8 Boomer Superstar Hopefuls Are Ready to Compete

Eight potential Boomer Superstars are headed to AARP’s “Ideas@50″ event in San Diego next week in hope of winning $5,000 and an audition with music label 19 Recordings in the Boomer Superstar competition Sept. 5. Coming from five states, eight cities and a variety of musical backgrounds, the contestants – all over 50 – were among hundreds who submitted music videos to AARP’s Boomer Superstar contest, powered by American Idol Live! In fact, American Idol judge Randy Jackson will emcee …

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Earn No. 1 Album

Anything is possible. Even if it takes you almost 38 years. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers just earned their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. The rock group first hit the charts in 1977 with a self-titled album that featured such classics as “Breakdown” and “American Girl.” >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. Hypnotic Eye sold 131,000 copies last week, Petty’s best sales week since Wildflowers sold 161,000 copies after Christmas in 1994. Petty’s No. 1 album didn’t …

Rock-a-bye Grandma: The Insomnia Song

If you’re among America’s 40 million “older adults” troubled by insomnia, you probably suffer from depression, memory deprivation, frequent falls, constipation and a tendency to repeat the same old stories over and over again. I haven’t included hearing problems in which you say, “What?” or “Huh?” 200 times a day, because that’s a category all its own. But I will offer the advice that if you’re one of the aforementioned, you need a big dose of Billy Joel. He is not …

Ruby and Maya Remind Us: The Arts Helped Blacks to Survive

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? That poem, among the most famous by Langston Hughes, was written in 1951. A prelude to the civil rights movement, it is among the quintessential examples of how arts …

‘Alive Inside’: Music + Alzheimer’s = Miracle

  When you speak, you’re mainly using the left hemisphere of your brain. When you look at a painting, it’s the rear of your brain that perceives what you’re seeing. But the brain has no precise center for music. When you listen to music you love, all your gray matter gets into the act: Do a scan of a brain listening to music and virtually the entire thing starts to glow, like embers in a warm hearth. That brain-wide embrace of music …

Woman, 91, Makes Marathon History

Her name is Harriette Thompson. But you can call her Wonder Woman. Thompson, 91, of Charlotte, N.C., made history June 1 when she crossed the finish line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. She ran the fastest marathon ever by a woman 90 or older (7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds) and became the second-oldest marathon finisher in U.S. history. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Impressive, huh? But Thompson says she wasn’t even in her …