Abu Dhabi will host a series of outdoor concerts in the coming months combining music and poetry in celebration of the region’s heritage.
Part of the annual Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Music Programme, the Umsiyat series will be held in the city’s Mushrif Park until March, and run alongside the Abu Dhabi Classics season and Bait Al Oud concerts.
Organised under the patronage of Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Umsiyat performances will feature different forms of music and translated poetry from countries including the UAE, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey.
Among the big names set to perform are Pakistani singer Faiz Ali Faiz, Alim Qasimov from Azerbaijan, Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme and Turkish musician Kudsi Erguner.
The first performance, featuring Nehme, is at 8pm on Sunday. Doors open at 7pm.
Céline Dion mourns death of brother
The 59-year-old brother of singer Céline Dion died on Saturday after a long battle with cancer, just two days after the death of the singer’s husband, who also succumbed to cancer.
Daniel Dion, the eighth oldest of 13 siblings, “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his family at the La Maison Adhémar-Dion care centre in Québec, Canada.
Celine Dion, 47, announced on Thursday the death of her husband and manager, René Angélil, at the age of 73 after fighting throat cancer. – Reuters
Swedish actress hankers for London home
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, star of Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, says she’s perfectly happy living in London and doesn’t think she would enjoy living in Hollywood.
Asked if she would be keen to relocate to Los Angeles, the 27-year-old, who is dating X-Men actor Michael Fassbender, said: “I don’t think so. I don’t feel very close to American culture. I’m much more European in my sensibility. I feel comfortable living in London now.”
Nevertheless, she revealed that her move to Britain didn’t get off to the best start, femalefirst.co.uk reported. “I was sharing this terrible – and very expensive – little flat and when I first opened the door there were at least half a dozen rats running around in there,” she said. — IANS
Academy Awards diversity row gathers pace
The absence of any non-white actors among the Oscar nominations in the acting categories continues to provoke controversy.
The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which emerged last year, was quickly revived on Twitter. Will Smith, who stars in football-injury drama Concussion, and Idris Elba, for African war drama Beasts of No Nation, were among the black actors who were ignored when the nominations were announced on Thursday.
The cast and director of smash-hit hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton were also left out of the race.
“In a year with an extraordinary number of great performances by black actors that were embraced by audiences and embraced by critics, for them all to get ignored is tragic,” said Reginald Hudlin, who will produce the February 28 awards ceremony.
Comedian Chris Rock will host the event. – Reuters
Ricky Wilson quitting The Voice
British singer-songwriter Ricky Wilson is leaving UK reality-TV show The Voice.
The Kaiser Chiefs frontman, who is a coach on the show, says he has no plans to return to the singing competition when it moves to ITV, which bought the format after a bidding war with the BBC, which has been the home of the show since it launched in 2012.
The fifth season, which began this month and ends in April, will be the last on the channel.
“This is my last one anyway. I was going to bow out gracefully,” said Wilson, according to mirror.co.uk. “I don’t think ITV would want me. They would want to have a totally new show.” – IANS
Cameron Diaz to publish second book
Actress Cameron Diaz is set to launch another lifestyle book, her second after The Body Book in 2013.
The 43-year-old uploaded a photo of the cover of The Longevity Book on Instagram. She appears to be wearing little or no make-up in the cover shot, which features the tag line: “The science of ageing, the biology of strength and the privilege of time”.
The book is thought to be aimed at empowering and building confidence in women of all ages through good diet, discipline and exercise.
“I am so excited I can barely contain myself!!” The actress wrote on Instagram: “As soon as I saw it myself, I wanted to share with you the cover of The Longevity Book … I am so proud of this book and very much looking forward to engaging us all in a new conversation about ageing – how to do it with strength, grace, health and wisdom.”
The book is due out in April. – IANS
Beastie Boys settle copyright lawsuit
They fought for their copyright, and now they have settled.
The Beastie Boys have resolved a lawsuit accusing Monster Beverage Corp of using excerpts from five of the group’s songs without permission in a video promoting a Canadian snowboarding competition.
Capitol Records and Universal-PolyGram International Publishing, which are parts of France’s Vivendi SA, settled a related lawsuit against Monster over the same video.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and orders dismissing the cases were filed on Thursday in two Manhattan federal courts. In connection with the dismissals, Monster dropped its appeal of a US$1.7 million (Dh6.2 m) jury verdict and an award of $667,849 in legal fees in the Beastie Boys’ lawsuit.
The Beastie Boys have long refused to license their music for advertising. The group sued Monster over a four-minute “megamix” video by disc jockey Z-Trip promoting an annual “Ruckus in the Rockies” snowboarding competition that Monster sponsored.
The Beastie Boys said viewers might be misled into believing that the group endorsed Monster energy drinks. – Reuters
Source: art & life