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Usher teases guest stars for Super Bowl halftime show

Usher teases guest stars for Super Bowl halftime show

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Usher teases guest stars for Super Bowl halftime show

R&B star Usher on Thursday revealed he will be joined by guest performers when he takes the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show — but did not disclose who made the cut.

The 45-year-old eight-time Grammy winner will play Sunday before a star-studded 65,000-strong crowd at the Allegiant Stadium — one of the most coveted gigs in the music business.

The singer gave no names but said his guests could be artists he has worked with before in what is intended to be a celebration of his career.

And one of those singers is none other than global superstar Taylor Swift, who is expected to be on hand to cheer on boyfriend Travis Kelce and his Kansas City Chiefs as they take on the San Francisco 49ers for the Lombardi Trophy.

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Usher has worked with a bevy of music A-listers, including the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, as well as rappers Lil Jon and Ludacris, who feature on his biggest hit “Yeah!”

“There’s been these fantasy lists that have been going out and people trying to figure out what song I’m going to perform first and last, who’s going to come on stage with me,” Usher told a press conference on Thursday.

The hitmaker — who wrapped up a Las Vegas residency last December — said Sunday’s show would reflect different eras of his music career.

“I was very mindful of my past, celebrating my present, which is here in Las Vegas, and thinking about where we’re headed in the future,” Usher said.

“I’ve tried so many things my entire career, and I’ve just managed to gather people who celebrate my music.

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“I went through a lot of ideas of who I would have share this moment with me and I do feel the people I’m going to share it with deserve it for what they did in their career whether we have collaborated together or whether they’ve had moments of their own.”

Is Usher a Swiftie?
When his recruitment for the Super Bowl halftime show was announced last year, Usher mischievously said Swift might play a part in his performance.

“I mean, she could be one person that I serenade. Or, she could be a special guest. I don’t know,” he told NBC television’s “Today with Hoda and Jenna” in November.

Swift invited Usher on stage at a show in Atlanta in 2011 to perform “Yeah!” with her.

While a surprise Super Bowl duet would threaten to break the internet, recent reports have poured cold water on the possibility, with the NFL Network saying there were no plans for the pair to perform together.

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Usher — whose other hits include “OMG” and “My Boo” — himself appeared on stage at the Super Bowl in 2011 as a guest with the Black Eyed Peas.

A list of previous Super Bowl halftime headliners reads like a who’s who of the music industry, including the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

The show has also stoked controversy, most infamously in 2004 when Janet Jackson inadvertently displayed her naked right breast while performing with Justin Timberlake in a controversy that became known as “Nipple-gate.”

More recent performers include Rihanna — who wowed the 2023 audience by revealing her pregnancy — and hip-hop legends Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent in 2022 in Los Angeles.

Also at Sunday’s game, country legend Reba McEntire will sing the national anthem and Post Malone will sing “America the Beautiful.”

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Grammy and Oscar nominee Andra Day will perform a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — often described as America’s Black national anthem.

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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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