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AMERICAN MOSAIC - Movies, Music and Much More: A Look Back at 2007

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HOST:

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

(MUSIC)

I'm Bob Doughty. On our show this week:

We look back at two thousand seven -- some stories we have reported, listener questions we have answered and music we have played.

(MUSIC)

That was a song from the Disney television movie, "High School Musical Two." Last summer, we reported that it was the most popular show ever broadcast on an American cable television network. The music from the show is the second best selling album of the year. Billboard Magazine says it has sold two million seven hundred thousand copies.

We also reported about other musical shows during two thousand seven. We played songs from the Broadway musical "Spring Awakening" and the movie "Dreamgirls." Here, Jennifer Hudson sings "I Am Changing " from that movie.

(MUSIC)

In May, we reported about a new album from singer Josh Groban. Now he has another best selling album -- of Christmas music. Billboard Magazine says Josh Groban's "Noel" is the top selling album of two thousand seven. It has sold almost three million copies. Here Josh Groban sings "The Christmas Song."

(MUSIC)

Several music critics say the song "Rehab" by British singer Amy Winehouse is the best single of the year. "Rehab" is on the album "Back To Black." We played another song from that album when we reported about Winehouse in June. Listen as Amy Winehouse sings "Rehab."

(MUSIC)

This year, "American Mosaic" answered questions from listeners in twenty-four countries around the world. We heard from people in Burma, Russia, Egypt, Norway, Argentina, Hungary, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, China, Japan and others.

They asked many different kinds of questions about American life. For example, places in the United States like the Alamo, the White House, the Everglades, the Great Lakes and an area of New York City called Hell's Kitchen. Some questions were about American history, such as the Jim Crow Laws, the Marshall Plan, the Whiskey Rebellion and the Space race. Some listeners wanted to know more about American business. So we discussed buying a car, told about the store Wal-Mart, and explained the advertising expression "Diamonds Are Forever." We also answered questions about elections, urban legends, traffic, pop culture, u.f.o.'s and global warming.

Listeners also wanted to know about the movie rating system and the television show "Twenty-Four." And they asked about actors Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock and Linda Blair.

We answered questions about musicians, and played some of their music. They included singer Hillary Duff, the punk rock group Green Day and the heavy metal band Linkin Park. Here is a song from that group's album, "Minutes to Midnight," that was released in May. It is called "What I've Done."

(MUSIC)

Another question we answered this year was about the Billboard Hot One Hundred List. This is the list of the one hundred most popular singles in the United States. Billboard also releases a Hot One Hundred List for the end of the year. We leave you now with the song named by Billboard Magazine as the top single of two thousand seven -- "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce.

(MUSIC)

I'm Bob Doughty. I hope you enjoyed our program today. It was written by Nancy Steinbach. Mario Ritter was our producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, www.unsv.com. You can also find the scripts of all the stories we talked about in our report today.

Please continue to send questions about American life to mosaic@voanews.com. Or write to American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, U.S.A. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.

And thank you to everyone who sent us holiday greetings. We received beautiful postcards from listeners in Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia and Costa Rica. Also from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Libya, Malta, the Netherlands, Thailand and Tunisia.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English. And Happy New Year to everyone!

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