Entertainment – International

Jungkook, Anitta draw fans to Central Park aid fest despite rain

NEW YORK, Sept 23, 2023 (AFP) – Thousands of people gathered in a swampy Central Park for a concert urging global development aid, with Jungkook of BTS fame and Brazil’s Anitta highlighting the marathon show’s first half. Jungkook had the poncho-clad crowd screaming and swaying along as he serenaded them with hits including “Still With You” during the Global Citizen Festival marked by a chilly, persistent rain. Wearing acid wash jeans and a brown shirt, […]

UK media investigate sex assault claims against comedian Russell Brand

LONDON, Sept 17, 2023 (AFP) – The BBC and Channel 4, former employers of British actor and comedian Russell Brand, said Sunday they were investigating claims of rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse over a seven-year period, which the 48-year-old has denied. Four women have alleged sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013, when Brand was at the height of his fame working as a presenter for BBC Radio 2, Channel 4 and acting in Hollywood […]

Everybody hurts: Los Angeles suffers as Hollywood strike hits 100 days

BURBANK, United States, Aug 9, 2023 (AFP) – In his dry cleaning shop near the Warner Bros. and Disney studios, Tom Malian looks in despair at a carousel mostly empty of the shirts, jackets and pants it held before Hollywood went on strike. Film and TV production ground to a halt 100 days ago when writers downed their pens, only to be joined on the picket lines in mid-July by actors. The double strike emptied […]

‘Barbie’ stays atop ‘hill of cash’ in N.America theaters

LOS ANGELES, July 30, 2023 (AFP) – Warner Bros.’ blockbuster “Barbie” earned an estimated $93 million in North American theaters this weekend as it continued “rolling down a hill of cash,” industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday. Taken together with Universal’s dark biopic “Oppenheimer,” which took in a mighty $46.2 million in its own second weekend out, the two films provided a much-needed “Barbenheimer” boost during a middling Hollywood summer. “July would have been a […]

Tony Bennett, last of classic American crooners, dead at 96

NEW YORK, July 21, 2023 (AFP) – Tony Bennett, the last in a generation of classic American crooners whose ceaselessly cheery spirit bridged generations to make him a hitmaker across seven decades, died Friday in New York. He was 96. Raised in an era when big bands defined US pop music, Bennett achieved an improbable second act when he started winning over young audiences in the 1990s — not by reinventing himself but by demonstrating […]

No stars? Comic-Con returns to roots as Hollywood strikes

By Andrew MARSZAL Agence France-Presse SAN DIEGO, United States (AFP) — Comic books, video games and colorful “cosplay” outfits took center stage at Comic-Con as the giant pop culture event kicked off Thursday without its usual A-list stars due to the Hollywood strike. Braving the soaring heat, tens of thousands of fans dressed as characters from Wonder Woman to Barbie and Ken flocked to San Diego, California. While Comic-Con typically draws headlines for glitzy movie […]

Taylor Swift sets women’s record for most number one albums

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Taylor Swift now has more number one albums than any other female artist in history following the recent release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” Billboard said Monday. The record debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, becoming the pop queen’s 12th number one album and surpassing Barbra Streisand for the most among women. For male performers, Jay-Z and the Beatles both have over a dozen number one albums, […]

‘Mission: Impossible’ returns, topping N.America box office

OS ANGELES, July 16, 2023 (AFP) – The seventh installment of the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise was No. 1 at North American box offices this weekend, Sunday estimates showed, scaring off horror flick “Insidious: The Red Door” from last weekend’s top spot. Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” the latest in the long-running series starring Tom Cruise, brought in $52.6 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported. David A. Gross, of Franchise Entertainment Research, called […]

Hollywood shuts down as actors go on strike

By Andrew MARSZAL Agence France-Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Tens of thousands of Hollywood actors will go on strike at midnight Thursday, effectively bringing the giant movie and television business to a halt as they join writers in the first industry-wide walkout for 63 years. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) issued a strike order after last-ditch talks with studios on their demands over dwindling pay and the threat posed by artificial intelligence ended […]

K-pop megastars BTS release memoir

SEOUL (AFP) – K-pop megastars BTS released their hotly anticipated memoir in South Korea on Sunday, marking their 10th anniversary as a group. “Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS” is the septet’s first official book, and contains a chronological summary of their musical career as well as hints at their future endeavours, according to their agency BIGHIT MUSIC. Crowds were kept away by heavy rain on Sunday morning, but some diehard fans braved the […]

Golden Globes journalist group to be dissolved as awards taken private

By Andrew MARSZAL Agence France-Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The scandal-hit association of foreign journalists that created the Golden Globes will be wound down as the Hollywood award show is formally purchased by private investors including US billionaire Todd Boehly, it was announced Monday. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a group of around 100 entertainment writers with links to overseas publications — has handed out the Globes to A-list film and television […]

South Korea celebrates 10 years of K-pop megastars BTS

By Claire LEE Agence France-Presse SEOUL, June 12, 2023 (AFP) — Fans of K-pop megastars BTS flocked to hotspots around Seoul on Monday to mark the supergroup’s 10-year anniversary, with South Korea unveiling a special commemorative stamp series to celebrate. The group’s fans — known collectively as ARMY — gathered outside the offices of its agency HYBE to take selfies and record TikTok videos in front of a huge mural of the stars being painted […]