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Justin Timberlake says Janet won’t be part of halftime show, disappointing everyone and their Mama

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Justin Timberlake caused a national controversy when he performed the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson in 2004, and the pop singer said on Thursday not to expect his partner in crime to appear this time around.

Timberlake on Sunday will return to America’s biggest stage 14 years after a “wardrobe malfunction” overshadowed his last gig at the National Football League’s championship game.

“To be honest I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests. There’s a whole list. I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it. From NSYNC to (Jay-Z) to Chris Stapleton to Janet,” Timberlake told a news conference in Minneapolis.

“But this year… my band, the Tennessee Kids, I feel like they are my special guests and I am excited this year to rock the stage and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Timberlake infamously ripped off part of Jackson’s garment during their halftime show performance in Houston and briefly bared her breast. The incident coined the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.”

The Parents Television Council published an open letter to Timberlake on Thursday asking the 10-times Grammy winner to keep his performance, which is estimated to draw more than 100 million viewers, friendly and safe for children.

“The fallout of your performance during Super Bowl XXXVIII has left an indelible mark. You really threw us – and millions of parents who were watching with their kids,” the group wrote.

“The now-infamous wardrobe malfunction was the biggest news story for weeks, even at a time when the nation had launched into war in Iraq.”

The letter continued, “We ask you to keep the halftime show friendly and safe for the children watching, and who may be hoping to emulate you one day.”

 

Timberlake will have around 13 minutes to perform at halftime of the game between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis.

“We want everyone to have a ton of fun, that’s my main objective with the halftime show,” said Timberlake. “I like to make dance music so I hope everyone’s dancing. I think that’s the greatest thing anyone can do to express joy.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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George Clooney Donates $500,000 and Pledges to March in Student-Led Gun Control March

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Thousands of teenagers are taking matters into their own hands after last week’s shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, replaced Columbine as the deadliest high school shooting on American soil. Outspokenly unwilling to sit on their asses and wait for adults to do something to help prevent more massacres from taking place, they’re advocating for stricter gun laws and more mental health resources for treating their peers, swiftly mobilizing in a way that is commanding attention of the world.

Calls to action have spread across social media, from school walkouts to a march on Washington.

Student organizers got the surprise of their lives when George Clooney donated half-a-million dollars in support. The actor even pledged that he’d be there, alongside wife Amal.

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“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” according to their website. “No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

Other celebrities have voiced their support for the students’ efforts on social media, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Cher.

The March For Our Lives will take place on March 24.

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Haters can say it’s fake, but Justin Timberlake has No. 1 album

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Justin Timberlake snagged the No.1 Spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with “Man of the Woods,” despite harsh reviews and a Super Bowl halftime show that was deemed underwhelming on social media and by music critics.

“Man of the Woods,” Timberlake’s first studio album since 2013, sold more than 242,000 units in its first week of release, according to Nielsen Music data released on Monday.

The Billboard 200 chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).

“Man of the Woods” marks Timberlake’s fourth Billboard No.1 album and was the biggest-selling album in the U.S. since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in December 2017, Billboard said.

It debuted at No.1 after a Feb. 4 Super Bowl performance consisting mostly of Timberlake’s old hits that also featured a controversial segment featuring a huge projection of Prince, who died in 2016.

The former NSYNC singer also took heat on social media for failing to mention, or perform with, Janet Jackson after an infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance which ended with Timberlake ripping off Jackson’s top and accidentally briefly exposing her breast.

Nevertheless, the Super Bowl and halftime show were watched by some 103 million Americans on television. Nielsen Music reported last week that on-demand audio and video streams for all of the songs performed by Timberlake jumped 45 percent on the day after the game, compared to the day before.

Timberlake, best known for pop tracks like “SexyBack” and “Rock Your Body,” promoted “Man of the Woods” as a country-inspired album that took him back to his Memphis roots.

But the album had few fans among music reviewers. Esquire called it “disappointing” and “kind of embarrassing,” while USA Today said the album “can’t pull off its Americana-pop fusion.”

On the digital Billboard songs chart, which measures online single sales, Timberlake had three songs in the top 20 – “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton, “Man of the Woods,” and his 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Canadian rapper Drake took the top spot with “God’s Plan,” with more than 55,00 units sold.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Kanye West settles lawsuit of Saint Pablo tour cancellation

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Kanye West and Lloyd’s of London insurers have resolved a $10 million lawsuit over the rapper’s cancellation of his 2016 tour.

A California federal court judge on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by West’s Very Good Touring company against syndicates of Lloyd’s of London insurance markets after requests by both parties, court documents showed.

Paul Schrieffer, the attorney representing Lloyd’s, said on Thursday that the dispute “was resolved amicably” but gave no details. West’s attorney did not return a request for comment.

West sued Lloyd’s for nearly $10 million in insurance payouts after he abruptly canceled his Saint Pablo tour in November 2016 with more than 20 shows left.

His lawsuit said he canceled because he was hospitalized with a “serious, debilitating medical condition.” The nature of West’s medical issues, which followed a week of no-shows, curtailed concerts and on-stage political rants, have never been disclosed.

Lloyd’s filed a countersuit saying there were “substantial irregularities” in the rapper’s medical history and noting that its policies exclude any losses caused by the possession or use of illegal drugs, the impact of prescription drugs not used as prescribed, or the use of alcohol.

West has kept a low profile, with few public appearances, since November 2016. He and his wife Kim Kardashian last month announced the arrival of a third child, this time born to a surrogate.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by David Gregorio)

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