Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Spotify launches music relief project to help artists
Spotify Technology SA said on Wednesday it had launched a COVID-19 music relief project to raise funds for musicians as the coronavirus pandemic grounds life to a halt in most countries, while taking a toll on the economy. The music streaming platform, which had about 124 million paid subscribers, also partnered with non-profit organizations such as MusiCares and Help Musicians, a UK-based charity for musicians, it said in a statement.
Ugandan pop star Bobi Wine records song to beat coronavirus
A Ugandan musician and political challenger to the country's aging leader released a song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUHrck2g7Ic&feature=youtu.be on Wednesday to help efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus in the east African nation. In the song, 38 year-old Robert Kyagulanyi, who also goes by his stage name Bobi Wine, and fellow artist Nubian Li, croon to a tune laced with East Africa's signature rhumba melodies about the importance of personal hygiene.
Cannes opens its doors to homeless after coronavirus delays film festival
The Palais des Festivals should be preparing to welcome the hottest names in cinema onto its red carpet. Instead the Cannes Film Festival venue is opening its doors to the town's homeless who have nowhere to go during the coronavirus lockdown. The annual film festival in the palm-fringed French Riviera resort had been due to take place from May 12-23 but last week organisers postponed the event until late June. The festival hall opened its doors to the destitute on Friday.
In coronavirus, Senegal rappers find a new enemy to fight
Dressed in hooded medical suits and protective goggles, Senegal's activist hip-hop group Y'en a Marre rap about washing hands, disposing of used tissues and avoiding crowds in their latest release: 'Shield against Coronavirus.' The new video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06YbY1MLp4A marks a sudden change for the collective, named 'Enough is Enough' in French slang, which has a history of challenging authority, fighting social injustice - and urging Senegal's younth to hit the streets to protest the government.
The show won't go on: Tony Awards for Broadway theater postponed indefinitely
The annual Tony Awards ceremony celebrating the best in Broadway theater was postponed indefinitely on Wednesday, the latest big cultural event to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The awards ceremony had been scheduled to take place in New York City on June 7 and was to have been aired on CBS.
'Humor is healing': Laughter soothes nerves during COVID-19 trauma
Americans are employing humor as a balm to soothe nerves during the coronavirus pandemic, flocking to new Instagram stars like Quentin Quarantino and sharing Facebook memes about taking off bras and pants and putting on weight in self-quarantine. Late-night TV hosts and hometown comedians are providing a mental health safety net for Americans living amid COVID-19 trauma, and medical experts say humor is a vital part of surviving the cascading catastrophe.
Television audiences surge to 12-month highs as coronavirus keeps Americans home
From family drama "This Is Us" to crime series "NCIS," audiences are flocking to television shows in numbers unseen for up to a year as coronavirus shutdowns and social distancing keeps millions of Americans at home. Police action series "NCIS" scored its biggest audience since February 2019 on Tuesday night, attracting some 13.08 million viewers - a 22% increase over its last original broadcast on March 10, CBS said on Wednesday.
Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish to headline coronavirus benefit TV special
Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish and Tim McGraw will headline a benefit concert on Sunday, playing from their homes, to raise money to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, Fox television said on Wednesday. The one-hour special, to be hosted by Elton John and broadcast on Fox and iHeart radio stations, is the first major nationwide event in the United States to harness celebrity power to help those affected by the disease.
Coronavirus strands Peruvian singer in Finnish Arctic
When Peruvian musician Victor Alarcon set out on his dream trip to shoot a music video in the Finnish Arctic for his single called 'Aurora Boreal' (Northern Lights), he did not expect the coronavirus outbreak to leave him stranded there for a month. Alarcon got to make the video of him singing and playing his guitar under the Northern Lights, but he is now having to live on a credit card, hoping his rebooked flight home to Duesseldorf, Germany, next week will not get canceled again.
Broadway playwright Terrence McNally dies of coronavirus complications
Tony award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, known for plays like "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and for musical version of "Kiss of the Spider Woman," died on Tuesday of complications related to the coronavirus, his representative said. Matt Polk said McNally, 81, died in a hospital in Florida. The Broadway theater veteran was a lung cancer survivor and had lived with a chronic respiratory condition.