Keys says troubles led to her success
R&B singer Alicia Keys is enjoying a successful worldwide tour, a chart-topping album and will act in an upcoming movie, but it might not have happened, she said, were it not for a near breakdown two years ago. Keys, whose current hits include "No One," is in the middle of her "As I Am" tour. The new "As I Am" album debuted on record charts at No. 1 and has sold over 3 million copies.
The recent Hollywood writers' strike tipped California into a recession, resulting in a loss of US$2.1 billion to the state economy and costing 37,700 jobs, the Milken Institute said in a research report. The report, issued by the economic think tank on Thursday, takes on increasing importance as the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood's major movie studios are embroiled in their own contract talks that threaten to throw the industry into another work stoppage as soon as the SAG contract expires on June 30.
James in L.A. show
Reunited British rock band James, who enjoyed cult success in America during the early '90s, played their first U.S. concert in Los Angeles on Friday since ending a lengthy hiatus last year. The hourlong gig at Spaceland, a 260-capacity club near Hollywood, showcased a handful of tunes from James' new album "Hey Ma," including the anti-war title track.
Van Halen reunion
Despite a wobbly start and fears of imminent implosion, Van Halen said on Thursday its first tour with singer David Lee Roth in two decades grossed more than US$93 million, a record for the rock band. Van Halen played to nearly one million people during 74 arena shows throughout the United States and Canada, beginning September 27 in Charlotte, N.C. and wrapping Tuesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Hundreds of cyclists rode nude through Spain's main cities to promote environmentally friendly transport and to call for cycle lanes to be put in place.
Organizers say streets "have been hijacked by private cars" making them "hostile, dangerous places".