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Michael beats Minogue in UK album chart battle Rolling Stones plan Paris gig after postponing tour Down Under

LONDON, March 24, (Agencies): Singer George Michael racked up his seventh British number one album on Sunday as “Symphonica” took top spot in the charts, beating off competition from Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue, the Official Charts Company said. Michael’s first new album in nearly 10 years outsold Minogue’s “Kiss Me Once” by 20,000 copies in a battle between two artists with a record of British chart success stretching back to the 1980s.

Last week’s number one album, Elbow’s “The Take Off And Landing of Everything”, drifted to fifth place, while Paloma Faith’s “A Perfect Contradiction” fell to fourth from second. Pharrell Williams’s “G I R L” held its place at number three. Duke Dumot and Jax Jones claimed top spot in the singles chart with their newly released dance track “I Got U”. Route 94’s “My Love” clung onto second spot while John Legend rose three places to number three with “All Of Me”. Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” slipped one spot to fourth, while last week’s number one, “Tsunami” by Canadian duo Dvbbs and Miami DJ Borgeous, featuring London MC Tinie Tempah, dropped to fifth place.

The Rolling Stones Sunday said they will play Paris’ Stade de France in June for the first time since 2007, after postponing a tour Down Under due to the death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend. The British band will play a single gig in France’s national stadium in Paris on June 13 as part of their 14 On Fire tour, according to a statement from their French promoter.

The Stones already have a string of dates planned across Europe for June, including in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. Their promoter said Sunday several more European concerts would shortly be announced for May, June and July. The news comes after the Stones postponed their tour of Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday after the shock death of Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott. The grieving frontman is being comforted by his daughters in Los Angeles after the former model turned fashion designer was found hanged in her luxury apartment on Monday.

A collection of John Lennon’s drawings and manuscripts is going up for auction. The “You Might Well Arsk” sale of the late Beatles’ material is scheduled to take place June 4 in New York, Sotheby’s said. The items are being put up for sale by Tom Maschler, who had worked with Lennon on “In His Own Write” and “A Spaniard in the Works.” Lennon wrote the books and created the drawings for them in the 1960s.

Among the items in the auction is a manuscript from 1965 called “The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield,” which is expected to sell for $40,000 to $60,000. Another is an illustration of a guitar player with four eyes, which Lennon created in 1964 or 1965. It has a presale estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. The auction comes in a high-profile year for Beatles nostalgia. Fifty years ago, in February 1964, the Beatles made their first live US concert appearance. A piece of the stage backdrop will be up for auction April 26 in New York City. Lennon was fatally shot in 1980 by Mark David Chapman, who has been denied parole seven times.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin is bringing his expertise to NBC’s music competition show “The Voice.” The network said Martin will participate in the “battles” round that begins March 31, advising singers on vocal technique and stage presence. The singers are vying for the attention of their team coaches, who must decide who gets to move on in the show. “The Voice” has established itself this season as the most popular of the music shows, eclipsing the long-running champ “American Idol” on Fox. The guest role is good promotion for Martin and Coldplay, which is releasing a new album in May.

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