Nelly performs concert in Iraq to support Kurdish soldiers fighting ISIS

It's getting hot over “therre.” In a first for an American artist, “Hot in Herre” rapper Nelly took to the stage Friday for a concert in Iraq to support ethnic Kurds. Prior to taking the stage, the “Country Grammar” rapper was welcomed to the Kurdistan region by Erbil Gov. Nawzad Hadi. Joined by fellow rapper Ali, Nelly then performed a concert at an annual soccer tournament – but was greeted mostly by empty seats. Those who attended the benefit concert reportedly cheered the rapper by waving Iraqi flags — and at least one fan in Villa reported that concertgoers were enthralled. “The Kurds went crazy!” Beside the St. Louis-based rapper, “Arab Idol” contestant Ammar Koofy and motocross star Andre Villa also performed for the crowd. Reportedly held to raise money for the peshmerga, the Kurdish soldiers fighting ISIS, Nelly’s performance was clouded in controversy because of swirling rumors that the star was paid six-figures. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Hot-97 won’t blame hip-hop for the riot at the concert the radio station sponsored in New Jersey

SUNDAY NIGHT’S ugly dustup outside the gates of Hot-97’s Summer Jam concert isn’t the first time the hip-hop radio station has had to deal with real-life violence. There are times, suggested morning host and former program director Ebro Darden, when it’s just the cost of doing business in the hip-hop game. He stressed that he and the station condemned the “craziness,” which included throwing bottles at police. But that doesn’t mean, he said, that you walk away from hip-hop's larger culture, which has been Hot-97’s format for 22 years. “When you’re really into it and you’re really authentic,” Darden said, “unfortunately sometimes you have to take the bad things along with what’s great.” “Tens of thousands” of fans “had a great and positive time” at the show Sunday, he said, while the violence came from “a few people acting crazy and creating chaos.” Darden also suggested that bad behavior is not limited to hip-hop audiences. “Whenever you get that many people together, things will happen,” he said. All three of the famous Woodstock festivals ended with fans breaking through the gates, and the 1999 event devolved into mass rioting, burning and allegations of rape. Still, hip-hop incidents generate bigger headlines. Going back to the 1980s, when hip-hop was rising and phrases like “gangsta rap” surfaced, many venues wouldn’t even host hip-hop concerts. Time changed that. While hip-hop isn’t universally adored, it became the single most important influence on mainstream pop music over the past 25 years. It thrives in suburban high schools and is the fondly remembered childhood music of people in their 50s. It’s not going anywhere. Darden said Monday that Summer Jam would go on, too, because “We’re not Continue Reading

Man falls, is impaled at Chevelle metal concert in Chicago

A 24-year-old man died after plunging from a catwalk at a Chevelle concert in Chicago. Kyle Kirchoff was watching the alternative metal band 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Aragon Ballroom when he plummeted eight feet and was impaled on two metal rods protruding from the floor. Exact details about the fall remain unclear. But he suffered two chest wounds, reports NBC Chicago. The gig was cut short so that Kirchoff could be rushed to Weiss Memorial Hospital. He was declared dead 30 minutes later. Tributes have been paid to the former college football player, who was an alum of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He was known for his "friendly smile and support of his fellow students," said school officials. Kirchoff graduated with a degree in sports management in 2013 before becoming assistant football coach at Bartlett High School, his alma mater. "He was an incredible guy," said Matt Foster, head football coach at the school. "The kids loved him. He was a quiet kid, but he had tremendous values. That's what really stuck out with me. If he was your friend, he was your friend for good," he told the Chicago Tribune. Cook County medical examiner's office said an autopsy Saturday "did not reveal an immediate cause or manner of death." The investigation into the fall at the concert continues, reports the Chicago Sun Times. Aragon Ballroom bosses have not commented. Members of Chevelle later took to Facebook to express concern over what happened. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Chevelle fan Kyle Kirchhoff and at this time we ask that you all keep Kyle and his family in your thoughts and prayers," they said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Iowa man chanting ‘USA, English only’ interrupts bilingual kindergarten concert

An Iowa kindergarten concert was rudely interrupted after an audience member suddenly stood up and started chanting: "USA, English only." The Perry Elementary School children were being introduced to the crowd at the Perry Performing Arts Center on Thursday, and the remarks were translated into Spanish, reported KCCI. That bilingual interpretation set off the verbal attack. Dramatic cellphone footage showed the man chanting the phrase as he was escorted out of the venue in Perry, which has a large Latino population. Children and proud relatives who'd been looking forward to watching the recital were left stunned by the shocking incident. "Nothing — I've never heard anything like that and it just hurt me really bad," Sara Benedict, whose son was in the concert, told KCCI. "Those kids don't know nothing and all they look, and when they're up there — those are their friends," she added. Juan Ordonez, whose nephew shot the clip, said the outburst could "give the wrong idea to the kids." He dubbed it a "hate crime." "I told him (his nephew) we need to send the video, make sure somebody knows what's going on in Perry and maybe they stop," he added. The man who interrupted the concert has not yet been identified. Perry Police Department's Sgt. Jerome Hill said he was "aware" of the incident, but that no arrests have been made. It is still under investigation, he told the Des Moines Register. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Mariah Carey cancels Las Vegas concert because of bronchitis: report

Mariah Carey can take that away from fans. The pop diva cancelled her Wednesday night performance from her Las Vegas residency because of bronchitis, TMZ first reported. Doctors have ordered Carey to rest her voice as she recovers, which could require more scuttled tour dates, according to the report. REVIEW: MARIAH CAREY'S VEGAS REVIEW KICKS OFF WITH HIGH NOTES The news came as a shock to many fans who flew to Nevada to attend the concert in the Colosseum at the Caesars Palace hotel. A sign outside the venue reads: "Tonight's performance has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. We truly regret the inconvenience this may cause." Carey had just kicked off her Las Vegas run, which runs through July, earlier this month. The show spotlights the singer's 18 number one hit singles in chronological order. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO REPORT HERE. Continue Reading

Neil Diamond performs first formal concert in Brooklyn in 50 years: concert review

Sometimes it takes years for a song to find its proper setting. At Barclays Arena on Thursday, Neil Diamond performed a song he wrote back in 1968 titled "Brooklyn Roads," an ode to the borough of his birth and its effect on his imagination. Thursday's show marked Diamond's first formal concert in Brooklyn in a nearly fifty year career. (He played a short promotional set last September at his old alma matter, Erasmus High School). But the Barclays show had more the feel of a homecoming, with a venue looming enough to suit both Diamond's ambitions and his sound. "I grew up in this fair borough," the star said, before playing the song. "It was a great place to grow up." As home movies of his youth unspooled on screens behind, Diamond navigated what rates as one of the few, relatively subtle numbers of his career. "Brooklyn Roads" relies on small lyrical details, a tender melody and a hushed vocal - qualities that stand in stark contrast to much of the rest of Thursday's set. Backed by a ten piece band, and two added singers, Diamond barreled through pieces that nearly always go for grandeur. They're full of horns (four here) and strings (provided by synthesized programming live) mirroring vocals that veer between the righteous and the sentimental. The result often ended up both gripping and cheesy at once. As with ABBA, it's impossible to separate what's overblown, and what's brilliant, about Diamond's songs. They're pretentious and irresistible in nearly equal measure. As always, Diamond largely stuck to well-worn hits at the show, from "Kentucky Woman" to "Cracklin Rosie" to "Sweet Caroline." The night began with a smash Diamond wrote for The Monkees in the mid-'60s, "I'm a Believer." Here, it sounded less like an adolescent assertion than a statement of unassailable faith. At 73, Diamond's voice sounded robust throughout the two hour set, with a wily determination that suited his husky tone. The set list briefly broke with Continue Reading

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State quarterback, among three players injured during spring break concert fight

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott was injured during a fight at a concert in Panama City, Florida, on Monday afternoon while vacationing during spring break, a school spokesman said. Bill Martin said he spoke with Prescott about the fight, which also involved teammates Torrey Dale and Damian Williams. Martin said Prescott suffered facial cuts after being hit with a bottle, but did not have to go to the hospital and police were not involved. Martin said Prescott did not want to press charges and the three players are headed back to Starkville. Prescott sent a message on Twitter Monday night that said “Thanks for all the Concerns and Prayers! I’m okay and ready to get back to Starkville. Ignorance happens! Be safe on Spring Break!” Prescott threw for 3,449 yards and 27 touchdowns last season while also running for 986 yards and 14 touchdowns. Mississippi State finished with a 10-3 record during a season that also included a five-week stretch as the No. 1 team in the nation. WARNING: CLIP CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE ON YOUR PHONE? WATCH THE REPORT ON THE ATTACK ON PRESCOTT HERE Continue Reading

Adam Levine attacked on stage by fan at concert in Anaheim

Forget moves like Jagger! Adam Levine needed moves like Jackie Chan himself to protect him from an overexcited fan who attacked him on stage. While performing a concert with Maroon 5 in Anaheim, Calif., a crazed fan managed to climb on stage and run up behind the 36-year-old singer, throwing her arms around his neck. "The Voice" judge first seemed startled and pushed the woman away, eventually calming her down until security was able to remove her. "It's just weird to be, like, in the moment, ya know? And you're singing, and your eyes are closed, and you have this beautiful moment. And then the next thing you know someone's f--king in your face," Levine said to the crowd after the incident. "It's super terrifying." "That was weird right?" he added. "She like cut my ear." Monday was the last concert the singer will perform before he begins the live tapings of NBC's "The Voice," on which he is a coach. Continue Reading

Jay Z to perform rare songs at free NYC concert to promote Tidal streaming service

LOS ANGELES — Jay Z is breaking out his B-sides to hype his fledgling music streaming service. The rap mogul announced plans Wednesday to unearth songs he hasn’t performed in a decade — or ever — at a free New York concert titled “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides.” The performance will be held May 13 and subscribers can submit a playlist on the service to win tickets. Jay Z took to Twitter on Sunday to defend Tidal’s slow start. He co-owns the service with Beyonce, Rihanna, Madonna and other artists. He said Tidal currently has 770,000 subscribers. He wrote: “The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful. We are here for the long haul. The concert will be streamed on Continue Reading

Tim McGraw defends himself from gun rights advocates over decision to headline Sandy Hook concert

Country superstar Tim McGraw is catching flak from gun lovers for headlining a concert to benefit a group founded by parents of Sandy Hook massacre victims. But McGraw is not backing down and intends to keep is promise to the group, Sandy Hook Promise. “As a gun owner, I support gun ownership,” he said in a statement. “I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety – most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children. I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.” But McGraw’s opening act, Billy Currington, got weak in the knees and has pulled out of the July 17 concert at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford. On his Facebook page, Currington wrote that he’s “never been one to take on controversial issues.” McGraw began hearing it after announcing that he would be doing the concert as part of his “Shotgun Rider Tour.” Furious gun owners began bombarding his web site and self-style Second Amendment defenders like Bob Owens of warned McGraw was alienating a fan base that “overwhelmingly supports gun rights, and views a concert benefiting Sandy Hook Promise as being a betrayal.” McGraw, the son of Mets pitcher Tug McGraw and husband of Faith Hill, disagreed. “Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence," he said in his statement. "I want to be a part of that promise – as a father and as a friend.” The organization was founded in the wake of the December 2012 mass murder at the elementary school in Newtown Conn. that left 20 first-graders and six staffers dead. In their mission statement, the group said its goal is to “protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child.” McGraw has a personal connection to the group. His fiddle player, Dean Brown, is pals with Nicole Continue Reading