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Sheku Kanneh-Mason breaks UK chart record

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has scored the biggest-selling British debut of the year to date with his..

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has scored the biggest-selling British debut of the year to date with his classical album, Inspiration.

The 18-year-old enters the album chart at 18, making him the youngest ever cellist to feature in the countdown.

His first recording, which includes works by Shostakovich and Leonard Cohen, takes its place alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran and Eminem.

The soundtrack to Hugh Jackman's The Greatest Showman stays at number one.

UK Albums Chart – top five
Artist Album
1) Cast of The Greatest Showman The Greatest Showman
2) Craig David The Time Is Now
3) Ed Sheeran Divide
4) Migos Culture II
5) Eminem Revival

The Oscar-nominated recording holds the top spot for the fourth week in a row, denying Craig David the chance to claim his third UK number one album.

Instead the smooth-voiced R&B star enters the chart at number two with his seventh album, The Time Is Now.

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There are also new entries for US rap group Migos, at number four; blues duo Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa at seven; and Californian heavy metal outfit Machine Head at 12.

Kanneh-Mason, who won the BBC Young Musician competition in 2016, also tops the UK classical albums chart and was the most-streamed classical artist of the week, notching up 2.5 million streams on Spotify alone.

"As a classical cellist, I can't quite believe I've made the Top 20 in the pop charts with my first ever album!" he said.

"I hope the pieces on this album inspire others the way they've inspired me."

The teenager also becomes the highest-charting Young Musician winner, beating violinist Nicola Benedetti, whose fifth album Homecoming peaked at number 19 in 2014.

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Elsewhere, Bruno Mars's 24K Magic makes a return to the Top 40, climbing 15 places to 27 after his surprise album of the year win at Sunday's Grammys.

In the singles chart, Drake's latest single God's Plan remains at number one, while Ramz's Barking and Eminem's River swap places at two and three respectively.

BBC Sound of 2018 winner Sigrid claims her first top 10 single with Strangers – which is the week's most-purchased song, partly thanks to a price cut on iTunes.

Dance act Rudimental score the highest climber with These Days, which jumps 22 places to number 11, while US band Portugal. The Man and British newcomer Mabel also zoom up the charts.

UK Singles Chart – top five
Artist Song
1) Drake God's Plan
2) Ramz Barking
3) Eminem ft Ed Sheeran River
4) Dua Lipa IDGAF
5) Craig David I Know You

Next week will see Justin Timberlake challenging The Greatest Showman for the number one slot.

The star's fourth solo album, Man Of The Woods, is released on Friday, ahead of his hotly anticipated performance at Sunday's Super Bowl.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected]

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So, we guess this means Beyonce and Jay-Z are OK then

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last..

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last weekend. As you'd expect, it's a statement.

There is arguably no couple better at controlling their own press than Beyonce and Jay-Z. When a video surfaced in 2014 showing Bey's younger sister Solange attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator, rumours of a strained marriage proliferated.

Rather than battle the tabloids, the spouses used the gossip to fuel the creation of two critically beloved, commercially successful records: Beyonce's Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44. And, in them, they offered just as many details about their private lives as they chose.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on stage in France for the 2014 On the Run tour.

Photo: Rob Hoffman

Now the couple have continued their domination of pop music, surprising the world last Saturday by releasing their joint album Everything Is Love, which is something of a sequel to those two solo records. Though they have collaborated for at least 15 years, this marks their first joint album, which they dropped under the name The Carters.

The record is a victory lap from a couple who have mined their relationship for universal truths and then presented them as art. It's a fierce love letter to success, to family, to blackness – but, most of all, to each other.

Artwork for the album Everything is Love by The Carters, aka Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Photo: Karl Quinn


Lyrically, it primarily focuses on two aspects of the Carters' lives: their marriage and their success. (more…)

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Rachel Griffiths: female characters are finally getting real on screen

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, P..

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Top of the Lake show that female characters are finally coming of age on Australian screens.

In a spirited speech at the launch of a new state government scheme to support more women directors in television, the actor-turned-director said it was exciting to see female characters move beyond "the typical tropes of 'likable, f—able, adorable'" to "more complex depictions of female experience" recently.

Happy to see "more complex depictions of female experience": Rachel Griffiths (left) with Leah Purcell at the launch of #SheDirects.

Photo: Louie Douvis

While she acknowledged there were male directors who created fresh and compelling women characters, Griffiths said the "male gaze" often reduced them to colouring the characters of their male counterparts.

"[They are created to] make him hot, make him authentic, make him empathetic, make him fatherly, make him conflicted, make him grieve," she said. "In the male gaze, we are so often not the gatekeepers; we're not the ferryman. Sometimes the mentor but usually only ironically, like Judi Dench's M…

"Under-written and under-observed, brought into our sexual awareness precociously and prepubescent in order to accommodate the male libido.


"Often in television we're used by lazy writers and producers who can think of nothing more interesting this week than 'let's have her have sex with X' or 'discover she's a lesbian – for an episode'."

Griffiths, who is about to begin editing the Melbourne Cup drama Ride Like A Girl after finishing the shoot, endorsed Hollywood star Sandra Bullock's recent comment that it was time for women to "stop being polite" about gender equality. (more…)

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Rachel Maddow breaks down on air over Trump immigration policy

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest development..

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest developments in the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Maddow, who hosts her own show on MSNBC, was reading from a breaking news release from the Associated Press that revealed government officials have been sending babies and toddlers to what are being called "tender age" shelters in the US.

The youngsters are some of the 2,300 children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border since the White House announced a zero-tolerance policy on migrant families in May.

"The AP has just broken some new news," Maddow started.

"Um, this has just come out from the Associated Press, this is incredible. Trump administration have been sending babies and other young children – oh, hold on," she said, her voice breaking.


Maddow attempted to get through the breaking news piece one more time before moving the show over to a guest. "To at least three – three tender age shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers… I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry."

Maddow took to Twitter shortly after the segment aired to say sorry to her viewers. "Again, I apologise for losing it there for a moment," she wrote. "Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."

She also tweeted out what she had been trying to say in her live read, writing out what was presented in the AP story. "Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the "tender age" shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis…" she wrote.

"Decades after the nations child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents." (more…)

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