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Entertainment

    A rapper from Miami is accused of sucker-punching a 50-year-old man in front of his young son during a confrontation at a family arcade in South Florida. Courtney Paul Wilson, whose stage name is ABGM Spitta, was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated battery causing bodily harm, according to Broward County Jail records. Surveillance video captured Wilson punching the man on Oct. 13 at Off the Wall, a trampoline park and arcade in Davie. The man fell to the ground and was unconscious for a short time, investigators said. He told investigators Wilson accused him of taking his game card, which had been left in a machine, and putting it in his pocket. Davie police posted Wilson's picture on social media on Wednesday after investigators said they identified him as the person in the video. In an effort to seek the public's help in locating Wilson, police pointed to an “official music video” posted on YouTube of Wilson performing a song called “Ambitions of a THUG.” The South Florida SunSentinel reports Wilson has a prolific presence on Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and online music sites. Police told the newspaper he is also known as PaperChasin Spitta and Alley Boy. An attorney for Wilson was not listed on court records Thursday.
  • Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with the co-star of his upcoming movie. The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to “stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumors that are hurting the people I love.” He then wrote that in the photos and video that went viral last month of him and actress Alisha Wainwright at a New Orleans bar, he “displayed a strong lapse in judgment — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my costar.” Timberlake says he “drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son.” The 38-year-old Timberlake is filming the movie “Palmer” with Wainwright in New Orleans. He married Biel in 2012 and they have a son, four-year-old Silas. Timberlake says that he’s sorry to his “amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that.”
  • It took artist Leandro Erlich two years and 330 tons (299 metric tons) of sand to create his largest work of art to date — a giant traffic jam, made entirely of sand. Erlich was commissioned by the city of Miami Beach to create the work, which was unveiled during Art Basel. The surreal traffic jam depicts 66 life-sized sculptures of cars and trucks stuck in an imaginary traffic jam on the oceanfront of popular Lincoln Road. The installation is meant to suggest a future relic, like a contemporary Pompeii, and alludes to Florida’s fragile position in the large universal canvas, touching on climate crisis and rising sea levels. The installation cost over a million dollars, but the city paid $300,000 thanks to sponsors and donations. It will remain on display until Dec. 15.
  • Guns N’ Roses, Maroon 5, DJ Khaled and DaBaby will bring the heat to Super Bowl week in Miami. On Location Experiences announced the lineup for its second Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, to take place Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. DJ Khaled, who has collaborated with everyone from Jay-Z to Justin Bieber, will headline the EA SPORTS BOWL on Jan. 30. Khaled’s performance will include some of his famous friends. DaBaby, who had a huge hit this year with “Suge,” will also perform at the show. Other performers will be announced later. Guns N’ Roses will headline on Jan. 31, while Maroon 5 and a special guest will perform at the Feb. 1. “The Super Bowl is America's biggest cultural moment, so it attracts people from a variety of different worlds — it also is a mix of local, national, and international guests. We plan Super Bowl Music Fest to appeal to the broad demographic of Super Bowl weekend and book different genres nightly — this year, we have hip-hop for EA Sports Bowl on Thursday, classic rock on Friday, and global pop on Saturday,” Amit Dhawan, co-executive producer of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, said in a statement. Tickets for the three-day festival go on sale Monday. Super Bowl 54 will take place on Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
  • John Hiatt wrote his first song at age 11, and knew right away that’s what he wanted to do. It’s not his job; it’s who he is. He’s 67 now. With all that time put in, it’s amusing that the two albums that are arguably the cornerstones of his career — 1987’s “Bring the Family” and 2000’s “Crossing Muddy Waters” — were both recorded in only four days. “Bring the Family,” his eighth album, was made in Los Angeles’ Ocean Way Studio with Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner, and lifted Hiatt beyond clubs where he’d been performing for one or two dozen people. It contains “Thing Called Love,” the song Bonnie Raitt later made a hit, and the standard “Have a Little Faith in Me.” “Crossing Muddy Waters,” his 15th album, was an acoustic disc recorded in a Tennessee home studio and set him on a DIY course he follows today. Besides the title cut, it includes “Only the Song Survives,” which is the title for his latest project, a big box set that collects 15 of his albums on vinyl and is released Friday. Four days. The lesson? “Let’s play and capture the magic,” he said. “That’s kind of the approach I’ve used ever since. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than a couple of weeks on a record.” He has a daughter, Lilly, who’s making her own way in the business (“she’s kind of scary good, in my humble opinion”) and is looking ahead to new music with Cooder. But he recently sat down with The Associated Press to take a look back. AP: When I was pitched this project, I wondered if this wasn’t some sort of retirement thing. Hiatt: I’m not resting on my laurels. They’re too shaky. AP: Is retirement something you’ve ever given thought to? Hiatt: Not really. Slowing down, yeah. Being at home more with my wife after 33 years of marriage and most of them spent apart. We just realized that over the last few years, in fact. And I have slowed down from more than 120 shows a year to between 60 and 75. So I’m home more. It was great in one respect, it was like dating again. In another respect, it was like ‘who the hell are you?’ So we had to learn how to spend more time together. AP: Your song “Robber’s Highway” (about a singer at the tail end of a career) makes someone wonder about the cost of doing it for so long. Hiatt: The beauty, of course, the wonderful thing about it, is playing. B.B. King, I think he said, you don’t pay us for the two hours we play, you pay us for the other 22. That’s the rub of being a troubadour. It’s the travel that kills you, and breaks hearts and destroys relationships and gets you into all sorts of ancillary trouble, potentially, especially when you’re young. At the end of the day, this is my life. This is what I signed up to do. AP: How is songwriting different now from when you were younger? Hiatt: I’ve gone through so many periods where the flow of it changes ... They come a little slower now, and I assume it’s because I’m older. AP: Is it because of high standards? Hiatt: I don’t know about that! My standards have always been pretty lax. Tom Petty used to call songwriting, ‘getting one in the boat,’ like you’re fishing: We got another one in the boat, boys. I feel that way about a song. Any way I can get one into the boat, I’m happy. AP: Are you inspired by colleagues like Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, who continue to push barriers as they get older? Hiatt: My goodness, yes. It’s hope for us all. Van Morrison’s making great records. He’s singing better than ever. The list goes on. There are so many artists who get a second, third and fourth wind as they age. AP: What would you say characterizes the work that’s in this box set? Hiatt: Starting in 2000, I kind of had a rebirth with ‘Crossing Muddy Waters.’ It kind of got my attention in terms of where I might be headed as a singer-songwriter. I think that set the tone. I had been playing with a rock band, rockin’ pretty hard through the 1990s, and I had these songs, they were acoustic stuff, and I thought I should record it close to how I created it. AP: How would you like your body of work to be remembered? Hiatt: A kid from the Midwest who tried to tell it straight. What else can you do?
  • The city known for 19th century Voodoo queen Marie Laveau and for the tarot card readers who tell fortunes in its historic French Quarter is about to play host to a different kind of sorcerer — at least in the Marvel comics universe. Marvel announced plans Thursday to debut a new comic book, “Strange Academy,” in March. Described as a supernatural coming-of-age saga, it's set at a New Orleans school for teenagers from across the universe who have a variety of mystical powers. The youngsters, facing typical adolescent anxieties and atypical creatures from other dimensions, will be new characters. But they'll be under the tutelage of some Marvel stalwarts, including the school's flamboyant caped namesake, Doctor Strange. Veteran Marvel writer and artist Skottie Young is working with longtime Marvel artist Humberto Ramos on the project. In an interview this week, Young said he and co-workers first thought about setting the story in New York, where the Doctor Strange character resides. Young, however, had recently visited New Orleans for the first time, celebrating his 40th birthday. “It just kind of occurred to me that there's a nice history and folklore about magic and the mystic arts and the dark arts and things like that that kind of surround the mythos of New Orleans,” Young said. “Having just gone there myself for my 40th, I thought that would be a great place to set it. And that it would be awesome just to go back again and do a nice little research trip.” Marvel editors accompanied Young on a return trip. Visits to a French Quarter Voodoo museum, a 280-year-old candle-lit bar on Bourbon Street, courtyards with rusty gates and untamed greenery — all will inform the story lines and art of the new publication. Young and said the series is aimed at a broad comic book audience but also will appeal to young adult readers who in the past might have been fans of the Harry Potter novels or similar works. 'What we're really trying to do is tell those classic coming of age stories that we've seen in so many other properties or other projects out there in the world whether it be TV or film or novels or comics,' Young said. “Whether it's kids running around mazes or kids at a magic school or people running around trying to survive a post-apocalyptic landscape.” Ramos, perhaps best known among comic fans for his work on Spider-Man comics, said in an emailed statement that Young pitched the idea to him more than a year ago. “I told him I have and always will love Spider-Man, but I wanted to try something new and exciting with my friends and my Marvel family. He began to pitch me on an incredible project for the rest of the weekend,” Ramos said. Not that the new project will necessarily keep Ramos from drawing Spider-Man. As any fan of Marvel comics or the Marvel Studios movies knows, characters from one series often pop up in another. Doctor Voodoo and Scarlet Witch are Marvel characters who will teach at Strange Academy. “It would not be out of left field for us to throw Spider-Man into an issue if we wanted, or have Wolverine come in,' Young said. 'For a while Wolverine ran a mutants' school. So he understands the ins and outs of teaching kids with this level of power.”
  • Bookstore employees from Mystic, Connecticut to Houston and San Francisco all have a happy holiday story to share: a $500 bonus from bestselling author James Patterson. Patterson announced Thursday that 500 gifts of $500 each — 100 of those gifts going to children's booksellers — would be handed out for his annual Holiday Bookseller Bonus Program. The recipients were chosen from a pool of more than 2,500 nominations, with applications based on the question '“Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” The program is administered by Patterson and the American Booksellers Association, which represents the country's independent bookstores. Patterson has donated millions of dollars in recent years to bookstores, school libraries and literacy programs. “I’ve said this many times before, but I can’t say it enough: booksellers save lives,' Patterson said in a statement. 'Children’s booksellers especially — they guide children to books they’ll genuinely enjoy and in turn create a new generation of readers. I’m happy to be able to acknowledge them and the important work they do in any way that I can this holiday season.”
  • New Zealand has relied on hobbits, bungy jumping and rugby to entice tourists in the past. Now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may have found the perfect spokesman to embrace all of the above and more: American comedian Stephen Colbert. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Ardern talked about the boost to the country’s vital tourism industry that Colbert appears to have singlehandedly orchestrated. Last month, Colbert recounted his adventures in New Zealand during a weeklong humorous segment on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The first segment shows Ardern picking up Colbert from the airport in her car and hosting him for a backyard barbecue, with singer Lorde in attendance. “It was an amazing opportunity to do something for New Zealand,” Ardern said. “He had a genuine love of New Zealand though. Like, very genuine. So, it actually made it really easy.” In other segments, Colbert attempts to play rugby and bungy jump, and makes a movie with Peter Jackson, who directed “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. Tourism generates more foreign income for New Zealand than any other industry. Ardern said tourism officials have reported a spike in Americans investigating holidays in New Zealand since the segments ran. “I think it probably exceeded everyone’s expectations, the amount of coverage the country got from it,” she said. “So I think that’s no bad thing.” Ardern said Colbert’s segments went beyond the typical depictions of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery and adventure sports. “It showcased our people really well, and just who we are,” she said.
  • Gabrielle Union and NBC both said Wednesday that they have had a “productive' first conversation on her firing from “America's Got Talent' and her allegations that she was removed over her complaints about racism and other troubling on-set behavior. “We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday,' Union said on Twitter. “I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.' NBC said in a statement that the “initial conversation was candid and productive. While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution.' Union's attorney Bryan Freedman said Tuesday's meeting, which included representatives from Fremantle, the show's production company, was a good start. “We're waiting to see the next steps on whether NBC is going to make sure that there are real changes made to protect both the contestants and the talent,' Freedman said. Union, an actress best known for her roles in films including “Bring It On” and “Bad Boys II,” was a judge on the talent showcase but she and fellow judge Julianne Hough were not asked to return after their first season. Variety subsequently reported that Union, who is black, believed she was fired because she had asked NBC and the show’s producers to address an environment that tolerated racist jokes and remarks, including what she said were multiple notes from producers saying she was wearing her hair “too black” for the “America’s Got Talent” audience. Union had also complained of other behavior, such as judge-producer Simon Cowell’s smoking on the indoor set, Variety reported. The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, of which Union is a member, said Monday that it was also working with her to investigate her complaints. Without directly referring to NBC or the two companies that produce the show, Fremantle and Syco, Union has tweeted about her situation several times, acknowledging the support she's gotten and retweeting instructions on how to give a proper apology. Other prominent names on social media, including Union's husband, former NBA player Dwyane Wade, have called for answers on why she was fired. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.
  • In these uneasy times, as we move along to a new decade, the Pantone Color Institute has reached back in time to calming, confident Classic Blue as its color of the year for 2020. The color is an anchor offering stability, constancy and connection, said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the global purveyors of color consulting, trendspotting and analysis. “It’s a reassuring presence,” she told The Associated Press ahead of Wednesday’s reveal. Akin to maritime blue — not indigo and brighter than navy — Classic Blue evokes a feeling of vast expanse, Pressman said of the shade also known as Pantone 19-4052. Pressman and her team scoured the worlds of art, fashion and home decor, along with commercial, graphic and industrial design, to come up with the pick, as they have since Cerulean became the inaugural color of the year for the milestone 2000. But Classic Blue isn’t just about nostalgia, she said. Creators around the globe are putting out modern takes for runways, mobile phones, kitchen appliances and the paint of pricey, forward-looking cars and motorcycles. At Wednesday's launch event, Pressman insisted the color was in no way a nod to the hue associated with the Democratic Party, though she knew the question would surface. “This was not a political move for us. This is global. We do not look at color through a political lens. We look at our life through a colorful lens,' she told the AP. Pantone chose Living Coral for 2019 and Ultra Violet the year before that. Whether as throwback or harbinger of things to come, Classic Blue harkens back to when things “seemed simpler, seemed more comfortable, but at the same time not suggesting that it be done in a way that it was then,” Pressman said. Cerulean, which heralded the new millennium, is the color of the daytime sky, while Classic Blue is the sky at dusk as the new decade commences. “It has depth to it, but it’s a color of anticipation because we’re looking ahead,” Pressman said. “The day is over. We’re looking forward to the evening. What’s going to come?” Classic Blue is a vibrant yet non-aggressive and easily relatable color, she said. It’s also among nature’s anthocyanin pigments possessing antioxidant and other health-fostering benefits. Think blueberries. “Many of us feel stressed, completely overloaded,” Pressman said. “We live these 24/7 lifestyles. We’re anxious. There’s so much uncertainty and unrest, no matter where you are. With that we’ve seen this whole increased focus on wellness and self-care.” The timeless color is also gender neutral and seasonless, mixing well with other shades throughout the spectrum yet making a strong statement on its own. It also works well in a range of textures. “It’s a color that can take on different appearances through different applications, finishes and textures,” Pressman said, lending itself to everything from lustrous sheens to sparkly sequins. The anointed blue also plays into the sustainability movement. “We have all this focus on buy less, buy good, so people aren’t throwing things into a landfill,” Pressman said. “You read about buying things to last and this is a timeless blue shade. It’s always there and you’re comfortable with it, like blue jeans.” For offices, it offers an air of security, she said. For kitchens, it’s a top accent color in appliances and walls. Classic Blue is a mainstay color in stemware, dishes and other tabletop staples as a trusted expression of elegance, she said. “Everybody’s comfortable with blue,” Pressman said. “We know it. We like it.”