Pasadena, Dec 29 (AP/UNB) — If Chaka Khan were a flower, she'd be a perennial.
"Because I go dormant and then I..." Khan stops and gracefully lifts her arms together, then slowly brings her hands apart, like a tulip emerging in spring.
"I've done it many, many times," explained the singer, perhaps best known for her multimillion selling 1984 cover of Prince's "I Feel For You."
On the brink of her first new album in a decade, and, on New Year's Day, serving as grand marshal at the Rose Parade, Chaka Khan is in bloom again.
After receiving the call from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the term "grand marshal" had the 65-year-old Khan's mind running wild.
"I'll tell you what I visualized," Khan recalled. "I imagined myself with a baton, marching in the front. 'I'm leading the whole parade.' That's what I thought."
Not even close.
Instead, Khan will be seated on a comfy bench in the back seat of a classic convertible, which will slowly make its way past the thousands along the 5.5-mile parade route. (The parade will also be seen by millions more on TV.)
"This is all new for me," the 65-year-old Khan commented. "I love challenges. And I love new stuff."
Khan will also open parade festivities with a performance. Publicists were unable to confirm whether the grand marshal-performer double duty is a Rose Parade first, but they did note it was the first time in recent memory. Khan said she would sing two songs: "I Feel for You," as well as "Hello Happiness," the second single from the new album.
The new song is not a political statement — unless you want it to be.
"I think we need a shot of just not taking the little things so seriously," Khan said of the "Happiness" lyrics. "Little things are important. It's about the little things, but just flow."
The new album, expected by the end of 2019, is her first since the well-received 2007 "Funk This."
So, why take such a long break between the two releases?
Khan said she never stopped recording from 2008-2018, she simply stopped releasing material. She also took care of herself physically and made up for all those lonely years on the road by spending time with family and friends.
She also needed time to pull herself together after the April 2016 passing of old friend Prince, who died of a drug overdose. About six months later, Khan entered rehab to deal with her own prescription-drug addiction.
"You cover up and rethink your whole life," Khan commented. "You've got to rethink yourself."
At last, for Khan, it is time to bloom again. And this parade, with its roses in winter, seems the perfect place for a perennial to make her return.
Khan even has her regal wave ready the masses.
"It's just that," she said, raising her arm, cupping her hand and moving it back and forth ever so slightly. "You use as little energy as necessary. You know, the Queen is very stingy with her energy."
Los Angeles, Dec 27 (AP/UNB) — Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth appear to have tied the knot amid reports the couple got married in a secret wedding ceremony.
Cyrus posted three black-and-white photos of her and Hemsworth on the singer's Instagram and Twitter accounts on Wednesday. She captioned her photos writing "10 years later ..." and "12.23.18," possibly indicating the day they exchanged vows.
The 26-year-old Cyrus shared another photo of her and Hemsworth kissing. He also posted a photo of them with words "My love."
In each picture, Cyrus is dressed in all-white while the 28-year-old actor is wearing a tuxedo with white shoes.
Cyrus and Hemsworth's representatives did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
The couple reconnected in 2015 after an on-and-off relationship. They both starred in the 2010 romantic drama "The Last Song."
Dhaka, Dec 26 (UNB) - The exhibition titled "East Coast Group Bangladesh International Salon 2018" organized by ‘Phoenix Photographic Society’ began at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka.
The inaugural ceremony of the exhibition was held on Wednesday.
Pathbreaking photographer Sayeeda Khanam graced the occasion as the chief guest. Eminent photographer Chanchal Mahmood also attended the event as special guest.
Internationally recognised by organisations like Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP) and Photographic Society of America (PSA), "East Coast Group Bangladesh International Salon 2018" is a photography contest organised by Phoenix Photographic Society.
The competition will remain open for submissions till November 22, 2018 to photographers of all skill levels and backgrounds. The theme of this event remained open. World renowned photo organization like, FIAP, PSA, GPU, ICS, FI & BPS have participated with their respective patronages.100 awarded images of 100 photographers are in display the exhibition.
A workshop on ‘Basic Photography’ conducted by eminent photographer Rafiqul Islam will be held on Friday.
The exhibition will be open to all till December 28, 2018 at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka.
Visiting Hours: Monday to Thursday from 3:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday (9:00am to12:00 noon and 5:00pm to 8:00pm). Closed on Sunday.
England, Dec 26 (AP/UNB) — Queen Elizabeth II wove personal reflections into the latest edition of her annual Christmas message, saying she hoped her long life brought a measure of wisdom and noting her grandchildren's contributions to Britain's royal family.
The 92-year-old queen, the world's longest-reigning living monarch, also included the customary tribute to military personnel and wishes for world peace in the message, which was pre-recorded at Buckingham Palace and televised Tuesday.
"Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom," Elizabeth said in the recording. "I'd like to think so. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life's baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good and yet a capacity for evil."
On a lighter note, the queen listed the House of Windsor's 2018 milestones with the same unabashed pride of someone writing their yearly Christmas letter for friends and far-flung relatives.
"It's been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied," Elizabeth said, not forgetting to mention her own firstborn,
"We have had other celebrations too, including the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales," otherwise known as heir to the throne Prince Charles.
The annual message was broadcast to many of the 53 Commonwealth countries. Elizabeth recalled that her father, King George VI, welcomed eight former British colonies at the first meeting of Commonwealth leaders in 1948.
"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding," she said.
The queen mentioned her father, from whom she inherited the throne when he died in 1952, again while expressing gratitude for soldiers and sailors past and present. During World War I, two decades before his own unexpected ascension to the throne, he served with the Royal Navy and saw friends killed in battle, Elizabeth said.
"At Christmas, we become keenly aware of loved ones who have died, whatever the circumstances. But, of course, we would not grieve if we did not love.
Earlier in the day, Elizabeth and her family received cheers from a Christmas crowd when they arrived for a church service in the English countryside. A chauffeured limousine delivered the queen, while her descendants and their spouses walked from a nearby estate of the monarch's.
Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, and Prince Harry and his pregnant wife, Meghan. Harry and the former American actress known as Meghan Markle married in May and are expecting their first child in the spring.
The couple walked arm in arm next to William and Catherine. Many in the crowd wished them "Merry Christmas" as they strolled to the church in the English countryside on a cold, wintry morning.
After the 45-minute service, people gave them flowers as they headed back for a traditional Christmas lunch.
The queen's husband, Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not attend the service. Charles' wife Camilla, who is recovering from flu, also missed church.
William and Catherine's three children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis, also stayed home.
Britain's royals usually exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popularized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen typically frowns on extravagant gifts, and many of the presents are novelty items.
When the queen was younger, Christmas meant a brisk family walk through the woods on Christmas or an excursion on horseback.
Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas Day message when she took the throne in 1952. The seasonal addresses aired on the radio until she made the transition to television in 1957.
They have been broadcast during every year of her reign save one. In 1969, the queen decided her family had received enough exposure from giving a TV crew unusual access for a documentary.
That year, she issued the message in writing.
London, Dec 26 (AP/UNB) — Paul McCartney's Christmas message to his fans around the world: Don't be like me and eat and drink too much.
The 76-year-old former Beatle tweeted his lighthearted holiday wishes Tuesday illustrated with photos from his younger days.
He says "don't eat and drink too much! I know I will, but that's no excuse for you" before wishing everyone a good holiday.
He says "I hope you enjoy all your presents and I hope you remember the true meaning of Christmas, which is love and peace and being good to each other."
McCartney briefly reunited with Beatles drummer Ringo Starr at a London concert last week.