REPORTS: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Pays Tribute to Brandon Rogers // Crackdown Chills Hong Kong’s Indie Music Scene // Gwen Stefani Faces Lawsuit After Fan Breaks Leg at Concert

REPORTS: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Pays Tribute to Brandon Rogers // Crackdown Chills Hong Kong’s Indie Music Scene // Gwen Stefani Faces Lawsuit After Fan Breaks Leg at Concert

The late Brandon Rogers on America’s Got Talent

It was an emotional night on America’s Got Talent on Tuesday (July 12), with a golden buzzer for a teen singing sensation and a touching tribute to a contestant who tragically died before viewers got a chance to see him take the stage. On a night when viral subway singer Mike Yung might very well have been the big headline, judge Heidi Klum finally pulled the trigger on the last golden ticket to the live rounds when she was blown away by 13-year-old Angelina Green’s cover of the Pretenders’ 1994 signature hit “I’ll Stand By You.”

Green, who said her mother is her best friend, told the judges, “I’ve been singing since forever, but I took it seriously when my parents got divorced and it was really hard for me. Music helped me so much.” The Miami teen, standing with her feet planted firmly together, then let rip a nuanced, emotional take on the Chrissie Hynde ballad about perseverance and loyalty, bringing tears to her mother’s eyes.

“I really, really loved what you just did. To me you feel like there’s an old soul inside of that little 13-year-old body, and I really, really loved it. I loved it so much that I’m going to hit the Golden Buzzer,” Klum said before unleashing the shower of golden confetti and hugging Green.

So far this season, the judges have used the golden buzzer for 16-year-old singer Christian Guardino, 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and 29-year-old deaf singer Mandy Harvey; host Tyra Banks hit the buzzer for Ukrainian dance troupe Light Balance.

The other emotional high point of the episode was when the show paid tribute to Dr. Brandon Rogers a month after the 29-year-old family medicine physician died in a car accident. “At the request of his family we would like to honor his memory by sharing his audition with you,” producers said in a statement that aired before Rogers’ appearance.

“My inspiration for becoming a doctor was kind of born out of a pretty tough experience when I was about six years old when I came home from school one day and found my mom laying in a pool of blood,” Brandon said in the taped segment explaining how he came to medicine. “We rushed her to the hospital, the doctors were like heroes. They saved her life and it made me want to be the doctor that I am today… I feel like I’m in a field where I’m actually making a difference, and there can be some tough days too. My way to cope with the stress has always been music… My patients they’re so supportive and excited. If I could find a way to combine being a doctor and medicine with music and singing that would be a dream come true.”

Viewers then saw the Virginia native’s soulful cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1995 hit “Ribbon in the Sky,” with Klum pronouncing, “the doctor is really handsome and the doctor can sing” and Simon Cowell dubbing him one of the best singers in this year’s competition so far. Producers found Rogers after they saw him singing Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee” on Instagram and after they heard of his death, Boyz II Men paid tribute to Rogers on their Instagram.

Billboard | Gil Kaufman

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One month after Brandon Rogers was tragically killed in a car crash, his ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition aired on the hit NBC show. Here’s everything you need to know about the late 29-year-old.
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4. He’s performed with Boyz II Men. According to Brandon’s Instagram page, he had the opportunity to perform with the iconic R&B group at the Mirage in Las Vegas from Jan. 20-22.

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Crackdown Chills Hong Kong’s Indie Music Scene

HONG KONG — Just after the rock band finished its set, a squad of police officers in riot gear swept into the industrial building, past the freight-elevator lobby, and through the doors of Hidden Agenda, a ground-floor music club in Hong Kong.

Shouting ensued, police dogs barked, and four musicians from Britain and the United States dialed lawyers from behind a black curtain that separated them from a bewildered audience, according to people who witnessed the episode on a recent spring evening.

“I am not a criminal,” the club’s owner, Hui Chung-wo, said he told the officers. They arrested him anyway, on suspicion of allowing foreign citizens to perform without work visas. He was detained for 22 hours, he said, and is expected in court this month.

Few indie musicians in Hong Kong were surprised by the raid. Hidden Agenda, for example, has shuttered three previous locations because of regulatory problems since 2009.

“Live houses are always closing down from lack of funds or building regulations,” said Jerry Tse, the bass player in the rap-metal band Sexy Hammer.

Policy experts say that Mr. Hui’s troubles at Hidden Agenda, the beating heart of Hong Kong’s “live house” indie music scene, illustrate how zoning and performance rules in this city of 7.4 million are so restrictive that they impede artistic expression and cultural development.

Local manufacturers mostly relocated to the nearby Chinese mainland a generation ago, turning acres of vacant factories into ideal spaces for up-and-coming bands to kick out the jams. A handful of entrepreneurs opened clubs that were lean on furnishings but full of cheap beer and youthful energy.

But many of the clubs have folded, often after violating regulations that critics say effectively criminalize most nonindustrial activities. The result is that Hong Kong’s indie bands are forever searching for places to perform — a further indignity for working-class musicians and fans in a financial hub where the night life caters largely to people on corporate salaries.

“We are not just talking about upper-class, high-class art,” Tanya Chan, a legislator from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Civic Party, said of the music at Hidden Agenda and other quasi-underground venues in the city’s industrial neighborhoods.

“I don’t see why ordinary citizens or music lovers can’t have their own place to play music,” she added. “If no such choices exist in our city, that’s a pity.”

Hong Kong has fewer than 13 small-scale live houses, mainly in industrial buildings, and seven others, including Hidden Agenda, that would be considered midsize or large, said Adrian Chow, a composer and producer who supervises the music group at the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, a government-funded advisory body.
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Read the whole article here:

[Thank you to Alex Teitz,, for contributing this article.]

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Gwen Stefani Faces Lawsuit After Fan Breaks Leg at Concert

Gwen Stefani is facing a lawsuit from a fan that broke her leg during one of the singer’s concerts. Live Nation is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

In the federal complaint filed Friday, Lisa Keri Sticklin accuses the No Doubt singer of causing a “crowd rush” at a Charlotte, North Carolina gig in July 2016 that resulted in Sticklin suffering several injuries including a broken tibia.

According to Sticklin, Stefani encouraged fans sitting in the lawn portion of the PNC Pavilion to rush into the reserved seated half of the amphitheater, Courthouse News reports.

“‘Just fill in anywhere you like! Who cares about your lawn chairs? You can get new ones,” Stefani told the crowd, the lawsuit alleges, accusing the singer of negligence.

Sticklin, who sat with friends in the reserved section, claims that she suffered the injury as the lawn patrons jumped the barricades and ropes and entered the seated portion.

“After the patron crowd rush and the resulting injury to the Plaintiff, Stefani announced through her microphone and the loud speakers throughout PNC Pavilion that ‘I got in so much trouble for telling you guys to come up here,'” the lawsuit continued.

Reps for Stefani and Stricklin did not immediately reply to requests for comment. A rep for Live Nation told Rolling Stone that the company “does not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.”

By Daniel Kreps

[If you were on the jury, how would YOU vote?]

[Thank you to Alex Teitz,, for contributing this article.]

Categories: Reports

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