THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

George Michael shelves UK shows due to pneumonia

Singer George Michael has cancelled the remaining dates of his tour because of ill health, his publicist has confirmed.

The 48-year-old was admitted to hospital in Vienna on Monday and is being treated for "severe" pneumonia.

His publicist added that the singer is "responding to treatment and slowly improving".

Discussions are under way about rescheduling the remaining 14 dates that have been put off.

The star's spokeswoman said in a statement: "George Michael is ill with pneumonia and any other speculation regarding his illness is unfounded and untrue.

"He is receiving excellent medical care, he is responding to treatment and slowly improving.

"To ensure his complete well-being, George Michael's doctors have advised that he cannot perform the rest of his Symphonica tour and that he instead takes a full and complete rest."

The former Wham! singer kicked off his European tour in Prague in August.

It was originally meant to include 47 concerts. He was due to bring the tour to the UK on Saturday, with dates continuing until 19 December.

Professor Dr Christoph Zielinski and Professor Dr Thomas Staudinger of the Vienna hospital where the musician is being treated said: "George Michael has severe community acquired pneumonia and is being treated as an inpatient.

"His condition has stabilised and he is responding to treatment.

"From the current point of view, the time until recovery cannot be estimated, but he will not be able to perform the rest of the tour. Besides medical treatment, complete rest and peace and quiet are mandatory."

In October, a viral infection caused Michael to pull out of a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, following advice from doctors. BBC.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taylor Swift wins big at American Music Awards

Country sensation Taylor Swift came up the big winner at the American Music Awards yesterday, claiming three trophies including the top honour, artist of the year.

She tied for most wins with British singer Adele, who also earned three trophies for female pop artist, best album with smash hit “21” and top adult contemporary performer.

But Adele, who came into the awards show as the most-nominated singer with four nods, lost artist of the year to Swift, who seemed genuinely surprised by the upset victory.

“This is one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me,” Swift said. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to say. I did not think this was going to happen.”

Along with year’s top artist, Swift claimed AMA trophies for favourite female country artist for the second straight year, and she nabbed best country album with her “Speak Now”.

Adele, who is recovering from vocal cord surgery, was not on hand to accept her awards.

Rapper Nicki Minaj was the night’s other big winner with two AMAs in the rap or hip-hop category: favourite artist and best album for her “Pink Friday.”

Minaj opened the show singing her smash hit single “Super Bass” in a metallic outfit that had two large speakers on her bottom, and after winning best hip-hop album for “Pink Friday” was overcome with emotion.

“This one could actually make me cry,” Minaj said onstage before wiping away tears. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

Elsewhere, the AMA awards were split among numerous acts.

Rounding out the country awards with Swift were Blake Shelton for best male artist and Lady Antebellum best group.

Maroon 5 picked up the honour for best pop or rock group behind current hit “Moves Like Jagger,” and Bruno Mars rounded out the pop category with an AMA trophy for best male artist.

Among R&B acts, Rihanna grabbed best album with “Loud,” winning over ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and his “F.A.M.E.” Usher was named favourite R&B male artist and Beyonce best female.

Finally, the Foo Fighters earned top alternative rock band, Jennifer Lopez was the top Latin artist, and Casting Crowns won for best contemporary inspirational act.

While awards are the major focus, the show brings out top acts to perform. Lopez put on two crowd-pleasing acts, one solo and the other with Black Eyed Peas frontman

Justin Bieber with his holiday song “Under the Mistletoe,” had fans singing in the audience, and Enrique Iglesias with his anthem “I Like How it Feels” had them hopping to the beat.

Marc Anthony and Pitbull also rocked the crowd, and the show ended with LMFAO singing from their “Party Rock” album, dancing with Bieber, and stripping to their underwear.

The AMA awards is among the most widely watched of the annual US musical honours at the end of each year. Next up on the list of key honours are Grammy nominations, which will be announced on November 30. — Reuters