News / Arts & Entertainment

Will.i.am Joins American Idol as Judge; Simon Cowell Questioned About Fatherhood Rumors

Will.i.am arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
Will.i.am arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
Mary Morningstar
An exclusive report from omg! Insider says the judges have been chosen for the upcoming 13th season of American Idol.  Country star Keith Urban returns for his second year on the reality show.  He’ll reportedly be joined by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Lopez, who was an American Idol judge in 2010 and 2011. Season 13 auditions kicked off in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 11.  Other audition cities include San Francisco, California; Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Foxboro, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska.  FOX-TV will begin airing the audition round on January 15, 2014.

Simon Cowell Questioned About Fatherhood Rumors 

Simon Cowell, a judge on the FOX series "The X Factor," looks on from the stage during a panel discussion on the show at the FOX 2013 Summer TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Aug. 1, 2013.Simon Cowell, a judge on the FOX series "The X Factor," looks on from the stage during a panel discussion on the show at the FOX 2013 Summer TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Aug. 1, 2013.
x
Simon Cowell, a judge on the FOX series "The X Factor," looks on from the stage during a panel discussion on the show at the FOX 2013 Summer TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Aug. 1, 2013.
Simon Cowell, a judge on the FOX series "The X Factor," looks on from the stage during a panel discussion on the show at the FOX 2013 Summer TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Aug. 1, 2013.
Simon Cowell was asked about unconfirmed reports of his impending fatherhood at a Television Critics Association panel on August 1. Cowell deflected the question, citing privacy concerns, but said he would eventually clear up the matter when the timing is right. The X Factor and American Idol creator is embroiled in his friends' divorce proceedings with court documents citing Cowell as a co-respondent in a divorce complaint stating the reasons for the dissolution of marriage are the commission of acts of adultery.

Selena Gomez Tops Billboard 200
 
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.
This week, Selena Gomez scores her first Number One debut on the Billboard 200 chart with “Stars Dance.”  The set went to Number One on iTunes charts in 28 countries.  The 21-year-old pop singer will launch a world tour on August 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She’ll also be seen in the upcoming film “The Getaway,” which opens in theaters on August 30.


Rihanna Wins Topshop Lawsuit

Rihanna performs in concert, May 6, 2013 in Boston.Rihanna performs in concert, May 6, 2013 in Boston.
x
Rihanna performs in concert, May 6, 2013 in Boston.
Rihanna performs in concert, May 6, 2013 in Boston.
R&B singer Rihanna won a legal case July 31 against British fashion chain Topshop over the use of her image on a T-shirt it sold without her approval. High Court Judge Birss ruled in Rihanna's favor following a four-day hearing earlier this month.
 






Randy Travis Recuperating After Heart Ailment
 
Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2013.Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2013.
x
Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2013.
Randy Travis performs on day 2 of the 2013 CMA Music festival at the LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2013.
Country legend Randy Travis has been transferred from Baylor Heart Hospital in Texas to a physical therapy facility where he’ll continue to recover from congestive heart failure and a stroke.  The 54-year-old was admitted to the hospital on July 7 and diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy.  Three days later, Travis suffered a stroke that required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

 
Billboard Ranks Top 100 Hits of All Time 
 
The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964.The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964.
x
The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964.
The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964.
Billboard is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its Hot 100 chart by ranking the 100 biggest hits on that list.  The Top 10 in ascending order are “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone, “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio, “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes, “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, and ”The Twist” by Chubby Checker.  (The entire “Hot 100 55th Anniversary: All-Time Top 100 Songs” list can be viewed at www.billboard.com.)  

Florida Georgia Line Heating Up Billboard Country Songs Chart 
 
Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
x
Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.
Country duo Florida Georgia Line has tied the record for most weeks at Number One on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.  Its smash hit “Cruise” spends its 21st week at the summit.  Only three other songs have held the top position for as many weeks in the history of the chart.  They include Eddy Arnold’s “I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms),” Hank Snow’s “I’m Moving On” and Webb Pierce’s “In the Jailhouse Now.”  To date, Georgia Florida Line’s “Cruise” has sold 5.1-million digital downloads, making it the third best-selling Country digital track ever.  Ahead of “Cruise” are Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” with 6.2million downloads and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” with 5.6 million.
 
New Album Releases / August 6: 
 
 “Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 47” by various artists
“Simplify” by Brendan James
“Joke in the Hole” by Eric Copeland
“Didn’t It Rain” by Hugh Laurie
“Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon” by KT Tunstall
“Elvis At Stax” by Elvis Presley
“Everywhere At Once” by Paul Allen and the Underthinkers
“The Civil Wars” by The Civil Wars
“Walking Papers” by Walking Papers
 
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits 
 
Paul McCartney, left, and Dave Grohl perform during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)Paul McCartney, left, and Dave Grohl perform during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
x
Paul McCartney, left, and Dave Grohl perform during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Paul McCartney, left, and Dave Grohl perform during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival will be held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park August 9-11.  This year’s lineup includes Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson & Family, Hall & Oates, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nine Inch Nails, Kaskade, and many others.  In addition to concerts, the three-day festival features a variety of local vendors offering food, wine, art and 15 craft breweries.
 
Star Birthdays 
 
August 4 - 2010 “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox turned 28.  Her debut album, “Farmer’s Daughter,” was released on Jive Records.  The company closed its doors the following year.  Last year, Bowersox signed with independent label Shanachie Records, which released her new album, “All That For This,” earlier this year.  In late 2013, Bowersox will play Patsy Cline in the Broadway production of “Always, Patsy Cline.”
 
August 5 - Canadian Country singer Terri Clark celebrates her 45th birthday.  Since arriving on the Country scene in 1995, Clark has recorded nine albums that have produced a string of hits.  Two reached Number One on the U.S. Country chart, “You’re Easy On The Eyes” and “Girls Lie Too.”  Clark’s 2012 album, “Classic,” features her versions on Country standards.
 
August 7 - Singer BJ Thomas turns 71.  The five-time Grammy Award winner is best known for such hits as “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love” and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”  Thomas’ new acoustic album, “The Living Room Sessions,” contains his hits re-recorded as duets with other artists, including Vince Gill, Keb Mo and Steve Tyrell.
 
August 8 - JC Chasez of the former boy band ‘N Sync will celebrate his 37th birthday.  He began performing as a Mouseketeer in Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club.  ‘N Sync formed in 1995 and released its first album in 1998.  The group’s three studio albums collectively sold more than 26 million copies in the United States.  Chasez also released the solo album “Schizophrenic” in 2004.  From 2008 to 2012, he was a judge on the MTV reality show, “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
 
Musician Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, California Oct. 28, 2006.Musician Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, California Oct. 28, 2006.
x
Musician Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, California Oct. 28, 2006.
Musician Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, California Oct. 28, 2006.
August 9 - Birth date of the late pop icon Whitney Houston (born 1963).  Houston sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.  She was the only female artist to have seven consecutive Number One songs on the Hot 100 chart.  In addition to her career in music, Houston starred in many films, including “The Bodyguard,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “Waiting To Exhale” and “Sparkle.”  Houston admitted to problems with drug use and went to rehab centers twice before telling Oprah Winfrey in a 2010 interview that she was drug-free.  On February 11, 2012, the 48-year-old singer was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room.  An autopsy revealed her death was caused by “drowning due to effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”
 
August 10 - Singer Ronnie Spector turns 70.  During the 1960s, Spector performed with The Ronettes, a trio best known for the Number 2 single “Be My Baby.”  She sang the lead line of “Be My Baby” in rock singer Eddie Money’s 1986 hit “Take Me Home Tonight.”  In 2007, the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Last year, Spector performed her one-woman show, “Beyond the Beehive,” throughout the United States. 
 
Look Who's Going On Tour!
 
Singer and TV personality Toni Braxton, Nov. 1, 2012.Singer and TV personality Toni Braxton, Nov. 1, 2012.
x
Singer and TV personality Toni Braxton, Nov. 1, 2012.
Singer and TV personality Toni Braxton, Nov. 1, 2012.
On August 9, Grammy-winning R&B singer Toni Braxton begins a North American tour in Las Vegas.  Since the release of her 1992 debut album, Braxton has sold more than 60 million records worldwide.  Her hits include “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “Un-break My Heart.”  Braxton is currently working on a duets album with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, which will be released later this year.
 
Pop singer Ke$ha recently wrapped up a North American co-headlining tour with international superstar Pitbull.  On August 10, she’ll kick off an 18-city solo U.S. headlining tour in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to support her latest album, “Warrior.”  Mike Posner will be Ke$ha’s special guest on the tour and New York rock band Semi-Precious Weapons will open the shows.
 

You May Like

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."