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These hit songs are all co-owned by the Church of England

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The next time the Church of England asks for a donation, Brits should just pull out their phones and play Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.”

File this under “Who Knew?”: The staid Church of England is a co-owner of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.”

The Church — whose head is the notoriously unhip Queen of England — has been bolstering its coffers by investing in companies like Hipgnosis, which, according to the BBC, has been buying up rights to mega songs for the past three years.

The company spent over $1 billion gobbling up rights to music that also includes LA Reid’s song catalog (which has shares in Boyz II Men’s “End Of The Road”, Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel”), as well as music by Blondie, Barry Manilow and Mark Ronson.


Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis

Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis

Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis claims the music he’s bought is “more valuable than gold or oil” as “ their revenue isn’t affected by fluctuations in the economy” he tells the BBC.

“These great, proven songs are very predictable and reliable in their income streams. … If you take a song like the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ or Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer,’ you’re talking three to four decades of reliable income. … If people are living their best lives, they’re doing it to a soundtrack of songs. But equally, if they’re experiencing the sort of challenges we’ve experienced over the last six months, they’re taking comfort and escaping in great songs.”

And every time someone plays those beloved songs, investors in Hipgnosis, like the Church of England, benefit financially.


Source: nypost.com

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Kim Kardashian facing backlash for tone-deaf birthday posts

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Kim Kardashian facing backlash for tone-deaf birthday posts

Kim Kardashian is facing backlash after flying her inner circle to a private island for her 40th birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The KKW Beauty founder posted several pics with family and friends including Kris Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, La La Anthony, Scott Disick, and Tristan Thompson, as they celebrated her birthday without a mask in sight. Her husband, Kanye West, was also there despite being absent from her photos.

“After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” she shared on social media on Tuesday. “We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40”

Despite recognizing her privilege and noting the health precautions that were taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Twitter users sounded off at Kardashian for her tone-deaf post.

“I haven’t seen ma family in 4 months because I work a public-facing job and I’m absolutely terrified of the possibility of passing Covid on to my vulnerable parents. I hope you had fun pretending things were normal, but spare a thought for those of us staying in the real world,” one person tweeted to Kardashian.

“nobody in this family could read a room if their life depended on it,” a netizen added.

“lmao reading this as half of my office got laid off today,” wrote another.

“everyone mad at this tweet is just jealous that they didn’t think to fly their jets to their own private islands. it’s so obvious yet kim is the only one who thought to do it. that’s why she’s a visionary and y’all are stuck at work 💅,” another joked.

Her rep did not immediately respond to our request for comment.


Source: nypost.com

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Celine Dion to star in a new romance film featuring her music

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Celine Dion to star in a new romance film featuring her music

Celine Dion is set to star in a new movie about the power of love.

The music superstar will appear alongside Sam Heughan (“Outlander”) and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas (“Quantico”) in a romance film called “Text For You,” directed and co-written by Jim Strouse, Deadline reports.

“Text For You,” which is based on the 2016 German film “SMS Fur Dich,” is about a woman (Chopra-Jonas) who sends texts to the phone of her recently deceased fiancé. Those messages turn out not to be one-way, however, and she meets the man (Heughan) who was given the old number. The lost souls bond, in some way, over Dion’s tunes such as “My Heart Will Go On” and “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.”

It’s not yet known what part Dion, 52, will play, but as the film will feature her music, she might very well take on the role of an internationally beloved Canadian chanteuse.

“Text For You” does not yet have a release date.


Source: nypost.com

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Artists denounce use of their songs by Trump campaign

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Complaints from Neil Young, John Fogerty, Phil Collins, and estates of Prince, Leonard Cohen

From the beloved opening lines of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to the rousing, children’s-choir conclusion of the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want, U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies have been filled with classic songs whose authors and their heirs loudly reject him and his politics.

It’s become a sub-cycle in the endless campaign cycle. The Trump campaign can hardly play a song without the artist denouncing its use and sending a cease-and-desist letter. Neil Young, John Fogerty, Phil Collins, Panic! At The Disco and the estates of Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and Prince are just a few of those who have objected.

Campaigns have been turning popular songs into theme songs for more than a century, and American artists have been objecting at least since 1984, when Bruce Springsteen denied the use of Born in the U.S.A. to the Ronald Reagan re-election campaign.

But this year, the issue has reached an unprecedented saturation point, indicative of a wide cultural divide between the president and his supporters, and overwhelmingly left-leaning musicians, who virtually never make the same demands of Democratic candidates.

“I’ve been covering this beat for probably 20 years, and this is probably as stark a division I’ve seen as far as artists not wanting a politician to use their songs,” said Billboard contributor Gil Kaufman, who has been covering the convergence of music and politics for the record trade magazine during the campaign. “The choice is so stark for a lot of voters, and it is for musicians too.”

Filing lawsuits

Few have objected as adamantly as Young. The fiercely opinionated rock Hall-of-Famer is the rare musician who has gone beyond demands and filed a lawsuit over the repeated use of his songs.

“Imagine what it feels like to hear Rockin’ in the Free World after this President speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young wrote on his website in July. “I did not write it for that.”

That feeling that they’ve been drafted onto Team Trump clearly fuels many artists’ anger.

“Their music is their identity,” Kaufman said. “It’s important to them to not appear as though they are tacitly endorsing Trump.”

Other artists have been more befuddled than angry about the playing of songs whose themes are the exact opposite of the messages Trump is sending.

Fogerty said he was baffled by Trump’s use of Fortunate Son, his 1969 hit with Creedence Clearwater Revival, whose condemnation of privileged children of rich men who did not serve in Vietnam sounds like a tailor-made slam of Trump.

“I find it confusing that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact it seems like he is probably the fortunate son,” Fogerty said in a video on Facebook in September.

He was more fiery after he kept hearing it played.

“He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse,” Fogerty said in an Oct. 16 tweet announcing a cease-and-desist order.

That the president’s rallies are potential spreaders of the coronavirus may be adding intensity to artists’ desire not to have their music contribute.

“It’s not a great look for the artists, if their music is aligned with something seen as unsafe,” Kaufman said.

Many social-media observers pointed out that, given its title, Collins’ In The Air Tonight was especially tone-deaf when it was played at Trump’s Oct. 14 rally in Iowa. Collins’ attorneys promptly demanded the campaign stop using the song.

Legally, politicians don’t necessarily need direct permission from artists.

Campaigns can buy broad licensing packages from music rights organizations, including BMI and ASCAP, that give them legal access to millions of songs

BMI said the Rolling Stones had opted out of inclusion in those licenses, and it informed the Trump campaign that if it did not stop playing You Can’t Always Get What You Want, a Trump favourite in regular rotation at his rallies, the campaign would be in breach of its agreement.

But even if their songs can be played contractually, artists can still object. That usually just means a public demand to the campaign.

“A lot of the time it just takes the cease-and-desist to tell them not to use it, that’s already enough for the artist to get their message out that they’re not associated with the campaign and did not approve the use,” said Heidy Vaquerano, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in entertainment law and intellectual property.

And there are other legal channels, such as states’ right-of-publicity laws, which treat an artists’ identity as their property, or the federal Lanham Act, which protects an artist’s personal trademark and contains a provision barring false endorsement.

“The use of their music, it could dilute the worth of their trademark,” Vaquerano said. “Courts have recognized that that could be an implied endorsement.”

Condemnation from estates

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The president has turned more recently to slightly friendlier ground, dancing at events to Y.M.C.A. by the Village People, whose leader and primary songwriter, Victor Willis, has said he doesn’t feel he’s endorsing Trump when the song plays.

Yet the campaign cannot avoid condemnation even when playing dead artists.

Petty’s widow and daughters, who had been fighting in court over his estate, united in their demand in June that Trump stop using his song, I Won’t Back Down.

Cohen’s estate attorneys vehemently objected to the prominent use of Hallelujah during the final-night fireworks at the Republican National Convention in August, saying in a statement it was an attempt to “politicize and exploit” a song they had specifically told the RNC not to use.

Cohen attorneys made the rare move of suggesting an alternative, whose title could be taken as a dig at Trump.

“Had the RNC requested another song, You Want it Darker,” the lawyers said, “we might have considered approval.”


Source: cbc.ca

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Jon Stewart is returning to TV news with a new show

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Jon Stewart is coming back to the world of TV news.

The former “Daily Show” host, 57, has landed a deal with Apple+ and has already signed on to make multiple seasons, according to Variety. Each one-hour episode will explore a single topic relating to current events and an accompanying podcast.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same format that Stewart protegee John Oliver uses on his Emmy winning HBO show “Last Week Tonight.” It was also the same format another former Stewart protegee Hasan Minhaj used in his recently axed Netflix show “Patriot Act.”

During his 16 year tenure on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” from 1999-2015, Stewart won a whopping 22 Emmys and established a new way that Americans engaged with news during the Bush and Obama years. The satirical news show proved to be a star-maker, launching the likes of Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Steve Carell, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms, Larry Wilmore and Rob Riggle, among others.

Since leaving in 2015 and handing “The Daily Show” reins to Trevor Noah, Stewart has kept a low profile, emerging for the occasional appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and making the occasional film (such as this year’s “Irresistible,” which saw a tepid reception).

His Apple+ series does not yet have an announced name or premiere date.


Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart


Source: nypost.com

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Analysts expect NYC and LA to reopen movie theaters this year

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Analysts expect NYC and LA to reopen movie theaters this year

There’s still a glimmer of hope for the movie theater industry this year, despite dismal domestic box office sales and climbing coronavirus cases, analysts said.

The country’s two biggest markets, New York City and Los Angeles, still could give sickly box office sales a much-needed jolt if they reopen before the end of 2020.

“A true box office restart might not be that far off on the horizon,” said MKM Partners media analyst Eric Handler, who noted that Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” and Disney’s Agatha Christie mystery, “Death on the Nile,” are both still slated for December 2020 premieres.

The analyst noted that both the Big Apple and the City of Angels are inching closer to meeting their respective state criteria for reopening cinemas. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed cinemas to reopen in the state this weekend. And media watchers expect NYC to fall close behind as COVID-19 outbreak clusters in places such as Brooklyn and Queens shrink. While Los Angeles is battling rising cases, Handler said he is “hopeful that by Thanksgiving” both cities are able to reopen.

“A lot can happen in the next four to six weeks,” the analyst said, adding that if those cities resume ticket sales then dour box office predictions for this year and 2021 could be “eased.”

Currently, about 90 percent of movie houses are open in the US, but they are operating at reduced capacity and are all located outside of the country’s highest grossing markets. So far, the domestic box office has grossed about $1.95 billion this year versus $11.32 billion in 2019, according to ticket sales tracker, Box Office Mojo.

The National Association of Theater Owners said if major markets reopen, the box office could get a meaningful boost if studios release new films to draw people to the theater.

“New, highly anticipated movies drive box office,” said NATO rep Patrick Corcoran. “With major markets like NYC open – which accounts for around 5 percent of national box office – a major release like ‘Wonder Woman’ will multiply current box office many times. But one movie is not enough.”

Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed Partners said he expects “Wonder Woman 1984,” which is slated to debut in theaters on Christmas Day, to be released on Warner Bros.’ sister streaming service HBO Max, instead.

Warner Bros. declined to comment on whether it is considering that possibility.

Greenfield said that Warner Bros. learned from “Tenet,” the spy thriller it released during the pandemic, as a cautionary tale. “Tenet,” which cost about $200 million to produce, grossed $52 million domestically and $289 million internationally, but was expected to bring in $800 million pre-pandemic.

“It’s a little hard to imagine releasing it in theaters giving how Tenet has done,” Greenfield said, noting that “Wonder Woman” also cost around $200 million to produce.

But Handler was quick to point out that putting the blockbuster on HBO Max, isn’t a winning strategy either, given that the studio has already taken a big hit from “Tenet.” He also noted that Disney tried a similar streaming strategy when it put “Mulan” on Disney+, and lost a lot of money in the process.

Although HBO Max is trying to grow its subscriber base, using “Wonder Woman” as a way to do that would be a “very, very expensive” way to do that.

“At the box office, ‘Wonder Woman’ could more than double what ‘Tenet’ did,” he said. “Moviegoing will beget moviegoing. Right now, I think everyone is watching the New York and LA data.”


Source: nypost.com

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Ann Hui & Joe Thottungal among Taste Canada award winners, which recognize cookbooks and food writing

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The Taste Canada Awards annually celebrate the year’s best in Canadian food writing.

Gold and silver medal winners were awarded across five English-language and five French-language categories.

Globe and Mail journalist Ann Hui won gold in the culinary narrative category for Chop Suey Nation.

In Chop Suey Nation, Ann Hui drives to small towns across Canada and visits the family-run Chinese restaurants that dot the country. She also discovers her own family’s secrets of working in the industry. 

“As I travelled to all of these restaurants and learned about the stories and the struggles behind this food — the opportunities and barriers that the first Chinese cooks had to overcome in building these restaurants and creating the cuisine — it gave me this appreciation for it,” Hui told CBC Books in an interview.

Ann Hui talks to Shelagh Rogers about her book, Chop Suey Nation, The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants 12:01

Lost Feast by Lenore Newman, which looks at food that has gone extinct, was awarded silver in the culinary narrative category.

Joe Thottungal’s cookbook Coconut Lagoon won gold in the regional/cultural cookbook category.

Thottungal, who owns the restaurant Coconut Lagoon in Ottawa, hails originally from Kerala in southwestern India, a region famous for its lush scenery and delicious cuisine. The restaurant was damaged by a fire in the spring.

Coconut Lagoon  collects 80 recipes for home cooks, featuring authentic southern Indian dishes like mango pickle, dosa and malabar parathas.

Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson won silver in the regional/cultural cookbook category.

Rosie Daykin’s cookbook Let Me Feed You won gold in the general cookbook category.

Daykin is the chef behind the Vancouver bakery Butter Baked Goods. Let Me Feed You is her third cookbook, which focuses on the everyday meals she prepares for her friends and family.

Duchess at Home by Giselle Courteau won silver in the general cookbook category.

Oven to Table by Jan Scott won gold in the single-subject cookbook category.

Oven to Table has more than 100 single-pot or single-pan recipes for easy home cooking. Scott writes Family Bites, a food blog that shares the easy recipes she creates for her husband and three sons.

Modern Lunch by Allison Day won silver in the single-subject cookbook category.

Desiree Nielsen’s Eat More Plants won gold in the health and special diet cookbook category.

Nielsen, a registered dietitian, shares healthy plant-based recipes in Eat More Plants.

Lianne Phillipson’s Sprout Right Family Food won silver in  the health and special diet cookbook category.

You can see the French-language category winners at the Taste Canada website.

The Taste Canada Awards have been recognizing Canadian food writing since 1998.


Source: cbc.ca

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‘Saved By the Bell’ reboot drops Peacock series trailer

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School bells are ringing again at Bayside High.

NBC streaming network Peacock released the first full trailer for its nostalgia-dripped “Saved By the Bell” reboot, which will focus on the now-grown kids — and their offspring — from the 1989-1993 series.

A still-ripped Mario Lopez, 46, returns as, appropriately, now-gym-teacher A.C. Slater. And, in true form, he greets annoyed former classmate Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, 48) with a barely updated, “Yo, mama. Sorry — Dr. Mama.” Some things never change, it seems.

But what has changed? The revival will follow now-California Gov. Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, 46), who is ensnared in political controversy from closing low-income schools and suggests sending affected students to cash-infused Bayside.

Returning original series characters also include Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen, 46) and bushy-haired Max (Ed Alonzo, 52). New faces include Zack’s spitting-image son Mac (Mitchell Hoog, 21), Jessie’s son Jamie (Belmont Cameli) and John Michael Higgins, 57, as Mr. Toddman, the Bayside Tigers’ new principal.

However, the reboot will reportedly not include a cameo by 43-year-old Dustin Diamond, who portrayed Samuel “Screech” Powers in the original series and was recently rumored as having been killed in a prison riot. (Calm down: He was not.)

The new “Saved By the Bell” will premiere Nov. 25 on Peacock.


Source: nypost.com

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‘The Queen’s Gambit’ newcomer Moses Ingram on working with Denzel Washington

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Moses Ingram was prepared for “the worst” after graduating from the Yale School of Drama, anticipating she’d have to work odd jobs or wait tables before landing a role.

But the way things are unfolding, the 2019 grad won’t be doing that anytime soon.

Ingram can currently be seen as Jolene in “The Queen’s Gambit,” the Netflix series about a chess prodigy, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, that debuted on the streaming service Oct. 23.

“I don’t play chess,” she told The Post. “They gifted me with a very beautiful chess set that is here in my living room but I still haven’t learned.”


Moses Ingram and Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Queen's Gambit."

Moses Ingram and Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Ingram says the shoot was a “beautiful, beginning experience. I couldn’t ask for anything better than working with people who were super patient and generous.”

Despite being a recent grad, the Baltimore native said the crew often bounced ideas off her, much to her surprise.


Moses Ingram

Moses Ingram

“The fact that the director Scott Frank would ask me what I thought, I would be in shock that he even cared what I thought,” she said. “So lacking in ego. It really was a truly beautiful experience.”

Ingram recently wrapped “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” a forthcoming adaption of “Macbeth,” which also stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. She confesses that table reads could sometimes be fraught affairs because she was too busy fan-girling the Oscar winners.

“I would think, ‘Someone is messing up their lines,’ ” she said, and shortly after realizing she was the one who was not chiming in.

“To get to meet my heroes and have them love me is more than I can ask for,” Ingram enthused.


Source: nypost.com

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