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Rapper Common surprises students at NY school, donates money

Common, Mahalia Hines

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar and Grammy winner Common surprised a group of New York students by donating $10,000 to help their teachers buy supplies like calculators and science kits. The rapper-actor partnered with the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores to give Renaissance School of the Arts in Harlem the funds on Thursday. Students cheered loudly after they learned the ... Read More »

Malaysia bans ‘Despacito’ on state radio, TV due to lyrics

Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia has banned “Despacito” on state radio and television, though it might be hard to slow the song’s record-breaking popularity. The ban applies only to government-run radio and TV outlets, not to private stations or YouTube or the music streaming services fueling the song’s success. Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak said Thursday the song was ... Read More »

Fleetwood Mac to earn MusiCares Person of the Year

Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham

NEW YORK (AP) — Fleetwood Mac will be named the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year, becoming the first group to receive the honor. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that the 28th annual benefit gala will take place at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Jan. 26, 2018, two days before the 2018 Grammy Awards. The organization said ... Read More »

‘Despacito’ sets record for most streamed song of all time

Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee

SANTA MONICA, California (AP) — “Despacito” has become the most streamed track of all time with more than 4.6 billion plays across streaming platforms. Universal Music Latin Entertainment announced Tuesday the song by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and the accompanying remix featuring pop star Justin Bieber had surpassed the previous record holder — Bieber’s 2015 hit ... Read More »

Auction of Madonna’s panties, love letter from Tupac halted

Madonna

NEW YORK (AP) — An impending auction of pop star Madonna’s personal items, including a love letter from her ex-boyfriend the late rapper Tupac Shakur, a pair of previously worn panties and a hairbrush containing her hair, was halted by a judge on Tuesday. Manhattan state Supreme Court Judge Gerald Leibovitz ordered Gotta Have It! Collectibles to pull 22 items ... Read More »

‘Game of Thrones’ debut draws record 10.1 million viewers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Women dominate Westeros as never before, and it’s the same with the “Game of Thrones” ratings. The HBO drama’s seventh-season premiere last weekend drew a record-setting 10.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen company figures released Tuesday. That eclipsed previous top-rated “Game of Thrones” episodes, including the 8.11 million who watched the season five finale in 2015 ... Read More »

Mayer on changing his live shows: ‘I want to be competitive’

NEW YORK (AP) — John Mayer never relied on multicolored lighting, confetti and pyrotechnics to help him during his live shows, like some of his peers. But the singer-songwriter-guitarist wanted to step up his game, and he said watching Drake perform live encouraged him to beef up his stage production and take more risks during his concerts. Mayer will launch ... Read More »

Ed Sheeran back on Twitter after brief disappearance

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s disappearance from Twitter appears to be short-lived. The singer’s account is back online hours after it suddenly vanished. All of Sheeran’s tweets since April 2015 have been removed, and the singer’s more than 19 million followers have been reduced to a few thousand. The moves follow Sheeran’s cameo on the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday ... Read More »

Last duet: Kenny, Dolly announce final performance together

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two of country music’s biggest stars, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, whose onstage chemistry spawned hit duets like “Islands in the Stream” and “Real Love,” will be making their final performance together this year. Rogers, who is retiring from touring, says his final performance with Parton will be part of an all-star farewell show to be ... Read More »

Red Bull Culture Clash heads to Atlanta in late August

ATLANTA (AP) — Producer Mike WiLL Made-it and Wondagurl will be featured in a music battle event with the winner determined by crowd reaction. Red Bull officials announced Tuesday that the Red Bull Culture Clash will be held Aug. 25. The music event will take place in Atlanta for the first time after it debuted in London in 2010. The ... Read More »