Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities show off Christmas presents online

And, historian unhappy with former president Johnson's depiction in the new movie Selma, jazz pioneer Buddy DeFranco and queen of blues Alberta Adams die.
Justin Bieber in his new jet for Chirstmas. Courtesy Instagram
Justin Bieber in his new jet for Chirstmas. Courtesy Instagram

Some of the world’s biggest celebrities have been on social media sites over Christmas, showing off their favourite presents. Justin Bieber, for example, took a selfie inside his new private jet aircraft. Oprah Winfrey’s favourite gifts were slightly less extravagant – black and white truffles, a pearl in a shell and a cross made of shells. Rihanna showed off a sculpture of a dolphin by the artist Jeff Koons, while the singer Iggy Azalea was particularly pleased with a diamond-encrusted heart-shaped necklace. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kylie Jenner showed off a new puppy, while Taylor Swift revealed that she had been given 10 lint rollers by her dad, who told her it was “because you always have glitter all over you”. – The National staff

Historian slams LBJ role in film

Selma, a new film about the American Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, has received plenty of critical acclaim – but it left one moviegoer disappointed: a leading historian of President Lyndon B Johnson. Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, said the film – which opened in the United States on Thursday – incorrectly portrays Johnson as obstructing Martin Luther King. Selma tells of the 1965 marches from the Alabama cities of Selma to Montgomery that were led by King, calling for voting rights. Updegrove says the film unfairly shows Johnson as representing the obstacles black citizens faced. He called the portrayal unfortunate given the current climate following the deaths of several unarmed black men at the hands of police. “When racial tension is so high, it does no good to suggest that the president of the US himself stood in the way of progress a half-century ago. It flies in the face of history,” Updegrove said. Selma is nominated for four Golden Globes. A UAE release is yet to be announced. – AP

Jazz pioneer DeFranco dies

The renowned jazz clarinettist Buddy DeFranco, who was a pioneer in the transition between the swing and bebop eras, has died at the age of 91. His family said that the musician died on Wednesday at a hospital in Panama City, where he lived with his wife, Joyce. DeFranco, who began his career as a teenager in the 1930s, appeared live and on recordings with many leading singers and musicians of his era, including Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. “Buddy DeFranco almost single-handedly was the clarinettist who moved the harmonic and rhythmic language forward from where Benny Goodman left off into the much more adventurous territory of bebop and beyond, while never forgetting his roots in swing music,” says leading jazz clarinettist Ken Peplowski. – AP

Queen of the blues dead at 97

Singer Alberta Adams, known as Detroit’s “Queen of the Blues” before a career resurgence in her 80s, has died at age 97. “She was really the last of the great post-Second World World War blues singers,” said RJ Spangler, who helped her relaunch her career in the 1990s through his Eastlawn jazz and blues label. Born in Indianapolis and raised in a troubled home in Detroit, Adams performed with blues greats including T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker and Cleanhead Vinson, as well as jazz pioneer Duke Ellington. In 1994, she linked up with Spangler’s Eastlawn Records and released the album Born with the Blues in 1999 with blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett. She died on Christmas Day. – AFP

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one