Museum of Natural History Provides a Glimpse of New Dinosaur Display

The fossilized skeleton of a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur will be on exhibit next year in the new fossil hall at the Museum of Natural History in Washington. Excavated in Montana, it is one of the largest and most complete T-rex skeletons ever discovered. The dinosaur, called the Nation’s T-rex, will become part of a larger showcase that explores billions of years of life on earth. VOAs Deborah Block takes us on a sneak peak.

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‘McQueen’ Examines Career of Brilliant, Troubled Designer

The London fashion world didn’t know quite what hit it when Alexander McQueen’s disheveled models staggered down the runway at his 1995 “Highland Rape” show, their Scottish-inspired clothing ripped to expose breasts and nether regions. 

It was exactly the reaction that McQueen, then in his 20s and subsisting on fast food and unemployment checks, was seeking. “I don’t want a show where you come out feeling like you’ve just had Sunday lunch,” he said at the time. “I want you to come out either feeling repulsed or exhilarated.”

McQueen would go on to provoke, repulse, inspire and exhilarate — often simultaneously — until he was 40, when he tragically took his life.

How did a taxi driver’s son from working-class London make the unlikely journey to the top of the fashion world, and what made him end it all at the height of his powers?

For filmmakers Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui, the two questions proved irresistible. Their resulting documentary, McQueen, opens this week.

Fashion is a compelling subject for documentaries; few subjects are so enticingly visual. But the challenge is always to peel away the well-polished, and well-guarded, facade.

“The fashion world is a bubble,” said Ettedgui, who wrote and co-directed the film. “They don’t necessarily take kindly to outsiders coming in and revealing their secrets.”

Candid interviews

The filmmakers approached close to 200 sources, Bonhote said. Finding footage was painstaking work, but they were fortunate to secure key parts of McQueen’s most dramatic runway shows, along with some strikingly candid interviews with the designer — a rarity at fashion shows. 

They also found some valuable archival footage, including some private footage that McQueen and his associates captured for fun, trying out a new camera as they traveled to Paris for the designer’s new, high-profile post at Givenchy in 1996. They looked like grinning kids taking their parents’ car for a spin. 

The filmmakers were also able to convince some key McQueen family members to speak, namely his older sister, Janet, and her son, Gary, a designer himself who worked for his uncle. And they interview some of McQueen’s former colleagues, though not all. Sarah Burton, who succeeded McQueen at his namesake label, doesn’t appear.

At the heart of the film, though, is McQueen’s work and the way his bracing talent reverberated through the fashion establishment. Watching now, one can almost feel the gasps in the audience as the designer places model Shalom Harlow on a revolving platform in a plain tulle dress in his show No. 13, then has two robots spray yellow and black paint on her as she turns and turns. It was a mesmerizing effect that brought McQueen himself to tears.

​Film’s divisions

The film is divided into chapters, each focusing on a particularly influential McQueen show. The first, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims in 1992, was originally his final project at Central Saint Martin’s, the well-known London fashion school.

Even getting to the school was unlikely. The young Lee McQueen (he reverted to his middle name, Alexander, later because it sounded posh) was supposed to become “a mechanic or something,” but he was obsessed with drawing clothes. His mother encouraged him to knock on doors on Savile Row for an apprenticeship, and there, he became a superb craftsman.

Isabella Blow, a prominent fashion figure, bought up his entire Jack the Ripper collection and helped him make his way. But it’s clear that, as an associate says: “No one discovered Alexander McQueen. Alexander McQueen discovered himself.”

At first, there was no money. A friend describes how the two went to McDonald’s after a major show, dropped the food on the floor, but had to pick it up and eat it because they couldn’t afford to buy more.

Things changed radically when luxury conglomerate LVMH hired McQueen for Givenchy. But McQueen didn’t just sit back and enjoy his financial windfall — he poured it back into his own label. back home. It was a time of enormous pressure; McQueen says in one interview that he produced an astounding 14 collections in a year.

For a man often called the “bad boy” or “enfant terrible” of fashion, there was much else to learn about McQueen, the filmmakers say. Among the things that surprised them: his sheer technical craftsmanship, and a constantly developing business savvy.

‘Tender at times’

They were also struck by how McQueen’s personality contrasted with the myth. “He had this reputation for being abrasive, punk,” said Ettedgui. “But what we see in the archive is McQueen with friends, with his parents, even his beloved dogs, being very human and very tender at times.”

At the end of his life, two deaths devastated McQueen. Blow took her life in 2007 — we see him at her funeral, looking destroyed. And in early 2010, McQueen’s beloved mother died. Only days later, on the eve of her funeral, the designer killed himself.

The filmmakers can only speculate why McQueen, who struggled with drug addiction, took his life. “Fashion does come with a very unique set of pressures,” said Ettedgui. But, he added, “people we spoke to said, ‘Don’t try to make him a victim, because ultimately the person who put the most pressure on McQueen was McQueen.”

Bonhote also noted the designer’s ambivalence about the world he had chosen, clearly expressed in shows like his famous 2001 Voss, in which he forced the assembled fashion world to literally stare at itself for long minutes into a mirrored cube — which in turn represented an insane asylum.

“To some degree, he was always a misfit in the world he found himself in,” Bonhote said.

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Grandson Shares Mandela’s Life Lessons in New Book

An entire generation has been born since Nelson Mandela’s 1990 release from a South African prison, where he spent almost three decades for his anti-apartheid activism.

Ndaba Mandela wants to make sure those young people understand his grandfather’s role – and his values – in fighting for racial equality and later in trying to heal divisions as South Africa’s first black president.

“That is the very reason why I wrote this book,” Ndaba Mandela says of “Going to the Mountain” (Hachette). His goal with the memoir – released last month, in time for Wednesday’s 100th anniversary of the late leader’s birth – is to show the elder Mandela “not as this huge, great icon” but as a supportive grandfather figure they might relate to.

The 35-year-old shared views of his grandfather – who died in late 2013 at age 95 – both in the book and in a recent visit to VOA headquarters here. Ndaba describes him as “courageous” and “fearless” in his quest to end South Africa’s white minority rule, but says that commitment came at great personal cost.

“That is a man who went against the system, who sacrificed his family, sacrificed his own life for the greater good of his people,” Ndaba tells VOA, alluding to his grandfather’s 27 years in detention.

It’s a complicated, extended family, given Mandela’s three marriages and five children. Ndaba’s father was Makgatho Mandela, “the Old Man’s second son by his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase,” he writes, using a term of affection.  

Mandela was imprisoned while that son grew up and became a street hustler in Soweto. Ndaba says his own childhood was chaotic and impoverished, with his parents caught up in alcohol and sometimes fighting bitterly.

“A lot of the time, I would eat at my neighbors’ house, you know, when my parents couldn’t afford to get dinner for me,” he says. “… By any standard, I grew up in a broken home.”

In 1989, 7-year-old Ndaba met his grandfather at Victor Verster Prison, from which the leader was freed several months later. The boy was 11 when he moved in with Mandela and his staff in a house in Johannesburg’s Houghton suburb. He would spend much of the next two decades there – being cared about, and then caring for, the Old Man.

Subtitled “Life Lessons From My Grandfather,” the book explores the older man’s motivations and approaches.

Among those lessons:

“Nonviolence is a strategy,” Ndaba writes, quoting the Old Man. His grandfather subscribed to Gandhi’s strategy “of noncooperation and peaceful but unstoppable resistance. … He was a judicious leader who understood the power of doing the right thing until it overwhelms the wrong thing.”

Education is essential. Nelson Mandela “valued education because it was something that was stripped away” from blacks, says Ndaba, who admits he himself at one point “didn’t perform well at school” and had “a rocky adolescence.” Like his grandfather, he went on to earn a college degree.

Weeks after becoming president in 1994, Mandela established what became the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, donating about a third of his presidential salary every year, his grandson writes. As the elder man had told parliament, “The emancipation of people from poverty and deprivation is most centrally linked” to quality education.

Respect your heritage. The phrase “going to the mountain” refers to ceremonial circumcision – a monthlong rite of passage for young men in the Xhosa ethnic group. Ndaba was almost 21 when he underwent cutting and related psychological and spiritual testing. It was a turning point in his relationship with his grandfather, who then “expected critical thinking and welcomed civilized disagreements,” he writes. “… From the time I was a kid, I knew I could depend on him. This is when he knew he could depend on me.”

Don’t expect change all at once. When Ndaba eventually realized that his grandfather had orchestrated his parents’ separation and also kept them away from him, he writes, “I struggled to forgive him.”

Ndaba’s mother, Zondi, was already gravely ill when he learned that she had HIV/AIDS. She died of its complications in 2003, though a family press release attributed her death to pneumonia.

Ndaba writes that Mandela tried to address the country’s AIDS epidemic in 1991 by promoting safe-sex education, but backed off when accusations that he was “encouraging promiscuity” threatened his political prospects. When Ndaba’s father succumbed to the same disease in early 2005, Mandela called a press conference “to announce that my son has died of AIDS.”

“It’s impossible to overstate what this meant to the millions of people who live in fear of seeking help or disclosing their HIV status and to the millions more people who loved them,” writes Ndaba Mandela, now an ambassador for UNAIDS, the United Nations effort to curb the disease.   

Show leadership through service. Mandela was a man of “integrity, humility,” one who “dived into public service,” his grandson says. “A leader is not someone who says, ‘Look at me, I’m the best’ – a leader is there to serve.”

For Ndaba, service comes through Africa Rising, a nonprofit that he and cousin Kweku Mandela formed in 2009 to improve the continent’s socioeconomics. “We need to empower young Africans,” he says, “to give them a heightened sense of pride and confidence in being African.”

This report originated in VOA’s English to Africa Service.

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Get Your Geek On: 130,000 Head for San Diego Comic-Con

Desk jockeys in eye-wateringly tight spandex will blur the line between fantasy and reality this week as they invade San Diego for the world’s largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 49th Comic-Con International will revel in movies, TV and — yes — comic books, as fans in pitch-perfect monster, alien and manga costumes swelter in the southern Californian heat over five surreal days.

Where fandom abounds, controversy is never far behind. And the big bone of contention this year is Disney’s decision not to bring its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to Comic-Con, despite a record-breaking year with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

“It’s going to be an interesting year this year,” said SyFy Wire editor-in-chief Adam Swiderski in a video preview of the Wednesday to Sunday get-together at the city’s harborfront convention center.

“A lot of the big players like Marvel, Star Wars and Game of Thrones, who dominated past cons, aren’t going to be there, which gives other properties an opportunity to step into the spotlight.”

Since its humble beginnings in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, a gathering of a few dozen geeks who swapped superhero magazines, Comic-Con has exploded in popularity.

Each July, it attracts around 130,000 cosplayers, movie executives, sci-fi fans and bloggers to a feast on all manner of panels, screenings and other attractions.

‘Scare Diego’

Described by Rolling Stone as the “Super Bowl of people who don’t like watching the Super Bowl,” Comic-Con’s beating heart is the 6,500-seat Hall H, where a cornucopia of stars hawk their latest work.

Devotees have been known to wait for days to be among the first to get into the sprawling arena, taking turns with family members and other fans for toilet breaks and sleep.

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. kick off proceedings Wednesday with “Scare Diego,” where fans will enjoy insights into It: Chapter Two and the frankly terrifying-looking The Nun.

The convention has traditionally persuaded most of the big studios to turn up for detailed presentations of their highly anticipated slates of upcoming movies — but not this year.

Disney is presumably saving its biggest treats for its own biennial D23 fan convention, and Universal’s segment is dedicated to just two movies — M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and David Gordon Green’s Halloween.

Elsewhere, Paramount brings its spinoff Transformers film Bumblebee and Fox has a Deadpool 2 celebration and preview for its Predator reboot.

Sony presents Venom, and the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, neither of which are considered part of the MCU, although Marvel was part of the production team.

That cedes the center stage to Warner Bros., which is expected to pull out all the stops in its two-hour Saturday spot.

The schedule is kept tightly under wraps, but insiders say there will almost certainly be thrills and spills from Aquaman, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the new Fantastic Beasts movie and Shazam!

‘Crazy busy’

“This is a fun room. It’s going to be crazy busy for Warner Bros., like it always is,” said James Riley of the SDConCast podcast.

“But without the pull of the evening Marvel panel to generate such a fervor for the line … we have a feeling this is actually going to be an easy day to get into Hall H.”

The television side of the Comic-Con gets increasingly bigger as the stars follow the voluminous torrent of cash into TV productions funded on a scale never seen before.

This year’s Hall H is expected to be more notable than ever for its small-screen content, despite the absence of HBO’s big-hitters.

“Several other networks will be showing off new and returning series in a hope to cut through the cluttered landscape and maintain, or possibly grow, viewership,” said Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter.

AMC has the pick of the convention with a debut appearance from Better Call Saul alongside a 10th anniversary reunion panel for Breaking Bad and a discussion on acclaimed graphic novel adaption Preacher.

The Walking Dead, the most successful show in U.S. cable television history, is back ahead of season nine, expected to debut in October, and there is a panel for its sister show, Fear the Walking Dead.

Other studios plying their TV wares include YouTube Originals and Fox, while SyFy stages what promises to be an emotional farewell to the Sharknado franchise.

Marvel’s movie people might be largely absent, but the studio boasts numerous panels and other event for its TV output, including Cloak & Dagger, Iron Fist and Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest.

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The Go-Go’s on Their Legacy and Advice for Other Rockers

Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin has five simple words of advice for female rock bands — “Write. Write. Write. Write. Write,” she said.

 

“I think the world needs a lot more women that are really taking charge of their whole career and image, instead of women being picked by men and then songs get written for them and players played for them,” Wiedlin said. “I just would like to see a little bit more wholly, self-realized female artists. I know there’s some out there. But I want more.”

 

Wiedlin joined other members of her pioneering all-female band on a Broadway stage last week to welcome “Head Over Heels,” the musical based on the band’s infectious hits. They treated the audience to a two-song set at curtain call.

 

“Head Over Heels” weaves the Go-Go’s tunes — “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and other hits with deep cuts and lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s subsequent singles — to tell an updated take on Sir Philip Sidney’s “Arcadia.” It’s an Elizabethan tale about a royal family trying to escape an oracle’s prophecy of doom, using Shakespearean conventions and reveals and mistaken identities.

“The fact that we actually made it to Broadway feels like it’s kind of a miracle. And also, super unlikely for a band that started 40 years ago as a punk rock band. So, it’s pretty thrilling,” Wiedlin said.

 

The Grammy-nominated Go-Go’s helped pave the way for future female artists and notably sang and played their own songs, but Carlisle stops short of feeling like a role model.

 

“I don’t like that term. I don’t think we’ve ever thought of ourselves as role models. We just did the work and got on with it,” she said. “It’s weird that there aren’t more Go-Go’s that have come along. I don’t know why, but for whatever reason.”

 

The Go-Go’s have no plans to tour, but Wiedlin claims it’s not the end of the band.

 

“In 2016, we did a no-more-touring tour, and basically, we announced we were not going to be touring anymore, which for some reason most people thought that meant we were breaking up. But we’re not broken up,” Wiedlin said.

 

She said the band will continue to work together, and separately, as well as perform in situations she deems, “exciting.” And having time can lead to cool projects, like the Broadway show.

 

“We were all to the point where touring is just a bit too much, so we are very happy to be focused on the musical ‘Head Over Heels’ right now,” she said. “There’s plenty of stuff in the future for us, both together and apart.”

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‘Mamma Mia!’ Sing-along Returns with Star-studded Sequel Premiere

Amid olive trees and plenty of ABBA tunes, the musical world of “Mamma Mia” took over a London theater on Monday for the film sequel’s world premiere with Oscar winner Meryl Streep and pop diva Cher among the attendees.

Ten years after the movie version of the hit theater musical, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” sees old faces return and new ones join the ABBA sing-along set on a picturesque Greek island where stars belt out tracks by the hugely popular Swedish band.

The plot follows on from the first film, which grossed over $600 million at the box office, but this time has flashbacks explaining how Meryl Streep’s character Donna arrived in Greece.

While fans have highly anticipated the sequel, ABBA founding members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus said they were not so keen on the idea at first.

“We were kind of protective of the first one because we were very proud of it, it was very good and it became kind of a cult movie … and we thought what’s the point of risking … taking away from that legacy, so we were reluctant,” Ulvaeus told Reuters.

But the film writers’ idea of making the movie a sequel and prequel at the same time helped change their minds, he said.

“I laughed out loud many times when I read (the script’s first draft). It was funny, it was moving so we said go ahead and here we are.”

Chanting “Waterloo,” “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen,” fans cheered as Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski – who starred in the 2008 film – arrived.

The sequel’s cast additions include Lily James, who plays the younger Donna, and Cher, who portrays Donna’s mother.

“I don’t know what I was expecting but I walked onto the set and I just thought everyone’s just having fun,” Cher said.

Like the first film, the sequel has plenty of colorful and comic scenes. It also has touching moments, cast members said.

“It’s a great time for this movie to be out in the world, because we’re all feeling a little down about the world right now,” Baranski said. “I think people are going to be transported to this beautiful Greek island with all these beloved characters and all these fabulous songs.”

“Mamma Mia!” the musical originated more than 20 years ago and has gone on to have productions around the world with generations of fans still singing and dancing to ABBA songs some 40 years after their release.

“It’s so humbling and I’m grateful but I cannot say I understand quite how that happened. It’s kind of a miracle,” Ulvaeus said of the band’s success. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think that these songs that we wrote would last for such a long time.”

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Stevie Nicks and LeAnn Rimes Share Heartbreak in New Duet

Stevie Nicks cried on her living room floor when she first saw LeAnn Rimes perform “Borrowed” on her TV in 2013.

 

The song, about an intimate, yet fleeting romance between Rimes and her lover, came out on Rimes’ “Spitfire” album when Nicks became enamored with it. The Fleetwood Mac singer knew then that she wanted to sing it with Rimes someday.

 

“It was very easy for me to try to be in that same sad, deeply tragic, passionate place where she was when she wrote that song because I had been there. I had lived there for a long time,” Nicks said in an interview with The Associated Press from Mexico, where she was on vacation.

 

Nicks heard from mutual friend and producer Darrell Brown, who co-wrote “Borrowed,” that Rimes was planning to touch up some of her hits for her “Re-Imagined” EP, and she jumped at the chance to record a duet version with Rimes.

 

“Being able to have another artist really kind of get you on so many levels in that authenticity and from that space is really magical,” said Rimes.

 

The new version, released last month, balances Nicks’ soft croon to Rimes’ striking vocals. Like in the previous version, a cool and fading steel guitar compliments the rhythmic melody and calming percussion.

 

Even though Nicks has been singing and recording long before Rimes was on the scene, she said working with her is like going to singing college.

 

“She doesn’t brush over anything,” said 70-year-old Nicks. “You have to sing every single word with her; otherwise it won’t be a good duet because she would leave you in the dust.”

 

Rimes, 35, became a star as a teen and launched hits such as “Blue,” “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” She won the best new artist Grammy at age 14.

 

Both singers come from different musical backgrounds. Nicks is a rock ‘n’ roll magnate from Phoenix and Rimes has country roots in Texas, but their voices reflect on a shared passion where heartbreak isn’t bound by place, time or genre.

 

Rimes said she came up with the idea for the song during an emotionally troubling moment on an airplane when she noticed someone reading a tabloid magazine with her on the cover. She started to cry when the stranger’s husband came to her comfort.

 

“I honestly feel like that guy was an angel,” she said. “Some things came over me at that moment and I just remember thinking that title (“Borrowed”) to myself.”

 

The first line of the song came to Rimes: “I know you’re not mine. Only borrowed.” From there, she took it to the studio where she fleshed out the rest of the tune.

 

“It’s a very honest, authentic moment and capturing a piece of me that I really didn’t know existed until I wrote this song,” said Rimes.

 

Rimes is currently on a summer tour and Nicks is hitting the road with Fleetwood Mac in the fall. Both singers said they hope to perform the song together someday.

 

“I would love to do a record with LeAnn,” said Nicks. “I’m hoping that for some reason we’ll get to go onstage and sing this song together.”

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Scarlett Johansson Film Exit Spotlights Lack of Transgender Actors on Screen

Scarlett Johansson’s decision to pull out of a film role playing an American gangster who was born a woman but identified as male could kickstart a drive to get more transgender actors on screen, film insiders and LGBT campaigners said on Monday.

Hollywood star Johansson had agreed to play Dante “Tex” Gill in the film Rub & Tug, but last week said she had decided to leave the role after realizing the casting was “insensitive.”

Her initial casting sparked a backlash on social media as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community criticized the lack of opportunities for transgender actors.

“Trans exclusion in the media is endemic and not something that’s going to change without pressure on the industry,” said Lily Madigan, a transgender activist and women’s rights official for Britain’s opposition Labour Party.

“My hope is the attention brought to the issue by this recent event will be enough to kick-start a more diverse casting standard,” Madigan told Reuters.

Hollywood has long favored casting non-transgender actors in gender fluid roles, including Jared Leto who won an Oscar for playing a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club, and Jeffrey Tambor who has nabbed several awards for playing a father who transitions to a woman in the television series Transparent.

Juno Roche, an author and transgender rights campaigner, said there would be “absolute outrage” if a white actor was cast to play a black person.

“It just seems completely illogical,” she said of casting of Johansson as Gill, a real-life crime kingpin who used a massage parlor as a front for prostitution during the 1970s and 1980s.

None of the 109 movies released by Hollywood’s seven biggest studios in 2017 included a transgender character, according to data from U.S-based LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.

“One of the issues we tend to have is people who are openly trans only being considered for trans role,” said Ian Manborde, equality and diversity organizer at Equity, a Britain-based trade union for actors and performers.

“The issue is that some people [who have transitioned] might not want to identify or self-identify as trans. There is still a stigma within the sector,” he said, adding that Equity planned to advise industry employers on how to treat transgender actors.

Filming has yet to begin on Rub & Tug and no replacement for Johansson was immediately announced.

“I can now only hope that the part goes to a trans person or — at the very least — someone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQI [queer and intersex] community,” said Rebecca Root, one of the only openly transgender actresses in Britain.

From the Johansson controversy to Chilean actress Daniela Vega becoming the first transgender presenter at the Oscars and a Cannes Film Festival award for Girl — about a transgender teenage girl’s quest to become a ballerina — this year has seen debates on transgender representation in film come to the fore.

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Cardi B Crowns Break-Out Year With Leading 10 MTV VMA Nominations

Rapper Cardi B earned a leading 10 nominations on Monday for the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), reflecting a break-out year that has seen her become one of the industry’s most successful and sought-after performers.

The New York singer, 25, earned nominations in all the top categories, including both best artist and best new artist, as well as best video, collaboration and choreography mostly for her work with Bruno Mars on “Finesse.”

Cardi B, who shot to fame in August 2017 with her brash female empowerment song “Bodak Yellow,” led a VMA contenders field that included Drake, Camila Cabello, Beyonce and husband Jay-Z.

Performing as The Carters, the power music duo earned eight nominations for their “APES**T” video, which was shot inside the Louvre in Paris against the backdrop of some of the world’s most famous art works.

Childish Gambino, the music stage name of actor Donald Glover, earned seven nominations for his hard-hitting video “This Is America” about black identity and police brutality.

Cardi B and Bruno Mars, The Carters, and Childish Gambino will face off for the top prize — video of the year — against Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” and Drake’s “God’s Plan.”

Monday’s nominations reflected the popularity of rap, which in 2017 surpassed rock as the most dominant music genre in the United States, and R&B.

Pop singer Taylor Swift managed only three nominations, all in technical categories, for “Look What You Made Me Do,” despite her album “Reputation” being the biggest seller in the United States in 2017.

Britain’s Ed Sheeran got four nominations, including song of the year, for his romantic ballad “Perfect,” which was a worldwide hit.

The fan-voted, youth-oriented VMA awards ceremony with a reputation for irreverence and outrageous stunts will be broadcast live on MTV from New York City on August 20.

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Djokovic Wins Wimbledon Championship

Novak Djokovic of Serbia has won his first Wimbledon title since 2015, defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, 7-6.

It is Dkokovic’s fourth Wimbledon championship and his first Grand Slam title since winning the French open two years ago.

Anderson, seeded number eight, was playing two days after a grueling more than six and a half hour semifinal showdown with American John Isner. Anderson had earlier upset defending champion Roger Federer in a five set win in the quarterfinals.

For the 12th seeded Dkovovic, it is his 13th career Grand Slam title.

In the Women’s final Saturday, Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated seven time champion American Serena Williams in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

It was Williams’ first Grand Slam final since coming back to the tour after giving birth to her daughter last September.

 

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