Plus: Randy Jackson leaving American Idol; Madonna honoured for top grossing tour; Kenny Chesney tops Billboard chart; new Star Wars to shoot in England.
The Killers to play at the first Sandance of next season
The Killers are returning to the UAE. The Las Vegas rockers will headline the next Sandance, when the festival returns after the summer break, at Atlantis The Palm on October 11. Joining them on the bill are the Icelandic indie-folk group Of Monsters and Men and the reggae legends The Wailers. Known as the original backing band for the late Bob Marley, the group continued to tour after his death and are led by Aston “Family Man” Barrett, whose bass work is heard in many of Marley’s classic hits. More acts will be announced soon. *The National staff
Kenny Chesney tops Billboard chart
The country singer Kenny Chesney landed his seventh No 1 album on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart with his latest record Life on a Rock. Last week’s chart-topper, Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved, slipped to No 2, while Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience held steady at No 3 for the fourth consecutive week. The Seattle rapper-producer duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis topped Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, which measures downloads of single tracks, for the second consecutive week with Can’t Hold Us, featuring Ray Dalton. *Reuters
Randy Jackson leaving American Idol
Randy Jackson has announced he won’t be returning to American Idol after serving 12 seasons on the show’s judging panel. The 56-year-old record producer said in a statement that he’s leaving Idol to focus on his record label. Jackson’s exit comes amid reports that the entire panel, including Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, will be replaced next season. The current 12th season concludes on Wednesday, with the 23-year-old R&B vocalist Candice Glover and the 22-year-old country crooner Kree Harrison competing for the show’s record deal grand prize. *AP
Madonna honoured for top grossing tour
Madonna will be honoured at the Billboard Music Awards this month for her 2012 MDNA tour, which included a stop in Abu Dhabi. The singer will accept the Top Touring Artist award at the Las Vegas event on May 19 for the tour. It grossed more than US$305 million (Dh1.1 billion) from 88 sold-out shows and played to 2.2 million people. *Reuters
New Star Wars to shoot in England
Filming of the new Star Wars movie will take place in England, returning the franchise to its British roots. “We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for the new movie,” said Lucasfilm’s president Kathleen Kennedy. The six previous Star Wars films were all partly filmed in the UK. The news was welcomed by the British finance minister George Osborne, who tweeted: “Great news for our creative industries. May the force be with us.” Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J?J Abrams, is scheduled to be released in 2015. *Reuters
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