Spotify finally launches in USA

Spotify on iPhoneIts American service had previously been put on hold, apparently because the labels were not convinced about its ability to make them money.

About 10 million people use Spotify across parts of Europe, with one million paying for its premium service.

The company has reduced elements of its free product, ahead of the US launch.

In April, limits were introduced on the number of times users of the basic version could play tracks.

Total listening time was also reduced to 10 hours per month for the free service.

The move was widely seen as a pre-emptive concession to the American record companies which are uneasy about moving to ad-funded or subscription-based distribution.

Paying pennies

Research suggests that services such as Spotify, Last.FM and Rhapsody yield relatively low returns for artists.

Music industry analyst Mark Milligan calculated an average pay-per-play figure on Spotify, based on the Ben Rodgers Band, of $0.004 (£0.002).

Cracking the United States might make the numbers more attractive, according to Giles Cottle, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media.

“They will only get their model to work if they successfully launch in the US.

“It works if you get a large number of plays and you can get a lot of people to sign up to the premium service,” he said.

Despite industry trepidation, Spotify has attracted high profile fans.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg described it as “pretty amazing”, while soundtrack composer and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor took to Twitter to express his excitement about the US launch.

Spotify is likely to face competition in the US from online jukebox Pandora which claims 100 million registered users.

Pricing details for Spotify’s US service are yet to be made public.

New James Bond ‘GoldenEye’ game

Pierce Brosnan played James Bond in the "GoldenEye" movie, but Activision is looking to refresh the story.

CNN)— Activision is reloading the golden gun to take another shot at reviving a James Bond video game relic.

The game publisher plans to unveil a new 007 shooter based on the 16-year-old Pierce Brosnan flick, “GoldenEye,” at a news conference later this month, said a spokeswoman helping organize the Activision event.

The formal announcement is to take place on July 20 in San Diego at the annual Comic-Con expo. There, Activision will also show upcoming games in the “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” series.

Activision Publishing registered Web domains last month suggesting the title of the new Bond game may be “GoldenEye 007: Reloaded.”

The next Bond film, which is codenamed Bond 23, is scheduled to open in theaters on November 9, 2012.

“GoldenEye” was neither the highest grossing nor the most memorable Bond movie. But the “GoldenEye 007” game resonates with many people, even today.

In the late ’90s, the four-player shooting game was part of a nightly ritual at many college dormitories and after-school meet-ups.

Rare, which created “Donkey Kong Country” and was later acquired by Microsoft, developed the cult classic, and Nintendo published it exclusively for the Nintendo 64 console.

Rare’s and Nintendo’s divorce, along with Activision becoming the exclusive rights holder to develop Bond games, has spun an elaborate web that has left the original “GoldenEye 007” landlocked. Nintendo and Microsoft have been unable to come to terms on how to redistribute the game.

Rare’s “Perfect Dark,” a futuristic spy franchise, was billed as the spiritual successor to “GoldenEye.” Several “GoldenEye” designers left Rare to form a studio called Free Radical Design, which develops the “TimeSplitters” games.

But the “GoldenEye” name, story and characters hold a special place in many gamers’ hearts. Seeing that opportunity, Activision remade the game and released “007: GoldenEye” for Nintendo’s Wii in November. Developer Eurocom replaced Brosnan’s likeness with that of Daniel Craig, the current Bond actor.

The Wii is not typically associated with first-person shooter games, and the “GoldenEye” reboot didn’t necessarily break that mold. But Eurocom has said it was satisfied with the sales.

Treyarch developed a recent Bond game, based on the “Quantum of Solace” film. Most recently, it made “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Treyarch was not tapped to make the upcoming “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” and it has not said what its next project will be.

Game industry watchers suggest the new “GoldenEye” will be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, two systems where shooting games have thrived.

Adele is back in action

Adele in Rotterdam-Paul Bergens-RedfernsAdele is back in action and has resumed the North American tour that was abruptly halted earlier this month by a bout of laryngitis. The British soul singer, whose sophomore album “21” topped the U.S. sales chart for 10 weeks, has rescheduled 14 dates she called off because of illness, and added six more to the itinerary.

She’ll make up her missed performance at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Aug. 15 and her date at the Hollywood Palladium on Aug. 17, two of 10 shows she’ll play in August, beginning Aug. 9 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The other 10 will move to October, wrapping up Oct. 21 in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The six new dates will tour stops her to Las Vegas; Atlantic City, N.J.; Durham, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Miami and Spring, Texas. Pioneering rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson, who had been slated to open most of Adele’s tour, will appear on the bill for her August dates, but not for the October leg, according to a spokesman for Sony Music, Adele’s label.

Despite the 1-million-plus first week sales of Lady Gaga’s blockbuster “Born This Way” album earlier this month, “21” remains the best-selling album of 2011 and reclaimed to the No. 1 slot weeks after “Born This Way” spent just two weeks there, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Adele’s album was bumped out of the top spot this week by “Hell: The Sequel,” the new rap EP from Eminem and Royce da 5’9”.


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Tops Celebrity 100 List by Forbes

Rank Name Pay Money
1 Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

$90 M 8 3 2 1 1
2 Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

$290 M 1 1 7 13 13
3 Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

$53 M 24 4 8 2 3
4  U2


$195 M 2 59 10 16 17
5 Elton John

Elton John

$100 M 7 18 19 28 54
6 Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

$75 M 14 6 5 40 38
7 Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

$45 M 33 14 45 6 6
8 Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi

$125 M 4 63 49 44 12
9 Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

$90 M 8 22 17 62 74
10 LeBron James

LeBron James

$48 M 29 2 6 27 20


CLICK HERE TO SEE The world 100 most powerful celebrities by forbes

‘Heavily intoxicated’ Nicolas Cage arrested on domestic abuse charge

Nicolas Cage was arrested by New Orleans police on Saturday.Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage went on a drunken tear in New Orleans’ French Quarter Friday night that ended with his arrest on several charges, including domestic abuse battery, according to a police spokesman.

It began at 11:30 p.m. when Cage, who is in the city to work on a movie, began arguing with his wife on the 600 block of Dumaine Street, New Orleans Police Officer Garry Flot said.

“He and his wife were standing in front of a residence that he insisted was the property the couple was renting,” Flot said. “She disagreed, and Cage grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her to what he believed was the correct address.”

Cage then “began striking vehicles and later attempted to get into a taxi.”

Police, who had been called by on-lookers, arrived to find Cage heavily intoxicated,” he said. They ordered the actor out of the cab, “which prompted Cage to start yelling,” Flot said.

“The officers subsequently took Cage to Central Lock-Up,” the police spokesman said.

In the mugshot released by the Orleans Parish Sheriff, an unshaven Cage stood with eyes closed.

Cage was charged with domestic abuse battery, disturbing the peace and public drunkenness, Flot said.

An Orleans Parish magistrate set his bond at $11,000 with a court date for May 31, according to the booking information online.

It also said “stay away order waived,” indicating Cage is not prohibited from being with his wife.

“There were no visible signs of injury on his wife’s arm,” Flot said.

Cage, 47, and his third wife, Alice Kim, have a 5-year-old son. His previous two marriages, to Patricia Arquette and Lisa Marie Presley, ended in divorce.

The Academy Award winner has acted in dozens of films, but is best known for his roles in “Raising Arizona” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” for which he nabbed an Oscar.


Adele (aka Sasha Carter) Resumes Her Chart Dominance

I guess nobody ever told Adelethat the secret to being a top-selling female pop star was to sing raunchy lyrics, disrobe for the public, and gyrate to the beat. The 22-year-old British pop star marked another coup this week when her sophomore album, “21,” returned to the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 chart, pushing the newly released Britney Spears album into the No. 2 spot during its second week out.

“21” is the year’s first album to claim four weeks in the top spot or to reach sales of 1 million. It’s a pretty impressive feat to accomplish within seven weeks of its release.

In a revealing cover story in Rolling Stone, Adele explained her winning formula. “I don’t make music for eyes,” she said. “I make music for ears.” Her single “Rolling In The Deep” is a true story about a relationship with an older man that went awry. In the video she calmly sits in a chair with a blank expression as she pours out her soul and a steady stream of dishes is thrown against a wall.

Anyone who has ever had their heart broken can relate to the pain that resonates in her voice. There’s no faking here, and it’s clearly the appeal that has connected with her fans.

Born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, the singer is a die-hard Etta James fan who still experiences stage fright and cried when Beyoncé paid her a huge compliment. “[She] said, ‘You’re amazing! When I listen to you I feel like I’m listening to God,'” Adele recalls. “I went out on the balcony crying hysterically.” The emotional breakdown prompted Adele to create her Sasha Carter alter-ego, a mashup of Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and June Carter.

What’s even cooler about Adele’s latest album is that it’s just getting started. There are plenty of hits. So expect more news in weeks to come.

Adele may have held her fellow pop divas out of the top album position this week, but they still managed to make news. The controversy Lady Gaga anticipated her song “Judas” would yield came true Friday with attacks from Catholic and Latino activist groups. Britney Spears confirmed that spitfire rapper Nicki Minaj would be joining her on tour. Then the “Toxic” singer showed up as a special guest on a remix of Rihanna’s “S&M.” Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne had some good news, quickly settling their $1.7 million tax debt that was exposed earlier during the week.

What a good balance this week. Kudos to Adele. We hear that Foo Fighters will be bringing on some good chart competition next week. See you then.


Akon wants to act in Bollywood movies

AkonBollywood is his ultimate goal and India like his second home, Senegalese-American rapper and singer Akon said here Friday.

The “Beautiful” singer, who landed here on his birthday Friday, will be performing in Gurgaon and Bangalore.

“Thank you everyone for having me here. I love India and I keep looking for ways to come here. You guys show more than loyalty towards my art and my career. I don’t have words to express my feelings…I hope I get many more opportunities to come here and share my talent with you. I feel like a family here. This is like a second home to me,” Akon told reporters here.

He is here for the The Venky’s Akon Live In Concert and will perform in Gurgaon and Bangalore.

“I’m waiting to get into Bollywood movies. That’s ultimately my goal. I want to do it successfully. I’m not quite sure what character (I would play), but I definitely want to do it,” said the singer, who has worked with composer Aadesh Srivastava and also sang a song for Shah Rukh Khan’s forthcoming film “Ra.One”.

“Working with Shah Rukh was an amazing experience. He opened me up to Bollywood. He made me see a whole new light and the possibilities. I enjoyed it so much that I’m trying to sneak in now,” he added.

The singer will celebrate his 38th birthday in Pune and perform before 1,200 people at a private concert in West Inn hotel in the town.

Akon is skipping a Mumbai concert this time but looks forward to performing here soon.

“India is very big, we can’t cover a lot in two days. So next time I’m going to do a tour and cover more cities,” said the singer, who was dressed in all black and had come to press conference straight from the airport.

The Venky’s Akon Live In Concert is being brought to the country by Netsurf Entertainment and B.M. Group and IVNO Events and Productions, in association with Thrive Entertainment and S. Raj Entertainment. Venky’s, the single largest poultry brand in Asia, is the title sponsor of the two concerts.

Akon says he loves Indian audiences and the culture of the country.

“Indians never have a hard time expressing themselves, so you get a great crowd here. The most I love about India is its culture. I love the fact that it is so parallel to African culture. They never forgot their history and passed it down to the generations that’s why the culture is so strong here. It’s amazing. Most cultures do not put emphasis on history. The generations do not forget their traditions and carry on the legacy.


Akon live in concert in punai,bengaluru

Buy tickets here:

India will all get a chance to be entertained by
one of the world’s most popular and celebrated Senegalese-American
singer and songwriter, Akon, the weekend of April 15th, 2011.

For the first time ever, Akon will be performing full scale concerts in India and fans going to the concerts can expect to groove to some of his renowned numbers including Beautiful, Lonely, Right Now, Dangerous, I’m So Paid, Angel and many more. Akon will be performing in 16th April in Gurgaon and 17th April in Bengaluru.

Speaking from across the globe, Akon confirmed the news: “That’s right. The wait is finally over and now for the first time ever, I’m excited to bring my live show to India. I can’t wait for my fans to join me where I’ll be performing all of your favorites and some new songs from my upcoming album, Stadium. It’s also my birthday so I have something special planned for all my fans. India get ready to party…”

The Indian edition of Venky’s Akon Live In Concert is being brought to the country by Netsurf Entertainment and Ivno Events and Productions in association with Thrive Entertainment, USA and S. Raj Entertainment USA.

Venue: Gayatri Vihar, Near Mekri Circle Gate, Bengaluru

Madras Contemporary Art Show


Madras Contemporary is a Fine Art show that features the artworks of C. Douglas, Benita Perciyal, C Krishnaswamy, Raghava K K, S. Yuvaraj, R Magesh, Abraham George & Yuvaraj Vivek. For the first time in Chennai, a show like this will be presented to art audiences and collectors. The artworks represented in this show feature a wide range of media from paintings, photographs, installations and performances. The work of each artist represents the current trends in art that is being created in Madras. Ashvita is proud to define this group as the quintessential collective of artists who represent the Madras Art Movement in this contemporary forum.

Featuring Artists : C Douglas / Benita Perciyal / C Krishnaswamy / Raghava K K / S Yuvaraj / R Magesh / Yuvaraj Vivek / Abraham George.

SRK to perform at IPL opening

Shah Rukh KhanBollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is most likely to be in Chennai today.

The actor is scheduled to perform tomorrow at the inaugural function of the current season of the Indian Premier League ( IPL). The actor is all set to rock the much-awaited opening ceremony, which will kick-start the fourth season of the cricketing league. The event has already garnered the attention of cricket-crazy fans in the country, post the re-auctioning of players.

Confirming the news, N Srinivasan of Team Chennai told TOI, “Yes, he’s performing at the event.” The opening ceremony, TOI understands, will be a high-profile ceremony with King Khan shaking a leg to some superhit filmi numbers.

Informs a source, “The actor is rehearsing in Mumbai at the moment for the big event. He will land in the city this afternoon.” All eyes are on the opening match between defending champions Chennai and Kolkata that will be played in the city on Friday after the inauguration ceremony.

Meanwhile, captain of the home team, M S Dhoni, is excited to be back in the city. “I simply cut my hair after the World Cup win,” he said, “But, considering the heat in Chennai, I think it’s a good decision!