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Rappers N.W.A, metal band Deep Purple to join Rock Hall of Fame

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NEW YORK California rap group N.W.A., British metal band Deep Purple and rock-pop group Chicago are among the musicians chosen to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, organizers announced on Thursday.

Singer Steve Miller, who crosses multiple genres from blues to pop, and 1970s rock band Cheap Trick will round out the five 2016 inductees, which were chosen by fans and more than 800 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Cleveland, Ohio-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.

Pop singer Janet Jackson, English progressive rock band Yes and Britain’s The Smiths were among those on the short list but who failed to make the cut this time.

N.W.A., formed by five rappers including Dr Dre and Eazy-E in the troubled Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, revolutionized the music scene in the mid 1980s with lyrics drawn from the violence, crime and anti-police sentiments that the rappers themselves experienced growing up.

They went on to sell more than 100 million albums and their story was chronicled in this summer’s hit movie “Straight Outta Compton,” which has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award.

Deep Purple, formed in England in 1968, are regarded as heavy metal pioneers thanks to their ear-splitting live shows, ground-breaking albums and flagship track “Smoke On The Water.”

Cheap Trick “display a musical consistency over almost 40 years,” Hall of Fame organizers said in a statement, while Miller, 72, has moved from blues to pop and back again, producing classic hits like “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Take the Money and Run.”

Chicago, who broke onto the music scene in the late 1960s, fused jazz and rock to produce hits like “25 or 6 to 4” and the romantic ballad “If You Leave Me Now.”

The 2016 induction ceremony will be held in New York on April 8, and broadcast later in the year on cable channel HBO.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Adler)


Source: R-HMovies

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' among AFI's best films of 2015

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LOS ANGELES “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” racked up its first award on Wednesday when the American Film Institute named it as one of the 10 best films of the year.

“The Force Awakens,” opening in theaters across the world this week, was included in a list alongside awards front-runners such as Wall Street misdeeds comedy “The Big Short” and lesbian romance drama “Carol.”

The American Film Institute’s top films of the year are selected by critics, scholars, TV and film artists and AFI trustees, and come on the heels of this year’s Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) nominations.

While “Star Wars” did not receive any Globe or SAG nominations, likely due to the fact that voters would not have seen the film, which has been shrouded in secrecy, its AFI nomination makes it a potential contender for February’s Oscars ceremony.

Awards voters often shun action-packed and special effects-laden big studio fare in favor of more dramatic and grounded stories. But this year, “Star Wars” was named on AFI’s list alongside blockbuster action film “Mad Max: Fury Road” and space adventure “The Martian.”

Other films on the list included psychological thriller “Room,” Roman Catholic Church newspaper probe “Spotlight,” Cold War drama “Bridge of Spies” and Pixar’s animated extravaganza “Inside Out” and rap biopic “Straight Outta Compton.”

The AFI also selects the year’s top 10 best television programs.

AMC’s “Breaking Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul,” Fox’s hip-hop family saga “Empire,” Netflix comedy “Master of None,” USA Network’s cyber hacker drama “Mr. Robot” and Lifetime’s “Unreal,” a fictional take on the behind-the-scenes antics of reality show “The Bachelor,” were the new shows making the list.

They were named alongside ABC comedy “Black-ish,” HBO’s medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones,” Showtime’s spy thriller “Homeland,” FX’s second season of “Fargo” and Cold War spy series “The Americans.”

Advertising drama “Mad Men,” which concluded its seven-season run this year, will receive the AFI Special Award.

Composer John Williams, known for his “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and “Jaws” soundtracks, will receive a lifetime achievement award. All the films and TV shows will be celebrated at a luncheon on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Jonathan Oatis)


Source: R-HMovies

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Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is first to sell 30 million in U.S.

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LOS ANGELES Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” is still breaking barriers more than 30 years after its release and six years after the pop superstar’s death, becoming the first album in history to cross the 30 million mark in U.S. sales, record industry officials said on Wednesday.

“Thriller,” released in 1982 and featuring seven hit singles including “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and its title track, had already crossed 20 million copies in U.S. sales by 1984 during its 112th week on Billboard’s album chart, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Its continued popularity after Jackson’s death in 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol underscores the strength of the late singer’s appeal. The King of Pop remains the biggest-selling recording artist of all time.

“RIAA has awarded gold and platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-platinum plateau,” RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Cary Sherman said in a statement.

“Thriller” has also surpassed sales of 100 million copies worldwide, according to the RIAA statement.

“Thriller” has sold more than 2.1 million units in the United States since Jackson’s death, according to Nielsen Music.

The album and its music videos, including one for the title song “Thriller” that took its inspiration from horror films and won widespread acclaim, helped the African-American singer overcome racial barriers by earning Jackson a place on MTV, which until then had overwhelmingly featured white rock acts.

The next highest-selling album of all time after “Thriller” is the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,” with sales of 29 million, according to the RIAA.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


Source: R-HMovies

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