Entertainment – International

US music industry streams double-digit revenue growth

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The US music industry posted its third straight year of double-digit growth in 2018 thanks to continued surges in streaming, an industry tracker said Thursday. Revenues from recorded music jumped 12 percent to $9.8 billion in estimated retail value, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, with 75 percent of revenues coming from streaming. The RIAA said paid subscriptions of streaming services like Spotify and Tidal soared to […]

Jonas Brothers reunite, will release first new music in years

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Jonas Brothers are getting the band back together — and will release their first single in six years, the heartthrob trio announced Thursday. “We’re baaaccckkkk…” the band tweeted. The Grammy-nominated boy band is set to drop their new song “Sucker” Friday at midnight, their label said, after splitting nearly six years ago, citing a “deep rift in the band.” The brothers — Joe, 29, Kevin, 31, and Nick, […]

Hit song ‘Despacito’ breaks YouTube record with six billion views

PARIS, France (AFP) — The mega-hit “Despacito” by the Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi has become the most watched video ever on YouTube with more than six billion views, the Google-owned service said Tuesday. The video, first released in January 2017 by Fonsi and Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee, already holds the record for the fastest two billion, three billion and four billion views (272 days). Fonsi’s Spanish-language hit, whose English title is “Slowly”, has […]

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ threequel soars to top of box office

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” debuted atop the North American box office, taking in $55 million, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said Monday. The animated film ended the weekend ahead of the two earlier installments in the “Train Your Dragon” series — neither of which hit $50 million — making it the top domestic opener of the year, according to Variety magazine. Voiced by Jay Baruchel, […]

Once again, a Mexican filmmaker takes Oscars by storm

by Natalia CANO Agence France Presse MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AFP) — Alfonso Cuaron’s big Oscars night — three golden statuettes for his personal film “Roma,” including his second for best director — once again highlights the major success in Hollywood for Mexican filmmakers. This time, though, is a bit different. When Cuaron won the first time, it was for space epic “Gravity,” a mega-studio production with a budget of $100 million and mega-stars Sandra Bullock […]

Egyptians hail Oscar-winning ‘Pharaoh’ Rami Malek

CAIRO, Egypt (AFP) — Egyptians on Monday hailed Rami Malek as a new “Pharaoh” after he won the best actor Oscar for his performance as rock singer Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Malek, an American of Egyptian origin, received the award on Sunday for his portrayal of the gay icon and lead singer of iconic British band “Queen”. On social media, Egyptians highlighted a quote from his Oscar acceptance speech: “I am the son of […]

Oscar winners in main categories

  HOLLYWOOD, United States (AFP) — Here are the winners in key categories at the 91st Academy Awards, which were handed out on Sunday in Hollywood. “Green Book” took home the best picture Oscar, while Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” won for best director, best foreign film and best cinematography. Top acting honors were shared among four different films. Best picture: “Green Book” Best director: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” Best actor: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” Best actress: Olivia […]

Stanley Donen, famed director of ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ dies at 94

Stanley Donen, who directed such beloved Hollywood classics as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “On the Town” and “Charade,” has died in New York at age 94. His death of a heart attack was confirmed by one of his sons, Mark Donen, the Chicago Tribune reported. Donen, whose films were known as witty, stylish and energetic, worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, from Audrey Hepburn to Fred Astaire. Under Donen’s direction, Gene Kelly’s famously exuberant […]

Superstar R. Kelly charged with sex abuse, including against minors

by Nova Safo, with Maggy Donaldson in New York R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged Friday in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors. A judge approved a no-bail arrest warrant for the 52-year-old, a Cook County clerk told AFP, a major development in the Kelly saga that has seen him for decades accused of child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual […]

Fun facts and figures about the Oscars

HOLLYWOOD, United States (AFP) — How much does an Oscar statue weigh? Which actor has received the most ever nominations? Who has the most Oscars ever? Here are some fun facts about the 91st Academy Awards, which will take place in Hollywood on Sunday: – Uncle Oscar? – Hollywood lore has it that the Academy Award was nicknamed Oscar after Academy librarian Margaret Herrick — who eventually became executive director — saw the trophy for […]

Moviegoers react to French film on priest’s abuse of boy scouts

French director Fran├žois Ozon’s “By the Grace of God,” about the real-life story of a priest accused of sexually abusing boy scouts, hits Paris cinemas, a day after its controversial release was approved by the courts. Moviegoers who saw the film reacted to the controversial movie that touches on a subject that has stirred wounds of sex abuse victims of the Catholic clergy, and also created awareness about the issue. Marcel Benbassat, one of those […]

Folk musician Peter Tork of Monkees fame dies at 77

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Peter Tork, the offbeat folk artist who found fame with 1960s pop band the Monkees, has died, his team announced Thursday. He was 77 years old. “It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world,” the team posted on his official Facebook page, without specifying a cause of death. The […]