Las Vegas, Jan 5 (AP/UNB) — Britney Spears is putting her planned Las Vegas residency on hold to focus on her father's recovery from a life-threatening illness.
The pop superstar announced Friday she is going on an indefinite work hiatus.
Her residency was scheduled to kick off in February at Park Theater at the Park MGM casino-resort.
Spears says she is dedicating her focus and energy to care for her family.
The statement announcing her decision says her father, Jamie Spears, has had a complicated recovery after becoming ill two months ago, undergoing emergency surgery and spending several days at a hospital.
Refunds for "Britney Domination" shows are available at the point of purchase.
Bill Hornbuckle, president of casino operator MGM Resorts International, says the company respects Spears' commitment to her family.
New York, Dec 31 (AP/UNB) — Snoop Dogg, Sting and Christina Aguilera will welcome 2019 in a packed Times Square Monday along with revelers from around the world who come to see the traditional crystal ball drop, fireworks and a blizzard of confetti.
Spectators are expected to start assembling in early afternoon for the made-for-TV extravaganza. As has been the case for years, the celebration will take place under tight security, with partygoers checked for weapons and then herded into pens, ringed by metal barricades, where they wait for the stroke of midnight.
Any repeat visitors from last year's celebration will undoubtedly be praying for better weather. Last year's event was one of the coldest on record at 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Forecasters say Monday's party will take place amid mild temperatures but possibly rain. Umbrellas are banned for security reasons.
Rain or shine, performers will try to light up the crowd.
Bastille and New Kids On The Block will perform medleys of their hit songs on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," and singer songwriter Bebe Rexha will perform John Lennon's "Imagine" before the 60-second countdown to the midnight ball drop.
People who arrive early enough to grab a standing spot in Times Square itself may have a good view of the stages where the entertainers perform. The rest of the throngs, stuffed into pens stretching several blocks north toward Central Park, will be able to follow the action on viewing screens.
There are no public toilets in the pens, backpacks are banned and there are no garbage cans either, so picnicking for the event can be rough. But revelers will have plenty of companionship, though experts say probably well short of the 1 million to 2 million spectators claimed by city officials and organizers.
Thousands of police officers will be on hand to provide security, with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs, 1,225 security cameras and 235 "blocker vehicles" used to stop any potential vehicle attacks.
The show's official programing begins at 6 p.m., with the lighting and raising of the New Year's Eve Ball up a pole atop One Times Square. The Sino-American Friendship Association will flip the giant switch that lights the ball before presenting a Chinese cultural performance culminating in red and gold pyrotechnics.
The ball drops during the midnight countdown. This year, the ball is a 12-foot (3.5-meter) diameter geodesic sphere covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles lit by 32,256 LEDs. The numerals "2019" will burst into light at midnight accompanied by pyrotechnics and the release of 3,000 pounds of confetti.
Mixed in with the confetti will be tens of thousands of wishes from around the world. People write their wishes on pieces of confetti posted on a mobile "wishing wall" in Manhattan or submit them online. Some of the wishes will be read onstage throughout the evening.
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.