Rancics to start Dubai Shopping Festival in style

Also, Dubai gets its own Ooompa Loompa version, Fatone confirms Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel baby news, Beyonce sued for stealing, Green Day on Hall of Fame and Randy Quaid suing the state department.
Giuliana & Bill Rancic to dazzle Dubai for the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival. Courtesy Dubai Shopping Festival
Giuliana & Bill Rancic to dazzle Dubai for the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival. Courtesy Dubai Shopping Festival

International fashion icon and reality-TV star Giuliana Rancic and her entrepreneur husband Bill Rancic – winner of the first season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice – will bring some added glitz and glamour to the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival, after hosting a star-studded New Year’s Eve bash. The power couple, stars of the Giuliana and Bill reality show will host #DXBNYE at Meydan, a spectacular event featuring Pharrell Williams, Charlie XCX, Sky Blue and more. They will then kick off DSF, the longest-running festival of its kind in the world, on January 1 with the launch of the DSF celebrity pop-up shop at The Beach – JBR, where fashionistas will be the first in the world to get a look at the latest G by Giuliana Rancic collection. Fans will also have a chance to benefit from styling sessions under Giuliana’s guidance. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2015 than being invited to host a fashion pop-up at one of the biggest shopping festivals in the world,” she says. DSF runs from January 1 to February 1. – The National staff

Dubai gets new version of Willy Wonka song

Hollywood and Broadway legend Leslie Bricusse has written a new version of one of the classic songs for the Dubai premiere of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, the musical he wrote with Anthony Newley and Timothy Allen McDonald, based on the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The show opens at the Centrepoint Theatre, Dubai Community theatre and Arts Centre tomorrow, and in the programme notes, the double Oscar winner writes: “I am delighted to learn that Willy Wonka is to be presented for the first time in Dubai, and if California were not such a long way away, I would love to come to see it.” The new song is a Dubai-flavoured version of the famous Oompa – Loompa Song, which includes the lyrics: “Oompa – Loompa – Doompa – Dee – Doo! Here is a musical Wonka for you! Oompa – Loompa – Doompa – Dee – Dai! May it bring chocolate to all of Dubai!” Roald Dal’s Willy Wonka is Ductac’s Christmas Show 2014 and will run from tomorrow until December 27. For more information, visit www.willywonkadubai.com. Tickets priced Dh200 and Dh250 are available from the Ductac box office 04 341 4777 or at www.ductac.etixdubai.com. – The National Staff

Fatone confirms Timberlake and Biel baby news

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are expecting their first child. Joey Fatone, who performed with Timberlake, in the boy band ‘NSync, confirmed Biel’s long-rumoured pregnancy in an interview with In Touch Weekly. “He told me a while ago, and I kept my mouth shut,” he said. “Jessica is awesome, and Justin is a kid at heart.” – AFP

Molestation charge against Bill Cosby dropped

Los Angeles prosecutors have decided not to file any charges against Bill Cosby over claims by a woman that the comedian molested her around 1974 when she was underage. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came about 10 days after Judy Huth talked to police for 90 minutes. The LA County district attorney’s office rejected a misdemeanour charge of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 because the statute of limitations had passed. Days before Huth spoke to police, she accused Cosby in a civil lawsuit of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom at the Playboy Mansion when she was 15. Cosby’s lawyer said that Huth attempted to extort $250,000 from the comedian before she sued and had attempted to sell her story to a tabloid a decade ago. Cosby is seeking a dismissal of Huth’s lawsuit, arguing it is blocked by the statute of limitations. Huth is one of at least 15 women who have come forward since last month with claims that Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago. Most of the women say the comedian drugged them before he assaulted them. Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of the allegations. A 2005 lawsuit by a Pennsylvania woman was settled before it went to trial. - AP

Green Day to be inducted into the Hall of Fame

The punk trio Green Day, poet of the New York underground Lou Reed and Lean on Me singer Bill Withers will lead a new class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

The hall announced on Tuesday that it will also welcome Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who famously sang about loving rock `n’ roll, and make Ringo Starr the fourth ex-Beatle enshrined as an individual. Besides Reed, the class includes other posthumous inductees Paul Butterfield and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Hall next April 18. Public tickets go on sale Thursday.

Green Day made it in the group’s first year of eligibility. The Bay Area band led by Billie Joe Armstrong made the 1990s slackers anthem Dookie and hit a peak with the politically-themed concept disc American Idiot a decade later. Armstrong also starred in a Broadway musical based on American Idiot.

Reed, who died in October 2013 following complications from a liver transplant, is already in the hall as a member of the Velvet Underground. He was at his best exploring the underside of his home city, in the hit Walk on the Wild Side and fierce crack-era album New York.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is being given a special award for musical excellence. He anchored the Beatles’ sound and had a productive solo career, even beating his former mates to the top of the charts. He continues to record and tour with a revolving All-Starr Band. The Beatles are already in the hall, as are John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as solo artists. – AP

Beyoncé sued for stealing Roma tune

A Hungarian singer from the Roma community is suing Beyoncé over the smash hit Drunk in Love, saying the superstar sampled a folk tune without permission.

The song off Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated self-titled album begins with an Eastern-sounding a cappella voice that gradually fades out after around 40 seconds as a pop beat, keyboards and Beyonce’s voice come in.

In a lawsuit filed in a New York court, Monika Juhasz Miczura – who performs under the name Mitsou – said that the snippet was a digitally altered version of her 1995 recording of Bajba, Bajba Pelem, a song that she learnt from her grandmother.

The suit said that the song was traditional to the Roma, also known as Gypsies, and was “about hopelessness, when one can no longer trust anyone but her own mother and God.” By contrast, Drunk In Love features Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z as they sing of their marital bliss.

The lawsuit said that Beyoncé and Jay-Z did not seek permission and exploited the Roma song “to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics.” – AFP

Actor Randy Quaid sues John Kerry and the State Department

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evgenia are suing John Kerry and the State Department in a so far unsuccessful effort to recover passports that the government revoked three years ago.

The State Department said it takes US passports for reasons including issuance of a felony arrest warrant, fraud, failure to pay child support or a criminal court order barring departure from the country.

Randy Quaid said the revocation involved an issue over “an insurance policy that we did not take out,” but declined to discuss it further.

The Quaids have a lengthy series of legal problems, including a felony warrant for burglary and defrauding an innkeeper issued in Santa Barbara, California, for Quaid and his wife after authorities received a complaint that the couple hadn’t paid a $10,000 (Dh36,731) hotel tab.

Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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