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Billie Eilish to become youngest solo Glastonbury headliner

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.

Entertainment

Kanayo O Kanayo calls out teen actress, Angel Unigwe, mother over alleged breach of contract

Veteran Nollywood actor and producer, Kanayo O. Kanayo, has called out teen actress, Angel Unigwe, and her mother over an alleged breach of contract.

The filmmaker claimed that Unigwe breached a filming contract with his production firm after her mother came and took her home before the expiration of the duration of the contract.

He called on Nollywood producers to boycott the teen actress, threatening that he would come to disrupt any shoot involving her.

Speaking in a video message shared via his Instagram page on Friday, Kanayo said, “A particular woman has been holding producers to ransom. And this is unfortunate; it has happened to me. Unfortunately, she is Angel Unigwe’s mother. A contract is reached by every producer, whether written or orally. But we found out that immediately after this woman takes money from you, everything changes. I’ve gotten reports from people before it happened to me.

“It happened last night that she took her daughter at 9 pm, when a particular day we agreed had not expired. 12 midnight is expiring into another day. She came and took her daughter at 9 pm.

“This is a clarion call for every producer. Please, I beg you, in the name of professionalism and all that unites us, from this moment, the 21st day of June 2024, any set that employs the services of Angel Unigwe, I will come to that set and make sure filming does not hold. You guys know what it is for an artiste to walk out on a set. There was no issue. I want to assure all of you, we had very good working relationship with Angel. [But] Her mother has been threatening many producers. So please, from this moment on, I will monitor every filming schedule. Any set where I found Angel Unigwe would be disrupted.”

Angel Unigwe has not yet responded to the allegations and neither has her mother.

 

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Entertainment

Mohbad’s family rejects autopsy report, seeks proper investigation

The legal team representing the family of Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad has expressed dissatisfaction with the toxicology test results concerning the late singer.

The legal practitioners Wahab Shittu SAN and Taiwo Odumosu, Esq., in a press statement jointly signed, faulted the handling of the procedures, adding that it raised serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into Mohbad’s death.

The family also challenged the Lagos State Government to confirm the autopsy’s authenticity because of the public’s doubts and conflicting reports.

Recalled that a US-based lab had refuted the claim by the Lagos State Government that the toxicology test was conducted at its facility.

The revelation was in response to inquiries made by our correspondent, who embarked on a fact-finding mission to ascertain the musician’s cause of death.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, while responding to inquiries via a live telephone call with Ahmad Isah, the anchor of an Abuja-based online programme, Brekete Family, sometime in February 2024, had said the toxicology test was being conducted at the NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, USA.

However, a pathologist, while testifying before the Coroner’s Court on May 15, revealed that an autopsy couldn’t determine Mohbad’s cause of death due to the decomposition of his body.

While citing the report, Shittu stated that the silence that followed from the government made a review of the toxicology test a necessity.

Shittu, who claimed there were discrepancies regarding the involvement of NMS Labs alleged that the letterhead and address of the facility appeared on the toxicology report despite conflicting statements from the laboratory regarding their actual role in the testing process.

He said, “We, the legal representatives of the Aloba Family, express our projfound dissatisfaction and disappointment with the recent announcement regarding the toxicology test results of the late Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, which have been declared ‘inconclusive’ by the pathologist.

“This outcome is entirely unacceptable to us and the Aloba Family and raises serious concerns about the integrity and thoroughness of the investigation by the police and the medical team into the untimely death of their beloved son, brother, and friend. The Aloba family and, indeed, the whole world demand to know where the toxicology test was carried out as this has impugned the integrity.

“Following the news report in the Punch Newspaper of 31 May 2024 titled ‘US Lab Denies Conducting Poison Test on Mohbad’ and the silence that followed from the government, a review of the toxicology test must be necessary. The legal team wonders how the letterhead and the address of the National Medical Services Laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA appeared on the toxicology test report if the test was not truly carried out in the USA.

“The legal team is puzzled more given the discrepancies in the further response given by the NMS laboratories ascribing the test to another sister laboratory.

“The conflict of interest that bothers on professional integrity. The public is interested in knowing the relationship between the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Laboratory, NMS in the USA and ITSI Biosciences who allegedly completed the toxicology test on behalf of the Lagos State government.”

While describing Mohbad as a vibrant and promising young individual whose sudden demise left an indelible void, Shittu said the declaration of the autopsy as ‘inconclusive’ failed to provide the clarity needed and undermined the public as well as his family’s faith in the investigative process.

The legal team however demanded a fresh examination of the toxicology samples by an independent and reputable forensic laboratory, ensuring transparency throughout.

The team also called for a thorough review of testing protocols to prevent procedural errors or contamination, just as it urged the involvement of international forensic experts to oversee and validate the re-examination process.

It insisted on complete transparency in sharing all findings and reports related to the toxicology tests, urging expedited efforts to re-examine the samples and deliver definitive answers promptly.

Furthermore, the legal team criticised the Nigeria Police for what they deemed insufficient effort in the investigation while calling for the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

“The Aloba Family remains steadfast in their pursuit of truth and justice for Ilerioluwa. They deserve clear, definitive answers regarding the cause of his death, and it is the responsibility of the investigative bodies to provide them with such clarity. The current ‘inconclusive’ results only serve to prolong their agony and uncertainty, which is both unfair and unjust.

“Considering the Coroner Inquest, we appeal to the presiding Magistrate to ensure that an independent toxicology report is submitted to the Coroner’s Court before submitting the final report to the authorities.

“Presently, we have an application before the Coroner Court seeking approval to conduct an independent autopsy and toxicology test. We call on the presiding magistrate in the matter to expedite a hearing on the independent autopsy and toxicology application. That is the only way justice can be served in this case,” the statement added.

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Entertainment

Chairman Evergreen music, Femi Esho dies at 77

Legendary music promoter and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Musical Company Limited, Femi Esho, has died at the age of 77.

Esho who was born on October 29, 1946, died in Lagos on Monday during a brief illness.

A press statement by the family on Tuesday, signed by Mr Bunmi Esho, announced the legend’s death.

“We announce the passing unto glory of our Patriarch, Mr Samuel Babafemi Esho popularly known and referred to as “Baba Esho”, Baba Musician, etc.

“Baba Esho departed to greater glory on Monday 17th June 2024 after a brief illness at the age of 77 years.

“Baba Esho until his demise was the Chairman of the Evergreen Musical Company as well as the Founder of the Evergreen Music Heritage Foundation.

“Baba Esho was a mentor and “encyclopedia” to many ‘Highlife music aficionados.

He will be remembered as one who gave so much of himself to see to the “immortality” of the musical works of Nigerian Highlife, Juju, Sakara, Apala, Afrobeat and a crop of other Nigerian/African genres of Indigenous music,” the statement read.

The family added that burial arrangements would be announced in due course.

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