Each will perform three songs on the May 8 competition, “Judge’s Choice,” “Jimmy’s (Iovine) Choice” and “IDOL’s Choice.”  Pop star Alicia Keys and American Idol Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina are slated to perform on the May 9 elimination show.

New Album Releases / May 7:

 “2.0” by 98 Degrees
“Magnetic” by Goo Goo Dolls
“Unstoppable Momentum” by Joe Satriani
“Golden” by Lady Antebellum
“Mother” by Natalie Maines
“American Kid” by Patty Griffin
“Diversity” by Emily Bear
“Annie Up” by Pistol Annies
“Time” by Rod Stewart
“Under The Influence” by Straight No Chaser
“Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 46” by various artists
“The Music of Nashville (Season 1, Volume 2)” by the cast of ABC’s hit TV show “Nashville.”

Star Birthdays

Chris BrownChris Brown
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Chris Brown
Chris Brown
On May 5, R&B singer Chris Brown turned 24.  The Virginia native was only 16 when he recorded his self-titled debut album.  The album sold more than two million copies in the U.S. and produced the Number One hit “Run It!”  Brown’s second Number One single, “Kiss Kiss,” was included on his second album, “Exclusive.”  In 2009, he made headlines after pleading guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.  Brown was sentenced to six months of community service and five years on probation.  Brown’s 2011 album, “F.A.M.E.,” became his first Number One debut on the Billboard 200.  His next album, “Fortune,” produced two Top 10 single, “Turn Up the Music” and “Don’t Wake Me Up.”  On July 16, RCA Records will release Brown’s sixth album, “X.”  Brown recently announced on Twitter the album will feature a secret collaboration.  Its lead single, “Fine China,” peaked at Number 4 on the R&B chart.  This week, it slips to Number 5. 

British singer-songwriter Craig David celebrated his 32nd birthday on May 5.  Craig made his American debut in 2001 with the album “Born To Do It.”  The set sold seven million copies worldwide and spent 60 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart.  His 2002 follow-up, “Slicker Than Your Average,” debuted on the same list at Number 32, but quickly fell off the chart.  2008’s “Trust Me” was Craig’s final Warner Music release.  In 2009, he signed a new deal with Universal Records.  Craig’s latest album, “Signed Sealed Delivered,” was released in 2010 only in the U.K.  The collection features his covers and samples of soul hits.  Craig is performing concerts in the U.K. while he awaits the release of his new album “Following My Intuition.”

Country singer George Jones, (R) pictured with Tammy Wynette at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Oct. 4, 1995.Country singer George Jones, (R) pictured with Tammy Wynette at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Oct. 4, 1995.
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Country singer George Jones, (R) pictured with Tammy Wynette at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Oct. 4, 1995.
Country singer George Jones, (R) pictured with Tammy Wynette at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Oct. 4, 1995.
May 5 marked the birth date of the late Country singer Tammy Wynette (born 1942).  Known as the “First Lady of Country Music,” she left her native Mississippi and moved to Nashville in 1966.  Wynette recorded a string of Number One songs throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, including “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “I Don’t Wanna Play House” and “Stand By Your Man.”  In 1993, she teamed with Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to record the album, “Honky Tonk Angels.”  Wynette’s 1995 release “One,” teamed her with ex-husband George Jones.  The album also reunited the Country legends for their first concerts together in 17 years.  In April of 1998, Wynette died unexpectedly of a blood clot in her lung.  She was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during that year’s Country Music Association Awards.  In 2002, her daughters agreed to an out-of-court settlement in their lawsuit against their late mother’s physician, Dr. Wallis Marsh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  They accused Marsh of contributing to Wynette’s death by over-prescribing large quantities of painkillers.  No details of the settlement were disclosed. 

Rock singer-songwriter Bob Seger celebrated his 68th birthday on May 6.  Seger taught himself to play the guitar and keyboards during his high school years and later formed his first band, The Decibels.  In 1968, he assembled the Bob Seger System, which eventually evolved into the Silver Bullet Band.  Nine years later, the group recorded the million selling double album, “Live Bullet.”  The band’s biggest hits include “Night Moves,” “Still the Same” and the Number One Adult Contemporary single, “Shame on the Moon.”  In 2004, Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Seger released his latest album, “Face the Promise” in 2006.  Its first single, “Wait For Me,” was a minor hit on the Country chart.  Seger is currently working on a new album and performing concerts on his North American “Rock and Roll Never Forgets Tour.” 

Enrique Iglesias appears during the IHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday June 30, 2012.Enrique Iglesias appears during the IHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday June 30, 2012.
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Enrique Iglesias appears during the IHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday June 30, 2012.
Enrique Iglesias appears during the IHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday June 30, 2012.
On May 8, Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias celebrated his 38th birthday.  The son of singer Julio Iglesias, Enrique made his recording debut in 1996.  His biggest hits include “Bailamos,” “Be With You” and “Hero.”  Enrique holds the record for most Number One singles on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.  His 2007 English language album ”Insomniac” produced the Number One hit, “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song).”  Enrique’s Spanish language anthology, “95/08 Exitos,” includes 17 of his Number Ones songs, plus two new tracks.  The album brought him six Billboard Latin Music Awards.  His latest CD, “Euphoria,” includes both English and Spanish-language tracks.  Enrique led the winners at the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards.  He took home nine trophies, including Latin Artist of the Year.  Last year, Enrique released “Finally Found You” as the lead single from his upcoming album.  The song became his 12th Number One hit on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. 

May 8 marks the birth date of the late actor and singer Rick Nelson (born 1940).  Before pursuing a successful singing career, he acted in his parents’ popular television series, “Ozzie & Harriet.”  Nelson became a teen idol in the late 1950s after singing his Top 5 single “I’m Walking” on one of the episodes.  Other major hits followed, including two Number One songs, “Poor Little Fool” and “Travelin’ Man.”  On December 31, 1985, Nelson was killed when his plane crashed while en route to a New Year’s Eve performance near DeKalb, Texas.  (“Poor Little Fool”  CDP-349)
On May 9, singer-songwriter Billy Joel will celebrate his 64th birthday.  During the 1960s, Joel performed with various local New York bands.  He signed a solo recording deal in 1973, and the following year, scored his first chart single with “Piano Man.”  In 1987, Joel performed a concert tour of Russia, which spawned the live double album “Kohuept” (translation: “Concert”).  In 1990, he received a Grammy Legend Award for “ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field.”  His other industry honors include Billboard magazine’s 1995 Century Award and induction into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame (1992) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999).  In 2000, Joel’s 1985 anthology “Greatest Hits, Volume I and Volume II” passed the 20-million mark in sales to become the fourth-highest-certified album in history.  His latest studio project was 2001’s “Billy Joel - Fantasies & Delusions.”  Joel composed its classical pieces, which were performed on the album by Richard Joo.  In 2004, Billy married entertainment reporter Katie Lee.  The following year, he kicked off his first major concert tour in eight years.  The outing included a 12-night, sold-out engagement at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  Performances from those shows were released on the double-CD set “12 Gardens Live.”  In 2007, Joel released the single “All My Life.”  It marked his first newly written pop song since 1993’s “River of Dreams.”  In 2009, Joel signed a $2.25-million deal with Harper Collins to publish his autobiography “The Book of Joel.”  He later canceled its release.  Joel said, “It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music.”

Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs during their 360 Degree Tour (file photo)Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs during their 360 Degree Tour (file photo)
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Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs during their 360 Degree Tour (file photo)
Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs during their 360 Degree Tour (file photo)
U2’s lead vocalist Bono (real name Paul Hewson) will turn 53 on May 10.  U2 gained international popularity following the 1987 release of “The Joshua Tree.”  It featured the Number One singles “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  “The Joshua Tree” also brought the band two Grammy Awards.  Several more successful albums followed, including “Rattle and Hum,” “Achtung Baby,” “Zooropa” and “Pop.”  U2’s 2000 album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” earned four Grammy Awards.  In 2005, U2 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2007, Bono was awarded an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.  U2’s 2009 album, “No Line on the Horizon,” was the group’s first studio project since 2004’s “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”  The band has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide.  U2’s 2011 “360 Degrees Tour” was named the highest-grossing tour ever.  Performances from the tour were released last year on the live album, “U22.”  Earlier this year, U2 announced that they’re working on a new album, tentatively titled “10 Reasons To Exist.”  It’s expected to be out in September.

Awards Presentations / Winners:

“Kinky Boots” leads the nominees for the 2013 Tony Awards.  The show, scored by pop singer Cyndi Lauper, earned a total of 13 nominations, including Best Musical.  Also up for Best Musical are “Bring It On: The Musical,” “A Christmas Story, The Musical” and “Matilda: The Musical.”  “Matilda” follows close behind with 12 nods.  Best Revival of a Musical nominees include “Annie,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “Pippin” and “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”  Nominated for Best Original Score Written for the Theater are  Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for “A Christmas Story,” Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green for “Hands on a Hardbody,” Cyndi Lauper for “Kinky Boots” and Tim Minchin for “Matilda: The Musical.”  This year’s Tony Awards will be presented at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on June 9.  (Complete list of nominees are available at www.tonyawards.com)

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Brad PaisleyBrad Paisley
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Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley
Country star Brad Paisley begins his 29-city “Beat This Summer Tour” on May 9 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The outing supports his new album, “Wheelhouse,” which debuts at Number One on this week’s Country Albums chart.  Lee Brice and Chris Young will open the concerts, set to wrap up on August 24 in Devore, California.  Brad partnered with Live Beyond by donating one-dollar from each ticket sold.  Live Beyond is a non-profit organization in Nashville that provides medical care, clean water, nutritional aid and development support to impoverished communities in Haiti.
On May 10, Huey Lewis and The News kick off a U.S. tour in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  The band is scheduled to stop in 31 U.S. cities through August 26.  Huey Lewis and The News are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album “Sports,” which sold seven million copies in the U.S. and produced the hits “Heart and Soul,” “I Want A New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” “If This Is It” and “Walking on a Thin Line.”  “Sports (30th Anniversary Edition)” drops on May 14.

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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.