Schoolchildren joined by hundreds of villagers danced around pop diva Madonna and serenaded her with praise songs on Tuesday in Kasungu, Malawi, as she inspected school blocks she helped to construct in the central Kasungu district.
“Zikomo! (Thank you!)” said the singer as the Malawians people danced around her at Nkoko Primary School where she worked with the nonprofit organization, BuildOn, to build classrooms.
Madonna initially planned to build a $15 million 500-bed Raising Malawi Academy for girls, before changing plans to help fund several community schools to benefit more Malawians. She arrived in Malawi Monday to tour the 10 school wings she has helped to build.
“I love Malawi, I am committed to help end poverty here,” she said.
Madonna has been joined on her tour by her two adopted Malawian children, David Banda and Mercy James, both now eight.
Jay-Z becomes agent to athletes
Rapper and recording producer Jay-Z is expanding into sports representation and has signed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano away from Scott Boras to be a client.
Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, and his Roc Nation company have partnered with CAA Sports to form Roc Nation Sports. Cano changed his listed agent with the Major League Baseball Players Association on Tuesday from Boras to CAA Sports’ Brodie Van Wagenen.
“Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years,” Carter said in a statement.
White House will swing to soul
The White House is going to sway to the sounds of soul next week.
A dozen music legends and contemporary artists ranging from William Bell and Mavis Staples to Cyndi Lauper and Justin Timberlake will be on hand Tuesday to help President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama celebrate Memphis soul music.
Performers will also participate in a workshop on the history of Memphis soul for students from around the country.
It’s the 10th installment in the “In Performance at the White House” series. It will be broadcast April 16 on PBS stations.
The birthday bunch
Actress-singer Doris Day is 90. Actress Marsha Mason is 71. Singer Wayne Newton is 71. Singer Tony Orlando is 69. Actor Alec Baldwin is 55. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 54. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 52. Actress Jennie Garth is 41. Comedian Aries Spears is 38. Actress Actress Amanda Bynes is 27.