Springsteen, Jay-Z put the pop in Obama rally

Jay-Z performs at the grassroots rally in support of President Barack Obama

Jay-Z performs at the grassroots rally in support of President Barack Obama

 Someone has to introduce the president.

On Monday, the final day of the presidential campaign, President Barack Obama, however, didn’t bring along an opening act. He brought along two main acts.

Bruce Springsteen. Jay-Z. Theirs wasn’t an introduction, it was pop culture moment.

The Boss was spending the entire day with Obama, traveling on Air Force One from Madison, Wis., to Columbus, Ohio, and then to Des Moines, Iowa, where Obama planned a coda for his campaign, a finale where his run for the presidency began five years ago.

Jay-Z boomed his way into Columbus’s Nationwide Arena, performing a rendition of his hit “99 Problems” with a political twist for a crowd estimated by fire officials at more than 15,000 people. He changed a key R-rated word to make his own political endorsement. “I got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one,” he sang.

“They tell the story of what our country is,” Obama said of the two performers, “but also of what it should be and what it can be.”

Springsteen added a whole new sense of vigor, even giddiness, to the Obama entourage, with many of the president’s aides and advisers clearly star-struck by the rocker’s presence.

Springsteen, in jeans, black boots, a work shirt, vest and leather jacket, was not wearing the typical Air Force One attire. But the Obama camp has left formality aside; many aides are growing beards through Election Day and ties have been left behind in favor of sweaters for the chilly outdoor events during the last hours of the campaign.

Asked if there was any downside to using celebrity glitz instead of substance to drive voters to the polls in the final days, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki laughed. “I think Bruce Springsteen might be offended by you calling him glitzy,” she said.

“Bruce Springsteen, and some other celebrities who have been helping us, reach a broad audience that sometimes tune out what’s being said by politicians,” she said.

As Psaki spoke to reporters at the back of the plane, Obama was up front and on the phone with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie discussing the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Christie, who says he

President Barack Obama is flanked on stage by musicians Jay-Z, left, and Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012

President Barack Obama is flanked on stage by musicians Jay-Z, left, and Bruce Springsteen at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012

has attended more than 100 Springsteen concerts, said Obama then handed the phone to Springsteen, a New Jersey native whose songs often have been tributes to his youth in the state.

Upon landing in Columbus, Springsteen told a reporter that it was his first trip on Air Force One. Grinning, he said, “It was pretty cool.” As for New Jersey, he said, “I’m feeling pretty hopeful” that the state’s hard-hit shore will recover.

In Madison and Columbus, Springsteen serenaded audiences with renditions of top anthems “No Surrender,” ”Promised Land” and “Land of Hope and Dreams.” But he also has a custom-made campaign song named after the Obama motto “Forward” — which he acknowledged was “not the best I’ve ever written.”

“How many things rhyme with Obama?” he asked.

Obama, no doubt, didn’t mind.

“I’m going to be fine with Bruce Springsteen on the last day that I’ll ever campaign,” he said above the din of the crowd.

“That’s not a bad way to bring it home. With The Boss. With The Boss.”

SOURCE: Yahoo! News

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Songs offer messages of hope at Sandy benefit show

Steven Tyler, Jimmy Fallon, Mark Rivera, and Bruce Springsteen, perform during "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together" in New York

Steven Tyler, Jimmy Fallon, Mark Rivera, and Bruce Springsteen, perform during “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” in New York

From “Livin’ on a Prayer” to “The Living Proof,” every song Friday at NBC’s benefit concert for superstorm Sandy victims became a message song.

New Jersey’s Jon Bon Jovi gave extra meaning to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” Billy Joel worked in a reference to Staten Island, the decimated New York City borough. The hourlong event, hosted by Matt Lauer, was heavy on stars and lyrics identified with New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, which took the brunt of this week’s deadly storm. The telethon was a mix of music, storm footage and calls for donations from Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg and others.

The mood was somber but hopeful, from Christina Aguilera‘s “Beautiful” to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and a tearful Mary J. Blige‘s “The Living Proof,” her ballad of resilience with the timely declaration that “the worst is over/I can start living now.” Joel rocked out with “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway),” a song born from crisis, New York City’s near bankruptcy in the 1970s, while Jimmy Fallon endured a faulty microphone and gamely led an all-star performance of the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk” that featured Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith frontman then sat behind a piano and gave his all on a strained but deeply emotional “Dream On.” Sting was equally passionate during an acoustic, muscular version of The Police hit “Message In a Bottle” and its promise to “send an SOS to the world.”

The show ended, as it only could, with Springsteen and the E Street Band, tearing into “Land Of Hope and Dreams.”

“God bless New York,” Springsteen, New Jersey’s ageless native son, said in conclusion. “God bless the Jersey shore.”

The stable of NBC Universal networks, including USA, CNBC, MSNBC, E! Entertainment, The Weather Channel and Bravo, aired the concert live from the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, several blocks north of where the city went days without power. Millions of people for whom the benefit was organized couldn’t watch the event because they had no electricity.

NBC Universal invited other networks to televise the event, but not everyone signed on.

That might have something to do with network rivalries.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the networks organized a benefit together behind the scenes and it was televised on more than 30 networks simultaneously, including all the big broadcasters.

After Hurricane Katrina, NBC televised its own benefit before the other broadcasters, one that became best known for Kanye West’s off-script declaration that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” The other broadcasters cooperated on their own telethon a week later, and NBC televised that one, too.

Also this year, NBC organized and scheduled a telethon and gave others the chance to air it.

Others declined to televise Friday’s telethon, even though ABC parent Walt Disney Co. said it would donate $2 million to the American Red Cross and various ABC shows will promote a “Day of Giving” on Monday. The CBS Corp., Viacom Inc., parent of “Jersey Shore” network MTV, Fox network owner News Corp. also announced big donations to the Red Cross.

SOURCE: Yahoo! News

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Katy Perry Wears Obama Ballot Dress At Rally In Las Vegas

 

Katy Perry performs at Obama rally in Las Vegas

Katy Perry performs at Obama rally in Las Vegas

Katy Perry‘s doing her best get-out-the vote effort: At a rally for President Barack Obama, she wore a tight white dress imprinted like a ballot, and a square box on her right hip filled in the names of Obama and Joe Biden.

Perry gave a free concert at a park in a historically minority neighborhood just northwest of downtown Las Vegas to screaming fans at about 9 p.m., the same time Air Force One landed at McCarran International Airport across town.

Obama later told the crowd, “I believe in you. I need you to keep believing in me.”

The Las Vegas campaign event drew more than 10,000 people, according to fire officials and organizers, with long lines still on sidewalks during Perry’s 30-minute performance before Obama arrived.

The singer opened with a rendition of Al Green’s soul hit, “Let’s Stay Together,” and played five songs, including “Teenage Dream,” before ending with a thumping bass drum version of “Firework.”

Perry, who recently also played a free concert at an Obama event in Los Angeles, paused before the last song Wednesday to exhort people in the Las Vegas crowd to vote early.

“Don’t wait. Go tomorrow,” she said. “How many of you are 18 here? It’s going to be your first time, right?”

SOURCE: Huffington Post

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Nicki Minaj Cancels UK Concert Due To ‘Strained Vocal Chords’

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj cancels concert due to strained vocals

Nicki Minaj has canceled her appearance at this weekend’s V Festival in the United Kingdom because of damage to her vocal cords.

Her representative says in an email that Minaj will have to back out of her shows on Saturday and Sunday because of “strained vocal cords.”

Minaj performed a free concert in New York City on Wednesday, though she had been advised by her doctor to rest.

Her rep now says her voice is “worse,” and that recent X-rays show that the singer-rapper must “rest her voice for a few days.”

The two-day V Festival also features The Killers, David Guetta, LMFAO and The Stone Roses.

Minaj performed for more than two hours at her New York show. It featured Drake, Lil Wayne and Foxy Brown.

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Rihanna climbs back to top of British album charts

Rihanna

Rihanna goes into the crowd during a performance at the Hackney Weekend festival

Pop singer Rihanna has returned to the top of Britain’s album rankings with her album “Talk That Talk” after a run of 38 weeks in the Top 40, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday.

It is only the second week the album has been in the number one spot as it nears 1 million British sales.

The recording has been a huge hit around the world and helped the Barbadian star to earn an estimated $53 million in the 12 months to May this year, according to Forbes magazine.

East London rapper Wiley topped the singles charts for a second week with “Heatwave”, his first solo British number one.

British pop band Lawson were the week’s highest new entry at number three with their single “Taking Over Me”.

Redlight, a DJ and producer from Bristol in southwest England, was also new in fifth place with “Lost In Your Love”.

SOURCE: Yahoo! News

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Russian official’s tweet appears to target Madonna

Madonna

U.S. singer Madonna performs during her concert in St. Petersburg, Russia

A Russian deputy premier has made a rude statement apparently aimed at Madonna regarding her support for the jailed members of a Russian punk band awaiting a verdict in their trial.

Dmitry Rogozin didn’t name Madonna when he tweeted this week that “every former w. wants to give lectures on morality when she grows old. Especially during foreign tours.” By “w.” he apparently meant “whore.”

“Either take off your cross or put on your knickers,” Rogozin added.

His remarks have drawn sarcastic tweets from those who recalled that Rogozin was a nationalist opposition leader before joining officialdom. “Why are you calling yourself a former whore, you are still on it,” one of the tweets said.

Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s spokeswoman, had this to say about Rogozin on Friday: “Maybe he and Elton can form a Madonna fan club.” Public comments that Elton John and Madonna have made about one another are often portrayed as a longstanding feud.

Just before Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian presidency, members of the feminist band high-kicked and danced in Moscow’s main cathedral, singing “Virgin Mary, drive Putin away!”

Three Pussy Riot members have remained behind bars for more than five months and face up to three years if convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. A judge is to deliver a verdict on Aug. 17. .

Their prosecution has drawn a storm of protests from rights groups who declared them prisoners of conscience and an outpouring of sympathy and support from musicians and activists around the world.

Madonna, who performed in Moscow and St. Petersburg as part of her world tour, expressed her support for Pussy Riot at Tuesday’s concert in Moscow, saying she’d “pray for them.” She then turned her bare back, with “Pussy Riot” written on it and donned a ski mask similar to those worn by the band.

Madonna told The Associated Press earlier during her stay in Moscow that she hopes that the judge is lenient with the band members and that they are freed soon.

SOURCE: Yahoo! News

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Dusty Springfield Drama Set to Premiere at the L.A. Shorts Film Festival

Set in 1970, “The Soul of Blue Eye” tells the story of Dusty Springfield’s decision to record her Platinum selling hit Son of a Preacher Man for Atlantic Records, and the struggles she had as a white gay woman singing black soul music during the tumultuous 1960’s. Besides having a hit show, “It Must Be Dusty” in […]

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