British pop star Alexandra Burke has warned fans she will not be performing at a tribute concert for late South African President Nelson Mandela in London on Friday (18Jul14), blaming promoters for lying about her involvement. The Bad Boys hitmaker was billed to appear alongside artists including former M People singer Heather Small, gospel musician Sandra Godley and Rwandan pop star Kitoko at the Nelson Mandela Day Concert in Chalk Farm, but she insists she was never booked for the charity gig.
Taking to her Facebook.com page on Thursday (17Jul14), she writes, "Despite being a worthy cause, I'm afraid I am not performing at the Mandela Day Concert this Friday.
"My performance has been advertised under false pretences. My fans know that I am currently performing in (stageshow) The Bodyguard. Sorry to disappoint anybody who has brought (sic) tickets thinking I was performing. No agreement exists".
Burke is currently starring in the West End musical adaptation of hit film The Bodyguard in the role made famous by Whitney Houston.
Mandela died in December (13). The memorial concert is being held to mark what would have been his 96th birthday on Friday.
Billy Ray Cyrus has paid tribute to a Nevada school teacher who was shot dead last year (13), hailing him as a "true American hero" during a special concert on Saturday night (05Jul14). Michael Landsberry, an Afghanistan war veteran, was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest after trying to talk a 12-year-old gunman into handing over his weapon in October (13), and Cyrus paid his respects to the educator at a show in Incline Village, Nevada over the weekend.
The Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker told the crowd, "Tonight we are here to honour a true American hero. Michael Landsberry made the ultimate sacrifice to save his students after serving three terms in Afghanistan."
The singer presented Landsberry's widow Sharon with a memorial plaque and gave her a "financial gift" of an undisclosed amount, and he said Landsberry represented the Vietnam veteran in his song Some Gave All, which he performed with a large picture of Landsberry behind him.
Cyrus and his father Ronald Ray Cyrus have often paid tribute to unsung American heroes in the past, but the country star's words of respect for Landsberry were the first time he has done so since his father's death in 2006.
He tells the Associated Press, "Just about every year, my dad and I would find an unsung hero and present them with a 'Some Gave All' award. I kind of play everything by ear, and I thought sometime when the time is right, I would love to recognise the sacrifice Michael made."
The second weekend of this year's (14) Coachella music festival in California has been marred by a death - a woman who attended last week's (11-13Apr14) event in Indio has died from an apparent drug overdose. Kimchi Truong, 24, was taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital on Saturday (12Apr14) after collapsing at the event. She passed away on Thursday (17Apr14). Police are still investigating her death.
A statement from a representative for concert promoter Goldenvoice reads: "Last weekend, a festival attendee suffered an apparent drug overdose... We are saddened to learn the individual has died. We believe this to be an unfortunate but isolated incident. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends."
The second round of Coachella festival performances will begin on Friday night (18Apr14).
The orange and black outfit classical singer Marian Anderson wore during her historic performance at Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial in 1939 has gone on display at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution. The contralto hit headlines 75 years ago after she was banned from taking the stage at a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) event in Constitution Hall because she was black.
The snub prompted the then-U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to resign as a member and instead invite Anderson to perform at the memorial on Easter Sunday, breaking boundaries with the critically-acclaimed open-air concert.
Anderson's two-piece ensemble was donated to curators at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. by Ginette DePreist, the widow of the star's nephew.
Kanye West has stepped up to defend Drake after the singer/rapper became embroiled in a feud with magazine editors over their decision to drop him from the cover in favour of a Philip Seymour Hoffman tribute. Drake hit headlines last week (ends16Feb14) when he sensationally branded Rolling Stone bosses "evil" for ditching his picture from the front of the publication in favour of a memorial in honour of the late actor following his sudden death.
The star also claimed the magazine misinterpreted his comments about West, after he critiqued the fellow rapper's last album Yeezus, but the Stronger star has now stepped in to defend his friend following the outburst.
Speaking at his concert in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night (15Feb14), West told the crowd, "They keep on talking about Drake and s**t, but I'm gonna tell what it is and isn't with the magazines. They always be trying to pit n**gas against each other, and that ain't going down no more. So tonight it ain't none of that. We love Drake... If anything we're gonna go after the motherf**kers writing that negativity. Before they print some s**t like that, they need to check with me and him to see if it's okay before they get ran up in they (sic) motherf**king office. It only costs 250 (dollars) to beat your a**."
Drake subsequently issued an apology following his rant at Rolling Stone bosses, which he posted on Twitter.com.
Country star Brad Paisley has been forced to postpone a show in New York on Thursday night (13Feb14) due to "inclement weather". Heavy snowfall in the state has prompted top politicians to heed safety experts' advice and urge citizens to stay indoors, rather than risk the winter freeze.
And now Celebrity singer Paisley has joined Luke Bryan among those affected by the big chill.
He has rescheduled his Uniondale concert to Sunday (16Feb14).
Posting a photo of a rural winter scene on his website, Paisley writes, "Tonight's Brad Paisley concert in Uniondale, New York at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is being postponed due to inclement weather caused by Winter Storm Pax. The concert will now play on Sunday, February 16.
"For the safety of the fans, the decision to reschedule the show was made this morning due to the strong impact the storm is having in the area and widely across the northeast."
Bryan has postponed a Thursday night show in North Carolina due to weather conditions. His concert will now take place on Monday (17Feb14).
The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger is assembling a group of musicians for a memorial concert in honour of his late bandmate Ray Manzarek. Keyboardist Manzarek died of bile duct cancer in May last year (13) and his death brought surviving bandmembers Krieger and drummer John Densmore back together again.
Krieger now wants to unite a group of musicians who were inspirations for the keyboardist or were inspired by him, to play a special show this summer (14).
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We want to bring together those who Ray either idolised or guys who idolised Ray, maybe at (Los Angeles music venues) the Greek or The Hollywood Bowl for a big concert this summer. We've teamed up with Live Nation and they are helping us get it all together. We just want it to be the best it can be."
The rocker admits he has been struggling to bring his desired musicians together because many will be busy with summer tours, adding, "That's the hard part, coordinating everyone's schedules. To get everyone together on one day, in the summertime, when they are not on tour for a big venue, that's the challenge."
Krieger has not revealed which musicians he is eyeing for the concert.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have become the latest act to book a Las Vegas residency after signing up to perform a series of holiday shows at Wynn Resorts Encore Beach Club and Surrender Nightclub. The Thrift Shop hitmakers will become the first hip-hop act booked for a concert stint in Sin City when they kick off shows over America's Memorial Day weekend (24-25May14).
Lewis will officially announce the residency with solo DJ shows on Saturday (01Feb14).
The duo, who picked up four Grammy Awards on Sunday night (26Jan14), join Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Sir Elton John among the music superstars performing residencies in Las Vegas this year.
The founder of celebrated South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has retired from touring. Joseph Shabalala, who formed the Grammy-winning act in 1960, will scale back his duties after more than 50 years at the helm.
The 72 year old will not appear on an upcoming three-month U.S. trek, set to start on 24 January (14).
The group's manager Xolani Majozi says, "Because of his age we want him to relax a bit, not to be involved in intensive tours. He can still perform, but we don't want to overwork him. We think he has done his part."
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is one of South Africa's most successful recording acts and shot to international fame after appearing on Paul Simon's 1986 album Graceland. They have since won three Grammys and performed at a memorial concert in honour of civil rights icon Nelson Mandela in Cape Town last month (Dec13).
Annie Lennox took to the stage for a special performance at a memorial concert in honour of Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday (11Dec13). The former Eurythmics star was a last-minute addition to the line-up for the Nelson Mandela: A Life Celebrated event at The Cape Town Stadium, and she performed a spoken word piece with a bongo drum.
During her time on stage, Lennox praised Mandela for his charity work and urged the audience to back the ongoing fight against AIDS, chanting, "Protect yourself, safe sex!... Where's Madiba (Mandela)? He's with us!"
Lennox, who was in South Africa for an AIDS conference at the time of Mandela's death on 5 December (13), was previously involved with his 46664 campaign, which he used to raise awareness of the disease through high-profile concerts.
The Cape Town memorial show also included performances from musician Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, along with a speech by South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar.
Pienaar was played by Matt Damon in 2009 film Invictus, which focused on Mandela and the political changes in the country in the aftermath of apartheid as the nation hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Civil rights icon and former South African leader Mandela died on 5 December (13) at the age of 95.