President Barack Obama broke into song on Tuesday at a White House blues show, as the Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger urged a reluctant US leader to step up and sing along a few lines from the classic Sweet Home Chicago with the blues legends BB King and Buddy Guy.
A smiling Obama sang the ode to his adopted hometown to cheers from the audience. Obama delighted when he sang a bar of the soul legend Al Green's Let's Stay Together during the State of the Union address last month, and the video of him crooning "I'm so in love with you" at New York's Apollo Theater in Harlem has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube.
The Cranberries make a comeback
Tired of non-stop touring and hurting for inspiration, The Cranberries hung up their guitars in 2003. Nine years on, the Irish rockers say the chemistry came right back for their new album Roses, out on Monday. The quartet from Limerick shot to fame in the 1990s with hits such as Linger and the politically charged Zombie about the Northern Ireland conflict, selling 40 million records. But by 2003 they had hit a dead end. A 2009 invitation to perform at Trinity College in Dublin prompted the singer Dolores O'Riordan to look up her old bandmates. "It felt like yesterday," said O'Riordan, who later turned plans for solo shows into a Cranberries comeback tour. The band are set to play 107 dates around the world.
Madonna's second single Girls Gone Wild
It is hard to tell due to brevity, but fans can only hope that the short clip of Girls Gone Wild that hit the web this week means the song is better than the disappointing first offering from Madge's forthcoming album, MDNA. Give Me All Your Luvin' barely made a dent in the top 40. Meanwhile, pre-sale tickets for Madonna's Yas Arena show in Abu Dhabi did a brisk business yesterday, with the cheapest offerings at Dh250 appearing to sell out within minutes. Pre-sale tickets were available for those registered with Flash Entertainment from 10am and continue until 3pm today, with general tickets going on sale at noon on Monday through www.thinkflash.ae and Virgin Megastores.
Christo delays Arkansas project days after leaving UAE
The artist Christo is making steady progress in getting permission for The Mastaba, an artwork he hopes to site near Liwa Oasis, but back in the US it is a different story. Over The River, an artwork that will see 10 kilometres of billowing, aluminised fabric panels suspended over the Arkansas River in Colorado, has been seeking final permission since it was conceived by Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude in 1992. Last year, the US department of interior granted the artist permission to create the work in 2014. On Tuesday, Christo announced that scheduling deadlines are not being met and so the project, if it goes ahead, will now open in 2015.
* Christopher Lord, AFP
Adele rules the Brit Awards, too
Adele capped a momentous year with a double win at the UK's Brit Awards on Tuesday, taking prizes for album of the year and Best British female solo artist. The album took six Grammy Awards last week and has now marked a record 21 weeks on top of Billboard's Top 200 albums chart.
The teen-friendly English troubadour Ed Sheeran won two trophies, for solo artist and British breakthrough act. The red-headed 21-year-old has amassed legions of young fans through online releases and a relentless calendar of shows, despite being panned by critics.
The ceremony also included tributes to two departed divas, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse, and performances by Sheeran, Florence + the Machine, Noel Gallagher, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Coldplay, who won their fourth best British group trophy. For more from the Brit Awards, turn to Oasis on pages 6 and 7.
Charlie Sheen says sorry to Ashton Kutcher
The actor Charlie Sheen is backing off from his earlier comments to TMZ.com, suggesting that Ashton Kutcher, his replacement on Two and a Half Men ,"sucks" in the role. According to the website, Sheen sent Kutcher a letter of apology that included the line "I was disrespectful to a man doing his best".
Colbert pens children's book
Grand Central Publishing said on Tuesday that it will publish I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) on May 8. In a two-part Colbert Report segment that was broadcast last month, Colbert previewed the book with the Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak, and secured his blessing.
Claiming he was looking to "cash in" on celebrity children's books, Colbert has penned an illustrated story about a flag pole's quest for identity.
In 2007, Grand Central previously published Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!), which became a bestseller when it was released. It will also publish his next book, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't in October. After a two-episode hiatus due to his ailing 91-year-old mother, Colbert returned to The Colbert Report on Monday.