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TESTAMENT Guitarist's DRAGONLORD Mixing Third Album
DRAGONLORD, the California-based black metal band led by TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson, is mixing its third album, "Dominion", for a tentative early 2016 release. Peterson told "Robb's Metalworks" about the CD: "It's gonna be really killer. I'm excited about that." The new DRAGONLORD CD will feature the drumming of Alex Bent from DECREPIT BIRTH. Eric said: "[Alex] is from a younger age and different though process, but very much influenced from the classic drummers like Neil Peart. He is breathing new life into DRAGONLORD."Peterson previously said that the third DRAGONLORD album would feature "some pretty mature-sounding symphonic blackened thrash." He added: "It will have more of a melodic touch to it and memorable song structures. It's still gonna be heavy as hell, but it's gonna be a well-rounded record. New songs 'Kings Frost', 'The Devil's Insight' and 'Battle At Mordor' will surely raise the hairs on your back!"DRAGONLORD's sophomore album, "Black Wings of Destiny", was released in the U.S. in October 2005 via Escapi Music. The follow-up to 2001's "Rapture" (Spitfire Records) was recorded and mixed by Fredrik Nordström (HAMMERFALL, DIMMU BORGIR, ARCH ENEMY) at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden. DRAGONLORD's "Until the End" video:
Video: SYSTEM OF A DOWN Performs In Amsterdam
Fan-filmed video footage of SYSTEM OF A DOWN's April 17 concert at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, The Netherlands can be seen below. In a recent interview with SPIN.com, SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian was asked about the status of the band's long-awaited new studio album. He responded: "There is an openness to working together again when we all have material that is mutually accepted. We don't have a set timeline or anything else to report. One thing we do all agree upon is that it's gotta be a leap from what we've done before."SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian said in an interview with Madcap Music Review that the band has already worked on its first new music in a decade, with plans to enter the studio in the coming months to record a full-length album. Asked about the chances of the group recording for the first time since 2005, Odadjian said, "Yeah, there's a very good chance. I don't have a date. We've already gone. We've written some songs. We're keeping it to ourselves. We're getting back to the bullshit of being together." SYSTEM last released new music in 2005 with the "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" albums, but started to tour again in 2011. The band members have reiterated throughout the hiatus that they have remained friends, although drummer John Dolmayan hinted last year at some personal issues in the group, saying, "We probably would have been in the studio making an album already, but for personal reasons, one of our members cant be in the studio right now. It's a positive thing, but that's all I can say on that right now."SYSTEM OF A DOWN recently added two more North American dates to its upcoming world tour. In addition to a show in Quebec on June 18, the band will now stop in Detroit on June 17 and Toronto on June 19. The tour commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and will feature SYSTEM OF A DOWN's first-ever performance in their homeland of Armenia, on April 23.
NIGHTWISH: Why We Are Openly Secular (Video)
In the three-minute clip below, Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley of NIGHTWISH explain why they are openly secular. Said Holopainen and Donockley: "We feel it vital to speak out in retaliation and show our solidarity with freethinkers the world over: those who are proud to search for answers by themselves. "Honest challenge is a wonderful liberation, and we prefer to embrace our wonderful world through the factual revelations of science and reason." As previously reported, NIGHTWISH will release a new single, the title track of the band's latest album, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", on May 8 as a limited-edition MCD, 10-inch vinyl and as a download. The NIGHTWISH show in Vancouver, British Columbia on April 25 at The Orpheum will be filmed for a future DVD release.NIGHTWISH is currently on the road in North America with special guests SABATON, a Swedish heavy metal band that gives us a history lesson in their songs on war and historical battles, and Dutch female-fronted metallers DELAIN.NIGHTWISH's new album, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", was made available on March 27 in Europe and March 31 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast. Longtime NIGHTWISH drummer Jukka Nevalainen sat out the recording sessions for "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" due to health issues. He has since been replaced by Kai Hahto (WINTERSUN, SWALLOW THE SUN, TREES OF ETERNITY).
ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Says He Was 'Blown Away' When He Heard METALLICA's 1982 Demo
Canada's "The Metal Voice" recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow. On the heavy metal scene when ANTHRAX was starting out:Scott: "Well, there was no scene. That's the thing. We were just kind of… We were an island unto ourselves. There was no scene in New York for bands playing their own music. There was just cover bands at the time. We were just a bunch of guys that were into metal and wanted to write our own songs and had a rehearsal space. We were there six, seven nights a week just working on trying to be the best band we could be." On how Megaforce Records founder Jonny Zazula played him METALLICA's "No Life 'Till Leather" for the first time in 1982:Scott: "I remember he played me the 'No Life 'Till Leather' demo at his store [Rock 'N' Roll Heaven] one day. It just blew me away; it sounded so cool. And he told me he's bringing them to New York, and he's gonna make an album, and he's starting his own record company. It was all very big talk at the time. You've gotta remember, this is, like, 1982. I was, like, 'How do you do that? How are you going to start a record label? How do you even know how to do that?' And he was honest. He was, like, 'I don't know. But nobody else is gonna do it. I've been playing this demo for every major label, and they just stick their fingers in their ears and they throw me out of their office.' He goes, 'I'll make it happen somehow.' And he put his money where his mouth is." On the golden era of thrash metal in the 1980s: Scott: "When it comes to heavy metal, certainly what happened in the U.S. in the '80s was certainly a pretty big deal, and a lot of people worldwide are still interested, obviously, in us and METALLICA and SLAYER. So it just shows what we were doing as kids in the early '80s really, really has left a big imprint on this planet. And we weren't just a bunch of guys who were feeling self-important. Other people actually cared about what we were doing too. So, it is cool, and I am glad I can give a peek behind the curtain for people, obviously, who weren't personally a part of it. If you read my book, you can kind of get to see what was actually going on." On the progress of the recording sessions for ANTHRAX's upcoming album:Scott: "It's coming along great. We're gonna take a break. We head out on tour on [April 24], we'll take a break and be able to get away from it, live with it for awhile, and then come back right at the beginning of June and spend another month finishing it up . We're in a really good zone creatively, and I think if you liked the last record [2011's 'Worship Music'], you're really gonna love this new one."
Video: New Lineup Of JAKE E. LEE's RED DRAGON CARTEL Performs In Charlotte
ToneChaser.org has uploaded video footage of RED DRAGON CARTEL, the band led by former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee, performing on April 18 at Amos' Southend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out the clips below. Bassist Greg Chaisson announced his departure from RED DRAGON CARTEL last month. He said in a statement: "I'm afraid to say real life just jumped right up and got in the way of my good time. I can no longer take any more time away from my regular job. I want to thank everyone in the RED DRAGON CARTEL organization, and most of all, my best friend Jake E. Lee. And a very special thanks to all of you who have treated me so great! They will continue on without me and it will be fantastic as always."Chaisson's replacement in RED DRAGON CARTEL is Anthony Esposito, who has previously played with Ace Frehley.RED DRAGON CARTEL in March announced the departure of singer Darren James Smith. He has since been replaced by Michael Beck. Michael Beck is the owner, engineer, and producer at SoundVision Recording Studio in Mesa, Arizona. He has worked with such acts as SOILWORK, MARILYN MANSON, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and DAATH. The new RED DRAGON CARTEL lineup will make its live debut on April 16 in Miami, Florida.RED DRAGON CARTEL's self-titled debut album sold around 5,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 69 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on January 28, 2014 via Frontiers Records, the CD was recorded at Las Vegas' The Hideout Recording Studio— owned and operated by Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, IN THIS MOMENT) — and was produced by R. Bernard Mann (a.k.a. Ronnie Mancuso) and Jake E. Lee, and executive-produced, mixed and mastered by Churko.RED DRAGON CARTEL's setlist includes new material like the singles "Feeder" and "Deceived", as well as major hits from Jake E. Lee's glorious past: "Bark At The Moon", "The Ultimate Sin" and "Rock 'N' Roll Rebel" (all originally recorded by OZZY OSBOURNE), as well as "Shine On" and "High Wire" (BADLANDS).
Video: HALESTORM Performs Live At Grimey's In Nashville For 'Record Store Day'
HALESTORM took part in a special performance and signing at Grimey's New & Preloved Music in Nashville, Tennessee yesterday (Saturday, April 18), which was Record Store Day. Video footage of the performance can be seen below. Check out photos from Chad Lee Photography.HALESTORM's third album, "Into The Wild Life", was released on April 14. The CD follows up 2012's "The Strange Case Of…" and is already being described as HALESTORM's most diverse and adventurous record yet.HALESTORM singer Lzzy Hale told The Pulse Of Radio that the band set out to make a unified album despite its many different sounds. "This entire record is like one big song with different elements to it, so it's hard to pick it apart — for me, it's hard to pick it and say, 'Oh, well, that's my favorite song,' because they all don't sound alike and each one lends itself to the other," she said. In addition to its Grammy win, HALESTORM is the first female-fronted rock band to lodge three consecutive No. 1 tracks at the top of the rock radio chart.HALESTORM will begin a North American tour with THE PRETTY RECKLESS on April 22 in Nashville.
A Behind-The-Scenes Look At KIRK HAMMETT's Jam With MICHAEL SCHENKER On 'That Metal Show' (Video)
METALLICA's Kirk Hammett and legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker traded licks during the taping of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" this past Tuesday (April 14) at Metropolis Studios in New York City. The episode also featured the debut of Damon Johnson from BLACK STAR RIDERS as the guest musician. A behind-the-scenes look at the Hammett-Schenker jam can be seen below. The "That Metal Show" episode featuring Hammett, Schenker and Johnson aired for first time last night (Saturday, April 18) at 9 p.m. ET on VH1 Classic. In an interview with Guitar World magazine, Hammett spoke about how his life was changed when he first heard UFO's 1975 album "Force It", which featured Schenker on guitar. "I was 15 years old and a friend of mine brought it over to my house insisting I had to hear it," Hammett recalled. "I was still living at my parents' house at the time, and they had a very loud stereo system. My friends would come over and we would blast it up to what we thought was concert level. Boy, was I naïve! "The first track my friend played was 'Mother Mary', and I thought, wow, these guys are just as heavy as THIN LIZZY, AEROSMITH, MONTROSE and all the other hard rock stuff that I was listening to before I got into heavy metal. "When it got to the guitar solo, I was just blown away by Michael Schenker's tone, phrasing and technique. By the time the second solo came on with the fastest descending lick I'd ever heard, I was totally hooked! I immediately grabbed the album cover and saw the picture of Schenker playing a Flying V. "From that point on, I knew there was an entire rock vocabulary out there that was not just based on pentatonic scales, and I set out to learn as many Schenker solos as possible while trying to write heavy riffs just like UFO. I also wanted a Flying V so bad! "That record taught me a lot about solo structure, phasing and melody, as well as playing for the song. I was amazed how UFO could be so heavy and so melodic in the course of one song. I think the band I was in at the time added two UFO songs to its set that week. "For me, the standout tracks on 'Force It' are 'Mother Mary', 'Shoot Shoot', 'This Kid's', 'Out On The Street' and 'Let It Roll'. Every time I pick up the guitar and start improvising, I think a lick or two from that album squeaks out subconsciously. I probably spew the most Schenker licks on [METALLICA's 1983 debut album] 'Kill 'Em All' because everything was still kind of new to me at that time."
BOBBY BLOTZER On Why RATT Is Inactive: 'It's A Stalemate That Nobody Will Bend On Except Me'
RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer says that he decided to go out on the road and perform the band's hits with the RATT EXPERIENCE after a disagreement over the ownership of the RATT name made it impossible for the original members of the group to work together. During an appearance on the April 6 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", Blotzer stated about RATT's split with singer Stephen Pearcy: "The problem that lies in RATT really is not just our lead singer. It's the fact that him and the bass player, Mr. Juan Croucier, they wanna own part of [the RATT] name. So, to me, it's just like going round and round… I'm not trying to pun on that, but it's just insane that we're still at this point now that we're five years [after the release of the 'Infestation' album]… We went out in 2013 and did about thirty dates… They were all huge… Festivals that we headlined, festivals that we opened for VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH, GUNS N' ROSES, etc. And then headlined arenas and that kind of thing."Blotzer also talked about the dispute over the ownership of the RATT name which has caused a rift between the founding members of the band. "Warren [DeMartini, guitar] and I… The reality of it is a corporation that we own owns [the RATT] name. WBS Inc., which we started out — Warren, Bobby and Stephen," he said. "That was WBS Inc. We did all the business for RATT through the corp… That was before [Stephen] sued us in 2000. In 2000, he left the band three days before the third leg of a tour. In doing that and then suing us as went out as RATT with a new singer [he ended up losing control over the RATT name]. He said, 'You know what?! I'm out. Go get a new singer.' And we did everything accordingly to corporate standards and corporate law. He lost the name in federal court. And I know he's out there slandering Warren and I, trying to suggest that we did something shady to get the name. I read that, and I'm, like, does this guy really not understand that he was in federal court for three weeks when he lost any ownership or ties to the name? But the bottom line is, the corporation that Warren and I own, that's who governs that name, so technically, him and I own the name." According to Blotzer, he is willing to give up the rights to the RATT name in order to get the band back out on the road, but DeMartini is less willing to budge. "I actually offered my name up. 'Take my ownership in this name. I don't care," Blotzer said. "I just wanna rock. I wanna work. I wanna play.'" He continued: "The truth is really I've been trying very hard with the likes of Stephen… You know, I'm talking to these guys indivudally and nobody… It's just like a stalemate that nobody will bend on except me. And I'm not trying to slap myself on the back, but it's… It's kind of a scenario where I wanna play and I don't wanna go put some new original band together and go out where nobody knows who it is." Blotzer added: "Warren has made it impossible to work, because he won't tour with a new singer. Let's just say, his position is he wants the original band to be the RATT out there. And I get it; I do too. You know?! But it's, like, well, dude, if they're not coming, then let's move ahead here. I wanna play. We can play big gigs, we can earn well, financially, with another singer. But I think he's playing this waiting game. He's waiting for Stephen and Juan to cave. I don't know… It's at a five-year standstill. And I'm, like, Pearcy's 58, I'm 56, Warren's four years younger than me, Croucier is a year and a half younger… Whatever. You know, it's, like, I don't wanna fuck around anymore. I wanna go and play for the fans, go and play for my family and my own just fun of working and earning the way I do with RATT. "I think it's just not cool that these two guys… Well, actually, it's three, because Juan has cornered Stephen into this brainwashing thing that: 'Don't do it, dude. Don't do it. I know what's going on with this.' "And if anybody thinks I'm out here spilling dirty laundry, I'm sorry you feel that way, but it you were in my shoes, maybe you'd feel a little different, 'cause it's kind of frustrating to have this much time and success and not be able to ride it out for the last lap, so to say, which Stephen always says. We're ten to twelve on the RATT clock here. Let's play the last ten years, or whatever we have." Regarding his decision to go out with the RATT EXPERIENCE, Blotzer said: "You know, I thought about it across the board, and I just came to the reality that I am in RATT, I've been in RATT for 33 years, and that's who I am, and people would really, probably rather come and see me play RATT music. I wrote it with them — we all wrote it together… Depending on who you talk to, but the reality is we all wrote that music together, from bare riffs and built it on up." He continued: "What I'm doing is playing our music, A, [and] B, playing stuff that these guys won't [play]. I don't mean that mean or anything, but the guys in the band were so closed-minded to playing so much of the great material that's between track 1 and 10. We've always done just the video songs, primarily. And trying to get Warren and Stephen to do this stuff has been monumentally hard. And when we would do it… Like playing the song 'Closer To My Heart', people love it. If Warren or Stephen thinks that the audience isn't responding to their Richter scale of sound and movement, then it's out. And it would just be usually about three days into a tour. So here I am with my vote, which is shot down the crapper. "Blotzer added: "Everybody that's RATT fans out there, you all know that there are so many great tunes that we have that are not even really B-sides; they're just songs that are on the record that kick ass. And there are so many that I wanna play, and that's what… My idea's to go out and play those. Of course, play the obligatory songs that you have to play… And I don't mind playing them. I love 'em all. On the ones that are shorter sets, like if we get put on a festival and we have forty minutes or forty-five minutes. I wanna do… The fact that [RATT] missed going out for the thirty-year anniversary for 'Out Of The Cellar', and not doing that really bothered me. So here we are now on the thirty-year anniversary this year of when 'Invasion Of Your Privacy' came out and that tour, and I wanna go out and play that record from beginning to end. And if we have more time on headlining shows, then we're gonna frontload it and backload it… I don't wanna really give the ideas away, but that will be played in its entirety no matter what our time thing is." Pearcy recently shut down the possibility of working with his former RATT bandmates ever again. He said: "I think it's a permanent vacation. I'm just doing what I'm gonna do, and I still have other interests and enjoying some time. I'm not going out and playing a lot, just playing just to play. And [I'm] working on other things. But it's a permanent vacation, and as far as I'm concerned; the door's shut. The time has passed for a record. But I don't know… It took ten years for the last record, so I can't say. But as far as playing [together again], no. [There is] nothing else [planned], as far as I'm concerned, right now." Blotzer's RATT EXPERIENCE is rounded out by Josh Alan (SIN CITY SINNERS), Scotty Griffin (ex-L.A. GUNS), Doc Ellis (Jizzy Pearl's LOVE/HATE) and 21-year-old guitar hero Blaze. Each RATT EXPERIENCE show will include (depending on venue and time slot) * A performance of RATT's "Invasion Of Your Privacy" album in its entirety to commemorate the record's 30th anniversary * A never-before-seen video history introduction * A tribute to late RATT guitarist Robbin "King" Crosby * Over 20 songs, including some that have never been played live before * Exclusive VIP meet-and-greet packages and opportunities to hang out with The Blotz! For more information, visit Facebook.com/TheRattExperience.blotzerrattexperienceposter
AC/DC Plays Second COACHELLA Concert; Video Footage Available
AC/DC played its second full North American show in over five years on Friday (April 17) when the band headlined the second of two shows at the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival in Indio, California. Aside from two songs performed at the Grammy Awards in February, this also marked the second full appearance by the new AC/DC lineup, in which guitarist Stevie Young has replaced Malcolm Young and drummer Chris Slade has stepped in for Phil Rudd.AC/DC's 20-song set kicked off with "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be", featured three songs from the band's latest album, "Rock Or Bust" album (the title track, first single "Play Ball", and "Baptism By Fire"), and ended with the band's staple show closer, "For Those About To Rock".AC/DC's setlist was virtually identical to the one performed by the band on April 10, with one exception: AC/DC dropped "The Jack" midway through the set and replaced it with the group's 1975 classic "High Voltage". The setlist for the April 17 concert was as follows: 01. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be 02. Shot Down In Flames 03. Back In Black 04. Rock Or Bust 05. Shoot To Thrill 06. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 07. Thunderstuck 08. Play Ball 09. High Voltage 10. Hells Bells 11. Baptism Of Fire 12. You Shook Me All Night Long 13. Have A Drink On Me 14. Sin City 15. T.N.T. 16. Rock 'N' Roll Train 17. Whole Lotta Rosie 18. Let There Be Rock Encore: 19. Highway To Hell 20. For Those About To Rock Check out fan-filmed video footage below. A review of the show can be found at DesertSun.com. This year's Coachella headliners will possibly earn between $750,000 and $2 million each, according to Billboard.com.AC/DC's sixteenth studio album, "Rock Or Bust", has sold around 517,000 copies since debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart back in December. It's the band's first album without Malcolm, who is suffering from dementia. Rudd is out after being arrested last November on charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. The band will return to North America later this summer for 13 more tour dates, starting on August 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts and wrapping up on September 28 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
ILL NIÑO Members To Take Part In Conversation At Princeton University's 'Voz Latina' Conference
Cristian Machado, Lazaro Pina and Oscar Santiago of Latin metallers ILL NIÑO, along with Chicano rapper Chingo Bling (Pedro Herrera), will take part in a conversation during Princeton University's Latino Graduate Student Association's annual conference, Voz Latina, which is scheduled to take place on April 23 and April 24. This year's keynote panel will be held on April 24 at 6 p.m. in Robertson Hall, Bowl 016, on the Princeton University Campus. Attendance to the panel and the rest of the conference is free and open to the public, but registration is strongly encouraged at this location.ILL NIÑO's latest album, "Till Death, La Familia", was released on July 22, 2014 via Victory. illninoprinceton2015poster
George Strait, Merle Haggard tribute kick off ACM Awards

Miranda Lambert arrives at the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Academy of Country Music Awards kicked off Sunday night paying tribute to veteran Merle Haggard, while George Strait sang "All My Ex's Live in Texas" — appropriate for the awards show celebrating its 50th anniversary in a new location, the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Bobby Brown tells concert goers his ailing daughter is awake

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2012 file photo, singer Bobby Brown, former husband of the late Whitney Houston performs with New Edition at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. Brown told concert goers Saturday, April 18, 2015, that his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is awake nearly three months after she was found face down and unresponsive in a tub at her Georgia home. In a video, Brown tells the crowd during a concert appearance at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas, that “Bobbi is awake,” adding that “she is watching me.” The crowd screamed after his remark. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin, file)ATLANTA (AP) — Bobby Brown told concert goers Saturday night that his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is awake nearly three months after she was found face down and unresponsive in a tub at her Georgia home.

Review: Broadway's 'Fun Home' is a deeply moving triumph

This photo provided by O&M Co shows Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Beth Malone as Alison, and Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison in "Fun Home" at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York. "Fun Home," with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, played for four months at the off-Broadway Public Theater last year. It's been adapted from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir about growing up in a funeral home with a closeted gay dad.(Joan Marcus via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — The best commercial for a Broadway show this season isn't on TV. It's on Broadway itself, in the stunning, deeply moving "Fun Home."

'Furious 7' speeds ahead of the competition

FILE- In this April 1, 2015, file photo, Vin Diesel arrives at the premiere of "Furious 7" at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. The reigning box office champion might have slowed from its blockbuster debut, but "Furious 7" maintained first place for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $29.1 million, according to box office tracker Rentrak on Sunday, April 19, 2015. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even in its debut weekend, Kevin James's "Paul Blart" sequel couldn't outpace "Furious 7."

Julio Iglesias to receive honorary degree from Berklee

FILE - In this May 12, 2014 file photo, Latin pop icon Julio Iglesias poses for photographers at a news conference where he was named the 'Most Successful Latin Artist of All Time', at a central London venue. Iglesias and three other prominent music industry figures will receive honorary degrees from Boston's Berklee College of Music at its commencement next month. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP, File)BOSTON (AP) — Julio Iglesias and three other prominent music industry figures will receive honorary degrees from Boston's Berklee College of Music at its commencement next month.

Director reveals plot for "Star Wars" film "Rogue One"

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy appears on the Cantina set at Star Wars Celebration: The Ultimate Fan Experience held at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Jedis are all but extinct, the Old Republic is in turmoil and the threat of the Death Star is looming in "Rogue One," fans learned at Star Wars Celebration on Sunday.

Actor Ben Powers, known for 'Good Times' TV role, dies at 64
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Actor Alton "Ben" Powers, known for his role in the 1970s CBS television series "Good Times," has died at age 64.
'Furious 7' surges past the $1 billion mark

Actor Vin Diesel arrives at the premiere "Furious 7" at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, CaliforniaLos Angeles (AFP) - "Furious 7" surged ahead of its North American box office competition for a third straight week, taking in an estimated $29 million to hit $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

'The Golden Era' tops Hong Kong Film Awards

Chinese actress Zhao Wei holding the best actress award poses at the 34rd Hong Kong Film Awards in Hong Kong on April 19, 2015"The Golden Era", a biopic of an acclaimed Chinese writer in the 1930s, on Sunday won praise from the city's prestigious film academy, scooping five prizes including best movie at the Hong Kong Film Awards. The three-hour drama tells the story of renowned novelist Xiao Hong, whose short life battered by disease and political unrest was set against her literary success. In the ceremony at the southern Chinese city's harbourside Cultural Centre, the film snapped up the awards for best costume and make up, best cinematography and best art direction, as well as best director for Ann Hui On-wah. Thriller "Overheard 3" also won three gongs at the glittering ceremony which, together with Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, is one of the Chinese film industry's most prestigious events.

Los Angeles effort to set ukulele-playing record falls short
LOS ANGELES (AP) — What do you get when more than 1,100 ukulele (OO'-koo-leh-leh) enthusiasts gather and begin playing their instruments?
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