CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died Thursday. He was 82.
A University of Michigan student is one of the world’s foremost “speedcubers,” a person capable of quickly solving a Rubik’s Cube. He also is an accomplished violinist. Stanley Chapel says the two fields go hand in hand and the violin has aided in his speedcubing success. The 21-year-old is the world champion in two categories of blindfolded speedcubing. Factoring in the time it takes for him to review the cube before placing the blindfold over his eyes, Chapel can solve one in around 17 seconds. The junior majoring in violin performance intends to defend his titles later this year in South Korea.
For decades, Monterey Park has been a haven for Asian immigrants seeking to maintain a strong cultural identity — and a culinary heaven for anybody near Los Angeles craving authentic Asian cuisine. Signs across the vibrant suburb are written in English and Chinese. Families raise bilingual children. And residents in their golden years enjoy karaoke and — as the outside world learned last week after a horrific mass shooting — ballroom dancing. That sense of peace was shattered after a gunman killed 11 people and wounded nine others last Saturday during a Lunar New Year celebration at the Star Dance Ballroom. But while residents work through the trauma, the tragedy has only sharpened their feelings about what makes Monterey Park so special, and worth protecting.
The Hollywood owners of Wrexham are still learning British soccer vernacular. They don’t need advice, though, in setting the scene for this weekend’s FA Cup match against second-division Sheffield United. Wrexham is the only fifth-tier club left in the world’s oldest soccer knockout competition. Co-owner and actor Rob McElhenney joked that he's visited Sheffield and likes the people but “they of course are the enemy now and their tyrannical reign through the Championship must be stopped a la Goliath.” The teams play Sunday. McElhenney and actor Ryan Reynolds own the Welsh club. McElhenney says he's still getting used to sayings like “squeaky-bum time” — made famous by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Like a lot of great projects, the idea for Grammy-nominated album “The Urban Hymnal” was first sketched out on a paper restaurant napkin.
Shakira’s two outfits worn during a Super Bowl halftime performance, her handwritten lyrics and her heavily crystalized electric guitar are among the items that will be on display for a museum exhibit in Los Angeles. The Grammy Museum says Thursday that the multi-Grammy winner will have her first exhibit opening on March 4. The exhibit called “Shakira, Shakira: The Grammy Museum Experience” will feature 40 artifacts from her personal archive in the museum’s permanent Latin music gallery. Through the experience, the exhibit will explore Shakira’s musical evolution, from her origin as a performer in Colombia to reaching global superstardom as a multi-genre performer, whose music has incorporated bachata, rock, Bhangra and reggaetón.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Days after India blocked a BBC documentary that examines Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role during 2002 anti-Muslim riots and banned people from sharing it online, authorities were scrambling to halt screenings of the program at colleges and restrict clips of it on social m…
An Australian government minister says rapper Ye could be refused a visa due to antisemitic comments if he attempts to visit Australia. Education Minister Jason Clare was responding to reports that the U.S. celebrity formerly known as Kanye West intends to visit his partner's family in Australia next week. Clare says he doesn’t know if Ye has applied for a visa but Australia has previously refused them to people with antisemitic views. Ye recently praised Hitler in an interview and was suspended from Twitter after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David. Ye’s representative has not responded to AP's questions over whether he has married Australian Bianca Censori.
This we knew already: Jennifer Lopez can rock a wedding dress — and a wedding rom-com. “Shotgun Wedding” puts the ageless pop star at a stunning island resort, where her character, Darcy, plans to marry fiance Tom (played by Josh Duhamel). But then those darned pirates arrive with their machine guns and take everyone hostage in, well, an infinity pool. Lopez, who stars and produces, has all the charm and style we love her for, but the film suffers from a bizarre tonal imbalance, writes Associated Press critic Jocelyn Noveck. It's either too cartoonishly violent to be either romantic OR comedic. Jennifer Coolidge is funny but left searching for good lines. It streams on Amazon beginning Friday.
Hulu has become the second television company to cut ties with the creator of the animated series “Rick and Morty” after felony domestic abuse charges against him were revealed. Hulu said in a statement Wednesday that it has ended its association with Justin Roiland, who works on two animated shows on the streaming outlet. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim division, which airs “Rick and Morty,” cut ties with him Tuesday. Roiland has pleaded not guilty to felony domestic violence against a former girlfriend. He is awaiting trial. Emails sent to his attorney and publicist seeking comment were not immediately returned.
NEW YORK (AP) — New York's attorney general warned the owner of Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday that it may be violating anti-bias laws with its practice of barring lawyers from its venues if they work for firms suing the company.
“Game of Thrones” actor Esmé Bianco has settled agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging that rocker Marilyn Manson abused her physically, emotionally and sexually. Bianco's attorney said Wednesday that she reached the agreement in order to move on with her life and career. In the suit filed in federal court in 2021, Bianco alleged he brought her to the US from England under false pretenses and abused her while keeping her in his home. Manson's attorney called the allegations “provably false.” Manson has had two similar lawsuits dismissed, while at least one remains.
A trove of previously unseen photos taken by Paul McCartney as The Beatles shot to global stardom will go on display in London this year. The National Portrait Gallery announced Wednesday that the exhibition will help mark the gallery’s reopening in June after a three-year refurbishment. Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan said McCartney approached the gallery in 2020 saying he had rediscovered a batch of photos from late 1963 and early 1964 that he had thought were lost. He said they capture “a famous and important cultural moment” from the inside. The exhibition “Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of The Storm” opens June 28 and runs to Oct. 1.
Rescue personnel in California say they have found a 75-year-old hiker who was lost on the same snow-covered mountain where actor Julian Sands is missing. NBC LA captured images of Jin Chung, of North Hollywood, being loaded into an ambulance Tuesday afternoon. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says he had a leg injury and some weather-related injuries but was able to walk. He was taken to a hospital but his condition was not immediately known. The search for Chung began after he failed to return from a hike Sunday on Mt. Baldy. Sands was reported missing Jan. 13 while hiking on the same mountain. Storms have coated the peak with heavy snow and ice and searches have been thwarted by the threat of avalanches and foul weather, including powerful winds.
A nod for a nonagenarian and a surge of first-time acting honorees are among the notable numbers stemming from the Oscar nominations announced Tuesday. Composer John Williams becomes the oldest nominee for a competitive Oscar ever with his best original score nomination for “The Fabelmans.” Among the 20 names announced in the acting categories are 16 first-time nominees, including screen veterans Jamie Lee Curtis and Brendan Gleeson. Actors of Asian descent had an especially strong year, with a record four getting nominations, three of them from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the year's top nominee.
The sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads nominations to the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations. Nominations included acting nods for star Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in a comeback performance decades after he starred in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” A year after a streaming service won Hollywood’s top honor for the first time, big-screen spectacles dominated Tuesday’s nominations to the 95th Academy Awards with the “Avatar” and “Top Gun” sequels getting best picture nods. Collectively, the best picture nominees have earned more than $1.5 billion domestically so far, which is a record. The Oscars will be presented March 12 in Los Angeles.
Willie Nelson is turning 90 this year and he's celebrating with an all-star, two-day concert in Los Angeles this April. The Texas troubadour's milestone birthday party at the Hollywood Bowl will feature dozens of performers, including Neil Young, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Snoop Dogg and many more. Six decades into his career, the Grammy-winning country icon is still going strong. He has a new album “I Don't Know a Thing About Love” coming in March and a documentary premiering at Sundance. Tickets for the April 29-30 shows go on sale this week.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Country music star Chris Stapleton will hit next month's Super Bowl to sing the national anthem, while R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful."
CBS Sports is gearing up for its 66th consecutive year covering the PGA Tour and one of its busiest seasons. The coverage starts this week at Torrey Pines and ends with a Saturday prime-time finish. This will be the first year CBS has every FedEx Cup playoff event. It also has 11 of the 17 designated “elevated” events. Trevor Immelman starts his first full year as the lead analyst. Also at Torrey Pines is the return of the APGA Tour for developing minority players. Three APGA Tour players have status this year on the PGA Tour Champions, Korn Ferry and Latin American circuit.
Senators grilled Ticketmaster Tuesday about its spectacular breakdown last year during a sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, says the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will focus on consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industries and how it harms customers. Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year. Around 70% of tickets for major concert venues in the U.S. are sold through the company, In mid-November, Ticketmaster’s site crashed during a presale event for Swift’s upcoming stadium tour. Many people lost tickets after waiting hours in an online queue.
Hall of Fame football player Shannon Sharpe apologized after getting into a heated courtside conversation with Memphis Grizzlies players Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks and Morant’s father during Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Fox Sports personality issued the apology Monday during the “Undisputed” show with Skip Bayless. Sharpe exchanged words with Brooks throughout the first half and then yelled at Morant on the final possession of the second quarter. After the halftime buzzer sounded, Brooks yelled at Sharpe and Sharpe motioned toward Brooks. Tee Morant, Ja Morant’s father, also got involved in the conversation before security at Crypto.com Arena separated everyone.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York City’s Madison Square Garden and other sports venues would be barred from refusing entry to perceived enemies of their owners under a bill introduced to the state Legislature Monday.
Associated Press video journalist Mstyslav Chernov had just broken out of Mariupol after covering the first 20 days of the Russian invasion of the Ukrainian city and was feeling guilty about leaving. He and his colleagues were the last journalists there. Chernov decided then that he wanted to make a documentary. That film, “20 Days in Mariupol,” a joint project between The Associated Press and PBS Frontline, premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City to standing ovations and emotional audiences. The film is playing as part of the World Documentary competition.
This week’s new entertainment releases include fresh albums from Sam Smith and Elle King, the return of Jennifer Lopez in the rom-com “Shotgun Wedding,” and the TV show “Poker Face,” starring Natasha Lyonne as a wise-cracking, friendly drifter who has an uncanny ability to immediately know if someone is lying. The new Fox series “Accused” has a new cast each week with someone on trial for a crime and “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and Jonah Hill co-wrote “You People,” a new Netflix comedy about a Los Angeles interracial couple and the culture clash of their families.
Randall Park was a struggling actor when he first encountered Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel “Shortcomings” in 2007 and quickly became obsessed with it being a movie and him playing the main character Ben, a complex Asian American character in the Bay Area. It would take about 15 years for “Shortcomings” to become a feature and by then Park had aged out of the role. But he got a cooler gig out of it: Feature film director. “Shortcomings” had its world premiere Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, with Sherry Cola as Alice, Ally Maki as Miko and Justin H. Min as Ben.
The moody, noirish film adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh’s debut novel “Eileen” debuted Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. In it, New Zealand actor Thomasin McKenzie plays Eileen and Anne Hathaway takes on the role of the glamorous Rebecca, with whom Eileen develops an intense infatuation. Hathaway, McKenzie, director William Oldroyd, Moshfegh and Luke Goebel spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday in Park City about adapting the first person novel for the screen. Hathaway said the film is unlike anything she's seen before. Said Hathaway, “For me, this is a film about triggers.” The film is currently seeking a distributor.
Lisa Marie Presley, a singer, songwriter and the daughter of Elvis Presley, has been remembered during a funeral service as a loving mother and an “old soul” who endured tragedy but persevered as a dedicated protector of her father’s legacy. More than a thousand people gathered on the front lawn of Graceland on a gray, chilly Memphis morning to mourn the death and remember the life of Lisa Marie Presley, who died Jan, 12 after she was taken to a hospital in California.
Five years after it made a splashy public debut, the #MeToo-era organization Time's Up is ceasing operations — at least in its current form. A year after pledging a “major reset" following a damaging internal report sparked by the scandal involving its leaders' dealings with then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the group's board chair told The Associated Press that Time's Up will shift all remaining funds to the independently administered Time's Up Legal Defense Fund and halt other operations. The remaining board members plan to step down. Operated by the National Women's Law Center in Washington, the defense fund has offered legal assistance to thousands of workers.
Actor Sherry Cola tells The Associated Press that she was devastated to learn of the mass shooting in her hometown of Monterey Park, California. Cola, alongside Randall Park, Justin H. Min and Ally Maki were gathered in Park City, Utah, for the premiere of their new film “Shortcomings” at the Sundance Film Festival. Cola was still processing her emotions on Sunday morning, with limited information available and a search still underway for the gunman. The film she’s in, “Shortcomings,” is focused on three Asian American Pacific Islanders friends who are living the Bay Area and finding themselves.
Drake, one of music’s biggest stars, delivered nostalgia and No. 1 hits during the first night of his two intimate weekend shows at the iconic Apollo Theater. Saturday's 90-minute set Saturday included more than 40 songs and guest appearances from The Diplomats and 21 Savage. The four-time Grammy winner hinted he might drop new music this year, and that he will “be out and about on the road a lot this year.” Drake was Spotify’s most-streamed artist in the U.S. in 2022, and the third-most streamed artist globally behind Bad Bunny and Taylor Swift. He also released two albums last year: “Honestly, Nevermind” and his joint-project with 21 Savage in November, “Her Loss.”
James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” led ticket sales in movie theaters for the sixth straight weekend, making it the first film to have such a sustained reign atop the box office since 2009′s “Avatar.” The Walt Disney Co.’s “The Way of Water” added $19.7 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Its global total has now surpassed $2 billion, putting it sixth all-time and just ahead of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The only new wide release from a major studio on the weekend was the thriller “Missing." It debuted with $9.3 million.
Marlee Matlin, Jeremy O. Harris and Eliza Hittman have exited the premiere of a film playing in competition at the Sundance Film Festival after the closed captioning device failed to work. Matlin, who is deaf, is serving on the jury alongside Harris and Hittman for films debuting in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the festival. They walked out collectively when they realized the situation Friday night. The Sundance Institute's CEO says the closed captioning device had been checked before the screening but malfunctioned nonetheless. The Sundance festival is running this week in Park City, Utah.
Actor Jeremy Renner says he broke more than 30 bones in a snowplow accident on New Year’s Day. Renner said earlier that he is recovering at home from what Nevada authorities say were serious chest injuries he suffered when he was run over by his 7-ton plow while helping free a relative’s car on a private road near Lake Tahoe. In social media posts Saturday, Renner expressed appreciation for support and added that “These 30 plus broken bones will mend, grow stronger, just like the love and bond with family and friends deepens.” The 52-year-old two-time Oscar nominee stars in the Paramount+ series “Mayor of Kingstown" and also plays Hawkeye in Marvel’s “Avengers” movies, among other roles.
Buckingham Palace plans a weekend of community events and voluntarism to mark the coronation of King Charles III. It is looking to highlight the monarchy’s links to the nation when Britain crowns a new sovereign for the first time in 70 years. The plans were revealed Saturday when the palace released the schedule for the three-day coronation weekend, which will begin with the crowning of Charles and Camilla, the queen consort, on Saturday, May 6. But there will be more to the weekend than crowns, scepters and ermine robes. The palace is encouraging neighborhood block parties and will put on a concert at Windsor Castle on May y. The next day, the palace is urging people to take part in ‘’The Big Help Out,’’ encouraging them to volunteer in their own communities.
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A new documentary looks into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and raises questions about the depth of the FBI investigation in 2018.
Prosecutors vow to file two manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons supervisor in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a Western movie. The looming charges have set in motion evidentiary proceedings and a reckoning for film set safety and the handling of firearms. One charge is for negligence. Another is for reckless disregard “without due caution and circumspection” and carries a five-year minimum sentence. Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Authorities say Baldwin was pointing a pistol at her when he cocked the hammer and fired.
A lawsuit claims Disneyland employees snickered at a disabled woman struggling to get off a Jungle Cruise boat before she fell and broke a leg, leading to her death months later. The Southern California News Group reports that the lawsuit was filed by the family of Joanne Aguilar against the Walt Disney Company, its theme park division and Disneyland. Disney denies the allegations and is seeking a jury trial. According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred in August 2021. Aguilar underwent surgery at a local hospital and then spent five months at a rehabilitation center. While there she got an infection, went into septic shock and died in January 2022.
As actor Alec Baldwin faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a cinematographer on a New Mexico, gun safety on sets remains at the forefront of many in Hollywood. Joey Dillon, who supervises weapons in TV and film, says that since the shooting he has become more vocal during productions on the status of guns being put into actors hands. And he says the actors are double checking the weapons themselves much more. But Baldwin's attorney and union both said Thursday that actors cannot be expected to make this a job responsibility, and should not be made a criminal if they fail at it.
Tennis is abuzz with tongue-in-cheek talk about a “Netflix curse” during the Australian Open. There are folks drawing a line from the streaming service’s new docuseries about the sport to the recent rough times for Season 1 protagonists. Only one of the 10 players featured prominently across the five episodes released last week remains in the singles competition at Melbourne Park heading into Saturday. That is Felix Auger-Aliassime. He is a 22-year-old from Canada who said he hadn't heard of the supposed “curse” until his girlfriend mentioned it to him Friday.
There were, admittedly, some notable distractions at last year’s ceremony, so you might have missed it: The old Oscar rules have gone out the window. A film, streamed by Apple TV+, won Hollywood’s top award without a penny of box office. But this year — plot twist! — there isn’t one streaming title in the hunt for the Academy Awards’ major prizes. When nominations are announced Tuesday, popcorn will be on the menu. “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Elvis” all look assured of best picture nods. Yet the frontrunners are neither box-office smashes nor streaming titles. “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “The Fabelmans” are leading the pack.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office says “Will & Grace" actor Leslie Jordan died from natural causes and not from a car accident last year. A coroner's report says the 67-year-old's death was from sudden cardiac dysfunction due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Jordan died at the scene after his car crashed in the Hollywood area on Oct. 24. An autopsy didn't find any life-threatening trauma or signs of drugs or alcohol. The 4-foot-11 Tennessee native won an Emmy in 2005 for his role as Beverly Leslie in “Will & Grace.” He also appeared in “Call Me Kat,” “The Cool Kids" and “American Horror Story.”
With hundreds of new movies released each year, many of us depend on the expertise of film critics to help curate our own watching. It's a thoroughly communal yet deeply personal experience. To honor the supporting role that entertainment journalism can play in this beloved pastime, The Associated Press on Thursday unveiled its inaugural AP Top 25 Movies ranking. The AP Top 25 Movies ranking is a distinctive honor roll of films that premiered in 2022, as determined by a truly representative panel of 26 of the country’s top movie experts working for AP-affiliated news outlets.
The Sundance Film Festival met the moment by going virtual for the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on Thursday, there was a palpable sense of relief from the festival’s leadership team at being in-person again. Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente, director of programming Kim Yutani, senior programmer John Nein and incoming Sundance Film Festival director Eugene Hernandez gathered Thursday afternoon in Park City, Utah, to discuss what’s to come. Yutani also announced the last-minute addition of “Justice,” a documentary from filmmaker Doug Liman about allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that will debut Friday. The festival runs through Jan. 29.
David Crosby has died at 81. Several media outlets, including the New York Times, say the musician died Wednesday. The brash rock musician evolved from a baby-faced harmony singer with the Byrds to a mustachioed hippie superstar and an ongoing troubadour in Crosby, Stills, Nash & (sometimes) Young. While he only wrote a handful of widely known songs, the witty and ever opinionated Crosby was on the front lines of the cultural revolution of the ’60s and ’70s. He advocated for peace, but was an unrepentant loudmouth who practiced personal warfare and acknowledged that many of the musicians he worked with no longer spoke to him.
David Crosby, brash rock musician and co-founder of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, dies at 81, reports say.
Actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico movie set. The Santa Fe district attorney issued a statement Thursday announcing the charges against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who supervised weapons on the set of the Western “Rust.” Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe in October 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at her when the gun went off. Officials said the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun has signed an agreement to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Netflix’s subscriber growth is surging again. That's providing an early sign that its shift to include ads in a cheaper version of its video streaming service is helping combat tougher competition and attract cost-conscious customers grappling with inflation. The company on Thursday disclosed a gain of 7.7 million subscribers during the October-December period, a stretch that included the debut of an ad-supported option for $7 per month. It's the second straight quarter of strong subscriber growth after two quarters or losses. The company based in Los Gatos, California, also announced Thursday that its co-founder Reed Hastings is relinquishing his role as co-CEO to become executive chairman.
Prince Harry’s “Spare” has sold more than 3.2 million copies worldwide after just one week of publication and will likely rank among the among the bestselling memoirs of all time. Penguin Random House announced Thursday that Prince Harry’s headline-making book sold 1.6 million copies in the U.S. alone. It's a number comparable to first week sales for such blockbusters as former President Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” and former first lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” The total sales announced for “Spare” are for print, audio and digital editions in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
John Legend, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow and Lionel Richie will be among those performing in tribute to Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson when both are honored as the 2023 MusiCares Person of the Year by the Recording Academy. The academy announced the lineup Thursday for the tribute concert and gala to be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 3 — two days before the Grammy Awards. Other performers announced include Jimmie Allen, Chloe X Halle, The Isley Brothers, Mumford & Sons, The Temptations, PJ Morton, Rita Wilson, Dionne Warwick and Trombone Shorty. The gala concert and dinner raises funds for the programs of MusiCares, which provides health and welfare services to musicians in need.
Saudi-funded LIV Golf finally has a television arrangement. LIV says it has an agreement with The CW for its second season that starts in five weeks. The CW will broadcast the weekend coverage. The first round of the 54-hole events will be available for streaming on The CW app. LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman calls this a momentous deal. Various reports indicate The CW isn't paying a rights fee but will instead get revenue sharing. A TV deal was seen as critical for LIV Golf. It was streamed last year on the LIV website and YouTube.
Artificial intelligence systems are training themselves on a vast collection of digitized artworks to produce new images that can be conjured in seconds from a smartphone app. But some living artists and photographers are starting to fight back against the AI software companies creating images derived from their works. Two new lawsuits take aim at popular image-generating services such as Stable Diffusion for allegedly copying and processing millions of copyright-protected images without a license. The lawsuits mark the beginning of a backlash against a new generation of tools — some of them introduced just last year — that can generate new images or readable text on command.