The Boxtones are the winners of Rolling Stone Middle East’s Street to Stage competition. The Dubai rockers are the first UAE-based act to clinch the title after impressing the judges and the crowd at Dubai Festival City’s Hard Rock Cafe on Friday with their high-octane performance. The quintet’s prize includes a mentorship deal from Sony Music Middle East. The other two acts that reached the final were the Dubai singer-songwriter Craig Perry and the Jordanian alternative group Stitch. The 15 finalists, culled from over 500 entrants last month, had to record an original song and shoot a music video each week to be voted on online. “The whole process has been very intense,” said The Boxtones’ keyboardist Will Janssen. “It took a lot of hard-work and perseverance and we are very happy to go on and win.” Perry stated the whole experience has been a revelation for him: “Six months ago I wasn’t playing any gigs and I didn’t have a Facebook page.”
Fast & Furious 7 gets into high gear
With Deepika Padukone out, Jason Statham and Lucas Black in and reports of Ludacris being seen on set, there has been a flurry of excitement around the cast of the latest Fast & Furious movie that began filming last week. The Indian actress Padukone was offered a role but said she couldn’t commit due to time constraints; the Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel is said to have replaced her. The character of Sean Boswell, played by Lucas Black, will return for the seventh movie, while the rapper Ludacris, who played the role of Tej in a previous instalment, is also rumoured to have been seen on set. Vin Diesel, who stars as the lead Dominic Toretto and is also the film’s producer, has posted two photos on Facebook from the film’s set. Although we do see a car in one of them, it is not in action. The snap is taken from a funeral scene, which is thought to be that of Han Lue or Han Seoul-Oh, a character who died at the end of the last instalment, set in Tokyo.
Kashyap apologises for tweet about Dilip Kumar
The filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has apologised for posting an incorrect tweet about the veteran actor Dilip Kumar. The Gangs of Wasseypur director had earlier taken to Twitter to mark the death of Kumar, who is 90. He was quick to correct his mistake, which he attributed to text messages he received. “Apologies for the Dilip Saab tweet. I panicked because of three back-to-back messages, he is fine and the news is not true,” Kashyap posted. Kumar’s wife Saira Banu said that the actor is on his road to recovery but needs lot of rest. The actor was admitted to a Mumbai hospital early last week after suffering cardiac arrest.
Beyoncé and Jay Z highest-earning celebrity couple
With estimated earnings of US$95 million (Dh349m), Beyoncé and Jay Z are the highest-earning celebrity couple for the second consecutive year, said Forbes magazine. Beyonce’s Mrs Carter tour and Jay Z’s million-selling Watch the Throne album and world tour pushed the musical couple ahead of Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, who pulled in $80m. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, with $50m, jumped up one spot from last year to third place. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis came in fourth, followed by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Jay Z performs at the Formula One weekend in Abu Dhabi on November 1.
Tupac biopic to be filmed in 2014
A new biopic on Tupac Shakur is coming. Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla Films announced they are in final negotiations to partner on the production of Tupac. The picture will begin filming next year in Atlanta. Shakur was gunned down in 1996 in Las Vegas and the crime remains unsolved. The film will be executive produced by Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The news release makes no mention of who will star as the rapper or who will direct.
Ranbir and Deepika in Imtiaz Ali’s film
Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone will be teaming up again for Imtiaz Ali’s new project after their recent blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Kapoor said in an interview that Ali’s next film is titled Window Seat. It was rumoured that Katrina Kaif or Alia Bhatt might feature opposite Kapoor, but after the success of YJHD, the filmmaker decided to go with the duo again.
Keith Urban tops Billboard chart
Keith Urban beat out The Weeknd in a tight race to the top spot of this week’s US Billboard 200 album chart. Urban’s latest album, Fuse, sold 98,000 copies in its first week, while The Weeknd’s debut studio album Kiss Land sold more than 95,000 units. The rapper 2 Chainz landed at third, while Janelle Monae entered the chart at fifth with The Electric Lady, behind Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party at fourth place.