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The Soil, new wave of South African a capella

Rhythmic and perfectly harmonised, South Africa's up-and-coming vocal trio The Soil promise to be the 21st century's answer to their countrymen Ladysmith Black Mambazo, though none of them can read a note of music. Running fast in the tracks of their forerunners, this next generation of township a capella bring their laid-back fusion of hip-hop, soul, jazz and afropop for the first time to the 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which starts Friday.

The Soil, new wave of South African a capella

Rhythmic and perfectly harmonised, South Africa's up-and-coming vocal trio The Soil promise to be the 21st century's answer to their countrymen Ladysmith Black Mambazo, though none of them can read a note of music. Running fast in the tracks of their forerunners, this next generation of township a capella bring their laid-back fusion of hip-hop, soul, jazz and afropop for the first time to the 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which starts Friday.

Opera great Fleming delivers virtuosic anthem at Super Bowl

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - Opera great Renee Fleming opened Sunday's Super Bowl NFL championship with a lyrical, flowing version of the U.S. national anthem. Backed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and a chorus of singers from all four branches of the U.S. armed forces, the soprano performed a powerful version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," showing off her range with the high notes at the "land of the free" lyric that is the song's apex and poses singers a technical challenge.

South African choir, Gipsy Kings rake in world Grammys

South African traditional choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo and flamenco fusionists the Gipsy Kings, both longtime favorites a the Grammys, on Sunday shared the award for best world music album. The Gipsy Kings were nominated for a record sixth time for the Grammy for best world music album but won the award for the first time with "Savor Flamenco." The album was the first completely written and produced by the Gipsy Kings, who come from southern France but trace their roots mostly to Spanish Roma culture.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder retires from touring

The founder of famed South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is scaling down his activities with the group at age 73, a manager said Tuesday. Joseph Shabalala, the former farmboy who started the group after the idea came to him in his dreams, has decided to take it easy, according to manager Xolani Majozi. "Because of his age -- he is now 73 -- we want him to relax a bit, not to be involved in intensive tours like now when the Mambazo are taking a three-months tour," Majozi told AFP.

Britney Spears gambles on two years in Las Vegas

Britney Spears, in the heels of such performers as Celine Dion and Elton John, late Friday opened a two-year sojourn in Sin City with a dazzling performance to a crowd of adoring fans. The former enfant terrible of US pop wowed some 4,600 fans with a stunning show at the Axis Theater at the city's Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The Grammy-winning pop songstress was hired to perform her new spectacle, titled "Piece of Me," 50 times a year in 2014 and 2015.

Swiss eye national anthem switch

Likened to a weather forecast crossed with a church hymn, Switzerland's national anthem could be binned in favour of a new version if campaigners get their way. Too heavy on God and Alpine vistas, the anthem fails to reflect today's values and has never been etched into the national psyche, critics say. "Nobody knows the words! Anyone who tells you they do is a liar. Or else we manage the first few and afterwards we go 'la, la, la'," said Pierre Kohler, president of the jury holding an unofficial competition to choose a new anthem.

Swiss eye national anthem switch

Likened to a weather forecast crossed with a church hymn, Switzerland's national anthem could be binned in favour of a new version if campaigners get their way. Too heavy on God and Alpine vistas, the anthem fails to reflect today's values and has never been etched into the national psyche, critics say. "Nobody knows the words! Anyone who tells you they do is a liar. Or else we manage the first few and afterwards we go 'la, la, la'," said Pierre Kohler, president of the jury holding an unofficial competition to choose a new anthem.

O Canada? Singers at NHL and junior hockey games flub anthem

TORONTO - The Canadian national anthem has had a rough 24 hours at the hockey rink. First, it endured an unexpected makeover before Wednesday night's game between the Winnipeg Jets and New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. American anthem singer Jill Schackner changed some of the words to "O Canada," replacing the line "We stand on guard for thee" with "God sheds his grace on thee," a line from "America the Beautiful." The lyrics to "O Canada" were prominently displayed on the Nassau Coliseum scoreboard at the time.

Katy Perry shows vulnerability, maturity on new album 'Prism'

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer Katy Perry has shed her cotton-candy pop image and reveals a vulnerability and maturity on her new album "Prism," which she said reflects changes in both her personal life and her music. "Prism," released on Tuesday, is Perry's fourth studio album and the follow-up to 2010's phenomenally successful "Teenage Dream." It is also the first album since the 28-year-old singer split with her husband, British comedian Russell Brand, in December 2011.
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