Singer

File photo of singer Prince performing during
FILE PHOTO: Singer Prince performs in a surprise appearance on the “American Idol” television show finale at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California in this May 24, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello/Files

April 22, 2019

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An unfinished memoir that Prince was writing before his 2016 death will be released in October, with previously unseen photos and other material rounding out the book, the publisher Penguin Random House said on Monday.

The Grammy Award-winning artist, known for his androgynous style and sexually-charged songs, announced in March 2016 at a New York City club that he was working on a memoir.

Prince held that news conference and brief concert about a month before he died at age 57 of an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.

Part of Prince’s forthcoming book, titled “The Beautiful Ones,” is “the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death,” with that unfinished section devoted to his childhood, Penguin Random House said on a web page for the project.

“We’re honored to be publishing Prince’s unfinished memoir, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, on October 29, 2019,” Random House said in a message on Twitter on Monday.

The book will also contain photos, scrapbooks and lyric sheets and his original handwritten treatment for the 1984 film “Purple Rain,” a quasi-biographical blockbuster that turned Prince into a superstar.

COLLABORATED ON MEMOIR

The book will be published by the imprint Spiegel & Grau. A representative for the publisher could not be reached for further comment.

The writer Dan Piepenbring, who paid homage to Prince in a 2010 essay for the Paris Review, penned an introduction and annotations to the images contained in the book, Penguin Random House said in a statement.

Piepenbring collaborated with Prince on the memoir during the artist’s final months of life.

Prince’s multiple Top 10 hit songs include “When Doves Cry,” “Kiss,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Purple Rain,” the title song from the movie, and his albums sold millions of copies.

A two-year investigation into Prince’s death failed to determine where he obtained a counterfeit painkiller laced with fentanyl, resulting in no criminal charges, authorities said last year when they revealed their findings.

Prince, who was sometimes called “The Purple One,” for his frequent use of that color in outfits, left behind thousands of recordings and videos in the vaults of his home studio in suburban Minneapolis.

Last year, a nine-track album titled “Piano & A Microphone” from Prince’s unreleased collection went on sale, with material from a 1983 home studio cassette of him playing jazz piano versions of his own songs and those of others.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Bill Tarrant and G Crosse)

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FILE PHOTO: Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Singer Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

April 20, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British pop singer Adele and her husband have separated, her representatives said on Saturday.

One of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time, Adele and water charity executive Simon Konecki met in 2011. They had a son a year later, and married in 2016.

“Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment,” a spokesman for Adele said in a statement.

Adele Adkins, 30, shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album ’19’, lauded for its combination of soulful vocals and confessional lyrics.

Her last album, ’25’, released in 2015, broke U.S. and British records by becoming the fastest-selling album of all time. She became the first person in the history of the Grammy awards to win the top three awards twice.

U.S. media reported in March this year that Adele had visited a recording studio in New York, raising speculation that a new album would surface soon.

(Writing by Andy Bruce, Editing by William Maclean)

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FILE PHOTO - Yzerman, general manager of Tampa Bay Lightning, speaks to media before Commissioner Bettman announces end of labor negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA in New York
FILE PHOTO – Steve Yzerman, general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, speaks to media before Commissioner Gary Bettman announces the end of labor negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) in New York, January 9, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

April 20, 2019

Steve Yzerman is coming home to become general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, the franchise announced on Friday.

The hiring of the former Detroit star also marked the end of Ken Holland’s 22-year stint as general manager. Holland signed a multiyear deal to become the club’s senior vice president.

Yzerman, 53, spent his entire 22-year Hall of Fame playing career with the Red Wings. He served 20 years as team captain and scored 692 goals and 1,063 assists (1,755 points) during a 1,514-game career that ended in 2006. He played on three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Detroit. Now he is taking over a team that has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons.

“I’m extremely excited to be back in Detroit with the Red Wings,” Yzerman said during a press conference. “This city, Red Wing fans, the state of Michigan were incredibly supportive of me throughout the ups and downs of my playing career. I am very excited to return to the organization and join the Red Wings again and with our goal of getting the team back in contention for Stanley Cups and the championship that has come to be expected in Detroit.”

–T.J. Oshie will be out indefinitely after suffering an upper-body injury in Thursday’s playoff game, Washington Capitals coach Todd Reirden announced.

A hit from Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele sent Oshie headfirst into the boards, and he left the ice holding his arm and shoulder.

Reirden said Oshie won’t play in Game 5 on Saturday and that the team would know more about a timetable for his return after Oshie saw the doctor on Friday. To take his place on the roster, the Capitals recalled right winger Devante Smith-Pelly from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

–The New York Islanders will continue their quest for the Stanley Cup without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced.

Boychuk was injured Tuesday when he blocked a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson in the second period of the Islanders’ Game 4 win to sweep the series.

Boychuk, 35, had 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 74 regular-season games during his fifth season with the Islanders.

–The Philadelphia Flyers joined the New York Yankees in choosing to no longer play the 1939 Kate Smith recording of “God Bless America” during home games, the team announced.

The team is also covering up a statue of the singer outside the arena.

“We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization,” the Flyers said in a statement, according to CNN. “As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith’s recording of ‘God Bless America’ from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.”

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO: Cases of Pepsi are shown for sale at a store in Carlsbad
FILE PHOTO: Cases of Pepsi are shown for sale at a store in Carlsbad, California, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

April 19, 2019

By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc’s quarterly sales and profit beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as the beverage maker’s advertising and marketing push helped drive sales of its snacks, sparkling waters and low-sugar sodas globally.

Shares of PepsiCo hit a record high of $125.92 in morning trading after the company said its core sales grew at the fastest pace in more than three years.

The results come as a boost for Chief Executive Officer Ramon Laguarta who took over from Indra Nooyi six months ago. Under his watch, Pepsico has spent more on advertising, raised production capacity, while tweaking its supply chain to focus more on healthier snacks and beverages.

The changes have helped Pepsi respond better to shifting consumer preferences at a time when packaged food and beverage companies are battling high transportation and labor costs, while trying to find the right product mix to cater to a more health-conscious consumer.

The company has modified some of its recipes using healthier ingredients and is tinkering with product sizes and marketing to keep shoppers reaching for its products.

PepsiCo recently launched a new flavor of Cheetos under its Simply snack brand and introduced a blackberry and peach flavor for its bubly sparkling water that was promoted by singer Michael Buble.

As a result, advertising and marketing spending rose 11 percent, CFO Hugh Johnston told Reuters.

“It is clear evidence that the advertising that we’ve been putting into the market place is working … may be most encouragingly the Pepsi business,” Johnston said.

Sales of Pepsi sodas, which include Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero Sugar, grew 3 percent, driving organic sales at its North America beverage unit, its biggest revenue generator.

Lay’s potato chips, Off The Eaten Path snacks and bubly also sold well, he said.

Total organic or core sales – a keenly watched metric that strips out currency fluctuations and acquisitions – rose 5.2 percent.

PepsiCo maintained its target of 4 percent organic revenue growth and earnings of $5.50 per share for the year.

“With guidance unchanged, Pepsi may be in a position to increase spending behind its brands. Something we feel is strategically important and will bear fruit down the road,” said Benjamin Altman, CEO of Altman Advisors, which owns PepsiCo shares.

Excluding items, PepsiCo earned 97 cents per share. Net revenue rose 2.6 percent to $12.88 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of 92 cents and revenue of $12.70 billion, according to Refinitiv’s IBES.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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FILE PHOTO: 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos
FILE PHOTO: Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

April 18, 2019

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda’s supreme court on Thursday backed constitutional changes that allow long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni to extend his time in office.

A 4-3 majority decision affirming the validity of 2017 constitutional amendments was widely expected in the East African country where critics say judicial independence has been eroded under President Museveni’s 33-year rule.

Parliament, which is controlled by the ruling party, voted overwhelmingly in December 2017 to scrap an age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates.

The original legislation would have effectively barred 74-year-old Museveni from standing in the next elections due in 2021.Opponents of Museveni, including lawmakers and individual opposition activists, mounted a legal challenge to the amendment first in the constitutional court which rejected their petition.

That rejection triggered their appeal to the supreme court.”The decision of the constitutional court is upheld. This appeal therefore fails,” ruled Bart Katurebe, the country’s chief justice and a member of the panel.    The process to amend the constitution was marred by widespread violence including police dispersing rallies by MPs consulting their constituents on the amendments and beatings and detentions of opposition activists

Some opposition MPs were also at one time forcefully removed from the House’s debating chamber by members of military. The petitioners had cited these incidents and other irregularities as sufficient grounds for nullification of the amendment.

Eldad Mwangusya, of the three justices who ruled in favor of the petition said widespread violence and security personnel interference in MPs’ public consultations made the removal of the age limit unconstitutional.”Members of parliament… were assaulted, thrown onto public vehicles, detained and released without charge all of which amount to inhuman treatment which is in contravention of the constitution,” he said.

In power since 1986, Museveni has been accused by critics of using security forces to stifle opposition through intimidation. Political activists routinely allege arbitrary arrests and beatings.

In February the executive committee of the ruling National Resistance Movement endorsed Museveni as its candidate in the next presidential election due in 2021, potentially extending his rule to 40 years.

One of his opponents in the next polls will likely be singer and lawmaker Bobi Wine – real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – who has rattled officials with his fast-growing support base.Kyagulanyi’s following has ballooned since he joined parliament nearly two years ago, drawn by his criticism of Museveni’s long rule and government excesses through his lyrics.

(Editing by Toby Chopra)

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FILE PHOTO: South Korean singer Jung Joon-young arrives for questioning on accusations of illicitly taping and sharing sex videos on social media, at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul
FILE PHOTO: South Korean singer Jung Joon-young arrives for questioning on accusations of illicitly taping and sharing sex videos on social media, at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

April 14, 2019

By Joyce Lee and Joori Roh

SEOUL (Reuters) – On a recent weekend night, the dance floor at one of the hottest clubs in Seoul’s swanky Gangnam district held only a few dozen people surrounded by mostly empty tables.

A few months ago, the nightclub would have been packed with hundreds of gyrating men and women, and full tables, many costing 650,000 won ($570) or more for a night of drinking and dancing.

The world was introduced to Gangnam by the 2012 K-pop hit “Gangnam Style,” a parody of the South Korean highlife with a viral tune and amusing dancing that became the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube.

But a wave of sex crimes and other illegal activity has revealed a dark underbelly in the district, driving club-goers and celebrities away.

According to police investigators, a network of pop stars, businessmen and cops are alleged to have colluded and enabled tax evasion, bribery, and prostitution at some of Gangnam’s glitziest clubs.

Most seriously, some are being investigated over the use of date rape drugs to incapacitate women and assault them, sometimes filmed by hidden cameras.

“There aren’t many people coming to Gangnam (clubs) right now,” a worker told Reuters at a club that was relatively quiet, despite not being implicated in any of the allegations. “There’s an investigation on.”

The scandals have already led to the resignation of four K-pop stars, the closure of one of Gangnam’s most lucrative club, and investigations into at least six police officers suspected of colluding with club operators.

President Moon Jae-in called for a thorough investigation, saying the Gangnam club cases suggest possible collusion between police, tax authorities and a new privileged class including celebrities to engage in illegal operations.

More than 500 people have been investigated for drug use and sexual assault and more than 200 arrested in a nationwide roundup since Feb. 25.

Tax authorities have launched investigations into 21 clubs and host bars for possible evasion.

“If we don’t set this right, we cannot call this a just society,” Moon said.

SEX CRIME CONCERNS

The investigations, revolving around two Gangnam clubs, Burning Sun and Arena, began late last year when 29-year-old film art director Kim Sang-kyo says he tried to stop an incident of sexual harassment and was attacked by Burning Sun staff, and then abused by police who instead arrested him.

A government commission concluded that police in Gangnam violated Kim’s rights during his arrest, but Kim is still being investigated for sexual harassment and defamation. He denies any wrongdoing.

Calls to Burning Sun, which closed down after the scandal broke, were not answered, while a man who answered the number listed for Arena hung up when asked for comment. Arena has also been closed since early March for what it said were renovations. Gangnam police declined to comment.

Kim said once he shared his story he began to receive messages from other people who said they had been victimized in Gangnam clubs, and he realized the scope of the problem.

“When people saw me raising questions, they said ‘why you? Why now?’” Kim said. “‘This has been going on for 10 years, 15 years, and you can’t touch it. You can’t win.’ I’ve heard a lot of people say this, and I think it’s really scary.”

The string of scandals gained wider attention when several K-pop stars who had ties to some of the clubs were implicated in crimes unrelated to Kim’s arrest.

Singer Lee Seung-hyun, 28, better known by the stage name Seungri, is under investigation for paying for prostitutes in return for favors from foreign businessmen at Arena.

He is also accused of embezzlement at another club he was involved with until last year.

Lee has denied all wrong doing, but resigned from his position as a member of the boy band BIGBANG. Lee’s lawyer told Reuters this week his client maintains his innocence.

At least three other K-pop stars resigned after they were accused by police of sharing illicitly filmed sex tapes. It is not yet clear whether any of the shared videos and photos were taken at either nightclub.

One singer, Jung Joon-young admitted to having shared videos he took secretly while having sex with women.

“I am truly sorry. I committed a crime that cannot be forgiven,” Jung read from a handwritten statement on March 21.

WEB OF CONNECTIONS

Besides Seungri, who was an internal director at Burning Sun and previously helped run the club, police are investigating two of the club’s co-presidents and an operating director for various crimes including distributing drugs, assaulting a customer, and bribing police.

Investigators have also questioned 15 people and arrested four people with links to Burning Sun on drug charges. At least one club promoter was arrested for distributing illegal sex videos.

A man identified as the de facto owner of Arena, surnamed Kang, was arrested in late March, a Seoul Central District Court spokesman said.

Kang and other Arena executives are accused of tax evasion by avoiding paying 16.2 billion won ($14.31 million) in taxes between 2014-2017. Kang refused to answer questions on March 25 as he emerged from court. He could not be reached for comment.

Authorities are also investigating allegations that club officials provided bribes to police officers.

Six officers are now under investigation for possible collusion with the clubs, including a senior superintendent, lawmakers briefed by Police Commissioner General Min Gab-ryong said.

The superintendent, surnamed Yoon, admitted playing golf and sharing meals with a man known to be Seungri’s business partner, but denies all allegations of corruption.

He is accused of leaking confidential information and accepting bribes, including K-pop concert tickets from singer Seungri, an official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

In Gangnam, former patrons and workers lament the impact the scandals have had on the clubs and the broader entertainment industry, a key identity and export for South Korea.

Kim Se-rim, 27, said she no longer goes to clubs.

“People are like, why would you go when you know there are so much drugs, GHB, rape going on?,” she said, referring to a known date-rape drug. “And they have a point.”

($1 = 1,134.5200 won)

(Additional reporting and writing by Josh Smith.; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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FILE PHOTO: Lawyer Michael Avenatti walks out of federal court in New York
FILE PHOTO: Lawyer Michael Avenatti in New York, New York, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

April 11, 2019

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – Michael Avenatti, the high-profile lawyer known for his battles with U.S. President Donald Trump, was charged with 36 counts of fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes in an indictment made public by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The indictment came about three weeks after Avenatti, who gained national fame for representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her litigation against Trump, was arrested in New York on two separate criminal complaints filed by federal prosecutors in New York and California.

The indictment means the grand jury has found the California prosecutors have probable cause to pursue their charges.

Avenatti, 48, has said he planned to fight all the charges and plead not guilty.

“I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me,” Avenatti, who is free on a $300,000 bond, wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Prosecutors in the office of the U.S. Attorney for California’s Central District have charged Avenatti with 10 counts of wire fraud, accusing him of misusing more than $12 million he received on behalf of clients following settlements and other negotiations.

“Money generated from one set of crimes was used to further other crimes, typically in the form of payments designed to string along victims so as to prevent Mr. Avenatti’s financial house of cards from collapsing,” Nicola Hanna, the U.S. attorney for California’s Central District, said at a news conference on Thursday.

Avenatti became a prominent critic of Trump and a frequent guest on cable television news while representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. She filed a lawsuit against the president over a nondisclosure agreement that in the weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election kept her from discussing her claims that they had an extramarital affair 10 years earlier.

Prosecutors say Avenatti misled clients and misused their funds to pay personal and legal expenses, to finance a coffee shop business he also ran and to pay for his share of a Honda private jet, according to the indictment. Federal authorities seized the jet on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

The indictment also accuses Avenatti of various tax crimes. He is accused of failing to file personal tax returns since 2010, and to pay $3.2 million in payroll taxes on his coffee business, even though he witheld some portion of this money from employee paychecks.

They also say he defrauded a Mississippi bank of $4.1 million in loans by submitting false tax returns for 2011 to 2013 that inflated his income.

Avenatti faces up to 333 years in federal prison if convicted on the California charges, prosecutors said. Federal sentencing guidelines typically call for defendants to serve less than the maximum time.

NIKE SCHEME

The New York prosecutors have separately accused Avenatti of trying to blackmail athletic wear maker Nike Inc for more than $20 million.

They said Avenatti and a co-conspirator, who they did not name, met with Nike’s attorneys on March 19 and told them they represented a former college basketball coach with information about Nike’s involvement in a scheme to bribe high school basketball players.

They threatened to go public unless Nike hired Avenatti to conduct an internal investigation for $15 million to $25 million, and paid an additional $1.5 million to the client, according to prosecutors. Avenatti also offered to accept a $22.5 million payment for his silence, prosecutors said.

The alleged co-conspirator is prominent Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. Geragos, who has not been charged with a crime, has declined to comment on the case.

Daniels replaced Avenatti as her lawyer last month, and has said she was “saddened but not shocked” by his arrest.

Avenatti also involved himself in the investigation of sexual abuse charges against R&B singer R. Kelly by giving the Chicago state’s attorney’s office what he said was a tape of the performer having sex with an underage girl.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Brendan Pierson, Gina Cherelus, Gabriella Borter and Daniel Wallis; editing by Frank McGurty, Jonathan Oatis)

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Singer Gloria Estefan poses for a photograph at the London Coliseum theatre where her
Singer Gloria Estefan poses for a photograph at the London Coliseum theatre where her “On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan” musical will start in June in London, Britain April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

April 9, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A musical depicting the love story between singer Gloria Estefan, the Cuban-American pop star, and her music producer husband Emilio, opens in London in June.

“On Your Feet!” will feature some of her most famous hits such as “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”, and “Don’t Want to Lose You Now” and will track the couple’s childhoods in Cuba, their meeting in Miami and path to worldwide fame.

“It’s a love story not just between him and I, it’s a love story to music and a love story to both our nations, the ones where we were born, Cuba, and the United States, that opened its arms to us,” the 61-year-old singer told Reuters.

“Music is the core. It got us, both Emilio and I, through our most difficult moments and it continues to enrich our lives.

She and Emilio have been married for 40 years.

The part of Gloria will be played by Christie Prades.

“You’re going to get the hits that people know here,” she said, but there will also be lesser-known songs that match the scenes, she added.

Working on the musical has seen her relive some painful, intense moments.

“I got so emotional, I looked to my husband for support. He was crying like a baby already and I go, ‘God, are we going to do this? How are we going to do this?’”

“I have cried more in the last five years than in my entire lifetime because emotionally, you know, you just keep reliving things.”

Gloria Estefan has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is the most successful Latin crossover performer in the history of pop music. She and her husband have won 26 Grammy awards between them.

The show will run at the London Coliseum from June 14 to Aug. 31, and before that for seven dates at Curve, Leicester.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Alison Williams)

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FILE PHOTO: Actor Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli leave the federal courthouse in Boston
FILE PHOTO: Actor Lori Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, leave the federal courthouse after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

April 9, 2019

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors filed fresh conspiracy and money laundering charges on Tuesday against 16 parents charged with paying bribes to secure their children seats in elite universities in the largest college admissions scam uncovered in U.S. history.

Parents including “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli had already been charged with racketeering conspiracy for their alleged role in the scheme, in which parents paid some $25 million in bribes to secure their offspring places at universities including Yale, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.

Fourteen parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, on Monday pleaded guilty to taking part in the scam, masterminded by California college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer.

Singer last month pleaded guilty to facilitating the cheating scam and bribing coaches to present the parents’ children as fake athletic recruits.

Prosecutors have not yet charged any applicants and said that in some cases the parents involved took steps to try to prevent their children from realizing they were benefiting from fraud.

Colleges have begun revoking the admissions and pursuing expulsion of students who obtained their seats as a result of the fraud.

(Reporting by Scott Malone, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Elton John performs during his
FILE PHOTO – Elton John performs during his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” final tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S. January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

April 9, 2019

By Stephanie Nebehay

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Elton John is the big draw at this summer’s Montreux Jazz Festival, part of an eclectic line-up packed with big names that also features Sting, Janet Jackson, Chick Corea and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

The former The Police singer will open the 53rd edition of one of Europe’s most celebrated summer music festivals on June 28, while veteran producer Quincy Jones will host the closing concert – an orchestral soundtrack of his 80s hits – on July 13.

In between, Sir Elton, Anita Baker and Joan Baez will appear as part of their respective farewell tours.

The English singer-songwriter was initially booked for two nights, but those appearances have been merged into single show for 15,000 fans on June 29 at Saussaz stadium, a new venue for Montreux.

It will be the first ever open-air performance at the festival, better known for the intimacy and superb sound quality of its concert hall settings.

Janet Jackson, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, will perform days after the 10th anniversary of her brother Michael’s death from an overdose of an anesthetic he used as a sleep agent.

For jazz purists, multiple Grammy winner Corea brings a flamenco flavor with his Spanish Heart Band, while New Orleans trumpeters Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Terence Blanchard will open for drummer Billy Cobham, celebrating his 75th birthday.

“When you see the strong personalities booked at (the main) Stravinski Auditorium, maybe that is the guiding principle of this year … – all artists who marked a moment in music,” festival director Mathieu Jaton told Reuters.

“There is an equilibrium between legends, returning acts, (and) the young stars.”

The latter include Canadian Jessie Reyez and U.S. rapper Lizzo, in the charts with her third single “Juice” and opening for actress and singer Janelle Monae – returning after a Grammy album of the year nomination for “Dirty Computer”.

Melody Gardot is making her first appearance in the cabaret 600-seat Club. “Shotgun” singer George Ezra, who won the British Male Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards in February, moves to the main stage.

Lauryn Hill is expected to revisit Nina Simone classics and her own R&B hits.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet)

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