Browse Month: December 2016

Hadid and The Weeknd reunite on the runway

Fans are crossing their fingers for a reunion, with social media exploding as The Weeknd serenaded Hadid. “He is my best friend, and I am excited because I am walking during his performance.” before the event. “I was smiling SO HUGE on the inside I promise!!!!” she wrote. “This is his second year performing, and I think he’s going to kill it. The pair were together for almost 18 months before breaking up in early November. The younger Hadid sister strode down the runway in a silver lace bodysuit while her ex-boyfriend Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, performed his hit single ‘Starboy’. There is no awkwardness,” she said. Thank you @theweeknd for being the best and most incredible performer on the planet. You KILLED it, as always.”

Hadid also spoke warmly in an interview with E! “The most fun and nerve racking experience of my life but I wish I could do it over and over and over again!!!!! Bella Hadid and The Weeknd have sent the rumour mill into overdrive after a run-in on the Victoria’s Secet runway. They remain close friends, with Hadid dedicating an Instagram post from the night to her ex-boyfriend.

Story’s ‘Christmas in New Zealand’ song released, profits going to earthquake relief

Kiwis finally have a festive song for Kiwis, by Kiwis – and it’s all for charity. Iconic entertainer Frankie Stevens plays a starring role on the song, while ‘Briscoes Lady’ Tammy Wells, celebrity chef Nadia Lim, radio host Joe Cotton and United Future leader Peter Dunne also feature. The Story team re-recorded his Kiwi classic with a bunch of stars – but were coy on who their line-up would include until Thursday night’s show, when they revealed some of the big names who’d joined the ranks. All the proceeds of Story’s new Christmas track will go to the earthquake relief effort in quake-ravaged Kaikōura. “We’ve got some very Kiwi faces helping us take back the season and what better cause than the New Zealand Red Cross’ Kaikōura appeal,” said Story reporter Dale Owens. Red Cross NZ Secretary General Tony Paine says the charity is appreciative of the support for those affected by the quakes. The team say they are confident their message of good cheer will resonate with the true spirit of a Kiwi Christmas after digging up country star Dennis Marsh’s 2001 gem ‘Christmas in New Zealand’. Much of the Story team also lend their singing talents to the track – and their lofty goal is to get the single to number one on the iTunes charts. “Combining the fun of a New Zealand-based festive song with helping our fellow Kiwis this holiday season is a great initiative – and we guarantee that 100 percent of the donations we receive will go to help the people affected.”
Story is confident the song can reach the number one spot, and that celebrating a true Kiwi Christmas will resonate with the country. The song can be downloaded here.  “This is a way of spreading good cheer to those who need it.”
The song reflects the summer nights, jandals, playing cricket on the beach and barbeques rather than sitting by the fire and building snowmen.

Rihanna, Prince Harry take HIV tests together in Barbados

The ‘Rude Boy’ hitmaker and Harry had blood taken from their fingers, then waited around 20 minutes before receiving their negative results. Raunchy pop star Rihanna and British royal Prince Harry have marked World AIDS Day by taking an HIV test together in Bridgetown, Barbados. The pair took the test on Thursday (local time) for the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission’s Man Aware event, which highlights the importance and ease of testing and aims to reduce the stigma of HIV.

Empire names Hunt for the Wilderpeople the best film of 2016

It topped Empire’s list ahead of heavy-hitters including sci-fi drama Arrival, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Oscar darlings Spotlight and The Revenant. Anyone who’d seen director Waititi’s vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows would know we were in for an Antipodean treat,” says Empire. HINT: it rhymes with ‘Munt mor ma Milder-meeple’,” he wrote. The Barry Crump novel adaptation, which stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, became the highest-grossing Kiwi film ever at the New Zealand box office. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is out on DVD and Blu-ray in New Zealand. “To say that Hunt for the Wilderpeople was a surprise is perhaps overstating it. We’d call it ‘majestical’, but as Ricky insists, that’s not a word, so we’ll have to settle for calling it the best film of 2016.”
Waititi, who is currently finishing Thor: Ragnarok, tweeted a link to the article in his typical tongue-in-cheek nature. “Want to know Empire magazine’s #1 film of 2016? British film bible Empire has named Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople as the best film of 2016, calling it “utterly delightful”. “But the way it perfectly balances its elements – emotional without being overwrought, quirky without being twee, hilarious without losing touch of the story or characters – is an achievement that nobody saw coming. “It’s a small, charming, utterly delightful film, from a tiny island on the other side of the world, and it deserves to take the world by storm. Wacky comedy The Greasy Strangler, produced by Kiwi Ant Timpson, also made Empire’s list, which can be read in full on its official website.

Ukelele festival gets star treatment in Auckland

The New Zealand Ukelele Festival will take place at Vector Arena on Saturday, and will welcome a pair of extremely well-thought-of guests. “I enjoy travelling all around the world and getting to meet different people from different cultures,” Azita said. The duo first started playing for fun, but things took off when they won an international ukelele contest. “No one expected this to happen not us, not our parents or our teacher so I honestly don’t know what to expect for the future – just to have fun,” Honoka said. And for the moment, they’re doing just that. It’s easy to see how Honoka and Azita have amassed a global following – aged just 16 and 18, they’re ukelele royalty and their YouTube videos, set to stunning Hawaiian backdrops, get millions of hits. Now they play all over the world, and they say meeting new people and experiencing new cultures is the best part of the job. “We’re still in school and we’re actually skipping school right now but there are just some things you can’t learn in a classroom and out of a textbook.”
The ukelele superstars are the international guests at this year’s New Zealand Ukelele Festival, and organisers hope the pair will inspire Kiwi kids. Two Ukelele playing Hawaiian YouTube sensations are in New Zealand for the 10th anniversary of a concert which aims to get kids into music.

US TV show mocks haka, makes light of Maori culture

In the episode, labourers protest an increase in their workload by performing the haka, in an attempt to pressure their boss into changing her stance. Creators of an American television show have been criticised after characters performed a parody haka and sported fake moko and pounamu in a newly-released episode. “Maori New Zealanders’ views about the way their culture is depicted matter, and it’s their voices that need to be heard by those who seek to use aspects of tikanga (Maori culture) for TV shows,” the statement said. However the scene has left the Human Rights Commission disappointed. The latest installment of No Tomorrow, which is in its first season with US TV network CW and has not been renewed for a second, introduces the haka in a comic scene involving defiant warehouse employees. “Yeah,” another agrees, “and it’s a celebration of the triumph of life over death.”
It’s clear the show’s writers were well-aware of the offence the performance may have caused to the Maori community, as the boss urges them to “stop this flagrant display of cultural identity theft at once”. “This dance, it’s called a haka,” said one character, dressed in a cardboard costume adorned with hand-drawn korus and other quasi-Maori designs. The scene sees two characters introducing the indigenous Maori tradition to their boss. “It’s ironic that at the same time this show is airing, real haka are being performed in the United States by New Zealanders showing their support for indigenous Americans at the Standing Rock protests in Dakota.”

World first TEDx talk in Antarctica

The talk will see Antarctica New Zealand host a first-of-its-kind event on the continent that will be broadcast around the globe. His year-long adventure will soon be condensed into a television show and a series of free educational short films. A talk was held in Auckland earlier in the year that included speakers such as singer Lizzie Marvelly and comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer. “We have no doubt the speakers’ messages will make waves around the world.”
The talk will host a variety of topics including raising awareness of Antarctica and the global impact of climate change. The panel will also include astronaut Dan Barry who has spent more than 700 hours in space. The world’s first TEDx Talk in Antarctica will happen at New Zealand’s research station Scott Base in January 2017 to coincide with New Zealand’s 60th year on being on the ice. Ten speakers will host the even including a number of New Zealander’s including singer Gin Wigmore and award-winning filmmaker Anthony Powell who spent an entire year on the ice and only arrived back to New Zealand in October. Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs says Antarctica is a place that offers a unique perspective to the world. “What happens in Antarctica will significantly impact the entire planet,” he says. TEDx is an international community that organises speaking engagement around the world that celebrates locally driven ideas.

Six60 makes Spotify most streamed in NZ list

Views – Drake
3. Kanye West
5. Sia
5. Never Be Like You (featuring Kai) – Flume
3. Kanye West
More Spotify’s year in music 2016 data and playlists can be found here. Canadian rapper Drake has come out on top as the artist listened to most by Kiwis – according to data just released by the digital music service – dethroning Ed Sheeran, who topped the list in 2015. More on the Spotify data for the year 2016 is listed below:
Top Five Albums in NZ
1. ANTI – Rihanna
4. Drake
2. Flume
4. Rihanna
2. Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots
5. Zara Larsson
Top Five Artists worldwide
1. Rihanna
4. Drake
2. Drake
2. Ariana Grande
3. Spotify users in New Zealand share similar tastes with the rest of the world, as the ‘Hotline Bling’ hitmaker topped the international chart also. Kiwi band Six60 is up there with the likes of Drake, Rihanna and Justin Bieber as one of New Zealand’s most streamed artists of the year. Purpose – Justin Bieber
2. Adele
4. The ‘White Lines’ hitmakers’ self-titled record has made it into the top five most streamed albums of the year on Spotify, just shaded out by pop rock band Twenty One Pilots. Rihanna
4. Justin Bieber
3. Eminem
Top Five Female Artists in NZ
1. Justin Bieber
3. Flume
Top Five Tracks in NZ
1. Don’t Let Me Down (featuring Daya) – The Chainsmokers
4. Six60 – Six60
Top Five Artists in NZ
1. This Is What You Came For (featuring Rihanna) – Calvin Harris
5. Justin Bieber
3. Twenty One Pilots
5. Work From Home (featuring Ty Dolla $ign) – Fifth Harmony
Top Five Male Artists in NZ
1. One Dance (featuring WizKid and Kyla) – Drake
2. Twenty One Pilots

Goodbye Dolly, at least in print: Teen mag goes all-digital

Bauer’s own research found more than 90 percent of the mag’s target age group – 14 to 17 – access the magazine’s content on their phones. But as difficult as it might be to rip a poster of Justin Bieber out of an app, Dolly will live on in cyberspace. Superstar Miranda Kerr’s career began when she won a Dolly model search competition in 1997. It’s promising the same mix of “breaking celebrity news, fashion, beauty and lifestyle content”, and will continue its acclaimed Dolly Doctor section, which a recent academic study found contained the best health advice on offer from any mass-market magazine. Roy Morgan Research readership surveys showed at the end of last year, Dolly had a readership of around 14,000 in New Zealand – half that of its rival, Girlfriend, published by Pacific Magazines. It’s been a staple of teen girls in New Zealand and Australia for decades, but Dolly magazine is no more. Unless you consider a website a magazine. But Bauer says Dolly’s website traffic has grown 77 percent in the past 12 months, and its social reach is up a similar amount. “Dolly has played a part in the lives of many Australians over the years, which is why we’re delighted its outstanding content continues, but now exclusively on the channels today’s teens prefer to interact with most,” Bauer Media chief executive Nick Chan said in a statement. The magazine’s sales have plummeted in recent years, from 90,000 in 2012 to just over 30,000 in the first half of 2016 (in Australia – separate NZ figures weren’t available). Publisher Bauer Media has announced the January/February edition of the 46-year-old teen mag will be its last, as the digital revolution continues to eat away at the industry.

Instagram is ‘for the Devil’ – Justin Bieber

The ‘Baby’ hitmaker was performing in London’s O2 Arena when he delivered a brief sermon on the popular online photo-sharing service. “Who thinks I should get my Instagram back?” Bieber asked the crowd, triggering cheers and screams of enthusiasm. Last year, during the period in which he was trying to rebrand himself and undo a few years of bad press, I don’t wanna get my Instagram back”, he continued, before his speech took a more religious turn. “Yeah… The Canadian singer referred to his Christian faith frequently when he was younger. Pop star Justin Bieber paused a concert in the UK this week to tell the audience that Instagram is “Hell” and “for the Devil”.

Kanye West released from hospital

Kanye was originally going to leave hospital earlier this week, but was kept in on doctors’ orders as he was said to still be unstable and suffering “extreme paranoia”. He’s said to be back at home with wife Kim Kardashian and children North and Saint, along with his personal physician Dr Michael Farzam. Kanye West has been released from UCLA Medical Center after more than a week of treatment for his mental breakdown, according to US media. The troubled pop star was hospitalised in LA on November 22 (local time), suffering a “psychiatric emergency” brought on by sleep deprivation and dehydration.

Story’s Kiwi Christmas song to raise funds for Kaikoura

Fed up with songs about snowy scenes and roaring fires, Story decided to unearth country star Dennis Marsh’s original festive tune. It’s a song for Kiwis, by Kiwis, with the star singers including country legend Dennis Marsh and iconic entertainer Frankie Stevens. Story’s ‘Christmas in New Zealand’ will be released on Friday, with the team confident their message of good cheer will resonate with the true spirit of a Kiwi Christmas. “We’ve got some very Kiwi faces helping us take back the season and what better cause than the New Zealand Red Cross’ Kaikoura appeal,” says Story reporter Dale Owens. “This isn’t a marketing campaign but a way of spreading good cheer to those who need it.”