Holly to Bolly: British singer Vera Lynn to celebrate 100th birthday with new album, Mariah Carey burns $250k wedding dress, and more

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Veteran singer Vera Lynn will release new album to mark her 100th birthday

British singer Vera Lynn will celebrate her 100th birthday by releasing an album of remastered classic songs next month, which could make the wartime singer the first centenarian to hit the UK charts.

The artist, known as the "Forces Sweetheart" during the Second World War, will release Vera Lynn 100 on March 17, three days before her birthday. It will include hits such as We'll Meet Again and Sailing set to new orchestral accompaniments.

“It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time,” said Lynn.

“I was, after all, just doing my job as a singer — and it’s so wonderful for me to hear my songs again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”

Through her songs, Lynn became a symbol of hope for British and Allied soldiers fighting Nazi Germany. She was given the title of Dame in 1975 for her work.

In 2009, at the age of 92, Lynn became the oldest living artist to land a UK No1 album, with the compilation We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn.

It also made her the only recording artist to have spanned the pop charts from the 1940s to the 21st century. — Reuters

Mariah Carey burns $250K wedding dress

Mariah Carey sent a harsh message to former partner James Packer – by burning the wedding dress she was going to wear when they walked down the aisle. Carey throws the gown into the fire in the music video for her new song I Don't, which features YG. Sources close to the singer say the dress is not a prop, it is the actual $250,000 (Dh918,275) Valentino dress she got last year before she called off her wedding, planned for Bora Bora, to Packer, reports entertainment website TMZ. A source also said that the video was shot at the former couple's mansion in Calabasas, California. — The National Staff

Big Sean hosts pop-up store for merchandise to promote new album

For his fourth studio album I Decided, which was released on Friday, Big Sean has decided to turn designer.

Kicking off a weekend of multi-state pop-ups selling limited-edition pieces created by the rapper, he made his way to the New York store to meet fans and watch his designs come to life, billboard.com reported.

The pop-up shop in Manhattan's Soho is one of four temporary stores, with the others in his hometown of Detroit, Los Angeles and Toronto. Sean's I Decided boomed from the speakers as fans who waited outside in the cold shuffled around the tidy racks.

This soundtrack is doubly appropriate given that Sean designed his merchandise while recording the album. He said all the items were inspired by its lyrics.

The curated designs include hoodies, dad hats, T-shirts and a bomber jacket, with prices ranging from $30 to $200. — The National Staff

Pakistan fans waiting to watch Raees on big screen

Pakistani actress Mahira Khana's Bollywood debut film, Raees, will released in Pakistan this week.

During a video press conference in Mumbai, the actress said Bollywood fans in her home country were waiting for the release of the film and that she thinks it will do “amazing business here.”

The Humsafar actress also shared how her family reacted to the film. She said the fear was that she would be overshadowed by Shah Rukh Khan. However, her close family and friends who have seen watched the film enjoyed her performance.

The 32-year-old actress said she was really nervous working with Khan because she is a fan of the superstar.

The film had fallen foul of heightened political and military tensions between the countries. Pakistani actors were banned from appearing in Indian films, while Indian films were banned from being screened in Pakistan. The screening ban was lifted last week and Raees will be released on February 10. — IANS

Hrithik Roshan plans to campaign for disabled

Inspired by the contributions of the visually challenged to society, actor Hrithik Roshan has been inspired by the experience of filming Kaabil – in which the main characters are blind – to campaign for the disabled. The star also says he hopes the film debunks the stereotypical portrayal of blind people in cinema. The actor, who pledged on his 43rd birthday to donate his eyes for transplant when he dies, said he hoped his movie has broken these stereotypes about the blind and shows how they can contribute to society. — IANS