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

Source link

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

Source link

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

Source link

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

Source link

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

Source link

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

Source link

Madonna issues ‘wake up’ call on gun violence in graphic music video

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Madonna stepped into the gun violence debate on Wednesday with a music video containing graphic dramatizations of a mass shooting.

FILE PHOTO: Singer Madonna speaks to guests after receiving the Advocate for Change award during the 30th annual GLAAD awards ceremony in New York City, New York, U.S., May 4, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Called “God Control,” the disco beat song and video depicts a gunman opening fire in a crowded nightclub or bar and images of actors playing dancers who fall to the ground, bleeding, or try to flee.

A message before the video reads, “The story you’re about to see is very disturbing. It shows graphic scenes of gun violence. But it’s happening everyday. And it has to stop.”

“We need to wake up,” Madonna sings. The video also uses TV footage of demonstrators calling for stricter gun control, including the 2018 “March For Our Lives,” in Washington and other U.S. cities.

While the music video does not refer to any one incident, it recalls the June 2016 shooting inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Florida, in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

Madonna, 60, said the video was designed to shock.

“Seeing the reality, and the brutality of things makes you wake up,” the singer told People magazine on Wednesday.

“This is really happening. This is what it looks like. Does it make you feel bad? Good, ‘cause then maybe you will do something about it,” she said.

The United States has seen hundreds of mass shootings in schools, workplaces, places of worship and leisure in recent years but stricter gun control legislation has proven difficult to pass in the U.S. Congress.

In a message on her social media accounts, Madonna urged people to “insist on common-sense gun safety legislation” and directed fans to gun control organizations they could support.

The “God Control” video had been viewed more than 360,000 times on YouTube some two hours after its release on Wednesday.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chris Reese

Source link

Jackson fans sing, sob, leave sunflowers and roses on 10th anniversary of death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – With roses crafted into heart shapes and crowns made of bright yellow sunflowers, Michael Jackson fans from as far afield as Iran and Japan paid tribute on Tuesday to the King of Pop on the 10th anniversary of his death.

A Michael Jackson impersonator dances next to 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

Several hundred fans gathered outside his burial place in the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, north of Los Angeles, and held a minute’s silence at 2:26 p.m., the moment when Jackson, 50, was pronounced dead on June 25, 2009. They then broke into a rendition of “Heal the World” as some mourners quietly sobbed, hugged or wiped away tears.

Fans, some dressed like Jackson, placed posters, dolls, sequined gloves and even a red jacket like the singer’s signature “Thriller” outfit outside the private mausoleum where he is buried.

“Forever King,” “We’ll never forget you” and “We’ll never let you part” read some of the messages from Iran, Hungary and Japan.

Joan Simons traveled to the cemetery from the Netherlands, meeting up with people she had met on fan Facebook groups over the years. “We all feel the same – the love for Michael as a person, his music,” Simons told Reuters.

Jackson died at his Los Angeles home after an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol, which he was using as a sleep aid. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted at a 2011 trial of involuntary manslaughter.

“A decade later, Michael Jackson is still with us, his influence embedded in dance, fashion, art and music of the moment. He is more important than ever,” the Jackson estate said in a statement marking the anniversary.

While Jackson’s death was met with a wave of grief in 2009, his reputation has come under scrutiny again because of the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men gave emotional accounts of what they said was sexual abuse by the singer in the 1990s when they were boys.

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

“People are going to believe what they want to believe. But if they really do their research, they’ll know the truth,” Rem Garza, 22, a Jackson impersonator from Long Beach, California, said on Tuesday.

Carla Tonti said she traveled from Florence, Italy, to the cemetery with her 79-year-old mother, Sabrina. “We feel like as if we are close to the people who just enjoy Michael as much as we did,” Tonti said.

Reporting by Reuters Televsion; Editing by Leslie Adler

Source link

Rapper Cardi B pleads not guilty to charges in New York strip club fight

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Grammy Award-winning rapper Cardi B pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony assault charges relating to an alleged fight at a New York City strip club last year.

The 26-year-old performer from the Bronx borough of New York City entered the plea in an appearance at New York Supreme Court in the borough of Queens.

“Not guilty sir, honor,” Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, told the judge during the roughly 30 minute hearing.

As she entered the court building, wearing a navy blue and pink pantsuit and carrying a pink handbag, one fan shouted “Free Cardi B.”

The singer, known for chart-topping hits “Bodak Yellow” and “I like it,” waved back with a hand sporting long, pink fingernails, before being ushered into the court by her lawyer and two bodyguards.

The rapper surrendered to New York City police last October after a complaint claimed she was involved in a fight at the Angels NYC strip club in Queens.

“I ain’t going to jail, I got a daughter,” she declared near the end of her Los Angeles concert on Saturday.

Singer Cardi B arrives at Queens County Criminal Court in the Queens Borough of New York, U.S., June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Cardi B was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges earlier this month along with two other individuals in her entourage.

According to police, the rapper got into an argument in August with two of the club’s female bartenders. She had accused one of them of having an affair with her husband, Offset, a member of the rap trio Migos, according to local media.

“The victims allegedly had glass bottles hurled at them, alcoholic drinks thrown in their faces and one woman’s head was slammed into the bar,” Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said in a statement. “This kind of violence won’t be tolerated in our community.”

Cardi B left the Queens court on Tuesday by a side door, wearing a somber expression, briefly waving to fans before she got in a black SUV without speaking to press. Her lawyer Jeff Kern, did not respond to a request for comment.

Her latest single, “Press,” is currently at 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Cover art for the single, in which she says “Cardi don’t need more press,” shows her naked and being escorted out of a building as older, male photographers push towards her.

The next hearing in the case will be on Sept. 23 for co-defendants Tawana Jackson-Morel, 36, and Jeffrey Bush, 34, both of Brooklyn.

In an indictment made public Tuesday, Queens prosecutors claimed that Cardi B and Jackson-Morel used social media to coordinate an Aug. 15 attack on a 21-year-old bartender and discussed money payments to people who carried it out.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Several unapprehended females also assaulted the bartender, while Bush filmed the attack, according to the prosecutors.

Cardi B and Jackson-Morel took part in another attack on Aug. 29 targeting the bartender’s 23-year-old sister, also a bartender at the club, the prosecutors said.

If convicted, the three defendants face up to four years in prison.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson and Shannon Stapleton in New York; writing by Andrew Hay; editing by Susan Thomas

Source link

Rapper Cardi B due in New York court to face charges over strip club brawl

FILE PHOTO: 2019 BET Awards – Show – Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 23, 2019 – Cardi B accepts the Album of the Year award. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Grammy Award-winning rapper Cardi B was due to appear in court on Tuesday to face felony assault charges over a fight at a New York City strip club.

The 26-year-old performer, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, was scheduled to appear at the New York Supreme Court in the borough of Queens at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), according to court records. Her lawyer, Jeff Kern, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cardi B surrendered to New York City police last October after a complaint claimed she was involved in a fight in August at the Angels NYC strip club in Queens.

She initially faced misdemeanor charges of assault and reckless endangerment, but was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges earlier this month.

According to the New York Times, Cardi B accused one of two sisters who tend bar at the Angels NYC club of having an affair with her husband, Offset, who is part of the rap trio Migos. Citing police, the newspaper said Cardi B’s bodyguards and members of her entourage attacked the sisters with bottles and chairs.

Cardi B, a two-time Grammy award nominee, has topped music charts in recent years with hits including “Bodak Yellow” and “Girls Like You,” a collaboration with Maroon 5.

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York

Source link