Jackson's private life on display in civil trial
2013-05-01 05:16:53 UTC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors in the civil case between Michael Jackson's mother and concert giant AEG Live got another glimpse of the singer's private life on Tuesday through the eyes of a paramedic who described the singer's bedroom and the frantic efforts to revive the King of Pop on the day he died.
Many other private moments from the singer's life will be exposed as the case progresses over the next several months, with witnesses expected to testify about secret medical treatments, lavish spending and tender moments spent with his mother and children.
In the nearly four years since his death, nearly every aspect of Jackson's...
'Kinky Boots' gets a leading 13 Tony Award nods
2013-04-30 19:07:18 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots" has earned a leading 13 Tony Award nominations, with the British import "Matilda: The Musical" close behind with 12. Tom Hanks, making his Broadway debut, earned a nod as leading man in a play.
"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser.
"I walked my dog early this morning so I'd be back in time to listen to the announcement. It's so great. It's so great. I'm done crying a little bit. But I'm still thril...
Paramedic is first witness in Jackson civil case
2013-04-30 19:05:50 UTC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A paramedic is the first witness to testify in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live.
Paramedic Richard Senneff took the witness stand on Tuesday.
He had attempted to revive the pop star after becoming one of the first people to respond to his home in 2009.
Senneff testified twice in previous criminal proceedings against Conrad Murray, the former physician who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death.
Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, left the courtroom during the testimony.
She is suing AEG, claiming it failed to properly i...
Opry to hold public funeral for George Jones
2013-04-29 04:46:56 UTC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A public funeral will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville for country music superstar George Jones, who died Friday at the age of 81.
Publicist Kirt Webster said in a statement that the public funeral will be held Thursday starting at 10 a.m. Webster says Jones would have wanted his fans everywhere to be able to pay their respects along with his family.
A private visitation for family, friends and fellow performers will take place Wednesday evening. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry trust fund or the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Steady rain greets Jazz Fest as 1st weekend closes
2013-04-29 04:15:00 UTC
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A steady, sometimes heavy rain pelted fans Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but the music flowed on.
A soaked Dave Matthews and his band played through a strong downpour at the tail end of the closing weekend, much to the fans' delight as they danced along with him and cheered him through the bad weather.
Matthews ended his performance just before a flash of lightning and strong thunder echoed his goodbyes to the crowd, which stretched to the back track and beyond despite the weather, as is usual for that stage.
Umbrellas, rain boots and plastic ponchos were out in abundance early as...
Country superstar George Jones dead at 81
2013-04-28 17:09:06 UTC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When it comes to country music, George Jones was The Voice.
Other great singers have come and gone, but this fact remained inviolate until Jones passed away Friday at 81 in a Nashville hospital after a year of ill health.
"Today someone else has become the greatest living singer of traditional country music, but there will never be another George Jones," said Bobby Braddock, the Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter who provided Jones with 29 songs over the decades. "No one in country music has influenced so many other artists."
He did it with that voice. Rich and deep, strong enough to crack like a...
Rolling Stones to play small LA club ahead of tour
2013-04-28 04:58:11 UTC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Surprise!
Before they kick off their "50 and Counting" tour, the Rolling Stones are playing a warm-up date at a small Los Angeles club.
The band is set to perform Saturday night at the Echoplex before a sold-out crowd that will be miniscule compared to the thousands who are set to see them launch their tour May 3 at the Staples Center.
Tickets were sold for $20 each — a fraction of what tickets to the tour will cost.
Hundreds of fans lined up outside the El Rey Theatre earlier Saturday for a chance at the tickets. They were dispensed through a confusing lottery system that led to much of the crowd depar...
Woody Guthrie Center opens Saturday in Tulsa
2013-04-27 19:45:01 UTC
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — It took Woody Guthrie's hometown of Okemah more than 30 years after his death to finally celebrate his life and work with an annual music festival, and signs of acknowledgment in other parts of Oklahoma have been rare.
Monuments and exhibits honoring Guthrie, one of America's greatest folk singers and songwriters who died in 1967, were scarce as attitudes about his perceived leftist allegiances lasted more than a generation.
But when the 12,000-square-foot Woody Guthrie Center opens Saturday in Tulsa, it won't mark some uneasy truce between Oklahoma and the Dust Bowl balladeer and his kin. The center's de...
Swedish police find drugs on Bieber tour bus
2013-04-25 15:34:04 UTC
STOCKHOLM (AP) — The latest chapter in Justin Bieber's European tour escapade was added Thursday when Swedish police said they had found drugs and a stun gun on the pop singer's bus.
Lars Bystrom, spokesman for the Stockholm police, told The Associated Press a small amount of drugs and a stun gun were discovered during a search of the bus, which had been parked under the Globen concert venue in Stockholm, where Bieber was performing Wednesday.
Bystrom declined to identify the drug, saying that it was sent to a lab for analysis. He said no one was arrested since the bus was empty at the time of the search.
Swedish police decided ...
Metallica to debut new film on IMAX in September
2013-04-24 16:17:48 UTC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Metallica already planned to go big with its new 3D film. IMAX is helping make the debut for "Metallica Through The Never" giant-sized.
The film that mixes concert footage with a dramatic narrative and CGI will open Sept. 27, becoming the first movie to debut on IMAX's chain of super-sized screens. The film will open wide a week later.
"To be at the forefront in this situation where IMAX has never done this is very exciting," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said. "It's also a bit of a confidence booster. Being in the movie-making business is not necessarily our forte and it's been a very interesting thr...
Germany: Bieber's monkey going nowhere
2013-04-24 04:47:53 UTC
BERLIN (AP) — German customs authorities said Tuesday that Justin Bieber's monkey is going nowhere for now even though the singer has apparently asked that it be removed from an animal shelter where it is staying and be placed in a zoo.
Mally, a 17-week-old capuchin monkey, was seized by customs authorities March 28 when Bieber failed to produce the required papers after landing in Munich while on tour.
Judith Brettmeister, spokeswoman for the Munich Animal Protection League shelter, where Mally has been kept since then, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her office has since received two emails from a representative say...
Daft Punk sets record on Spotify with 'Get Lucky'
2013-04-22 05:01:37 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Daft Punk has set a record on Spotify.
The music service says the French electronic duo's song "Get Lucky" had the biggest streaming day for a single track on Friday in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Spotify wouldn't release the number of streams.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" previously held the record for most streams in a day in the U.S. British band Bastille had the title in the United Kingdom with the song "Pompeii."
Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" features rapper-producer Pharrell. It's the first single from the group's fourth album, "Random Access Memories," due out May 21. It's their first studio album...
Inmates, orchestra members perform behind bars
2013-04-15 04:54:46 UTC
CHICAGO (AP) — Strains of classical music echoed on Sunday — not inside an august concert hall — but in a bleak Chicago jail where the mostly teenage boys await trial on charges ranging from dope dealing to murder.
The concert was part of a unique outreach that's the brainchild of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's musical director, the Italian-born Riccardo Muti, who attended the event at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center on Chicago's West Side.
The concert included half a dozen of the orchestra's members. But the center-stage performers were some 10 inmates who participated in a weeklong musical wo...
Beyonce trip to Cuba 'hypocritical'
2013-04-14 16:38:26 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio says entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z missed a chance while in Cuba to see firsthand the effects of political oppression.
The Republican lawmaker from Florida calls their recent trip "hypocritical" and he takes issue with the U.S. government's approval of the visit as a cultural mission.
Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their wedding anniversary in Havana last week.
U.S. citizens aren't allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. These people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administra...
Rebel Wilson prepares to open MTV Awards with song
2013-04-13 16:46:48 UTC
CULVER CITY, Calif. (AP) — Rebel Wilson sings, dances and summons laughs — and that's just in the opening moments of this weekend's MTV Movie Awards.
The Australian actress is hosting the show, and she's set to start the ceremony by singing solo.
Wilson and her co-stars from "Pitch Perfect" rehearsed a multi-genre opening medley Friday that features Wilson spoofing last year's films and spinning nunchucks.
Brittany Snow, Anna Camp and Skylar Astin, along with a troupe of gymnastic dancers, joined the first-time host at Sony Pictures Studios to run through four songs not featured in the film. MTV insists on keepin...
PSY says he hopes NKoreans enjoy his new single
2013-04-13 16:44:28 UTC
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean rapper PSY says he hopes North Koreans will enjoy his new single even as tensions remain high on the Korean Peninsula.
PSY released his latest single, "Gentleman," in 119 countries on Friday, hoping to replicate the success of "Gangnam Style," the smash YouTube hit that made him an international star almost overnight last year. The choreography for "Gentleman" — including the "arrogant dance," as PSY called it — was unveiled at a concert in Seoul on Saturday before more than 50,000 fans. The music video has been uploaded onto YouTube.
PSY, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, said...
Rick Ross apologizes for pro-rape lyrics
2013-04-12 19:47:46 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — A day after Reebok ended its relationship with Rick Ross, the rapper acknowledged that his lyrics on Rocko's song "U.O.E.N.O." were "offensive."
In a statement Friday, Ross said being a musician is "a great responsibility" and that his choice of words in the song "does not reflect my true heart."
In the song, Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her.
Says Ross: "For me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes."
He also says men who listen to his music should "know that using a substance to rob a woma...
A country song, assumptions _ and a racial outcry
2013-04-12 04:17:27 UTC
Southern white men don't usually drive racial dialogue. For as long as race has riven America, they have been depicted more often as the problem than the solution.
So after country music star Brad Paisley released his new song "Accidental Racist" this week, what happened next was hardly surprising: days of widespread criticism about his attempt to detail the challenges facing a "white man from the Southland" and his recruitment of LL Cool J to rap a black perspective.
The song sparked a predictable blaze this week on TV, talk radio and the Internet. USA Today asked if it was an "epic fail." At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi...
Jay-Z references Cuba trip in song 'Open Letter'
2013-04-11 17:14:32 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba in a new song.
He released "Open Letter" Thursday after two Florida Republican lawmakers questioned if his visit to Havana with wife Beyonce was officially licensed.
On the song, Jay-Z raps about his distaste for politicians and says, "Want to give me jail time and a fine, let me commit a real crime."
U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple's trip was licensed as an educational exchange.
Jay-Z and Beyonce are avid supporters of President Barack Obama. Jay-Z raps in his song, "Obama said, 'Chill, you gon' get me impeached, you don't need this (expletive)...
Paul McCartney still UK's richest musician
2013-04-11 17:05:45 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Let it be — as in billionaire.
Paul McCartney remains Britain's wealthiest musician, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
The newspaper estimated Thursday that the ex-Beatle shares a 680 million-pound ($1.05 billion) fortune with his third wife, Nancy Shevell, whose family owns a U.S. trucking company.
McCartney has topped the musicians' list every year since it was first compiled in 1989.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is ranked second, with an estimated 620 million-pound fortune.
Adele topped a parallel list for musicians under 30. She is judged to be worth 30 million pounds.
The full ranking of ...
Flavor Flav felony case headed for trial in Vegas
2013-04-11 04:54:20 UTC
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Entertainer Flavor Flav is facing a trial on felony charges that he threatened his longtime girlfriend's 17-year-old son with a butcher knife during a family argument.
The 54-year-old former rap and reality TV star, whose legal name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., didn't testify during a Wednesday evidence hearing in Las Vegas Justice Court.
But the teen did. He pointed from the witness stand toward Drayton at the defendant's table, identified him as the man wearing a clock around his neck, and told Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson that Drayton chased him to a bedroom and stabbed the ...
White House celebrates the sounds of Memphis soul
2013-04-10 05:28:20 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said he'd been looking forward to a White House celebration of Memphis soul music for one reason.
"Let's face it, who does not love this music?" he asked Tuesday, opening the night's concert in an East Room bathed in amber light and transformed by the addition of a stage and backup musicians.
"These songs get us on the dance floor," Obama said. "They get stuck in our heads. We go back over them again and again. And they've played an important part in our history."
Memphis, Tenn., was segregated in the 1960s, but blacks and whites came together despite the institutional rac...
Rolling Stones announce 9-city tour
2013-04-03 16:29:18 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Call it satisfaction: The Rolling Stones have announced a nine-city tour.
The veteran rockers said Wednesday their "50 and Counting" tour will kick off in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The date will be announced later.
The second show is in Oakland, Calif., on May 5. The tour will also visit San Jose, Calif.; Las Vegas; Anaheim, Calif.; Toronto; Chicago; and Boston. The tour ends June 18 in Philadelphia.
Tickets for Oakland, San Jose, Toronto and Chicago go on sale April 8. Ticket sales for the other cities will be announced later.
The band will also headline the Glastonbury Festival on June 29 and wi...
Stones returning to stage: Why should we care?
2013-04-04 23:50:44 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones.
With Wednesday's expected announcement of a new Stones tour, those words will again signal the start of a rock 'n' roll show. Young music fans may wonder why there's still a fuss over dad's, or grandpa's, favorite band. Here are five reasons to care.
1. LIVING HISTORY: Elvis Presley is dead. The Beatles will never perform again. The Who is down to two originals. Membership of rock's Greatest Generation is fading. The Stones, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney are links to a special time in music history, and you can still see them in concert. If the Stones' form of classic rock move...
Buscemi to direct Vampire Weekend live stream
2013-04-02 17:12:34 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Buscemi (boo-SHEM'-ee) will direct a live stream of a Vampire Weekend concert to debut a new season of "Unstaged."
The stream will launch the fourth season of "American Express Unstaged," an online series that pairs notable directors with popular music acts. Vampire Weekend's concert at the Roseland Ballroom on April 28 will stream live on VEVO and YouTube.
American Express was to officially announce the live stream Tuesday.
Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koenig in a statement called Buscemi "a wonderful actor, a NYC legend and a great director." Buscemi has directed four feature films, including 19...