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Taylor Swift eyes record at Grammys as women take center stage

Taylor Swift eyes record at Grammys as women take center stage

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Taylor Swift eyes record at Grammys as women take center stage

All eyes are on — who else? — Taylor Swift ahead of Sunday’s Grammys, when the megastar could break the record for most Album of the Year wins at a gala where women finally are taking center stage.

SZA will arrive at the star-studded event in Los Angeles as the evening’s top nominee with nine, while Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Miley Cyrus are also in the running for the show’s top prizes.

With her sophomore album “SOS,” SZA explored an eclectic blend of styles and genre including pop, rock and jazz, with dreamy electro inflections that scored her the most nominations of any artist.

And supergroup boygenius — Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus — are up for six Grammys.

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The trio met as up-and-comers in the indie music scene and, tired of constant comparisons to each other as “women in rock,” decided to collaborate while also continuing to produce solo work.

Bridgers has a seventh nomination for her collaboration with SZA.

Janelle Monae and Lana Del Rey are in the mix for Album of the Year, while Victoria Monet is a contender for Record of the Year.

So it’s highly likely a female act will win the top awards — unless Grammys darling Jon Batiste does.

The piano virtuoso is the sole man up for the two major prizes, two years after he bested pop’s royalty to dominate the proceedings.

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It will be a particularly poignant evening for Batiste, whose triumph in 2022 was paired with immense personal struggle behind the scenes as his wife, the writer Suleika Jaouad, was receiving treatment for a recurrence of leukemia.

This time around, she will be able to join the party as her partner contends for some of music’s most prestigious honors.

Among his accolades, Batiste is up for the top songwriting prize for “Butterfly,” written for Jaouad while she was in hospital.

“For us to be able to celebrate the album and that song, and to also be at the Grammys again, with her this time? That’s what my favorite part of this is,” Batiste told AFP in an interview late last year.

“It’s full circle.”

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Another day, another Swift record
If Swift’s “Midnights” wins Album of the Year, it would be a record-breaking fourth win of the prize for the 34-year-old, who’s already the toast of the music world, making headlines with every breath.

She is currently tied in elite company with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder at three top album honors.

Swift’s in-demand producer Jack Antonoff scored six nominations for his work, notably with her and Del Rey, the baroque pop singer whose album “Did you know there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” earned her five nominations.

And the soundtrack of the blockbuster film “Barbie” could also clean up: music from the effervescent summer smash earned 11 nods thanks to performances including from Eilish as well as Dua Lipa, rapper Nicki Minaj and the movie’s sleeper standout… Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling.

Bubbly Bronx rapper Ice Spice is also up for an award for her work on “Barbie” as well as the prize for Best New Artist, which industry watchers predict she could take home after a banner year that saw her go totally viral.

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Joni, Billy, U2 set to perform
The vast majority of the more than 90 competitive trophies are doled out prior to the Grammys gala broadcast, which is heavy on spectacle: many of the top nominees, including SZA, Eilish and Rodrigo are on deck to perform.

Nigerian sensation Burna Boy, country singer Luke Combs and rapper Travis Scott will also deliver sets. And the legendary Joni Mitchell will take the stage in her first ever performance at the Grammy Awards.

The 80-year-old — who has nine competitive Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement Award — is in the running for best folk album for her live record entitled “Joni Mitchell at Newport.”

She won her first Grammy for “Clouds” more than half a century ago. “Piano Man” Billy Joel also will perform on the heels of releasing his new single “Turn The Lights Back On” — his first original music in 17 years — on Thursday.

And U2 will make a special remote appearance from Las Vegas, where the rockers have a residency at the new Sphere arena. The main Grammys gala airs on Sunday at 5:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday) on US network CBS.

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Comedian Trevor Noah, who’s up for best comedy album, will host for the fourth consecutive year. 

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards (DPIFF) 2024 took place in Mumbai on Feb 20. 

On the red carpet, exes Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor had an awkward encounter, which is now going viral on social media.

It looks like Kareena ‘royally’ ignored Shahid and went on to pose for the paparazzi.

The viral video, which is now doing the rounds, shows Shahid Kapoor holding a trophy in his hands and posing with director duo Raj and DK.

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As the photo session was underway, Kareena Kapoor arrived and greeted the directors as she moved past them to pose for the paparazzi.

Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s past relationship has always made headlines.

The two worked in superhit films like ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Udta Punjab’. In several interviews, they have spoken about sharing a cordial relationship after they moved on with their respective lives.

But, the recent video seems to indicate otherwise.

Work-wise, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be seen next in ‘The Crew’ and ‘Singham Again’. Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming release is ‘Deva’, which is currently under production.

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom has threatened to expose ITV after she was dropped from Celebrity Big Brother, just days before the show airs.

The wife of Amir Khan was reportedly signed up for the show.

However, Faryal later said Celebrity Big Brother axed her over her pro-Palestine views on social media.

On Instagram, Faryal said: “As many of you know, I was offered to do a show for which the producers had offered me a few years ago and I had previously refused.

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“This time, they made a very lucrative offer and after a lot of convincing, I finally agreed to sign for the show.

“I also wanted to do this show to make it more inclusive for the Muslim community.

“But it seems from my social media activity and being pro-Palestine is not appropriate for ITV and its sponsors.

“Mind you, ITV and this particular show has had many controversial people on it before, but for some reason, I was singled out.

“I was told to step down 10 days before going in.

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“I have never in my life been treated like this. It’s a violation of free speech.

“This is why cowards with a huge following (especially Muslims) refuse to speak on this issue because they deprive you of opportunities and so you have no choice but to support them and stand them.

“Bear in mind, I was offered substantial money not to speak on this issue but I rejected it.

“For me, no amount of money will ever stop me from speaking on the injustice happening in Palestine.”

ITV responded and denied Faryal’s claims, with a spokesperson saying: “We meet numerous prospective housemates when casting for Celebrity Big Brother, however the final lineup is not confirmed until closer to transmission.

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“As per our welfare protocols, we are unable to comment on the casting process for individual prospective Housemates, other than to say that suitability to participate is determined by a number of factors.”

Faryal hit back, sharing what appeared to be a screenshot of her contract between herself and Celebrity Big Brother producer Banijay.

She wrote: “Attempting to downplay a situation when I have my contract right here.”

In another post, she said: “Do better with the lies ITV.

“I had gone through all of the relevant and necessary assessments, including a mental health assessment.

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

Late British singer-songwriter George Michael is being honoured with a personalised collectible coin.

Britain’s Royal Mint said on Monday the new coin, which depicts Michael wearing his trademark sunglasses, pays tribute to the music star’s 1987 hit solo single “Faith”.

Officially approved by Michael’s estate, it was designed by artist and sculptor Sandra Deiana.

“From his debut with WHAM! to becoming one of the bestselling solo musicians of all time, George Michael is a global superstar whose work has inspired and influenced generations with his music and his unique style,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.

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“Loved by millions of fans worldwide, we are delighted to be introducing an official UK coin celebrating his life and legacy,” she said in a statement.

Michael, who rose to stardom in the 1980s with Wham! before embarking on a successful solo career, died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

Wham!’s enduring 1984 festive song “Last Christmas” finally secured the “Christmas Number 1” spot for the first time on the UK music charts in December, 39 years after its release.

The new coin is the latest addition to the Royal Mint’s “Music Legends” series, which has previously honoured David Bowie, Elton John and Queen with coins, and will be available to purchase from Monday.

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