Friday, September 11, 2009

9 More Artists to Join Juanes in Cuba

Nine new artists have been confirmed for Colombian rock star Juanes' Paz Sin Fronteras concert in Havana Sept. 20.

The new line-up, announced Thursday, brings the total number of acts performing in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución to 15 acts from six countries.

Among the additional performers are Puerto Rican salsa singer Danny Rivera; rap trio Orishas, who are Cuban but live in Europe; CuCu Diamantes and Yerba Buena, whose members hail from Cuba, the United States and other countries but who live in New York, and Spanish artists Luis Eduardo Aute and Victor Manuel.

Cuban rock artists Carlos Varela and X Alfonso will also join countrymen Silvio Rodríguez, Los Van Van, Spanish pop star Miguel Bosé, Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañon and Juanes, who has a home in Key Biscayne.

Concert organizers said the artists have agreed not to make any political statements, and that there will be no presenters or speakers on stage, only music performers.

Juanes has said that he intends the concert to be a musical -- not a political -- event that he hopes will lessen the tension between Cuba, the exile community and the United States. Some exiles have criticized Juanes, saying that the event is political by nature and should address human rights and other issues in Cuba. Other exiles and Cuban dissidents have supported the show, including a group of political prisoners on the island.

The show, which will be staged in the same spot on the plaza where Pope John Paul II celebrated his historic Mass in 1998, will last from 2 to 6 p.m. and is expected to draw more than half a million people. Concert production costs are being covered by the Cuban Institute of Music and some of the participating artists.

None of the musicians are being paid for the show, the statement said. Organizers say the concert will be streamed via satellite through Cuban television and can be broadcast by any television channel, website or radio station that requests it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Short Biography of the King of Pop: Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), known as the "King of Pop", was an American musician and one of the most commercially successful entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent figure in popular culture for four decades.

He started a solo career in 1971, having made his debut in 1964 as a member of The Jackson 5. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with four others — Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) — among the best selling. He popularized several intricate dance moves, such as the robot and the moonwalk. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form, with videos for his songs "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV, and has influenced scores of music artists.
Twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records — including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time" — 13 Grammy Awards, 17 number one singles (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales between 350 million and 750 million records worldwide.[2] He was also a notable philanthropist and humanitarian who donated and raised millions of dollars through support of 39 charities and his own Heal the World Foundation.