This Week in Pop Culture: May 4–10, 2019

May 9, 2019
We've scoured this week's entertainment news and rounded up our favorite vocab words from the stories that everyone's buzzing about.
Janelle Monae will contribute new music to a live-action version of Disney’s Lady and The Tramp. Some of the music from the original animated film, which was released in 1955, has been decried as racist, and Disney plans to replace those songs with Monae’s fresh material. Disney is remaking a slew of classic animated films as live-action movies, including 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, and the upcoming Aladdin and The Lion King.
Live-action reboots of animated classics, particularly those that feature anthropomorphized animals, have a tough job cut out for them.
- Slate (May 6, 2019)
The big news at the box office this week was the continued dominance of Avengers: Endgame, but other movies opened as well, including Long Shot. But when it comes to the romantic comedy’s prospects for success, it looks like Long Shot is an appropriate title. Although the film had an auspicious screening at the SXSW festival, it looks like audiences and critics are not so enthused.
Long Shot made an auspicious debut at the SXSW festival and has received warm reviews (it’s at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but it only managed to snag a middling B CinemaScore, which doesn’t bode well for its word-of-mouth in the days ahead.
- People (May 6, 2019)
Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle's sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, shared some kind words for the new royal parents soon after the birth of their first child. Something daunting is scary because it is an incredibly big job, to the point where it’s overwhelming.
“It’s really exciting for both of them,” she told reporters on Tuesday. “These next few weeks, it’s always very daunting first time around so wish them all the best.”
- People (May 7, 2019)
21 Savage, the Atlanta rapper who was recently caught up in immigration problems when it was discovered that he’s actually a citizen of the UK, announced that he will stage his biggest concert tour ever this summer. The tour will consist of twenty shows, all across the country, with rapper DaBaby opening on most of the dates.
21 Savage announced he’ll be embarking on a North American tour this summer with North Carolina rapper DaBaby. This is the first tour for the London-born, Atlanta-based rapper since he was dubiously arrested by ICE and released nine days later.
- Rolling Stone (May 7, 2019)
Madonna, who recently performed at the Billboard Music Awards, announced that her new album, Madame X, will drop on June 14, followed by a tour this summer. Instead of playing big arenas for one or two nights, which she used to sell out months in advance when she topped the charts, the pop icon will play small theaters for three or four nights in a row.
The 15-track Madame X album is due out on June 14; fans have already gotten a taste of the eclectic sounds on the album via "Medellin" with Maluma and the just-released "I Rise."
- Billboard (May 6, 2019)
Disney released a long-term schedule for future Star Wars and Avatar films. The first Avatar sequel will be released in 2021. After a break, or hiatus, between 2019 and 2022, the next Star Wars will come out. After that, the two franchises will alternate Christmas release dates until 2027. This will make for three new Star Wars installments and four Avatar sequels — pretty great presents for sci-fi fans!
That means there will be a three year hiatus between "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," which hits theaters on December 20, and the next film, which will debut on December 16, 2022.
- CNN (May 7, 2019)
Justin Bieber is back in the spotlight. He just performed an impromptu, or spontaneous, set at Coachella. And now, he and Ed Sheeran are releasing a single together entitled I Don’t Care.
Bieber recently made a return to the music scene giving an impromptu performance of one of his older hits during Ariana Grande’s set in the second weekend of the Coachella Festival.
- Variety (May 7, 2019)
Sharp-eyed Game of Thrones fans were all over the internet after last week’s episode, but it wasn’t about the final season’s plot twists. A cardboard coffee cup was left on a table and showed up in one scene. This is, of course, an incongruity — something that doesn’t fit — as there are no Starbucks in the Thrones universe. At first, HBO laughed off the mistake, but later released footage of the scene with the cup digitally removed.
The incongruity came in the final season of “Game of Thrones,” which has involved an all-out effort from HBO.
- The New York Times (May 6, 2019)
Mortal Kombat 11 was recently released, and while parts of the new release are quite advanced, like the graphics and character development, some aspects of the production couldn’t be more lo-fi. Lots of everyday, mundane items were used to create the sound effects. Sounds engineers recorded themselves squashing fruit (smooshed body parts) and banging kitchen utensils together (clashing weapons).
Also, some of the coolest MK11 sounds came from mundane items in the studio. During one session, Forden’s lunch cutlery was used to create the sound of a sharpening blade in the game.
- USA Today ( May 5, 2019)
The nominees for the 2019 CMT Music Awards were announced this week. Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, The Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, and 18-time winner Carrie Underwood are among the nominees. The CMT awards are voted on by fans. Little Big Town will host the show, which will be broadcast from Nashville on June 5.
. This year’s nominations span pop, soul and R&B, and include up-and-comers, stalwarts and stadium headliners, many of which are being recognized by CMT for the first time.
- USA Today (May 7, 2019)

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