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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."