x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Today's entertainment news: Keith Urban goes on vocal rest after surgery

Also, Shah Rukh Khan's daughter wins a prize in a national storywriting competition; Jay-Z hits academia; and Bachchan denies BetiB photo sale speculation.

Adele, the British singer/songwriter who was silenced after surgery for a benign polyp on her vocal cord, is not the only musician keeping very quiet these days. The Australian country star Keith Urban is on complete vocal rest for the coming weeks after surgery to remove a polyp on his vocal cord.

His friend and fellow star Brad Paisley says he plans to hang out with Urban, a good friend, while he recovers.

"We're big guitar junkies, and we wanted to get together and maybe go through some amplifiers and go through some gear," said Paisley before the CMT Artists of the Year taping last week in Nashville. "I told him, 'Let's do that. You don't have to talk. We'll get together. We'll play guitar, set up some amps, go through some tubes and try some stuff out'. I'll do all the talking, which I am very capable of. He can just nod and grunt and do whatever he's allowed to do."

Paisley said he can't imagine what it's like to not be able to talk for weeks. But he thinks Urban's wife, Nicole Kidman, should take full advantage of the situation. "I'm sure Nicole loves it. It's got to be great for her," he joked.

Before heading into surgery, Urban posted a video for fans, thanking them for their gifts and well wishes. He said he looks forward to seeing them when he resumes his commitments next year.

* AP

Suhana Rukh Khan wins writing competition

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's 11-year-old daughter Suhana has made her father proud by winning a prize in a national storywriting competition.

A thrilled Khan announced the win on Twitter: "Yippeee!!! Another story teller in the house!!!" Suhana is the younger of the two Khan children; her older brother Aryan is 14. The competition was organised by Katha, a non-governmental organisation working with children's education.

Married to Gauri Chibber, a Hindu, Khan has made it a point to bring up the children in a secular environment where they respect both religions, and celebrate both Hindu and Muslim festivals at his house in suburban Bandra. In promotional interviews for his most ambitious project, this autumn's release Ra.One, Khan repeatedly said the superhero film was his gift to his children. As soon as he wrapped up a gruelling 25-day promotion tour, which included multiple premieres in Dubai, London and Toronto, Khan had tweeted: "Toronto done. Ra.One on track ... now feel like getting home soon to give my lil ones a big hug ..." Ra.One was India's first superhero film in 3D, and set a Bollywood record of the highest single-day box-office collection.

Jay-Z hits academia

An unusual course of study at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, is proving popular this semester: a class dedicated to the rapper Jay-Z and his career.

Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who is also an author, radio host and television personality, argues the rapper's catchy riffs and rhymes on luxury cars and tailored clothes and boasts of being the "Mike Jordan of recording" reflect incisive social commentary. The course, "Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z," may seem an unlikely offering at a majority-white Jesuit university that counts the former president Bill Clinton among its alumni, but Dyson insists that his class confronts topics present in any sociology course: racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality.

* AP

Bachchan denies BetiB photo sale speculation

Amitabh Bachchan has denied speculative news reports that the family was planning to sell exclusive photographs of BetiB, the newborn daughter of Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, to a celebrity magazine.

"Media trying to build up story of sale of baby picture .. ha ha ha ... good try media, it will never happen," the 69-year-old actor tweeted this weekend, dismissing speculation that the family could sell the photographs in an exclusive deal similar to those that celebrities often broker in the West. Similar speculative reports had appeared when Abhishek and Aishwarya were married in a private ceremony in April 2007. Bachchan's son Abhishek had earlier exposed the fake pictures of Aishwarya and the newborn found floating on the internet on Twitter. The morphed pictures showed the actress holding a baby.

Aishwarya delivered a baby girl on November 16 at a Mumbai hospital. The family has been receiving hundreds of suggestions, but is yet to officially name the newborn.

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