Monday, April 21, 2008

music and movie news!

Jordin Sparks ordered to rest

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks must postpone her tour due to medical problems.

Sparks must bow out of Alicia Keys' tour and cancel all performances for the rest of the month, a representative for the "American Idol" said Monday.

"All of her April activities have been postponed or canceled so she can take care of her voice properly," 19/Jive Records spokeswoman Wendy Washington told The Associated Press.

The teen singing sensation whose hits include her latest, "No Air," was scheduled to be the opening act on Keys' tour, which kicked off over the weekend in Hampton, Va. Washington.

Sparks also bowed out of the scheduled Earth Day Network & Green Apple Festival concert in Washington, D.C.

Washington claims it may be until May that Sparks is resting.

"Jordin Sparks is on vocal rest and is expected to make a full and complete recovery," according to a statement from 19/Jive Records. "Sparks has been going nonstop over the past two years and now she's going through the normal course of learning how to manage and care for her voice."

Kanye West & Alexis Phifer Split Up

Kanye West is a single man according to a new report.

West’s fiancee of almost two years, designer Alexis Phifer, and the superstar rapper have gone their separate ways, the designer herself confirmed to People.

“It’s always sad when things like this end…we remain friends,” Phifer said. “I wish him the best in his future and all of his endeavors. He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met.”

People reported that the designer hit the red carpet last week for a New York City event, without her engagement ring.

A source close to Kanye said the former couple’s relationship had been unsteady for some time.

“They’d been having problems,” a friend of the rapper told People. “Kanye is really focused on his show; he’s putting everything into the show right now. Alexis is a nice girl, but Kanye has been going through a rough time. They hit a rough patch and for now they’ve split.”

A rep for West, would not comment, when contacted by People.

Miley Cyrus in a photo scandal

Los Angeles - Leaked photos of “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus showing off her midriff and lying on a males lap, have appeared online.

According to TMZ, the photos were leaked from her MySpeace account.

In the pictures, Cyrus is seen flashing a green bra and exposing her midriff as she lays across a young males lap.

Cyrus, 15, is no stranger to racy photo scandals. In January, photos of the young Disney star in a bikini and her underwear appeared online.

Last year, Cyrus earned an estimated $18.3 Million, according to People Magazine.

Disney unveils nature film unit after success of 'Penguins'

Following the box office success of "March of the Penguins," The Walt Disney Co. said Monday it launched a new film production unit called Disneynature to produce and distribute documentary films through at least 2012.

The 2005 documentary about penguin families surviving in Antarctica grossed $127 million at the global box office but cost just $3 million to make, said Jean-Francois Camilleri, who helped Disney co-produce the film and will head the new unit as executive vice president.

"First of all it was a great film," Camilleri said. "The fact that it worked shows that people had an appetite for it."

The first film to be released in the U.S. will be "Earth" on Earth Day, April 22, 2009. A separate version of the BBC Worldwide and Greenlight Media production was previously released in France, Japan and Germany and earned a total of $70 million.

"Earth" focuses on a yearlong journey of three mothers - a polar bear, elephant and humpback whale - with their offspring.

The first film released with the Disneynature brand will be "The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos." It will premier in France in December, with other release dates yet to be announced.

Disney chief executive Robert Iger said the unit marks a return to the Disney tradition. Among other things, the company made the film series "True-Life Adventures" from 1948 to 1960.

He expects the movies to receive wide release in theaters and create spinoff products that could appear in Disney enterprises on the Internet and in bookstores and theme parks.

The films are expected to create new product lines without straining animation or other studio resources, he said.

"When you create high-quality family entertainment, you can have both success and create shareholder value," he said.

Disney shares rose 13 cents, or 0.4 percent, to close at $31.46.

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