Taking Names: Lauper returns to Japan for concerts, support

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Cyndi Lauper is admired in Japan for not running away after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Now the American singer is back to show the Japanese people that she hasn’t forgotten them.

Miss Lauper arrived in Tokyo on March 11, 2011, just as the massive quake struck northern Japan. She stayed to perform her concerts as planned, even though fears of radiation from a tsunami-stricken nuclear power plant in Fukushima caused many other performers and visitors to flee. She said she stayed to console survivors with her music, according to the Associated Press.

She’s back in the country to perform again. Miss Lauper said Monday that she is urging people to buy things from the disaster-hit areas to help people there get back on their feet.

Miss Lauper, who arrived earlier this month, traveled to the tsunami-hit areas, including an elementary school to donate cherry trees and play with the children; visited a temple; and explored a music store whose elderly owner fixed a tsunami-damaged piano.

She said she was struck by how people in Fukushima seemed to be shaken by radiation fears and feel isolated. She also raised concerns about a decline in visitors in the north, especially Fukushima.

The government has been criticized for confusion, delays, miscommunication and attempts to play down the severity of the nuclear accident, the worst since the 1986 disaster in Ukraine’s Chernobyl. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed vital cooling systems at the plant, resulting in the melting of three reactor cores and a large release of radiation, forcing about 100,000 people to evacuate.

Many residents of Fukushima are concerned about the effects of the radiation, especially on children.

Miss Lauper said the government “should come clean with what the real deal is” so people know the truth. “When you don’t know, you are fearful, and you feel powerless. Information is power.”

Beyonce, JayZ enjoy concert in New York

It was a Sunday “fun day” for Beyonce and Jay-Z: The new parents enjoyed a concert by R&B singer Terius “the Dream” Nash in New York.

According to the Associated Press, the top music couple jammed to the singer-songwriter in the VIP section of SOB’s, a small club that houses a few hundred people.

The Dream co-wrote and co-produced Beyonce’s massive hit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” He also worked his magic on Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body.”

He performed a number of his own hits Sunday night, including “Shawty Is a 10,” “Falsetto” and “I Luv Your Girl.” He’ll release his fourth album, “Love IV MMXII,” later this year.

The Grammy winner thanked the crowd for coming out, saying: “I know some of ya’ll got kids at home.”

Beyonce and Jay-Z have a daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who was born in January.

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