Irish parliamentary officials have waded into the abrupt cancellation of Garth Brooks' five sold-out shows at Dublin's Croke Park in a bid to settle the highly-publicised permit dispute. The Friends in Low Places hitmaker pulled out of the concerts, which were due to take place at the end of this month (Jul14), on Tuesday (08Jul14) after Dublin City Council members rejected promoters' application to extend the original three-night run to five.
They had decided that three performances at Croke Park, a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)-owned venue in a residential area, would cause enough disruption for local neighbours and businesses, but Brooks insisted he would play all five or none at all.
The head of the Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, refused to bow to the pressure and as a result, the string of gigs were axed.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny even stepped in to set up mediation talks between Keegan and the Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke on Thursday (10Jul14) in a bid to salvage the mini-residency and put a stop to the negative press, but the meeting was cancelled for unknown reasons, reports the BBC.
Now council officials, GAA venue executives and concert organisers at Aiken Promotions are due to appear at a parliamentary hearing to establish how the Brooks comeback run had turned into such a debacle and find any possible solution.
Local politician and council member John O'Mahony says, "Everything that can be done will be done by the government in the next few days."
Brooks has also vowed not to give up his fight and has promised Aiken Promotions chief Peter Aiken he will "go to the last second".
In a letter addressed to Aiken, the singer writes: "I cannot begin to tell you how badly my heart is breaking right now (over the axed shows).
"If there is any chance that the five planned concerts can be salvaged... then we can proceed as planned until the refunds begin... If you think for any reason that the 'powers that be' in Ireland can fix this, then I will faithfully go to the last second."
The shows had been billed as Brooks' Irish comeback after a 17-year absence.
Pop star Jessica Simpson burst into tears as she walked down the aisle at her wedding on Saturday (05Jul14).
The singer/actress married former football player Eric Johnson at a ranch in Santa Barbara, California in front of more than 250 guests, and the ceremony was officiated by Simpson's father Joe.
The groom has now revealed his bride began crying as she walked down the aisle to him before they exchanged vows, telling People.com, "I saw my gorgeous wife coming towards me and she was crying. I think my heart was exploding a little bit."
Simpson adds of her big day, "It's so surreal. This has been something we've wanted ever since we met... It's all about family for us."
The couple is parents to a young son and daughter, who acted as a ring bearer and flower girl, and the singer reveals the youngsters received a rapturous reception as they walked out in front of the congregation, adding, "Before I walked out, I kept hearing all the applause, so my kids got standing ovations!"
Simpson wore a gold dress by Carolina Herrera for the ceremony, and later changed into a sparkly blue mini-dress for the reception, and she adds of her fashion choices, "Everybody thought I was going to wear a dress that completely showed off my new bod (body). But I can't help but want a princess dress! I'm a Southern girl at heart. I like everything big!"
Country hitmakers John Anderson, Paul Craft, Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters are set to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The four musicians will be feted by officials at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) at the Music City Center in the Tennessee capital in October (14).
Pat Alger, Chairman of the NSAI Board of Directors, says, "Here in Nashville where the music industry has always been built on a foundation of great songs written by legendary songwriters, each year only a few are elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
"This year we are very pleased to welcome the class of 2014: Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters in the songwriter category; Paul Craft in the veteran songwriter category and John Anderson as our songwriter/artist."
Douglas is known for penning songs for Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert, who scored huge success with The House That Built Me, while Peters wrote McBride's Independence Day and The Chill Of An Early Fall for George Strait.
Craft famously created Ray Stevens' novelty smash It's Me Again, Margaret and singer/songwriter Anderson is famed for tracks like Swingin, Seminole Wind and Shuttin' Detroit Down, which he co-wrote for John Rich.
Last year's (13) honourees included Alabama star Randy Owen and singer Jeffrey Steele.
Rappers Insane Clown Posse have had their lawsuit against top U.S. authorities dismissed after objecting to a report which labelled their fans gang members. In January (14), Violent J, real name Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, real name Joey Utsler, joined forces with four fans to sue officials at the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Federal District Court in Michigan, claiming their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process were violated by the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.
The fans, who call themselves Juggalos, also alleged they had been subject to police harassment because of the designation, but last week (ends06Jul14) a federal judge ruled officials in the U.S. government were not responsible for the report from the state police agencies and dismissed the case.
The plaintiffs have since decided to challenge the decision and on Tuesday (08Jul14), they filed an appeal to have the judge's ruling reviewed.
Veteran singers Loretta Lynn and Jackson Browne are set to be saluted with lifetime achievement prizes at the 2014 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Country icon Lynn will be recognised for her songwriting success, while social activist Browne will receive the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award.
Blues musician Taj Mahal and Latin accordionist Flaco Jimenez will also be feted with the respective lifetime achievement awards for performance and instrumentalist.
The accolades will be presented to the quartet during the Americana Awards ceremony on 17 September (14).
Roseanne Cash, Robert Ellis and Jason Isbell lead the nominees for the event with three nods apiece.
Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been jailed for almost six years for indecently assaulting girls as young as seven. The Australian singer/artist was last month (Jun14) convicted of molesting four young girls between 1968 and 1986, when they were aged between seven and 19.
He was found guilty of 12 indecent assault charges, and a judge at London's Southwark Crown Court sentenced Harris to five years and nine months on Friday (04Jul14).
Harris, who was stripped of his British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) fellowship and his Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame honour following his conviction, will also have to pay court costs and faces compensation claims from his victims.
The judge, Mr. Justice Sweeney, told the star, "You have showed no remorse for your crimes at all. Your reputation now lies in ruins. You have been stripped of your honours but you have no one to blame but yourself."
Harris had denied the charges, telling a court the women had made up the attacks. He admitted having sexual relations with a friend of his daughter but denied she was just 13 years old when it began.
On Friday, the court also heard Harris had been charged with four counts of making indecent images after child pornography was found on a computer following a search of his home. Prosecutors decided not to pursue those charges in the light of the indecent assault convictions.
The promoters behind Garth Brooks' upcoming five-night run in Dublin's Croke Park have been dealt a blow after local council members refused to grant them permission to hold two of the huge concerts at the venue later this month (Jul14). The Friends in Low Places hitmaker was initially booked to play three shows from 25 to 27 July (14), but his stay was extended when two extra shows were added due to popular demand.
The extension caused outrage among nearby residents, who had reportedly struck a previous deal with venue bosses at Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), agreeing that no more than three consecutive shows would take place there.
A compensation settlement worth $680,000 (£400,000) was reached last week (ends27Jun14) to appease locals over the extra pair of concerts, but now it appears the additional shows on 28 and 29 July (14) will no longer be going ahead.
Dublin City Council officials announced the news on Thursday (03Jul14), stating, "It would not be appropriate to grant five consecutive nights of concerts."
They cited the "unprecedented" scale of the shows leading to "an unacceptable level of disruption" to residents and business owners near Croke Park as the main reason for their ruling.
Executives at Aiken Promotions, who set up the gigs, reveal they are "very disappointed" at the two permit refusals and will "fully assess the implication" of the news before issuing a full statement next week (begs07Jul14).
The Croke Park shows will mark Brooks' first performances in Dublin since 1997.
Justin Bieber's neighbours have stepped up security in the building following a number of late-night visits from the police, according to a U.S. report. The Baby hitmaker moved back to California last month (Jun14) after a brief stint in Atlanta, Georgia, and he rented two units in an upmarket apartment block in Beverly Hills.
However, Bieber is said to have annoyed fellow residents with a string of late night parties, which have led to noise complaints and a number of visits from cops in the early hours.
Editors at TMZ.com now report the building's Homeowner Association held an emergency meeting this week (beg30Jun14), and they elected to hire security guards to keep an eye on the building between the hours of 6pm and 8am.
The website states the new system was brought in on Tuesday (01Jul14) just hours after cops were called to Bieber's home to deal with a noisy party there on Monday night (30Jun14).
Singer Katy Perry has been sued for alleged copyright infringement.
Christian rapper Flame claims the Roar hitmaker damaged the message of his song Joyful Noise when she sampled it for her track Dark Horse without his permission.
The lawsuit reads, "By any measure, the devoutly religious message of Joyful Noise has been irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in Dark Horse. Indeed, the music video of Dark Horse generated widespread accusations of blasphemy and an online petition signed by more than 60,000 demanding removal of an offensive religious image from the video."
Flame, real name Marcus Grey, is seeking damages and wants Perry to stop using the music immediately.
British authorities are investigating new allegations of indecent assault against disgraced Australian entertainer Rolf Harris following his conviction on 12 charges on Monday (30Jun14). The musician and TV presenter, 84, was found guilty of inappropriately touching girls as young as seven between 1968 and 1986 during a seven-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.
He is due to be sentenced on Friday (04Jul14), but on Tuesday (01Jul14), U.K. police chiefs revealed they had received further complaints about Harris while he was on trial and the fresh claims are now being scrutinised to determine if further charges should be brought against him.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police tells the BBC, "(We have) received a number of new allegations and these are now being considered."
Following the news of Harris' conviction, executives at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and at the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame declared they were stripping him of top honours he had previously been awarded.
The shamed star is currently free on bail.