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Category: News (81-90 of 1934)

Jennifer Lopez sings in human-rights-violating Turkmenistan

Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to the leader of Turkmenistan during a show, but her representative said she wouldn’t have performed there at all if she had known there were human rights issues in the country.

The singer and actress performed in the former Soviet bloc country on Saturday night. A statement released Sunday by her publicist to The Associated Press said the event was hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. and wasn’t a political event.

However, the country’s leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, did attend. Berdimuhamedow has been criticized for oppressive rule by human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch describes Turkmenistan as “among the most repressive in the world.”

After a United Nations visit last month, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said the country had made progress in the area of human rights, but “a lot more work is needed to complete this process and to ensure practice is in line with international standards.”
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Rolling Stones play long-awaited Glastonbury gig

There’s a first time for everything, even if you’re the Rolling Stones.

The rock rabble-rousers who formed half a century ago played Britain’s Glastonbury Festival on Saturday, their debut appearance at the country’s most prestigious rock music event.

A majority of the 135,000 festival ticket-holders crammed into the fields in front of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage for the gig, which opened with a rousing “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

As on recent tour dates, the Stones gave fans a fistful of classic hits — including “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” “Paint It Black,” “Wild Horses” and “Gimme Shelter” — as well as newer songs.

There was even a brand-new folky number called “Glastonbury Girl,” written specially for the occasion.

Singer Mick Jagger, who turns 70 in July, has lost none of his swagger, strutting the stage in a sequined green jacket, a satin-lined black cape — on “Sympathy for the Devil” — and other eye-catching outfits.

He thanked fans who had followed the band for five decades, and told newcomers, “do come again,” before giving the crowd what it had been waiting for: an encore of “Satisfaction.”
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Neil Diamond records charity song for Boston

Neil Diamond visited Boston in the days following the marathon bombings and left convinced he should do something to help.

“I was moved by the unity and the attitude of the people in Boston,” Diamond said. “And that’s really all a songwriter needs, is to be inspired. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you have to follow that muse and I did.”

The result is “Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down),” a new patriotically themed song Diamond will release through iTunes and Amazon on July 2. All proceeds from the song will go to benefit the Boston One Fund and the Wounded Warriors Project.

Diamond watched coverage of the April 15 bombings unfold from afar, then visited the city the following Saturday. The Red Sox, the city’s Major League Baseball franchise, adopted the 72-year-old singer’s hit “Sweet Caroline” as an eighth-inning anthem some time ago and had invited him to perform it live.
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Devo drummer Alan Myers dies of brain cancer

Alan Myers, the former longtime drummer for the band Devo, best known for “Whip It,” has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 58.

Myers died Monday in Los Angeles, where he lived, Devo spokesman Michael Pilmer said Wednesday.

Myers was the band’s drummer from 1976 to 1985 during Devo’s heyday. The group was formed in Akron, Ohio, in the early 70s by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, and introduced themselves to the world in 1977 by making a spastic version of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”

Casale told The Associated Press on Wednesday that without Myers, Devo never would have reached the heights it did, calling him the best drummer he has ever played with.
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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' tops chart, though he doesn't beat his own sales record

Kanye-West

Looks like Kanye West’s no-radio strategy has paid off: Yeezus has landed on the top of the Billboard albums chart, with 327,000 copies sold in its debut week.

For some historical context, that’s the biggest week for a rap album since 2011, when Drake moved 631,000 units of Take Care.

As for West’s own discography, Yeezus marks the rapper’s sixth consecutive album (Watch the Throne included) to premiere at No. 1; only his very first album, 2004′s The College Dropout, debuted outside the top spot (it bowed at No. 2). It’s also his lowest selling debut week: his last solo record, the 2010 opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, topped the chart with 496,000 in its first week.

Still, Yeezus‘ performance was strong enough to make it the year’s third-highest sales week for an album, bested only by Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience (968,000) and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (339,000).

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Frank Ocean unveils new music at live show in Munich: Watch video here

It’s been just a few weeks short of a year since Frank Ocean released his highly anticipated debut Channel ORANGE on iTunes a full week early following an appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Could he be warming up for another big reveal?

Ocean kicked off a fresh tour last night in Munich, and while his set list relied heavily on Orange (he played every track on the album), he also dropped in tracks from his awesome nostalgia ULTRA mixtape and a handful of new songs.

It’s difficult to tell much about the new stuff, though it doesn’t seem to be straying far from what he’s known best for. Check out one of the tunes below, which for now we’ll call “All Good”: READ FULL STORY

Rihanna calls out UK journalist in Instagram rant

RiRi is unapologetic indeed: Taking a page out of M.I.A.’s playbook, the outspoken pop star reacted to an unfavorable article written about her in the UK’s Daily Mail by taking swipes at the author via social media.

It all began when journalist Liz Jones took Rihanna to task in the Mail for being a “toxic role model,” admonishing the multiplatinum singer for, in Jones’ opinion, regularly promoting sex- and drug-laden imagery, publicly continuing her relationship with abusive beau Chris Brown, and flaunting “the sort of fashion sense on stage that surely invites rape at worst.” Hmm. READ FULL STORY

Country singer Slim Whitman dies at age 90

Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy Mars Attacks!, died Wednesday at a Florida hospital. He was 90.

Whitman died of heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center, his son-in-law Roy Beagle said.

Whitman’s tenor falsetto and ebony mustache and sideburns became global trademarks — and an inspiration for countless jokes — thanks to the TV commercials that pitched his records.

But he was a serious musical influence on early rock, and in the British Isles, he was known as a pioneer of country music for popularizing the style there. Whitman also encouraged a teen Elvis Presley when he was the headliner on the bill and the young singer was making his professional debut.
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Jay-Z announces new album ... in a cell phone ad -- VIDEO

Jay-Z has taken branding to a whole new level, announcing his new album in a cell phone commercial.

Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay’s first album since teaming up with Kanye West for Watch the Throne, arrives July 4, according to a three-minute Samsung spot that aired during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. As a tie-in to the album’s release, the first million Samsung Galaxy users to download a special mobile app will unlock the disc 72 hours early.

Check out the ad — featuring basically every relevant hip-hop producer there is (Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Swizz Beatz) in the studio with Jay — below:
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Kanye West turns Scott Disick into an 'American Psycho' for 'Yeezus' short film -- VIDEO

Just because Kanye West is a new dad doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about his other creation coming out this week: Promotion for West’s Yeezus album continued Saturday with a listening party in Los Angeles and another short film projected onto buildings across the country.

Rumors about the film swirled last week, and they turned out to be (frighteningly) true: West cast Kourtney Kardashian baby-daddy Scott Disick as Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, with another Kardashian regular, Jonathan Cheban, playing the Jared Leto to Disick’s Christian Bale. The pair re-create the movie’s infamous Huey Lewis scene, but this time, they’re discussing how Kanye’s earlier stuff was “too hip-hop,” as the Yeezus track “New Slaves” plays in the background.

Check it out in the video below:
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