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Summer 2014 Music Festivals

With summer underway in North America, be sure to slot in at least one (or more) events in the Summer 2014 music festival calendar. Here are a few highlights from this year's festivals.

Taking place on June 6-8, New York City's biggest music festival, The Governors Ball, embraces a host of genres and festival goers can expect to experience performances by some of the most popular artists around. The festival venue is Randall’s Island and among the not-to-be-missed acts in the lineup are Jack White, Grimes, Outkast, Axwell, Disclosure, Phoenix, Jenny Lewis, Janelle Monae, Sleigh Bells and AlunaGeorge.

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The Power of Music in Public Places

'Play Me, I'm Yours' is a public piano project initiated by British artist Luke Jerram in 2008 that started with 15 pianos being installed in different public locations in Birmingham, UK. The colorfully painted pianos all have the simple invitation 'Play Me, I'm Yours' on them in large letters, and it is estimated that during the three week period of the pilot project more than 140,000 people participated. Described as a 'musical equivalent of Facebook', the street piano concept soon spread to cities in other countries, bringing people together with the power of music.

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20th Essence Music Festival Lineup

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the 2014 Essence Music Festival will take place on 3-6 July in New Orleans, with headline acts including Prince, Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, and Jill Scott. With the exception of 2006, when the festival was held in Houston due to Hurricane Katrina, Essence has been hosted by New Orleans since 1995 with fans traveling from far and wide to join the event dubbed as 'the party with a purpose'. Prince headlined the Essence Music Festival in 2004 and this will be Mary J. Blige's ninth performance at the event. Prince is set to open the festival on the main stage on Friday night.

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Top Money Makers of 2013 Named by Billboard

The recent release by Billboard of 2013's top Money Makers in the music industry, listed Taylor Swift as #1 with total annual earnings of $39,699,575.60 based on album sales, concerts, merchandise, digital downloads and any other aspect of marketing that puts the country music/pop star in the limelight. With nearly ten million downloads of her music, Swift ranks sixth in digital income and fifth in streaming royalties, but the most lucrative aspect of Swift's career in 2013 was her global Red Tour, six months of which was spent in the United States. She also raked the money in through her sponsorships by Keds, Diet Coke and Elizabeth Arden.

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MHOF Inductee Peter Frampton

Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame at the 4th Annual Induction Ceremony in January 2014, singer-songwriter and multi-instrument musician Peter Frampton has enjoyed a long and varied career in the music industry. Born in April 1950 in Bromley, United Kingdom, Frampton counts Cliff Richard & the Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, the Ventures and The Beatles among his early musical influences. The first instrument he taught himself to play was his grandmother's banjolele. He was seven years old at the time. He also taught himself to play guitar and piano and at the age of eight he began taking classical music lessons.

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