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Top 12 Rising Artists To Watch In 2021

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Artists leave their mark and make heads turn with their incredibly talented persona & determination, here are some talents to your notice.

 

Making art is like a visceral churning, sometimes a painful twist of the heart or a frantic pull of the brain in unknown directions, until the work is rendered complete to their audience. The year is largely without major concerts and shared experiences, making connection with new artists difficult, but not impossible. Whether it’s a brand new artist just getting started or an experienced artist who leveled up and hit their stride, all 12 of these artists are worth keeping an eye on this year.

 

Many turned to social media and livestreams, others let the music do the talking, and in some ways 2021 was a promising year for more rising artists than usual. From bedroom-produced artists on the rise to virtual reality superstars, these are some artists you should start following in 2021.  

 

Scroll down to discover who the rising artists are…

 

  1. Desi G

Desi G, Canada based Singer & Actress, has a crazy following and fanbase on Instagram and Facebook, nearly reaching 1 million on Instagram. After launching her first album ‘On My Own’ that contained eight cover songs – at 13 years, she is currently launching her original album Lucid Thoughts which she wrote and and was mentored by an amazing songwriter – Vanessa Van Slee. Her single “Mixed Emotions” from this album has been released which has passed 200k streams on Spotify in 3 weeks! The full album will be fully released this summer by her producer Andrew Van Slee. Desi loves developing genuine connections and being inspired everyday by thousands of people. She also dabbled in the film industry and was in a commercial for Xfinity. With a background in singing, acting, theatre, and playing a variety of musical instruments, she got featured in several plays such as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Flounder in Little Mermaid Junior, and Molly in Annie Junior. 

Instagram – @desi.g_music

 

  1. KAKI

KAKI, Indian Singer, Songwriter & Performer, is one of the youngest to be recognised by IMDB. She is nominated for Clef Music Awards 2021 and also featured on Rolling Stone! After having worked with internationally renowned Musicians like Parham Potki, Jason Uncles, she was selected for TATA SKY airplay. In 2018, Kaki joined Talentsofworld, and from there she started creating original songs – her first original song was ‘THE ACE’. Since then, she has been giving back to back tracks in all different genres from Pop to Hip/Hop to Indian-Western fusions. Kaki releases all her music videos at www.9xm.tv, with her latest song ‘Arabian Nights’ reaching 1.3 million+ views in 10 days.

Instagram – @kaki_singer

 

  1. Sergio Pardo

Sergio Pardo, Spain based Music Artist & DJ, is known for his mix of music on Monegros Desert Festival, and producing Spinnin Deep Records. Born in 1984 in the city of Fraga – Spain,  he has been behind the decks for over 23 years and has been producing music for more than 9 years now. His popularity increased after participating in festivals such as Monegros Desert Festival and macro venues such as Fabrik, nightclubs throughout Spain.  His 3 records, 369 Music focused on tech house, 666 Conspiracy Music focused on Techno and 24/7 Music focused on house, are creating an incredible addictive space and have begun to be reference music for many in the most important electronic music portals. Do check out the episode of tracks 4 and 6 from his 3 labels.

Instagram – @djsergiopardo

 

  1. Nathalie Miranda

Nathalie Miranda, London-based artist, provides recorded vocals for producers, backing vocals, lead vocals, lyrics and melodies….anything to do with vocals! Her latest single, Battle Scars, which was released in March 2021 has caused a stir, just like her previous single ‘Catch-22’. This charismatic individual is a rare talent who works tirelessly 24/7 to get closer to achieving her dreams. She has her own home studio set up where she records all her own songs. Her music is retro-soul combined with modern production techniques. Her live online performances during the pandemic and after are not to be missed! 

Instagram – @nathaliemirandamusic

 

  1. Rebel Muzik

Rebel Muzik, New York based DJ, has taken over the world by playing his fusion of music and has also earned a billboard on Time Square! Born in the islands of Trinidad & Tobago, he moved to NYC  at the age of 19 and started his career as a DJ professionally at the age of 24. Not too long after, he also started producing for most of the local acts where he opened his own studio for more known artists in the Caribbean world shifting gears towards producing EDM and Pop Fusion. Touring from 2013, he went on a world tour in 2016 – Dj-ing in Europe, Japan, South America, and across the caribbean.

Instagram – @iamrebelmuzik

 

  1. Viktoria Vera

Viktoria Vera, Polish Singer, released her first single and hit over 120 000 streams on Spotify. In her latest single “Memories”, Viktoria shows her vulnerable and vastly passionate lyrics while keeping the listener’s ears peeled to her compelling story. At 21, Viktoria’s multifaceted and sophisticated pop sound is rooted in a wide range of inspirations absorbed from her time growing up singing in her home country of Poland where she performed regularly from a young age. Her next line-up of singles off her debut album delves into current affairs with soulful poetic swagger. She has positioned herself as a promising singer, songwriter in the Los Angeles and Boston music scenes. Frequenting these cities, she launched her career at the Mixx 360 club, and has ever since performed across shows at Academy LA in Hollywood, and been in articles like Artennza Magazine, Buzz Music LA and Rattler Magazine. Her new E.P. with numerous rapper collaborations will be out  this January 2022!

Instagram – @viktoriavera_

 

  1. Tina Rez

Tina Rez, Sydney based Musician, is known for her famous debut single “Love Dilemma”. After terrible experiences with an independent label where she released an EP titled “Take me as I am” which she wasn’t happy with both quality wise and the way, she realized she had been scammed and decided to take the EP down and re-start her career all over again. Today, she is working with one of Australia’s largest and respected studios – Studios 301 where she began her new musical journey again! It took courage but this time she felt like she had to build that trust again with her audience. She is now on the right track now and “Love Dilemma” was quite a successful release which marks the rebirth of Tina Rez! She can’t wait to share more of her upcoming releases that’s yet to come! 

Instagram – @tinarezmusic

 

  1. Tommy

Tommy, also known by the stage name ‘Lyrical Cane’, is based out of Los Angeles CA. His most recognized moment was when he got ‘Artist of the week’ on reaching 100k views on his first video release. It first started out in school where he learned to play various instruments, became a composer, and created music. His track ‘My Life’ is a tribute to his oldest brother which got a lot of attention. He also just released his latest single ‘1.34 AM’ Freestyle. This is one of the notable pieces created by him when he came back from New Mexico, just after experiencing the pain of losing one of his loved ones.

Instagram – @lyricalcane

 

  1. KYG

KYG, based out of Millville New Jersey, is a musician mentioned by Eric Bellinger and Tank. He was also featured on mixtapes that they have hosted. An artist and songwriter known to produce dope music initially started out as a bass player in church with a desire to write and produce songs. This practice of writing and producing for himself helped him become an artist. He often says that the art of music creation came to him when he was alone in his room meditating and this helps him intensify his creative process. Don’t forget to check out Reflections, which is out now! 

Instagram – @official_kyg

 

  1. Kalli Therinae

Kalli Therinae, known as Xannova Xan is a US-based actress, singer and songwriter. Her recent debut single ‘I’m a Psycho’ has garnered a lot of attention, and tik tok profile has also been gaining traction after a video of her singing ‘I will always love you’ in her bathroom went viral. Her precocious vocals and songwriting abilities have helped her to stand out of the crowd and grow a large following at a young age. From singing in the finale of the Paralympic opening ceremony as a child singer in Greece to representing the country in the finals of Eurovision Junior with an original song and competing on American Idol, she is quite the singer everyone is looking for. Apart from this, she has also acted in many independent horror films including ‘Babysitter Must Die’, many commercials and also starred in ‘Christmas Wonderland’ alongside Emily Osment. In October, she will be releasing a song to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence.

Instagram – @kali_roxx

 

  1. Stack Pack

Stack Pack (also known as Trizzy Stacks) is a musician, artist & digital marketing pro artist, based out of Boston, MA. He recently released his new EP, Stack Pack Volume 1, and has garnered a lot of attention from his fans and followers. Going beyond music, Stack Pack is known to help music artists with promotion and marketing on social media and other channels. Recently, he has also been in a new partnership with Iconic Enterprises where he is able to give funding under a brand called Elevation One Group, he is also a direct partner of their processing company. As a partner, he can offer funding under his business/brand name with his current book of business or service Internet Traffic LLC. Anyone who needs help as a social media influencer can contact Stack Pack, and also for those who need help with any aspect of digital marketing. 

Instagram – @officialstackpack

 

  1. John Riesen

John Riesen, New York based Artist, known for Tony in West Side Story Suite with NYC Ballet at the Lincoln Center, and reaching one million streams on Spotify! He has been invited to sing for political figures, including President Barack Obama, President Jimmy Carter, Judge Stephanie Kulp Seymour and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He also collaborated with Emmy-nominated PBS TV pianist Marina Arsenijevic in both video performance and studio recordings. Honorary to sing the national anthem at several collegiate, semi-professional and professional athletic organizations, including the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, the Pensacola Ice Flyers, MSU hockey/baseball and more.

Hailed as “impassioned and vibrant” (Opera Today), award-winning American tenor John Riesen is consistently impressing audiences with his “fantastic, powerful voice” (Texarkana Gazette). He recently released two studio recording albums: What You’d Call a Dream and Christmas at Home and several singles that reached over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify and Apple Music. 

Instagram – @johnriesen

 

By definition, being an artist seems pretty simple, but an artist is so much more. Being an artist means creating something that makes somebody feel. Being an artist means forgetting limits and boundaries, and letting your imagination flow freely onto the real-world understanding. The art of exploring and expressing oneself and their emotions, whether it be through music or any other art form. Another artistic endeavor has been shot through for the current 2021 in making.

Sahil Sachdeva is the CEO of Level Up Holdings, a Personal Branding agency. He creates elite personal brands through social media growth and top tier press features.

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The Fall Guy’ Stumbles Short of Blockbuster Status

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Superhero movies have seen better days at the box office, making an action-comedy based on a 1980s TV show an unlikely contender to kick off the summer. Drawn by the appeal of Ryan Gosling’s Barbie” performance (or Ken-core), “The Fall Guy” falls flat in the beginning and only picks up towards the end, failing to achieve the major impact it aims for.

At its best, director David Leitch (“Deadpool 2”) presents a film defined by its appreciation for the movies, particularly the stunt work where he began his career. The original TV series starring Lee Majors (noted mostly for its theme song) provides a loose framework for a story about a stuntman whose on-screen troubles spill into real life, compelling him to use his skills to deal with real-life villains.

The film takes some time to set this up, introducing Gosling’s Colt Seavers as the stunt double for the egotistical star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), while also entangling him with Jody (Emily Blunt), a fellow crew member.

An accident derails Colt’s life and career, and after some time, he is coaxed out of retirement by Gail (Hannah Waddingham from “Ted Lasso”), the fast-talking producer of Ryder’s films. Colt is reluctant to return, but the chance to reunite with Jody, now making her directorial debut, entices him, though things don’t go as planned.

Colt’s comeback is driven by more than just professional interest—off-screen shenanigans and Ryder’s involvement with shady characters force Colt into a quasi-detective role, using his stunt skills to navigate dangerous situations.

The setup, including the romantic subplot, leads to some dull stretches between the elaborate stunts, which are the main attraction of “The Fall Guy” and its comedy. Gosling brings a goofy charm and amusing neediness to Colt, but the premise, already somewhat strained in the Reagan era, doesn’t fully hold up despite being amplified for the big screen.

“The Fall Guy” shines in its smaller moments and unique touches, like Colt’s boss (Winston Duke) frequently quoting movie lines, Taylor-Johnson channeling Matthew McConaughey, and a stunt dog trained to respond to French, including a particularly juvenile command.

Ultimately, “The Fall Guy” feels weighed down by high expectations and its positioning as a major blockbuster when it’s a light-hearted homage to the unsung stuntman. While Gosling has the talent to carry much, elevating this film beyond its amiable nature is a heavy lift, even for him.

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FCC Considers New AI Regulations for Political Ads

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking initial steps toward implementing new rules that could mandate political ads on TV and radio to disclose the use of artificial intelligence.

On Wednesday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel urged fellow commissioners to back these regulations due to growing concerns about AI-generated deepfakes disrupting elections.

“With the increasing accessibility of AI tools, the Commission wants to ensure consumers are fully informed when such technology is used,” Rosenworcel stated in a news release. “Today, I have proposed to my colleagues that consumers have the right to know when AI is used in political ads, and I hope they act quickly on this issue.”

The proposal, set to initiate a rulemaking process that could take months, targets broadcast TV, radio, cable, and satellite providers. Under the proposed rules, political advertisers would need to disclose on-air if their ads contain AI-generated content. However, the FCC does not regulate internet-based media like streaming services or social media.

Additionally, the proposed rule would require political advertisers to include written disclosures in the public files that broadcasters must maintain.

The FCC’s initiative aims to address a significant gap in the regulation of AI in political advertising. Current US election law prohibits campaigns from “fraudulently misrepresenting other candidates or political parties,” but it remains unclear if this extends to AI-generated content.

Last summer, a move to clarify this law’s applicability to AI-created depictions was blocked by Republicans on the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Although the FEC has since reopened the discussion, no decision has been reached.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers have proposed legislation to regulate AI in elections. In March, the AI Transparency in Elections Act, a bipartisan proposal by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, was introduced to require AI disclaimers on political ads.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has emphasized the urgent need for congressional guardrails on AI, particularly in elections. Last week, he and a bipartisan group of senators released a legislative action blueprint. However, many policy analysts are skeptical that Congress will pass significant AI legislation during an election year.

Online platforms like Meta have also taken steps to address AI in political ads, requiring campaigns to disclose the use of deepfakes and banning the use of in-house generative AI tools for political advertising.

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Kevin Bacon Returns to ‘Footloose’ High School for 40th Anniversary Celebration 🎉🎬

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Kevin Bacon fulfilled his promise to return to the Utah high school where his iconic 1984 film “Footloose” was filmed.

Bacon visited Payson High School on Saturday after months of efforts by the students who launched the #BacontoPayson social media campaign. The students recreated movie scenes and choreographed videos to catch Bacon’s attention, hoping he would attend their final prom before the school relocates at the end of the school year.

“When I first heard about this Bacon to Payson thing, I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ But you were all just tireless,” Bacon said in his speech on the school’s football field, according to ABC7. “You talked me into it.”

Bacon expressed his appreciation for the students’ dedication.

As part of the effort to bring Bacon back to campus, Payson High School pledged to create 5,000 essential resource kits for his Sixdegrees.org foundation, which supports underserved communities. The organization aims to pack and distribute up to 40,000 kits through its “Footloose40” initiative.

In his speech, Bacon thanked the students for turning the event into something meaningful and positive.

During his visit, Bacon received an honorary Payson High School diploma, posed for photos with students, and even visited his old locker, as shown in a video posted to his Instagram Stories.

“Footloose,” released in 1984, starred Bacon as a teenager who moves to a small town where dancing is forbidden, a rule he works to overturn. The movie ends with a prom, which, even after 40 years, remains the place to get footloose.

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Cannes Film Festival Welcomes ‘The Apprentice’ with Applause and Controversy

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The Apprentice,” a newly released film chronicling former President Donald Trump’s real estate ventures in 1980s New York, made its debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival amidst a flurry of applause and controversy. The timing of the film’s release, just five months before the presidential election, ignited a storm of criticism from Trump’s campaign.

Starring Sebastian Stan as a young Trump, the movie delves into themes of power, ambition, and the dark underbelly of corruption and deceit. Jeremy Strong, known for his role in “Succession,” co-stars as Roy Cohn, a key figure in Trump’s early career whom he considered a mentor.

Described as a mentor-protege narrative, the film explores the origins of an American dynasty while revealing the moral and human toll of a culture fixated on winning at any cost. Despite sharing a name with Trump’s reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” the film carries a disclaimer acknowledging fictionalized elements. It was written by biographer Gabriel Sherman and directed by Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, who aimed to use Trump’s story as a vehicle to address broader societal issues.

At the Cannes premiere, Abbasi addressed the audience, warning of the looming threat of fascism and advocating for a candid examination of reality. The film’s portrayal of Trump’s relationship with his first wife, Ivana, and controversial scenes, such as his liposuction procedure, drew audible reactions from viewers and prompted threats of legal action from the Trump campaign, which denounced the film as malicious defamation.

Maria Bakalova portrays Ivana Trump, while Martin Donovan, Catherine McNally, and Charlie Carrick round out the cast. Despite generating buzz at Cannes, the film’s release date remains uncertain, with no confirmed distributor in the United States according to IMDb.

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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Credits Cassie for Helping Him Through ‘Dark Times’ During 2022 BET Award Speech

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When Sean “Diddy” Combs received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards in 2022, he made a heartfelt acknowledgment to his former girlfriend, Cassie Ventura. “I’mma keep it a hundred with y’all, I was in a dark place for a few years,” Combs said during his acceptance speech. “And also Cassie for holding me down in the dark times. Love.”

However, this moment has since taken on a different tone following Ventura’s allegations against Combs. In November, Ventura accused Combs of rape and abuse in a lawsuit that was quickly settled. Adding fuel to the controversy, a video was released on Friday showing Combs physically assaulting Ventura in 2016.

Combs and Ventura had an on-and-off relationship from 2007 to 2018. Ventura’s complaint alleged that Combs raped her in 2018 and subjected her to repeated physical and emotional abuse throughout their relationship.

Ben Brafman, Combs’ attorney, clarified that settling the lawsuit does not imply an admission of guilt. “A decision to settle a lawsuit, especially in 2023, is in no way an admission of wrongdoing,” Brafman said in a statement. “Mr. Combs’ decision to settle the lawsuit does not in any way undermine his flat-out denial of the claims. He is happy they reached a mutual settlement and wishes Ms. Ventura the best.”

Despite this, Combs publicly apologized for his actions depicted in the 2016 video. “It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you got to do that,” Combs said in a video posted to Instagram. “I was f**ked up — I hit rock bottom — but I make no excuses. My behavior on that video is inexcusable.”

Combs continued, “I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I am disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it. I’m disgusted now.” Notably, he did not mention Ventura by name in his apology, adhering to the terms of their settlement which prohibits either party from speaking about the other.

At the BET Awards in 2022, Ventura’s allegations were not yet public. Combs accepted the award to a standing ovation, with his then-girlfriend, rapper Yung Miami, holding a “Go Papi” sign in the audience. His family, including his mother, Janice Combs, and sons, Christian and Justin Combs, were also present.

During his acceptance speech, Combs expressed gratitude towards God, his mother, his late mentor Andre Harrell, and the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. His shout-out to Ventura made 17 months before her lawsuit, has since sparked renewed conversation on social media, with many now criticizing his reference to her as “diabolical” and “narcissistic.”

Meredith Firetog, Ventura’s attorney, criticized Combs’ apology as self-serving, stating it was “more about himself than the many people he has hurt.”

The November 2023 settlement stipulates that Combs and Ventura cannot publicly discuss each other, ensuring the controversy continues to resonate in the public sphere while legally keeping the details under wraps.

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Billie Eilish’s Unique Approach Shines in ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ Success

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Billie Eilish, at 22, has carved a path in the music industry unlike any other. From her humble beginnings releasing tracks on Soundcloud to her record-breaking albums, she’s always done things her way – and it’s paid off. Now, with her highly anticipated third studio album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft,” set to release, Eilish continues to defy industry norms with her unconventional approach.

Unlike many artists who release singles before an album launch, Eilish intentionally chose not to, keeping fans in suspense until the album’s release date. This move, along with her decision to co-write and produce all her albums with her brother, Finneas O’Connell, has cemented her reputation as an artist unafraid to take risks.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Eilish hinted that “Hit Me Hard and Soft” will harken back to her musical roots, capturing the essence of her youth. This authenticity has been a hallmark of her career, setting her apart in an industry often driven by image and persona.

But Eilish’s commitment to breaking the mold extends beyond her music. With her upcoming tour, she’s taking a stand against scalpers by implementing strict ticket transfer restrictions. This move, aimed at ensuring fans have access to tickets at face value, reflects Eilish’s dedication to her audience and her values.

Moreover, Eilish is using her platform to advocate for environmental sustainability in the music industry. In a manifesto posted on her website, she outlined her plan to release a limited number of vinyl variants for “Hit Me Hard and Soft,” produced using sustainable practices. This commitment to reducing waste and promoting eco-consciousness aligns with Eilish’s outspoken stance on environmental issues.

As she prepares to embark on her “Hit Me Hard and Soft” tour, Eilish remains steadfast in her mission to challenge the status quo and redefine success on her terms. With two Oscars, nine Grammys, and two chart-topping albums under her belt, she’s proven that staying true to oneself can lead to extraordinary achievements.

Billie Eilish’s journey is a testament to the power of authenticity, creativity, and resilience in the face of adversity. As she continues to push boundaries and inspire audiences around the world, her impact on the music industry is undeniable.

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Chuck Schumer and Bipartisan Senators Unveil Plan to Regulate AI and Invest Billions in Its Development

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On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a bipartisan group of senators unveiled an extensive blueprint aimed at guiding congressional efforts to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) through forthcoming legislation. This 31-page roadmap, released this week, advocates for substantial government investment to accelerate AI research and development, echoing Schumer’s and others’ previous commitments to bolster U.S. innovation in this fiercely competitive field.

Among its directives, the roadmap tasks multiple Senate committees with devising safeguards to address significant AI risks, including discrimination, job displacement, and election interference. Schumer emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive, bipartisan approach, highlighting the leadership of their AI working group in this endeavor.

The document proposes various measures aligned with established congressional objectives, such as crafting a national data privacy law to empower consumers and regulate AI firms’ data practices. Some recommendations draw inspiration from EU legislation, including a suggested prohibition on AI applications resembling China’s social scoring systems.

Additionally, the roadmap urges the formulation of coherent export control policies for potent AI systems, with considerations for national security. It advocates for substantial annual investment in AI research and development, echoing the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s 2021 proposal.

The roadmap’s development involved extensive engagement with stakeholders, including tech giants, civil rights advocates, and industry representatives. It aims to revitalize legislative efforts initiated last year, led by Schumer and bipartisan colleagues.

Schumer has underscored the urgency of regulating AI, particularly in light of the forthcoming elections, expressing a commitment to expedited legislative timelines. However, skepticism remains among analysts and congressional aides regarding Congress’s ability to enact significant AI regulations during an election year.

Meanwhile, the EU has made significant strides in AI regulation, recently approving the landmark EU AI Act. In response to the Senate roadmap’s release, some tech industry figures have expressed optimism, while others have criticized its perceived vagueness in addressing critical AI policy issues.

Notably, some consumer advocates have raised concerns about the roadmap’s focus on certain sectors at the expense of others, advocating for more comprehensive consideration of AI’s societal impacts.

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Wicked’ Trailer Teases Edgier Glinda and Showstopping Elphaba Played by Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo

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“Are people born wicked?” This question looms large as the latest trailer for the highly anticipated ‘Wicked’ movie, featuring Ariana Grande as Glinda, hints at a more complex and possibly edgier interpretation of the character. Based on the acclaimed Broadway musical, which itself is adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling book, the film promises to offer a fresh take on the beloved story.

The trailer, released on Wednesday, is a visual feast of vibrant colors and aural delights, showcasing the incredible vocal talents of Grande and the Oscar-nominated, Tony-winning Cynthia Erivo, who portrays Elphaba. At first glance, it appears to be a jubilant celebration of music and spectacle. However, a closer look reveals nuanced performances, particularly from Grande’s Glinda, who exhibits a pricklier demeanor compared to previous portrayals, such as Kristin Chenoweth’s bubbly Broadway interpretation.

In one of the trailer’s key scenes, Glinda and Elphaba, assigned as roommates, navigate their initial interactions. Glinda’s pink-drenched room serves as the backdrop for a telling moment when she offers Elphaba an unsightly hat, quipping that she doesn’t “hate anybody that much” to actually wear it. This scene hints at a “mean girl” energy from Glinda that contrasts sharply with her traditionally “popular” persona.

As the trailer progresses, Elphaba’s formidable powers become evident, much to Glinda’s dismay. This attracts the attention of headmistress Madame Morrible, portrayed by Michelle Yeoh, who ominously tells Elphaba, “You’re the one the Wizard has been waiting for.” This sets the stage for a journey to the Emerald City, where Elphaba and Glinda encounter the powerful Wizard, played by Jeff Goldblum. It is here that they both start to realize that, as Elphaba ominously states, “Something bad is happening in Oz.”

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(From left) Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in ‘Wicked.’ Universal Pictures

The Wizard’s declaration, “The best way to bring folks together is to give them a real good enemy,” injects a political undertone into the narrative, suggesting that director Jon M. Chu’s cinematic adaptation may delve into darker themes present in the original book. This is further emphasized by disturbing propaganda imagery portraying Elphaba as a figure to be feared, including a menacing banner and a giant effigy set ablaze in a town square.

Despite the initial friction, the trailer indicates that Glinda and Elphaba eventually form a deep, sisterly bond. However, it is Elphaba’s journey that captivates the most, culminating in Erivo’s chilling rendition of “Defying Gravity.” As Elphaba soars on her broomstick, she boldly declares, “I’m not afraid. It’s the Wizard who should be afraid of me.”

The eagerly awaited ‘Wicked’ movie, a two-part adaptation, revisits the backstory of Oz before Dorothy’s arrival. It explores the evolution of Glinda and Elphaba’s “unlikely but profound friendship” as their lives diverge dramatically, ultimately leading them to fulfill their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

The ensemble cast includes Jonathan Bailey, Bowen Yang, Ethan Slater, and Peter Dinklage, among others, promising a rich and dynamic cinematic experience. ‘Wicked: Part 1’ is set to enchant theaters on November 27, with ‘Wicked: Part 2’ following in late 2025.

With its blend of stunning visuals, powerful performances, and a fresh narrative perspective, ‘Wicked’ is poised to captivate audiences and offer a deeper exploration of the beloved tale of friendship, power, and identity in the magical land of Oz.

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OpenAI Executive Departs Amidst Controversy Surrounding CEO Sam Altman’s Removal

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“OpenAI’s Chief Scientist and Co-Founder Departs Following CEO’s Turbulent Ouster and Return”

Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and co-founder, announced his departure from the company on Tuesday, marking the end of nearly a decade-long tenure. Sutskever, who played a pivotal role in the tumultuous removal and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman last November, revealed his decision via social media, expressing excitement for future endeavors.

The departure of Sutskever comes amidst a backdrop of significant upheaval within OpenAI. His involvement in the dramatic firing – and subsequent return – of CEO Sam Altman last year underscored the internal management crisis that gripped the organization, ultimately reinforcing Altman’s leadership position in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.

The timing of Sutskever’s departure coincides with OpenAI’s unveiling of its latest artificial intelligence model, GPT-4o, a development that has garnered considerable attention for its impressive capabilities.

Sutskever first made headlines six months ago when he voted for Altman’s removal as CEO and chairman of the board, citing concerns that Altman had pushed AI technology “too far, too fast.” However, just days later, Sutskever reversed course, joining an employee letter calling for the entire board’s resignation and Altman’s reinstatement.

Altman’s swift return to the helm of OpenAI, just five days after his initial dismissal, marked a remarkable turn of events. Sutskever publicly apologized for his role in the corporate drama, expressing deep regret and reaffirming his commitment to the company’s mission.

Despite the internal turmoil, OpenAI has continued to make strides in advancing its flagship product, ChatGPT. The latest iteration of the model, announced on Monday, promises to transform ChatGPT into a digital personal assistant capable of engaging in real-time spoken conversations.

Sutskever’s departure signifies the end of an era for OpenAI, marking a significant transition for the organization he helped shape. Alongside Altman and Greg Brockman, Sutskever played a pivotal role in establishing OpenAI LP, a for-profit entity within the larger nonprofit organization, which quickly achieved a valuation of $90 billion.

In response to Sutskever’s departure, Altman expressed sadness but gratitude for his contributions to OpenAI, reaffirming his commitment to the company’s mission moving forward.

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Taylor Swift’s Final Eras Tour Show in Paris Overflowed with Travis Kelce Nods – and He Loved It

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Taylor Swift wrapped up her four-night Eras Tour run in Paris on Sunday with a show that seemed perfectly tailored for Travis Kelce.

According to videos posted on social media, Kelce attended the concert alongside supermodel Gigi Hadid and Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper. Throughout the night, Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs football team, was seen in videos captured by concertgoers dancing, singing along, and even making Swift’s signature heart symbol with his hands.

This appearance marked the first time Kelce has been seen at an Eras Tour concert since the “Fortnight” singer revamped her setlist to include several songs from her “Tortured Poets Department” collection. Swifties, as her fans are known, were quick to notice and speculate that many of these songs might be about Kelce.

One of the new songs Swift incorporated into her setlist is “So High School,” a track widely considered by fans to be about Kelce. The song’s nostalgic lyrics and high-energy performance resonated with the audience, adding to the excitement of the night.

During her surprise song set, Swift played “The Alchemy,” another “Tortured Poets” track. Fans suspect this song may also be about Kelce due to its football-themed lyrics, featuring buzzwords like “touch down,” “warm the benches,” and “greatest in the league.” These subtle references sent the crowd into a frenzy, further fueling the speculation about Swift and Kelce’s relationship.

In perhaps another nod to Kelce, Swift wore a two-piece yellow and orange ensemble during the “1989” portion of her show. These colors are a probable nod to the Kansas City Chiefs, Kelce’s football team. Swift had worn different color combinations of this outfit on previous nights in Paris, but this particular choice seemed too coincidental to be anything other than a tribute.

Adding to the night’s surprises, Swift once again changed the lyrics during her performance of “Karma” to reference Kelce. Instead of the usual lines, she sang, “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs coming straight home to me,” a playful and personal touch that delighted the audience and fans online.

The three-time Super Bowl champion and Swift have been romantically linked since September after she attended her first football game to watch Kelce play. The couple has since been spotted attending each other’s games and concerts, respectively, showcasing their support and affection for one another.

The Eras Tour has been a massive success for Swift, with each performance bringing new surprises and special moments for fans. Her shows in Paris were no exception, blending her classic hits with newer tracks and adding personal touches that make each concert unique.

The final Paris show was a testament to Swift’s ability to connect with her audience on a deeply personal level. By incorporating subtle nods to Kelce and their rumored relationship, she created an intimate and memorable experience for concertgoers. Fans left the venue buzzing with excitement, not just from the spectacular performances but also from the intriguing glimpses into Swift’s personal life.

Swift now heads to Stockholm, where she will play three shows starting on May 17. As the Eras Tour continues, fans eagerly anticipate more surprises and heartfelt moments. Swift’s ability to blend her music with personal stories and references keeps her audience engaged and coming back for more.

The Paris shows, especially the final night, were a perfect blend of music, personal touches, and emotional performances. Swift’s connection with her fans, combined with the speculated nods to Kelce, made these concerts a standout part of the Eras Tour. As she moves on to the next leg of her tour, fans around the world are eagerly waiting to see what Taylor Swift has in store next.

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