New York, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — Halle Bailey, half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle, will next be going under the sea, starring as Ariel in the upcoming adaptation of "The Little Mermaid."
The live-action version will include original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Some of the tunes include "Under the Sea," ''Part of Your World" and "Kiss the Girl."
Bailey will join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the film, which will be directed by Rob Marshall, who helmed "Mary Poppins Returns."
Marshall says that Bailey "possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role."
Dubai, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that hip-hop star Nicki Minaj will perform in the ultraconservative kingdom as it sheds decades of restrictions on entertainment.
The female rapper is known for her outlandish, provocative style and hits like "Anaconda," where she raps about her "big fat" backside. Her lyrics are often laced with profanities and her skin-bearing music videos often include twerking. Christian groups criticized her 2012 Grammy Awards performance, which included dancing priests and an exorcism.
Saudi organizers announced she would be the headline act at the Jeddah World Fest on July 18. The concert, which in line with Saudi laws is alcohol and drug-free, is open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city.
Reactions on social media ranged from shock and joy to criticism and disappointment. In a profanity-laced video posted on Twitter and viewed more than 37,000 times, a Saudi woman wearing a loose headscarf accuses the Saudi government of hypocrisy for inviting Minaj to perform but requiring women who attend the concert to wear the modest full-length robe known as the abaya. Most Saudi women also veil their hair and faces.
"She's going to go and shake her ass and all her songs are indecent and about sex and shaking ass and then you tell me to wear the abaya," the Saudi woman says. "What the hell?"
Saudi organizers said the concert will be broadcast globally and covered by MTV. Other performers include British artist Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, rapper Sean Paul, and DJs David Guetta and Tiesto. That's despite the widespread international backlash since October over the killing of Saudi critic and writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents close to the crown prince in the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.
Such concerts are a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.
Gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums.
Dhaka, Jul 3 (UNB)- A court here on Tuesday granted interim relief from arrest to Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi till July 19 in connection with a case of rape filed against him by a 36-year-old woman, reports the Indian Express.
He had filed an anticipatory bail application in the Dindoshi sessions court.
Seeking pre-arrest bail for the actor, his lawyer Prashant Patil argued that the woman had lied in her complaint.
Her date of birth was different in her complaint and in her passport, and such discrepancies show “her intention to lie”, the lawyer said.
The woman waited for 15 years after the alleged crime, and filed the complaint only when Pancholi got a favourable order from a magistrate’s court in a defamation case he has filed against her, advocate Patil argued. The police opposed the plea for anticipatory bail.
“My client has been granted interim bail by the Hon’ble Sessions Court at Dindoshi till further orders. We submitted before the Hon’ble court that the complaint was filed after a delay of 15 years. Entire complaint is ex-facie false even to the knowledge of the prosecutrix. My client had initiated certain criminal complaints against the prosecutrix since May 2019 before police station, however no cognisance was taken by the police. Prima facie no case is made out against my client,” Pancholi’s lawyer Prashant Patil told indianexpress.com.
Judge HB Gaikwad adjourned the hearing to July 19 and granted Pancholi interim relief. ‘If he is arrested during this period, he must be released on an interim bail until further orders on executing a personal bond of Rs 30,000,’ the judge said.
The suburban Versova Police has registered a case against Pancholi under IPC sections 376 (rape), 323 (assault), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 384 (extortion).
The woman has accused, among other things, that Pancholi extorted Rs 50 lakh from her after threatening to send her private photographs to her relatives and friends. Pancholi has claimed that he is being implicated in a false case.
New York, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — Taylor Swift's feuds can captivate the public almost as much as her music, and her latest emotional salvo against one of music's top managers not only made headlines but got key players in the industry riled up, with the likes of Justin Bieber, Halsey and Demi Lovato publicly choosing sides as accusations and insults were posted furiously on social media.
But days after the storm, experts say Swift and Scooter Braun, who manages Bieber and Ariana Grande and now owns Swift's masters, will have to find a way to work together — both to preserve Swift's rich musical legacy but also make money and do good business.
"Whether anyone likes it or not, Scooter Braun just became one of Taylor Swift's most important business partners (and) these are people that need to work with each other now," said Bill Werde, former editorial director of Billboard and director of the Bandier program for recorded and entertainment industries at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
"(Scooter) wants her to continue to be the biggest star in the world for as long as possible because that's how he's going to get the best return on his investment," Werde continued. "I think that in the not too distant future you're going to see ... things get better. You know, you're going to see some olive branches."
On Sunday, Braun's Ithaca Holdings announced that it acquired Big Machine Label Group, the label led by Scott Borchetta and home to Swift's first six albums, including the Grammy winners for album of the year, 2008's "Fearless" and 2014's "1989." Swift said in November she signed with Universal Music Group instead of staying at Big Machine because she knew that re-signing with the label would only result in her not owning her future work.
Once the news broke, Swift penned a scathing Tumblr note, saying she was sad and grossed out that her music catalog now belongs to Braun.
"When I left my masters in Scott's hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter," she said her post. "Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn't want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever."
"When Taylor decided to make a deal for future records someplace else, she ... certainly knew that Big Machine would be sold probably sooner than later," said Larry Miller, the director of the music business program at New York University's Steinhardt school. "It's unfortunate that she feels the way that she does about the place that her catalog is now going to live."
But what seemed to first be about music ownership and artists' rights turned into dramatic theater, as Swift also wrote about her clashes with Kim Kardashian and West, and claimed she didn't know about the sale of her catalog until the news was announced Sunday. The social media showdown played out throughout the day, with Borchetta providing details of the text he says he sent to Swift about the deal the night before it was announced. He even shared screenshots of a contract between the two of them discussing a possible new deal that would also allow her to own all her masters.
Braun's wife and his clients including Lovato and Bieber showed him support, while Halsey, Todrick Hall, model-actress Cara Delevingne and music video director Joseph Khan were #TeamTaylor. Even country singer Kacey Musgraves jumped in the ring by liking the Instagram post by Braun's wife.
It marked another saga in the drama of Swift, who has had a number of public feuds, from former boyfriend Calvin Harris to Katy Perry (who made up with Swift and recently appeared in her latest video, "You Need to Calm Down").
"I think Taylor, who has led many discussions about what is good for artists in the music business, had an opportunity to lead another one here about control and ownership of your own songs as an artist. But I think she kind of muddled matters by combining this with what felt like a personal vendetta," Werde said. "Now we're all talking about which pop star took whose side."
Swift will release a new album called "Lover" on Aug. 23. Miller said he expects things to work out in the future regarding her catalog.
"About four years ago maybe there was a big Taylor Swift dust up around the launch of Apple Music, right? ... and I'm pretty sure they found a way to work together," Miller said, referencing Swift's 2015 public letter explaining why she was pulling her songs over Apple Music over payments to artists; Apple agreed with Swift's stance and they've worked together ever since.
"Big Machine under its new ownership with Ithaca Holdings, and Taylor and her team ... will find to do what's right for her and for her catalog."
New York, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — Leonardo DiCaprio is joining with billionaire investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to create a new nonprofit environmental powerhouse charged with tackling climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
The new organization, Earth Alliance, "will work globally to protect ecosystems and wildlife, ensure climate justice, support renewable energy and secure indigenous rights to the benefit of all life on Earth," according to a statement.
Earth Alliance said Tuesday it will provide grants, educational opportunities and fund campaigns and films, as well as work with grassroots organizations and individuals in places most affected by biodiversity loss and climate change.
In the statement, DiCaprio called Earth Alliance a "new larger, nimble platform that shares resources and expertise while identifying the best programs to drive real change around the planet."
DiCaprio has long championed environmentalism, with his eco-focused Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation giving out $100 million in grants for everything from lion recovery and mangrove restoration to the defense of indigenous rights and better access to affordable solar energy. His foundation will be folded into Earth Alliance.
Brian Sheth, the co-founder and president of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, is the board chair of Global Wildlife Conservation and founded The Sheth Sangreal Foundation with his wife to support environmental and educational initiatives. The Sheth Sangreal Foundation will fund operational and administrative costs of Earth Alliance.
Powell Jobs, widow of former Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, is a philanthropist and entrepreneur and president of the Emerson Collective, a social impact organization.