New this week: 'The Sea Beast,' early Elton John, 'Maggie'
This week’s new entertainment releases include two lost albums from rock superstars Neil Young and Elton John, more than two dozen contestants of reality shows like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and “Big Brother” facing off in the contest “The Challenge: USA,” and Netflix’s “The Sea Beast” brings a “Moby Dick”-like tale down to kid size.
Former Trump casino where stars played goes out with a bang
The former Trump Plaza casino was imploded after falling into such disrepair that chunks of the building began peeling off and crashing to the ground. “I got chills,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said. AdOpened in 1984, when Trump was a real estate developer in his pre-politics days, Trump Plaza was for a time the most successful casino in Atlantic City. AdBut things began to sour for Trump Plaza when Donald Trump opened the nearby Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, with crushing debt loads that led the company to pour most of its resources — and cash — into the shiny new hotel and casino. Trump Plaza was the last of four Atlantic City casinos to close in 2014, victims of an oversaturated casino market both in the New Jersey city and in the larger northeast.
Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks dies at 67
Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks Jr. died Friday night, Feb. 5, 2021, after battling prostate and other cancers. A lovable heavyweight with a drinking problem, Spinks beat Ali by decision in a 15-round fight in 1978 to win the title. It wasn’t that Ali wasn’t at his best, but Leon shocked everybody with how good Leon was.”Suddenly, Spinks was the heavyweight champion of the world at the age of 25. After discovering boxing both brothers became top amateurs, culminating in the 1976 Olympics where Leon won the light heavyweight gold and Michael won the middleweight gold. After moving to Las Vegas, Spinks was married to Brenda Glur Spinks in 2011.
PBS chief defends filmmaker Ken Burns, touts diversity
FILE - Ken Burns, director of the PBS documentary series "Country Music," takes part in a panel discussion during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on July 29, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Speaking Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, to the Television Critics Association in a virtual Q&A, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger rejected a filmmakers claim that public TVs long relationship with Burns has come at the expense of diversity. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)LOS ANGELES – The chief executive of PBS rejected a filmmaker’s argument that public TV's 40-year relationship with documentarian Ken Burns has come at the expense of diversity. “We create lots of opportunities for many filmmakers,” Kerger said. "The stuff that’s coming up is incredibly diverse in every sense of the meaning of that word,” Burns said.
Chadwick Boseman earns 2 nominations for NAACP Image Awards
This image released by Netflix shows Michael Potts, from left, Chadwick Boseman and Colman Domingo in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Boseman was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for outstanding actor in a motion picture for his performance in the film. Boseman was also nominated in the supporting actor in a motion picture for his role in the SPike Lee film "Da 5 Bloods." (David Lee/Netflix via AP)LOS ANGELES – With his final two performances, the late Chadwick Boseman earned two NAACP Image Awards nominations Tuesday, while “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” could make its presence felt at next month’s ceremony. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” came away with nine nominations.
'Never Rarely' tops Spirit Awards, 'Da 5 Bloods' leads NBRs
The film was nominated for seven Independent Film Spirit Awards including one for best feature. The 36th annual Spirit Awards, like most awards shows during the pandemic, are adjusting to the difficult circumstances. Eliza Hittman's “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” a Pennsylvania's teen's odyssey in getting an abortion, racked up nominations for best feature film, best director and best female lead for Sidney Flanigan. Chloe Zhoe's “Nomadland,” starring Frances McDormand, scored five nods, including best feature, best director and best female lead for McDormand. None of the nominees for best feature film were directed by a white male.
Brazilian soccer great Pelé turns 80, isolated at home
(AP Photo, File)SAO PAULO – Brazilian soccer great Pelé turns 80 on Friday, but the celebration will have to wait. He also has residences in Santos and Sao Paulo. But the Paris Saint-Germain striker trails far behind when it comes to World Cup titles, which Pelé won in 1958, 1962 and 1970. The Brazilian received the most votes from members of the soccer body, while the Argentine prevailed in an online vote. That was also part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup triumph, which was for many the greatest moment of Pelé’s decorated career.
Herbert Kretzmer, lyricist of Les Miserables, dead at 95
LONDON – Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo's classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris. Until a young British producer by the name of Cameron Mackintosh invited Kretzmer to tea in June 1984 and his life changed. Though the expanded English version of Les Miserables — it was never Les Mis for Kretzmer — had mixed reviews at the start, it would soon become one of the biggest successes of 20th century theater.
Laila Ali salutes social activism of athletes with awards
NEW YORK – Laila Ali is applauding athletes who speak out about social issues. Ali was to host the virtual Women’s Sports Foundation awards on Wednesday night, recognizing athletes and leaders working toward social justice and racial equality. “I think all people should take a stand,” Ali told The Associated Press. What are your thoughts on athletes taking a stand on social justice issues? I think my dad would definitely have something positive to say about the athletes that are taking a stand.
Regina King introduces 'One Night in Miami' to Oscars race
The Oscar-winning actor, who sat in the director’s chair for “One Night in Miami,” wished she could pose with her cast and give them hugs. But with the pandemic scuttling travel plans, she was settling for a virtual appearance that she equated to a certain television family. King, who took home a supporting actress Oscar last year for “If Beale Street Can Talk,” is getting early Hollywood awards buzz for the film. “I would talk to them individually, needing to hear that we had this similar, if not the same, expectations going into it, and all four of these men mirrored that - those expectations. She added: "I am only five-three, but I will go toe to toe with anybody who has anything to say differently.
Athlete power: Shut up and play' is tossed from the game
And to some, the odds seem greater, this time, that what the athletes are calling for might actually come to pass. We get paid to go out there and play and do our job. All this stands in stark contrast from the predominant attitude of athletes during Jordan's prime an attitude Jordan himself embodied. Among the more than four dozen Black athletes who are part of the cause are Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and Olympic champion sprinter Allyson Felix. Black athletes and celebrities have not been fully welding their power.
A flame, a look, one of the Olympics' most powerful moments
FILE - In this July 19, 1996, file photo, American swimmer Janet Evans passes the Olympic flame to Muhammad Ali during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)ATLANTA EDITORS With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 1996 Atlanta Games, where Muhammad Ali provided the greatest moment before the competition even began. ___Less than 24 hours before the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, at a secretive midnight practice run, Janet Evans finally got the word. As the last host city to rely mainly on private funding, Atlanta faced griping that its commercial backers made the event look more like a tacky county fair than the Summer Olympics.
Cold War rivalries split the Olympics in Moscow in 1980
Here are some of the highlights of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. The Cold War made for decades of tense Olympic battles between the United States and the Soviet Union. Four years later, the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as retaliation. The Soviet war in Afghanistan rumbled on through the 1980 Olympics. Barely a decade later, the Soviet Union would be a thing of the past as it fractured into 15 newly independent countries.
Toronto sets lineup, Regina King to debut Muhammad Ali film
This combination photo shows actor-director Werner Herzog, left, and actress-director Regina King. The Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday unveiled a lineup featuring the directorial debut of Regina King and the latest documentary from Herzog. Toronto, which is set to run Sept. 10-19, has plotted a largely virtual 45th edition due to the pandemic. In normal years, TIFF is the largest film festival in North America. Some of the films will play first at the much smaller Venice Film Festival the week prior in September.
The ESPYS focus on honors, pandemic and racial justice
Love received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY Awards on Sunday, June 21, 2020, for sparking a national conversation about mental health. The focus of Sunday night's show on ESPN was hope and inspiration in the time of coronavirus. Two years ago, he wrote an online essay detailing his struggles with mental health, including having a panic attack during a game. As a result, other athletes and fans began sharing details of their own mental health challenges and sharing resources on how to get help. During the COVID-19 crisis, he's shared tips on how to cope with the stress and isolation caused by the pandemic.
Conor McGregor makes 3rd retirement announcement in 4 years
Conor McGregor has announced his retirement for the third time in four years. McGregor abruptly made his latest dubious declaration Sunday morning on his Twitter account, where the former two-division UFC champion also announced his retirement in 2016 and 2019. Hey guys Ive decided to retire from fighting, McGregor wrote in a caption below a photo of him and his mother. If Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement, White said. McGregor made his first Twitter retirement announcement in April 2016 during a spat with the UFC over promotion of his rematch with Nate Diaz.
Colin Kaepernick has more support now, still long way to go
FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to take a stand against police brutality and racial injustice in 2016, he was mostly alone. Global opinion has shifted so much that more people are now vilifying those who attack Kaepernick or misrepresent his stance. I have had many people attempt to discourage our support of Colin, which is unthinkable to me. He is encouraged because more folks support Kaepernicks movement but realizes theres a long way to go.
'The Masked Singer': The Panda Speaks! Laila Ali on 'Conquering' Her Fears of
On Wednesday's episode of The Masked Singer, the latest celebrity singer was unmasked and it was none other than Laila Ali, championship boxer and daughter of legend Muhammad Ali. Competing on Masked Singer (something that almost happened in season one) was an opportunity to "conquer my fears," she says. What was it like being shrouded in secrecy during your time on Masked Singer? The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. RELATED CONTENT:'The Masked Singer': Clues, Spoilers, Our Best Guesses At the Secret Identities of Season 2's New Cast'The Masked Singer': Johnny Weir Dishes on Living His 'Pop Star Dream' and Picking His Costume (Exclusive)'The Masked Singer' Premiere: The Biggest Clues, Best Performances and Surprise Celeb Reveals
Toronto Raptors Become First NBA Team to Sell Branded Hijabs
The current reigning NBA champions are looking to make their fan base more inclusive. The Toronto Raptors say they will start selling hijabs featuring the teams logo, according to Global News. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Raptors, says the inspiration came from a local Muslim organization called the Hijabi Ballers. The women worked with MLSE to design the Nike Pro hijabs. The move also makes the Raptors the first NBA team in history to sell athletic hijabs for Muslim women.
On this day: September 18
2013: Former boxing champion Ken Norton, who rose to the top of the boxing world in 1973 by outdueling Muhammad Ali, dies at age 70 in Henderson, Nevada. Norton had been in poor health for several years after sustaining a series of strokes. He was best known for his 12-round victory over Ali on March 31, 1973, when he famously broke Ali's jaw. Norton and Ali would fight twice more, with Ali narrowly winning both return bouts. Norton lost the WBC title in his first defense of it, a 15-round split decision loss to Larry Holmes in 1978.