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The Weeknd rocks the Guinness World Records with two new titles

Global singing sensation, The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye), has cemented himself a spot in the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition, setting two new titles following the debut of his second studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness. 

Released on August 28, 2015, the breakthrough album was the Most streamed album on Spotify in one year, current (unique listeners).  Between December 1, 2014 and December 1, 2015, Beauty Behind the Madness amassed an incredible 60 million listeners on the streaming service. 

The album was the number one album on the Billboard 200 and reached the top 10 in over ten countries.

Further cementing his place in record-breaking history, the 26-year-old from Toronto also earned the record title for Most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 by a solo male artist

Known for his masterful reconciliation of R&B, pop and rock, The Weeknd spent 45 consecutive weeks inside the Top 10 between March 7, 2015 and January 9, 2016. 

Mahmoud first artist from Ethiopia to perform at Carnegie Hall

Ethiopian music legend Mahmoud Ahmed, who celebrated his 75th birthday this year, will give a live concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City next month – becoming the first Ethiopian artist to perform at the world famous venue. Mahmoud is scheduled to perform at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium on Saturday, October 22nd.

Mahmoud’s performance is part of Carnegie Hall’s “Around the Globe” program.

Carnegie Hall described Mahmoud Ahmed as an artist “who blends the traditional Amharic music of the African nation with pop and jazz for and ear-opening, ecstatic experience.”

Mahmoud Ahmed is one of Ethiopia’s legends and cultural icons. He gained great popularity in Ethiopia in the 1970s and among the Ethiopians before rising to international fame.

As Allmusic notes in their highlight of his biography: “His swooping vocals, complemented by the freewheeeling jazziness of the Ibex Band (with whom he recorded his masterpiece, Ere Mela Mela), are very different from what normally is lumped into the broad expression Afro-pop.”

Civil Rights drama ‘Loving’ starring Ruth Negga to open Austin Film Festival

The highly anticipated Civil Rights drama, Loving will open the Austin Film Festival on October 13th. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the film stars Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. The duo portray the real life interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who were icons of the civil rights movement as their fight for equality led the Supreme Court to rule the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.  The critically acclaimed performances in this film has garnered well deserved attention, and the film has already cemented itself as a strong Oscar contender.

The couple from Virginia were married in June 1958, when interracial relationships were illegal.  Authorities broke into their home, arrested them, and sentenced them to a year in prison.  The sentence was then suspended under the condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia.  The couple then spent nearly a decade fighting a legal battle that ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court’s declaration that the ban of interracial marriage was unconstitutional.

East African Global Music Campus @ Goethe-Institut

Global Music Academy (Berlin) together with Jazzamba School of Music and Goethe-Institut will host the East African Global Music Campus in Addis Ababa.

The East African Global Music Campus is a training program over several years with the aim to develop a two-year East African music curriculum. This curriculum will enable the participating institutions to offer a professional training program in their countries within a larger regional music education network. The regional outreach will make it possible for students and teachers to exchange ideas, and therefore contribute to the development of the performing arts in the region.

The project of the East African Global Music Campus started in May and June 2015 when the Global Music Academy (GMA) in Berlin in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut staged a highly successful workshop tour in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. At the end of the tour, a group of four to five participants from each country was selected to take part in the training program.