Pharrell, N.E.R.D for NBA All-Star show
NEW YORK (AP):
The NBA announced yesterday that 11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip-hop-rock band N.E.R.D will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles next month.
Fergie, who has eight Grammys, will sing The Star-Spangled Banner before tip-off. Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies will perform the national anthem of their home country.
The February 18 game will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern on TNT from the Staples Center. It will be seen in more than 200 countries.
Pharrell and the band, which released its fifth studio album last month, will perform a medley of chart-topping hits. Fergie released her second full-length album, Double Dutchess, and a companion visual album last September. She is a host of the new Fox show 'The Four: Battle for Stardom'.
WTA signs lucrative 10-year deal to move finals to China
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
The WTA has signed a long-term deal to move its season-ending WTA Finals to Shenzhen, China, in 2019 and will increase total prize money to US$14 million, double the previous purse.
The move represents a significant investment in the China market at a time when the sport is aggressively expanding its reach in the country, with the addition of a number of new tournaments in recent years. The WTA signed a 10-year deal to stage the finals in Shenzhen - double the length of the current commitment in Singapore, the host since 2014.
The prize money for the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams is also a major upgrade from the current purse of US$7 million and is nearly double the US$8 million in total prize money on offer at the ATP Finals in London.
The WTA said the Chinese real estate developer Gemdale Corporation submitted the winning bid and will build a 12,000-seat stadium in downtown Shenzhen.
Former UK boxing champ charged
A former British boxing champion has been charged with encouraging extremist violence.
Police said yesterday that 36-year-old Anthony Small has been charged with encouraging acts of terrorism.
They say the London native, a convert to Islam, posted a video on social media in 2016 that violated terrorism laws.
Small is scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court next Wednesday.
The former professional boxer won the British and Commonwealth light middleweight titles in 2009.
British officials previously accused Small of supporting the Islamic State group. A jury found him not guilty of plotting to fight with the extremist group in Syria in 2015.