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Jay Z will headline the Global Citizen Festival in September

On September 27, a lineup including Jay-Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., Tiësto, and The Roots will perform at the third annual Global Citizen Festival, held on the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park.

Now in its third year, the Global Citizen Festival is a outdoor concert whose main goal is to raise awareness and inspire action to combat extreme poverty worldwide. The Global Poverty Project, the organization behind the festival, hopes to use the event as a tool “promote activism through something people love—live musical entertainment—and in turn, give our world leaders a clear and compelling mandate to commit to ending extreme poverty by 2030.” Every year, the event is held around the same time as the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the festival will be televised by NBC and MSNBC.

Tickets to the Global Citizen Festival are earned, not bought. To earn tickets, fans visit the Global Citizen website, sign up, and complete several tasks aimed at spreading awareness. Each task earns a certain number of points, and once a fan earns eight points, he or she can enter to win tickets to the event. There will be five draws this summer, and would-be concertgoers can enter up to six times. A total of 48,000 free tickets will be given out this year.

“After last year’s success, Jay Z put up his hand and said, ‘I want to headline Year 3,’” Hugh Evans, chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, said to the New York Times. “ We sat down with people from his Shawn Carter Foundation and found that there are so many alliances between what they’re trying to do and what we’re trying to do.

Last year’s lineup included John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, and Stevie Wonder, who closed the festival with an hour-long set that included a cover John Lennon’s “Imagine” (see below). Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, also made a special appearance and addressed the crowd during Wonder’s set.

Alicia Keys spins a web with Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell for 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' song 'It's On Again': Hear it here!

Andrew Garfield is about to swing back into cinemas clad in the blue and red spandex in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opens on May 2. But before that, the soundtrack to the movie will arrive in stores — and now we have its first official single.

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NBA All-Star Weekend performers announced: Alicia Keys, Ellie Goulding, and more

Already looking for another fun halftime performance? The NBA’s got your back.

The baller league has announced the musician lineup slated to perform at its All-Star Weekend, which will go down in Houston on Feb. 16-17.

The schedule of artists, which is officially a part of the weekend’s Entertainment Series Presented by Sean John at Macys, includes Super Bowl visitor Alicia Keys, who’ll be playing the halftime show at the game itself on Sunday. Ne-Yo will also be there, performing during the player introductions before the match, which will air live on TNT at 8 p.m.

On the Saturday before the game, Ellie Goulding will trot out “Lights,” while Fall Out Boy will show up for its first live TV performance since their recent comeback. American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will also be performing during the day, which will include the Skills Challenge, the Three-Point Contest, and the ever-popular Slam Dunk Contest — all of which will be hosted by Nick Cannon.

Read more:
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Sting to perform with Bruno Mars and Rihanna at Grammys

Alicia Keys to sing National Anthem at Super Bowl

The Girl on Fire is Super Bowl-bound.

Alicia Keys will sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl this year, according to a press release. This will be the Grammy winner’s first time performing the Super Bowl honor, although she has twice before performed during the pre-show.

In addition to Keys’ National Anthem, Beyoncé will be performing the Super Bowl halftime show, and reports abound that Destiny’s Child will be joining her, presumably to help her perform the trio’s first new release in a decade, “Nuclear.” Beyoncé herself tackled the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 2004; Kelly Clarkson had the honor last year.

While unlikely to perform it at the big game, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys have recorded a collaboration together, the song “Put It In A Love Song,” from Keys’ album The Element of Freedom. The two will also be performing separately at a number of Inauguration events this weekend.

Super Bowl XLVII takes place Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

Read more:
Destiny’s Child’s ‘Nuclear': Hear the group’s first single in ten years here!
Destiny’s Child to perform at the Super Bowl — REPORT
Beyonce covers GQ, announces new Destiny’s Child release

Katy Perry, fun., Alicia Keys, Usher added to Obama inauguration

President Barack Obama’s final inauguration is coming up, and apparently he figured he might as well go all in.

In addition to already-announced names Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, and James Taylor, all of whom will perform during the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 21, Katy Perry, fun., Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend, and Brad Paisley will also be performing during the Kids’ Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19.

In a statement, Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan said, “We are honored and excited to have such a diverse, talented group of musical guests joining Americans from across the country to celebrate the 57th Inauguration.”

Plenty of other performer names have been tossed around for the series of big events, which include the inauguration, the kids’ concert, and two official inaugural balls. Those names include Nick Cannon, the cast of Glee, Marc Anthony, Smokey Robinson, and Far East Movement, though it’s unclear who of those names will be showing up where.

Perry’s spot on the bill isn’t surprising, as she played a rally for President Obama a few days before last November’s election. In one of the more head-turning fashion moments of 2012’s political discussion, she performed dressed as a ballot.

Who else do you hope shows up for the inauguration? Who would you book? And are you going to miss Aretha Franklin and her fantastic hats?

Read More on EW.com:
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor to perform at Obama inauguration
Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen to rally with Obama day before election
Alicia Keys sued over ‘Girl On Fire’

Alicia Keys sued over 'Girl On Fire'

Alicia Keys’ single “Girl on Fire” already has five credited songwriters (including ’80s rocker Billy Squier, whose drum track for “The Big Beat” appears underneath “Girl on Fire”) — and now it may need to add a sixth.

Songwriter Earl Shuman is suing Keys over “Girl On Fire,” claiming it borrows elements from “Hey There Lonely Girl,” a song he co-wrote with Leon Carr for Eddie Holman.

“Hey There Lonely Girl” was a huge hit for R&B singer Holman in 1970, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Give a listen to both below and decide for yourself if Shuman has a case.  READ FULL STORY

Bruce Springsteen, the Who, Billy Joel, and Beatlevana: On the scene at 12-12-12

Wednesday night’s 12-12-12 benefit concert for Sandy relief was an unqualified success: Before even a single note was played on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden, more than $30 million had already been raised for the Robin Hood Foundation through ticket sales, merchandise, and corporate pledges.

As a charity event, 12-12-12 was a slam dunk. As a musical entertainment endeavor, it was more of a mixed bag, full of plenty of glorious, triumphant moments for sure, but also bloated with curious choices and inexplicable performances.

Bruce Springsteen had the honor of kicking the show off, beginning his band’s brief set with “Land of Hope and Dreams.” As Jersey’s greatest ambassador for well over three decades, Springsteen sweated and howled through the opener’s anthemic refrain, only to raise the stakes on “Wrecking Ball,” a defiant anthem of hope from the album of the same name.

“Wrecking Ball” started a running theme of transformation through out the night: Familiar songs became re-packaged and recontextualized, and themes of renewal and rebirth crept up during the finest performances. READ FULL STORY

Rolling Stones join Hurricane Sandy benefit concert

Image Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

It’s official: the 12-12-12 concert at Madison Square Garden is the most rockin’ relief effort since Live Aid.

The Rolling Stones announced on Twitter that they’ll be performing at the event on Dec. 12, adding their names to an already-stacked lineup that includes Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, and Roger Waters. And The Who. And Paul McCartney. And Kanye.

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Alicia Keys previews 'Girl On Fire' on Google+ -- Watch It Here

Image Credit: Michelangelo Di Battista

It’s not every day that you get to see Alicia Keys banter with Miguel over video chat, but that’s exactly what happened in Keys’ Google+ Hangout.

The R&B queen brought a few fans into her New York City studio yesterday for a live preview of her new album, Girl On Fire. She was joined by several others, including collaborators Miguel, Maxwell, and Emeli Sandé, via webcam. The two-hour session, which is now available in full on YouTube, features Keys taking questions and sharing details about the record as they listen to it song by song. READ FULL STORY

On the Scene: Alicia Keys' VH1 Storytellers

Image Credit: Michelangelo Di Battista

Alicia Keys’ VH1 Storytellers set at 106 and Park is small but sumptuous with the air of an upscale jazz lounge, the stage adorned with carpets and candles, a stately grand piano at the center.

Keys emerges wearing silver tights and a chin-length bob, strutting about in stilettos. She carries herself onstage with cool and confidence – not showy or attention-seeking, merely comfortable – and speaks in a voice so smooth you could drape it over your shoulders. Everything about the woman – her physique, her demeanor, not to mention her talent as a musician – broadcasts the fame and success that she accepts so casually. Seated in a crowd of perhaps 100, less than ten yards from the singer herself, I am in awe.

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