The Rundown

Entertainment Express: Michael Jackson, Homeland, Star Wars, Billboard Music Awards, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

* The ‘new’ single from the ‘new’ posthumous Michael Jackson album has been leaked online. Xscape isn’t too bad actually, considering expectations for new music from the late popstar are quite low (how good could material left over really be?) Xscape was originally written by MJ and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (around the time of Invincible) and he helped polish it up for release in today’s times.

* The cast and crew of Homeland are gearing up to film the next season, which is set in the Middle East, in Cape Town. After spending the first 3 seasons in Charlotte, North Carolina, it was time for a change of scenery, literally, in light of Claire Danes’ character being promoted to station chief in Istanbul at the end of the last season. The Cape Film Commission says some more big news is coming soon, so watch this space.

* New Zealand’s unstoppable Lorde leads the Billboard Music Award nominations, along with Las Vegas’ pop-rockers Imagine Dragons. Justin Timberlake follows closely behind. The Dragons and Lorde were each named in 12 of the 40 award categories while Timberlake, Katy Perry and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis followed with 11, 10 and eight categories, each. The awards take place in Las Vegas next month.

* Staying with music, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony happens today. After years of trying, Kiss is finally getting in, so are Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens and Hall & Oates. If you’re still wondering how the artists are selected, this piece from the New York Times will be enlightening.

* More Star Wars stories are circulating – with talk that an unknown British actress may be cast in a lead or pivotal role. Ah, how we wait for the day will all will be revealed – and confirmed – by Disney and Lucasfilm.

** For an added Day-Before-Friday-Bonus, watch Jimmy Fallon don a blonde wig and join Stevie Nicks for a rendition of Stop Dragging My Heart Around.

[Pic: Epic Records]

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