x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Oprah named most influential celebrity

Plus: Luke Bryan tops Billboard charts; Jay-Z talks Great Gatsby music; Bieber fires back at critics; Lil Wayne "good" after health scare.

Forbes magazine has named Oprah Winfrey as America's most influential celebrity for the second year in a row. Evan Agostini / Getty Images
Forbes magazine has named Oprah Winfrey as America's most influential celebrity for the second year in a row. Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Oprah named most influential celebrity

Oprah Winfrey was crowned America’s most influential celebrity for a second straight year. Forbes magazine ranked Winfrey, 59, ahead of Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Barbara Walters. Forbes noted that Winfrey’s magic had rubbed off as well, with one of her protégées, the TV physician Dr Mehmet Oz, ranking sixth on the list. Film directing, however, seems to be the profession most associated with influence, as four directors, including Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard and George Lucas, crowded into the top 10. – Reuters

Luke Bryan tops Billboard charts

The country singer Luke Bryan scored his first No 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts with his Spring Break ... Here to Party, while the late Jimi Hendrix scored his highest-charting release in 44 years with a posthumous album of studio recordings, People, Hell and Angels. Bryan will host the Academy of Country Music Awards in April. Bruno Mars placed third with Unorthodox Jukebox, while the British folk rock band Mumford & Sons slipped to fourth with Babel. – Reuters

Jay-Z talks Great Gatsby music

Jay-Z has teamed up with Baz Luhrmann to produce and perform on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby, which will open the Cannes Film Festival in May. Jay-Z said the soundtrack would bring modern “jazz age” energy to the film. He said he was introduced to Luhrmann by the movie’s lead star Leonardo DiCaprio and this led to a two-year collaboration. “The Great Gatsby is that classic American story of one’s introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion. It’s ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist,” Jay-Z said. – Reuters

Bieber fires back at critics

Justin Bieber has taken to Instagram to unload his frustration over what he says are the “countless lies” being circulated about him. On Thursday, Bieber wrote that he is “tired of all the countless lies in the press right now”, denying rumours that he’s going to rehab. “I’m 19 and it must be scary to some people to think that this is just the beginning,” he said. Bieber originally ended the post with a jab at Lindsay Lohan, suggesting any comparison between the two was wrong. The pop star recently collapsed backstage during a London concert, tussled with paparazzi and cancelled a performance in Portugal. – AP

Lil Wayne ‘good’ after health scare

Lil Wayne tweeted on Friday that he was “good”, as record company executives dismissed a report that the singer had been in critical condition after a string of seizures. He tweeted: “I’m good everybody. Thanks for the prayers and love”, after TMZ reported that he was in an induced coma and that his family was rushing to his bedside. According to TMZ, Lil Wayne, 30, was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on Tuesday after suffering multiple seizures. Bryan Williams, a co-founder of Cash Money Records to which Lil Wayne is signed, tweeted: “My son is in good spirit. Feelin much betta. Be home soon.” – AFP