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98 Degrees movie would be very fun: Jeff Timmons

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Jeff Timmons

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) American singer Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees is not sure about a movie on the Grammy-nominated vocal harmonising group, but he feels that if it is ever made then it will be “very fun”.

Be it fiction or documentation of their meteoric rise and personal lives, pop groups like the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and One Direction have at least one movie each.

But the 98 Degrees, which was formed back in the 90s with Timmons, Justin Jeffre and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, is yet to get one.

“I don’t know whether there would be a 98 Degrees movie or not, although that would be very fun. I do think there will be another movie where all the bands’ members participate like the ‘Dead 7’ film. Just a blast,” Timmons told IANS in an email interview.

“Dead 7”, a 2016 American post-apocalyptic zombie horror western film, was written by the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, who also acted in the project along with his bandmates A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough.

They had joined forces with Timmons, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC and Erik-Michael Estrada from O-Town.

“I had the time of my life making that movie with those guys. We’re planning on another movie. Maybe we’ll do another song then,” he said.

Millions of 98 Degrees fans continue to swoon over their hit songs like “Give me just one night (una noche), “Invisible man” and “Because of you”. They are performing again as a quartet but there was a time when they took a break. After announcing their hiatus in 2003, they focussed on solo careers.

Timmons released first solo album “Whisper That Way” in 2004. He followed it up with “Emotional High”.

“Being an artiste in a group or solo is very difficult, but the love of the music and entertainment business makes it all worth it. I’ve been living a dream, so none of it is hard in comparison to the rewards,” said the artiste, now in his 40s.

He was also in Mumbai for a solo show earlier this week.

“98 Degrees never had the opportunity to tour India or perform there. Each time India was on the agenda, our parent label Universal was in transition, either being sold or undergoing a major staff overhaul,” he said.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to come to India, so when I was offered the opportunity to perform there, I had to take it. I didn’t have high expectations because I’m considered a new artiste to most people there,” he added.

But he was “overwhelmed with joy” to see the excitement and acceptance by the audience when he finally performed in the Indian city.

During his stay in India, he visited a few different styles of clubs and nightlife atmospheres.

“Each had different flavours of music the crowd was partying to. Main primary goal of visiting was to take in as much music as I could, and study the vibe of the scene. There is only so much you can learn by searching Google and YouTube. I got to witness what the DJs were doing with their sets, and how they infused cultural sounds into familiar pop, EDM, and dance hits.

“I also ate a lot. I gained at least five kgs in just a couple of days. Loved every second,” said the singer, who often shows off his well maintained body on stage.

Before his arrival in India, he had produced three or four tracks for collaboration. But the moment he started listening to music on the radio, he knew they were not a fit.

“I knew (Indian rapper) Badshah and his music before I came, and I am a huge fan. I was in a car ride when his song came on the radio. I figured I’d tweet him to let him know how much I respect him and his music, and that everyone in India just loves him.

“He responded that he is a fan of 98 Degrees, which is extremely flattering and humbling. I hope it’s the start of something that will actually happen. I was so inspired, that I started programming something on the plane ride home. I also became a fan of Yo Yo Honey Singh, Jenny Johal, and Diljit Dosanjh, to name a few. I would be honoured to work with any of those great talents. The pop music scene is incredible in India.”

(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at [email protected])

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Selena Gomez urges Facebook CEO to help stop spreading of hate

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Selena-Gomez

Pop star Selena Gomez has written a message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the social network’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, urging them to help stop the spread of hate on the platform ahead of the November election.

“Facebook and Instagram are being used to spread hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry,” Gomez wrote in a private message to the Facebook leadership.

The move comes barely a couple of days after reality TV star Kim Kardashian West decided to freeze her social media accounts for 24 hours on Wednesday to protest against the spread of “hate, propaganda and misinformation”.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Orlando Bloom, Kerry Washington and Sacha Baron Cohen are among those who took part in the protest.

Gomez shared the message she had sent to Zuckerberg and Sandberg with her over 193 million followers on Facebook-owned Instagram on Friday.

“I am calling you both to HELP STOP THIS. Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech violence and misinformation. Our future depends on it,” she said in her message, while also reminding them of the upcoming election.

“We cannot afford to have misinformation about voting,” she continued. “There has to be fact-checking and accountability,” the pop star said, adding that she hopes to hear back from the Facebook leadership at the earliest.

Facebook and Instagram have faced criticism from the organisers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, launched in June, which accuses the platforms of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation.


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Kangana: We need to save film industry from various terrorists

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Kangana Ranaut

 Actress Kangana Ranaut says she wants film industries of different states to have a collective identity, and claims she wants to save the industry from from terrorists such as the nepotism brigade and the drug mafia.

“People’s perception that top film industry in India is Hindi film Industry is wrong. Telugu film industry has ascended itself to the top position and now catering films to pan India in multiple languages, many hindi films being shot in Ramoji Hyderabad,” she tweeted on Saturday.

This comes after Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath reportedly said he plans to build the “biggest film city” in Uttar Pradesh.

“I applaud this announcement by @myogiadityanath ji. We need many reforms in the film industry, first of all we need one big film industry called Indian film industry.. we are divided based on many factors, Hollywood films get advantage of this. One industry but many Film Cities,” she wrote.

She went on to say that best of dubbed regional films don’t get pan-India release but dubbed Hollywood films get mainstream release, adding that the trend was “alarming”.

“Reason is the atrocious quality of most Hindi films and their monopoly over theatre screens, also media created aspirational imagine for Hollywood films,” said the Bollywood actress.

Kangana added: “We need to save the industry from various terrorists — Nepotism terrorism, Drug Mafia terrorism, Sexism terrorism, religious and regional terrorism, Foreign films terrorism, Piracy terrorism, Labourer’s exploitation terrorism and Talent exploitation terrorism”.

Tagging the Office of the Prime Minister of India, she tweeted: “Films have an ability to bring the entire nation together but
@PMOIndia let’s first please bring these many industries together who have individual identities but not a collective identity please join them together like Akhand Bharat and we will make it number one in the world.”

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Bollywood wishes Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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Shabana Azmi

Mumbai, Sep 18 : Wishes and greetings poured in from B-Towners for veteran actress Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday. Bollywood celebrities took to their verified social media accounts on Friday to share good wishes for the multiple National Award-winning actress.

Hrithik Roshan tweeted: “Happiest Birthday @AzmiShabana aunty! You’re one of the most loving and caring person I have had the pleasure of knowing. Your objectivity and outlook is a source of inspiration. Lots of love & respect.”

Anil Kapoor wrote: “Happy 70th Birthday, @AzmiShabana! Thank you for always being my friend, guiding light and inspiration! Wishing you all the health & happiness always! Lots of love.”

Shilpa Shetty shared on Instagram Story: “Wish you a very happy birthday ‘padosan’ @azmishabana18 ji. May you continue to shine brighter and have happiness in abundance.”

Riteish Deshmukh wrote: “Dearest @AzmiShabana ji, your work on screen & off screen equally inspires us. May god bless you with good health and long life #HappyBirthdayShabanaAzmi.”

Dia Mirza posted: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana!You know you inspire me everyday. So much love and respect for you. Thank you for being YOU.”

Manisha Koirala tweeted: “@AzmiShabana happy birthday Ma’am.”

Rahul Bose wrote: “Happy birthday, E. Thank you for the inspiration, kindness and laughter. @AzmiShabana.”

Vivek Oberoi posted: “Happy Birthday to one of the finest actors of Indian cinema, @AzmiShabana ! Your performances have inspired generations of actors and continue to do so! May god give you a long and healthy life! Much love always!”

Shefali Shah tweeted: “Happy birthday Shabanaji. May you always be filled with love, laughter and poetry. Lots and lots of love @AzmiShabana #ShabanaAzmi.”

Director Sanjay Gupta expressed: “Many Happy Returns Of The Day Shabanaji.

Have a fantastic day and a great year ahead.

Keep inspiring and guiding us.

@AzmiShabana.”

Swara Bhasker wrote: “Many many happy returns of the day to this inspiring legend! @AzmiShabana ma’am we walk the path you created.. so much love! Have a great day! Wishing u health, happiness and May we get to see many more delicious performances from uuuuu.”

Meera Chopra shared: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana, a woman i totally admire for everything she is. Her grace, beauty, demeanour.. just everything!!”

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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