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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs