x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Plus: Cuban-American novelist Oscar Hijuelos dies; Pharrell Williams weds; Hugh Jackman raises $1.85M on birthday; Lauren Conrad engaged.

Miley Cyrus. Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images / AFP
Miley Cyrus. Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images / AFP

Miley Cyrus became the first person to simultaneously notch up a number one single and a No 1 album in the British music chart this year, according to the Official Charts Company. Her latest track, Wrecking Ball, went straight into the top slot in the singles charts while her fourth album, Bangerz, did the same in the albums chart. The 20-year-old singer’s success pushed last week’s top single, Counting Stars, by the American rock band OneRepublic, into third place, while Eminem secured the second slot with his new single Berzerk. In the albums charts, last week’s number one album, Days Are Gone, from the Californian sister-act Haim, fell to fifth place, while Brand New Machine, an album by Chase & Status, placed second. — Reuters

• Read our review of Miley Cyrus’s new album in tomorrow’s Arts&Life

Cuban-American novelist Oscar Hijuelos dies

Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1989 novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and whose work often captured the losses and triumphs of the Cuban immigrant experience, has died. He was 62. Hijuelos died of a heart attack in Manhattan on Saturday while playing tennis. He was the first Hispanic writer to receive the Pulitzer. In his 2011 memoir, Thoughts Without Cigarettes, Hijuelos wrote of how he struggled against being labelled an “ethnic” writer and noted that even today there are few Latinos whose work has been awarded the same recognition. — AP

Rapper Pharrell Williams weds

The American rapper Pharrell Williams married his girlfriend Helen Lasichanh in Florida on Saturday. The couple have a 4-year-old son. According to Us Weekly, only a small group of family and friends were invited. Usher and Busta Rhymes – close friends of Williams – performed in the ceremony. — The National staff

Hugh Jackman raises $1.85m on birthday

Hugh Jackman threw himself a birthday party with 4,500 guests, but they had to pay to attend. The actor spent his 45th birthday on Saturday at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre where he sang, danced and told stories in a benefit concert that raised US$1.85 million (Dh6.8m) for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. “This is probably the most narcissistic way to spend your birthday,” he said after the show. “I chose my favourite songs and told stories about my life.” Backed by a 17-member orchestra, Jackman said he donated his birthday performance to the Motion Picture & Television Fund because it offers “that unconditional helping hand you get in a family”. The organisation provides health care to industry workers and retirees. Jackman also auctioned off an electric Fiat, a pair of Wolverine claws and two undershirts he wore during the night’s performance. The shirts went for $11,000 each. — AP

Reality star Lauren Conrad engaged

The Hills and Laguna Beach star Lauren Conrad has announced she’s engaged to the musician William Tell. The 27-year-old reality TV star and fashion designer posted a photo of her engagement ring on her blog on Sunday and wrote that she was “beyond thrilled”. Conrad’s dating life was famously chronicled on the MTV reality series Laguna Beach and then its spin-off The Hills. After leaving The Hills in 2009, Conrad launched a series of young adult novels based on her life in Los Angeles. — AP

artslife@thenational.ae