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Billie Eilish to become youngest solo Glastonbury headliner

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Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish to become youngest solo Glastonbury headliner

Billie Eilish will be the youngest solo artist ever to headline Glastonbury festival when she tops the bill on Friday night next year.

The 19-year-old pop icon teased the news on her Instagram, posting a photograph of herself grinning in a Glastonbury hoodie, captioned “2022”.

The festival co-organiser Emily Eavis said she “couldn’t be happier” to confirm the news: “This feels like the perfect way for us to return and I cannot wait!”

Eilish made her Glastonbury debut in 2019, performing to a jam-packed Other stage on the Sunday afternoon after her set was upgraded from a slot on the John Peel stage. During her set, she lamented that she would never be able to experience the festival as a punter: “This looks fun to go to – I would love to go to this shit, my God.”

Earlier this year she released her second album, Happier Than Ever, to widespread acclaim. Eilish’s lyrics commented on the difficulties of her extreme fame, including maintaining personal and romantic relationships and trusting others, and frequently explored a softer, more classic sound indebted to Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra than her frequently abrasive debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, released in 2019.

Eilish will be 20 years and six months old when she headlines the festival. The youngest performer ever to headline Glastonbury was Mark Hamilton of UK band Ash, who was approximately 20 years and three months old when the group replaced Steve Winwood as headliner in 1997. Ash frontman Tim Wheeler was 20 years and five months.

Eilish is the first headliner to be announced for the 2022 festival – which Glastonbury organisers are counting on being a successful comeback after Covid led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events. Equinox, a mooted one-day event for September 2020, was also pulled. Instead, the festival ran a family campsite on Worthy Farm.

Billie Eilish: Bury a Friend (live at Glastonbury 2019) – video
In August, festival founder Michael Eavis said he was confident that some acts from the planned 2020 lineup would return. Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar were due to headline.

The festival remains sold out, with 2020 tickets rolled over to the next viable event. The organisers recently put on sale slots for campervans and pre-erected tents, auguring a hopeful outcome for next year.

After the government’s test event scheme permitted festivals including Latitude and Download to go ahead earlier this summer, large-scale music events were allowed to resume – assuming they could afford the risk of proceeding without a government-backed insurance scheme.

Such a scheme was finally implemented in August, pronounced by many in the live music sector to be “too late”. The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) had estimated that a quarter of festivals with a capacity of more than 5,000 people had already been cancelled because of government inaction on event insurance.

More than 5,000 Covid cases were linked to Boardmasters, a music and extreme sports festival taking place in Newquay; there were no such reports of a surge following the Reading and Leeds festivals in August.

Eilish also made headlines this weekend for a performance in Texas, at which she protested the state’s near-total abortion laws, which bans terminations at six weeks once embryonic cardiac activity is detected.

“I’m sick and tired of old men,” Eilish told the crowd at Austin City Limits on 2 October. “Shut the fuck up about our bodies.

“When they made that shit a law, I almost didn’t want to do the show, because I wanted to punish this fucking place for allowing that to happen here. But then, I remembered that it’s you guys that are the fucking victims, and you deserve everything in the world.”

She raised her middle finger and declared: “My body, my fucking choice.”

The Biden administration is legally challenging the bill.

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Grammys add new categories, including songwriter of the year

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Grammys add new categories, including songwriter of the year

The Grammys are adding a special song for social change award and five new categories including songwriter of the year, giving the Recording Academy an avenue to honor music’s best composer.

The academy announced Thursday that the new non-classical songwriter category will recognize one individual who was the “most prolific” non-performing and non-producing songwriter for a body of new work during an eligibility year. The category is taking a different approach than song of the year, which awards the songwriter or songwriters who wrote the lyrics or melodies to one song.

“This new category is truly for an expert person at the songwriting craft,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr told The Associated Press. Songwriters must have written a minimum of five songs in which they are credited “solely” as a songwriter or co-writer.

“Somebody who writes their own music and records it would not be eligible,” he said. “They would have to be doing songs for others. We want to highlight the craft of writing songs professionally for artists.”

“Songwriters are at the heart of our business and industry,” he said. “Nothing happens without songwriters. For us, this was a no brainer. It’s in alignment with all the changes. We thought, ‘How can we do more? Showcase more people and be more inclusive to different genres?’”

The new category is another huge step for songwriters. Last year, a rule update allowed that any songwriter, producer, engineer or featured artist on an album nominated for album of the year could ultimately earn a nomination.

The four other categories include best spoken word poetry album, alternative music performance, Americana music performance and score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media.

The academy created a special merit award that determines best song for social change. The award will be based on lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes “understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.”

“It’s always the right time to recognize music that’s changing the world,” he said. “I think it deserves a special recognition. These songs are important and impactful. We want to make sure we’re honoring and celebrating that artform. This is a great way to do that.”

Mason said it was yearlong process of accepting proposals to make changes, additions and updates from music creators and professionals that make up the membership body.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee kicks off with pomp

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee kicks off with pomp

Four days of celebrations honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne got underway Thursday with a display of British military traditions stretching from the days of horse and cannon to the jet age.

Formal celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee began with Trooping the Color, an annual military review that has marked the sovereign’s official birthday since 1760. The queen is expected to join the working members of her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the event, when 70 aircraft are set to roar overhead.

The jubilee is being commemorated with a four-day holiday weekend. The celebration of Elizabeth’s reign includes a service of thanksgiving Friday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a concert at Buckingham Palace on Saturday and a pageant staged by thousands of performers drawn from schools and community groups around the country on Sunday afternoon.

Throughout the weekend, neighborhood organizations and individuals are expected to hold thousands of street parties around the country, repeating a tradition that began with the queen’s coronation in 1953.

The 96-year-old queen is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach the milestone of seven decades on the throne. The jubilee is giving many people — even those often indifferent to the monarchy — a chance to reflect on the state of the nation and the huge changes that have taken place during her reign.

Former Prime Minister John Major — one of the 14 prime ministers of the queen’s reign — said the monarch’s stoic presence had helped steer the country over the decades,

“The queen has represented our better selves for over 70 years,” he told the BBC.

In a written jubilee message, the queen thanked people in Britain and across the Commonwealth involved in organizing the celebrations. For many, the occasion is the first opportunity for a big bash since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than two years ago.

“I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions,” Elizabeth said.

“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm,” she said.

Congratulations arrived from world leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron called Elizabeth “the golden thread that binds our two countries” and one of “very few constants” on the international stage.

“You are our friend, such a close ally, our example of service to others,” Macron told the queen in an English-language video message.

The name of the long weekend’s first event, Trooping the Color, refers to a regimental flag, or “color,” that is trooped through the ranks. Britain’s annual tradition for the queen’s birthday is a ceremonial reenactment of the way battle flags were once shown to soldiers to make sure they would recognize a crucial rallying point if they became disoriented in combat.

The troops taking part come from the army’s Household Division, composed of the seven regiments that perform ceremonial duties for the queen. Their members are fully trained soldiers and often deployed overseas when not on ceremonial duty.

Each year a different unit has the honor of trooping its color. The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards will have the spotlight during the Platinum Jubilee.

Thousands of people, some of whom camped overnight, lined the parade route — many of them sporting Union Jack flags, party hats or plastic tiaras.

Carly Martin, who caught a late-night bus from south London with her daughter, said she had come “to make memories.”

“You’re never going to see this again in your lifetime,” she said. “At least not in mine, maybe not in my daughter’s. … Seventy years — it is all I have ever known.”

Several protesters were arrested after getting past barriers and onto the parade route. The group Animal Rebellion claimed responsibility, saying the protesters were “demanding that royal land is reclaimed.”

Cheers and the clop of hooves rang out as horse-drawn carriages carried members of the royal family, including Prince William’s wife, Kate, and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade, a ceremonial parade ground about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away.

The queen is expected to appear twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, but Prince Charles is playing play a key role during the event. Mounted on horseback, he will take the salute from ranks of scarlet-clad Guards on his mother’s behalf, along with his sister, Princess Anne, and his son Prince William.

Elizabeth has had trouble getting around of late, and her courtiers have been careful to keep make things as simple for her as possible.

Senior royals including Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, traveled in carriages to watch the ceremony from a building overlooking the parade ground.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join other royals to watch the spectacle. Harry and Meghan have traveled from their home in California to take part in the celebrations.

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Buhari congratulates Bishop Okpaleke on appointment as Pope’s Cardinal

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Buhari congratulates Bishop Okpaleke on appointment as Pope’s Cardinal

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday expressed happiness over the appointment of Bishop Peter Okpaleke of Ekwulobia Diocese, Anambra State, as a Cardinal in the Catholic Church by Pope Francis.

In a statement signed late Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari commended the Pope for finding a capable Nigerian in the person of Bishop Okpaleke to be one of the two nominees from the African continent.

The statement is titled ‘President Buhari welcomes appointment of Bishop Okpaleke as 4th cardinal from Nigeria.’

According to Shehu, President Buhari also “congratulated the Nigerian Christian Community on this choice, describing the Cardinal-designate as ably qualified, and that having him in that position will benefit the country.”

The statement partly read, “The President also commended the commitment of the Catholic Church to the unity, peace, and progress of the Nigerian state. He also highlighted the effort of the Church in combating the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its support and commitment in favour of the poor and most vulnerable members of the society.”

Bishop Okpaleke becomes the fourth Cardinal from Nigeria. Others before him are Francis Arinze, Anthony Okogie and John Onaiyekan. He is among the 21 new Cardinals Pope Francis announced on May 29.

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