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Pop singer Passenger performs impromptu set in Birmingham

Hundreds of people turned out to Rotunda Square by the Bullring in Birmingham city centre yesterday as pop singer Passenger performed an impromptu set.

Pop singer Passenger performing in Birmingham Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

It was the latest of his shows he is performing across the country to raise the profile of the Big Issue magazine and its vendors.

Hundreds watched the singer perform in Rotunda Square Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

The singer, said: “The Big Issue is a wonderful thing, it helps so many people in different ways."

“I don’t need to play on the street with my guitar case out to try and live any more, so it’s the least I can do to try and help Big Issue vendors across the country.”

The performance was held to raise the profile of the Big Issue magazine Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

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Sam Bailey hoping for Mother's Day hit

Sam Bailey Credit: PA

According to this morning's Official Charts Company sales data, X Factor winner Sam Bailey could be number 1 in the album charts this weekend. Her album, "The Power of Love" looks likely to knock George Michael's "Symphonica" off top spot.

Today's sales update puts her almost 4000 copies ahead of the second best selling single, Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey’s "Going Back Home". If Sam maintains her lead, The Power Of Love will be the highest charting X Factor winners’ album since Alexandra Burke in October, 2009.

  1. Keith Wilkinson

World famous pianist returns to Midlands - to thank the Staffordshire people who made it all happen

A young Palestinian has never forgotten the generosity of the people of Staffordshire who helped to launch his career as a classical pianist. When he was just 11-years-old they clubbed together £10,000 to buy him a grand piano so he could develop his talents.

Tomorrow, to say thank you, Bishara Haroni, is playing a special concert. And he'll be meeting some of the people who had faith that one day he'd do well.

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Singer Astro leaves UB40

Singer Astro has announced this afternoon that he has left UB40.

Astro, whose real name is Terence Wilson, was one of the founding members of the group and is the third to leave following lead singer Ali Campbell and keyboard player Micky Virtue. He described the feeling of the band after Ali and Micky left as, "like a rudderless ship".

The band had great success in the 80s and 90s but have recently faced financial difficulties.

In a statement Astro said, "After a well-documented turbulent few years I feel that it is time to draw a line in the sand and move on."

"I know it may seem sudden to all who know me but my mind is made up and will not change" Credit: ITV News Central

Music tourism worth £119 million to Midlands economy

Music tourism is apparently worth £119 million to the West Midlands economy Credit: Tobias Hase/Press Association Wire

A new report, published today by UK Music and Visit Britain, says the ‘music tourism’ industry was worth an incredible £119 million to the West Midlands economy in 2012, with overseas music tourists contributing £15 million to the total.

Music tourism involves visiting a city or town, to see a festival or other music performances.

The Wish You Were Here_ report also says 50% of West Midlands concert audiences are music tourists – far higher than the national average of 41%.

Figures also show the region welcomed 809,000 music tourists in 2012, of which 24,000 were from abroad.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, said:

“Our region has always had a rich music heritage, with the likes of UB40, ELO and Black Sabbath; this report confirms we are not only a great place to enjoy live music, but that new acts such as Laura Mvula and Peace are ensuring the West Midlands is firmly on the UK music map.”

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