Nicki Minaj is pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia because she said she wants to show support for women's rights, gay rights and freedom of expression. "After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest," Minaj said in a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press. "While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression," she said. Minaj was originally scheduled to headline the concert on July 18. Saudi organizers said the Jeddah World Fest will be broadcast globally. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
Taylor Swift has broken her own record for the highest-grossing U.S. tour by a female artist. The Look What You Made Me Do singer has been trekking across the U.S. and other nations since May (18) on her epic Reputation Stadium Tour. Her U.S. gigs alone have now made an incredible $191.1 million (£148 million), according to Billboard.com, meaning that with 11 American dates still to play she has surpassed the gross earnings of the previous record holder, her 1989 World Tour - which made $181.5 million (£140.5 million) in 2015. During the tour, she has averaged earnings of more than $7 million (£5.4 million) per show - with all 27 of her completed dates sold out. The pop princess is having a brief break from the road after performing at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida last Saturday (19Aug18). After the gig, she praised hometown girl Camila Cabello - who has supported her alongside British singer-songwriter Charli XCX throughout the tour. "MIAMI I LOVE YOU!! You were so loud and FUN," she wrote on her Tumblr page. "Shout out to Camila for killing it in her hometown and being just the greatest most precious magical human possible." The concerts will pick up again this coming Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee - the city where a teenage Taylor made her name as a country music star. In addition to her U.S. gigs, Taylor has also performed in the U.K., Ireland and Canada, with the latter concerts having grossed $11.1 million (£8.5 million). Figures for her British and Irish dates are yet to come in, and unlike in the U.S., not all of these shows sold out. She will conclude the tour in Australia, New Zealand and Japan - meaning the worldwide takings from the Reputation Stadium Tour should easily surpass the $250 million (£193 million) her 1989 live dates made globally - and may come close to beating the $408 million (£316 million) Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour made in 2008 and 2009, the most earned globally by a female artist.
Casting for Walt Disney Pictures‘ live-action The Lion King continues today as reports confirm that John Oliver is set to voice Zazu. Oliver, who is best known for hosting HBO‘s Last Week Tonight, joins a cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and James Earl Jones reprising his animated role as Mufasa. Although still unconfirmed, director Jon Favreau has stated that Beyonce is his top choice to voice Nala. Favreau, who previously launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, is bringing to The Lion King the same level of photo-real effects he brought to The Jungle Book. Look for The Lion King to hit the big screen July 19, 2019.
The Shape of Water, about a woman who falls in love with a sea creature, has taken the top honours at the Oscars. Frances McDormand won best actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and persuaded every female nominee to stand with her in a night full of statements about inclusion. Britain's Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing Winston Churchill in World War Two epic Darkest Hour. The Shape of Water won the most Oscars with four, including best film. In her acceptance speech, McDormand put her Oscar on the floor in front of her and addressed executives as the female nominees got to their feet. It was one of the most powerful and symbolic moments of the night. "Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed," she said. "Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight - invite us into your office in a couple of days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best - and we'll tell you all about them." Her request came amid a push for greater equality in film - especially in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. Best Picture: “The Shape of Water” Director: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” Actor: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” Actress: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” Original Screenplay: “Get Out” Adapted Screenplay: “Call Me by Your Name” Foreign Language Film: “A Fantastic Woman” Animated Feature: “Coco” Visual Effects: “Blade Runner 2049” Film Editing: “Dunkirk” Animated Short: “Dear Basketball” Live Action Short: “The Silent Child”