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Entertainment Shorts

Published:Wednesday | September 22, 2021 | 12:10 AM
Universal has a huge roster of stars including Lady Gaga.
Universal has a huge roster of stars including Lady Gaga.
R KELLY
R KELLY
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Diddy to drop new music

Record executive and record producer Diddy has new music dropping on Friday, an album titled Off the Grid Vol. 1. It’s Diddy’s first release since his 2015 mixtape MMM, which featured artistes such as Travis Scott, Future, Lil’ Kim, Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa.

The rapper has not put out a full album since 2010’s Last Train to Paris. Diddy — whose name has morphed from Puffy to Puff Daddy to P Diddy, to Diddy and then P Diddy — changed his middle name to ‘Love’ and announced the album with the slogan “Welcome to the Love Era!”

Lawyer: R Kelly unlikely to take stand in trafficking trial

NEW YORK (AP):

R Kelly is unlikely to take the witness stand at his sex-trafficking trial, a lawyer for the R&B singer told a judge on Tuesday.

The remark by attorney Deveraux Cannick, made with the jury out the courtroom, came as the defence wound down its case at the trial in federal court in New York City.

The potential spectacle of Kelly testifying has always been a long shot. US District Judge Ann Donnelly said on Tuesday that the defendant still had time to change his mind before closing arguments, prompting him to nod his head.

The prosecution’s closing arguments could begin as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that behind the scenes of a 30-year career highlighted by his 1996 megahit I Believe I Can Fly, he was a sexual predator who groomed and exploited his young victims. His lawyers have portrayed the accusers as groupies seeking to take advantage of his fame.

On Tuesday, accountant John Holder was among the latest former Kelly associates to testify for the defence that they never saw him torment his alleged accusers. Holder described seeing Kelly carrying around a backpack full of cash — proceeds from concerts — to take the women and girls on shopping sprees.

On cross-examination, prosecutors displayed for jurors a piece of evidence suggesting Holder’s contributions were childlike: a flow chart of Kelly’s business depicting a red cartoon octopus.

Market début of Universal Music Group is a smash hit

The market début of Universal Music Group was a hit with investors on Tuesday, with optimism about the future of streaming music running high.

Shares jumped nearly 40 per cent to almost US$26 per share in trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.

Universal has a huge roster of stars, including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Universal has rights to that massive catalogue of hits, and with the pandemic hitting the music industry hard, it has still thrived as music spreads to other platforms like Spotify, YouTube and TikTok.

Part of Universal’s business derives from the rights attached to its vast catalogue, and it also collects royalties for the artistes it represents across social media platforms.

The studio was recently spun off by its parent company, Vivendi of France. Vivendi shareholders got a 60 per cent stake in the newly independent label. The conglomerate said it wanted to focus on other sectors of its business.