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Egyptian singer jailed for insulting the Nile

An Egyptian pop singer has been sentenced to prison for suggesting that drinking from the Nile leads to a parasitic illness. It's the latest case against artists in the country. A Cairo court on Tuesday sentenced prominent Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab to six months in prison in absentia for offending Egypt. The court accused her spreading of "false news." She can appeal. The offense occurred in the United Arab Emirates in 2016 when the pop singer suggested that drinking water from the Nile would make one sick with a parasitic disease. At a concert a fan asked her to play the song, "Have You Drunk from The Nile?" Abdel-Wahab responded: "No, you'd get Bilharzia. Drink Evian, it's better!" Read more: German archaeologists help uncover ancient cemetery near Egyptian city of Minya Disparaging Egypt A video of her response then hit social media, drawing criticism and a lawsuit from an Egyptian lawyer for disparaging Eygpt and hurting the country's tourism industry. She later apologized for the comment in a Facebook posting. Bilharzia, or Schistosomiasis, is a disease caused by parasitic worms. It can be transmitted by drinking or being exposed to contaminated water. The Egyptian government has developed plans with the World Health Organization to eventually eliminate Bilharzia from its waters, including through medication programs. Tuesday's verdict comes after in December an Egyptian court sentence a female pop singer to two-years in prison for a sexually suggestive music video.

An Egyptian pop singer has been sentenced to prison for suggesting that drinking from the Nile leads to a parasitic illness. It’s the latest case against artists in the country. A Cairo court on Tuesday sentenced prominent Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab to six months in prison in absentia for offending Egypt. The court accused her spreading of “false news.” She ... Read More »

U2 frontman Bono named in Paradise Papers tax evasion leak

The megastar is known for using his name to fight for social justice, but the Paradise Papers reveal that he also owns shell companies in tax havens. U2 frontman Bono is one of the richest musicians in the world. At the G8 summit in 2007, he sang against poverty in the world, but that same year, he also invested his money in a letterbox company in the tax haven of Malta, as stated in the so-called Paradise Papers. For almost a year, 400 journalists from 67 countries have evaluated the documents that reveal the tax tricks of companies, politicians, athletes and criminals. Read more: Offshore: The legal and the not so legal Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, is one of the many prominent names that appear in the review of the Paradise Papers. His name is associated with a company called "Nude Estates Malta Limited," which invested in a Lithuanian company that used the money to develop a shopping center in the small Lithuanian town of Utena. Although that is not a crime in itself, it was also stated that the profits of the mall have been incorrectly booked. If that is confirmed to be true, it will also mean that Bono has evaded taxes. 'Gross violation of the tax law' "In my view, this is not a mistake, tax planning or tax avoidance, but a gross violation of the tax law," said a Lithuanian tax expert, Ruta Bilkstyte, after reviewing the Paradise Papers. While the Lithuanian authorities are now investigating the case, tax experts estimate tens of thousands of euros could have been misappropriated. In 2012, Bono's company obtained a new, Guernsey-based parent company, "Nude Estates I," which is said to have bought the mall for 100 pounds (€126, $131). The company has been holding Bono's shares since 2007, too. Another one of the musician's companies, "Nude Estates Limited," was also active in Germany, where it acquired a 10-story office building in Duisburg. Bono's management confirmed the singer's involvement in the company network but rejected the allegations of tax violations. Read more: Paradise Papers — what you need to know Although the musician is very rich, he has been using legal tax credits for years to shield his assets from the tax office. For instance, he moved the tax residence of his band U2 to the Netherlands because, in Ireland, his homeland, tax benefits for musicians and artists were abolished.

The megastar is known for using his name to fight for social justice, but the Paradise Papers reveal that he also owns shell companies in tax havens. U2 frontman Bono is one of the richest musicians in the world. At the G8 summit in 2007, he sang against poverty in the world, but that same year, he also invested his ... Read More »

Linkin Park releases first statement after singer’s death

After three days of silence, the remaining members of the band Linkin Park published an emotional tribute to their lead singer, Chester Bennington, following his suicide. The California rock band on Monday released its first statement in the form of a touching letter to the late singer who took his own life. "Dear Chester," Linkin Park wrote in its tribute, "You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we've seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world," the statement said. The group's remaining members - Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, Joe Hahnand and Rob Bourdo - mentioned in their statement how his "absence leaves a void that can never be filled - a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing." "We're trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place," the statement continued. Read more: Chester Bennington's death puts spotlight on suicide and mental health Chester Bennington, 41, had openly talked about his history of being sexually abused as child and his struggles with alcohol, drug abuse and depression as his band Linkin Park became popular in 2000 with their best-selling debut album, "Hybrid Theory." Linkin Park's latest album, "One More Light," was released in May and the band was due to go on tour this week. The concerts have been canceled. In the aftermath of Bennington's death, many people have been buying Linkin Park's music. "One More Light" re-entered Billboard's Top 200 album charts at No. 17. Various previous albums, including their successful debut record, have also resurged in music charts. Over the weekend, Linkin Park set up a website dedicated to Bennington with tributes by fans and resources to support people in crisis.

After three days of silence, the remaining members of the band Linkin Park published an emotional tribute to their lead singer, Chester Bennington, following his suicide. The California rock band on Monday released its first statement in the form of a touching letter to the late singer who took his own life. “Dear Chester,” Linkin Park wrote in its tribute, ... Read More »

‘Calamity Jane’ star Doris Day turns 95 – two years earlier than planned

Until this weekend, US film star Doris Day thought she would be about to turn 93 - until she discovered she's actually celebrating her 95th anniversary. Here's a look back at her career. US actress Doris Day was born on April 3, 1922, which means she is turning 95 this year, instead of 93, as she thought until recently; a copy of her birth certificate was obtained by the press agency AP. Even her foundation's website, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, reminds fans to send her wishes for her 93rd birthday, posting the Top 93 social media posts with the hashtag #DorisBirthdayWish. To this day, the former film and TV star remains committed to animal rights causes. Throughout her career, Day recorded more than 650 songs and made 39 films between 1948 and 1968, among which "Pillow Talk," "Calamity Jane," and "Move Over Darling." With her most famous hits including "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)" and "Secret Love," she kept on releasing albums at different stages of her life. The most recent one, "My Heart," came out in 2011, as she was aged 89. She has received several Lifetime Achievement Awards, such as from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Cecil B. DeMille Awards, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. Click through the gallery above to revisit Doris Day's career.

Until this weekend, US film star Doris Day thought she would be about to turn 93 – until she discovered she’s actually celebrating her 95th anniversary. Here’s a look back at her career. US actress Doris Day was born on April 3, 1922, which means she is turning 95 this year, instead of 93, as she thought until recently; a ... Read More »

Conductor Simone Young: ‘Germans adore a good discussion’

One of the first internationally successful female conductors explains how working in Germany can be initially frustrating but very rewarding in the long term - and why so few German women conductors have emerged. The American Marin Alsop, the Mexican Alondra de la Parra, the Lithuanian Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the Estonian Anu Tali have been stirring up excitement in the world of classical music in the past few years. But one of the first to crack the glass ceiling in this male-dominated profession is the Australian Simone Young. She's been professionally active in Germany for over 30 years, including 10 years as General Music Director and Opera Director in Hamburg. For the past year and a half, she's been a freelance conductor, and is in demand worldwide. Deutsche Welle: DW is soon to start a German-language television program with cultural and arts content. What do you think of that? Simone Young: I'm surprised it doesn't already exist. If I find myself in a train in England or America for example, and people are speaking German nearby, I can never resist the temptation to get involved in the conversation. Invariably, the internationally mobile Germans have a keen interest in culture. As a director of an opera house, you may have noticed, like I, that foreign critics are much kinder to new productions than German critics are. What does that say about Germans and their attitude towards the arts? It has a lot to do with the fact the arts take a very central position in life in Germany, in a way that they don't, for example, in the English speaking world. Here productions are expected to have a political commentary on current situations, or otherwise be socially relevant. A German critic comes to the performance with the expectation of being challenged, and of finding program notes revealing what was on the mind of the director. I applaud the idea that the arts should say something about humanity's current situation, that they remain alive and current and relevant, but dislike the kind of intellectual snobbishness that goes with some of this. Extrapolating on this, and drawing on your experience of working in German speaking lands, what would you say is the essence of being German? I think it's changing, but something I have always found fascinating about the Germans is that they are very politically conversant. I remember that in Australia, where I was born, you didn't talk about religion or politics in polite company! But when I first came to Germany, I was delighted and at the same time shocked by how readily my contemporaries would get into heavy conversations about politics - or about religion for that matter. I eventually realized that the idea of giving voice to your opinion is something that is very actively developed in Germany. Now, not every opinion is worth listening to. And there still is a sense here that everyone says their piece, and the one who says it loudest gets listened to. But I applaud a society that is as politically aware and as self-critical as this one. What are the kinds of messages and values that you think should be projected from Germany to the rest of the world? Or is there even a need for that? I think there is more and more a need for that. Let's put it bluntly: both with Brexit in the UK and Trump in America, I think we're moving into a time when countries are becoming very focused on their own needs and desires in a very selfishly inward-looking way, like: we'll deal with the rest of the world later. Germany carries with it, of course, the legacy and the guilt of the 20th century, and as such continues to engage with the world outside in a way that acknowledges the debts that contemporary Germany has to the rest of the world. Of course, I move in liberal circles, in that in the operatic, the symphonic, the arts world in general, you're dealing with a generally high level of education and social awareness. So I am in a little bit of a bubble. Maybe everybody's in a bubble in this increasingly polarized world. But with your intense connection to this country, do you see yourself in one way or another as a spokesperson or a representative for the German brand or German values? Actually, there are a number of very fine international Australian artists who really now have a sort of double heritage. While never denying our Australianness, our musical beings have been very much developed and enriched by our experiences in Germany. I'm quite honored to be lumped in with and described as a German conductor, for example, when I go to the States. I'm an Australian conductor, but I have very much a German style, and after all the years here, have a real affinity with the repertoire in Germany. So getting lumped in with German conductors is something I quite like, as it describes the kind of conductors whose work I admire too. How is work life in your field in Germany different from that in other countries? The tradition in Germany is highly professional. Everybody is good at what they're hired to do, but they carry no responsibility for the job of anybody else. I always say: when you come to Germany as an English speaker, the first sentence you learn is: "Es geht nicht" (That cannot be done). And the next one you get is: "Es war ja immer so …" (This is how we've always done it…) And the third one is: "Ich bin aber nicht dafür zuständig." (I'm not responsible for that). If you keep asking the questions, invariably you will end up finding and engaging with somebody who is really interesting, exciting and switched on. But it takes a little persistence. During your career, in many places you were the first woman to conduct this or that ensemble or to have this or that professional responsibility. A few more notable female conductors have emerged in the meantime. Do you see a general change in attitude, and have you personally experienced an evolution? As the makeup of symphony orchestras changed to being really fifty-fifty, there was a kind of inevitability that this would one day work through into the echelons of the conductors. Sure: I still see day-to-day ingrained, unthinking, unconscious sexism, but it's the same kind that you come across in any country. It can be as simple as turning up at a theater, asking for the key to the conductor's room and being looked at as though you're an alien. They might ask: "Why do you want the key to the conductor's room?" And you know that the thought in their mind is: "She's a woman." But you have to be pretty small to get too riled up by that sort of thing. The interesting thing is that there are very few German women coming through the system. My theory on this is that being a foreigner in Germany gives you a license to behave differently than a German woman is expected to behave. And having made the effort to come to Germany to pursue your career - now this gets into very controversial grounds, but: you don't take three years off per child to spend at home with your kids. In my case, if I and my babies were healthy, I was back at work eight weeks later. Among women in all areas in Germany - the current 25 to 35-year-olds - there's the expectation that they should be able to take 10 years out of their careers and then pick up where they left off. While that might be possible, and an enrichment in some professions, the world of conducting is still very different. It's late nights, it's weekends, it's traveling. It's not family-friendly. And I think that Australian, American, Russian and British women in this area have very different expectations. I'm not saying that the German women are wrong to expect this. I just don't think society has caught up yet.

One of the first internationally successful female conductors explains how working in Germany can be initially frustrating but very rewarding in the long term – and why so few German women conductors have emerged. The American Marin Alsop, the Mexican Alondra de la Parra, the Lithuanian Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the Estonian Anu Tali have been stirring up excitement in the ... Read More »

Patti Smith: the poet with a punk heart turns 70

An icon for over half a century, Patti Smith remains an enigma to those who try to pigeonhole her. At 70 years young, Smith continues to find poetry in unlikely places. Happy birthday to the reluctant Godmother of Punk! Some have called her the Godmother of Punk, others the Grande Dame of Alternative Rock. But what Patti Smith really is, deep down in her heart, is a poet. Her music takes second. Born on December, 30, 1946, in Chicago, Smith grew up in New Jersey together with three siblings. While her father was an atheist, her mother was a Jehovah's Witness, raising her kids to be religious. She wanted to become a teacher. During her studies, she got pregnant and had the baby, but gave it up for adoption. Then she quit her studies, and - not even 20 years old - found her way to New York's art scene where she got involved in art, drugs, parties and music. Back then, her idols were the poets Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, and the musicians Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and Jim Morrison. Poetry in a punk club In clubs and bars, Smith opened for rock bands by reciting her poems on stage. She had her first big performance in February 1971. As part of a planned poetry series, Smith recited her work for New York stars like Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Sam Shepherd and others, eventually publishing two volumes of poetry. During that time she also jammed with guitarist Lenny Kaye and keyboarder Richard Sohl. "Our songs consisted of three chords," she told the US radio magazine "Fresh Air" in 2006, "so that I could improvise on them." The three musicians kept playing around with Van Morrison's song "Gloria" for a long time until Smith decided to work in her famous poem "Oath" into that song: "Christ died for somebody's sins, but not mine (...) Christ, I'm giving you the goodbye, firing you tonight. I can make my own light shine." The reference to her mother's suffocating religiosity could not be overlooked. The birth of garage rock In 1975, the Patti Smith Group was complete. The first album, "Horses," was created with the help of producer and Velvet Underground veteran John Cale. On the cover, Smith appeared almost like an androgynous being with a wild dark mane - slim, delicate, clad in a men's shirt and jacket, and wearing a black ribbon looking like a loose tie. The album contained pure poetry, sometimes loud and uncontrolled, sometimes intense and enchanting. Smith made full use of her voice, implementing melody, rap, recitations and improvisations. "Horses" made it into the charts as the very first so-called new underground album. The magazine "Rolling Stone" included the disc in its list of 500 best albums of all time. Godmother of Punk? Reacting to Smith's wild performances, the music world put her squarely in the punk box, and even called her the Godmother of Punk. In an interview with BBC, she later said she regretted having been given all kinds of titles, like "princess of piss," or "wild rock 'n' roll mustang." She also said she and her band were never really punk. And yet, Smith definitely played a key role in punk - at least in the US. Yet the quintessence of Smith's music wasn't anarchism and nihilism, but rather the firm belief that rock 'n' roll could change the world - just as her rock heroes of the 1960s had demonstrated. Even today, "Horses" still stands for music that comes from the streets, transports dirt and feelings, and is ruthless, honest, unsparing and uncomfortable. Smith said she speaks to those who are like her - the disenfranchised, the mavericks - and tells them, "Don't lose heart, don't give up." A break after 'Frederick' The second album of the Patti Smith Group, "Radio Ethiopia" (1976), wasn't quite as successful. According to some observers, Smith was overdoing it a bit with her intensity that at times bordered on "extravagant confusion" ("Rock Rough Guide"). At the same time, though, the album was respected for its rough rock sound. In 1978, the album "Easter" followed with Smith's first big commercial hit. She released "Because the Night," with some support from Bruce Springsteen. It became her international breakthrough, and was followed by even more hits. The album "Wave" (1979) contained two famous songs - "Dancing Barefoot," and "Frederick," both lacking some of Smith's original wildness. After that, Smith's musical life came to an end - for a while, at least. With her husband Fred Smith and their children, she withdrew into family life. Once again, she wrote poems, and in 1988 she produced a record with her husband that nobody wanted to listen to. The mid 1990s were a dark period for her, as, within a few months only, she lost her husband, her best friend, and her brother. She also went broke - but was not forgotten. After all, she always continued to fascinate musicians, among them Kurt Cobain and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. So she started to perform again, here and there, as old friends started calling on her once again. And then came Bob Dylan Finally, Bob Dylan brought her back into the limelight. Smith reactivated her old band, and before they knew it they were opening for Dylan's show. The audience was thrilled. Twenty years after the release of "Horses," the band returned into the studio to produce the album "Gone Again" - a collection of somber and touching songs in memory of her deceased husband. Smith still continues to produce music today. Her wild mane has turned grey but the power of her songs hasn't diminished a bit. Whether she sings her old hits attempts to cover rock classics like "Smells like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, she remains a poet who transports her verses via music.

An icon for over half a century, Patti Smith remains an enigma to those who try to pigeonhole her. At 70 years young, Smith continues to find poetry in unlikely places. Happy birthday to the reluctant Godmother of Punk! Some have called her the Godmother of Punk, others the Grande Dame of Alternative Rock. But what Patti Smith really is, ... Read More »

Cellist Heinrich Schiff dies, age 65

One of the world's foremost cellists and a highly-regarded conductor, Schiff passed away in a Vienna hospital early Friday morning (23.12.2016). Born on November 18, 1951 in the Austrian city of Gmunden, Heinrich Schiff achieved his career breakthrough with contemporary music. Debuting in London and Vienna in 1971, he regularly performed as a soloist with a number of major orchestras in the most important music capitals and festivals in Europe, the US and Japan. His first record release in 1978 earned him the distinction of "Artist of the Year" from the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Germany's equivalent of the Grammy Awards. Ten years later he performed at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in northern Germany with Prince Charles of Great Britain in attendance. Schiff studied at the Vienna Music Academy, perfecting his performance technique under teachers including the French cellist André Navarra. In the course of his career he recorded nearly all important works of the cello repertory - from Vivaldi and Haydn to Lutoslawski and Bernd Alois Zimmermann - and worked with a number of important musicians of his day. In the late 1980s he began a second music career: conducting. He was also an instructor at the Academy of Music and Dance in Cologne, the University of Basel, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the University of Music and the Pictorial Arts in Vienna. Prize-winning recordings Schiff's recordings of Bach's cello suites and Shostakovich's cello concertos earned him distinctions including the "Grand Prix du Disque," the highest-profile French award for performances on recordings. More recent releases include a recording of duos by Bach and Ravel in collaboration with the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. Health reasons forced Heinrich Schiff to give up his activities as an instrumentalist in 2012, but he remained active as a conductor.

One of the world’s foremost cellists and a highly-regarded conductor, Schiff passed away in a Vienna hospital early Friday morning (23.12.2016). Born on November 18, 1951 in the Austrian city of Gmunden, Heinrich Schiff achieved his career breakthrough with contemporary music. Debuting in London and Vienna in 1971, he regularly performed as a soloist with a number of major orchestras ... Read More »

Report: Number of neo-Nazi rock concerts on the rise in Germany

The first half of 2016 has already seen some 98 far-right musical events in Germany, with some concerts drawing thousands of fans, reported "Die Welt." Authorities have warned that such events serve as recruitment tools. Right-wing rock concerts, far-right party meetings with musical acts, and so-called "Liederabende" (song recitals) are on the rise across Germany, "Die Welt" newspaper reported on Saturday. Already in the first six months of 2016, a total of 98 such events have taken place, the newspaper said, citing an Interior Ministry response to an information request from the Left Party. Of that total, around 40 were rock concerts and 49 "Liederabende" - where right-wing extremist singers and songwriters perform to small audiences. 'Safe haven' for the far-right scene Although the events take place all over Germany, the central state of Thuringia was the uncomfortable home to 14 events so far this year, according to data from the Interior Ministry. In fact, a right-wing music festival called "Rock gegen Überfremdung" - which roughly translates to "Rock against foreign infiltration" - is set to take place in the small Thuringia village of Kirchheim on Saturday. The migrant crisis-themed rock festival is expected to draw around 800 neo-Nazis - more than the number of inhabitants in Kirchheim, reported "Die Welt." "There is a risk that Thuringia will become a safe haven for all types of extremists, since they must feel les exposed to persecution here," Thuringia state parliament member Andreas Bühl told the newspaper. He criticized a lack of security personnel for the rise in right-wing extremism in the state. A troubling trend Compared to the first half of 2015, the number of right-wing musical events has risen sharply in the first half of this year. Between January and June in 2015, a total of 63 right-wing musical events took place. With this year's figures already up to 98 total events, 2016 is possibly on track to surpass last year's record. The number of right-wing extremist musical events taking place in Germany has hit a four-year high, reported Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV). Last year, the agency clocked 199 total musical events. However, 2016 has already surpassed last year's records. In May of this year, the largest far-right musical event in recent years took place in the Thuringian town of Hildburghausen, reported the BfV on their website. Around 3,500 visitors from Germany and some neighboring European countries traveled to the festival "Rock for Identity - Music and Speeches Against the Abolition of Germany." In comparison, the largest right-wing rock concert last year drew 650 visitors. Rock concerts as 'gateway drug' The data on right-wing musical activities goes back years, which begs the question - why keep tabs on right-wing musical activities? In its government information request, the Left Party cited "numerous studies" which prove the importance of music to right-wing extremists. They said right-wing rock music and concerts served as a "gateway drug" for newcomers and especially teenagers. The Left is not alone. On their website, the BfV says the "right-wing extremist music scene" has been under strict surveillance since the 1990s. Recent crime statistics released by the BfV show a spike in far-right violence in Germany last year, as well. The agency also noted the importance of musical events for establishing first contacts with possible new recruits and for maintaining party relationships. According to the BfV, live concerts for right-wing extremists are "a means of self-expression," a place of belonging. They are spaces to communicate not only about values, but enemies as well.

The first half of 2016 has already seen some 98 far-right musical events in Germany, with some concerts drawing thousands of fans, reported “Die Welt.” Authorities have warned that such events serve as recruitment tools. Right-wing rock concerts, far-right party meetings with musical acts, and so-called “Liederabende” (song recitals) are on the rise across Germany, “Die Welt” newspaper reported on ... Read More »

Boney M. producer Frank Farian turns 75

He was the mastermind behind Boney M., Milli Vanilli, and many other chart toppers. German music producer Frank Farian has obtained over 800 gold and platinum certifications. He turns 75 on July 18. Over the years, the German music producer Frank Farian has consistently been creating one hit after the other at a breathtaking speed. The former cook seems to know the tastes of music fans perfectly well. Although he has been achieving this through different bands, his most successful formation remains Boney M. The man who has once been nicknamed "Mr. German Hit" has also produced artists such as Meat Loaf, model and singer Yvonne Catterfield, and the infamous R&B duo Milli Vanilli. In the beginning there was rock 'n' roll Born on July 18, 1941 in Kirn as Franz Reuther, he wasn't really predestined to a career in music. He did receive a guitar when he was 12, but later started working as a trained cook in various restaurants. Why? "I was always very hungry," explains Farian. Rock 'n' roll - and more specifically Elvis Presley and Bill Hailey - then changed his life for ever. After discovering their music, he invested everything he had in equipment to play rock 'n' roll, and decided he wanted to be called Frank Farian. His first band, Frankie Boys Schatten, would do gigs for pocket money. Their self-produced album was recorded in a stable and was sold nearly 1,000 times. At the end of the 1960s, he signed a record contract as a solo musician. He turned into a pop musician and first performed on the German entertainment TV show, "Hitparade." His first big hit was "Rocky" in 1976. At around the same time, the group Boney M. was created. Disco sensation Boney M. "Daddy Cool" was Boney M.'s first major hit. Farian was the true mastermind behind this band. He had picked three women and a man from a catalog of artists for the formation, and the voice on the recordings was his own. Bobby Farrell, the "lead singer" and dancer in Boney M., simply moved his lips in sync to the songs when performing on stage. This never harmed the success of the band. They were a sensation not only in Germany, but worldwide. Boney M. had 38 Top 10 hits between 1975 and 1988 in Germany, with 15 singles reaching the top of the charts. In England, three Boney M. albums - "Mary's Boychild," "Rivers of Babylon" and "Brown Girl in the Ring" - are among the five best-selling records ever. Similar recipe: Milli Vanilli This list of bands under which Frank Farian released his songs seems practically endless and includes La Bouche, Gilla and Eruption, as well as the duo Milli Vanilli. #At the end of the 1980s, Farian created this band in the same way he did fro Boney M. Milli Vanilli's fame was tainted in 1990, when the world discovered that the band members weren't the actual singers of the songs. The scandal was somewhat surprising, considering that Boney M.'s lip-synch performances had been an open secret for years already. However, in the US, this was not something to joke about. The album "Girl You Know It's True" had been number one on the Billboard charts for seven weeks - a feat that hadn't previously been achieved by any other band from Germany. The revelation caused such a scandal that Milli Vanilli's Grammy was withdrawn and a court decided that people who had bought their albums and concert tickets could obtain a refund. The hit machine as a musical In 2006, "Daddy Cool," Frank Farian's first musical, premiered in London's Shaftesbury Theater. It includes not only hits by Boney M., but also Milli Vanilli and Eruption songs. The musical tells the story of Sunny, a young man whose whole life is music - a very autobiographical play. Frank Farian's story is far from finished. He's still successful at 75. That might be because he's so realistic about himself: "I'm a good craftsman, not a great composer."

He was the mastermind behind Boney M., Milli Vanilli, and many other chart toppers. German music producer Frank Farian has obtained over 800 gold and platinum certifications. He turns 75 on July 18. Over the years, the German music producer Frank Farian has consistently been creating one hit after the other at a breathtaking speed. The former cook seems to ... Read More »

‘Co-founder of rock and roll’: Elvis’ first guitarist Scotty Moore dies, aged 84

He helped shaped Elvis Presley's revolutionary rock sound and went on to play with greats like Bruce Springsteen. Guitarist Scotty Moore has passed away in Memphis - where his and Elvis' careers began. "As a musician, I consider him one of the co-founders of rock and roll because of the guitar licks that he invented," said James L. Dickerson, who was both Scotty Moore's friend and biographer. Dickerson confirmed that Moore had passed away Tuesday (28.06.2016) at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1954, a music producer first brought Moore, a local session musician, and the then unknown Elvis Presley together in his Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. Together with bassist Bill Black, they recorded the blues song, "That's All Right." The chemistry between the trio was perfect, with Moore's "guitar licks" complementing Presley's strumming rhythms, and the trio went on to perform numerous major hits, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Hound Dog." It was their blend of blues, gospel and country music that became known as rock and roll - and the trio's trademark. As Elvis rose from regional fame to national stardom, Moore accompanied the hip-shaking heartthrob on tour and also appeared in some of his films. 'Elvis loved Scotty dearly' Priscilla Presley, Elvis' ex-wife, said in a statement Tuesday, "Elvis loved Scotty dearly and treasured those amazing years together, both in the studio and on the road. Scotty was an amazing musician and a legend in his own right. The incredible music that Scotty and Elvis made together will live forever and influence generations to come." However, their friendship was dampened in the late 50s by what Moore referred to as "Elvis economics." In Dickerson's 1997 biography of Moore, entitled "That's Alright, Elvis," he pointed out that Presley had become a millionaire, while his guitarist had earned slightly more than $8,000 in 1956. Moore and Presley went their separate ways in the late 50s, though they teamed up again in 1968 for a television "comeback" special. Moore went on to play with a wide array of top artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck Ringo Starr and Dolly Parton, among others. "Everyone else wanted to be like Elvis, but I wanted to be Scotty," Richards told Dickerson. Born in 1931 in Gadsden, Tennessee, Moore was a World War II Navy veteran. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

He helped shaped Elvis Presley’s revolutionary rock sound and went on to play with greats like Bruce Springsteen. Guitarist Scotty Moore has passed away in Memphis – where his and Elvis’ careers began. “As a musician, I consider him one of the co-founders of rock and roll because of the guitar licks that he invented,” said James L. Dickerson, who ... Read More »

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