Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh dies of cancer

US designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's collections Virgil Abloh died on November 28, 2021 of cancer at the age of 41, according to the LVMH group. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 December 2021

Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh dies of cancer

  • LVMH said Abloh, 41, had been battling cancer privately for years

NEW YORK: Designer Virgil Abloh, a leading fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died after a private battle with cancer. He was 41.
Abloh's death was announced Sunday by the luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and the Off White label, the brand Abloh founded. Abloh was the men’s wear designer of Louis Vuitton.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH said in a statement.
A statement from Abloh's family on the designer's Instagram account said for the last two years, Abloh battled cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumor occurs in the heart.
“He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture,” the statement read.
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh and his children, Lowe and Grey.

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‘I’d Do Anything for Love’ singer Meat Loaf dead at 74

Updated 21 January 2022

‘I’d Do Anything for Love’ singer Meat Loaf dead at 74

  • The beefy Texas-born singer distinguished himself in the late 1970s with his soaring vocal range and lavish stage productions
  • After a career rut, Meat Loaf enjoyed a revival with his biggest success in 1993: the single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"

WASHINGTON: US singer Meat Loaf, famous for his “Bat Out of Hell” rock anthem, has died aged 74, after a career in which he sold more than 100 million albums and appeared in scores of movies.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” read a statement on his Facebook page early on Friday.
“Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.” No cause of death was given.
The beefy Texas-born singer distinguished himself in the late 1970s with his soaring vocal range and lavish stage productions.
His 1977 “Bat out of Hell” album, which reportedly sold some 43 million copies, is one of the highest-selling ever.
After a career rut, Meat Loaf enjoyed a revival with his biggest success in 1993: the single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” topped the charts in 28 countries and won him a Grammy Award.
“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man,” it said.
“From his heart to your souls... don’t ever stop rocking!“
Tributes poured in, including from former US president Donald Trump, and stars such as Cher, who tweeting she was “Very Sorry For His Family, Friends, & Fans.”
“R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends,” tweeted singer Boy George.
Adam Lambert, the lead singer for Queen since 2011, described Meat Loaf as “a gentle hearted powerhouse rockstar forever and ever.”
“You were so kind. Your music will always be iconic,” Lambert said on Twitter.
Born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947, Meat Loaf’s early years in Texas were rough.
“I’ve forgiven my father for trying to kill me with a butcher’s knife,” he once told The Telegraph.
But the bullying at school over his weight — the nickname Meat Loaf came early — was followed by the devastating loss of his mother to cancer while he was still a teenager.
Not long after, he was on his way to New York, looking for ways to channel the angst and histrionics into performance.
There, he teamed up with musician and playwright Jim Steinman, who provided the wild, theatrical backing music to accompany Meat Loaf’s bellowing voice.
Meat Loaf’s other hit singles include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (1977) and “I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us” (1981).
Meat Loaf had started off seeking acting work — winning parts in “Hair” and the original cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and its film adaptation.
Throughout his career, he also had several small parts in TV shows and films, including “Wayne’s World” (1992).
His role in the 1999 cult classic “Fight Club” highlighted his acting prowess in one of the decade’s most critically acclaimed films.
In 2016, he released a new album — his first since 2011 — and returned to a busy schedule after a two-year gap in touring, a string of health scares and speculation he would retire.
The singer had collapsed onstage at least three times since 2003, including once in Canada in 2016 after suffering from dehydration while singing “I’d Do Anything For Love.”
He was one of the few major US musicians outside of the country genre to support the Republican Party actively.
In the lead-up to the 2012 election that Barack Obama ended up winning, Meat Loaf campaigned for his challenger Mitt Romney.
Meat Loaf also became friends with Donald Trump after appearing on the latter’s reality television show “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Trump described the singer as “smart, talented, open, and warm” in a statement Friday.


Actor Gaspard Ulliel, star of new Mohamed Diab-directed show, dies at 37

Updated 20 January 2022

Actor Gaspard Ulliel, star of new Mohamed Diab-directed show, dies at 37

  • While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left
  • Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed

LYON, France: French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, local authorities said. He was 37.
Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent.” He is also in the upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight,” and was the advertising face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.
While skiing Tuesday afternoon at La Rosière resort, Ulliel collided with another skier on an intermediate slope after turning left, presumably to join his friends on an adjoining slope, Anne Gaches, the Savoie prosecutor in Albertville, said in a statement Wednesday.
Preliminary findings from an investigation indicated that "both skiers fell to the ground after the collision," the prosecutor said. Ulliel was “motionless and unconscious when rescuers arrived,” while the other skier was unharmed, Gaches said.
The prosecutor’s statement did not mention whether either skier was wearing a helmet.
Ulliel was transported by helicopter to Grenoble University Hospital, where doctors tried to revive him, she said. The actor was pronounced dead Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m., Gaches said.
The office of the actor's agent confirmed that Ulliel died on Wednesday.
Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two of France's top cinema awards, the Cesar.
Tributes poured in from both shocked fans and the corridors of power. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly."
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin said she was deeply saddened by Ulliel's death, describing the actor as “a child prodigy of cinema, who embodied perfectly the French style all over the world.”
The House of Chanel said in a statement it has lost its “ambassador of 12 years and a friend.”
“We have been fortunate to have had by our side all these years a person endowed with great culture, an immense talent, and of unparalleled kindness. He will be sorely missed,” Chanel said.
The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher was seriously injured in a 2013 skiing accident in the French ski resort of Meribel, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiing. Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.
Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock off the side of a demarcated slope. The German auto racing legend was skiing with his teenage son while on a family vacation in the Alps.
Schumacher, 53, has not been seen in public in eight years, and his family has revealed few details of his condition since the accident. His wife, Corinna, said in a Netflix documentary last year that her husband is “different, but he is here” and that the family, including the couple's son, Mick, now a Formula One driver himself, cares for him.
After Ulliel's accident, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel have been carrying out five or six rescues per day as the snow hardened in recent days.
In the neighboring Haute-Savoie region, a 5-year-old girl was killed Saturday when a skier crashed into her. The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely reason for the accident.


Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies

Updated 15 January 2022

Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies

  • Cerruti, who dressed many a Hollywood star in his heyday, introduced “casual chic” into men’s fashion when he created the first deconstructed jacket in the 1970s
  • He was one of the leading figures in men’s ready-to-wear fashion in the 20th century

ROME: Pioneering Italian fashion designer Nino Cerruti has died at the age of 91, it was on reported Saturday.
Cerruti, who dressed many a Hollywood star in his heyday, introduced “casual chic” into men’s fashion when he created the first deconstructed jacket in the 1970s.
He died at the Vercelli hospital in the northwest region of Piedmont, where he had been admitted for a hip operation, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on its website.
Cerruti was one of the leading figures in men’s ready-to-wear fashion in the 20th century, with a style that was at once elegant and relaxed.
“A giant among Italian entrepreneurs has left us,” said Gilberto Pichetto, deputy minister for economic development.
Tall and slim, he always insisted he be the first to try on his creations, many of which were kept at the textile factory his grandfather founded in the northern town of Biella in 1881.
“I have always dressed the same person, myself,” he once said.
Born in 1930 in Biella, Cerruti dreamt of becoming a journalist.
But after his father died when he was 20, he was forced to give up his philosophy studies to take over the family textile factory.
In the 1960s, he met Giorgio Armani and hired him as a creator of men’s fashion.
The duo made a profound mark on the world of fashion, before Armani branched out on his own with his own fashion house in 1975.
Cerruti opened his first shop in Paris in 1967, launching his luxury brand into global fame.
“Clothes only exist from the moment someone puts them on. I would like these clothes to continue to live, to soak up life,” he said.
While French students protested in 1968, he revolutionized fashion by asking male and female models to walk down the catwalk in the same clothes.
“Trousers have given women freedom,” said the designer, who in the 1970s created his first line of women’s clothing.
The man nicknamed the “philosopher of clothing” dressed American actors Richard Gere and Robert Redford as well as French star Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He also made cameo appearances in Hollywood films “Cannes Man” (1996) and “Holy Man” (1998).

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Lionel Richie to receive Gershwin Prize for pop music

Updated 14 January 2022

Lionel Richie to receive Gershwin Prize for pop music

  • The Library of Congress said Thursday that Richie will receive the national library's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
  • “This is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I am so grateful,” Richie said

LOS ANGELES: Lionel Richie will be honored all night long for his musical achievements.
The Library of Congress said Thursday that Richie will receive the national library’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He will be bestowed the prize at an all-star tribute in Washington, D.C., on March 9.
PBS stations will broadcast the concert on May 17.
“This is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to be receiving the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” Richie said in a statement. “I am proud to be joining all the other previous artists, who I also admire and am a fan of their music.”
Past recipients include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Garth Brooks.
Richie is known for his catalog of hits including “All Night Long,” “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Penny Lover,” “Truly” and “Stuck on You.” He co-wrote the historically popular song “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson.
Before his superstar solo career, Richie was a founding member of the Commodores, a funk and soul band that made waves in the 1970s. The group had tremendous success backed by chart-climbing hits such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”
The singer has won four Grammys, an Oscar and the distinction of MusicCares Person of the Year in 2016. He was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2017.
Richie mentored aspiring music artists as a judge on ABC’s “American Idol” for the past four seasons. He expects to return for the show’s 20th season.
Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, said Richie has been an inspiring entertainer who helped “strengthen our global connections.”
“Lionel Richie’s unforgettable work has shown us that music can bring us together,” Hayden said. “Even when we face problems and disagree on issues, songs can show us what we have in common.”

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This year’s Oscars show will go on, with a host

Updated 11 January 2022

This year’s Oscars show will go on, with a host

  • Walt Disney Co’s ABC said plans remain in place to hold the Oscars on March 27 in Los Angeles
  • This year’s ceremony will have a host, ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich said at a Television Critics Association event

LOS ANGELES: The Academy Awards will have a host for the first time since 2018 and return to their longtime home at the Dolby Theatre, broadcaster ABC said on Tuesday.
While other awards shows have been postponed because of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Walt Disney Co’s ABC said plans remain in place to hold the Oscars, the highest film honors, on March 27 in Los Angeles.
This year’s ceremony will have a host, ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich said at a Television Critics Association event. He provided no details. “It might be me,” he joked.
The Oscars were handed out by celebrity presenters but had no host in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Ratings for the telecast have fallen in recent years, dropping to a record low of 10.4 million people in the United States in 2021. Viewership of other awards shows also has declined.
Fans of British actor Tom Holland have suggested he should host this year’s Oscars after the smash success of his movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” possibly with his co-star Zendaya.
Holland told The Hollywood Reporter in December that he would “love” to host the awards. “If they ask me to, I would, and it would be very fun,” he said.
Previous hosts have included late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and comedians Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres.
ABC said in a statement that the 2022 Oscars will take place again at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Last year, the awards moved to the historic Union Station train station in downtown Los Angeles with a small crowd of nominees and guests to protect against COVID.
Nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Feb. 8.

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