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Three BTS members test positive for coronavirus

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Three members of K-pop group, BTS, have been infected with the coronavirus, according to their management agency. The group are the latest celebrities to announce they tested positive amid the global spread of the omicron variant.

The boy band returned from the United States to South Korea this month where it had its debut concerts since the inception of the pandemic.

RM, 27, and Jin, 29, tested positive for the virus Saturday evening, the Big Hit Music agency said in a statement. Another member, Suga, 28, was diagnosed Friday, a day after returning from the United States, according to the agency.

The three affected members have since been in quarantine after their return from the United States and avoiding contact with any other members of the group.

RM, Jin and Suga join an accumulating list of entertainers, athletes and politicians who have declared openly that they have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Such public figures like singer Charlie Puth, tennis star Rafael Nadal and late-night host Andy Cohen including Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The agency Big Hit Music said all three BTS members who tested positive received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine in August.

RM and Suga did not display any symptoms, while Jin showed a slight fever and flu-like symptoms. They are self-isolating at home according to the country’s health policies, the agency said.

The South Korean pop group endorsed coronavirus vaccination during a speech in September at the United Nations. In November, the group travelled to Los Angeles to stage concerts and perform at the American Music Awards.

Earlier this month, Big Hit Music announced that the band members are taking an “extended period of rest,” citing the need to get “reinspired and recharge with creative energy.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

Grammy Awards 2022 reschedule date announced for April after ceremony postponed

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A rescheduled date for the upcoming Grammy Awards 2022 has now been announced, after it was previously revealed that the awards ceremony had been delayed.

The Recording Academy and broadcaster CBS announced earlier this month that this year’s event would not go ahead as planned on January 31 because of Covid-19.

They said that given the “uncertainty” surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show this month would contain “too many risks” – though no new date was given.

The rescheduled date has however now officially been revealed as April 3, with CBS teasing on social media earlier today: “New date, new location, still Music’s Biggest Night.”

The ceremony will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on CBS Television Network. The Daily Show host Trevor Noah will be master of ceremonies.

Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, has said: “We are excited to take the GRAMMYs to Las Vegas for the very first time, and to put on a world-class show.”

“From the moment we announced the postponement of the original show date, we have been inundated with heartfelt messages of support and solidarity,” he added.

The health and safety of musicians, live audiences and those involved in the ceremony was noted as the “top priority” when the event was postponed earlier this month.

Nominees in various categories this year include ABBA, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Justin Bieber.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift are among those in the running for Album Of The Year, whilst Ariana Grande, Cardi B and Kacey Musgraves are in genre-specific categories.

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Oscars 2022 will have a host for first time since 2018

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This year’s Oscars ceremony will have a host after a three-year absence.

For the first time since 2018, the awards show will be led by a yet-to-be-named host. The telecast is set to air on March 27 on ABC.

The announcement was made on Tuesday January 11 by Craig Erwich, President of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, during the winter Television Critics Association virtual press tour. He provided no details. “It might be me,” he joked.

Ratings for the telecast have fallen in recent years. Viewership of other awards shows also has declined.

The Academy awards last had a host in 2018 in the shape of Jimmy Kimmel before the following year was plagued by controversy after resurfaced homophobic jokes and tweets caused Kevin Hart to stand down.

The 2019 telecast saw a rise in viewers, up from 26.6 million to 29.5 million but subsequent years have seen a consistent fall with 2021’s ceremony plummeting to an all-time low of 10.4 million.

After last year’s COVID-affected ceremony was held at Union Station, this year will see the Oscars return to the Dolby Theatre. The Girls Trip and Ride Along producer Will Packer has been named executive producer for the night.

Nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Feb. 8.

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Jazz and R&B musician, James Mtume dies at 76

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James Mtume, a percussionist who performed in Miles Davis’ seminal fusion band from 1971 to 1975 and later had hits with his own eponymous group, has died at the age 76.

Lisa Lucas, the daughter of Mtume’s late creative partner Reggie Lucas,took to Twitter this morning to confirm the passing of the musician.

“So much loss. So much grief. Rest in power to Uncle Mtume. My late fathers partner in crime, the co-creator of the songs of my life (and about my birth!). He was essential part of the life of the man who made me, therefore me too. Gone now. He will be dearly, eternally missed,” Lucas wrote.

There is no cause of death at the time of reporting.

The American jazz musician appeared on 80 albums with a wide variety of other notable musicians, including Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Roberta Flack, and Lonnie Liston Smith

Mtume was born James Heath Jr., the son of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath, in Philadelphia. He was raised by his mother Bertha Forman and pianist James “Hen Gates” Forman, who played in Charlie Parker’s band. 

In 1978 Mtume formed his self-named “sophistifunk” R&B-jazz ensemble with Lucas and vocalist Tawatha Agee, releasing the albums “Kiss This World Goodbye” (1978), “In Search of the Rainbow Seekers” (1980), “Juicy Fruit” (1983), “You, Me and He” (1984, also the title of their second biggest single), and “Theater of the Mind” (1986).

After the band split in the late 1980s, Mtume maintained his profile in activist causes as well as music, working as a producer on such projects as Mary J. Blige‘s 1997 “Share My World” album, K-Ci and Jo-Jo’s “Love Always” and R. Kelly’s “Freak Tonight,” along with working as an on-air radio personality for New York City’s KISS 98.7 FM.

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