Nashville, Aug 29 (AP/UNB) — Chris Stapleton topped the list of finalists Tuesday with five nominations for the 52nd annual Country Music Association Awards.
Stapleton is vying for entertainer of the year, male vocalist of the year, single of the year for "Broken Halos," album of the year for "From A Room: Volume 2" and song of the year for "Broken Halos." It was his third nomination for entertainer of the year and fourth consecutive for male vocalist.
Producer and musician Dann Huff received four nominations, including musician of the year, single of the year for "Drinkin' Problem," album of the year for "Graffiti U," and album of the year for "Life Changes." Huff has won musician of the year three other times.
Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Janson, Miranda Lambert, Midland, Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban each received three nominations. This is Urban's 14th nomination for male vocalist of the year.
The year's biggest country song, "Meant To Be," by pop-country crossover artist Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line was nominated for single of the year. Other nominees in that category were Stapleton's "Broken Halos," ''Drinkin' Problem" by Midland, Aldean's "Drowns the Whiskey" featuring Miranda Lambert, and D + Shay's "Tequila."
Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, Chris Janson, Midland and Brett Young were nominated for new artist.
The nominations were announced from entertainer Luke Bryan's restaurant and bar in Nashville on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Anytime you're nominated for entertainer of the year, it's so rewarding," Bryan said. "You get to share it with your fans."
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the show on Nov. 14.
Philadelphia, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — Stevie Wonder has helped celebrate the 90th anniversary of a legendary Philadelphia gospel group.
Philly.com reports the African American Museum in Philadelphia hosted a celebration for the Dixie Hummingbirds Monday. The group was formed in Greenville, South Carolina, and eventually moved to Philadelphia in 1942.
Wonder couldn't attend the celebration but he called in to praise the Dixie Hummingbirds for its contributions to modern music.
Current member Ira Tucker Jr. says he's carrying on the legacy of his father, Ira Tucker Sr., who died in 2008. Tucker says his father and his groupmates were innovators in the '40s and '50s who helped usher in contemporary rhythm and blues music.
The Dixie Hummingbirds have three concerts scheduled this month. Members plan on rereleasing their 2011 album "Gospel Praise Songs — Powered By Quartets" this fall.
Dhaka, Aug 25 (UNB) - A German-Bangla movie night will be organised at Goethe-Institut Dhaka on Sunday.
Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) in cooperation with Goethe Institut will organise the film show.
The film screening is a regular collaboration between DUFS and Goethe Institut, held on the last Sunday of every month.
This edition will consist of a German feature film along with a short film made by a Bangladeshi director.
A 30-minute long Bangladeshi film ‘Ghraan’ (The Smell) directed by Kamrul Ahsan Lenin will be screened at 4 pm while a 108-minute German full-length film ‘Greetings from Fukushima’ directed by Doris Dörrie is scheduled to be screened at 4.40 PM.
The screenings are free of cost and open for all.
New York, Aug 10 (AP/UNB) — Not since Faye Dunaway shouted "La La Land!" has an Oscar announcement caused quite as much chaos as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to create a new Academy Awards category for "outstanding achievement in popular film."
The film academy's surprise announcement Wednesday proved remarkably unpopular, at least among film critics and some academy members. Actor Rob Lowe, a longtime academy member, pronounced the Oscars dead, "survived by sequels, tent-poles and vertical integration."
The other new changes were met with a mix of praise and grumbling. Many applauded the dramatic move up the calendar to February 9 in 2020. (Awards season has become a nearly four-month slog with many repeat winners.) Perhaps inevitable was the move to shrink the broadcast to three hours and remove some categories from the live telecast.
But the introduction of a "popular film" category, beginning with the upcoming Feb. 24 ceremony to be televised by ABC, raised a lot of questions. Here's an attempt to answer a few of them.
WHY IS THE ACADEMY DOING THIS?
Low ratings. This year's nearly four-hour-long Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, was watched by 26.5 million people, an almost 20 percent drop from the year before and well below the days of 40 million-plus viewership. Some 43.7 million watched in 2014 when "12 Years a Slave" won best picture, but each year since has seen declines. That's troubling news for the academy, which depends on broadcast revenue for most of its budget, and ABC, which owns broadcast rights for the Oscars through 2028. But whether that broadcast is cause for desperation is debatable. The Academy Awards still rank as easily the biggest non-football broadcast of the year, and ratings for everything, including the Super Bowl, is declining in the increasingly fractured media landscape. The Grammys, for comparison, dropped 24 percent, with 19.8 million.
WHOSE DECISION WAS THIS?
The measures were approved by the academy's 54-member board of governors. Its roughly 7,000 members were not consulted, and many of them said they considered a "popular film" category a pandering move for a 91-year-old institution. Adam McKay, who won best screenplay in 2016 for "The Big Short" and whose upcoming Dick Cheney film is expected to be in the mix this year, joked on Twitter that the Oscars will also have new categories for "best knife throw" and "hottest female alien." But the academy's decision was also influenced by the demands of its broadcasting partner, ABC, which has pressured Oscar producers to make the telecast more broadly appealing. (Kimmel's show deliberately steered clear of politics, largely.) Representatives for the network and for the academy declined to comment for this article.
HAVE HIT FILMS NOT BEEN NOMINATED?
This year's Oscars actually included a number of major box-office success including best-picture nominees "Get Out" and "Dunkirk," animated feature winner "Coco," cinematography winner "Blade Runner 2049," and other nominees like "Beauty and the Beast," ''Baby Driver" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." If anything, the academy has shown increasing willingness to nominate genre movies, from horror ("Get Out") to sci-fi ("Arrival," ''Gravity"). "Logan" this year became the first superhero movie nominated for a major award, scoring an adapted screenplay nod. Some, though, had hoped "Wonder Woman" would have landed something.
BUT HAVEN'T BEST PICTURE WINNERS BEEN SMALL?
Yes, this is true. No best-picture winner since 2012's "Argo" has cleared $100 million in domestic box office. Independent films have won ten of the last 11 best-picture Oscars, including wins for "Moonlight," ''Spotlight," ''Birdman" and "The Artist." This year's winner, "The Shape of Water," was no slouch, though, with $63.9 million in domestic ticket sales and almost $200 million worldwide — an undeniably large haul for a movie featuring sex with a fish man. Still, this has been a concern for the Academy Awards since Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" was snubbed in the category, triggering the 2009 expansion from five nominees to 10 (later changed to up to 10 nominees by preferential ballot). The expansion helped make room, in the years to come, for blockbusters like "Up," ''Inception" and "The Martian." But it did little to stem the stronghold smaller films have on best picture. For that, Hollywood can only blame itself. The major studios years ago gave up on making much beyond global tentpoles. Perhaps not coincidentally, the market-leader in tentpoles, Disney (with three $1 billion releases just this year) owns ABC and could potentially dominate a "popular film" category.
WHAT'S A POPULAR FILM, ANYWAY?
Most perplexing of all may be the academy's definition of a "popular" film. It said the details were still being worked out, but that the academy "supports broad-based consideration of excellence in all films." So how does one measure popularity? In ticket sales? "Solo: A Star Wars Story" made $213 million in North America, but few cared much for it. Do overseas sales count? Would a traditional Oscar nominee like "La La Land" ($446 million worldwide) have been a "popular" film? And how would a box-office threshold work for late December releases just opening at the time of nominations? Should the winner also be chosen purely on a basis of highest box-office gross?
WILL ANYONE WANT ONE OF THESE?
Never underestimate how much people want an Oscar, any Oscar. But it seems certain that a "popular film" Oscar will not be looked upon like a "real" Oscar, but rather a kind of MTV Awards-ish half-Oscar. For many, it reeks of patronizing, of ghettoizing "popular" from "art" in a popular art form. Even in today's blockbuster-driven Hollywood, many believe both can still coexist. And the year has already offered up an especially good example of just that: Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther." The acclaimed Disney film was already seen a best picture contender; now, some fear it will be relegated to the "popular film" corner. The movie business tried this once before: The very first Academy Awards gave an award for artistic achievement (to F.W. Murnau's "Sunrise") and for "outstanding production" (William Wellman's "Wings"). Both, it's worth noting, remain masterpieces. But the dichotomy was done away with the next year.
New York, Aug 11 (AP/UNB) — Authorities are investigating the suspected overdose death at Trump Tower of a man romantically linked to reality TV personality Bethenny Frankel.
A spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office has identified the man as Dennis Shields.
The 51-year-old Shields had been known for being the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Frankel, who gained fame as a star of "The Real Housewives of New York City."
Police responding to a 911 call say they discovered the body shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday at President Donald Trump's high-rise on Fifth Avenue.
An emergency medical service team pronounced Shields dead at the scene.
Frankel went to high school with Shield's estranged wife.