Beyonce’s disc sets record
Beyonce’s surprise self-titled album has sold surprisingly well: Her fifth solo effort sold more than 600,000 units in its first three days, setting a record for first-week domestic digital sales.
Beyonce’s album was released early Friday morning exclusively on iTunes unbeknownst to the public. Apple said Monday that the album sold 617,213 in its U.S. iTunes Store. It sold 828,773 internationally.
“You have to be innovative. The Internet has changed the game. You’ve got to look at how to address the fact that most artists’ albums leak before their release plans,” said Lee Ann Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Beyonce’s production company Parkwood Entertainment, who released the album alongside Columbia Records.
Beyonce’s album features 14 songs and 17 videos, and minutes after its release, social media websites exploded with mentions of the singer and her new music.
Stars bow out of Seaworld gigs
More entertainers have canceled their appearances at SeaWorld Orlando following the recent release of a documentary that raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.
Representatives for Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride confirmed Monday that the country singers have joined the ranks of recording artists who have pulled out of performing at the park’s February concert series, Bands, Brew and BBQ.
They joined Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Heart in canceling their appearances.
The documentary, “Blackfish,” explores what may have caused a 12,000-pound orca named Tilikum to kill veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.
Fan fave wins ‘Survivor’
Tyson Apostol, a fan favorite from seasons past, on Sunday night won “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” a twist on the game that paired veteran players with loved ones, including ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper playing with his wife, Monica.
Apostol, a professional bicyclist, receives $1 million with his victory on the CBS television program.
As the players headed into Sunday’s finale, there were four players left in the game and three more at Redemption Island, only one of whom could make it back into the game.
The final three players came down to Apostol and fellow returning castaways Culpepper (who came in second place, receiving one vote from the jury) and Gervase Peterson, who came in third.
First lady spreads cheer
Michelle Obama is spreading holiday cheer at Washington’s leading children’s hospital.
The first lady visited privately with patients and staff at Children’s National Health System before coming to the atrium to read “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” to another group of children.
For added cheers, she brought along family dogs Bo and Sunny.
With the appearance, Obama continued a first lady tradition that began decades ago with Bess Truman.