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Milwaukee officials invite Jay-Z to bring festival to city

Milwaukee officials are inviting Jay-Z to bring his Made In America music festival to the city next year because Philadelphia no longer wants the event at a location it has been held since 2012.

Alderman Khalif Rainey says in a letter to Jay-Z's company, Roc Nation, that Milwaukee is known as a city of festivals because it hosts dozens of events annually, including Summerfest. The letter Thursday is signed by four or Rainey's Common Council colleagues.

Made In America is held Labor Day weekend at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which includes museums, monuments and the famed "Rocky" steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. City officials say the festival can no longer be held at that location after this year. Mayor Jim Kenney says the city is looking for alternative sites.

Director James Gunn fired from 'Guardians 3' over old tweets

James Gunn was fired Friday as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" because of old tweets that recently emerged where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced the removal.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Horn said in a statement.

Gunn has been writer and director of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise from the start, taking an obscure Marvel Comics title about a group of multicolored misfits and turning it into a space opera decked with comedy and retro music that made Chris Pratt a major movie star. Through two installments the franchise has brought in more than $1.5 billion in global box office.

Gunn apologized for the old tweets Friday after his firing, echoing similar sentiments he expressed on Twitter a day earlier.

"My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time," Gunn said in a statement. "Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then."

Gunn's current Twitter account is heavy on left-leaning politics, and some on the right with whom he'd sparred found and promoted the tweets from 2008 to 2011 that led to his firing.

Disney did not announce a replacement director for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Gunn had been writing the script and it's not clear how far along he was or whether new writers will be brought in. Marvel Studios has not announced a release date, though Gunn had said 2020 was the target.

In addition to Pratt, the "Guardians" franchise stars Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

The characters also were an essential part of this year's Disney and Marvel megahit "Avengers: Infinity War."

Fans at Comic-Con in San Diego said they disapproved of Gunn's tweets, but were mixed on how they felt about his firing.

"It's unfortunate to hear and makes me question whether I would see a movie like that even without his creative involvement," Mario Panighetti of Mountain View, California said.

Joanne Renda of Toronto said, "It's never really funny to joke about that stuff, but copping to it is the first step. Everyone deserves a second chance. It's kind of crazy our culture today, firing people right away."

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AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this story from San Diego.

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Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .

Coates leaves The Atlantic, where he rose to prominence

Ta-Nehisi Coates is leaving his job as a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he rose to prominence over the past decade.

In a company email shared Friday with The Associated Press, Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg called Coates a "dear friend" and wrote that Coates wanted to "reflect" on the "significant changes" in his life. Coates has become one of the country's best-known writers through his magazine work and through "Between the World and Me," which won the National Book Award in 2015. His essays have included "The Case for Reparations," in which he called for compensation for the country's long history of racism, and "The First White President," about Donald Trump.

Coates has been working on a novel and is on the faculty of NYU's journalism school.

Fox News says Guilfoyle leaving; may join Trump super PAC

Fox News says host Kimberly Guilfoyle is leaving the network, amid reports that she's about to take on a new role with a super PAC supporting President Donald Trump's agenda.

A Fox spokeswoman confirmed her departure Friday. Guilfoyle has been one of the co-hosts of the network's afternoon show "The Five" and has been dating Trump's son Donald Jr. She was considered for White House press secretary last year after Sean Spicer departed the administration.

A person familiar with the plans who was not authorized to speak publicly about them said Guilfoyle will be joining America First PAC, which has been promoting Trump's record.

Guilfoyle, a former prosecutor, was married for four years to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.

Willie Nelson announces Frank Sinatra covers album, ‘My Way’

Willie Nelson’s newest album will be one of Frank Sinatra covers.

Rolling Stone reported that the 85-year-old country music and songwriting icon will release “My Way” Sept. 14. It will be the second album he’s released this year. He released “Last Man Standing” in April.

>> Read more trending news 

Nelson and the late Sinatra were good friends, having appeared in a TV spot for NASA in the 1980s. He first heard Sinatra at 10 years old, when he appeared on the radio show “Your Hit Parade.”

In an interview in the June/July issue of AARP magazine, Wilson said he learned from Sinatra.

“I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” Nelson said. “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever — he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.”

Before the release of the album, which contains songs made famous by Sinatra, fans can watch the music video for Wilson’s cover of “Summer Wind.”

Taste of Country reported that “My Way” is available for pre-order on vinyl, CD and digital formats. The track list for “My Way” is below.

  1. “Fly Me to the Moon”
  2. “Summer Wind”
  3. “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”
  4. “A Foggy Day”
  5. “It Was a Very Good Year”
  6. “Blue Moon”
  7. “I’ll Be Around”
  8. “Night and Day”
  9. “What Is This Thing Called Love” (with Norah Jones)
  10. “Young at Heart”
  11. “My Way”

Police in Italy find 2 stolen Renoir and Rubens paintings

Police in northern Italy have recovered two paintings stolen in 2017, a Renoir and a Rubens.

Carabinieri art-squad police displayed the paintings for reporters Friday in Monza, a city in the northern Lombardy regional of Italy.

Investigators allege the works were stolen in Monza from a pair of art dealers by suspects posing as buyers. The investigators say the thieves had signed a phony contract pledging to pay 26 million euros (about $30 million) for the paintings. According to investigators, when the dealers were distracted, the thieves snatched the paintings and drove off.

Police said the paintings were found in a warehouse in Turin, Italy. Investigators said there are eight suspects, including four Italians and a Croat who were arrested last month in the case.

Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift to star in movie adaptation of 'Cats' musical

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical “Cats” is finally getting a film version.

Playbill reported that Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen are set to star in the film adaptation.

>> Read more trending news 

It was previously reported that the film would be directed by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, whose previous credits include “Les Misérables” and “The King's Speech.”

Variety reported that Oscar winner Hudson will play Grizabella, the “glamour cat” who sings the musical’s big number, “Memory.” The roles McKellen, Swift and Corden will play have not been announced. 

Production will start on the film in November.

Webber composed “Cats” based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” a poem collection released in 1939. The collection was about “Jellicle cats” and their secret world, according to Variety. The musical focuses on the cats as they choose which cat will go to the “Heaviside layer” and return to a new life. It originally opened on Broadway in 1982 and ran for 18 years there and ran for 21 years in London’s West End.

“Cats” was previously released as a direct-to-video film in 1998.

A release date for the new adaptation has not been announced.

David Spade: Family coming together after Kate Spade's death

Just a month after funeral services for his sister-in-law, comic-actor David Spade was back to business, promoting his new movie. But he also offered a few words about his family tragedy.

Fashion designer Kate Spade was married to David's brother, entrepreneur Andy Spade. Kate Spade killed herself in June. In an interview, David Spade said "everyone's pulling it together." He added: "I think we're getting in the best place we can at this point."

Less than three weeks after Spade's death, her father, Earl Brosnahan, died at age 89 — the day before his daughter's funeral.

Shortly after his wife's death, Andy Spade released a statement noting she had "suffered from depression and anxiety." David Spade has made a $100,000 donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which provides education and support for families impacted by the disease.

When asked about the donation, Spade replied, "Well, I think there's a lot of people that are at a lot of different levels of situations. (New York) is a tough town. It gets stressful. And everybody feels like they're an inch away from a breakdown. It's very hard. So, you can't look down at those people. You just say, 'Hey! You help each other out if you can.'"

Spade's new film, the comedy "Father of the Year," made its Netflix debut Friday.

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This story has been corrected to show Earl Brosnahan died the day before the funeral, instead of minutes before.

Smithsonian gallery explores diversity in US lynchings

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery acknowledges that people of color have long been missing in the works it exhibits.

Now the museum is tackling the issue in an unusual way.

The Portrait Gallery is currently showing about 20 works by Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day that examine lynchings, mostly in the American West, and probe the history of racial violence in the United States.

"Latinos were a very small number" of those lynched in the U.S, Gonzales-Day told The Associated Press during a recent interview at the Portrait Gallery. "Native Americans, Chinese, even smaller numbers."

"But when you think of it as a spectrum of racialized violence, then we can see it is part of a continuing (history) in the United States that dates back to its founding," he said.

Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based non-profit, documented more than 4,400 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950.

Gonzales-Day published a book in 2006 in which he verified 354 cases of lynchings in California between 1850 and 1935. Of those, 140 were Latinos — the largest group — while minorities made up two-thirds of the total.

To avoid re-victimizing those who were killed or causing pain to their families, Gonzales-Day's works remove the body and the rope from each image. His ultimate goal is to spotlight racial violence in the U.S. in a broad sense.

"Traditionally, when people talk about the Wild West, they say, 'Yes, there were some instances of Latinos being lynched, but they were all bad guys.' My project was (to) prove that race was a factor," he said.

Gonzales-Day sees a continuation of racially motivated violence today, citing the recent separations of migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border as an example. He hopes his audience thinks of current issues when looking at his work.

"The question is empathy. Can you empathize with another person who is not like yourself, with a different cultural background, with a different language?" he asked. "This challenge of empathy is our nation's challenge."

"UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light" also includes 17 paintings and one sculpture by artist Titus Kaphar, who recreates well-known paintings to include those traditionally left out by smearing tar, erasing with white paint and shredding canvas into strips.

"This exhibition talks about those absent histories, and about the many ways in which systems have been set in society to say the white Anglo person is worth more than the African-American, or the Native American or the Latino," the museum's Curator of Latino Art and History, Taína Caragol, told the AP.

The exhibition runs through January.

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Reach Luis Alonso Lugo at http://www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo

Pop artist Robert Indiana's cause of death 'undetermined'

The state medical examiner was unable to determine the cause of pop artist Robert Indiana's death, but the death was not deemed suspicious, a spokesman said on Friday.

Indiana's death likely was cardiac-related, but the official cause and manner of death are both listed as "undetermined," medical examiner's spokesman Mark Belserene said.

"Because of initial concerns regarding (Indiana's) death it is ruled 'undetermined' and may be changed should any new information be determined in the future," Belserene said in a statement. "However any suspicion of foul play was investigated and ruled out."

Indiana's "LOVE" series, showing the letters L and O above the letters V and E, with the O tilted sideways, is instantly recognizable around the world. The artist died on May 19 at age 89 at his Vinalhaven Island home 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the mainland.

Indiana's attorney maintains that he died from respiratory failure and that hospice care was provided in his final month in keeping with his request to be kept free of pain and to die at his home.

"Under these circumstances, it was extremely frustrating to me as his attorney that his body would be removed from the funeral home and subjected to an autopsy," attorney James Brannan said on Friday.

An FBI agent investigating possible art fraud related to Indiana requested the autopsy. A federal lawsuit filed in New York accuses two men of insinuating themselves into Indiana's life and taking advantage of him in his final years.

Friends had expressed concern for the reclusive artist's well-being because he had not been heard from for some time.

The lawsuit, which was filed the day before his death, suggested he was purposefully isolated at his island home by his caretakers. It seeks damages for trademark infringement and breach of contract.

Indiana, who was born Robert Clark in the state of Indiana, moved to Maine four decades ago after leaving behind the art scene in New York.

His will calls for his home and studio, which he dubbed the Star of Hope, to be transformed into a museum and for his art collection to be preserved and open to the public.

Brannan, the attorney, declined to place a dollar figure on the artist's estate. Based on the court filing fee, the value of the estate is estimated to be upward of $28 million.

A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15 in Knox County Probate Court to sort out various assets belonging to Indiana. An inventory of assets is due to be completed by the end of August, Brannan said.

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