Taylor Swift will open the 2019 Billboard Music Awards with the premiere performance of her new single ME! The pop star debuted the song and its colorful accompanying video, which both feature Panic! At the Disco frontman Brendan Urie, overnight, and now it has been revealed the two pals will hit the stage together at the awards ceremony next week (01May19). "@taylorswift13 will open the #BBMAs with the worldwide premiere performance of 'ME!' featuring Brendon Urie of @PanicAtTheDisco," a post on the Billboard Awards Twitter account reads. Swift and Urie are joining previously announced 2019 awards show performers BTS and Halsey, Ciara, Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Daigle, the Jonas Brothers, Khalid, Madonna and Maluma, and Urie's band Panic! at the Disco at the MGM Grand Garden Arena prizegiving in Las Vegas, hosted by Kelly Clarkson. Swift is up for two awards this year - Top Female Artist and Top Touring Artist. The singer prepared for her big release day by taking ABC cameras on a tour of her adopted Nashville, Tennessee, showing off her former high school, where she met her best friend Abigail, the fabled Bluebird Cafe, where she landed her first record deal, and her permanent songwriting exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. During the trip, which aired on Good Morning America on Friday (26Apr19), Taylor revealed she forced her parents to take her to Nashville for spring break when she was 11, so she could live out her dream of becoming a country singer/songwriter. One of the places she drove past was Curb Records, the place she hit first after learning Leann Rimes was signed to the label. She eventually sealed a recording deal with Sony ATV Publishing three years later.
Selena Gomez made her return to the red carpet on Thursday (25Apr19), after taking time out to focus on her mental health, as she attended the 2019 WE Day festivities in Los Angeles. The longtime WE Day supporter and former host looked happy and healthy as she arrived at the event, which saluted young community leaders and volunteers. Gomez joined Sarah Michelle Gellar, Naomi Campbell, Nina Dobrev, Chance The Rapper, Meghan Trainor, and Joe Jonas among the stars who spoke at the afternoon gig, which was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, while Trainor also performed at the packed Forum. Heading to the 2019 WE Day, Selena admitted the annual event, which encourages youngsters to give of their time and help others in need, never fails to leave her feeling "inspired and hopeful". "The youth have an incredible positive and passionate attitude for making real change in the world," she said in a statement. "I’m so proud to celebrate young people's year of social change and to remind them that together, we are an unstoppable movement dedicated to a brighter and better tomorrow." Natalie Portman also took to the stage and told the future leaders, "Tonight, we’re working together to make an impact, but what exactly does that mean? For me, it means finding the courage inside yourself, to call out injustice wherever you see it and practice empathy throughout your day, everyday. "I want to make an impact by helping empower women and girls. Yes many of you are doing the same. It’s why I travelled to Kenya to support girls’ education with WE and it’s why I advocate for women’s rights in the workplace with Time’s Up. Because when you invest in women and girls, it transforms communities." The 2019 WE Day was Gomez's first public event since she stepped back from the spotlight to seek out the help she needed to combat depression and anxiety last year.
The Spice Girls have reportedly been offered a Las Vegas residency. The group, consisting of Mel B, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Mel C, are reuniting for a U.K. comeback tour without their fifth member - Victoria Beckham - this June (19). And while talks about taking the tour Stateside have been rumoured for some time, it's now been claimed that the four-piece group are considering following in the footsteps of stars such as Celine Dion and Britney Spears by taking on a residency in Sin City. According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, the group have been offered a big money deal at The Colosseum inside Caesars Palace. "The girls haven't committed to a full U.S. tour, but their production team think a residency could be the perfect fit," a source told the publication. "There is massive money on the table depending on how their UK tour goes. When Celine Dion leaves The Colosseum next June the owners are planning a refurb and want a flagship act to get punters back when it reopens." While Geri, Mel C and Emma are all based in the U.K., Mel B lives in Los Angeles - meaning a residency would be the "perfect fit" for her. And her bandmates are also said to be keen on the idea because it requires less of a commitment than a full U.S. tour. Reports are continuing to swirl about animosity between Mel B and Geri following the former's revelation that she had sex with Ginger Spice in the Spice Girls' heyday. While Geri, Emma and Mel C have been rehearsing for the upcoming tour in London, Mel B has been practising on her own in Los Angeles - fuelling rumours of a falling out.
Mariah Carey, M.I.A. and Mindy Kaling are among the stars to send prayers to the people of Sri Lanka after a series of co-ordinated explosions killed more than 200 on Easter Sunday (21Apr19). Officials estimate at least 207 people died in the bombings of four hotels and three churches, where holiday services were being held, in and around the capital of Colombo and in the city of Batticaloa, where 450 others were injured. The news prompted a string of celebrities to take to social media to express their shock and sadness at the headlines. "Sri Lanka, my heart is with you. I'm praying for everyone affected by this horrible tragedy. Stay strong," tweeted Mariah Carey, as rapper M.I.A., whose parents hail from the South Asian nation. Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds shared, "heartbroken for the people of Sri Lanka. there are no words that could possibly bring comfort or understanding at times like these - I can only offer my deepest sorrow and love along with the millions of others mourning today." Ciara tweeted, "Praying for you Sri Lanka. My heart is crushed," and Kelly Rowland took to Instagram to write, "On this Resurrection Sunday, I'd like to take the time to simply send love and prayers to Sri Lanka...! Today, please take the time and say a prayer for Sri Lanka! Praying for my brothers and sisters through Christ!" Meanwhile, actress Mindy Kaling, whose family is of Indian heritage, shared a link to a Washington Post article about the tragedy, and urged fans to "think about including these people in your prayers" on Easter Sunday. "I'm Hindu, but Easter is one of the most moving and beautiful holidays," she posted. "I do believe in the power of prayer, even from strangers half the world away." There were also tributes from world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and former leader Barack Obama, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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