Musician Wyclef Jean is one of the most well-known faces of support for Haiti. He was born in the country and then moved to the United States as a child, where he later formed the successful band, the Fugees.
After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Jean returned to help and and launched a campaign to run for president of the country.
Jean chronicles these experiences and his superstar success in a new memoir "Purpose: An Immigrant's Story."
He sits down with the Starting Point team this morning to discuss the details in the book and to explain what motivated him to write the memoir.
Regarding allegations that he's what causes the breakup of the Fugees, Jean says, "I can't take my 20s back. I would never take the 20s back. And the people that are blaming me for the breakup, if you all have this score that you all love so much. This score wouldn't have happened without the love triangle of everything that you you're hearing. So inside of the mystery of the score there's always a passionate undertone in it."
16-year-old singer Ryan Beatty's music videos have gotten over 30 million views on YouTube and his channel has more than 240,000 subscribers.
Beatty's just-released debut EP "Because of You" is also the number one pop album on iTunes, so if you haven't heard of him yet, you're bound to become familiar with him soon.
The young singer sits down with the Starting Point team this morning to explain how he was discovered and to discuss his new found fame.
Two years ago high school students Jack Berry and Ollie Gray had the idea to make instruments for a band with various pieces of garbage and recycled materials. Berry and Gray then recruited three other childhood friends to join their “Garbage Band.” Harrison Paparatto was the first to join with a trombone he made from PVC and the additions of Evan Tucker and Austin Siegel made “The Garbage-Men” band complete. The group started out playing popular 60s songs around town which led to them booking gigs all around Florida at science museums, elementary schools, and charity events.
15-year-old Ollie Gray who plays the drums made from trash cans and lids says, “We want to show people that there’s more to recycling than just throwing things in a bin. You can actually reuse things to make beautiful music.”
In his new book titled, "Mick, The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger," best-selling author Christopher Anderson focuses on the off stage life of superstar Mick Jagger. Andersen says he has been working on this project for the last 43 years and chose to release the book because Jagger is still "more relevant than ever, when so many of his peers and contemporaries have self-destructed."
Andersen talks about the superstar's alleged 4,000 sexual escapades, particularly Jagger's relations with both sexes and David Bowie. Andersen says that "people forget that in the '70s, it was...androgyny and bisexuality were 'in' for rock stars...they trumpeted it."
The newly released unauthorized tell-all also includes new details about the backstage drama of the The Rolling Stones and the likelihood of an upcoming tour.
You may have heard of the new Oliver Stone's movie "Savages," about two drug-dealing friends who must fight to save the woman they both love from a Mexican cartel.
The movie itself is adapted from a widely praised crime novel of the same name, written by Don Winslow. For more than a decade he has been researching and writing about the war on drugs and drug culture. To get the story, he worked as a private investigator and then for the State Department, even writing parts of his book while on stakeouts.
His research was compiled in his new book, "The Kings of Cool," which is a prequel to "Savages." Winslow explains on "Starting Point" how he was inspired to write the books.
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST FOR 5/7/12
We kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with a pick from panelist Jay Thomas, an Emmy Award-winning actor. Jay picked "Love in America" by JTX, whose debut album From Detroit With Love is now available online. He also picked Doc Watson's "Tennessee Stud."
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanihan stopped by the show today and brought Jay-Z's "Young Forever" featuring Mr. Hudson along with him. When the 2010 hit cracked the Billboard top ten, it tied Jay-Z with Ludacris for the most rap songs to make the top ten.
"The Good Life" by Kanye West was CNN's education contributor Dr. Steve Perry's music pick this morning. The song was a hit for the rapper in 2007, and sampled parts of Michael Jackson's classic "(P.Y.T.) Pretty Young Thing."
British band Coldplay made Christine Romans' playlist today with "Hurts Like Heaven." The track is from the group's most recent album Mylo Xyloto, which was their fifth straight album to hit number one in their native U.K. Christine also played "Too Many Rappers" by The Beastie Boys ft. Nas, in honor of founding Beastie Adam Yauch, who passed away Friday after a battle with cancer.
WSJ writer Chris Farley was on our show today to discuss the box office success of The Avengers, and he also picked a song for today's playlist: Peter Tosh's "Wanted Dread and Alive." The late reggae legend spent many years performing with Bob Marley and The Wailers.
The Carter and Wipf families have been making headlines for their innovative ideas, and they made an appearance on today's Starting Point, bringing along Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door." The song was the biggest hit of The Who guitarist's solo career.
Graceland's Director of Communications was a guest on SP today and, of course, picked an Elvis song to add to our playlist: "It's Now or Never." The song was just one of The King's' 17 number one hits.
A new YouTube video is making waves, but not the way you would expect.
This one features an elderly man in a nursing home who doesn't recognize his own daughter and can barely answers questions, until someone someone gives him an iPod with music. The best way to describe it: The man comes alive.
The video, which now has more than 5 million views, is a clip from a documentary called "Alive Inside" which aims to bring to life the power of music and its impact on patients with dementia.
This morning on "Starting Point", director Michael Rossato-Bennet and Music & Memory's Dan Cohen talk about how the film has touched people around the world.
"I'm completely surprised," Rossato-Bennett says. "We're trying to say there's this enormous population that doesn't have their own music, the music that they love. And we put it on his website and 300 people saw it for six months. And then some kid wrote "This is us in 70 years." And people just watched it and saw a human being come alive. And when any of us come alive, it touches us deeply and makes us really happy."
Cohen explains how music can become a tool to help the elderly connect with younger family members.
"With Alzheimer's disease, people may not be able to recognize their own loved ones, maybe not able to speak," he says. "But if they hear music from their youth, that part of the brain is not affected so much by Alzheimer's. So they do come alive so to speak, and they can speak and sing to the music to almost perfect rhythm. It's quite amazing."
Cohen adds that half the people in nursing homes have no visitors, so figuring out what kinds of music they enjoy can be difficult. But Cohen is working to involve communities around the country to get iPods donated and have students come into the nursing homes to work with the residents to shape their playlists.
For more information on the documentary "Alive Inside" please visit www.aliveinsidemovie.com.
Boys II Men, the R&B group from the 90s, talks about their influences, why they love acappella and how they've changed over the years.