Friday, June 26, 2009

mikel jackson death

Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead today
after paramedics found him in a coma at his Bel-Air mansion, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.
Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda told
The Times that paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home. When they arrived, Jackson was not breathing.
The paramedics performed CPR and took Jackson to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said. Hundreds of reporters gathered at the hospital awaiting word on his condition.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said family members rushed to Jackson’s bedside, where he was in a deep coma.
The circumstances of Jackson’s death remain unclear.
Law enforcement sources said that Los Angeles Police Department robbery-homicide detectives have opened an investigation into the death, though they stressed that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
The detectives plan to interview relatives, friends and Jackson’s doctors to try to figure out what happened. The L.A. County coroner’s office will determine a cause of death.
A Los Angeles Fire Department source told The Times that Jackson was in full cardiac arrest when rescue units arrived.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The decision to grant Madonna the right to adopt

he singer's victory at Malawi's Supreme Court of Appeal led the
news on local radio stations and prompted a positive response on phone-in shows.
But James Kambewa
who is claiming paternity of the four-year-old girl, remains opposed to the adoption.
"I won't give up the fight," he said, adding that the court disregarded him.
"I wrote to the court challenging the adoption because I am ready and willing to take care of my child," said Mr Kambewa.
"How can they continue referring to her as an orphan when I told them I am there for her?"
However, Mr Kambewa was a lone voice of opposition, with most Malawians welcoming the court's decision to allow Madonna to adopt Chifundo "Mercy" James.
"She is taking Mercy out of a life of destitution; she could have lived in the orphanage until she was old enough to start prostitution," said Michael Jonas, a curio seller in Blantyre, Malawi's second-largest city.
"I am happy for her and the world should ignore the so-called father.
We have lots of fathers but very few parents."
"I am happy for Mercy," said Martha Banda, a university student in Blantyre.
"Those who are against the adoption are just plain selfish. How can one say she is better off in an orphanage?"
The pop star also has two biological children - Lourdes, 12, and Rocco, aged eight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pixar’s Up and box office

Moviegoers got down with "Up," the animated family comedy that soared into first place at the box office.
With debut ticket sales totalling $68.2 million
the Pixar film was the third best opening for the hitmaking
animation company, just behind the $70 million openings for "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles," according to Disney, Pixar's owner.
Like its Pixar predecessors, the action adventure - featuring a boy, balloons and a cranky old man (with the voice of Ed Asner) - earned glowing reviews from critics.
"The Disney-Pixar collaboration is probably the closet thing to box-office perfection out there," said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
The summer is to be shaping up well for family-oriented movies.
Last week's box office winner, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," slipped to second place with $25.5 million.
The weekend's other new wide release, the horror flick "Drag Me to Hell," opened at No. 3 with $16.6 million.
"Terminator Salvation" and "Star Trek" continued to steer a strong course, coming in at Nos. 4 and 5 with $12.8 million and $11.2 million, respectively.
Rounding out the box office winners were "Angels & Demons," which was No. 6 with $11.2 million and "Dance Flick," No. 7 with $4.9 million.

Sarah Darling - New Face - 7

One of the most unusual co-writers Sarah has worked
with is veteran TV news personality Harry Smith of CBS’ "The Early Show." Smith came to Nashville to cover the second Obama/McCain political debate and wanted to show viewers how a song gets written and recorded.
Sarah helped with the lyrics and melody, and they performed the tune on the air.
"It was great fun. Harry went to college in Iowa, so we had something in common, and by the end of the session, I think Harry really did understand how the whole thing comes
together in the studio." (CBS featured the song, "Red State Blue State Blues," prominently on its network website during the 2008 election.)
For a small-town girl who moved to Nashville knowing no one ("and with no Plan B as a back-up in case things didn’t work out"), Sarah is thrilled with the way everything is falling into place.
"I’m so glad this is all happening for me now rather than when I first came to Nashville," Sarah says, "because I feel like I’ve gone through so many experiences and ups and downs here.
I appreciate everything so much more now.
I moved from Iowa to chase my dream in Nashville. For some people, the dream never comes true. But when I look at where I am and the opportunities I’ve been given, I feel ecstatic and so blessed. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!"

Sarah Darling - New Face - 6

Sarah’s debut CD, titled Every Monday Morning, features her collaborations with some of Nashville’s best songwriters: David Malloy, Marc Beeson, Kim Tribble, Marty Dodson and Jeff Dayton.
It also includes a song she co-wrote with former Ambrosia lead singer David Pack.
It’s a stunning project, showcasing her breathtaking artistry as both a writer and vocalist.
The title of the album comes from Sarah’s regular rain-or-shine Monday morning writing sessions with Jeff Dayton, and each of the songs reflects a very personal side of her life.
"I do have very different sides to me
and my co-writers have to adjust," she laughs. "I can show up for a writing session and come up with a fun, light-hearted song that’s very girly, then turn around and write a deep, serious ‘old-soul song’ full of my own personal emotion.
I think we’ve all been through experiences in life where we get our hearts broken or are afraid to trust, and I’ve learned it’s okay to write about these in a song."

Sarah Darling - New Face - 5

From the moment Black River first saw Sarah in a showcase
the label knew it had discovered someone special. Jimmy Nichols’ experience as an A-list studio keyboardist (and Faith Hill’s band leader) gave him a unique perspective on talent.
But more importantly, signing with the label was like coming home for Sarah.
"Black River seemed like family to me right away, and I’d never felt that before in Nashville," she explains. "Then when Jimmy
and I went into the studio to start recording my album, it was almost magical.
He has such an amazing ear, and I learned so much working with him.
Jimmy pushed me to the next level as an artist, and showed me it’s not how pretty you can sing, it’s what you feel inside when you sing. And how you make other people feel when they listen to you.
He truly brought out the best in each of the songs. The whole process was unbelievable for me."

Sarah Darling - New Face - 4

In addition to supporting herself as a waitress in a Nashville steakhouse
Sarah also did modeling
and appeared in a number of country music videos, including "Red High Heels" with Kellie Pickler, "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" with Joe Nichols, "Too Much Blood
In My Alcohol Level" with David Ball, and "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" with Big & Rich.
A failed romantic relationship became a gold mine of songwriting material for Sarah
and inadvertently led to her record deal with Black River. "I wrote a song called ‘Stop the Bleeding’ that I put on my MySpace page," says Sarah. "At the same time
Jimmy Nichols had just started Black River Records, and
he was looking for a new artist to sign. Jimmy asked the label’s interns to start checking MySpace and let him know if they heard anyone exciting. That’s how he found me."

Sarah Darling - New Face - 3

n 2003, Sarah auditioned for an E Network reality show called "The Entertainer," hosted by veteran Vegas showman Wayne Newton. Much to her shock
she was chosen as one of the 10 finalists.
She spent the next eight weeks living in the Las Vegas Hilton with the other contestants, singing classic crooner songs on the program
and vying for a million-dollar performing contract.
"I didn’t win, but I finished in the top three," Sarah says now, "and
it was one of the best experiences of my life. It helped my performing so much.
They would throw unexpected things at us each week. One night they planted hecklers in the audience to see how we’d handle them.
Another time they gave us 30 minutes to put together a complete concert. Wayne Newton took me aside one day and told me I was his favorite singer on the show -- but he said I didn’t belong in Las Vegas.
He told me I should go back to Nashville and work on my own songs. Being on that show made me realize what I really wanted to do with my life -- write music and be an artist. I came back to Nashville and spent the next three years just writing songs, playing out in clubs, and doing shows."

Sarah Darling - New Face - 2

Growing up, Sarah wrote poetry, not music.
She never dreamed one day she’d make a living writing songs – but her biggest fan in the family knew differently. "My mom always told me that someday I’d become a songwriter," she recalls." I still don’t know how she knew." On her 14th birthday, Sarah received a small sound system and began singing everywhere
she could find a willing audience: weddings, birthdays, talent shows, pageants, even the Iowa State Fair. When she wasn’t singing, Sarah fished and played first base
for her local high school baseball team. (In the final game that won the team the Iowa State championship, a fastball caught Sarah’s nose and broke it, quickly ending her sports career.)
In 2002, a year after graduating from high school, Sarah saved $5,000, packed up
everything she owned in a horse trailer, and headed for Nashville on the advice of Joe Carter, Tracy Byrd’s manager.
"We met at a festival, and he asked me to send him some of my songs," Sarah explains. "I’d always dreamed of making a record and getting discovered in Nashville.
After he heard my demos, Joe encouraged me to come to Nashville and signed me to a year’s management contract." Although nothing came of it, Sarah says she learned a lot. "I paid my bills waitressing, watching other singers and songwriters, and trying to figure out where I belonged."

Sarah Darling - New Face - 1

Don’t be surprised when you meet Sarah Darling if she shows up in a Betsey Johnson dress and a pair of mud waders. Or Jimmy Choo high heels and a baseball cap.
It’s just Sarah’s kaleidoscopic personality shining through.
She’s a farm girl in florals, a riverbank girl with a poet’s soul, a deeply introspective writer with a childlike curiosity.
And a sophistication and maturity in her songs far beyond her 25 years.
Sarah was born in Des Moines and was raised in small-town Iowa, an only child who still remains very close to her family, especially her grandparents.
When a romantic relationship hit the rocks, it was Sarah’s grandmother who often got the late-night distress calls.
And it was Sarah’s grandfather who first turned her on to country music. "My grandfather used to take me to church with him every Sunday morning, and we would listen to country radio," she says. "Somehow country music always felt like home to me.
Even now, miles away, it still reminds me of what I love and miss most."