Dylan breaks Nobel prize silence
Bob Dylan has expressed awe at receiving the Nobel Prize in literature and thanked the Swedish Academy for including him among the “giants” of writing. Dylan was absent from Saturday’s award ceremony and banquet in Stockholm. But in remarks read by the US ambassador, he alluded to the debate about whether the award should go to a songwriter. Dylan said when Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he probably was thinking about which actors to pick and where to find a skull. In his words: “I’m sure the farthest thing from Shakespeare’s mind was: ‘Is this literature?’” Dylan said he too focuses on “mundane matters” such as recording in the right key, not on whether his songs are literature.
He thanked the Academy for considering the question and “providing such a wonderful answer.”
* Associated Press
Prince was discussing reality show with Netflix
Here’s something else we lost with the death of Prince: A Netflix reality series centered on his Paisley Park home in Minnesota.
A Netflix spokesperson told The Associated Press on Saturday that the online entertainment company had been in “discussions” with Prince about a series, but that the project did not “come to fruition” before his death in April.
Photographer Maya Washington, a friend of the performer known for such hits as Purple Rain and 1999, told GQ recently that he had talked about the show and how he didn’t want to be in it. “Why not? You’re so funny,” she told him. Answered Prince: “Maya, I can’t be funny. I have to save the world.”
* Associated Press
Garth Brooks for Trump inauguration?
Country star Garth Brooks is in discussions to perform at the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump, the singer’s representative said on Friday, as organisers of the event denied media reports that they were struggling to find A-list stars to take part.
Brooks, 54, one of the world’s best-selling solo artists, performed for Democrat Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, along with a line-up that included Bruce Springsteen, U2, Beyonce, and Stevie Wonder.
“Garth has performed for the five living presidents,” his publicist Nancy Seltzer said on Friday. “While rumor has it that he has been asked to perform for President-elect Trump, he has not been able to commit yet.”
No celebrities have yet been announced as taking part in the January 20 inauguration.
Brooks, a Country Hall of Famer with US sales of more than 135 million albums, is currently in Hawaii as part of a world tour. He is due to perform in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 21 – the day after the inauguration in Washington.
Asked on camera by celebrity website TMZ earlier this week if he would sing for Trump, Brooks replied “It’s always about serving. It’s what you do.”
Madonna named Woman of the Year
Madonna was presented on Friday with Billboard magazine’s Woman of the Year award, but the seven-time Grammy Award winner said one of her biggest challenges was being a good mother.
“The biggest accomplishment I think was finishing my tour, doing my shows every night. And dealing with the challenges of being a mother. That’s always the challenge for me. Being a good mother, being an artist, getting through it all,” the Material Girl singer told reporters on the New York red carpet.
Madonna, 58, who has four children, in March completed her 82-show Rebel Heart world tour while embroiled in a legal battle over the custody of her 16 year-old son Rocco with ex-husband Guy Ritchie. Rocco left Madonna during the tour to live with Ritchie in London. The dispute was settled in September.
Akshay Kumar hopes to play Dara Singh
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on Saturday expressed his desire to play legendary wrestler and actor Dara Singh onscreen if a biopic is ever made on the late icon. Speaking at the launch of Deedara Aka Dara Singh, a book based on Dara Singh’s life, written by Seema Sonik Alimchand, Kumar said: “If Bindu (Dara Singh’s son) requests me, I would like to play the role of Dara Singh in his biopic.”
Kumar also spoke about the kind of preparation he might have to go through to play the role.
“Dara Singh was a huge man and I have to justify his appearance. I need at least two years to put on that kind of bulk and look like a wrestler.” Kumar will be seen onscreen next in science fiction film 2.0, written and directed by Shankar. The film, which features megastar Rajinikanth and actress Amy Jackson, is slated to release next year.
Kirk Douglas celebrates 100th birthday
Even at 100 years of age, Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas still knows how to make an entrance. With boxing gloves in every centerpiece and the theme from “Rocky” blaring over the speakers, Douglas, one of the golden age of Hollywood’s last living legends, walked confidently into the Sunset Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel Friday afternoon to celebrate his 100th birthday at an intimate gathering of friends and family. Flanked by Anne Douglas, his wife of over 62 years, his son Michael Douglas, his daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones and his grandchildren, Kirk Douglas looked out over the crowd of about 150 people, including Don Rickles, Jeffrey Katzenberg, his Rabbi and many of his closest friends and smiled. Michael Douglas introduced his father to the crowd while a montage of classic Douglas films including Spartacus and Lust for Life played out on screen behind him. Kirk Douglas kept his own remarks brief: “I wonder who he was talking about? He said some nice things about someone I don’t know,” he joked, adding that that Michael Douglas was chosen to organize the proceedings because “he has the most money.” Kirk Douglas also thanked everyone for coming and marvelled at seeing most of his family in the crowd.
* Associated Press