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LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2018 (News Wires) - The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in Texas and Florida, while the night also featured show-stopping performances by iconic singer Janet Jackson and K-pop group BTS.

A tearful and emotional Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the awards, opened the show in honor of the 10 people who died Friday at Santa Fe High School, barely able to speak as she urged the audience and the world to do more to prevent deadly shootings from happening. She said she was asked to hold a moment of silence, but chose instead to call for “a moment of action.”

“Once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died ... I’m so sick of moment of silences ... it’s not working,” she said Sunday, almost in tears. “Mommies and daddies should be able to send their kids to school.”

Shawn Mendes and Khalid were joined onstage by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Show Choir for the song “Youth,” a performance occurring three months after 17 people were killed at the school in Parkland, Florida.

Mendes and the choir members wore sweaters that read “Youth,” while Khalid’s shirt read “Protect Our Guns Children” with “Guns” crossed out.

The show wasn’t all somber though: Jackson rocked the Billboard Awards with an energetic and powerful performance of her past hits in an epic week that included her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking “janet.” album.

CAIRO, April 17, 2018 (MENA) - Culture Minister Enas Abdel Dayem left for Germany Tuesday to receive a music award that went to Cairo Steps, an international music ensemble consisting of Egyptian and German musicians.

Cairo Steps merges and combines traditional Egyptian and oriental grooves with modern jazz improvisation, classical music and contemporary sounds.

The music is influenced by spiritual ethnic music as well as European music traditions and alternates between strong unison rhythms, virtuoso solos and meditative soundscapes.

Founded in 2002 as a collaboration between Egyptian oud player Basem Darwisch and German pianist Matthias Frey, Cairo Steps has now become an international ensemble under the musical direction of German pianist and producer Sebastian Müller-Schrobsdorff.

CLEVELAND, April 15, 2018 (AP) — Bon Jovi reunited onstage with former members for a powerful performance celebrating its admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the late icon Nina Simone was welcomed to the prestigious music club with show-stopping performances from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day.

Bon Jovi’s portion of the four-hour-plus event ran an hour-long Saturday night, with Jon Boni Jovi giving a lengthy 20-minute speech onstage. He said he had been writing the speech for years.

Richie Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates with a hug after each one spoke onstage to accept the honor. They performed together, too, singing crowd favourites like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” ″You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life.”

They were inducted by Howard Stern, who provided many laughs to the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is based.

Stern joked about Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner, questioning why he was qualified to vote on who enters the prominent organisation. Stern said the Rolling Stone magazine founder doesn’t play any instruments “but he did start a great magazine ... and now it’s the size of a pamphlet.”

Simone, who died in 2003, was welcomed into the Rock Hall in a groundbreaking way from performers who she has deeply inspired, from Hill to Mary J. Blige.

 

By Menna Ali

Romanian-born pan-flutist Gheorghe Zamfir enthralled a large audience with his performance in Cairo on Friday night, in support of cancer patients all over the world. Speaking at a news conference before the concert, Zamfir, 76, said that he wanted to encourage cancer patients to use melotherapy to fight cancer and to overcome it.

“I am sure that the instrument I play has extraordinary powers not only to heal this deadly disease but to enrich the human soul as well,” Zamfir told reporters.

Zamfir said that he had conducted a great deal of research throughout his 60-year career on how music therapy can treat cancer. “I found out that the pan-flute is the most effective instrument in treating many diseases, especially cancer.”

“Music against Cancer” was the title of Zamfir’s concert which was attended by Minister of Culture Enas Abdel Dayem, a host of celebrities and public figures and more than 75 experts in the treatment of cancer, from all over the world.

The revenue from the charity concert was earmarked for the non-profit organisation Breast-Gynecological International Cancer Society (BGICS), in support of cancer patients, and to raise awareness of the importance of checking the disease which is spreading fast across the world.  “I know that people listen to celebrities. It is natural for people to go and check themselves if a celebrity asks them to do so. That is why I am encouraging everyone, everywhere to have themselves checked.

This will help patients to discover cancer early.  And this will help in the treatment of the disease, because as we know if the disease becomes chronic, it becomes hard to treat,” Zamfir said. The great musician added that he was pleased to be sending his message from Egypt. “I am very happy to be here to send this message to the world, especially as I am surrounded by Egyptians who have a very old civilisation,” he said.

This is the fourth time for Zamfir to visit Egypt. He gave a concert in 2009 at the Opera House in Cairo and Alexandria.“I am very happy to be here this evening. And I know that I am very lucky because everyone in the world dreams about visiting Egypt at least once in their lifetime. And this is my fourth time,” the veteran pan-flutist said, laughingly.

Zamfir is known as «The Master of the Pan Flute». He is especially famous for his piece, «The Lonely Shepherd», which was written by James Last, recorded with the James Last Orchestra and was first included on Last's 1977 album, Russland Erinnerungen (Memories of Russia).“If I could, I would love to treat all the people in the world at this very moment with my soul and heart,” Zamfir said.

LONDON, March 17, 2018 - 

According to certain accounts, David Bowie is said to have debuted his Ziggy Stardust persona in the early ’70s at a club called Friars in Aylesbury, a town in Buckinghamshire, England. Honoring his legacy, Aylesbury will unveil a David Bowie statue in the town’s Market Square on Sunday, March 25, the BBC reports. (Bowie referenced the square on Ziggy’s “Five Years.”) The bronze sculpture, called Earthly Messenger, was created by Andrew Sinclair. The statue features Bowie’s various personae, including Ziggy. Below, check out a miniature mock-up of Earthly Messenger, as well as photos of Sinclair with the life-size figure.

In addition to the statue, there is a Change.org campaign for Aylesbury to change its name to “Aylesbowie.” The campaign was started by David Stopps, a promoter for Friars Aylesbury who started the initial fundraiser for the Bowie statue. Stopps told the BBC that he thinks the name change is possible because “since records began there have been 57 variations of the town’s name.” A spokesman for Buckinghamshire County Council commented, “It’s an interesting idea and perhaps on 25 March we could all think ‘Aylesbowie’—just for one day!”

 

NEW YORK, March 17, 2018 - In 1993, after taking a summer off to attend film school at NYU, Daryl Hannah wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Last Supper, which won a Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. But it took until now for her to make her full-length feature directorial debut: Paradox, a lo-fi, sci-fi western musical starring her boyfriend Neil Young, Promise of the Real, and Willie Nelson, which premiered Thursday night at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

“I can’t even tell you how many years I told my manager I wanted [to direct],” Hannah tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I have been working on actual, real scripts and stuff for years, and have things that I’ve developed over the years that I wanted to make as narrative features, and I never even could get a meeting. I even had production deals, but they were always kind of like vanity production deals, ultimately.”

Hannah, who has spoken before about being sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein (including one scary encounter when he burst into her hotel room), pauses when asked about her struggles in Hollywood. “There’s so many stories, but I actually never got a meeting on a movie after Kill Bill, not one — not an offer, not a meeting, not an anything. The next thing I got was Sense8, and that was accidental. They called me for a phone number for somebody else, and they were like, ‘Why don’t you come in?’ I have no idea why. [Kill Bill] was a big, successful movie, but I never got even a meeting, nothing. I think it was … maybe tied slightly to the Harvey thing, because that was part of it. He was telling people I was ‘difficult,’ because I kicked him out of my room!”

Interestingly, in Paradox, a movie made far outside the Hollywood machine, Hannah envisions a utopian future “when the womenfolk had rightfully just about given up” on men, in which a band of male outlaw prospectors — led by Young’s grizzled character, “the Man in the Black Hat” — work for a tribe of frontierswomen. “Every once in a while, I think probably almost every woman has fantasized about just living in a commune or something with their girlfriends and making art and raising babies and growing food, and just letting the guys come visit once in a while,” Hannah chuckles. “[Paradox] was just sort of a little exploration of that fantasy, that in the future women have just said, ‘You know what? We’re done with the mining, the plundering, the pillaging, the fighting. We’re just going to go over here. We’ll take care of the land. We’ll take care of the kids. You guys try to stay alive. We’ll come and visit you once in a while.’ The women [in the film] still have a good feeling about the men, though — it’s not like they’ve written them off completely!”

The real man in Daryl’s life, Neil Young, says he was delighted to be part of Hannah’s quirky vision. “Daryl did everything. She wrote the script, she went out to the thrift shops and bought all of the costumes herself,” he marvels. “She is a real artist, and she knows what she wants. She wrote what everybody said. She gave us good direction throughout the whole thing. … Daryl is great at what she does. She’s a true professional, and a joy to work with.”

“[Neil] has such a natural communication with the artistic process that he doesn’t question it, ever,” Hannah adds. “He just was like, ‘Oh, yeah, right. We’re making a movie.’ It was very natural.”

Young says he trusted his partner’s vision so much, “I never read the script. … I said, ‘Why don’t you just tell me my lines?’ She told me about the story, and so I wanted to see it develop.”

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