Plus: Beyoncé retains top spot on Billboard chart; Bieber flirts with retirement in tweets; Haasan and Reddy team up for new flick; Britney Spears begins long-term Las Vegas gig; Oscar nominations voting starts.
Salman Khan’s 48th birthday bash
Salman Khan turns 48
The Bollywood superstar Salman Khan celebrated his 48th birthday on Friday in his farmhouse in Panvel, a town in Maharashtra, India. In attendance were A-listers from Indian cinema including Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Esha Deol, Randeep Hooda and the directors Kabir Khan and David Dhawan. Khan has two films set to be released in 2014: the action drama Jai Ho, out in late January, and Kick, scheduled for an Eid release.
Beyoncé retains top spot on Billboard chart
Beyoncé held onto the top spot on the US Billboard 200 album chart for the second consecutive week. Currently the year’s 12th-best selling album, Beyoncé is expected to crack the top 10 in just a few weeks’ time, Billboard said. The country music star Garth Brooks held at No 2 on the chart with Blame It All on My Roots. One Direction’s Midnight Memories moved to No 3 from No 5, swapping spots with Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. Say Something, a song by the duo A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera, held steady as the top digital track.
Bieber flirts with retirement in tweets
Justin Bieber sent out a series of mixed messages over his Twitter feed on Tuesday, one of which said he was retiring, on the eve of the Christmas Day release of the latest film chronicling the life of the Canadian singer. The tweet to the 19-year-old’s nearly 48 million followers – “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring” – was quickly followed by another message: “I’m never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle. I’m here forever.” Representatives for Bieber did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.
Haasan and Reddy team up for new film
The Indian actors Shruti Haasan and Vishal Krishna Reddy will star in a yet-to-be-titled film under Reddy’s production house Vishal Film Factory. The action movie, directed by the Tamil filmmaker Hari Nadar, is scheduled to begin production in early 2014 and is set to be released during Diwali. Reddy recently produced the Tamil hit Pandiya Naadu and is also co-producing the forthcoming drama Naan Sigappu Manithan.
Britney Spears begins long-term Las Vegas gig
Britney Spears began her two-year residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Friday. She will perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015, recapping her biggest hits. Spears, 32, is among the youngest stars to have settled down to quasi-retirement in Las Vegas. Other successful headliners include Celine Dion and Elton John. Spear’s eighth album, Britney Jean, was released this month to tepid reviews.
Voting starts on Oscar nominations
Voting began on Friday for 2014’s Academy Awards nominees. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots for their favourite film work from the past year until January 8. The academy is offering electronic voting for the second consecutive year. It announced last week that 289 feature films are eligible for best-picture consideration. Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced January 16. Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony when the Oscars are presented on March 2.