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Estefan musical sets Broadway plans Swift to release first pop album

 NEW YORK, Aug 19,  (Agencies): Taylor Swift is saying goodbye to country music, for now: The singer says she’s releasing her first full-length pop album on Oct 27. The 24-year-old revealed in a livestream via Yahoo! on Monday that “1989,” named for her birth year, is her “first documented official pop album.” The first single is the upbeat jam “Shake It Off,” which she debuted during the livestream and was released Monday. She danced happily in a cropped white top and skirt with the audience as the song played. Swift called her upcoming fifth album a “rebirth.” “We made the most sonically cohesive album I’ve ever made,” she said of “1989,” which was available for pre-order on Monday. Swift’s last effort was 2012’s “Red,” which sold 1.2 million copies in its first week. Swift said she was mainly inspired by late ’80s pop music when recording “1989” over the past two years. “I woke up every day ... not wanting, but needing to make a new style of music than I made before,” she told the audience. The singer also premiered the music video for “Shake It Off” during the livestream. The song was produced by Max Martin and Shellbeck, who helmed the Swift hits “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”

The Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan musical “On Your Feet!” has locked in its Broadway timeline, with a Chicago tryout planned for next summer ahead of a November opening at Broadway’s Marquis Theater.
The production, directed by Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots”), has given itself plenty of runway to build awareness . The project was announced earlier this year and, having set dates and venues more than a year out from its Broadway opening, will initially try to grab attention with open casting calls via YouTube submissions as well as auditions in Miami (where the Estefans launched their careers) and New York.
Musical will chart the lives and music-world success of the Estefans, with a score drawn from familiar tunes (“Get on Your Feet,” “Conga,” “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”) as well as music the two will write for the show. The title potentially stands to tap the broad international demo of Latino theatergoers who turned out for Ricky Martin’s run in the 2012 revival of “Evita.” “On Your Feet” runs June 2-July 5 at Chicago’s Oriental Theater, prior to a Broadway run that begins previews Oct 5, 2015, and opens Nov 5.
 A Nevada judge has closed a criminal case against Flavor Flav, after she was told the 55-year-old rapper and reality TV star completed a required domestic violence counseling course.
The entertainer, whose legal name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr, wasn’t in court Monday when attorneys Kristina Wildeveld and Dayvid Figler filed final documents in the October 2012 case.
Drayton pleaded guilty in April to attempted battery and battery constituting domestic violence, misdemeanors, for wielding a kitchen knife during a home argument with his longtime girlfriend’s 17-year-old son.
Prosecutors dropped felony assault and child endangerment charges that could have gotten Drayton up to 12 years in prison. He served probation and underwent counseling.
Drayton still could face separate charges in New York stemming from a Jan 9 speeding arrest on Long Island.
The Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill pleaded to be released from jail Monday to resume his music career and support his son and 30-person entourage, but the judge who jailed him on a parole violation last month was unmoved. She ordered the 27-year-old to take anger management classes for what prosecutors called a parole office “tantrum” over travel restrictions, and a Twitter rant aimed at a parole officer and prosecutor. “I wanted him to be able to grow and get to the next level (of his career),” Common Pleas Judge Genese Brinkley said. “But I can’t do that with him thumbing his nose at me.” Mill, born Robert Williams, has been on probation for about five years following a 2009 drug and gun case conviction, for which he served about a year of house arrest. He has since emerged as a gifted rapper who has been tapped to perform with Jay-Z.
But his career has been interrupted the past two years by what he considers an increasingly fraught relationship with a new parole officer. “We never clicked 100 percent,” Mill said Monday, his voice sounding ready to crack. He has not committed any new crimes while on probation, but was flagged this year after failing a drug test and appearing to use a gun in a music video. Defense lawyer Dennis Cogan said Mill had a prescription for the OxyContin after spraining his ankle, and said the video prop was a water pistol. He also said his client’s tweets, however unwise, were protected free speech.
“You never said, ‘As a condition of probation, you can’t speak outside the courtroom about the district attorney or the probation officer,’” Cogan argued to the judge. He has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene and grant bail. A prison official, a music promoter and a professor of race relations spoke on Mill’s behalf Monday, and spoke of the difficulty of growing up fatherless — Mill’s father was killed when he was young — and staying out of the crosshairs of the parole system.
“It’s not set up for a man to win in society — a black man,” said local music promoter and mentor Charles Alstin, known as Charlie Mack. Mill, lean, lanky and baby-faced, has been kept in protective custody at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, but complained Tuesday that his neighbors on the high-security block are rapists and murderers. He also questioned whether he would be able to take the required anger management class there. Brinkley said she had called the warden last week about the plan. She agreed to rescind her protective custody order, but warned Cogan “if something happens ... it’s going to be on you.”
Mill released his debut album, “Dreams & Nightmares,” in late 2012. The album’s launch party was delayed when Mill and three others — including an Atlantic Records executive and a police officer friend — were stopped in a Range Rover and detained by Philadelphia police for several hours. No drugs were found and no charges filed. Meek sued the city over the arrest, but a mostly-white federal jury in Philadelphia this spring rejected the civil rights lawsuit.

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