x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Britney Spears quits engagement and X Factor

Plus: Argo wins big at Critics' Choice; Destiny's Child readies new song; father of Montreux fest bows out; Evan Rachel Wood is expecting.

Hours after a snub in the Oscar nominations, Ben Affleck won Best Director and his film Argo was named Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday. Affleck joked as he took the trophy that he'd "like to thank the Academy". In top acting awards, Daniel Day-Lewis won for Lincoln and Jessica Chastain won for Zero Dark Thirty. Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Supporting Actor for The Master and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables. - AP

Destiny's Child ready new song

Destiny's Child are back together for a new song. The R&B trio are releasing a new track called Nuclear, produced by Pharrell Williams. The song is the group's first new offering since 2004. Nuclear will appear on the compilation album, Love Songs, out on January 29. It features 13 previously released Destiny's Child's ballads. The group includes Michelle Williams, Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland. * AP

Spears quits engagement and X Factor

On Friday, Britney Spears called it quits with her fiance Jason Trawick and as a judge on The X Factor. Spears, 31, and Trawick, 41 - her former agent - got engaged in December 2011. "Jason and I have decided to call off our engagement," Spears said in a statement. "I'll always adore him and we will remain great friends." Spears is leaving The X Factor after just one season on the Fox singing show, saying it is time to get back to making music. "I had an incredible time doing the show but it's time for me to get back in the studio," she said. TMZ reported that Spears was in talks about a long-term residency gig in Las Vegas. * Reuters

Father of Montreux jazz fest dies

The music world was in mourning on Friday at the news that Claude Nobs, the 76-year-old founder of Switzerland's famed Montreux Jazz Festival, had died following a skiing accident. "There are no words to express the deep sorrow and hollowness in my heart," tweeted the music producer Quincy Jones. Nobs, who helped bring some of the world's greatest musicians to his small hometown, died in a Lausanne hospital on Thursday. Nobs's warm smile covered the front pages of many dailies in Switzerland, where he was considered a national icon, with Le Matin saluting him with the words: "Goodbye and thanks." * AFP

Evan Rachel Wood expecting

Evan Rachel Wood and her husband Jamie Bell are expecting their first child later this year. Wood's publicist said the couple, who married last year, are "thrilled". The 25-year-old Wood's breakout role was in the 2003 film Thirteen, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Bell, 26, is best known for his starring role in 2000's Billy Elliot. * AP