New Michael Jackson gets airing

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A new Michael Jackson song has been released, the first since the ‘King of Pop’s’ death.

The single ‘This is it’ features backing vocals by two of the star’s brothers, but it is not known when the track was written and recorded.

In London, devoted fans waited overnight to get their hands on the new CD.

“This is the first ever premier of the new song they are going to show it for the first time. I thought I want to be a part of history and I’m really excited to be one of the first people to hear it,” one fan said.

Jackson’s album, also called ‘This is it’, goes on release later this month.

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Beatles Masters Degree course offered in Liverpool

They are arguably the biggest band in the history of popular music and now you can study how the Beatles took the world by storm!

euronews channel-The Fab Four’s hometown of Liverpool is proud of John, Paul, George and Ringo. And, at Liverpool Hope University, a Masters degree on the Beatle’s music and influence is being hailed as the first of its kind in the world.

“I, to my knowledge, am the first person coming over from Canada to take this,” said Mary-Lu Zahalan, who is on the MA course.

Fellow student George Burton from Scotland plays and sings in a 1960’s inspired band. He believes an academic look into the Beatles phenomenon was “probably long overdue.”

Pop music in general and its effects on society since the sixties are also on the syllabus but mastering the Merseyside moptops’ magic is, of course, the main attraction.

Havana ‘peace’ concert sparks controversy

Half a million people are expected to fill Havana’s Revolution Square on Sunday for a concert that is supposed to be about peace, but has become another front in the war of words between Havana and the Cuban exile community in Miami.

Colombian musician Juanes, a winner of 17 Grammy awards, has worked with Cuba’s communist authorities to put together the event in which he and 14 other musical acts from six countries will play for free for the Cuban masses.

Anti-communist Cuban exiles in Miami have pilloried Juanes, accusing him of pandering to the Cuban government. Juanes lives on Miami’s exclusive Key Biscayne.

Miguel Bose from Spain, Olga Tanon from the U.S. Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico, Jovanotti from Italy and Silvio Rodriguez and Los Van Van from Cuba are part of the lineup mostly made up of Spanish-language stars.

Juanes has said the point of his “Peace Without Borders” concert is not political, but to encourage “hope and dreams.”

“I am not a communist. I am not aligned with the government,” he told the Miami Herald newspaper.

“Our only message is one of peace, of humanitarianism, of tolerance, a message of interacting with the people.”

Many in Miami’s Cuban exile community do not buy it. They assert that Juanes is helping legitimize a Cuban government they have never forgiven for turning the Caribbean island into a communist state.

Last month, an exile group called Mambisa Watch staged a small protest against the concert on Calle Ocho, the main street of Miami’s Little Havana. They burned a black T-shirt, referring to a popular Juanes song called « The Black Shirt, » and they smashed CDs of his music with hammers.

The group said this week it will return to Calle Ocho on Sunday with a steamroller to crush CDs of musicians who take part in the Juanes concert.

Even some of the city’s most ardent foes of the Cuban government chastised the Calle Ocho protest, saying it looked like something communists or Nazis would do. They complained that it had made the exile community in general look bad.

It did not help that police had to put a watch on his home after he received a death threat on his Twitter account.

‘Great publicity coup’

The turmoil in Miami has had the opposite effect of what was likely intended. It has generated greater interest in the concert and been a bonanza for the Cuban government.

More than 160 foreign journalists have been accredited to cover the event, the Cuban government said, and it will be shown on television or the Internet for anyone in the world who wants to pick up the signal from satellite.

“This has been a great publicity coup for Juanes. In the past few days I’ve seen a range of Washington policy wonks and aging exile leaders discussing Juanes, and I’m pretty sure most of them had never heard of him before this,” said Dan Erikson at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington.

“The (Miami) protesters have handed the Cuban government a small propaganda victory on a silver platter,” said Phil Peters of the Lexington Institute think tank in Arlington, Virginia.

The concert, which follows performances in Havana this summer by Britain’s Royal Ballet and precedes an expected appearance in the Cuban capital by the New York Philharmonic orchestra next month, comes as U.S. President Barack Obama is trying to patch up long-broken U.S.-Cuba relations.

Obama has made some moves to lift curbs on family travel to Cuba by Cuban Americans and on remittances sent by them. But Havana chided the U.S. president this week for not doing more to end the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the island.

Even a number of Cuban dissidents have backed the Juanes show. A group of 36 current and former political prisoners in Cuba arrested in a 2003 crackdown put their names to a statement saying the concert “is a great opportunity to advance reconciliation between all Cubans and to leave behind the hatreds that for many years have poisoned our homeland.”

In an announcement about the concert, which will mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace set for Monday, Cuba’s government urged everyone who comes to wear white “as a symbol of peace.” And the government assured that all those involved had agreed the concert “will have no political messages of any kind.”

One dissident, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, said the Miami opponents were not completely wrong when they said the Cuban government would use the concert to burnish its image.

“They want to manipulate this activity for their propaganda,” he said. “(But) we are (supporting the concert) because hate is a weapon of totalitarianism.”

‘Thriller’ breaks records on Jacko’s birthday

Despite his death, Michael Jackson’s music continues to break records and inspire fans around the world. On what would have been the star’s 51st birthday, Mexico City staged the biggest-ever performance of the 1982 smash hit “Thriller”.
As many as 12,937 dancers performed together, crushing the previous record of just 242 Jacko-alikes, set in America last April.

The King of Pop’s birthday was celebrated around the world, with London among the many capitals showing Jackson’s music lives on.

In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the same notes rang out as two and a half thousand Parisian fans celebrated Jackson’s life. There was also a minute’s silence in memory of a man who revolutionised music and dance.

All corners of Planet Pop took part in what is probably the biggest birthday celebration in music history. Russian fans joined in, turning Moscow into an impromptu stage. Jackson’s death has been ruled homicide, and Los Angeles police are considering whether to send the case to court. Jackson died on June 25th, and will be buried later this week.

Oasis: What’s the story, Morning Glory?

The music world has been rocked by the latest crisis to hit the band Oasis. They failed to appear at a concert in Paris last night, and then co-founder Noel Gallagher announced on the band’s website that he had quit. He apologised to fans who had bought tickets for upcoming Oasis shows, but said he could no longer work with his volatile younger brother Liam.

Throughout their career, Oasis made headlines as much offstage as on. The brothers have fallen out regularly, and the end of Oasis has been on the cards for years. Last night’s no-show in Paris was possibly the final discordant act in a band increasingly hitting the wrong notes.

They say it’s not over til the fat lady sings. Well, there is no fat lady in Oasis, but Noel Gallagher seems to have taken on that role, and his announcement may have brought the curtain down on a band once compared to the Beatles.