Chance the Rapper, Black Keys, Robert Plant, Halsey and Miley Cyrus also among artists set for 50th anniversary celebration in Watkins Glen, New York
Jay-Z, the Killers, Chance the Rapper, Black Keys, Robert Plant, Halsey and Miley Cyrus are among the artists booked for Woodstock 50 as organizers revealed the Watkins Glen, New York festival’s full lineup.
Dead and Company, John Fogerty, Santana, John Sebastian, Country Joe Mcdonald, Canned Heat and Hot Tuna – all acts that took part in the 1969 festival – are all on the lineup for the festival, which takes place August 16th through 18th, the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock.
Tickets for Woodstock 50 will go on sale April 22nd. Complete information is available on the festival’s website.
“It’ll be an eclectic bill,” festival organizer Michael Lang previously promised Rolling Stone of Woodstock 50. “It’ll be hip-hop and rock and some pop and some of the legacy bands from the original festival … I want it to be multi-generational. Woodstock ’94 was a nice mix of young and old and that’s kind of what we’re going for here.”
The final lineup lives up to Lang’s promise with hip-hop (Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, Run the Jewels, Common, Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples, Princess Nokia), rock (the Raconteurs, Greta Van Fleet, Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Courtney Barnett, Boygenius, Gary Clark Jr.), pop (Miley Cyrus, Maggie Rogers, Halsey, Janelle Monae) and country (Anderson East, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Brandi Carlile).
The festival’s official lineup comes just five months before Woodstock 50 opens at Watkins Glen, 150 miles west of the original festival site; the unaffiliated Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, with Ringo Starr and Santana, will take place at the site of the Woodstock ’69 on the same dates.
Woodstock 50 previously fought off rumors that organizers were hamstrung by money and production woes. “We are thrilled with all the excitement about Woodstock 50, but we have an obligation to our fans, artists and partners, to do things the right way,” Lang said in an e-mail statement. “We are in the final stages of laying the groundwork and can’t wait to stage this once-in-a-lifetime event. We’ll be officially announcing the lineup and ticket on-sale soon, stay tuned!”
Woodstock 50: Jay Z, Dead & Co., Chance the Rapper, Black Keys Headlining
Ringo Starr, Santana Lead Bethel Woods’ 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Celebration
The festival was formally announced by Fogerty, Common and Woodstock co-founder Lang at New York’s Electric Lady Studios on Tuesday evening. Amazingly, it was the first time that Lang had stepped foot in the studio since he was there with Jimi Hendrix a little under 50 years ago. After reflecting back on the original festival with comedy writer Alan Zweibel, Lang explained why he decided to revive the event. “What we’ve assembled here is a combination of some of the great artists from our era and many of the great artists of today and hopefully some of the great artists of tomorrow,” he said. “Many of these artists are committed to social change, have their own issues that they support, but also support these global issues of climate change and Black Lives Matter.”
Fogerty then explained why he, unlike the Who’s Roger Daltrey, wanted to go back to Woodstock. “I don’t expect it to be the same,” he said. “The mood in the country is different, similar in many respects, but different. I’m very glad that I’m able to be here 50 years later celebrating it. I hope to have a great time. I’m going to be playing most of the same songs that I played then. I’ve had a few more songs since then. But I think culturally, for me, it resonates because it was such a watershed moment in the time of my generation.”
After a short break, Fogerty played a mini-set that included “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?,” “Who Will Stop The Rain?” (which was partially inspired by Woodstock), “Bad Moon Rising” and “Fortunate Son.” Some of the set was played on the same 1969 Rickenbacker 325 Sunburst guitar that he played at the original Woodstock. He gave the guitar away in 1973, but was reunited with it at Christmas just a couple of years ago. When he was done, Common wrapped up the event with his large band. He opened with his 2007 song “Finding Forever,” which includes a live sample of the drum beat from Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To leave Your Love.” “We’re here in the spirit of Woodstock,” he told the crowd. “In the spirit of peace, love, justice and equality.”
Along with its lineup, Woodstock 50 also announced a wide variety of non-profit partners. The list include environmental groups such as Conservation International and the Dolphin Project, as well as organizations geared towards social issues such as Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation and the March for Our Lives. Other non-profit partners include Hiring America, HeadCount and Reform Alliance.
Woodstock 50 Lineup
Day 1: The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Run the Jewels, The Head and the Heart, Maggie Rogers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Anderson East, Princess Nokia, John Sebastian
Day 2: Dead and Company, Chance the Rapper, Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal. The Man, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Dawes, Margo Price, Country Joe, Rival Sons, Emily King, Soccer Mommy, Taylor Bennett
Day 3: Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage The Elephant, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Young The Giant, Courtney Barnett, Common, Vince Staples, Judah and the Lion, Earl Sweatshirt, Boygenius, the Zombies, Canned Heat, Hot Tuna, Pussy Riot, Cherry Glazerr
Seungri, photographed as he arrived at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on March 14, 2019. The former pop idol was there to undergo police questioning over charges of supplying prostitution services.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
A total of four Korean entertainers have abruptly retired from the industry this week, in a widening scandal linking the glossy world of K-pop with a series of seedy sex crimes. The biggest players — Seungri, of the influential all-male group Big Bang, and the 29-year-old singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young — have both apologized to the public for their involvement in twin, interlocking cases of exploitation of women.
To catch you up: Investigators booked Seungri on Monday on suspicion of supplying prostitutes for businessmen at one of Seoul’s upscale night clubs, setting off a media feeding frenzy that ensnared the second star, Jung, and potentially more famous men to come.
Seungri is denying charges of brokering prostitution. But in statements to the press, Seoul Metropolitan Police say an investigation into his Kakaotalk messages (Kakao is South Korea’s dominant messaging platform) found evidence of “pimping” — they claim he was not only offering different types of women to investors, but he was part of a separate group chat with the other star, Jung.
That’s where the details get more sordid. Police say the near-dozen participants in the Jung chatroom were sharing hidden camera footage of sex with drugged and unconscious women. Korean broadcaster SBS showed the leaked text exchanges, which include Jung responding to a video of one unconscious woman by texting in Korean, “You raped her, LOL.”Article continues after sponsor message
Korean wire Yonhap reports Jung is under investigation for secretly recorded and shared videos of his own sexual encounters with at least 10 women he filmed between 2015 and 2016.
Jung, who rose to fame on a Korean equivalent of American Idol, is cooperating with police and released the following statement:
“I admit to all my crimes. I filmed women without their consent and shared it in a social media chatroom, and while I did so I didn’t feel a great sense of guilt… More than anything, I kneel and apologize to the women who appear in the videos who have learned of this hideous truth as the incident has come to light.”
The other men who have apologized and suddenly retired from the industry after being implicated in the chat rooms are Choi Jong-hoon, singer from FT Island, and Yong Junhyung, singer from Highlight, who admitted that he was in the chat and saw the videos and did not speak up.
K-pop is such major cultural export and economic boon for the Asian nation of 55 million that this scandal — or scandals, depending on how you’re counting — has attracted global attention. (One of the genre’s most successful groups, BTS, had the No. 2 and No. 3 bestselling albums worldwide last year.)
Within South Korea, the business’ darker underbelly is well-known. Its three top entertainment companies — SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment — are notorious for running their artists through a militaristic system of rigorous dance and singing training, restrictions on their private lives and cosmetic surgery regimens that begin when they’re teens. When women artists have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or abuse in the industry, they are rarely investigated. K-pop is so interwoven with Korea’s soft power identity that Seungri said on Instagram, “I’ve been branded as a ‘national traitor.’ “
His agency, YG Entertainment, dropped him on Wednesday, apologized for failing to “manage the musician more thoroughly” and has watched its stock shares tumble.
Celebrity involvement in these sex crimes threaten to taint the carefully-crafted image of the K-pop industry, sure, but for South Korea, it shines an international light on an already-festering societal problem: hidden camera porn, known in South Korea as “spycam,” or molka, and its role in promulgating a misogynistic culture. Since last year, outrage about law enforcement’s uneven response to spycam has swelled into the streets, leading 22,000 women to protest last June, marking the largest women’s protest in South Korean history.
South Korea is a modern country that boasts of its advanced consumer electronics and fast internet speeds, but on the measure of equality for women, it ranks at the bottomamong developed countries. As we’ve reported, school curriculum even teaches that victims are to blame for sexual assault.
Jung Joon-young, arriving at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on March 14, 2019.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Combined, these factors feed a widespread spycam porn epidemic that’s gone on for years. Tiny hidden cameras that look like lighters secretly film women in dressing rooms, bathrooms, public places like subway stations and during private moments — while they’re having sex. The footage of sex acts is considered a “natural porn” that’s commonly distributed and profited off of on online platforms, without the victims’ knowledge.
Officially, police estimate more than 6,000 cases of people filmed on spy cams without their consent, each year, between 2013 and 2017. The victims are overwhelmingly women. But most of the time, people aren’t aware their images are being traded: A 2018 study by the Korean Women Lawyers Association found 89 percent of spycam crimes were perpetrated by strangers.
“There have been plenty of celebrity scandals before, including pretty serious charges like domestic abuse, but those usually ended being isolated incidents that faded from the public consciousness fairly quickly,” says Jenna Gibson, a Korea columnist for The Diplomat and a longtime K-pop watcher. “This time, because Korea has been directly grappling with issues like MeToo, spy cams, and women’s rights in general, there’s no way they will let these crimes go so easily. The things these men have allegedly done hit right at the heart of the biggest societal divisions in Korea right now.”
The justice system is also being put to the test, as the Korean public raises questions about police complicity in the prostitution brokered at nightclubs. “We will conduct a strong internal investigation, and … we will take stern measures regardless of their rank,” South Korea’s National Police Agency Chief Min Gap-ryong told lawmakers on Thursday, according to CNN, in response to questions about police looking the other way.
All of this is forcing a reckoning in several layers of the public sphere, but most notably for the entertainment engine that is K-pop, which churns out stars and groups that earn the devotion of fans worldwide. The packaging of these artists is squeaky-clean, but can you still love a product that’s cooked in an exploitative culture? And as it is often asked during this #metoo era: What do we do with the art of monstrous men? The K-pop fanbase is now the latest to be working these questions out.
This story originally identified K-pop group BTS as having had the No. 1 and No. 2 bestselling albums of 2018. They were the No. 2 and No. 3 bestselling albums of that year.
When the recordings of the basic track arrived in Detroit from Chicago, Paul Riser Sr. knew it was time to get to work. But the orchestral arranger also knew he had something special to work with.
“It hit me the same way like everyone else in the world: The lyrics are so simple, the melody is so clear, the chord pattern is wonderful,” said Riser, a Motown Records alum who wrote the orchestra parts and directed the strings and woodwind musicians for “I Believe I Can Fly.” ″That song came from his heart: That’s the other side of R. Kelly.”
The dilemma of separating the sides of Kelly, who faces 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse , now confronts Riser and millions of others who listen to or perform the singer’s music. It’s perhaps most acute when it comes to the Grammy-winning ballad that’s made its way into movies such as “Space Jam,” and been performed in countless reality shows, church services, as well as school concerts and graduation ceremonies. Children are even singing it bilingually.
Judge Allows Courtroom Cameras For R. Kelly Trial
Kelly released his first solo album, “12 Play,” in 1993. It contained such popular sex-themed songs as “Your Body’s Callin’” and “Bump N’ Grind.” But it was the anthem “I Believe I Can Fly” that made the singer from Chicago’s South Side popular beyond R&B music.
The 52-year-old Kelly has faced sex-related accusations before — he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. But his current case comes in the midst of the #MeToo era, which gained momentum in 2017 amid sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men inside and outside of entertainment.
Before his arrest last month on the latest charges, Kelly’s reputation and his music were already taking hits , particularly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired in January. A social media campaign under the #MuteRKelly hashtag pushed fans to boycott his music and concerts. Music-streaming services stopped promoting his songs.
Some performers and listeners are finding it difficult, though, to dismiss the standout cut that vaulted him into the mainstream.
Released in 1996, the stirring pop standard “I Believe I Can Fly” spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and peaked at No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. It’s been streamed on-demand more than 100 million times. In the wake of the Lifetime documentary, Billboard reported Jan. 18 that the song debuted at No. 16 on R&B Digital Song Sales with 2,000 copies sold — the tune’s highest sales week in nearly three years.
Riser, the Motown alum who worked with Kelly for about a dozen years before meeting him in person at a Detroit show, said he’s “troubled” by the allegations and believes Kelly’s accusers. Yet he can’t so easily cast off “a song we all wish we could write.”
“We have to separate that — separate the man and his humanity and his faults and failures … from his genius,” said Riser, whose credits also include co-writing Jimmy Ruffin’s Motown gem “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” and arranging music and conducting the orchestra on Diana Ross’ recording of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).”
Kelly is free on bail but faces canceled tours and once-eager venues unwilling to book him. He’s also been dropped by his record label, Universal Music Publishing Group.
James Walker Jr., an Atlanta-based entertainment attorney who has represented Rick James, Aretha Franklin and others, said Kelly has compromised his own classic.
“The song will honestly take a hit now,” said Walker, who adds that he declined a request to represent Kelly on publishing . “The financial windfall, as well as just the spiritual, communal and holistic windfall is all going to decline now because of what he has done in his personal life.”
The latest allegations against Kelly date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade. The singer has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty .
Music therapist and teacher Serge El Helou said he didn’t know about that part of Kelly’s history a few years ago when translating the chorus of “I Believe I Can Fly” into Arabic and bringing it to elementary school students he teaches as part of an after-school Arab arts program in Philadelphia run by the nonprofit Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.
He found the song helps children understand Arabic and offers an uplifting message.
Despite the allegations against Kelly, he said he continues to use the anthem as a teaching tool.
“This year, we added some motions,” he said. “They’re singing the song, doing the gesture of flying. They lift their hands — it’s very moving. I’m going to use the song because it’s very inspiring and it’s really working in the classroom.”
One of Kelly’s collaborators is also seeing his reputation and music dissected after the airing of a recent documentary about sexual abuse allegations against him: late pop star Michael Jackson, for whom Kelly wrote the hit “You Are Not Alone.” Fans of Jackson are also grappling with separating the singer from his musical legacy.
For Riser, “I Believe I Can Fly” has a life beyond its creator, who he says found inspiration with the tune but is now “lost” and “too much in denial.”
“It’s just something that everybody can relate to — to know that there’s always something better tomorrow,” Riser said. “It gives hope.”
The Higher Regional Court of Vienna, Austria, has ruled that YouTube can’t be held liable for infringing videos uploaded by users. The Court overturned a previous verdict which held that YouTube takes an “active role,” which disqualifies it from safe harbor protection. Rightsholder Puls 4 is disappointed with the outcome and will take the case to the Supreme Court.
On an average day, roughly half a million hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. As with any user-generated content site, this also includes copyright-infringing content.
YouTube processes takedown notices and uses its Content-ID system to automatically remove allegedly infringing content to address this.
However, major copyright holders are not all happy with the platform’s efforts. Record labels want to see more compensation, for example, and others want YouTube to do more to prevent pirated videos from appearing on the site.
In Austria, this led to a lawsuit between the local television channel Puls 4 and YouTube. In an initial order last summer, the court ruled that the video platform can be held directly liable for users’ copyright infringements. YouTube was not seen as a neutral intermediary and should do more to prevent infringing uploads.
The court noted that YouTube takes several motivated actions to actively organize and optimize how videos are displayed. By doing so, it becomes more than a neutral hosting provider. Therefore, it can’t rely on a safe harbor defense.
“Through the connections, sorting, filtering and linking, in particular by creating tables of contents according to predefined categories, determining the surfing behavior of users and creating a tailor-made surfing proposal, offering help etc, YouTube leaves on the role of a neutral intermediary and therefore cannot claim the host provider privilege,” the court wrote.
YouTube disagreed with the ruling and appealed the matter at the Higher Regional Court of Vienna. The video service maintained that, as a neutral hosting provider, it’s protected under the safe harbor provisions of the Austrian E-Commerce Act.
After a careful review of the case, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna agreed with YouTube, overturning the previous order. According to the appeal court, YouTube doesn’t have an “active role” and is therefore shielded from liability through its safe harbor defense.
The Court doesn’t dispute that YouTube provides search, categorization, and advertising services. However, these are seen as part of the normal business model of hosting platforms, which do not make the company liable.
“If it had to forgo structuring and search options in order to avoid a damaging ‘appropriation’ of video content, its video platform would lose all user-friendliness,” the Court writes in its decision.
“The less users are able to find videos of interest to them amid the vast multitude of uploaded videos (several hundred million in this case), the less it would make sense even to visit such a video platform,” it adds.
Puls 4 cited the GS Media/Sanoma case, where the European Court of Justice ruled that posting infringing hyperlinks, during the course of business, can lead to liability. However, that doesn’t apply in this case, the Court notes, as YouTube wasn’t aware of the infringing nature of the videos.
In summary, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna concludes that, as a hosting platform, YouTube benefits from the safe harbor privilege. This means that it’s not liable for uploads of users and Puls 4’s complaint is dismissed as a result.
The outcome is good news for YouTube, as the order from the lower court severely threatened the operation of the video platform. However, it is not the end of the road yet.
Higher Regional Court of Vienna allows the case to be appealed at the Supreme Court and Puls 4 informs TorrentFreak that it will use this opportunity.
Puls 4 stresses that the current decision does not take into account relevant decisions of the CJEU, including the case regarding the infringing nature of The Pirate Bay. Nor does it reference the recent developments regarding liability under the proposed Article 13 of the EU copyright directive.
“Puls4 will therefore definitely file an appeal to the Supreme Court,” a company spokesperson informs TorrentFreak.
A German court referred various copyright infringement related questions to the European Court of Justice a few months ago. Since this involves YouTube directly, the Austrian Supreme Court will likely consider the pending outcome in this case too.
R. Kelly gave a tense interview to CBS This Morning, at one point standing and shouting tearful denials at the cameras and at anchor Gayle King.YouTube
Updated March 7 at 11:21 a.m. ET
R&B star R. Kelly was taken into custody on Wednesday for failure to pay more than $160,000 in child support to his ex-wife and their three children.
Kelly was detained by the Cook County sheriff in Illinois and transported to the county jail on Wednesday evening, sheriff’s department spokesperson Sophia Ansari told NPR.
The 52-year-old singer will remain in custody, Ansari added, until he pays what he owes — $161,633. His next court date in the matter is set for March 13.
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning broadcast the first parts of the first interview Kelly has given since he was charged on Feb. 22. The conversation, which Gayle King taped Tuesday at Kelly’s apartment at the Trump Tower Chicago, began airing on Wednesday in three segments on CBS This Morning.
On Thursday morning, CBS This Morning aired the second parts of the interview. As was the case during the initial interview segments, Kelly appeared highly emotionally volatile.
In the interview portions which aired Thursday, Kelly screamed and wept when King asked about abuse allegations made by his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, and the outstanding child support debts. He denied her accusations once again, shouting: “How can I pay child support — how — if my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work? … What kind of woman would tear down a dad who’s trying to have a relationship with their kids?” He admitted to King, however, that he has “zero” contact with their three children.Article continues after sponsor message
Kelly also claimed, “So many people have been stealing my money,” but also told King that he had not stepped foot in a bank by himself to sort out his finances until about three to four weeks ago, and that he did not understand where his money or royalties have gone.
He also told King that it is a “lie” that he’s paid out any settlements to women with allegations against him, although court documents show that he has paid out three such settlements to women who say they were minors when they had sex with the singer.
The segments which aired Thursday also included King’s interviews with two women, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary, who currently live with Kelly. They said that they are both happy living with the singer, and that they are both in love with him.
Also on Thursday, CBS 2 Chicago reported that police in Detroit are investigating claims from a woman who says that she had sex with Kelly when she was 13 years old, in 2001, that she had sex with him on visits to Atlanta over the following four years, and that she contracted herpes from him at age 17.
Kelly was charged in Cook County on Feb. 22 with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims, three of them minors. As he has throughout his career, Kelly denied all the allegations against him during the CBS interview. By turns belligerent, tearful and relatively calm, he also asserted that the women who have accused him are chasing money and fame of their own. He was released from jail on Feb. 25 after posting $100,000 of bail.
CBS This Morning via YouTube
The most striking element of the interview was Kelly’s behavior. In narrated commentary, King said the singer became outwardly emotional several times. At one point, he stood towering over a calm King, shrieking, crying, pounding his fists and beating his chest on camera while a handler held him back.
It was an astonishing visual, especially given the decades-long list of public accusations from women who say Kelly abused them — and considering that the interview may well be used in court.
“Y’all trying to kill me!” he screamed. “You’re killing me, man! This thing’s not about music. I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids, and I can’t do it. Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth!”
Among Kelly’s past accusers is his ex-wife,Andrea Kelly, who alleged physical abuse in a 2018 interview. Last month, multiple press outlets reported that according to court documents, Kelly owes more than $160,000 in unpaid child support from that relationship. In January, Kelly’s estranged daughter, Buku Abi (whose birth name is Joann Kelly), posted a lengthy note on Instagram in which she called her father a “monster” and wrote: “My mother, siblings, and I would never condone, support or be apart [sic] of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life.”
In the course of speaking with King, Kelly made a startling new accusation. King broached the subject of two women who are currently living with him, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary; the women’s parents have claimed that their daughters are being held in an R. Kelly “cult,” an allegation first made public in a 2017 BuzzFeed investigation.
In the portion of the CBS interview aired Wednesday, Kelly asked, “What kind of father, what kind of mother, will sell their daughter to a man?” He alleged that the two women’s parents had approached Kelly when their daughters were teenagers with hopes that Kelly would make their children into stars. He also intimated that the parents had received some kind of compensation from him.
Both women’s parents responded to Kelly’s comments on Wednesday morning. Through their lawyer, Michael Avenatti, the Clarys stated: “We never received a penny from R. Kelly. We have never asked R. Kelly for money. And we never ‘sold’ our daughter to him or anyone else. R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison.”View image on Twitter
In the interview portion aired Thursday, Clary and Savage both denied to King that Kelly has lured them in any way or that they have been brainwashed. They both said that they love Kelly, and are happy to be with him.
Both women asserted that their parents are lying in order to manipulate and extort Kelly. Azriel Clary made a stunning claim of her own, saying that her parents encouraged her to make sexual videos with Kelly when she was just 17, in order to blackmail the singer at some future point, and said that her parents had specifically asked for $30,000 from Kelly. Addressing her parents angrily, Clary said, “You’re trying to solicit me like I’m some f****** ho. I’m not. I’m your child.”
Savage concurred, saying: “Everything she’s saying is true. Our parents are basically just out here trying to get money and scam.”
Clary also claimed in the CBS interview that pressure from her parents regarding a singing career forced her into a suicide attempt. King noted that CBS has seen medical records from doctors, indicating that Clary said at the time that the attempt had been related to a difficult breakup with a boyfriend, and that she found solace in music.
King said in a narrative portion of Thursday’s broadcast that despite an agreement that he would remove himself when she spoke to the women, Kelly stayed close by and coughed intentionally several times, as a way of signaling to the women that he was near and listening to the interview.
In a statement released through Avenatti on Thursday morning, the Clary family reiterated their position and denied Azriel Clary’s and Kelly’s claims, saying in part: “Azriel’s parents never attempted to blackmail anyone and never suggested their daughter take nude photos or sexual videos. …. These are absolute lies fabricated by R. Kelly and we have evidence to show that these claims are bogus.”View image on Twitter
Stations in Canada and New Zealand have taken Jackson songs off air
A number of radio stations across the world have dropped Michael Jackson songs from their playlists.
The news comes in the wake of the US broadcast of Leaving Neverland, in which revived sexual abuse allegations are made against the late singer.
According to CNN, multiple major radio stations in New Zealand have stopped airing Jackson’s music including commercial broadcaster MediaWorks. Meanwhile, CBC reports that in Canada three major Montreal-based radio stations have pulled Jackson off air.
In a statement, MediaWorks’ Leon Wratt said: “Michael Jackson isn’t currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations’ playlists. This is a reflection of our audiences and their preferences – it is our job to ensure our radio stations are playing the music people want to hear.”
NZME, a rival broadcaster to MediaWorks, told the New Zealand Herald: “NZME station playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them.”
The BBC said that it doesn’t feature Jackson the playlist because it’s reserved for new releases. As for other tracks played, they said that they don’t actually ban any artists from the air, adding: “We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind.”
Director Dan Reed’s film, Leaving Neverland, focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
The pair brought civil suits against Jackson’s estate following his death but these were thrown out by a judge in 2017 after ruling that the estate could not be held liable for the singer’s behaviour.
Today (March 6) we met protesters outside Channel 4 who were demonstrating against the UK broadcast of the documentary, which airs in two parts tonight and tomorrow, March 7 at 9pm on Channel 4.
The album of unreleased music from “Rihanna” joins recent unauthorized records from “Beyoncé” and “SZA”
Rihanna is releasing new music this year — but the album that popped up on iTunes and Apple Music over the weekend is not it. Still, Angel, an unauthorized record full of unreleased tracks uploaded by “Fenty Fantasia” and quickly disseminated across social media, was so popular among listeners that it debuted at Number 67 on iTunes’ worldwide albums chart.
Was it a real album? Yes, but no. While Rihanna was indeed the singer on the record, Angel seemed to comprise demos and some unreleased songs that have, according to Rihanna fans, been floating around the Internet in some fashion since 2009. Within hours, the album disappeared from iTunes and Apple Music as quietly as it had appeared, and Apple has not commented on the matter.
The leak, or fake leak, hasn’t been traced back to a source yet — but its circumstances recall the unauthorized Beyoncé and SZA albums that hit music streaming services in January. In those two cases, a user uploaded the albums via a DIY distribution service that delivers independent music to Apple Music and Spotify. Beyoncé’s music was released under the name “Queen Carter” and SZA’s had the moniker “Sister Solana.” Music industry leaders say unauthorized music (whether stolen, fake, unofficial or all three) has been rampant on the Internet since streaming became the dominant mode of music-listening, due to the sheer amount of music flooding those services all the time and the lack of a technological fail-safe to police for inauthentic music.
“This sort of thing happens all the time,” Larry Miller, director of the music business program at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music, told Rolling Stone in January. “People just don’t hear about it because it just doesn’t happen all the time with the biggest artist in the world. Due to the changes in music distribution and the technology of distribution and consumption, these kinds of leaks, whether secret or not, are far more more likely to happen than ever.”
Rihanna’s team did not immediately respond to request for comment. While the singer said last year that she had a record in the works for a 2019 release, the exact date has not been announced.
Celebrities react to ‘haunting’ Michael Jackson documentary
Michael Jackson’s brothers Jackie, Marlon and Tito and his nephew Taj speak out against HBO child sex abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Robert Hanashiro, USA
After Part 1 of HBO’s Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” aired Sunday, several famous names took to Twitter to comment on the film’s controversial elements.
The documentary, which airs its second part on Monday night at 8 EST/PST on HBO, is centered around Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, who tell their stories of Jackson allegedly sexually abusing them at ages 7 and 10, respectively, when they were in the singer’s inner circle at the height of his fame.
Rosie O’Donnell was one of several stars who wrote she was watching “Leaving Neverland” on Sunday night.
“michael jackson docu is on now on HBO – haunting …” she tweeted.
Wendy Williams took the opposite approach, telling the crowd at “The Wendy Williams Show” Monday that while she believed that Jackson showered and hosted sleepovers with young boys, she did not think “that there was any sexual touching.”
“I don’t believe a word of anything in this documentary,” she told the audience. “Michael is no innocent, but that’s not him.”
Photo Michael Jackson controversy: Macaulay Culkin, Rose McGowan and more star…
Amber Tamblyn spoke out in favor of “Leaving Neverland,” writing on Twitter, “As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the soul (sic) purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope. #LeavingNeverland.”
Rose McGowan praised Oprah for hosting an interview with the “Leaving Neverland” accusers, set to air Monday after the second half of the documentary premieres on HBO.
“The survivors are brave. @Oprah is brave. The documentarians are brave,” McGowan wrote. “This is what brave is folks, standing against the grain, going against the norm, rocking the boat because sometimes it needs to be rocked. It is hard to hear truth, but that’s what growing pains are. #Brave”
Bill Maher, whose “Real Time” show also airs on HBO, tweeted his praise of Richard Plepler, the since-departed HBO CEO who led the network through the past few months of “Leaving Neverland”-related controversies, including a $100 million lawsuit from the Jackson estate.
“Just watched Neverland doc – riveting, as has been so much on HBO with Richard Plepler at the helm, now resigned,” Maher wrote. “I don’t usually speak publicly about the inner workings of the/my biz, but just have to say…best boss I’ll ever have.”
“It takes days to recover from this documentary,” Judd Apatow wrote about his viewing experience. “Five minutes in you will think to yourself ‘oh my God, every word they are saying is true.'”
Ava DuVernay called out the pro-Michael Jackson Twitter trolls that came for her after she shared an article criticizing Jackson.
“Michael Jackson super fans are really going hard in my comments for simply sharing an article by a cultural critic who shared his opinion on the doc,” she wrote, linking to a tweet that called her a “sellout” and “trash.”
Meanwhile, performer Amanda Palmer was inspired to write a poem from the perspective of Jackson’s accusers.
“Never accuse you will not be believed and you were to blame for being wantable,” she tweeted.
Jackson’s estate has condemned the documentary in multiple statements and called Robson and Safechuck’s credibility into question.
An ‘ultimate betrayal’? Family protests Michael Jackson sex abuse film ahead of HBO airing
Michael Jackson’s brothers Jackie, Marlon and Tito and his nephew Taj speak out against HBO child sex abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Robert Hanashiro, USA
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – To combat a damning new documentary hitting HBO Sunday, Michael Jackson’s family has come out swinging.
Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, say the superstar had them sleep in his bed, often plied them with alcohol and pornography before molesting them and even recorded one of his sexual encounters with Safechuck.
Both say they’ve suffered from severe depression in the intervening years. Their accounts are corroborated by their families and wives, who witnessed their adult trauma. Yet both men had denied that Jackson ever sexually abused them; Safechuck when he was a child, and Robson, most recently under oath as an adult, during Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.
Marlon Jackson, Taj Jackson, Tito Jackson and Jackie Jackson are coming out swinging before “Leaving Neverland” arrives on HBO Sunday. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY)
And that’s what the Jackson family would like audiences to focus on, even though Michael’s brothers say they haven’t seen “Leaving Neverland.”
“I have no interest in watching something that has no validity to it,” says Marlon Jackson, sitting at the Four Seasons hotel with his brothers Tito and Jackie.
Michael’s nephew Taj, Tito’s son, is there, too. He’s the only one who wanted to watch the documentary before it aired. “Because I would be able to probably pick it apart, scene by scene,” says Taj, who knew Robson personally. “I think they’re counting on the masses to see it and then our voices to be drowned out.”
As before, the Jackson clan denies Jackson ever molested boys. He was acquitted of such charges in 2005 and settled similar claims in 1994 (for a reported $22 million, despite admitting no wrongdoing). They slam the new documentary (Sunday and Monday, 8 EST/PST) as absurdly one-sided, noting that its director, Dan Reed, never requested interviews with any of the star’s family or friends.
“They weren’t interested in gathering any evidence that wouldn’t corroborate what they’re saying,” Marlon Jackson says. “That wasn’t the plan. It was a one-sided documentary.”
But the closed-door nature of sexual abuse is precisely why it can be so hard to corroborate, or refute. How can the Jacksons be so sure it never happened?
Marlon says the family – and a team of attorneys, who put Robson on the stand to defend Jackson in 2005 – has been through all of this before. The surviving Jackson brothers don’t know Safechuck, they say, but Taj did, and he calls Robson’s changed narrative the “ultimate betrayal.”
Family members have their own opinions about why Robson’s story has changed. The choreographer was grateful for an invitation to Jackson’s memorial – he attended with his family, Taj says – and danced “right behind” Janet Jackson for a tribute at MTV’s Video Music Awards. He even “wanted to get close to MJ’s kids” in 2009, Taj says.
Wade Robson, from left, “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed and James Safechuck at the Sundance Film Festival in January. (Photo: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)
But things soured, the family says. They say that when Robson was passed over to direct and choreograph Cirque du Soleil’s “One” show spotlighting Michael in Las Vegas, his financial troubles began. That’s when they say Robson began selling off his Jackson memorabilia and pitching a book with allegations against the pop star before suing the family in 2013.
“It’s never been about justice for him,” Taj says. “It’s always been about fame and money.”
The accusers’ lawyer, Vince Finaldi, scoffs at the suggested timeline: “It’s just another example of the Jackson press machine manipulating facts and telling half-truths in order to try and discredit a victim,” he says.
Finaldi says Robson was hired to choreograph the “One” show but suffered a nervous breakdown and dropped out.
As described in “Leaving Neverland,” “after the birth of his son, he started having visions of his son being abused by Michael Jackson and reflecting on the abuse that he suffered, and realizing how bad that was from a different perspective,” Finaldi says. Robson pulled away from the entertainment industry, which he found triggering. “Did he suffer financial stresses because of it? Absolutely. But he’s never been fired from a job in his life.”
But the documentary, with graphic descriptions of alleged sexual abuse, prompts direct questions:
Was Michael Jackson ever sexually abused as a child? The brothers shake their heads. “Never,” Jackie says.
In “Leaving Neverland,” it’s alleged that the pop star would spend five or six hours at a time on the phone with young children. Doesn’t his family find this odd?
Actor Corey Feldman doesn’t want to watch controversial Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men allege Jackson abused them as children. The Jackson estate has denounced the documentary for rehashing “discredited allegations.” (Jan. 31) AP
No, they say. “He would talk to me and my brothers for hours and hours,” Taj says. “My uncle didn’t have a (traditional) childhood, so he lived vicariously through children. He’d say to me: ‘You’re so lucky you had a birthday party. What was it like?’… He was constantly trying to reclaim his childhood, and I don’t think people understand that, because people didn’t live though Michael Jackson’s life.”
Do they acknowledge that their brother’s behavior was, at the very least, eccentric when it came to spending time with children, including nights in his bed?
Marlon Jackson calls it all innocent. “Taj is the same age as all these kids they used to spend nights (with) all the time. A bunch of kids would come over and have pillow fights, (watch) “Three Stooges,” swim, all this stuff. Watching movies, they’re tired, they’d fall asleep.”
“(Marlon’s) children were there,” Jackie says. “My kids were there. Tito’s children were there.”
After accusations of sexual misconduct, did the brothers ever suggest Michael change his behavior with children, whose hands he often held in public?
“We didn’t really have to,” Jackie says. “Because I knew my brother and what his mission was all about, was helping children, helping people around the world.”
The family calls Jackson an easy target, made easier now because under the American legal system, it’s not possible to sue, shame or slander a dead man. The brothers point to Michael Jackson’s search to reclaim his childhood, international charity work, and how he’d open up Neverland to nearby hospitals and schools while he was touring.
Michael Jackson exits the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, March 24, 2005 with his father, Joe Jackson, right, and his attorney, Thomas Mesereau, during his trial on charges of child molestation. He was ultimately acquitted. (Photo: MICHAEL A. MARIANT/AP)
At one point, the interview pauses as a siren passes outside the Four Seasons hotel.
“That’s the police going to get Wade,” Marlon chuckles.
What “Leaving Neverland” really comes down to, they insist, is money, claiming Robson and Safechuck are after a piece of the Jackson estate. (Although a judge dismissed their case in probate court this year, both men are appealing, and a hearing is expected later this year)
The film will have no effect on the lawsuit, Finaldi told USA TODAY earlier this month. But he insists they will get a trial. How much do they want from the estate? “They are seeking whatever the jury sees fit” to award them.
Michael Jackson performing on his “Bad” world tour in 1988. (Photo: Cliff Schiappa, AP)
Conversely, family members deny they’re protecting their own financial interests by hitting back at the fresh accusations.
“This is something we’re supposed to do; it’s our brother. I know my brother,” Jackie Jackson says. “He’s not like that. And as far as financially, Michael’s money goes to his children. If something ever happened to me, my money’s going to my children, the same way. His money goes to his kids and all his foundations. That’s the way it’s set up. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Still, doesn’t the family risk damage if the accusations of pedophilia tarnish the family’s legacy?
They shake their heads. Says Taj, “The legacy and the fans around the world, this is not going to do anything to them because they know the truth.”
Luke Perry, best known for his roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale, has died. He was 52.
His rep confirmed his death on Monday.
“Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke,” the statement reads. “He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”
Perry was hospitalized on Feb. 28 after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. His former 90210 cast members, Ian Ziering and Shannen Doherty, took to social media to show their support for Perry, whose health emergency coincided with an announcement about a 90210 reboot that was to feature the original cast members.
At Sunday’s The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation’s Compassion Project Gala in Los Angeles, Doherty spoke with ET about Perry. “I can’t talk about it here ’cause I will literally start crying but I love him and he knows I love him,” she said.
“It’s Luke, and he’s my Dylan,” she continued, referring to their iconic 90210characters.
In 2017, Perry dished to ET about the possibility of a cast reunion.
“I think everybody’s interested in doing it,” he said at the time. “We know we’d have a lot of fun getting back together. We just want it to be good.”
Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on Oct. 11, 1966, and grew up in nearby Fredericktown.
Not long after graduating from high school, Perry moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career but he wasn’t an immediate success. After more than 200 auditions, he finally landed a TV commercial and was cast in the Twisted Sister music video for “Be Chrool to You Scuel” in 1985. He went on to land roles on the soap operas Loving and Another World before scoring his big break as bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210.
The hit show turned Perry into a certified ‘90s teen heartthrob, which translated into his first movie role in 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also appeared in the films Terminal Bliss and 8 Seconds.
In 1995, Perry announced a short-lived departure from 90210, to take on more serious gigs. After appearing in a few more films, including Normal Lifeand The Fifth Element, he returned back to the zip code that made him famous. The original installment of 90210 aired for 10 seasons before coming to an end in 2000.
Perry, meanwhile, didn’t want to get typecast as his 90210 character. He starred in multiple projects including the HBO prison drama Oz, as well as Windfall, Jeremiah, The Sandlot: Heading Home and more. He also made several guest appearances on hit shows like Will & Grace, Spin City, What I Like About You, Family Guy, Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.
Perry married Rachel Sharp in 1993. They were together for a decade and welcomed two children, 21-year-old Jack and 18-year-old Sophie, before splitting in 2003.
In 2017, Perry returned to series television landing the role as Fred Andrews (Archie’s father) on Riverdale. He spoke with ET about the “21st century” take on the classic comic book, and the similarities between him and the character.
“I think in some ways this character is the closest thing to me that I’ve ever played because he’s a guy that loves his kid. That’s really all he’s about,” the father of two said before adding. “That’s what I’m about.”
Drake’s So Far Gone mixtape debuts at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albumschart (dated March 2), securing the superstar’s ninth straight leader on the list.
Gone, which originally premiered in 2009, was never commercially issued, though some of the project’s tracks were later found on Drake’s debut EP, also titled So Far Gone (which reached No. 3 later in 2009). The full set only received its official commercial sales and streaming release on Feb. 15 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The 18-track collection earned 45,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 21, according to Nielsen Music.
As Gone debuts, Drake matches Future for the most No. 1s in the 2010s decade. The two had traded the record in recent months, with the Atlanta native establishing a temporary lead when his Future Hndrxx Presents…The WZRD opened at No. 1 earlier this month.
With 10 months remaining in the decade – and given both artists’ frequent output – Drake and Future could each still challenge for the most No. 1 albums in any decade. The Temptations currently hold the mark, with 11 leaders banked in the 1960s, a feat noticeably impressive as the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart began close to the decade’s midway point, on Jan. 30, 1965.
Here’s the current leaderboard for the most No. 1 albums in a decade:
1960s: The Temptations (11) 1970s: Al Green, Barry White, The Temptations (six each) 1980s: Luther Vandross (six) 1990s: 2Pac (five) 2000s: JAY-Z (10) 2010s thus far: Drake, Future (nine each)