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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Christina Aguilera writes song for Orlando victims

Plus, DiCaprio to be questioned in Wolf of Wall Street case; Page ‘never mentioned Spirit’ says Zeppelin bassist Jones; Udta Punjab producer turns cyber cop; Brangelina kids learning seven languages; and Phillipa Soo to star in new Amelie musical.
Christina Aguilera has a new song, Change, in response to the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Photo
Christina Aguilera has a new song, Change, in response to the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP Photo

Christina Aguilera has released a new song, Change, following last Sunday’s mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub. The singer posted a lyric video of the song and a statement on her website on Thursday, in which she said she wants to be a part of the change. The song features lyrics about “waiting for the day when hate is lost and love is found”. The statement says proceeds from American downloads until September 14 will go to the National Compassion Fund to benefit the victims and their families. Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge has also written a song, Pulse, named after the club where 49 people were killed and dozens more injured. – AP

DiCaprio to be questioned in Wolf of Wall Street case

A judge has decided that actor Leonardo DiCaprio can be questioned on what he knows about the production of The Wolf of Wall Street in relation to a defamation lawsuit. Judge Steven Locke ruled on Thursday that the actor can be deposed in a lawsuit brought by lawyer and investment banker Andrew Greene against Paramount Pictures and others in 2014. Greene, who is seeking more than US$50 million (Dh183.65m), contends that the portrayal of a character who engaged in illegal acts in the 2013 film defames him. In the movie, the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff is close friends with Jordan Belfort, the notorious stock swindler who cost investors tens of millions of dollars in the 1990s. Belfort is played by DiCaprio. Paramount says the Koskoff character is a fictional composite. “No reasonable fact finder could claim that ‘Nicky’ was a recognizable likeness of Andrew Greene,” Paramount’s lawyers wrote in court papers. – AP

Page ‘never mentioned Spirit’ says Jones

Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones testified on Friday that his former bandmate Jimmy Page never mentioned American band Spirit, whose song Led Zeppelin is being accused of stealing a riff from in their 1971 hit Stairway to Heaven. Jones, 70, appeared in federal court in Los Angeles in a copyright infringement trial in which the British rock band is accused of copying the opening riff to Stairway to Heaven from the 1967 instrumental Taurus by Spirit. When asked if guitarist Page, the co-writer of Stairway, had ever mentioned Spirit, Jones said no. Jones, who is not a defendant in the case, also said that he had never heard of Spirit until the current lawsuit that was brought in 2014 by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for Randy Wolfe, the late guitarist of Spirit and composer of Taurus. The lawsuit seeks a writing credit for Wolfe on the song and damages in an amount to be proven at trial. On Friday, lawyers for Skidmore called Michael Einhorn, an expert on music royalties, to testify about damages related to the case. Einhorn said Plant and Page have made $58.5 million in total as composers of Stairway to Heaven. – Reuters

Udta Punjab producer turns cyber cop

Ekta Kapoor, one of the producers of the Bollywood film Udta Punjab, said on Friday that she hasn’t slept for a minute for the past two days as she was tracking down links showing the leaked version of the film. She also claims that none of those links are available any more. On June 15, a copy of the controversial drama about drug addiction was leaked online, fewer than 24 hours before the film opened in the UAE. “It definitely affected my weight, I’ve lost a kilo in two days,” said Kapoor. “I haven’t slept one minute in 48 hours. All we did was to put all the friends on the job to chase down links. Now you don’t find them anymore. The cyber cell and various other agencies have done a great job. I think my friends and I did most of the work in the middle of the night. I felt that I had a workout instructor who was making me do those many exercises, but it’s worth it because I got muscles in the end; I got stronger.” Udta Punjab is directed by Abhishek Chaubhey and stars Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh – IANS

Brangelina kids learning seven languages

Actress Angelina Jolie has revealed that her children are learning seven languages between them. Jolie and husband Brad Pitt have six children – Maddox, 14; Pax, 12; Zahara, 11; Shiloh, 10; and seven-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. “I asked them what languages they wanted to learn and Shiloh’s learning Khmer, which is the Cambodian language, Pax is focusing on Vietnamese, Mad has taken to German and Russian, Zahara’s speaking French, Vivienne really wanted to learn Arabic and Knox is learning sign language,” Jolie told United Kingdom’s Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. The actress added that you don’t know “who your children are until they show you who they are. They’re just becoming whoever they’re going to be. They’re interested about other cultures.” – IANS

Phillipa Soo to star in new Amelie musical

Tony Award-nominee and Hamilton star Phillipa Soo has a new gig lined up – she’ll lead a stage musical stage version of the film Amélie that hopes to land on Broadway in 2017. Soo, who plays Eliza Schuyler in Hamilton, will take over the part in the quirky romantic comedy that brought fame to actress Audrey Tautou in the 2001, Oscar-nominated, French film. The story centres on a shy, quirky young woman who goes about improving the lives of those around her in imaginative ways, but lacks the courage to pursue the object of her affections. The stage adaptation will feature music by Daniel Messé, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Messé, and a book by Craig Lucas. Tony-winning director Pam MacKinnon will direct the musical. This is not the first time Amélie has hit the stage – a previous version, Amélie, A New Musical, was performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre last year with British actress Samantha Barks starring in the main role. – AP