Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
March 12th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Too soon for Bobbi Kristina interview? Dr. Jeff Gardere weighs in

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere on the timing and reaction to Oprah's interview with Bobbi Kristina Brown.


Filed under: Celebrity • Whitney Houston
March 7th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

Mayor Cory Booker's Playlist 3/7/12

Here is Mayor Booker's complete playlist from today's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.
"Glory Days" by Bruce Springstein
"My City of Ruins" by Bruce Springstein
"Rolling in the Deep" by Adelle    BMI
"You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi
"Star Spangled Banner" by Whitney Houston
"Stand" by Sly and the Family Stone

March 6th, 2012
10:04 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, March 6th

STARTING POINT PLAYLIST 3/6/12

Kicking off our Starting Point playlist today is, fittingly, "Hello Soledad" by Rolando La Serie, from our Soledad's playlist. La Serie was a popular Cuban musician, who spent his later years in exile from his native land. Throughout his career he worked with many other talented artists, regardless of which country he called home at the time.

Journalist and political analyst Farai Chideya's playlist pick this morning was "Lights" by up-and-coming English singer Ellie Goulding. The song first appeared on her 2012 debut album of the same name, and was later released as a single from a deluxe version called Bright Lights.

"Sherry Darling" by Bruce Springsteen made economist and journalist Stephen Moore's playlist today.The track comes from The Boss's fifth album, The River. Three decades later, Springsteen's newest release Wrecking Ball came out today and is already getting rave reviews. Pop superstar Lady Gaga recently tweeted about the album, calling it "so genius its hard to even believe."

Rep. Allen West, (R-FL)'s playlist today included the Pink Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb." The song was originally heard on the band's classic 1979 album The Wall. It is also notable as the final song that the group ever played together, as it concluded their reunion set that was part of the charity concert Live 8 in 2005.

Brett O'Donnell picked Billy Joel's 1984 hit "The Longest Time." To achieve the song's unique oldies doo-wop feel, Joel reportedly sang over a dozen different backing vocals and mixed them together.

Rihanna's "We Found Love" was Chiedeya's next pick. The song was Rihanna's eleventh number one hit, tying her with Whitney Houston on the all time list.

Journey's "Separate Ways" was O'Donnell's next pick. The song was recently featured in the movie Tron Legacy.

Another of O'Donnell's selections was Van Halen's 1986 hit "Dreams." The song, one of their biggest hits with replacement lead singer Sammy Hagar, was prominently featured in the hit '90s movie Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. Van Halen recently released A Different Kind of Truth, their first album with original singer David Lee Roth in nearly 30 years.

From Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's playlist today comes "Jackson," the classic country song best remembered for the Grammy-winning version Johnny Cash released in 1967 with his wife June Carter Cash.

Finally, we closed out the show today with Train's "Hey, Soul Sister," which was a big comeback hit for the band in 2009. It was their first top ten hit in nearly a decade, but the wait paid off: it is one of the best selling singles ever.

February 28th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

Starting Point Playlist - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

STARTING POINT MUSIC LIST 2/28/12

From Soledad's playlist today comes Nicki Minaj's current single "Starships." The singer's recent Grammy performance raised some eyebrows but it paid off: "Starships" debuted in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

CNN correspondent Jennifer Rogers played Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," the title song to her hit 1980 movie. Parton has received much media attention lately after the death of Whitney Houston as she originally wrote and released "I Will Always Love You," which Houston later covered with massive success.

Television commentator and Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill's pick this morning was Luther Vandross's 1981 classic "Never Too Much." The song can be recognized for its notable media appearances, including WKRP In Cincinnati and the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

"To All The Girls I've Loved Before," CNN Contributor Will Cain's playlist pick, was a big country hit for Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias in 1984. The song is credited with helping Iglesias break into the English-speaking market, where he has paved the way for dozens of Latino artists, including his son, Enrique.

Usher's 2010 smash "OMG" was Soledad's second playlist pick today. The song was a milestone in Usher's career as it brought him into a very exclusive club: having had a Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper in three different decades. The only other artists to have accomplished this feat are Britney Spears (like Usher, in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s), Janet Jackson & Madonna ('80s, '90s and '00s) and Stevie Wonder ('60s, '70s and '80s).

A few additional artists have accomplished having three number ones in three decades under different names. Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison all had number one hits together as The Beatles in the '60s and in their individual solo careers in the '70s and '80s. Following that same pattern, Diana Ross hit number one as both a member of The Supremes and solo. Likewise, Cher hit number one as part of Sonny and Cher in the '60s, and had solo chart toppers in the '70s and '90s.

"Where the Green Grass Grows" by Tim McGraw was Will Cain's next playlist pick this morning. McGraw has been omnipresent in media over the last twenty years. He is married to fellow county superstar Faith Hill, has acted in films such as the Academy Award-winning hit The Blind Side, and has even been the topic of other artists' hits, such as Taylor Swift's debut single, "Tim McGraw".

Will Cain also picked Whitesnake's 1982 smash hit "Here I Go Again." The song,  written by Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale, was just one phase in his long career. He had previously played with Deep Purple (known for hits such as "Smoke On The Water") and has had success both as a solo artist and in collaborations with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

Paolo Nutini, the young Scottish singer-songwriter, also made Cain's playlist with "Jenny Don't Be Hasty." Nutini was one of the final artists signed to Atlantic Records during legendary founder Ahmet Ertegun's lifetime. Nutini later performed at the 2007 tribute concert to Ertegun, which was headlined by a reunited Led Zeppelin.

Finally, another pick from Soledad's playlist today was Bruno Mars' recent hit "Runaway Baby." Mars has experienced success as a singer and also as a songwriter, writing and co-writing hits for other artists such as "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha and "Forget You" by CeeLo.

February 23rd, 2012
06:47 AM ET

Starting Point Music List for Wednesday, Feb 22

TODAY'S STARTING POINT PLAYLIST

From Soledad's playlist, Citizen Cope's "Hurricane Waters" played on Starting Point today. Along with performing for his dedicated fan base, Citizen Cope, born Clarence Greenwood,  has written music for Santana and Dido, among other artists.

Author and journalist Farai Chideya's playlist pick today was "Pumped Up Kicks" by indie pop/rock group Foster the People. The track was an unlikely hit, peaking at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Romney adviser Brett O'Donnell's playlist included the Van Halen classic "Right Now", a 1991 track from their days with Sammy Hagar. The  group just put out A Different Kind of Truth, their first album with original singer David Lee Roth in nearly thirty years.

Another track from Soledad's playlist today was "La Negra Tiene Tumbao" by salsa singer Celia Cruz. She was an extremely prolific artist– this song was from her 59th album, which was released in 2001 and was nominated for several Latin Grammys.

Another of Fairai Chideya's picks today was Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", a huge hit over the past year which recently won several Grammy awards including both Song and Record of the Year.

Radio host and politician J. D.Hayworth picked "Someday, Someway," which was a big hit for Marshall Crenshaw in 1981 off of his eponymous debut album.

The Huntsman Girls, the three oldest daughters of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, picked "Shake it Out," a popular track from Florence + the Machine's new album, Ceremonials.

Up and coming artist Romeo Santos showed off a couple of his own songs: "Promise" (featuring Usher), and "You." Both songs have hit Number One on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

Fairai Chideya's next pick was "We Found Love" by Rihanna. The song was Rihanna's eleventh song to top the Hot 100– tying her with Whitney Houston for seventh place all time.

Brett O'Donnell also picked "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls, which was one of the biggest radio hits ever, topping the airplay charts for eighteen weeks in 1998.

Finally, the Huntsman Girls round out the list with "Otis" from Jay-Z and Kanye West's recent collaboration album Watch the Throne. The song features vocals from Otis Redding, who died more than forty years ago.

February 20th, 2012
02:35 AM ET

Jackson: Bobbi Kristina will need prayer

Rev. Jesse Jackson reflects on Whitney Houston's funeral and the rough road ahead for Bobbi Kristina, Whitney's daughter.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Entertainment • Fame • Whitney Houston
February 15th, 2012
04:06 PM ET

Pressures of fame: Nicci Gilbert on what needs to change

Nicci Gilbert explains what changes she feels should happen in the music industry to prevent situations like Whitney Houston's death.

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Filed under: Whitney Houston
February 15th, 2012
03:59 PM ET

Was Whitney poised for a comeback before her death? Billboard editor Danyel Smith explains

Danyel Smith, Billboard Magazine editor, weighs in on the possibility that Houston was on the verge of a comeback.

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Filed under: Whitney Houston
February 15th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Nick Jonas talks about his memories of Whitney Houston and the pressures of fame

Nick Jonas explains where he was when he heard about Whitney Houston's death and discusses life in the music industry.

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Filed under: Fame • Whitney Houston
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