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The 2014 World Cup officially got under way with a colorful opening ceremony before hosts Brazil kicked off against Croatia.
A cast of 660 dancers paid tribute to Brazil’s nature, people and football with a show around a “living” ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch.
The final act saw a performance of official World Cup song We Are One by Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull.
The month-long tournament sees 32 nations compete in 64 games.
A cast of 660 dancers paid tribute to Brazil’s nature, people and football with a show around a living ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch (photo Getty Images)
Many fans took to the streets to sing and chant their support for Brazil as excitement built in the hours before the tournament began.
But there were also demonstrations from those unhappy with the expense of hosting the tournament.
Performers dressed as trees, flowers and various musical instruments all performed in three acts before the central ball opened to reveal singers Claudia Leitte, Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull as they sang the official World Cup song as the finale.
The opening game of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia kicks off at 17:00 local time.
No host nation have ever lost their opening World Cup game, with the previous 20 producing 14 victories and six draws for the hosts.
Brazil starts as favorite to win the World Cup for a sixth time, while holders Spain are aiming to win a fourth major tournament in a row after winning the European Championship two years ago.
The other seeded teams are Colombia, Uruguay, Switzerland, Argentina, Germany and Belgium.
FIFA said it had sold more than 2.9 million tickets, but they were still available for several matches on Wednesday, including some involving Germany, Italy and France.
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Jennifer Lopez has denied the cancellation of her performance at the World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil, despite claims she had pulled out.
FIFA said earlier this week J Lo would not be performing the official tournament song on Thursday.
However, Jennifer Lopez told the Associated Press on Tuesday she was flying to Brazil later that night.
“People get nervous and I think it was a little bit premature to announce anything,” she said.
Jennifer Lopez has denied the cancellation of her performance at the World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil
FIFA officials had said Jennifer Lopez was not able to attend the ceremony because of unspecified “production issues”.
However, J Lo said: “I think people get anxious, especially with me and my schedule when I’m like, <<Ah, OK, I can leave this day, that day, I don’t know if we can make it>> – but we are definitely going.”
Jennifer Lopez added she would perform We Are One (Ole Ola) alongside rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte – with whom she has recorded the song – before Brazil takes on Croatia at the opening game in Sao Paulo.
She said the World Cup song was orchestrated by Pitbull, who invited her to join on the track.
“I can’t take credit for this. This was one of Pitbull’s call-ins,” she said.
“He had this record and he’s like, <<I think this record could be great for the World Cup – will you do it with me?>> And I go, <<Yeah, of course>>.”
Jennifer Lopez added: “I’m so lucky that he gave me the opportunity.”
More than 60,000 people are expected to be in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena to watch the ceremony and kick-off match. Up to a billion people worldwide are expected to tune in on television.
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Jennifer Lopez has decided to pull out of performing the official World Cup song at this year’s tournament’s opening ceremony in Brazil, FIFA has announced.
Officials said Jennifer Lopez could not attend Thursday’s show because of unspecified “production issues”.
Jennifer Lopez was due to perform alongside rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, with whom she has recorded the song We Are One (Ole Ola).
Pitbull and Claudia Leitte will go ahead and perform accompanied by drummers Olodum.
Jennifer Lopez was due to perform at the World Cup 2014 opening ceremony alongside Pitbull and Claudia Leitte
“For production issues, Jennifer Lopez, one of the artists of the official song We Are One, will not be able to perform at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony,” said a statement.
The 25-minute ceremony in Sao Paulo will feature 600 artists, including acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, martial arts-style performers and stilt walkers.
Last week, Jennifer Lopez said she was “thrilled” to be given the chance to perform at the opening ceremony.
“This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and sport,” she said.
Pitbull appeared not to be downhearted at Jennifer Lopez’s withdrawal from the show.
“To be performing We Are One to the world, especially in such a beautiful country like Brazil, is going to be a lot of fun,” Pitbull said in a statement released by FIFA.
“But more than this, it is going to show the world that music is the universal language.”
Jennifer Lopez also missed the January event where Pitbull and Claudia Leitte unveiled plans for the song alongside FIFA officials in Rio de Janeiro.
More than 60,000 people are expected to be in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena to watch the ceremony and kick-off match between Brazil and Croatia.
Up to a billion people are expected to tune in on TV worldwide
Jennifer Lopez’s cancellation comes amid protests and strikes in Brazil, where some are unhappy about the amount of money being spent on the tournament.
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Priyanka Chopra is the star of Pitbull’s music video for his latest hit, Exotic, where she shows off her incredible body.
Easily living up to the song’s title, Priyanka Chopra flaunts by her fabulous figure and gorgeous mane of dark hair in the video, which was released on Thursday.
“I recorded Exotic in Ibiza with musical genius and visionary RedOne and none other than Mr. Worldwide aka Pitbull,” Priyanka Chopra said in a statement, according to Just Jared.
“Together they helped me create a hot and sexy summer anthem that I am so proud of! This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to share this song and the rest of the album with you!”
Priyanka Chopra is the star of Pitbull’s music video for his latest hit, Exotic
Rapper Pitbull joined in the lovefest by tweeting: “thanks so much to @priyankachopra and @RedOne_Official for letting me get #exotic #desi #dale.”
Joining forces with notorious rapper seems like an odd move for former Miss World, but the 30-year-old from Jamshedpur, India, has long aspired to become a professional singer.
Priyanka Chopra claims her biggest vocal influence was her father and she soon incorporated singing as part of her pageant act.
After being crowned Miss World in 2000, Priyanka Chopra went on to sign a recording deal with Universal Music Group through DesiHits, and met with manager Troy Carter, CEO of Atom Factory (which also manages Lady Gaga).
In July 2012, Priyanka Chopra became the first Bollywood actress to be signed by Creative Artists Agency.
While she is not well known in America, Priyanka Chopra is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars and has carved a reputation for playing diverse and unconventional roles.
Much like Kim Kardashian, Priyanka Chopra was declared queen of brand endorsements in India, representing Pepsi, Nokia, Garnier and Nestlé.
Christina Aguilera showed off her thin frame in a tight skirt and cropped top for her spirited performance of Feel This Moment with rapper Pitbull during The Voice Season 4 finale on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Christina Aguilera, 32, looked incredible in a skintight bandage black skirt and a sparkly silver top that revealed her hot pink bra underneath.
The singer added a boost of height to her 5ft 2in frame with sky high black peep-toe heels and accessorized with giant diamond earrings.
Christina Aguilera wore her platinum blonde hair in glamorous curls over her one shoulder and opted for a smokey eye and nude lips.
She made quite a grand entrance: Pitbull stood onstage and started his rap, until Christina Aguilera appeared on a raised platform to hysterical screams from the crowd.
The set turned into a disco scene with multi-colored lights and a lit-up stage.
Christina Aguilera appeared to hit a few flat notes and the star was seen touching her earpiece periodically.
The pair’s lively performance ended with colorful confetti and ribbons raining down onto the stage.
Christina Aguilera’s super-slim appearance was a far cry from what she looked like back in November at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Sources told Us Weekly that critics motivated her to lose more than 20 lbs in weight.
Christina Aguilera showed off her thin frame during her spirited performance of Feel This Moment with rapper Pitbull on The Voice Season 4 finale
“A lot of people were on her about her weight and it depressed her,” a friend said.
“She went through a bad time because of the criticism.”
Christina Aguilera reportedly signed up for the 1,600-calorie-a-day Fresh Diet program, which offers users a variety of nutritious food options.
“She did it all on her own,” said the source.
“She goes online and picks out her food.”
Christina Aguilera was always a slender entertainer but after her 2010 divorce from Jordan Bratman she apparently gained 40 lbs by gorging on pizza and living a life of excess.
The singer was also seen enjoying the nightlife with boyfriend Matthew Rutler – her steady man since late 2010 – which no doubt put pounds on her tiny frame.
Prior to her weight loss, in an interview with Lucky magazine, Christina Aguilera said she was totally unrepentant about the way her clothes advertise her assets.
“Actually, the challenge I’ve always had is being too thin, so I love that now I have a booty, and obviously I love showing my cleavage,” she told the magazine.
“Hey, if you can work it and you can own it, that confidence is going to shine through.”
Meanwhile, country singer Danielle Bradbery, 16, was crowned the Season 4 winner of The Voice on Tuesday night.
Michelle Chamuel, 26, finished second and the Swon Brothers, Colton, 24, and Zach, 27 came third.
Danielle Bradberry’s victory marks the third triumph in four seasons for one of judge Blake Shelton’s proteges.
Rapper Pitbull has seen Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against him quashed in court.
Lindsay Lohan sued Pitbull in 2011 for using her name in his hit song Give Me Everything when he used the line: “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.”
The actress claimed Pitbull never got permission to use her name and shouldn’t profit from its use.
But on Thursday – according to TMZ – a New York federal judge ruled that Lindsay Lohan wrong because the song is a work of art protected by the first.
Lindsay Lohan, 26, was recently accused of ruining the $1,750 designer dress she borrowed for a glitzy New York gala earlier this month.
She wore a floor-length gold and silver beaded gown by Theia Coture to an amfAR fundraiser on February 6.
But a photo of the gown obtained by US Weekly appears to show the same gown cut into a mini dress before its return to the designer.
Lindsay Lohan sued Pitbull in 2011 for using her name in his hit song Give Me Everything
The 28th Annual MTV Video Music Awards (VMA 2011), held in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday August 28, will pay tribute to Amy Winehouse, who died one month ago.
Amy Winehouse never appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards during her short but celebrated career, but it was announced as news of a tribute to Amy on this Sunday at MTV VMA 2011.
Amy Winehouse has hit another milestone following her tragic death as second album, Back to Black, has become the best-selling album of the 21st century in UK.
Britain’s Official Chart Company announced the further success of her Grammy-award winning album, which includes the singles “Rehab” and “Love Is a Losing Game”, and said it had overtaken James Blunt’s 2005 debut album, “Back to Bedlam”, to claim the crown.
Tony Bennett, who spent time recording with Amy in March this year, will lead the tribute to Amy Winehouse and introduce never-seen-before footage of their time together at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios.
Amy Winehouse last known recording session was with the 85-year-old crooner. The duo recorded Body and Soul for Bennett’s upcoming album, Duets II, which is released on September 20.
There are also rumors that Amy Winehouse’s parents might attend the show, but MTV’s officials could not confirm their appearance.
Singer Tony Bennett said: “It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse.”
“And when you listen to the recording of Body and Soul, it is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance as one of the most honest musicians I have ever known.”
VMA 2011 will pay tribute to Amy Winehouse, who has hit another milestone following her tragic death, as second album "Back to Black" has become the best-selling album of the 21st century in UK
The tribute to Amy Winehouse at VMA 2011 will likely be the rare moment of reverence in a show that is calculated to be as irreverent as possible.
This year, the current queen of sexy daffiness, Katy Perry, is poised to be the belle of MTV’s annual ball: She’s up for a leading 10 moonman trophies, including video of the year for her inspirational “Firework”.
Another star set to be celebrated at VMA 2011 is pop star, Britney Spears.
At the age of 29, it is rather unusual for the singer to be presented with a special tribute award, but her fellow pop stars obviously disagree.
Madonna, Britney Spears’ friend will present the award, as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Janet Jackson, will combine their talents to perform a spectacular musical tribute.
Britney Spears will also take to the stage herself to perform recent hits, “Hold It Against Me” and “I Wanna Go”.
It has been reported that the tribute, which is normally given to artists of an older age and longer career, has been arranged to ensure that Britney actually turns up to the event.
An insider speaking to RadarOnline.com said: “Britney’s young to receive an award like this, but the producers know that it will force Britney to come to the show.”
Other talent that has been added to the star-studded line up include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, whose star continues to brighten two years after it was tarnished by his attack on Rihanna, and soulful singer, Adele.
Adele is also a top nominee, being the year’s best-selling artist so far with her album “21”. She is nominated for seven awards for “Rolling in the Deep”.
Adele is also a top nominee at VMA 2011
Kanye West also has seven nominations. He is not expected to perform at the VMA 2011.
VMA 2011 show is being held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and broadcast live on MTV from 9 to 11 p.m.
MTV President Stephen Friedman said some VMA 2011 performers from the East Coast arrived in Los Angeles early to avoid the storm and resulting airport disruptions. But he was hopeful viewer disruption would be minimal.
“Our hope is our audience is cuddled up with their family and friends and don’t want to be outside and want to watch the best night in music,” he said.