Vietnamese singer makes first round for 2014 Grammy Awards

A song by emerging local singer Ha Okio has been chosen for the first round list of the 2014 Grammy Awards. Ha's song "Your heart" has been chosen for the first round list in the Category "Best Pop Solo Performance." Though the song stands little chance of entering the Grammy's Top 5, Ha considers it a notable achievement and source of encouragement to his and other local singers' bid to enter the global market. To be eligible for the list, a song must meet two requirements: it was previously released in the US, and nominated by one member of the Grammy jury. The "Your Heart" single, released last year, is in the style of urban R&B. Its lyrics revolve around relationships in our modern society, packed with plans and worries as well as dreams and aspirations. Ha's latest single is titled "Everybody has a choice." Like his previous songs which focus on social issues, it conveys a positive message for his audience: "Make sure your choice in everything is worthy." The song was … [Read more...]

Online film fest kicks off in major cities

YxineFF, an online short film festival, kicked off its new season simultaneously in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang on April 23. The event is also scheduled to begin at the L'Auditorium Paris on May 14. During its opening in HCMC, audiences were given the chance to watch two of the short films which took part in last year's fest, namely "Duc Nguoi" (Molding Humans), a 15-minute cartoon which was adapted from a local fairy tale and made by Ngo Buu Nguyen and Ta Thanh Huy, and "Truc Nhat Voi Thu Ky" (On Duty with Thu Ky), an 18-minute film by young director Do Quoc Trung. Themed "Everybody has a Choice," this year's fest sends a reminder of the copyright ownership of all songs used in the contending films. YxineFF 2013 begins taking films from April 10 to July 10, with the international prizes being the most important category. Those interested can take a look at for detailed information. … [Read more...]

2013 YxineFF jury announced

(VOV) -Director Charlie Nguyen, actresses Tang Thanh Ha and Ngoc Hiep and camera Ly Thai Dung will join the jury of the fourth annual online international short-film festival, 2013 YxineFF. Yxine Film Festival screens local independent film-makers' flicks The event, themed Everybody Has a Choice, aims to encourage young film makers to express their love for cinema and pursue their career despite facing numerous difficulties. They can post their works, each in less than 60 minutes, to compete in four different categories, for international, regional, panoramic and close-up awards, from April 10-July 10. The opening ceremony will be held on September 9 and the awards ceremony in December this year. The number of online film viewers jumped rapidly from 1 million in 2010 to over 2.5 million in 2012. … [Read more...]

Grammy Awards: Sam Smith wins four prizes

British soul singer Sam Smith has won four Grammy Awards in the US, including the prestigious prizes for record and song of the year and best new artist. Smith was rewarded for being the only solo artist to sell more than a million albums in both the UK and US in 2014. Pharrell Williams, Beyonce and Rosanne Cash, daughter of country legend Johnny, won three awards each. Beck won two, including best album. Other British winners included Clean Bandit with Jess Glynne and Aphex Twin. Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney were among those performing at the Los Angeles ceremony. But the night belonged to Sam Smith, who has cemented his place as one of pop's biggest stars just nine months after the release of his debut album In the Lonely Hour. Earlier, he said: "Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try to get my music heard... I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was when I started to be myself that the music … [Read more...]

Brad Pitt ‘prankster’ Vitalii Sediuk gets restraining order

A Ukrainian TV prankster who allegedly hit Brad Pitt at a red carpet film premiere has been handed a restraining order to keep him away from the star. Vitalii Sediuk was arrested and held on $20,000 (£12,000) bail after Pitt was struck at the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film Maleficent on Wednesday. Pitt's legal team requested the emergency five-day restraining order, Los Angeles Police told Reuters. Mr Sediuk is known for pranking stars like America Ferrera and Will Smith. He worked for Ukrainian TV station 1+1 until being fired several weeks ago. Mr Sediuk was reportedly seen jumping over a barrier, hugging and then striking the star, knocking off his sunglasses. The 25-year-old was wrestled to the floor by bodyguards before being led away in handcuffs. Pitt was unhurt. The restraining order could be extended for a month if the actor petitions a civil judge, Los Angeles Police Sgt Albert Gonzalez told the Associated Press (AP). Mr Sediuk's, attorney, Anthony Willoughby, told … [Read more...]

Singer Ha Okio appears in PETA’s ad

Singer Ha Okio will be representing the new campaign for the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific. Singer Ha Okio The singer appears in a cage quoting, "Put yourself in the animal's shoes. Become a vegetarian" in an advertisement by PETA. The campaign promotes vegetarianism as a way to help animals, derail pollution, and climate change. Ha Okio, Ho Quynh Huong, first runner-up of Miss Vietnam Ethnic 2010 Truong Thi May, and actor Dai Nghia and international stars such as Maggie Q, Paul McCartney, Jason Mraz and Bill Clinton has been named Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific. Ha's song "Your heart" has been chosen for the first round list in the Category "Best Pop Solo Performance" at the 2014 Grammy Awards. He is the first Vietnamese artist to take part in the world's prestigious music award. … [Read more...]

Macklemore & Lewis lead Grammy Award winners

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Jay-Z and Daft Punk are among the stars vying for glory at the prestigious Grammy Awards.Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a total of seven nominations.The Los Angeles ceremony is the biggest night in the US music calendar.Hip-hop duo Macklemore and Lewis were among the early winners, picking up four awards - best new artist plus best rap album, song and performance.Daft Punk and Justin Timberlake have won three prizes each so far, while Sir Paul McCartney has two. Rap giant Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations.Many of the 82 winners were named at a preliminary ceremony before the main televised event. They included Adele's James Bond theme Skyfall, which won the prize for best song written for visual media.It has been a good night for British veterans, with Sir Paul McCartney taking the trophies for best music film and best rock song.The former Beatle won best rock song for Cut Me Some Slack, a collaboration with the surviving members of Nirvana.It … [Read more...]

Universal recognition

Singer songwriter Ha Okio (left) has entered the ballots for the 2014 Grammy nominations while Tran Hai Chau (right) has signed a recording contract with Universal Music Group after winning the Vietnamese version of the Ducth TV show 'The Winner Is.' Photos by Doc Lap With Vietnam adapting many international singing contests over the past couple years, the audiences have expected their idols to get global recognition as well. Such expectations were not realized, leaving proposed deals with foreign producers or music channels hanging. Then Tran Hai Chau inked a contract with the largest American music corporation Universal Music Group. She signed a record deal with Universal Asia after winning the "The Winner Is" contest last August, earning the top cash prize of VND630 million (US$30,000) as well. And with her colleague Ha Okio just entering the Grammy ballots and her predecessor My Tam becoming the Southeast Asia's nominee for MTV Europe Music Awards, insiders are hoping the … [Read more...]

Adele wins best pop solo performance Grammy

British songstress Adele won the Grammy for best pop solo performance, the first award handed out during the main event on the music industry's biggest night of the year. Adele poses with her award for Best Pop Solo Performance for "Set Fire To The Rain" at the Staples Center during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013. The 24-year-old singer, who swept the board with six Grammys at last year's awards show, took the prize for a live rendition of her hit "Set Fire to the Rain." "My good luck charm, J-Lo," she said as she accepted the award from Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. "This is amazing. I wanted to come and be part of the night. I loved it last year, obviously," she added. Last year she won best song, best record, best album for her breakthrough "21," best short video, best pop album and best pop artist, winning all six categories in which she was nominated. Indie pop band fun. won best song for "We Are Young," one of six categories in which they … [Read more...]

fun. win best song Grammy for ‘We Are Young’

Indie pop band fun. won best song Grammy for "We Are Young", one of six categories in which they were nominated at music's biggest awards show.   fun. receive their Grammy for Song of the Year at the StaplesCenter during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2013. - Photo: AFP   The New York group are also shortlisted for the three other top categories of best record, best album and best new artist, as well as best pop vocal album and best pop duo/group performance. Their beaten rivals in the best song category were Ed Sheeran for "The A Team", Miguel for "Adorn", Carly Rae Jepsen for "Call Me Maybe" and the songwriters of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You.. " The band topped Grammy nominations announced in December. If they were to win all four of the major categories, it would mark the first such achievement in more than 30 years, according to The New York Times.   British songstress Adele won the Grammy for best pop solo performance, the … [Read more...]

Foo Fighters and Adele winning big at Grammys

The Foo Fighters captured five Grammys and Adele won four, including the song of the year trophy for "Rolling in the Deep," at a Grammy ceremony that had the difficult task of celebrating music's best while mourning the loss of one of their greatest, Whitney Houston. Singer Adele accepts her award for "Best Pop Solo Performace" for "Someone Like You" at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, February 12, 2012. Photo by Reuters. Houston's death on the eve of the awards forced a delicate balance between the exuberance of the show's winners and performances with the loss. Adele, who owned the year's best-selling album with "21," was triumphant in her first performance since vocal cord surgery forced the cancellation of a tour and months of vocal rest. As the world wondered whether her voice would still soar, she answered with her performance of her hit "Rolling in the Deep," and received a sustained standing ovation from the crowd. The song also won her one of the … [Read more...]

Adele triumphs at Grammys with six wins

Soul singer Adele triumphed in her return to music's stage on Sunday, scooping up six Grammys and winning every category in which she was nominated including album of the year for "21" and best record with "Rolling In the Deep." Singer Adele holds her six Grammy Awards at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 12, 2012 Photo: Reuters As joyous as the show was for Adele, it was equally as serious with tributes to late pop star Whitney Houston, who died suddenly on Saturday. She was remembered by fellow artists in acceptance speeches and songs. Jennifer Hudson sang Houston's signature hit, "I Will Always Love You," and Grammy host LL Cool J offered a prayer for Houston's family, friends and fans. But it was Adele who stole the show. The 23-year-old, who has taken the music world by storm, underwent surgery on her vocal cords late last year and had been resting her voice on doctor's orders until music's biggest night. For the first time … [Read more...]

Vietnamese singer nominated for Grammy

The Saigon Times Daily Although the possibility of the Hanoi artist making the list of five finalists is a big ask, his nomination is huge encouragement to Ha personally as well as the local music industry. 'Your heart' was composed in urban R&B style and was mixed by popular musician Duong Khac Linh. Its content is about people's relations in modern society where there are lots of intentions and worries as well as dreams and plans. The song was recommended to the Grammy committee by Anand Bhatt, leader of rock band Anand Clique. Ha, 32, to celebrate his nomination introduced to audiences his latest single 'Everybody has a choice' which he composed himself. "Each of us has the right to choose our own lifestyle. However, we need to consider what is the best choice for our future," Ha said. The song was chosen to be the theme song for YxineFF 2013, an annual online international short film festival. This year's Grammy Awards official nominations will be announced in Los Angeles … [Read more...]

Brigitte Bardot slams Australia’s plan to kill 2 million feral cats

French actress Brigitte Bardot has condemned an Australian plan to cull two million feral cats to stop them harming native animals, a proposal animal rights groups said Wednesday was unlikely to be successful. Australian plans to cull two million feral cats, like this one in the Northern Territory, have been criticised by Brigitte Bardot as cruel and useless . Feral cats have been identified as the main culprit behind Australia's high rate of mammal extinction, with more than 10 percent of species wiped out since Europeans settled here two centuries ago. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the advice he has received is that the cats number 20 million across the country and devour countless native animals every night. "They are tsunamis of violence and death for Australia's native species," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week. Hunt said a target of eradicating two million feral cats had been set for 2020, in addition to creating feral-free enclosures to … [Read more...]

Maggie Q in wildlife protection mission

Huy Nguyen Maggie Q is welcomed by fans at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi - PHOTO: COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS Maggie Q joined with singers Thanh Bui and Thu Minh, and models Hoang Yen and Xuan Lan at an event on April 12. She will wrap up her trip to Vietnam on April 13. According to statistics of WildAid, Vietnam and China are the main markets for rhino horn consumption because people in the two countries believe rhino horns are a cure-all medicine. Local artists and environmentalists have launched numerous programs against this misconception. Maggie Q served as ambassador of the rhino anti-poaching campaign called "Say No" in 2013. She has also taken part in many programs held by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an American animal rights organization, to call for environmental protection. She has appeared in some popular Hollywood movies like Rush Hour 2, Naked Weapon, and Mission Impossible 3. The latest film in which she was cast is Insurgent. … [Read more...]

Rights groups criticize use of dog skin in China

Dog skin produced by Chinese factories is used to make gloves, shoes and other products destined for export, footage provided to Reuters by an animal rights group shows. Animal activists load a cage holding dogs which they just bought from vendors to stop them from being eaten ahead of the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, June 20, 2014. China has faced criticism for its treatment of animals, including bears, whose bile is used in traditional medicines. Tigers are also bred and killed, in some areas, for their pelts and bones. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it visited three slaughterhouses and six processing plants in central China during a year-long investigation into the slaughter of dogs and the production of dog skin. Reuters confirmed the use of dog skin during a visit to an open-air leather processing workshop in the northern province of Hebei, where workers stretched washed dog skins, to dry in the sun. With dog … [Read more...]

Vietnam singer chosen as ‘Asian Artist of the Year’

A pop star has become the third Vietnamese singer to claim the best Asian artist title of the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA). Ho Quynh Huong brought home the "Asian Artist of the Year" title at the 2014 MAMA, which is one of K-pop's biggest music events. The title is conferred on singers in each of the selected Asian countries for their outstanding contributions to the local and Asian music scenes. Though Huong was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Hong Kong on Wednesday night, she sent a video message saying the award came as a surprise and is a huge honor. The singer also promised to give her best to the Vietnamese and Asian music industry. Local pop stars My Tam and Thu Minh won the title in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Huong is popular for her sensual and unique voice, which helped her win the Favorite Singer of Lan Song Xanh (Blue Wave) – a music award launched annually by the Ho Chi Minh City radio station – four years in a row, along with several … [Read more...]

VN beauty named Asia’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity Woman 2014

VietNamNet Bridge – Model and beauty queen Truong Thi May has been honored with the Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity Woman title under the campaign "Pledge to Be Veg for 30 Days" launched by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia Pacific. Truong Thi May. May was first runner-up in the Miss Ethnic Vietnam 2007 and Miss Photogenic Vietnam 2006 pageants. She represented Vietnam at the Miss Universe competition in 2013. She is also an actress and model. May won the Golden Kite Award for the best leading actress, one of the most prestigious movie awards in Vietnam. May is the second Vietnamese celebrity winning this title. The first was pop star Ho QuynhHuong who received the title last year. "I’m very happy to receive this award. I have been a vegetarian since childhood and all members in my family are also vegetarians. Vegetarian foods are natural and pure, easy to digest, and bring a sense of peace and relaxation to diner. I would like to thank … [Read more...]

Vietnamese model named sexiest vegetarian in Asia

Supermodel Truong Thi May is being honoured for her healthy eating habits in the annual contest held by the Asia Pacific branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She beat out fellow celebrities Maggie Q and Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa and attributes her youthful appearance to wholesome eating habits. "Vegetarian foods are natural and pure, easy to digest, and bring a sense of peace and relaxation to the meal," says May. "Being a vegetarian helps me to avoid all the cholesterol, my hair and skin are a lot healthier, and I feel younger. It also teaches me compassion toward animals by not killing them for food." May, the former runner-up in the Miss Vietnam Photogenic 2006 pageant, has twice been appointed to represent Vietnam at the Miss Earth pageants. Unfortunately both in 2009 and 2011 her busy schedule prevented her from competing. This year, Chinese actor Wu Xiubo won the title of Asia’s sexiest male … [Read more...]

Animal rights organization selects Vietnam beauty as Asia’s sexiest vegetarian

An ethnic minority beauty from Vietnam has been named Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity Woman 2014 by the U.S.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Truong Thi May, 26, beat several other Asian celebrities including Maggie Q, an American actress of half-Asian descent; Miss Universe Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa; and fellow celebrities such as local actress/ director Viet Trinh and singer Vo Ha Tram, to earn the title. May represented Vietnam at Miss Universe 2013 in Russia. The title is given annually by PETA on to promote the immense health and cosmetic benefits of going vegetarian. Born to Khmer ethnic minority parents in Cambodia, May said she has followed a regular vegetarian diet since she was young, along with the rest of her family. The beauty is also a devout Buddhist who says she practices routine prayers every morning. "I really hope many more people will go vegetarian by using more vegetables for robust health and a … [Read more...]