This Week in Pop Culture: April 6–12, 2019

April 12, 2019
We've scoured this week's entertainment news and rounded up our favorite vocab words from the stories that everyone's buzzing about.
When Disney released the first trailer for the next Star Wars film at a convention in Chicago on Friday, many fans were more excited to learn the title of the new film than they were to get a peek at the action. Other than catching a glimpse of Rey in the desert, and learning that Episode 9 will be called The Rise of Skywalker, the trailer was pretty cryptic, meaning it didn't give much away about the plot or the characters.
We don't know exactly what the Star Wars: Episode IX panel will include, but it's likely we'll see the trailer at the top of the hour, and it's even more likely that the trailer will be somewhat cryptic, potentially misleading, and not answer nearly as many questions as it raises.
- Forbes (Apr 11, 2019)
Light-hearted superhero movie Shazam! was tops at the box office this week, taking in almost $60 million. The film, which stars Zachary Levi, did better than industry insiders expected it to do, which critics attribute to its just-for-fun tone. There are already rumors of a sequel.
Shazam! is a win all-around for DC and New Line, taking in an estimated cumulative total of $56.8 once sneak preview sales are included.
- Entertainment Weekly (Apr 7, 2019)
Streaming music services like Apple Music and Spotify have changed the way we buy and listen to music, and the industry is still adjusting to the “new normal” and figuring out how it can make as much money as possible. Recent developments suggest that Spotify will be raising the portion it keeps for itself and reducing the amount paid to the artist, a move that will probably bring on even more haranguing by musicians and their fans.
The company has forged close ties with everyone from Shawn Mendes to Camila Cabello and Justin Timberlake in recent years – not long after it was being publicly harangued by the likes of Thom Yorke for both its business model, and its meager per-stream payments to artists.
- Rolling Stone (Apr 9, 2019)
Next week, Beyoncé's concert film Homecoming will air on Netflix. The special documents her iconic 2018 Coachella performance, and includes scenes from both of her sets and a lot of behind-the-scenes footage. Appropriately, the film is being released in between the two weekends of this year’s Coachella festival.
Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming traces the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement.
- Variety (Apr 8, 2019)
The AMC Network announced that there will be another series set in the The Walking Dead universe. This is the third series set in the zombie world, with the original show and Fear the Walking Dead preceding it. Both of those shows will continue to produce new episodes. The new series, which doesn't yet have a title, will premiere in 2020. A protagonist is the main character, the person the viewer or reader follows throughout the story.
According to the network, the series “will feature two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains."
- Entertainment Weekly (Apr 8, 2019)
Lil Nas X's Old Town Road is number one on the Billboard charts this week, displacing Ariana Grande's 7 Rings. People have had a hard time classifying Old Town Road, which samples a Nine Inch Nails track with a banjo. The song even made some noise on the country charts before it was removed amid controversy over whether it belonged in that genre. Sanctity here refers to keeping something apart from outside influence.
A wealth of internet memes plus a viral controversy over race and the sanctity of country music have led to a distinctly 21st century No. 1 song: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” a sticky genre hybrid that has been the talk of social networks and the music industry alike for weeks.
- The New York Times (Apr 9, 2019)
In other Knowles sisters news, Solange has cancelled her Coachella performances due to “major production delays.” Solange is known for being scrupulous about getting her music just right, taking years between records and holding marathon recording sessions.
Solange oversaw the making of the album with scrupulous care, starting in Houston and then continuing later in sessions in Los Angeles and Jamaica.
- Rolling Stone (Apr 7, 2019)
The Billboard Music Awards will be broadcast from Las Vegas on May 1st. The show will be hosted, for the second year in a row, by Kelly Clarkson. Cardi B. leads the pack of nominees with 21 nominations this year. Drake and Post Malone are not far behind with 17 nominations each. In this instance, slate isn’t used in a political sense, but refers to the lineup of artists who are scheduled to perform.
Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Daigle, Khalid, Panic! at the Disco, Sam Smith and Normani are among the slate of performers set to take the stage at the annual awards show this year, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.
- People (Apr 9, 2019)
If you're one of those people who's still hoarding a package of special edition Game of Thrones Oreos, have we got news for you! Now, if you can get yourself to a New York Shake Shack and speak fluent Valyrian, you can order a G.O.T. burger-n'-soda combo. The burger, which has a fiery hot sauce, is supposed to be tempered by the icy cold beverage.
The Dragonglass Shake, designed to temper your tastebuds after your burger bite, is a blend of mint and white chocolate custard, sprinkled with Dragonglass shards (don’t worry, they’re made of toffee).
- People (April 9, 2019)
Actress Felicity Huffman has entered a guilty plea for her role in the college cheating scandal which involved paying an accomplice to inflate her daughter's SAT scores. The actress released a statement making it clear that her daughter knew nothing about the scheme. Technically, Huffman faces twenty years in prison, but experts say she will probably receive little to no jail time, although she will pay a hefty fine.
This transgression toward her [daughter] and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.
- USA Today (Apr 8, 2019)

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