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Satisfying mix of feel-good tunes from Kris Allen

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ALLEN. His music conveys contentment.

You can’t blame singers for coming up with unconventional ways to drum up interest for their new albums: Two years ago, to promote “Thank You, Camellia,” Kris Allen invited his followers to an impromptu concert at the Santa Monica pier with a cryptic tweet: “Who wants to go to the beach and watch some guy play a couple of tunes? Hear he’s OK.”

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Stars willing to risk opinions on Gaza clash

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2013 file photo, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz poses for photographers as she arrives for the UK Premiere of "The Counselor," in London. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean at the pro-Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, believes comments like those issued by 100 Spanish citizens, including Cruz and her husband, the director Pedro Almodovar, and Javier Bardem, in a letter accusing Israel of genocide are irresponsible. "My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza," Cruz stated. AP

    When director Jonathan Demme was approached to show support for all victims of the conflict in Gaza, he didn’t hesitate to sign on. Actor Wallace Shawn is willing to put up with jeers on the street for his opinions about the violence. And Mark Ruffalo is determined to air his views about the [...]

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Review: Sia, writer for Rihanna, Beyonce, shines

This CD cover image released by RCA Records shows "1000 Forms of Fear," by Sia. AP

Since Sia’s last album, 2010′s top-notch “We Are Born,” the performer has written songs for Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry, co-starred on hits with David Guetta and Flo Rida, and achieved her first solo U.S. success with the Top 20 hit “Chandelier.”

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Chris Brown admits probation violation, sentenced

Chris Brown, appears in court Friday May 9, 2014 in Los Angeles. Brown on Friday admitted a probation violation over an altercation last year outside a hotel in Washington, D.C., and was sentenced to remain on probation and serve an additional 131 days in jail. AP

Chris Brown on Friday admitted a probation violation over an altercation last year outside a Washington, D.C., hotel and was sentenced to remain on probation and serve an additional 131 days in jail.

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Protean musicality boosts Shakira’s latest album

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SHAKIRA (WITH RIHANNA, BELOW). Her music has as much soul as it has chart-topping spectacle

Shakira’s self-titled 10th studio collection—which debuts at No. 2 on Billboard 200 this week (her highest charting album to date)—gathers seemingly disparate elements that coalesce into a coherent fusion of themes, genres, eloquent singing and radio-hooking melodies.

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