• Cross-dressing diva Conchita Wurst to Putin: Let's hang out

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — Conchita Wurst would like to hang out with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bearded Austrian cross-dresser says she would "love to spend at least a week with him" because she wants to understand what it means to "be President Putin." Russia under Putin has clamped down heavily on gay rights, making public displays of homosexuality punishable by law. Wurst's participation last year in the Eurovision Song Contest was widely criticized by thousands of Russians. The Russian Orthodox Church described her as an "abomination" and after her win, Putin advised her not to flaunt her lifestyle. But that doesn't seem to phase Wurst, who expressed her wish Thursday at a presentation of her new album.

  • Jon Bon Jovi breaks out guitar at commencement address

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Rocker Jon Bon Jovi couldn't resist breaking out a guitar Thursday to help give advice to graduates at Rutgers University's Camden campus. After all, the ceremony was held at the Susquehanna Bank Center, a concert venue where his band has performed. The New Jersey native premiered a new song, "Reunion," which he said was a gift to the graduates. It began, "This isn't how the story ends, my friends, it's just a fork along the road." Rutgers-Camden, a university that takes pride in its civic engagement in a city that ranks as one of the most impoverished in the nation, gave Bon Jovi an honorary doctorate of letters recognizing his entertainment career and a history of philanthropy focused on homeless

  • Hou's 'The Assassin' offers martial arts with an arty twist

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CANNES, France (AP) — "The Assassin" is a rare thing — a martial-arts movie in competition for prizes at Cannes. It's hardly typical action fare. The film is by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who brings a painterly palette to the tale of an enigmatic killer in 9th-century China. Set at a time when central authority was challenged by rebellious provinces, the film follows a mysterious woman in black (Shu Qi) sent to her home region to carry out an assassination. Hou is known for beautiful, delicate films such as "A Time to Live, a Time to Die" and "The Flowers of Shanghai." ''The Assassin" — an action movie with more stillness than action — is a series of gorgeous tableaux interspersed with tightly controlle

  • Macklemore, Snoop Dogg to play in celeb softball game

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rappers Snoop Dogg and Macklemore and "Hunger Games" actor Josh Hutcherson will play in the 2015 MLB All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. "Black-ish" actor Anthony Anderson and country singer Justin Moore will also participate on July 12 at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park alongside Cincinnati Reds legends Sean Casey, Paul O'Neill, Eric Davis and Aaron Boone. The softball game will air on ESPN immediately following the Home Run Derby on July 13. Tickets are on sale now. Other celebrity players include Rob Riggle, Miles Teller, Charissa Thompson and Nick Lachey, a Cincinnati native. Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, MLB legend Fred Lynn and Olympic softball gold medalist Jennie Fi

  • Megan Hilty on motherhood, 'Smash' and returning to Broadway

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat waiters. So it's refreshing to see Megan Hilty smile and warmly greet each of the men busily setting up dinner service at the Cafe Carlyle. "Hi, good to see you," she says, again and again to the white-coated staff. They smile back, beaming. Hilty, the Broadway star and new mom, is sleep-deprived but happy to be doing a set of concerts at the famous club, where she made her debut last summer. In the year since, she and her musician husband, Brian Gallagher, welcomed their first child, a daughter, Viola. Gallagher will be on guitar as part of Hilty's four-piece band during her 15-song set at the Carlyle.

  • Music Review: Precocious Lopez feels the tug of the road

    Yesterday

    Christian Lopez Band, "Onward" (Blaster) Christian Lopez sings road songs that involve no carousing, perhaps because he's too young to drink. "Onward" is the first long-player from the 19-year-old West Virginian, and it's clear that his home state isn't big enough to contain his precocious talent. The album's opening verse has Lopez planning his escape, driven by an eagerness to expand his audience while exploring highways and unpaved paths. The soundtrack for his wanderlust is an adroit mix of contemporary alt-country, gospel and sunny '70s pop. Lopez's versatile tenor has an appealing ache on twangy tunes, and his croon will make girls swoon.

  • Indianapolis Symphony plans free summer concerts in parks

    Yesterday

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra plans to perform three free concerts in Indianapolis parks this summer. The symphony says the concerts are part of its efforts to increase its visibility in the community. The "Symphony in the Parks" concerts will be July 1, 8 and 16. They're done in partnership with Indianapolis Parks and Recreation. The concerts will feature patriotic, popular and classic works. They will be canceled if there is bad weather. Each concert is paid for by a corporate or anonymous sponsor. The symphony also plans summer concerts in Danville and Lebanon. ___ Online: http://www.IndianapolisSymphony.

  • Mississippi musicians to be honored with marker in Nashville

    Yesterday

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi Country Music Trail marker will be placed June 4 in Nashville to honor Magnolia State musicians who performed on Music Row and at the Grand Ole Opry over the decades. The marker will be placed at 1111 16th Avenue South in Nashville, the home of Big Loud Shirt Industries, an independently owned and operated music publishing company established in 2003 by award winning songwriter and producer Craig Wiseman. Nashville country music stardom attracted many performers, songwriters and producers from nearby Mississippi, including Jimmie Rodgers, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Moe Bandy and Faith Hill.

  • Noted jazz musician Bob Belden dies in NYC at age 58

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Belden, a Grammy-winning jazz musician, composer, arranger and producer who was the first American musician to perform in Iran since its 1979 revolution when he toured there earlier this year, died Wednesday. He was 58. Belden died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan after suffering a heart attack in his apartment, his sister Elizabeth Belden Harmstone said. She described her brother as a pioneer and a "jazz musician true and true." In February, Belden and his group, Animation, went on a four-day tour of Iran, performing tunes by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Belden's own compositions. The visit, which came as Tehran and Washington engaged in nuclear talks, was arranged by Search for Common Ground, a U

  • Bruce Lundvall, long-time Blue Note Records president, dies

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Record executive Bruce Lundvall, who revived the iconic Blue Note Records label in the mid-1980s and turned it into a major influence on the contemporary jazz scene during his 25 years as president, has died at age 79. Lundvall died Tuesday at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, of complications from a prolonged battle with Parkinson's disease, Blue Note publicist Cem Kurosman said. He failed to regain consciousness from recent surgery. In a music career spanning more than 50 years, Lundvall "discovered, signed, promoted and guided the careers of some of the most respected artists in the world," Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said in a statement.

  • Akon says singing has given him a platform to promote Africa

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Akon says being a successful entertainer has given him a platform to pursue his dream of helping Africa grow and prosper. The performer, songwriter and producer was born in the U.S. of Senegalese parents and reared in both countries. He started an initiative called "Akon Lighting Africa" two years ago with a goal of bringing electricity to a million homes by the end of 2014. He told a U.N. news conference Wednesday on promoting clean energy that the initiative not only achieved that but has spread to 14 African countries. Akon, born Aliaune Thiam, said the biggest obstacle to Africa's growth is the need for infrastructure and energy.

  • Music City Bowl gets first prime-time kickoff since 2011

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The 2015 Music City Bowl will take place Dec. 30 and have its first prime-time kickoff in four years. Music City Bowl officials announced Wednesday their game would begin at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on ESPN. This marks the Music City Bowl's first prime-time start since Mississippi State's 23-17 victory over Wake Forest in 2011. The Music City Bowl matches a Southeastern Conference team against a school from either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Big Ten. The game is sponsored by Franklin American Mortgage. ESPN has served as the game's television partner since the bowl's inception in 1998. Notre Dame defeated LSU 31-28 in last year's Music City Bowl.

  • B.B. King to be laid to rest next week in Mississippi Delta

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The body of blues legend B.B. King will return next week to the Mississippi Delta where his life and career began. His body will be flown on May 27 to Memphis, Tennessee, the place where a young King was nicknamed the Beale Street Blues Boy. Organizers in Memphis said a musical tribute is scheduled for 11 a.m. that day in W.C. Handy Park on Beale Street, near a blues club that bears King's name. After that, the body will be driven to Indianola, Mississippi, which King considered his hometown. A public viewing will be from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29 at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, and the funeral will be at 11 a.m. May 30 at the nearby Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church,

  • Some B.B. King kin get OK to visit body day before public

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Some immediate B.B. King family members will have a chance to visit his body at a Las Vegas funeral home ahead of a Friday public viewing and Saturday private memorial for the blues great. Attorneys representing one of King's daughters against King's longtime business agent and power-of-attorney, LaVerne Toney, said Thursday's family-only viewing was a compromise reached during a Monday meeting with a court probate commissioner. Attorneys Russel Geist and Brent Bryson say Commissioner Wesley Yamashita set the date while rejecting a bid by daughter Karen Williams to take control of King's estate. King died May 14 at home in Las Vegas at age 89. Eleven of his 15 natural and adopted children survive.

  • Spotify introduces video, radio service

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — While saying that it is still a music company at heart, Spotify says it is expanding its lineup to include podcasts, news radio and video streaming. The company says it wants to help people create a soundtrack for their day that includes not only music but videos, newscasts and other content. CEO Daniel Ek said that the new service launches Wednesday in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden. Spotify offers free streaming music and also a premium service for a monthly fee that lets users listen to music offline and without advertisements. The extra content, from partners such as Comedy Central, BBC and ESPN, will be available for both free and premium customers.

  • Brett Favre playing football again _ for charity

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Brett Favre will be playing football again in Wisconsin, just not at Lambeau Field. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback will be participating in a charity flag football game the University of Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium on July 19. The event pitting former Packers against NFL All-Stars will come a day after Favre is inducted into Packers Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Lambeau. Organizers and a Packers spokesman say a scheduling conflict at Lambeau and the game's proximity to the start of the NFL season prevented the team game from being held in Green Bay. So Favre thought the next best place to hold the game would be Madison, which is about a two-hour drive southwest from Lambeau.

  • Man sentenced to prison for stealing from Miley Cyrus' home

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man convicted of stealing items from pop singer Miley Cyrus' home last year has been sentenced to two years in state prison. Rusty Sellner was sentenced Wednesday in Los Angeles, three months after he pleaded no contest in the case. The 22-year-old was charged with stealing what a prosecutor described as a large amount of personal property from Cyrus' Toluca Lake home in December. Sellner has previous convictions for burglary and evading arrest. Charges of receiving stolen property and grand theft were dropped in exchange for Sellner's no contest plea in February. The case was the second in a year involving a break-in at Cyrus' home. An Arizona couple was sentenced to prison after burglarizing the

  • Ex-music teacher sentenced to 15 years in child porn case

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former central Pennsylvania intermediate school music teacher has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on a federal conviction of production of child pornography. Prosecutors said the term imposed Wednesday on 47-year-old Matthew Puterbaugh of Dover is the minimum for the charge to which the defendant pleaded in January. Puterbaugh was a music teacher and band director at Dover Intermediate School in York County. Authorities alleged that between 2010 and 2014, he secretly recorded images of female students at the school that constituted child pornography. PennLive.com reported that neither prosecutors nor defense attorney Robert Beyer made any comments during the brief sentencing hearing

  • Florida editorial roundup

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    Recent editorials from Florida newspapers: May 18 Miami Herald on Congress being asleep at the wheel: The train derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight and left scores injured is a nearly perfect metaphor for the state of the nation's decrepit infrastructure: An accident waiting to happen while the responsible parties — the nation's lawmakers — are asleep at the wheel. Congress has consistently shortchanged Amtrak, and this tragedy is unlikely to shake Capitol Hill out of its torpor. House Republicans cut more than $1 billion from President Obama's $2.45-billion Amtrak funding request the day after the derailment, which would leave it $251 million below current spending levels.

  • The Midtown Men to have 3 very special guests in NYC concert

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of The Midtown Men — the guys who sing 1960s classics by The Shirelles, The Rascals and The Ronettes — may freak out next month when they're joined onstage by a Shirelle, a Rascal and a Ronette. Music icons Shirley Alston Reeves, Gene Cornish and Ronnie Spector will take the stage as special guest stars for a one-night-only concert June 20 at New York City's Beacon Theatre. "What a thrill and what an honor," said Tony Award-nominee J. Robert Spencer, who together with Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard are The Midtown Men.




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