U2’s Bono Gives ‘Freedom’ Concert in Kyiv Metro 

Irish rock group U2’s frontman Bono and his bandmate The Edge performed a 40-minute concert in a metro station in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday and praised Ukrainians fighting for their freedom from Russia. “Your president leads the world in the cause of freedom right now … The people of Ukraine are not…

Centuries-old Passion Play Returns after Pandemic Break

Almost 400 years ago, the Catholic residents of a small Bavarian village vowed to perform a play of “the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every 10 years, if only God would spare them any further losses from the plague known as the Black Death. Legend has it that ever since 1634,…

Motherhood Deferred: US Median Age for Giving Birth Hits 30

For Allyson Jacobs, life in her 20s and 30s was about focusing on her career in health care and enjoying the social scene in New York City. It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she and her husband started trying to have children. They had a son when she was 42. Over the past three…

Mickey Gilley, Who Helped Inspire ‘Urban Cowboy,’ Dies at 86

Country star Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots, has died. He was 86. Gilley died Saturday in Branson, Missouri, where he helped run the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre. He had been performing as recently as last month but was in failing…

Long Shot Rich Strike Stuns with Win at 148th Kentucky Derby

Rich Strike came off a blistering pace at odds of more than 80-1 to beat 19 blue-blooded opponents and produce one of the biggest upsets in history while capturing the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Rich Strike, who was only entered into the field on…

Bob Dylan Museum Opening in Tulsa

Elvis Costello, Patti Smith and Mavis Staples will be among the dignitaries expected in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend for the opening of the Bob Dylan Center, the museum and archive celebrating the Nobel laureate’s work. Dylan himself won’t be among them, unless he surprises everyone. The center’s subject and namesake has an open invitation to…

Warhol Monroe Portrait Set to Smash Records at New York Sales

An Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe worth an estimated $200 million headlines this month’s spring sales in New York that collectors say are among the most anticipated ever. Christie’s expects Warhol’s 1964 Shot Sage Blue Marilyn to become the priciest 20th century artwork when the auction house puts it under the hammer on Monday. …

Censorship of Hollywood Blockbuster Films Intensifies in China  

China is stepping up censorship of U.S. films as producers make movies with an eye toward pleasing Beijing yet without isolating the global audience, industry insiders say.     The roughly 25-year-old practice of cutting scenes that don’t conform to Communist Party ideals from Hollywood movies has expanded.   “Now it’s kind of escalated in the sense that…

Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ Shirt Sets Auction Record

The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the controversial “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup has sold for $9.3 million (7.1 million pounds), the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of sports memorabilia.  Auctioneer Sotheby’s sold the shirt in an online auction that closed Wednesday.…

Dolly Parton, Eminem, Richie Get into Rock Hall of Fame 

Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Duran Duran and Pat Benatar have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a list that also includes Dolly Parton, who initially resisted the honor. The honorees — voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals — “each had a profound impact…

Comedian Dave Chappelle Attacked on Stage at Hollywood Bowl 

U.S. comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage on Tuesday night at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles by an assailant who rugby-tackled him before being apprehended and arrested, video footage verified by Reuters showed. The attack came just over a month after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars,…

Afghan Refugees in San Diego Celebrate Their First Eid al-Fitr in the US

This was the first Eid al-Fitr in the United States for most of the more than 70,000 Afghan refugees who came to the country following the Taliban takeover last August. For VOA, Genia Dulot met with some of those refugees in California to see how they are marking the end of Ramadan. Camera:  Genia Dulot   …

Stars Dazzle at Met Gala in New York

Hundreds of A-listers dressed to the theme of “gilded glamour”  gathered Monday in New York for the annual Met Gala extravaganza known as “the party of the year. The fundraiser is back in its usual early May slot after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event and delayed last year’s edition to…

Sikhs of Virginia Celebrate End of Ramadan

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported there was a spike in Islamophobia and a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in the United States last year. The council recommends bringing minority communities together to try to defuse tensions. One such effort is linked to celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim month of…

Soccer’s Governing Body Announces More Bans on Russia

The UEFA Champions League, soccer’s governing body, announced Monday the Russian women’s soccer team will be banned from the Women’s European Championship in July and from participating in qualifying for next year’s World Cup over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian team will be replaced by the Portuguese team for the tournament that will be…

Russia’s Bolshoi Scraps Performances by Critical Directors  

Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre has announced it is cancelling the performances directed by Kirill Serebrennikov and Timofey Kulyabin who have spoken out against Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. Late Sunday, Russia’s top theatre announced that instead of the three performances of “Nureev,” a ballet directed by Serebrennikov, the audiences this week will see a production of…

The Judds, Ray Charles Join the Country Music Hall of Fame 

Ray Charles and The Judds joined the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in a ceremony filled with tears, music and laughter, just a day after Naomi Judd died unexpectedly. The loss of Naomi Judd altered the normally celebratory ceremony, but the music played on, as the genre’s singers and musicians mourned Naomi Judd…

Taekwondo Champion Who Fled Afghanistan, Then Ukraine Hopes to Represent Afghanistan

Afghan Taekwondo champion Nisar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai fled Afghanistan for Ukraine and is now in Switzerland. Despite his circumstances, he says he is ready to represent Afghanistan in competition. VOA’s Waheed Faizi has the story. …

Naomi Judd, of Grammy-winning Duo The Judds, Dies at 76

Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76. The daughters announced her death Saturday in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the…

Muslim Students at Princeton University Break Ramadan Fast Together

For many students, living and studying at one of the most prestigious schools in the United States can be stressful and sometimes a little lonely. But some Muslim students at Princeton University can find comfort in their community during the month of Ramadan. VOA’s Nida Samir reports. …

Australian Musical Charts Family’s Escape from Nazis in Europe

A musical that depicts the remarkable escape from the Holocaust of a renowned Jewish sculptor and his family is about to open in Australia. Driftwood recounts the journey of Karl Duldig, his wife Slawa Horowitz-Duldig – inventor of the modern foldable umbrella – and their baby daughter, Eva. They fled the Nazis from Vienna in…

Turkey’s Soaring Inflation Mars Ramadan Celebrations

Muslim worshippers in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir say they are struggling to purchase essential groceries for Ramadan celebrations because of the country’s high inflation rate. VOA’s Xecican Farqin has details in this report narrated by Rikar Hussein. Camera: Xecican Farqin …

Hong Kong Actor Kenneth Tsang Dies in Quarantine Hotel 

Veteran Hong Kong actor Kenneth Tsang has died while in a COVID-19 quarantine hotel in the southern Chinese city, local media reported. Tsang was best known internationally for his action roles in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day,” John Woo’sThe Killer” in 1989, Rush Hour 2” in 2001 starring Jackie Chan and Chris…