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Timberlake celebrates return to music with second No. 1 album this year

U.S. singer-sonwriter Justin Timberlake performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de JaneiroBy Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Justin Timberlake scored his second chart-topping album this year on Wednesday as his latest record debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart, capping the singer's successful return to the musical spotlight. Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2," which follows the first set of 10 songs released in March this year, sold 350,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. The first installment of "The 20/20 Experience" sold 968,000 copies, the biggest opening week sales of the year so ...


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead American Music Awards nominations

Kelly Clarkson and Will.i.am speak during announcement of 2013 American Music Awards nominations press conference in New YorkBy Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored the most American Music Awards nominations on Thursday with nods in six categories, followed by country-pop star Taylor Swift and singer Justin Timberlake with five each. The duo will compete in the top category, artist of the year, against singer Bruno Mars, Swift, Timberlake and pop singer Rihanna, who collected four nominations. Also getting four nominations were country music pair Florida Georgia Line and R&B singer Robin Thicke. Rapper will.i. ...


Taylor Swift to receive country music songwriting award

Swift poses at the premiere of "Romeo and Juliet" in Los AngelesLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country-pop singer Taylor Swift will be honored as this year's songwriter and artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, making her the only artist to win the award six times, her record company said on Wednesday. The 23-year-old singer and writer of pop crossover hits "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" will be officially named the award's recipient on Sunday, Big Machine Records said. The annual award recognizes country music's songwriters who scored top 30 hits during the past year. ...


Rumour has it: Rocker Graham Parker is back

File photo of Graham Parker arriving at the premiere of the movie "This is 40" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in HollywoodBy Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) - Decades on from his days as an angry young rocker, a role in a Hollywood movie playing an ageing musician struggling to make a comeback has helped give a new lease of life to Graham Parker. In the movie, Judd Apatow's "This is 40", the bid fails. In the real world, however, things are going pretty well for the 62-year-old London native. He's brought out a well-received album, a documentary and a concert film with his reunited backing band, the Rumour. In late October they play their first British dates in 31 years. The London show sold out straight away. ...


Pogues' guitarist Phil Chevron dies at 56 from cancer
LONDON (Reuters) - Guitarist Phil Chevron of the Anglo-Irish folk-punk band the Pogues died on Tuesday at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer, the band said. Chevron joined the Pogues in 1984 and became a core member as the group made its name internationally in the 1980s and early 1990s with albums including "Rum, Sodomy and The Lash" and "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". Chevron, whose real name was Philip Ryan, wrote the band's popular ballad "Thousands Are Sailing". "He was unique. We'll miss him terribly. ...
OneRepublic victorious in closest UK chart battle of 2013

Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, performs at KIIS FM's Jingle Ball concert in Los AngelesLONDON (Reuters) - U.S. rock band OneRepublic snatched the top spot in the British singles chart on Sunday, edging out The Vamps in the closest race for the number one position seen all year, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. A late surge for OneRepublic's 'Counting Stars' helped them outsell new entry 'Can We Dance' from British band The Vamps by just 1,150 copies to reach the pinnacle of the charts for the first time. Former number one 'Talk Dirty' by Jason Derulo and featuring rapper 2 Chainz fell to number three, while Katy Perry's 'Roar' dropped into fourth place. ...


Miley Cyrus mocks "motherly" advice from Sinead O'Connor

Singer Cyrus arrives at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New YorkLONDON (Reuters) - American pop star Miley Cyrus has snubbed some prim motherly advice about her new bad girl image from Irish singer and sometime rebel Sinead O'Connor. The "We Can't Stop" singer - who has ditched her squeaky clean Hannah Montana Disney image for a solo singing career as a tattooed sex siren - rebuffed an open letter from O'Connor calling on Cyrus to tone down her sexualized persona. "Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause I'm hosting & performing on SNL (U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live) this week," Cyrus tweeted. ...


Jury clears promoter of liability in Michael Jackson's death

Attorneys for Katherine Jackson, Deborah Chang and Kevin Boyle listen as jurors are polled following the verdict in Jackson's civil lawsuit against AEG Live at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Los AngelesBy Eric Kelsey and Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles jury cleared concert promoter AEG Live of liability on Wednesday in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Michael Jackson, in a trial that offered a glimpse into the private life and final days of the so-called King of Pop. The verdict, which concluded that the doctor the company hired to care for the singer was not unfit for his job, capped a sensational five-month trial that was expected to shake up the way entertainment companies treat their most risky talent. ...


Carnegie Hall concert goes on, after strike canceled performance
By Luke Swiderski NEW YORK (Reuters) - A performance by the American Symphony Orchestra proceeded as planned at New York's Carnegie Hall on Thursday, a day after the famed concert hall canceled a separate performance for the first time in its 122-year history because of a labor dispute. A strike by stagehands forced the cancellation, but the union temporarily suspended its strike on Thursday, allowing the concert hall to open its doors for now. A union leader told Reuters he was optimistic the two sides could reach a permanent deal by Friday. ...
Analysis: Jackson case will change the tune for concert, artist insurance

Portrait of Michael Jackson is displayed on a slot machine at Gaming Expo Asia in MacauBy Sue Zeidler LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Britney Spears takes the stage this December for the first of a heavily hyped 100-show two-year residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, the loudest cheers may come from her insurance underwriters. Along with the sound engineers and roadies who help stage a concert, insurance underwriters play a large role in making sure a star can get onstage and grab the microphone. Insurers are also key during those times when stars do not show and concerts get canceled. ...


Canadian rapper Drake lands third No. 1 album on Billboard chart

Drake smiles during an announcement that the Toronto Raptors will host the NBA All-Star game in TorontoBy Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Drake vaulted straight to No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, as his latest album garnered the second-largest sales week of the year so far. "Nothing Was the Same," the third studio album from the Canadian rapper, sold 658,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. Only Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience," which opened with 968,000 copies in March, outsold "Nothing Was the Same" in a one-week period. All three of Drake's studio albums have debuted at No. ...


Lady Gaga, Eminem to headline first YouTube Music Awards
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Lady Gaga and rapper Eminem will be headline performers at the first YouTube Music Awards, the Google Inc-owned online video steaming site said on Tuesday. The November 3 award show in New York, which will be live-streamed, honors the top songs and artists that were viewed on the website in the past year. Nominees will be announced later this month and voting by the public will determine winners, YouTube said. Canadian rock band Arcade Fire will also perform at the awards show. ...
Miley Cyrus aimed to 'make history' with video awards performance

Singer Miley Cyrus performs "Blurred Lines" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New YorkBy Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Disney star Miley Cyrus says she was out to shock and "make history" and is unapologetic for her raunchy performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. In a documentary, "Miley: The Movement," airing on MTV on October 2, the 20-year-old singer and actress comes across as a shrewd, ambitious performer determined to see her single, "We Can't Stop," hit No. 1 and put her roots as the wholesome Disney Channel star of "Hannah Montana" far behind her. ...


Jack Johnson tops Billboard 200, Lorde lands top digital song

Musician Jack Johnson performs during his concert as part of his To The Sea tour in BrasiliaBy Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hawaiian folk singer Jack Johnson landed his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, while New Zealand newcomer Lorde overtook Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus to top the digital songs chart. Johnson's "From Here to Now to You" sold 117,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. It was the only album to cross the 100,000 sales mark this week. Country music singer Justin Moore debuted at No. ...


Russia's jailed punk band member hospitalized, husband says

Member of the female punk band "Pussy Riot" Tolokonnikova looks out from a holding cell as she attends a court hearing to appeal for parole at the Supreme Court of Mordovia in SaranskBy Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) - A jailed member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot was hospitalized on Friday after going on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions, her husband said, but her condition was not clear. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was admitted to the hospital at the prison where she is serving a two-year term for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in Russia's main Orthodox Christian cathedral, Pyotr Verzilov said. Verzilov said the acting head of the prison had described Tolokonnikova's condition as "horrible" but had given no further details. ...


Cher saves 'best effort' for first album in 12 years

Singer Cher performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New YorkLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Few musicians are able to keep their careers alive for more than five decades, but pop diva Cher says her latest album is her "best effort ever." Cher, 67, a staple of American dance music, released her 26th studio album, "Closer to the Truth" on Tuesday, her first record in 12 years. "It's my best effort ever, so I'm happy with that. I'm singing better than ever and the songs are really good. I'm unbelievably proud of it," the singer said in an interview with Reuters at her home in California's beachside community of Malibu. ...


Colombian singer Carlos Vives scores five Latin Grammy nominations

Colombian singer Vives laughs during the Music For Social Change forum at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in CartagenaLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Colombian singer Carlos Vives and Argentine fusion group Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas led the Latin Grammy Award nominations with five nods a piece, the Latin Recording Academy said on Wednesday. Veteran singer Vives, 52, snared nominations in key categories of album of the year for "Corazón Profundo," while his song "Volví A Nacer" was nominated for record of the year and song of the year. ...


Kings of Leon draws on sounds of its past for 'Mechanical Bull'

Kings of Leon arrive at the Grammys in Los AngelesBy Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grammy-winning Kings of Leon marked a decade in music with a new album on Tuesday which critics have praised for showcasing the best of the band's talents while still moving forward in its sound. "Mechanical Bull" is the sixth album by the Nashville-based group, formed by the Followills: brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew. The band broke into the mainstream music scene with their 2008 album "Only By the Night," which included the hits "Use Somebody" and "Sex on Fire. ...


LA jury reaches verdict in Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit

Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in packed courtroom in Los AngelesLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles jury reached a verdict on Wednesday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of pop singer Michael Jackson against concert promoter AEG Live, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court said. The verdict, which will be read at 3:30 p.m. PT (2230 GMT), caps a five-month trial that opened a window into the singer's private life and final days. Jackson's mother, Katherine, and his three children sued AEG Live over the singer's 2009 death at age 50 in Los Angeles from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. ...


Russian parents group asks Putin to cancel Elton John concert: media

British musician Elton John performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NevadaMOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian parents' committee has asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned concert by gay musician Elton John, saying he intended to violate a ban on "homosexual propaganda". In an open letter to Putin, the local parents' group in central Ural region was reported by media as saying: "The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children. ...