Following the news of The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan’s sudden death at the age of 46, the remaining members of the band have spoken out about their grief. “We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores,” Fergal Lawler, Noel and Mike Hogan wrote in a joint statement on social media. “She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today,” they added.
Ed Sheeran grabs another week at No. 1 on Australia’s singles chart with “Perfect” (Atlantic/Warner) as the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman (Atlantic/Warner) rises to the zenith of the national albums survey. The triple-platinum “Perfect” enters a fifth straight week atop the ARIA Singles Chart and collects another Streaming Singles crown. The track was one of four Sheeran songs to crack the top 10 in ARIA’s recently-published year-end singles tally and it's lifted from the English singer’s Divide, the best-selling album of 2017 in Australia. Also on the singles chart this week, Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (Epic/Sony) featuring Young Thug holds at No. 2, Eminem’s “River” (Interscope/Universal) featuring Sheeran is unchanged at No. 3, Post Malone’s“I Fall Apart” (Universal) improves 5-4 and Marshmellox Khalid’s“Silence” (RCA/Sony) gains 7-5. The highest-ranked homegrown track on the current survey comes from Pnau, whose track “Go Bang” (Universal) improves 19-13, as a pair of new entries impact the top 50: Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble's “This Is Me” (it’s at No. 34 via Atlantic/Warner), from the week’s best-selling album, and Camelphat & Elderbrook’s club tune “Cola” (ADA/Warner) at No. 48. Meanwhile, The Greatest Showman leads a top five comprised of albums which have all logged time at the summit: Sheeran’s Divide (Warner),Pink’s Beautiful Trauma (RCA/Sony), Eminem's Revival (Interscope/Universal) and Taylor Swift’sReputation (Big Machine/Universal), respectively.
As expected, “Star Wars” fever has taken the box office by storm as Lucasfilm’s latest installment, “The Last Jedi,” has posted an opening weekend of $220 million from 4,232 screens. That’s the second highest domestic opening of all-time behind the film’s 2015 predecessor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and a 41 percent jump over the $155 million opening posted by last year’s “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One.” The film opened with $104.8 million on Friday (including $45 million from Thursday previews), making it only the second film to earn $100 million on opening day. This was followed by $63.7 million on Saturday and a projected $52 million on Sunday. This total also pushes Disney past the $2 billion mark domestically for the third consecutive year and into the top spot among all studios for domestic revenue. In total, “The Last Jedi” has posted a global opening of $450 million excluding China, good for the fifth-highest global opening in box office history with $40.6 million coming from IMAX, good for the second-highest opening excluding China. The film opens in China on January 5. Hardcore “Star Wars” fans have been debating the film’s merits since screenings started on Thursday evening, but as a whole, critics and audiences have given the film a big thumbs up with an A on CinemaScore and a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Star Wars”‘ big weekend comes after Lucasfilm’s parent company, Disney, turned Hollywood on its head by buying the original owner of “Star Wars”, 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion. As fate would have it, Fox has also released a movie this weekend, the Blue Sky animated film “Ferdinand.” Helmed by “Ice Age” director Carlos Saldanha, the film has grossed $13.3 million at 3,621 locations against projections of a $15 million opening. The film received an A on CinemaScore and a 74 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Bruno Mars dominated the 2017 Soul Train Awards on Sunday. The pop star won five prizes, including best male R&B/soul artist, song of the year ("That's What I Like"), as well as best video, album/mixtape and dance performance for "24k Magic." Toni Braxton accepted the Don Cornelius Legend Award and performed a medley of her hits during the show, hosted by Erykah Badu at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

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