Elton John took the stage at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a sequined-studded baseball uniform as the world’s biggest pop star 47 years ago on Sunday night, dressed in a bedazzled Dodgers bathrobe, a uniform more fitting for a 75-year-old man on the verge of retirement.
The crowd of more than 50,000 erupted, which occurred in the final minutes of John’s final North American tour.
He stated, “I want to spend time with my family because I’ll be 76 next year.” “I want to show you why I’m retiring by bringing them out.”
He embraced and kissed his husband, David Furnish, while his two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Elijah, waved gleefully at the crowd in matching Dodgers jackets with “Elton” on the back.
The inevitable final song that gave the tour its name, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” was then performed by John.
The crowd, full of rocket men and rocket women, blue jean babies and LA ladies, many John’s age but plenty in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, swayed and sang along to songs like “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” throughout the two-hour show. Some wiped away their tears.
Many were dressed up in sequins and spangles, sparkling spectacles, top hats, feather boas, and, in a few cases, Donald Duck suits, representing different eras of John’s 55-year career.
“Thank you all for dressing up,” John said, “it makes me so happy when you all wear the best costumes.”
When the last song finished, John removed his robe to reveal another retirement outfit, a green-and-red tracksuit, and climbed into a small, clear elevator that lifted him into a gap in the backdrop.
On a massive video screen, he could then be seen walking down a yellow brick road in the distance. Many others came to support Elton John on this special day.
Kiki Dee performed their duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
“This woman was here with me in 1975, and we sang this song,” John explained as he brought out Dee. “I invited her to recreate that incredible moment.”
As his rehearsal piano player Adam Chester pounded the keys in his place, John jumped from his usual keyboard spot, grabbed a mic, and sang and danced with Dee.
In honour of the four bandmates who died during his career, John performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” After the first verse, he introduced another guest, shouting, “ladies and gentlemen, Brandi Carlile!”
The moment was an unspoken tribute to another late collaborator, George Michael, who performed the song with Elton John in the same way in 1991.
Carlile, who played an important role in Joni Mitchell’s recent return to the stage, was dressed in her Dodger-themed spangled suit. As John wrapped his arm around her and soaked in the applause, she belted out her verses and made a “can you believe this?!” face to the crowd.
A drum machine pounded as Dua Lipa, dressed in a black gown that contrasted with everyone else’s sparkles, took the stage for the first of the encores, “Cold Heart,” her 2021 hit with John.
“I can’t tell you how it feels to be 75 years old and have the world’s No. 1 record,” John said afterwards. “And 52 years ago, this was my very first hit.”
He began playing piano chords and sang, “It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside,” the opening line to “Your Song” from the 1970s.
“That was your song, Los Angeles!” Elton John exclaimed.
He explained the city’s significance to his music about two hours earlier, after taking the stage in a tuxedo with sequins that flared into a flame design and opening the concert with “Benny and the Jets.”
“All right, this is a very special, emotional night for me, and it’s been a long journey, and I first came here to America in 1970 to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, and I played a club called the Troubadour.”
The concert, live streamed on Disney+, was the last of three nights at the stadium (and his 103rd show in the LA area, he told the crowd). The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour kicked off in September 2018 with the first of over 300 planned dates. It was halted in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic but resumed in 2021.
John will travel to Australia and New Zealand in January, followed by the United Kingdom and Europe. He’s scheduled to finish in Sweden in July, but he’s made it clear that he’s only done travelling and not making music.
Many of those backing him up have been with him since the beginning, including Nigel Olsson, his drummer since 1969, and Davey Johnstone, his guitarist since 1971, who led the band through a ripping version of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” at the age of 71.
John also gave a rare on-stage glimpse of an even more long-running collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin, who wrote most of the lyrics that the audience sang along with all night.
“We’ve been writing together since 1967,” John said as he hugged Taupin, who, with his bald head and plain, earth-toned coat, couldn’t be more dissimilar to his writing partner. “We still love each other more than we ever have.”
Russell Brand Speaks Out for the First Time Since Sex Allegations
Russell Brand says it’s been a “extraordinary and distressing” week following allegations of rape and sexual abuse against him.
He thanked fans for their support and for “questioning the information that you’ve been presented with” in a video posted on social media.
They are his first public comments since the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches reported charges about him last weekend.
Russell Brand has refuted the allegations.
Four women accused Brand of sexual assaults and rape between 2006 and 2013, according to a collaborative investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
Brand disputed the charges prior to their publication, claiming that his encounters were “always consensual.”
The actor and comedian did not explicitly address the allegations in his three-minute video on Friday, but he did make statements about “media corruption and censorship” and “deep state and corporate collusion.”
He claimed he would post a longer film on the video streaming site Rumble on Monday, citing the platform’s “clear commitment to free speech.”
Rumble said earlier this week that it would not “join a cancel culture mob” in response to a question from a UK Parliament inquiry on whether it would slash Brand’s salary in the wake of the claims.
Four women filed claims against Russell Brand in the Sunday Times, Times, and Channel 4 investigation:
One woman claims Brand raped her against a wall in his Los Angeles home without using a condom. She claims Brand tried to stop her leaving until she told him she needed to use the loo. She was treated at a rape crisis centre on the same day, according to medical records obtained by the BBC.
A second woman in the United Kingdom claims Russell Brand assaulted her when he was in his early 30s and she was still in school. She claims he referred to her as “the child” during a controlling and emotionally abusive relationship. In retrospect, she claims he “engaged in grooming behaviours.”
A third woman claims that while working with Brand in Los Angeles, he sexually attacked her. She claims she constantly ordered Brand to get off her, and when he finally did, he “flipped” and became “super angry.” He allegedly threatened her with legal action if she notified anybody else about her claim.
The fourth woman claims Brand sexually assaulted her in the UK and was physically and emotionally hostile to her.
Another woman accused Brand this week of exposing himself to her and then laughing about it on his BBC radio show in 2008.
YouTube has barred Brand’s channels from receiving money from advertisements for “violating” the platform’s “creator responsibility policy.” It stated that it was acting “to protect” its users.
In recent years, he has repositioned himself, regularly sending videos to his online fans on spirituality, anti-establishment politics, and, most lately, UFOs.
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BTS Member Suga Begins Alternative 18 Month Military Service In South Korea
SEOUL, South Korea – Suga, a member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, began his mandatory military service as a social service representative on Friday, an alternative form of military service in South Korea.
Suga, age 30, became the third member of the group to begin performing military duties. The remaining two, Jin and J-Hope, are already serving in active duty at army bases.
“I will faithfully serve and return… Please remain healthy and we’ll see you all in 2025!” Suga wrote in a message posted to the Weverse online fan community.
Big Hit Music, the management agency for BTS, reported that Suga began commuting to a workplace designated under the alternative military service system.
Due to threats from North Korea, all able-bodied males in South Korea must serve in the army, navy, or air force for 18 to 21 months under a conscription system. For 21 months, individuals with physical and mental impairments can perform their duties at non-military facilities such as welfare centers, community service organizations, and post offices.
Local media reported that Suga’s alternative service in 2020 was presumably related to shoulder surgery.
Suga, a member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, began his mandatory military service as a social service representative on Friday.
Active duty soldiers must complete five weeks of fundamental military training at boot camps before beginning service. According to the Military Manpower Administration, those performing alternative service must complete three weeks of basic military training and have the option to choose when to do so.
Unknown was the facility where Suga began serving. In a statement released earlier this week, BTS’s management agency, Bit Hit Music, asked Suga’s admirers not to visit him at work during his military service.
Big Hit Music requested that warm regards and encouragement be conveyed only in their souls. “We ask for your continued love and support for (Suga) until he completes his service and returns.”
Last year, a heated public debate erupted over whether BTS members should be exempt from their mandatory military obligations. However, the group’s administration agency ultimately reported that all seven members would meet their obligations.
South Korean law exempts athletes, classical and traditional musicians, ballet dancers, and other dancers if they have contributed to the nation’s prestige. K-pop performers do not qualify for the special exemption.
SOURCE – (AP)
Sophie Turner Sues To Force Estranged Husband Joe Jonas To Turn Over Children’s Passports
NEW YORK — On Thursday, actress Sophie Turner filed a lawsuit against her estranged spouse, pop star Joe Jonas, to compel him to turn over the passports of their two young daughters so she can take them to England.
Turner, who was served with divorce papers this month after four years of marriage to Jonas, stated in her petition that the couple intended to nurture their daughters in her home country of England. It was also stated that the girls, aged 3 and 1, “are both fully involved and integrated in all aspects of daily and cultural life in England.”
Sofie, best known for her role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” filed her petition in New York federal court under the child abduction clauses of the Hague Convention, an international treaty designed to compel the return of a child stolen from their “habitual residence.”
Sofie, 27, and Jonas, 34, reportedly agreed to raise their daughters in England and relocated there in April of this year.
During part of August and September, while Jonas began a tour with his band, the Jonas Brothers, in the United States, Turner would be working long hours filming a television series in England. Therefore, Turner stated that she and Jonas had consented for the children to travel with Jonas and a nanny.
The plan was for Turner to travel to New York to collect the children after filming concluded on September 14, but “the breakdown of the parties’ marriage happened very suddenly,” Turner said.
On Thursday, actress Sophie Turner filed a lawsuit against her estranged spouse, pop star Joe Jonas.
According to Turner, Jonas filed for divorce in Florida on September 1, and she found out about it on September 5 through the media. The couple announced on their Instagram accounts on September 6 that they had mutually decided to terminate their marriage amicably.
Turner claims that she and Jonas met on September 17 and asked him for the children’s passports so she could transport them back to England. However, Jonas refused to hand over the passports of the girls, who were born in the United States and hold dual U.S. and British citizenship.
According to the court filing, Turner temporarily houses the girls in a Manhattan hotel. The Jonas Brothers were scheduled to perform in Philadelphia and Baltimore on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Jonas stated that he is “seeking shared parenting so that the children are raised by both their mother and father” and that he is “fine with the children being raised in both the United States and the United Kingdom.”
“This is a regrettable legal dispute over a marriage that is sadly ending,” he continued. “When language like ‘abduction’ is used, it is at best deceptive and at worst a grave abuse of the legal system.”
Jonas stated that he did not startle Sophie Turner with divorce papers but instead filed for divorce after “multiple conversations with Sophie.”
Since 2005, when he and his siblings Nick and Kevin formed the Jonas siblings, Jonas has been a pop idol. He met Turner in 2016, and they wed in 2019.
SOURCE – (AP)
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