Arts Briefs

Billboard Magazine announced that singer, songwriter, producer and dancer Janet Jackson would be the recipient of this year’s Icon Award at the annual Billboard Music Awards. Jackson is the youngest child of the Jackson family, a five-time Grammy winner who has sold more than 100 million records and a successful and influential American performer.

Known for her hits such as “Rhythm Nation,” “Nasty” and “Scream” — the latter in collaboration with her late brother Michael Jackson — the singer will join the list of prominent artists such as Prince, Celine Dion and last year’s honoree, Cher. Jackson will deliver a performance at the Billboard Music Awards, which will take place on May 20.


In addition to Jackson, People reported that the powerful vocalists Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato would debut a new song at the Billboard Music Awards.

Aguilera, who hasn’t released solo music since 2012’s commercially and critically panned album Lotus, had made a comeback earlier this month with the hip-hop-infused single, “Accelerate,” featuring 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign.

At the ceremony, Aguilera and Lovato will perform “Fall in Line,” which will serve as a second single from Aguilera’s upcoming album Liberation.


Academy award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal will portray American composer Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming Cary Fukunaga film The American, according to Backstage.

The biopic will tell the story of the making of Bernstein as a music icon, whose creative talent varied from classical and philharmonic music to Broadway hits such as West Side Story, Candide and On the Town.

The announcement of Fukunaga’s film comes in the year of what would have been the artist’s 100th birthday, a milestone that has been celebrated across the country.


Playbill revealed the winners of this year’s Theatre World Awards, which honor the brightest Broadway and off-Broadway debutants of the season.

Honorees include Anthony Boyle and Noma Dumezweni of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two, Denise Gough and James McArdle of Angels in America and Charlie Stemp of Hello, Dolly!, who are all London actors in their New York debut.

Other winners are Jamie Brewer of Amy and the Orphans, Johnny Flynn of Hangmen, Harry Hadden-Paton of My Fair Lady, Hailey Kilgore of Once On This Island, Lauren Ridloff of Children of a Lesser God, Ethan Slater of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical and Katy Sullivan of Cost of Living.

Screen and stage veteran Victor Garber, who is currently starring in Hello, Dolly! along with Stemp will receive the sixth annual John Willis award for lifetime achievement in the theatre.