Martial arts superstar Bruce Lee’s legacy endures 50 years on

By Holmes CHAN HONG KONG, July 19, 2023 (AFP) – Hong Kong businessman W. Wong still remembers the day in 1972 when he first heard neighbourhood kids rave about a figure who seemed larger than life: Bruce Lee. Lee, a consummate martial artist whose films spawned a kung fu craze around the world, was one of the first Asian men to achieve Hollywood superstardom before his death at 32. His influence can still be felt […]

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 […]

Philippines allows Barbie film but wants controversial map blurred

MANILA, July 12, 2023 (AFP) – Philippine censors said Wednesday they have allowed the Barbie film to be shown in cinemas, after asking its Hollywood distributor to blur lines on a brightly-coloured world map drawing allegedly showing China’s claims to the disputed South China Sea. The fantasy comedy film about the famous doll, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is set to open in the Southeast Asian nation on July […]

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 […]

Britney Spears says hit in face by Wembanyama’s security

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2023 (AFP) – Las Vegas police said Thursday they had investigated an incident between French NBA top draft pick Victor Wembanyama’s security and pop star Britney Spears, who said she had been hit in the face. Wembanyama is in Las Vegas ahead of his first game in the NBA Summer League against Charlotte on Friday and was heading to a restaurant when he was spotted by fans — and Spears. Media reports […]

Bruno Mars’ epic two-day Concert at Philippine Arena sets the stage ablaze with unforgettable performances

Manila, Philippines – International music sensation Bruno Mars rocked the stage at the iconic Philippine Arena for two consecutive nights, delivering an explosive and unforgettable concert experience. The world’s largest indoor arena was packed to its maximum capacity as over 50,000 fans witnessed Mars’ captivating performances and extraordinary showmanship. The Grammy Award-winning artist showcased his chart-topping hits, including “Just the Way You Are,” “Uptown Funk,” and “24K Magic,” captivating the audience from the very first […]

‘Best Spider-Man artist’ John Romita Snr dies at 93

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Marvel Comics artist John Romita Snr, primarily known for his work on “The Amazing Spider-Man”, has died, his son said Tuesday. He was 93 years of age. Romita Snr, born in Brooklyn in 1930, spent decades drawing the eponymous superhero of “The Amazing Spider-Man” comic book series for US publisher Marvel, during the medium’s so-called Silver Age. “My father, John Romita passed away peacefully in his sleep this Monday morning,” his son, […]

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 […]

Here Comes the AI: Fans rejoice in ‘new’ Beatles music

By Issam AHMED Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, June 5, 2023 (AFP) — When the Beatles broke up more than 50 years ago, devastated fans were left yearning for more. Now, artificial intelligence is offering just that. From “re-uniting” the Fab Four on songs from their solo careers, to re-imagining surviving superstar Paul McCartney’s later works with his voice restored to its youthful peak, the new creations show off how far this technology has come — and […]