Music Friday: Kids of the 'One Voice' Choir Inspire Their Peers to 'Shine Bright Like a Diamond'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exceptional songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the talented members of the One Voice Children's Choir will dazzle you with their interpretation of Rihanna's "Diamonds." Their video at the end of this post has been viewed on YouTube nearly 24 million times.

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In the song, the youngsters inspire their peers to "shine bright like a diamond" and embrace the wonders that life has to offer.

They sing, "Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy / You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky / You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy / When you hold me, I’m alive / We’re like diamonds in the sky."

Ranging in age from four to 17, the One Voice singers are directed by Masa Fukuda. The group was originally assembled by Fukuda to perform at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, but remained together after the sporting event. The group has about 140 members and performs 50 to 70 times each year.

Their reputation as a top-flight choral group earned them an invitation to compete during Season 9 of NBC's America's Got Talent in 2014. The group reached the quarter finals and produced the "Diamonds" video in preparation for moving on to the final rounds. Earlier in the competition, judge Howard Stern told the young contestants that they were gold, but Howie Mandel was not as impressed.

"They are gold," Mandel stated. "I'm looking for a diamond."

Despite Mandel's thumbs-down verdict, Stern, Mel B and Heidi Klum voted in favor of the group and they moved on in the competition. The choir director's decision to perform "Diamonds" was in direct response to Mandel's criticism.

Rihanna scored her 12th #1 single with "Diamonds" in 2012. In fact, the song topped the charts in 20 countries and sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles in music history.

Rihanna characterized the song as "happy and hippie."

"It's hopeful. It gives me a great feeling when I listen to it," she said during an iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas. "The lyrics are hopeful and positive. It's about love and the gears are different than what people will expect."

The song was written by Sia Furler with Benjamin Levin, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. Sia told New York Times Magazine that she came up with the lyrics for "Diamonds" in just 14 minutes.

According to SongFacts.com, "Diamonds" is the third diamond-titled song to score a #1 chart appearance. The others were Gary Lewis and the Playboys' "This Diamond Ring" (1965) and Elton John's "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (1974).

Please check out the video of the One Voice Children's Choir performing "Diamonds." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Diamonds"
Written by Sia Furler, Benjamin Levin, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. Performed by the One Voice Children's Choir.

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond

Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky
You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy
When you hold me, I’m alive
We’re like diamonds in the sky

I knew that we’d become one right away
Oh, right away
At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays
I saw the life inside your eyes

So shine bright tonight,
You and I
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky
Eye to eye,
So alive
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shining bright like a diamond
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shining bright like a diamond
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Palms rise to the universe, as we moonshine and molly
Feel the warmth, we’ll never die
We’re like diamonds in the sky

You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy
When you hold me, I’m alive
We’re like diamonds in the sky
At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays
I saw the life inside your eyes

So shine bright
Tonight,
You and I
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky
Eye to eye,
So alive
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shining bright like a diamond
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shining bright like a diamond
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond

So shine bright
Tonight,
You and I
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky
Eye to eye,
So alive
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond

Shine bright like a diamond



Credit: Screen captures via YouTube.com.

Pitcher Joe Kelly Finds Tony La Russa's World Series Ring in His Glove, Demands $1 Trillion Ransom

Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly said it was one of the "funniest, coolest and randomest" baseball stories he's ever been part of. It all went down at Boston's Fenway Park last week, and this is what happened...

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Tony La Russa, who owns three World Series rings and happened to be wearing one of them during Thursday night's Red Sox game, was asked to catch the ceremonial first pitch.

The Hall of Fame manager is now a special assistant with the Red Sox and was ill-prepared to catch the toss from his former boss, the 88-year-old Roland Hemond. All La Russa had available, according to Kelly, was an old pancake glove with no pocket. It looked like a vintage mitt from 1905.

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So La Russa, now 73, asked the 30-year-old Kelly if he could borrow a mitt for the ceremony. Kelly agreed, the ceremony went off without a hitch and, soon after, the Red Sox pitcher noticed that his glove was returned to his locker.

What Kelly didn't know was that La Russa was in a panic. Somehow, he had misplaced his 2011 World Series ring and had no idea where it could have fallen off. He told the clubhouse attendants to keep their eyes peeled.

The next day, during a pre-game warmup, Kelly grabbed the glove that La Russa had borrowed and ran out to the field to loosen up his arm.

"I stuck my hand it in and my [pinky] got stuck," the right-handed reliever told WEEIradio.com. "It jammed my pinky. I pulled it out right away because it hurt. I thought someone put seeds in my glove to mess with me. But then I looked and I was like, ‘What the [heck] is this?’ I spread my glove open and there it was: Tony’s World Series ring. At first I thought it was a joke, but then 10 seconds later I realized you don’t joke around with something like that. It probably means a lot to him so I don’t think he would joke with something that was [worth] $50,000."

Kelly has his own theory on how the World Series ring got stuck in the pinky slot of his mitt. He believes that La Russa switched the ring from his ring finger to his pinky finger prior to catching the ceremonial first pitch because the massive World Series bling wouldn't fit in the ring finger slot of his glove. Baseball mitts are designed with a bigger pinky slot, which gave him just enough room to fit the ring.

When La Russa pulled off the mitt, the ring stayed where it was.

With the World Series ring in his possession, Kelly decided to have some fun on social media, hinting with a hashtag that he intended to demand a $1 trillion ransom.

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He posted a series of photos to Twitter, along with this caption: "Hey @TonyLaRussa I might have something you are looking for... thanks for using my glove during the first pitch ceremony #finderskeepers #findersfee #trilliondollars @RedSox @Cardinals

Kelly, who has a reputation for being a jokester, called the La Russa incident "one of funniest, coolest and randomest baseball stories I've ever been a part of."

Credits: Images via Twitter.com/JosephKellyJr.

New Study: Blue Diamonds Form 400 Miles Below the Surface, Far Deeper Than All Others

By studying minute inclusions trapped within blue diamonds, scientists have been able to determine that their origin is far deeper in the Earth than other diamond varieties.

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The journal Nature recently revealed that blue diamonds form about 400 miles below the surface, four times deeper than about 99 percent of all other diamonds.

“We knew essentially absolutely nothing about where they grow,” said geologist Evan M. Smith, a lead author of the Nature report and a research scientist at the Gemological Institute of America in New York (GIA). Smith and his colleagues investigated this question by reviewing 46 blue diamonds that were submitted to the GIA. The team focused specifically on other minerals trapped within the blue diamonds.

To gem cutters, inclusions are flaws, but to geologists, they are clues. “If you had to design the perfect capsule to bring something from below, a diamond would be it,” said geologist Jeffrey E. Post, curator of the mineral collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, who was not involved with the Nature report.

The creation of a blue diamond requires a complex geologic sequence. Geologists determined that trace impurities and contamination with the element boron, turn diamonds blue. A boron atom can replace a carbon atom in the crystal structure. A loose electron from boron absorbs red light, giving the diamond its blue hue.

Because boron exists in seawater, Post hypothesized that the rocks in descending crust carried the boron below, as if the element were on a boat ride to the lower mantle.

“That is a good circumstantial bit of evidence, at least,” he said.

Within the inclusions, Smith identified remnants of calcium silicates and other minerals that form only at extreme high pressure. He noted that as the diamonds worked their way back toward the surface, the high-pressure minerals within became unstable and shattered, leaving fragments stuck in the diamonds. An analysis of these ruptures, plus the list of minerals found in the inclusions, pointed to a very unusual birthplace.

Smith explained that it required the union of two rocks: oceanic crust from the surface and the underlying ocean mantle. That is a match made in the abyss — where the motion of tectonic plates forces a slab of ocean crust to descend like a conveyor belt for hundreds of miles.

Appearing in nearly every color of the rainbow, colored diamonds are extremely rare, but blue diamonds are considered the rarest. Recent survey research indicates that of 13.8 million diamonds found, only 0.02 percent were blue.

Perhaps the most famous blue diamond in the world is the legendary Hope Diamond, which resides at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The fancy dark greyish-blue diamond weighs 45.52 carats and is estimated to be worth more than $250 million.

Blue diamond discoveries are still very sporadic and are considered astonishing occurrences. And they still make headlines. In November 2015, Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau purchased "The Blue Moon of Josephine,” a 12.03 carat blue diamond, for $48.4 million. The gem was named after Lau’s seven-year-old daughter. In May 2016, the world's largest blue diamond, “The Oppenheimer Blue,” a 14.62 carat gem, won the title of the world's most expensive blue diamond ever, selling for a jaw-dropping $57.5 million.

Photo Credit: The Hope Diamond, Smithsonian Institution.

Music Friday: Her Thai Nickname Means 'Pink Sapphire,' But Jannine Is Singing About 'Diamonds'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Thai-German pop star Jannine Weigel performs "Diamonds," a tune about a boyfriend who gives her the confidence to shine like a precious stone.

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In the song, the multi-talented 18-year-old — whose Thai nickname "Ploychompoo" happens to mean "pink sapphire" — uses diamond terminology to tell her love story. She admits that she doesn't always "wake up feeling flawless," but her boyfriend recognizes that beauty is only skin deep. He's the only one who's been able to discover her true essence, and his love has transformed her. She describes her new self as a faceted diamond.

She sings, "All of the stars are aligning / My heart, it beats like a lion / 'Cause every time you hold me / And tell me that you love me / You got me cut like a diamond."

In his interpretation of the song, co-writer and producer Gabriel Alberto Azucena, also known as Gawvi, references the immense pressure that is needed for a beautiful diamond to form.

"The song is simply about understanding that we all at some point have struggled with doubts," he said. "Sometimes we can find ourselves questioning our identities and purpose, but we have to remember that the pressure and tough times we experience are simply ingredients to allow for our inner true beauty to shine.”

Weigel was born in Steinfurt, Germany, in 2000, to a German father and a Thai mother. She and her family moved to Thailand in 2010, where the youngster started working as a model. After just three months of training, at the age of 11, she earned third place in a national singing contest for children. In 2013, she started her own YouTube channel which now has 2.9 million subscribers. By 2015, she had released her first single and shortly thereafter earned movie and television roles.

Please check out the lyric video of Weigel performing "Diamonds." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Diamonds"
Written by Gabriel Alberto Azucena, Jannine Weigel and Jordan Adelberger. Performed by Jannine Weigel.

I may not wake up feeling flawless
And my emotions can be reckless, yeah
And I know, yeah I know, yeah I know
Yeah I know I ain't perfect
But I glow, yeah I glow, yeah I glow
You say that I'm worth it

You're the only one who saw beyond my skin deep
And into my heart completely
You got me cut like a diamond

All of the stars are aligning
My heart, it beats like a lion
'Cause every time you hold me
And tell me that you love me
You got me cut like a diamond

The difference in me is so drastic
From day to night it's automatic
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
Who'd I be without ya
But I glow, yeah I glow, yeah I glow
It's not a question

You're the only one who saw beyond my skin deep
And into my heart completely
You got me cut like a diamond

All of the stars are aligning
My heart, it beats like a lion
'Cause every time you hold me
And tell me that you love me
You got me cut like a diamond
You got me cut like a diamond
You got me cut like a diamond
'Cause every time you hold me
And tell me that you love me
You got me cut like a diamond

You're the only one who saw beyond my skin deep
And into my heart completely
You're the only one who saw beyond my skin deep
And into my heart completely
You got me cut like a diamond

All of the stars are aligning
My heart, it beats like a lion
'Cause every time you hold me
And tell me that you love me
You got me cut like a diamond
You got me cut like a diamond
You got me cut like a diamond
'Cause every time you hold me
And tell me that you love me
You got me cut like a diamond



Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Sotheby's Introduces 'The Midas Touch,' Its First-Ever Auction Dedicated Entirely to Gold

This October, Sotheby's London will host its first-ever auction dedicated entirely to gold. Titled "The Midas Touch," the sale will feature unusual golden artifacts cherry-picked from a wide range of Sotheby's departments.

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According to the auction house, the various offerings will take collectors on a journey through the great civilizations of the world. The Midas Touch will put artists next to artisans, sculptures next to sacred objects and contemporary painting next to ancient jewelry to present an unrivaled history of nature’s most bewitching creation — gold.

"Every department is contributing so we are going to get a real variety of items,” Sotheby’s senior director and head of sale Constantine Frangos told The Telegraph.

Sotheby's is still assembling the lots for the October event, but among the most noteworthy items, so far, is a ceremonial gilded wood chair from Napoleon’s throne room and a 17.6-pound, 18-karat gold casting in the likeness of supermodel Kate Moss' head.

Clients from around the world — especially in markets such as Asia, Russia and the Middle East — have been clamoring for collectible gold items, so Sotheby's responded with this first-ever, all-gold auction.

Noted Sotheby's in its preview of the sale, "Gold has endured where other fashions faded. In a world that speaks over 6,900 languages, the language of gold remains universal."

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These are a few of the items we will be watching closely...

• Imperial carved giltwood ceremonial armchair, 1804. Estimate $262,500 - $393,700.
• "Song of the Siren" likeness of supermodel Kate Moss in 18-karat gold. Estimate $393,700 - $525,000.
• Gem-set gold necklace, Morocco, 18th century. Estimate $32,800 - $45,900.
• Gold-mounted dagger and scabbard, Malaysia, 19th century. Estimate $15,750 - $23,600.

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The Midas Touch will have two components, a live auction that will take place in London on October 17, and an online auction that will begin on October 9 and end on October 19. Each of the lots will be on display prior to the sale at Sotheby's London galleries.

Sotheby's will be testing the results of the all-gold concept before rolling out other similar events at its auction houses outside of London.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.