Brazilian musician João Gilberto, founder of bossa nova, dies in Rio

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian musician Joao Gilberto, 88, died on Saturday afternoon in his house in Rio de Janeiro, relatives confirmed through messages in social media.

In his Facebook account, his son Marcelo Gilberto said “his fight was noble and he tried to maintain dignity”. His daughter in law wrote: “Deep sadness. All he wanted was to be with us and to play with his granddaughter”.

The family did not disclose the cause of death.

Born in Bahia, a notheastern Brazilian state, João Gilberto began singing at 18. After moving to Rio de Janeiro, he released the record “Chega de Saudade” in 1959, which marked the beginning of the world-famous bossa nova music style. His 1964 album “Getz/Gilberto” with America saxophone player Stan Getz sold millions of copies, won several Grammy awards and popularized bossa nova around the world.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by David Gregorio

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U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky detained for up to two more weeks in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Swedish court on Friday ordered that U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky be held in custody for up to two more weeks while prosecutors investigate his part in a brawl in Stockholm.

FILE PHOTO: A$AP Rocky performs “I’m Not the Only One” with Sam Smith (not pictured) during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested early on Wednesday along with two members of his entourage and his bodyguard, in connection with a fight in the city center on Sunday.

A judge agreed to prosecutors’ request to extend his detention on suspicion of assault – giving them until July 19 to press charges, Stockholm district court said.

“There is a risk that if he is released he will abscond or otherwise evade prosecution or conviction,” a court spokeswoman said.

Mayers’ lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja, said the rapper denied assault and would appeal against the extended detention.

“They were attacked and have simply defended themselves,” he told reporters.

“So what we will do now is to appeal to the Court of Appeal in about one or two hours, and hopefully they will have another point of view of this case.” 

Mayers, best known for his 2011 debut album ‘Live.Long.A$AP’, was arrested hours after performing at a hip hop festival in Sweden’s capital on Tuesday night.

His detention has already forced the cancellation of shows in Norway and Poland. He was also due to play in Dublin on Friday and London on Sunday.

Before his arrest, Mayers, who also goes by the pseudonym Lord Flacko, uploaded videos to his Instagram account of an altercation with two men saying they had followed him and that he had not wanted any trouble.

The court was still holding hearings on the detention of the two members of his entourage. His bodyguard was released on Thursday.

Reporting by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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Tennis royalty hands down tips to Britain’s Next-Gen royals

LONDON (Reuters) – Almost a century has passed since Prince Albert – later crowned King George VI – turned up in his pristine white trousers and collared shirt to compete in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

Jul 4, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Roger Federer (SUI) in action during his match against Jay Clarke (GBR) on day four at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Now Roger Federer is playing his part in helping to further the prospects of a Next-Gen player from Britain’s royal family — one who is likely to end up being known as King George VII.

At the age of five, Prince William’s son George is a long way off from joining the Next-Gen pack — a term used for the best 21-and-under competitors on the men’s tour — but he has been lucky enough to have a knockabout with arguably the greatest player to have ever swung a tennis racket.

So just how good is Prince George? Can he follow in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather and one day compete on the manicured lawns of the All England Club?

“At that stage it’s all about just touch the ball, it’s already good,” 37-year-old Swiss Federer, who happens to be the Prince’s favorite player, said with a wry smile.

“He’s a cute boy. I love to see that they’re into tennis or into sports. His mum has always enjoyed her tennis,” he added of the Duchess of Cambridge who attended Wimbledon this week.

If Prince George someday competes at Wimbledon, he will at least be assured he can do no worse than his royal predecessor.

Prince Albert and his partner, wing commander Louis Greig, were beaten 6-1 6-3 6-2 by H Roper Barrett and AW Gore in the first round of the men’s doubles tournament in 1926.

Federer, who is chasing a 21st major title and ninth at the grasscourt major, is not the only competitor at Wimbledon with royal friends.

Eight-times champion Serena Williams was cheered on to victory in her second round match by Prince George’s aunt — fellow American Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

So did Williams share Federer’s enthusiasm in having a knockabout with another royal offspring – her friend Meghan’s son Archie – once he is old enough to grip a racket?

“I don’t know. I’m actually working on Olympia’s game,” she said referring to her one-year-old daughter.

“Maybe she can give tips to him. She’ll be like his older sister,” Williams added with a smile.

Considering Serena is one of the Duchess of Sussex’s closest friends, has she been asked to be a godmother when Archie is christened on Saturday?

“No, I’m working on Saturday,” said Williams, who is due to play her third round match on day six of the championships.

Reporting by Pritha Sarkar; Editing by Ken Ferris

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U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky’s Europe tour in jeopardy after Sweden arrest

FILE PHOTO: A$AP Rocky performs “I’m Not the Only One” with Sam Smith (not pictured) during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky should be detained in Sweden for at least two more weeks to be investigated over serious assault charges, the national prosecutor said on Thursday, throwing into jeopardy the artist’s European tour.

The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was taken into custody on Wednesday, along with two members of his entourage and his bodyguard, in connection with a fight on Sunday.

“The reason why they are being detained is that there is danger of them fleeing (the country) and there is a risk that they could damage the investigation if they are released,” Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Karlsson said.

The artist, best known for his 2011 debut album “Live.Long.A$AP”, was arrested hours after performing at a hip hop festival in Sweden’s capital on Tuesday night.

His detention forced the cancellation of performances scheduled for Norway on Wednesday and Poland on Thursday.

He has shows planned across a dozen cities – also including London and Moscow – over the next two weeks as part of the Europe tour, with his latest album, “Testing”, having debuted last year as No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts.

The Swedish lawyer representing A$AP Rocky repeated that the artist was innocent and denied wrongdoing, and said he would appeal against the arrest at the court hearing scheduled for Friday.

“I am confident that we can help him in a good way,” lawyer Henrik Olsson Lilja told Reuters.

Before his arrest, A$AP Rocky, who also goes by the pseudonym Lord Flacko, uploaded two videos of the altercation with the two men on Instagram and stated his innocence.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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Michael Jackson fans sue alleged abuse victims in French court

ORLEANS, France (Reuters) – Michael Jackson fan groups sought damages on Thursday from two of the late pop legend’s alleged abuse victims for “sullying his image” in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland”.

FILE PHOTO: Flowers surround Michael Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ten years after the death of child star turned King of Pop in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The fan clubs sued the men in Orleans, northern France. The court said a judgment would be delivered on Oct. 4.

The Michel Jackson Community, the MJ Street and On the Line groups accuse Wade Robson and James Safechuck of defaming Jackson in the documentary about alleged child abuse by the star.

The fans’ lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, likened the men’s allegations to a “genuine lynching” of Jackson, who died in 2009.

The fan groups, which are seeking symbolic damages of 1 euro ($1.13) each, are taking action in France because French defamation laws extends libel protection beyond death, whereas the British and U.S. legal systems do not.

Robson and Safechuck were not in court and did not instruct lawyers to represent them.

In “Leaving Neverland” the two adult men say they were befriended by Jackson and abused by him from the ages of 7 and 10 in the early 1990s.

Jackson was acquitted in 2005 on charges of molesting a different boy, and his family has denied the accusations made in the documentary.

The documentary, broadcast by M6 in France, has caused a backlash against Jackson’s legacy. Some radio stations stopped playing his music, an episode of “The Simpsons” cartoon featuring the singer’s voice is being pulled from future broadcasts and Louis Vuitton removed Jackson-themed items from its 2019 summer menswear collection.

Ludot said he was confident of winning. In 2014, he represented the Michael Jackson Community when the group successfully won nominal damages of 1 euro from the pop star’s private doctor, Conrad Murray, for his part in Jackson’s death.

“In France you cannot sully the image of the dead,” Ludot said. “There’s moral and emotional suffering. And when there’s suffering, there’s compensation. It’s very simple.”

Reporting by Mourad Guichard in Orleans and Emmanuel Jarry in Paris; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Frances Kerry

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Elizabeth Taylor’s Oscars dress among her items heading to auction

Elizabeth Taylor arrives for a play in Los Angeles in this December 1, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

(Reuters) – A gown worn to the 1974 Academy Awards and more than 1,200 other items from the life of late actress Elizabeth Taylor will be offered for sale at an auction in early December, Julien’s Auctions announced on Wednesday.

The pale blue chiffon dress that Taylor wore to the Oscars, which was designed by Edith Head, is expected to fetch between $4,000 and $6,000, the auction house said in a statement.

Also on offer will be a gold-plated, sterling silver Cartier belt that Taylor had inscribed to her mother. Darren Julien, president and chief executive of Julien’s Auctions, said he expected the belt to sell for more than $40,000.

The auction will take place Dec. 6-8 in Beverly Hills, California. Bids also can be placed through the auction house’s website.

Other clothing for sale will include a green wool felt cape the actress wore to Buckingham Palace in 1970 and a New York Yankees jacket she donned for a Vogue Paris photo shoot.

The auction also will feature jewelry, wigs, fine art and household items from Taylor’s life. Julien said he also expected to offer artwork that would sell for as high as the $60,000-range.

Taylor, who died in 2011 at the age of 79, epitomized Hollywood glamour from its golden age with her love of diamonds, violet eyes and a tumultuous love life that included eight marriages – two of them to Welsh actor Richard Burton.

In a career spanning seven decades, the British-American Taylor first gained fame in 1944’s “National Velvet” at age 12 and was nominated for five Oscars. She won the best actress Oscar for 1960’s “Butterfield 8,” and 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Reporting by Lisa Richwine, editing by G Crosse

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U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky arrested in Sweden after brawl: prosecutor

FILE PHOTO: A$AP Rocky performs “I’m Not the Only One” with Sam Smith (not pictured) during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky was arrested early on Wednesday on suspicion of serious assault after a brawl in Sweden’s capital, prosecutors said.

The 30-year-old performer, producer and model was held with three others in connection with a fight that took place on Sunday, a Prosecution Authority spokeswoman said.

“One person was arrested for assault and three people were arrested for serious assault, and the artist is one of those three,” she added.

A$AP Rocky was detained around 1 a.m. (2300 GMT Tuesday), the prosecution said, a few hours after his appearance at the Smash hip hop festival in Stockholm.

Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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Kylie Minogue sparkles on Glastonbury stage 14 years after cancer battle

GLASTONBURY, England (Reuters) – Kylie Minogue delighted a huge crowd at Glastonbury with hits including “Spinning Around”, “Shocked” and “Better the Devil You Know”, 14 years after illness forced her to cancel a headline performance at the festival.

Kylie Minogue performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Kylie, as she is universally known, played all the catchy disco pop hits that the audience had come to hear, from “I Should Be So Lucky”, her breakthrough 1988 worldwide number one, to 2010 release “All the Lovers”.

Minogue was due to headline Glastonbury, the world’s largest greenfield festival, in 2005, but was forced to pull out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I wished things were different but life is what it is,” she said, chocking back tears of emotion. “We’re all here together in this moment.”

She said some of the artists in 2005 had covered her songs, and she welcomed on stage one of them, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, to join her in performing “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”.

The gig changed gear midway when the 51-year-old was joined by previous collaborator Nick Cave for the murder-themed ballad “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.

But the serious interlude was brief in a show that featured a blast of rainbow Pride confetti, four costume changes, and mass singalongs from the sun-bathed capacity crowd, including for the “Spinning Around” finale.

Minogue was followed by U.S. singer Miley Cyrus, who opened with “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”, her collaboration with Mark Ronson, who joined her on stage.

Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also appeared during the show, performing “Old Town Road”, with rapper Lil Nas X.

U.S. rock band Vampire Weekend will play the main Pyramid Stage later on Sunday before British goth rock band the Cure close the festival.

Additional reporting by Hanna Rantala; editing by Kate Holton

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Elton John delivers message of tolerance at first, last Montreux show

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Elton John made his first and last appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Saturday, delivering a slick and energetic performance that ended with a message of tolerance and love.

Elton John performs on stage during Montreux Jazz Festival, as part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour”, Switzerland June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The British singer’s 2-1/2-hour show, part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour begun last year, opened with “Bennie and the Jets”, followed by early 1970s hits including “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man” and “Your Song”.

“I’ve wanted to play this festival for years and years. I’ve watched it on DVD and television. I never thought I would be playing it, but it is an honor to be here,” the 72-year-old told a sell-out outdoor crowd of 15,000 who braved a heat wave.

The five-time Grammy winner, seated at the piano center stage, wore large black frame glasses with his name spelled out in rhinestones and a black jacket with sparkling trim.

“Sorry”, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, “Candle in the Wind”, “Daniel” and “Saturday Night’s Alright” were other signature songs, accompanied by his band including longtime drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist John Jorgenson.

John performed at La Saussaz stadium overlooking Lake Geneva, rather than the famed Stravinski Auditorium, an intimate venue renowned for its acoustics, where he was initially booked for two nights when the tour was first announced.

“This was imposed on us,” a Montreux insider told Reuters about the first-ever open-air concert of the Swiss festival.

Festival goer Sebastien Cordey, 37, said afterwards: “I’m not a big fan of Elton John. But he had great energy on stage and his voice is still incredibly strong.”

Sting on Friday opened the 53rd edition of the festival which runs through July 13. Its eclectic line-up includes Janet Jackson, Chick Corea and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

John said on Friday he was deeply upset by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment that liberal values were “obsolete” and had been rejected by the majority of people in Western nations.

John, who is gay, accused Putin of hypocrisy for saying in the same interview that he wanted LGBT people to be happy. Russia has reportedly censored gay scenes in the movie “Rocketman” based on his life.

“I am sick to death of hatred, of racism and homophobia,” John told fans. “I am sick to death of people who claim to be religious and close to God and are far from God.”

“We should appreciate each other, we need to embrace everyone even if we do not agree with each other,” he said.

Fans paid from 185 to 450 Swiss francs ($189.55 to $461.00) for the show. Former co-director Quincy Jones calls the festival the “Rolls-Royce of festivals”.

John said he met Jones before the show.

“I love him very much, the man and the musician. … He is still as vibrant as a teenager”, John said, dedicating the song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the legendary American producer.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay

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Elton John blasts Putin for calling liberal values ‘obsolete’

(Reuters) – British singer Elton John said on Friday he was deeply upset by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment that liberal values were “obsolete” and had been rejected by the majority of people in Western nations.

FILE PHOTO: Elton John listens in the courtyard of the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, France June 21, 2019. Lewis Joly/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, Putin said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had erred by adopting a liberal policy toward immigration from the Middle East.

“The liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment,” Putin said in the interview.

“So, the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population,” Putin said.

John, in a statement released on Friday and addressed to Putin, said he was upset by the comments in the interview.

“I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies,” the singer said.

John, who is gay, also accused Putin of hypocrisy for saying in the same interview that he wanted LGBT people to be happy. Russia has reportedly censored gay scenes in the movie “Rocketman” based on John’s life.

“This feels like hypocrisy to me,” John said.

Putin said Russia is not photophobic, but that a Western willingness to embrace homosexuality and gender fluidity seemed excessive to him.

John, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, has previously spoken out against a 2013 law banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors.

In 2015, Putin said he would be willing to meet with John. Although the singer played a concert in Moscow in May 2016, no meeting with Putin took place.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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