Tuesday May 24, 2016

Pharrell Williams produces Little Big Town's upcoming record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hit music producer and artist Pharrell Williams has produced the next album for country quartet Little Big Town, who will perform the first single on Tuesday's season finale of "The Voice" on NBC. Their new eight-song album is called "Wanderlust." It will be...
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Pharrell Williams produces Little Big Town's upcoming record
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Pharrell Williams produces Little Big Town's upcoming record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hit music producer and artist Pharrell Williams has produced the next album for country quartet Little Big Town, who will perform the first single on Tuesday's season finale of "The Voice" on NBC. Their new eight-song album is called "Wanderlust." It will be released by Capitol Records Nashville on June 10, the band said. The new song, "One of Those Days," was released digitally Tuesday ahead of the TV appearance. The Grammy-winning group consists of Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook. Fairchild said in a statement the collaboration between the "Girl Crush" singers and the hit maker behind "Blurred Lines" and "Happy" started with a writing session a few months ago that turned into several songs. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Grey's Anatomy' actor helps produce BET documentary
Tuesday May 24, 2016
'Grey's Anatomy' actor helps produce BET documentary

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Jesse Williams says he sees BET's documentary premiering Thursday on the Black Lives Matter movement as a time capsule capturing the conditions that led to the group's formation. Williams, of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," is an executive producer and is interviewed in the film "Stay Woke: the Black Lives Matter Movement." It airs Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT. Starting with a recording of the call to police that led to Trayvon Martin's death in Florida, the film describes that and the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray — cases that led to the formation and growth of the protest movement. It traces the group to a frustrated tweet that first used the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. "We wanted to give them a voice in telling their own story rather than hearing people talk about them," Williams said. Williams, who said he became involved in the documentary directed by Laurens Grant at BET's request, praised the movement for giving young people angered about deaths of people in police custody "a place to feel like they are part of a community that loves them, that looks like them, that sounds like them, that understands them when they speak and doesn't condescend to them." The hour-long documentary discusses the resentment some members of the Black Lives Matter community felt toward veteran civil rights activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. It also shows footage of anti-police protesters chanting "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon." That chant was used to discuss how some in the media seized upon it to paint the group as radical. Although the film quotes one man who says Black Lives Matter is not about harming police but about making law enforcement accountable, Williams said it was not the place of filmmakers or the movement to be critical of the incendiary chant. "That's not a concern of mine at all, what a couple of kids say in frustration," he said. Black Lives Matter shouldn't let its critics drive the conversation, he said. Williams said he wasn't familiar with President Barack Obama's commencement address to black students at Howard University earlier this month, where he said change requires more than righteous anger. While the president encouraged activism, he advised young people to work within the system and was critical of instances where protesters disrupted political rallies. The protesters were critical of Hillary Clinton's remarks in 1996 about her husband's crime bill. Williams said he didn't believe that Black Lives Matter activists need to take a role in changing the conditions about which they're protesting. "It's unfair for the ones who sound the alarm to be burdened with the responsibility for coming up with a complete solution," the actor said. ___ This story corrects spelling of Freddie Gray. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by David Bauder from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Top Gear' roars back with Matt LeBlanc, high expectations
Tuesday May 24, 2016
'Top Gear' roars back with Matt LeBlanc, high expectations

LONDON (AP) — "Top Gear" doesn't do understatement. If it were a car, the BBC's hit auto show would be a flashy, precision-tooled racer. Co-host Chris Evans calls it "a car-show nuclear bomb" — and it returns to the screen facing the fallout of former host Jeremy Clarkson's explosive exit. The show's fusion of blokey banter, consumer advice and adrenaline-fueled automotive stunts in far-flung locations made it a huge hit, watched — according to the BBC — by 350 million people around the world. The "Top Gear " formula, fine-tuned over many years under the brash Clarkson, has brought both success and controversy. Clarkson and his fellow presenters left last year after an off-set dustup in which Clarkson punched a producer (he later apologized and paid damages). Now the show is back, fronted by Evans and actor Matt LeBlanc, zooming away from his best-known incarnation as Joey Tribbiani in long-running sitcom "Friends." "When I was first starting out, I always wanted my career to take me to exotic places," LeBlanc said during an interview in London. "And I ended up in a building in Burbank for 12 years with no windows." He's making up for it now. Filming for the six-episode season of "Top Gear" has taken the crew to Morocco, South Africa, Italy, Kazakhstan, the U.S. and the gaudy English seaside resort of Blackpool. LeBlanc has driven an Ariel Nomad dune buggy in the Moroccan desert and raced Evans up South Africa's treacherous Sani Pass — one of several hair-raising experiences. "Some of the things we do, it was like, 'Really? This is all insured? Huh. Because that's a big cliff right there,'" LeBlanc said. "You're constantly fighting (between) 'I want to win' and 'it's just a TV show,'" he said. "You want to make it entertaining, but you also want to make it." In the new-look "Top Gear" — premiering Sunday in Britain and Monday on BBC America — main presenters LeBlanc and Evans are joined by German driver Sabine Schmitz, former motorsport boss Eddie Jordan, automotive journalists Chris Harris and Rory Reid and anonymous, helmeted driver The Stig. Evans, a veteran British TV and radio host, says the format has been tweaked, but the essence of the program remains. He say fans — he counts himself among them — "don't want us to reinvent the wheel." Clarkson and his co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have decamped to Amazon's TV service for a rival show, "The Grand Tour," debuting later this year. Evans says he is relaxed about the competition, and pays credit to Clarkson and his colleagues for fusing car journalism with the wild spirit of rock 'n' roll. "They took the component parts of a car show, and they said, 'OK, we could build this, or we could build a nuclear bomb,'" he said. "They assembled a car-show nuclear bomb. And they were just about to detonate it, but they're not there anymore so now we've got to do it." Clarkson, a self-styled enemy of political correctness, regularly generated headlines with his dismissive views on cyclists, environmentalists and vegetarians, and insensitive statements about a host of nationalities. It all made "Top Gear" a cultural touchstone as much as a TV show, and the returning show is under intense scrutiny in Britain. There were outraged tabloid headlines when LeBlanc was filmed performing spins near the Cenotaph memorial to Britain's war dead. There have been media reports that LeBlanc and Evans don't get along — firmly denied by the duo. "We have a great time, and hopefully that translates on screen," LeBlanc said. "I've been involved in projects that were high-pressure situations before, so for me that's not really anything new. It's when they stop talking about you that you have to worry." Clarkson was a polarizing figure, and Evans acknowledges the show has some "bridges to build." A sought-after trip to the Tesla factory may take some delicate diplomacy: The electric-car company sued the BBC for libel after Clarkson slated the Tesla Roadster's performance. Evans says the new hosts will take a less ideological approach than the combative Clarkson. "If it's no good, we'll say it's no good, and if it is a good car then we'll say that too," he said. "But we won't start out with an agenda on a car or a company or an ideology. Because that was his act, and it remains his act, not ours." LeBlanc says he just wants to drive, any kind of vehicle — small or large, petrol or electric. "If it's got wheels on it, I'm in." ___ Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Jill Lawless from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Burt Kwouk, veteran of the 'Pink Panther' movies, dies at 85
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Burt Kwouk, veteran of the 'Pink Panther' movies, dies at 85

LONDON (AP) — Burt Kwouk, an actor who played martial arts expert Cato in the comic "Pink Panther" films, has died. He was 85. Kwouk's agent, Jean Diamond, said in a statement that he "passed peacefully" on Tuesday. She didn't give a cause of death. Born in northwest England in 1930 and raised in Shanghai, Kwouk had his first major film role in 1958's "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness," starring Ingrid Bergman. Kwouk appeared in the James Bond films "Goldfinger" and "You Only Live Twice" as well as the 1967 Bond spoof "Casino Royale," and had roles in popular 1960s TV series "Secret Agent," ''The Avengers" and "The Saint." In 1964, Blake Edwards cast him in "A Shot in the Dark," a comedy centered on Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Kwouk appeared in half a dozen more Pink Panther movies as Cato Fong, a manservant whose job was to attack Clouseau when he least expected it. Other film appearances included Norman Jewison's sci-fi thriller "Rollerball" and Steven Spielberg's World War II drama "Empire of the Sun" and the 1980s British World War II TV series "Tenko." Kwouk made screen appearances into his 80s, including a regular role in long-running British sitcom "Last of the Summer Wine." In 2011, Kwouk was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama. Diamond said Kwouk's family would be holding a private funeral, with a memorial service at a later date. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Netflix and Disney: here's what's included in the deal
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Netflix and Disney: here's what's included in the deal

From September 2016 onwards, Netflix will become the first-stop US pay TV home of Disney studio output -- including Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Should the deal last four years or more, here's what US users can expect to see arrive on the streaming service.The reminder was slipped into a May 23 blogpost about Netflix's summer plans, but in fact has been in the works since 2012 when the two companies went public with plans for the multi-year exclusivity deal. New films, beginning with those theatrically released in 2016, will head to Netflix first - though the length of the multi-year deal wasn't specified, and it's for "the first pay TV window" rather than forever. So with that in mind, what's going to be popping up on Netflix? Walt Disney Animation Studios has Oceanic island adventure "Moana" for November 2016, Jack and the Beanstalk remake "Gigantic" for March 2018. An untitled release set for November 2020 could be "Frozen 2" - or it could be something else. Pixar's schedule has "Finding Dory" in June 2016, "Cars 3" in June 2017, "Toy Story 4" in June 2018, and "The Incredibles 2" in June 2019; November 2017's "Coco" looks to Mexico's colorful Day of the Dead celebrations for inspiration. If the mystery multi-year deal runs four years, that's still 10 films from Marvel Studios. Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with May's "Captain America: Civil War," includes new "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Spiderman" "Thor," and "Ant-Man" movies, introduces solo films "Black Panther" and "Captain Marvel," and rounds off with "Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2" in May 2019. (This February's "Deadpool," like the "X-Men" films, was from Fox, not Marvel Studios.) Disneynature's Panda documentary "Born in China" comes out in 2017, while the group's figurehead studio, Walt Disney Pictures, has presided over two of 2016's biggest hitters to date -- "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book" -- with Steven Spielberg's "The BFG" out in a few weeks. Over the next year or two there's fantasy adventure "Pete's Dragon" (Bryce Dallas Howard), true life chess drama "Queen of Katwe" (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo), plus "Beauty and the Beast" (Emma Watson) and six more live-action fairy tale adaptations; the first of four "Avatar" sequels was most recently rescheduled for 2018. And while Lucasfilm wasn't part of Disney when the 2012 announcement was first made, it was just three weeks later, and is also part of the deal. So while 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" isn't subject to Netflix exclusivity, we can expect this December's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," then "Star Wars: Episode VIII," the young Han Solo spin-off, 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX" and possibly even a new "Indiana Jones" to make Netflix a first stop before landing anywhere else. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Star Wars' actor Peter Mayhew to meet 'Chewbacca Mom'
Tuesday May 24, 2016
'Star Wars' actor Peter Mayhew to meet 'Chewbacca Mom'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Late night host James Corden has surprised Chewbacca mom Candace Payne with the chance to meet the actor behind the "Star Wars" creature. Payne's wildly popular video of her hysterically laughing while wearing a toy Chewbacca mask has gained more than 140 million views on Facebook since she posted it last week. On Monday's "Late Late Show," Corden read a message to Payne from Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who says he has carved out time to meet her during an upcoming visit to her home state of Texas. Earlier in the show, Payne appeared in a skit alongside Corden and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams in which the three wore the masks that emit Chewbacca's distinctive roar. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Animated 'Sing' trailer unveiled, starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Animated 'Sing' trailer unveiled, starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have debuted the new trailer for the animated film "Sing", starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly.The film, to be released on December 21, 2016, is set in an animal kingdom and based around the main character -- koala Buster Moon (McConaughey), owner of a once famous theater who devises the world's greatest singing competition to return the landmark to fame. The resulting selection forms the base for a fun children's movie as a mouse (MacFarlane), a teenage elephant (Kelly), a pig (Witherspoon), a young gangster gorilla (Egerton), and a sassy porcupine (Johansson) battle it out for first prize (via ComingSoon). Watch the trailer for "Sing" here: https://youtu.be/Zvjmt4pwtdg       Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Netflix and Disney: here's what's included in the deal
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Netflix and Disney: here's what's included in the deal

From September 2016 onwards, Netflix will become the first-stop US pay TV home of Disney studio output -- including Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Should the deal last four years or more, here's what US users can expect to see arrive on the streaming service.The reminder was slipped into a May 23 blogpost about Netflix's summer plans, but in fact has been in the works since 2012 when the two companies went public with plans for the multi-year exclusivity deal. New films, beginning with those theatrically released in 2016, will head to Netflix first - though the length of the multi-year deal wasn't specified, and it's for "the first pay TV window" rather than forever. So with that in mind, what's going to be popping up on Netflix? Walt Disney Animation Studios has Oceanic island adventure "Moana" for November 2016, Jack and the Beanstalk remake "Gigantic" for March 2018. An untitled release set for November 2020 could be "Frozen 2" - or it could be something else. Pixar's schedule has "Finding Dory" in June 2016, "Cars 3" in June 2017, "Toy Story 4" in June 2018, and "The Incredibles 2" in June 2019; November 2017's "Coco" looks to Mexico's colorful Day of the Dead celebrations for inspiration. If the mystery multi-year deal runs four years, that's still 10 films from Marvel Studios. Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with May's "Captain America: Civil War," includes new "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Spiderman" "Thor," and "Ant-Man" movies, introduces solo films "Black Panther" and "Captain Marvel," and rounds off with "Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2" in May 2019. (This February's "Deadpool," like the "X-Men" films, was from Fox, not Marvel Studios.) Disneynature's Panda documentary "Born in China" comes out in 2017, while the group's figurehead studio, Walt Disney Pictures, has presided over two of 2016's biggest hitters to date -- "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book" -- with Steven Spielberg's "The BFG" out in a few weeks. Over the next year or two there's fantasy adventure "Pete's Dragon" (Bryce Dallas Howard), true life chess drama "Queen of Katwe" (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo), plus "Beauty and the Beast" (Emma Watson) and six more live-action fairy tale adaptations; the first of four "Avatar" sequels was most recently rescheduled for 2018. And while Lucasfilm wasn't part of Disney when the 2012 announcement was first made, it was just three weeks later, and is also part of the deal. So while 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" isn't subject to Netflix exclusivity, we can expect this December's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," then "Star Wars: Episode VIII," the young Han Solo spin-off, 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX" and possibly even a new "Indiana Jones" to make Netflix a first stop before landing anywhere else. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

New trailer released for Matthew McConaughey's 'Free State of Jones'
Tuesday May 24, 2016
New trailer released for Matthew McConaughey's 'Free State of Jones'

The latest trailer has been released for Matthew McConaughey's upcoming film "Free State of Jones."The film, which has been written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross ("The Hunger Games," "Seabiscuit"), tells the true story of Southern farmer Newton Knight, played by McConaughey, who led an armed rebellion against the Confederacy to turn drive them out of Jones County, Mississippi and turn it into a free state. Also starring are Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Beyond the Lights"), Keri Russell ("The Americans"), and Mahershala Ali ("The Hunger Games" franchise). The film is due to be released in theaters June 24, 2016 The trailer can be viewed now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=66&v=UctBJHH63yU Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Italy launches its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Italy launches its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards

Italy is launching its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards to honor representations of LGBT characters and storylines in both Italian and international media reports Variety.Named the Diversity Media Awards, the event will take place on Monday night in Milan. The event has been launched by Italian organization Diversity in an effort to tackle prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT community, often still common within Italy. Although inspired by the GLAAD Media Awards it is not an official GLAAD event, however GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis will be in attendance. The event will include categories for film, TV, radio, advertising, and web, with some of the films up for an award including Maria Sole Tognazzi's lesbian romcom "Io e lei," Sabrina Ferilli's local box-office success "The Great Beauty," and Laura Bispuri's "Sworn Virgin," nominated for the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival. The awards will be streamed on Discovery Italy's Dplay service and via the Diversity website. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Helen Mirren to narrate audiobook for Beatrix Potter story
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Helen Mirren to narrate audiobook for Beatrix Potter story

NEW YORK (AP) — Helen Mirren's latest role is audio only. The award-winning British actress is narrating the recently rediscovered Beatrix Potter story "The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots," Penguin Random House told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The hardcover and audio editions are scheduled for a Sept. 6 release. Mirren's many career highlights include her Oscar-winning performance in "The Queen" and her Emmy-winning role in "Prime Suspect." The Beatrix Potter story is Mirren's first project for the booming audiobook market, although other top actors and actresses have served as narrators over the years, including Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and Ian McKellen. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lady Antebellum to host televised ACM Honors show
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Lady Antebellum to host televised ACM Honors show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum will host the 10th annual ACM Honors show, which will be televised for the first time. The show will honor Glen Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Little Big Town. It will be held Aug. 30 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The show presents special awards and off-camera category winners from the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards, held in April in Las Vegas. Other award recipients include Crystal Gayle, Jimmy Webb and The Statler Brothers, and posthumous awards for Eddie Rabbitt and Jeff Walker. The show will be produced by dick clark productions and will be aired at a later date on CBS. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by rlskmh from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Tragically Hip's Gord Downie diagnosed with terminal cancer
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Tragically Hip's Gord Downie diagnosed with terminal cancer

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian rootsy rock band The Tragically Hip announced Tuesday that its lead singer, Gord Downie, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. In postings on its website and Facebook page, the band said the 52-year-old Downie, a father of four, was diagnosed with the condition in December. It said "he's endured a lot of difficult times, and has been fighting hard." Despite the diagnosis, it said, Downie and the band plan to tour Canada this summer, because it "feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us." The specialist treating Downie, neuro-oncologist Dr. James Perry, later said Downie's brain tumor is incurable. Downie has already undergone surgery to remove the bulk of it and has had chemotherapy and radiation. He has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, which is the most common and most aggressive cancerous brain tumor. "Other notable people have had this tumor. Recently Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden's son, so unfortunately even with the greatest connections and money there's no way to buy your way out of this," Perry said. Perry said it's too early to say how much longer Downie has to live but said he's doing very well. He called Downie "a national treasure" and cleared him to tour. Downie has recovered much of his physical, mental and emotional strength. 'We'll have to deal with that week by week, concert by concert," Perry said when asked about how Downie's health would be affected by being on the road. Perry emphasized that Downie will need to avoid fatigue while on stage. "We all know he doesn't sit down in a rocking chair and play banjo, so I think we have to be cautious about things like hydration," he said. A seizure Downie suffered while walking down the street in his home town of Kingston, Ontario late last year led to an emergency hospital visit where imaging showed the tumor. Neither Downie nor his bandmates attended the conference. Perry said Downie has asked for privacy and there will be no further updates. The Hip's managers, Bernie Breen and Patrick Sambrook, said at the news conference they were shocked and stunned when they were informed of the tumor in December. Sambrook said they will announce the details of the Canada only tour on Wednesday. "The will to do the tour was easy," Sambrook said. "His head space is 'We want to blow people's minds.'" Sambrook said the tour quickly became a goal of the band. "This is what these guys do," he said. "The band has a new record that they are really proud of and knowing Gord that way he was like 'Yeah, I want to play these songs for people.'" Perry said post-tour Downie will receive maintenance chemotherapy and regular MRI scans to monitor the tumor. The Tragically Hip's 14th studio album, "Man Machine Poem," will be released in mid-June. The band formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario and has garnered more than a dozen Juno awards in Canada. Downie's lyrics are peppered with hockey and life in Canada and the news of diagnosis quickly trended on social media in the country. The band sold millions of albums in their home country, but didn't get the same kind of radio play in the United States. "Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada's soundtrack for more than 30 years," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Rob Gillies from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Italy launches its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Italy launches its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards

Italy is launching its own version of the GLAAD Media Awards to honor representations of LGBT characters and storylines in both Italian and international media reports Variety.Named the Diversity Media Awards, the event will take place on Monday night in Milan. The event has been launched by Italian organization Diversity in an effort to tackle prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT community, often still common within Italy. Although inspired by the GLAAD Media Awards it is not an official GLAAD event, however GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis will be in attendance. The event will include categories for film, TV, radio, advertising, and web, with some of the films up for an award including Maria Sole Tognazzi's lesbian romcom "Io e lei," Sabrina Ferilli's local box-office success "The Great Beauty," and Laura Bispuri's "Sworn Virgin," nominated for the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival. The awards will be streamed on Discovery Italy's Dplay service and via the Diversity website. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Madonna honors Prince, Dion inspires at Billboard Awards
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Madonna honors Prince, Dion inspires at Billboard Awards

This year's Billboard Music Awards promised to be heavy on emotion during its biggest performances by iconic artists such as Celine Dion and Madonna. And they certainly delivered on Sunday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a political statement about transgender rights, a tender Prince tribute and Dion's return after personal losses. These are the most memorable moments of the night. CELINE'S TRIUMPHANT RETURN Celine Dion's first television appearance since her husband, René Angélil, and her brother, Daniel Dion, died in January was among the most anticipated moments of the night. The international star turned her tragedy into a triumphant display of strength and resiliency as she performed Queen's "The Show Must Go On." Backed by an orchestra and talented violinist Lindsey Stirling, Dion raised her hands to the sky and even did a little hip shake to make for the uplifting moment of the night. After accepting the Billboard Icon Award, Dion was surprised by her son and apologized for crying, which no one would fault her for. She thanked her legions of fans for being with her through good times and bad and dedicated the award to her late husband, who she said will "continue to watch over me from up above." MADONNA, WONDER HONOR PRINCE Billboard took some criticism when Madonna was chosen to pay tribute to the late great Prince, but together with Stevie Wonder, her heartfelt performance to the musical icon, who died April 21 at age 57, was touching. After being introduced by Roots leader Questlove who skillfully articulated the impact of the musical genius, the tribute started with a recording of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," as all the lights in the venue turned purple. Madonna appeared seated on a purple velvet throne in a lacy glittery suit with a cane and sang a tender version of "Nothing Compares 2 U," as images of Prince played on a screen behind her. Stevie Wonder joined her on a rousing "Purple Rain" duet. It became a crowd singalong with artists like Rihanna singing and dancing as the arena lit up with thousands of purple wristbands. But not everyone was as touched; the tribute received some negative feedback from fans on social media, and BET stoked the fire: Soon after the show ended, the network responded on Twitter with a video promoting their own upcoming Prince tribute at the BET Awards next month. The response said, "Yeah, we saw that. Don't worry. We Got You." Questlove later took to Twitter to defend the tribute. KESHA SLAYS For all the questions over Kesha's appearance, she delivered a standout performance of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" with pianist Ben Folds that was beautiful in its simplicity. She didn't need to address an ongoing legal dispute with producer Dr. Luke, whose record label pulled the plug on the performance then reversed itself amid fears she would reference her allegations of sexual abuse against him. She reminded everyone that she was still a very talented vocalist and paid a tribute the legendary songwriter, who turns 75 this year. DEMI'S TRANSGENDER STATEMENT Earlier this year, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas joined a growing list of musicians boycotting North Carolina over a law that blocks local anti-discrimination protections and determines which bathrooms transgender people can use. During her performance of "Cool For the Summer," Lovato wore a shirt featuring an inclusive bathroom symbol in one of the only overtly political statements of the awards show. LGBT rights organization GLAAD said in a release following the performance that copies of the shirt will be sold on Lovato and Jonas' national tour with proceeds going to LGBT organizations in North Carolina. BRITNEY'S BIGGEST HITS Britney Spears' opening medley of her nearly two decades of hits started off stiff, but by the end of the performance, she finally warmed up. The singer, who received the Billboard Millennium Award, came out of the smoke joined by more than a dozen dancers and quickly disrobed into a red bikini. But her robotic dancing and lip-syncing made the performance feel like an unemotional overview of her Las Vegas show. However, after straddling a giant guitar for a cover of "I Love Rock n' Roll" she finally loosened up. She danced and gyrated across multiple stages to the soundtrack of her greatest hits, such as "Slave for U," and "Toxic." ___ This story has been corrected to show that the date for the BET Awards is Sunday, June 26, not next Sunday. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Kristin M. Hall from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.