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A.R. Rahman gets encore on Tamil song in New York

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New York, July 15: It was an encore all the way for A.R. Rahman as he performed the original Tamil version of his “Urvasi Urvasi” chartbuster for the IIFA Rocks audience here as he celebrated his 25-year journey in the Indian film industry with a two-hour concert.

The scenario at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was far removed from his July 8 London concert where fans reportedly walked away complaining that his performance was dominated by Tamil instead of Hindi songs.

“Once more, once more,” shouted out the fans at the MetLife Stadium, even as the clock struck 2 a.m. here on Saturday morning.

“It’s too late right…,” commented Rahman, but broke into the rocking “Humma humma” nevertheless.

The audience joined in as an ensemble of singers including Hariharan, Kailash Kher, Jonita Gandhi, Benny Dayal, Mika Singh and Neeti Mohan jammed it up with the music maestro on stage.

With a list of songs largely dominated by Hindi tracks, Rahman also sang around three to four numbers in his mother tongue, and the audience wasn’t complaining.

“Rahman’s performance was every bit worth it. We had no problems that he sang in Tamil because we believe one should preserve their culture,” Rajan Panda, who has been staying in New York for 30 years, told IANS here.

A Nepalese couple that has been staying here for the last 15 years also said language can never be a barrier in music.

“We enjoyed the show very much. We came for Rahman. It’s music, it’s universal… It doesn’t matter what language it is in,” Arjun Awaley, a software engineer, told IANS after the show.

Rahman kept saying “I love you friends” and “Love you too” to the crowd that swayed to, clapped to and even danced to his tracks.

Even the rain which came pouring down right before Rahman took the stage — and mid-performance too — didn’t make fans go away here.

In a silver sequinned jacket, the Mozart of Madras, who started his film career with “Roja” back in 1992, took over the stage.

His set started with instrumental renditions of his popular songs, and then came “”Dil se re”, “Nadaan parindey”, “Jo bhi main”, “Dil hai chhota sa”, “Kinna sona”, “Mangal ho”, “Agar tum saath ho”, “Tu hi re”, “Nahi saamne”, “Aye hairathe”, “Tere bina”, “Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi”, “Heer toh badi sad hai”, “Maiyya maiyya”, “Tanha tanha”, “Yaayi re” and “Sachin” — tracks either sung and/or composed by him.

The crescendo came with “Jai ho”, which had won Rahman an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 2009.

In the prelude to the culminating performance by Rahman, singers Kamaal Khan and Diljit Dosanjh took the stage to belt out popular numbers and got the audience grooving.

IIFA Rocks host Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul were quite a damp squib with tongue in cheek comments, toilet humour, some jokes around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns and some audience engagement involving stars like Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan.

All in all, IIFA Rocks rocked with the music, but more so once Rahman was on stage.

The event was a part of the ongoing Bollywood extravaganza — the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards — which will end with the final awards ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday evening.

IANS

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Varun Dhawan dances with fans on Hindi numbers in Bangkok mall

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Varun Dhawan iifa

Bangkok, June 23: From “Tan tana tan” to “Badrinath ki dulhania” and “Palat”, actor Varun Dhawan danced to his popular tracks at a mall here on Saturday.

Fans flocked in huge numbers at the luxurious Emquartier mall here, just to get a glimpse of their favourite star Varun, who looked dapper in a casual white t-shirt, jeans and powder blue shirt.

CHARGE 🏃🏻‍♂️day 2 IIFA @31philliplim @officialslystallone

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As Varun entered, the crowd welcomed him with loud cheers and whistles. He even shook a leg with two children and was heard speaking in Thai.

The actor also reminisced about shooting in Bangkok for his film “Main Tera Hero” in 2014. The film also starred Ileana D’Cruz and Nargis Fakhri.

The “Badlapur” star also gave away six passes to his fans of the 19th edition of the International Indian Films Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards main gala, which will be held on Sunday.

IIFA ROCKS wearing @kunalrawaldstress

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Apart from Varun, several Bollywood personalities like Arjun Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Shraddha Kapoor will be seen lighting the stage in Sunday.

This year’s IIFA commencing will not just feature power-packed performances by celebrities including the evergreen Rekha — performing live on stage after 20 years — but will seek to raise awareness about women’s empowerment, gender equality and plastic pollution.

The event, which will be taking place at the Siam Niramit theatre, will be co-hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Riteish Deshmukh.

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Nick Jonas makes his relationship with Priyanka Chopra Insta-official

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New Delhi, June 23: Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra have just made their relationship Instagram official!

Months of rumours and speculations, finally lead up to this moment of the two lovers going public and what better place than in Mumbai?

Media reports had suggested earlier that Priyanka brought Nick to India to introduce him to her mother Madhu Chopra. Well, the American singer did meet Priyanka’s mother over dinner at an upscale restaurant in Mumbai’s Bandra.

Post the dinner, the two were photographed stepping out of the posh eatery hand-in-hand, adding fuel to the fire.

#priyankachopra #nickjonas ❤️❤️❤️😍😍

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#nickjonas and #priyankachopra today

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By posting a super cute video on his Instagram story, Nick made his relationship with Desi girl Instagram official!

The video shows Priyanka walking toward him while she danced in the rain and he captioned it, “Her” alongside a heart-eyes emoji.

Earlier this month, Nick took Priyanka home to meet his family at his cousin’s wedding in New Jersey. Priyanka also had brunch with Nick’s family members and was seen spending some quality time with them.

Priyanka Chopra nick jonas

The stars first sparked romance rumours at the 2017 MET Gala, when they walked the red-carpet together.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

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Joe Jackson hospitalized, in final stages of terminal cancer

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Los Angeles, June 23: Joe Jackson, father of Michael, Janet and the performing family, and architect of The Jackson 5, is in the final stages of terminal cancer, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety.com.

Family members, including his wife Katherine, are said to have visited him in the hospital this week, reports the website.

Jackson, 89, has suffered from a variety of ailments in recent years, including dementia, strokes, and at least one heart attack, according to reports. He was injured in a car accident a year ago.

The famously headstrong Jackson, the father of 11 children, drove his performing family hard and at times subjected them to physical and mental abuse; the original Jackson 5 included sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, although younger sibling Randy also performed with the group and daughters LaToya, Rebbie, and, most famously, Janet also released albums.

Over the decades, Joe has had a contentious relationship with many family members, including Michael.

The Daily Mail claims that Jackson’s “handlers” had barred certain family members from visiting him, which son and former Jackson 5 member Jermaine spoke about to the paper.

The Jackson family patriarch has lived in Las Vegas for several years. One of his most recent public appearances was at the BET Awards in 2015, attending with his daughter Janet as she accepted the ultimate icon award. That same year, he suffered a stroke that reportedly left him with temporarily blurred vision.

IANS

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