Plus: Lauryn Hill pays back taxes, releases song; Exorcist director to receive Venice award; Daft Punk tops British singles charts.
Jennifer Lopez to participate in concert for charity in London
James Franco, Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively will join Beyoncé at the Sound of Change concert in London, a charity event organised by Gucci. Franco and Lively will be presenting in the show, while Lopez will perform a set. Other acts scheduled for the June 1 event include Florence and the Machine, Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding. Beyoncé, the concert’s artistic director, will perform a 45-minute set. Proceeds from the event will go to Gucci’s new Chime for Change campaign – an initiative founded by Knowles, Salma Hayek and Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini, to improve health, education and justice for women worldwide. – The National staff
Lauryn Hill pays back taxes and releases song
Lauryn Hill, on the eve of her scheduled sentencing on federal tax evasion charges, has paid off the balance of more than US$900,000 (Dh3.3 million) she owed in back taxes and penalties. The musician was scheduled for sentencing yesterday in New Jersey on charges that she failed to file tax returns on more than $1.8m between 2005 and 2007. She faces up to a year in jail for each charge, but the final sentence is expected to be adjusted based on the repayment. On Saturday she released her first single in several years, titled Neurotic Society. She posted a link to the song on the social media site Tumblr, writing: “Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline. I love being able to reach people directly but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music. But the message is still there.” – Reuters
Daft Punk tops British singles charts
The French electronic duo Daft Punk held on to the top spot for a second week in Britain’s singles charts, keeping the London drum-and-bass quartet Rudimental’s Waiting All Night in second place. Daft Punk’s Get Luck features the guest vocals of Pharrell Williams, with Nile Rodgers on guitar. The track is the lead single from the pair’s forthcoming fourth album Random Access Memories. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis moved up two places to the third spot. In the album charts, Home – the debut studio album by Rudimental – went straight to No. 1 in its first week, knocking Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved into second place after two weeks at the top. Pink was up one place, to third spot, with her sixth studio album The Truth About Love. – Reuters
Exorcist director to receive Venice award
The director William Friedkin, best known for his 1973 thriller The Exorcist, will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 70th Venice Film Festival this year. Friedkin won an Oscar for his 1971 film The French Connection and also directed 2011’s Killer Joe. Friedkin, 77, has “contributed in a prominent way to the profound renewal of American cinema regarded as the New Hollywood”, said the festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera. Friedkin said he was proud to receive the award from the world’s oldest film festival, which runs from August 28 to September 7. “The Golden Lion is something I never expected but am proud to accept it with gratitude and love,” he said. – AFP
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