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Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Giles Martin joined Apple Music’s Zane Lowe

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Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Giles Martin joined Apple Music’s Zane Lowe for in-depth conversation about the arrival of The Beatles’ iconic ‘1’ album in Spatial Audio for the first time ever, in addition to “Strawberry Fields Forever” in celebration of the song’s 55th anniversary.

Martin shared unique insights and stories about the process of bringing immersive audio to a legendary body of work, how the new technology is transforming how music is created and enjoyed, honoring the legacy of his father and The Beatles, the implications for a new generation of artists, and more.

 

Key quotes from the conversation are below — feel free to use and credit Apple Music.

 

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Giles Martin on The Evolution of Sound…

My dad was, you know, was a futurist and loved technology… so he was always looking for a way of having great sound…And what happened was with The Beatles and my dad and other people around the world they went “OK, how do we create worlds that don’t exist?” And since Sgt. Pepper’s, you know, originally with Tomorrow Never Knows or Revolver, they start doing this thing with these aren’t live records. These are things you can only imagine in John Lennon’s head.He tried to capture what was in the head and put on a record. And that’s the evolution of sound. It’s not just technology, it’s imagination as well and that’s key.

 

Giles Martin on The Responsibility He Feels Remixing The Beatles For Spatial Audio…

I still find it hard to believe that that I get given this responsibility. I never thought in my life I’d be mixing or remixing Beatles stuff. And I realized that when I walk into a room at Abbey Road and I can get a four track, one inch tape and it has A Day in the Life in it or Paperback Writer or anything, and I can press play and I can hear it how lucky I am and how many people would want to do this? How many people would want to be in that position? I shouldn’t have this privilege, everyone should have this privilege.

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Giles Martin on The Journey of Bringing New Technology To The Beatles’ Catalog…

I think Sgt. Pepper’s the first Dolby Atmos record. We went back and redid it because technology changed, like it does. Paul and Ringo and Olivia and Yoko, and now, you know, the kids as well, they they look after this great legacy of music, and I just work for them basically. But Paul and Ringo are always going, “How can we push technology? How can we change the way?” So it made sense to me to do Sgt. Pepper’s, you know one of most famous albums of all time in new technology, because that’s what The Beatles want. Paul says, “I don’t want to be stuck in a museum. I don’t want to be under a glass case. I want, you know, people discover things. I want people to listen to stuff, old people to explore. I people have an opinion about things”. You know, it’s that and The Beatles don’t want to be the sort of on some mount going, “don’t touch it.” You know, like some people said to me, why would you go and do this? I go, ‘Because they asked me to’, and I don’t go do this work because, you know, I’m bored and there’s a cupboard of Beatles records I need to go look at.

 

Giles Martin on Spatial Audio Becoming More Accessible…

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I’ve been working in surround for a long time, you know. I did the Love show in Vegas, which has seven thousand speakers in a room and we did a surround sound record that which was very successful. But then you couldn’t hear it anywhere. You know, you couldn’t hear a — people don’t have surround sound unless they’re very niche. And it took a while, it took like a company like Apple to work out how to make it a consumer experience on a grand scale, you know? It’s all very well.I could put people in a room that I can build and go, “This is gonna be an amazing experience”, but how do you then have it so it’s easily accessible for people? You’re going to have more intimacy and then you’re going to you’re going to notice, hear it, you’re going to really listen to it and it’s going to touch you. And that’s what music is about. I don’t want people to listen to these mixes and go, this is a mix. I want people to listen to the song and go, “how does this make me feel? How does it make me feel?”You know, that’s that’s the key. It’s like kids who have never heard The Beatles, which which there’s lots of them. Well, you know, if it doesn’t have The Beatles or if it’s anyone, it doesn’t matter as long as they feel something when they listen to it.

 

Giles Martin on How Long It Takes To Remix a Track in Spatial Audio…

It does really vary. It can take, it can take half a day or three days or ages if you get it wrong, it’s as simple as that. And the reason was for a lot of lot of the stuff like the the early, early material we’ll go back into the Studio Two where their band recorded and we’ll find a way of rerecording the room. So you have the Studio Two around you when you listen to it. So that takes a while.So that’s the process, so we’re mixing not just the original tracks, but actually — Capturing ambiance of the room that they’re in to make it more real. So that’s a process that if you could add on to that and then once you got the tracks up, you know, I’d mix things incredibly quickly. And sometimes some tracks just take ages because you just think this is, this doesn’t feel right.

 

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Giles Martin on The Beatles Songs That Were Challenging To Remix in Spatial Audio…

There’s always a few troublemakers, and so it’s like, you know, you know in all honesty, Hard Day’s Night was was tough.Because, you know, the way it was done, it was, it’s got, I’m going to get this wrong. It’s got it, so it’s got John’s vocal, acoustic guitar, and congas on one track. Guitar, drums and bass, another track. John and Paul, another guitar, I think, another track. And it’s that balance, if you start splitting the Spatial Audio as opposed to mono, you going to, the levels change because of compression, so. There’s a lot of technical stuff that goes on.And to get the same feel was was tough with that. A Day in the Life was always tough. Day in the Life sounds really good in Spatial Audio. That was really tough just because it’s such an important song and it’s a song, these tracks, like Day in the Life, is a four track. And what I mean means that people, people listening is four track means you have essentially four things and you can’t separate them.So it’s it’s a acoustic guitar, piano, shakers and maracas, shakers and conga, sorry. And then there’s bass and drums and there’s a vocal track. And then there’s the strings, all the strings on one track and you’re thinking, that’s one of the biggest records ever. And it’s only got four things. So, you have to go, OK.And if people listen to that Spatial, they’ll hear the piano and acoustic guitar on this side of the shaker, and they’ll hear the bass and drums on the other side because you can only put them on, and the vocals in the middle, and the strings go around you. And it’s getting that balance, getting that feel right.

 

Giles Martin Says “Strawberry Fields” Was His Dad’s Proudest Work As a Producer and Explains How The Song Perfectly Showcases Spatial Audio…

It was my dad’s, I think, proudest work as a producer, you know, because it was two different takes, two different speeds, he put the strings, he did, he created this thing. And it’s a lovely story, he — John Lennon got in touch with him and they didn’t speak for a while for different reasons. John got in touch with him the month before he died. And my dad went to go see him in the Dakota building. And, John, you know, sort of —, they were thinking about working together again. And John said, “you know, I’d love to just go back and record everything again properly this time”. And my dad was like, “what??” And he goes “come on, we probably could do a lot better this time around.” My dad goes “what about Strawberry Fields?” and John went “especially Strawberry Fields” — so the so the legacy and the importance of that song for me personally is huge. And then you take the multitrack and you go “Okay, how do I make Spatial?”. And to me, that song kind of suits that world of Spatial Audio, it suits falling into…nothing is real. That’s that’s what the line says in the song. And so it suits it. When I was doing this work that was the one where I go…. I remember doing it and thinking and putting on putting that to my AirPods or the Max’s and going, “this really works. This really works. OK, listen, guys, this is the reason why this technology should exist.Strawberry Fields.The reason why this should exist”, you know, so that’s that’s it’s important.

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Giles Martin on Working with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Continuing To Embrace Technology, and Paul Saying “We Were A Really Good Band” After Hearing Sgt. Pepper in Spatial Audio… 

It’s like a family and there’s pressure involved, but it’s not as though we have marketing meetings and we sit as a board that sits around, it’s like Paul and Ringo, and then there’s Olivia and Dhani, and then there’s Sean and Yoko. And you know, we communicate, we send, we send stuff around, we go, “listen to this” and they’ll make comments and they love the technology, they love the idea of people listening in different ways. and I know this from my dad as well. You know, they never thought 50 years time or 60 years or whatever people would be listening to this stuff. And actually, I was with Paul. We have an Atmos room here at Abbey Road and Paul came to listen to Sgt. Pepper. and we sat and we listened to it. We wandered around the room was like a big room because “we were a really good band”. I was like, “Yeah, you were”. He goes, “you know, we were we were really lucky to have your dad”. And I said, “Well, I think, you know, he was lucky.” And he goes “And we’re really lucky to have you” and I went “oh God no, come on, you know?I think about how lucky I am”. He goes “we’re all lucky then.” So yeah, he’s — there’s so much in all this, there’s so much love and passion and care attached that goes into this. And if I can make them happy, then you know, and then other people listen to it, they can hear the passion that goes into it, then that’s that’s job done worthy.

 

Giles Martin on How Spatial Audio Allows You To Time Travel…

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I remember when I walked into Abbey Road and… my dad, you know…he started to lose his hearing and didn’t tell anyone that I became his ears and that’s how I started doing what I’m doing. And he started working on the anthology project, and he hadn’t listened to The Beatles since they broke up. And I came in and I listened to A Day in the Life on a four track tape machine, and I was in a room upstairs and he pressed play and John was like talking to him, but obviously years old, and it was like he was in the room. It was like there was there was no hiss, there was no crackle, there was no like old…It was literally like he was coming to the speakers in the room. And I thought to myself, that is magical. records, don’t get old.We get old. We get old and records stay the same age. John Lennon is the same age now you know on that recording as he was in 1967, when he was saying those words. And with Spatial Audio and the work we do now at at Abbey Road, you can time travel. You could be there with the band, you know, with Dolby Atmos, you could be there with the band and be in the same space with them and you can just time travel. You could snap your fingers are just pressing play or finding something. Finding some new experience, You know, we get old, music stays the same age.

 

Giles Martin on the Legacy of Abbey Road Studios…

My mum started working at Abbey Road in 1948 and my dad started working at Abbey Road in 1950. And it took a long time for them to get together, but get together they did. And you know without Abbey Road they would never have met. Without Abbey Road I wouldn’t exist. I’m not the most important thing I think ever is produced, but I’m personally grateful that my parents met here. Listen, Abbey Road was the first studios that existed in the world, you know? I think, 1932 Abbey Road Studio One was built and, and it was the first purpose built studios in the world. And so it was the kind of home recording, if you like. And and from those days of Elgar, Glenn Miller, all that sort of stuff.And then eventually The Beatles, and then Pink Floyd…the walls are soaked with sound…You walk into that room and it’s like, you know, it you feel as though you’re in a magic place and you can’t design that. You know, that’s the great thing about the magic of music, it happens. And I think the the magic and grandioseness of somewhere like Abbey Road creates that performance space.

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Raye and DJ Snake to headline Isle of MTV Malta 2024

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Ghanian-British singer, RAYE Makes History at BRIT Awards

MTV today announced that Isle of MTV Malta will return to the island’s il-Fosos Square on Tuesday, 16th July, with headlining performances from DJ Snake and RAYE. Promising huge, open-air sets, Europe’s biggest free Summer festival is held in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority and will broadcast on MTV DStv Channel 130 on Saturday, 14 September.

Headed to Isle of MTV Malta with a record-breaking six wins at this year’s BRIT Awards and over 3.5 billion streams to her name, double-platinum and five platinum singer-songwriter RAYE has seen a meteoric rise to global stardom over the past year. Having written for the world’s biggest artists including John Legend, Ellie Goulding, Khalid, David Guetta, Diplo, and Beyoncé, RAYE’s deeply personal debut studio album ‘My 21st Century Blues’ has been highly decorated – lead single “Escapism” catapulted to fame with hundreds of millions of cumulative streams, scoring RAYE her first UK No. 1 and several Top 10s across Australia, Norway, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, whilst continuing to dominate international Spotify playlists with over 30 million listeners every month.

Multiple platinum record holder and Billion Stream Spotify Club member DJ Snake is one of the world’s most sought-after DJs and producers. The Parisian powerhouse is responsible for global club anthems “Turn Down For What” (feat. Lil John), “Lean On” (feat. MØ) with Major Lazer and “Let Me Love You” with Justin Bieber, whilst his follow-up single “Taki Taki” united Selena Gomez, Cardi B and Ozuna was a worldwide hit that topped the Global Spotify Chart. With a following of 89M+ fans, an upcoming Summer of back to back shows, including Coachella, and a sold-out homecoming show in Paris next Spring, DJ Snake continues to excite dancefloors around the world, soon to include Malta’s il-Fosos Square.

“Once again we’ll be throwing the party of the Summer in true MTV style, against the ever-magical backdrop of il-Fosos Square.” said Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events, Paramount and Chief Content Officer, Music, Paramount+. “With the incredible talents of DJ Snake and RAYE, plus the support of our longstanding partners at the Malta Tourism Authority, fans should expect another unforgettable Isle of MTV Malta show.”

“Isle of MTV Malta paints a vivid picture of Malta as the ultimate summer destination, beckoning travellers from every corner of the world where each day is a celebration of life under the Mediterranean sky. It is also a staple event in the summer calendar of the Maltese Islands, helping drive more and more travellers to visit Malta during the best time of the year,” said Carlo Micallef, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority.

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“Isle of MTV Malta stands as a beacon of cultural vibrancy and international allure, transforming our island into a global stage where music, energy, and diversity converge. This electrifying event not only ignites the passions of music enthusiasts but also showcases Malta’s magnetic charm, captivating visitors with our rich heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. It epitomizes Malta’s commitment to being a premier destination for unforgettable experiences, where every beat resonates with the pulse of our island’s spirit,” said Dr Gavin Gulia, Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Isle of MTV Malta stands as a testament to our nation’s commitment to fostering unforgettable experiences and showcasing Malta’s dynamic appeal on the global stage. With its pulsating beats and star-studded lineup, this iconic event not only amplifies Malta’s reputation as a premier music destination but also fuels economic growth and fosters meaningful connections with visitors from around the world. It is a cornerstone of our tourism strategy, epitomizing Malta’s unwavering dedication to innovation, diversity, and excellence in the realm of cultural tourism,” said Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Minister for Tourism and Public Cleanliness of Malta.

Over its 15 editions, Isle of MTV Malta has brought tens of thousands of music fans to the square every year to enjoy show-stopping performances from the world’s biggest stars, including Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, David Guetta and Alesso.

The festival will be followed by Isle of MTV Malta Music Week, a series of club nights and parties across the hottest venues on the island with various artists including Benni Benassi, Icona Pop and more from 16 -21 July.

Additional line-up and ticketing information to follow.

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Tickets for Isle of MTV Malta will be available soon. Follow @IsleOfMTV on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to keep up with the latest news from the event.

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Coachella 2024: Billie Eilish & Friends, Kaskade, and Adriatique B2B BLOND:ISH Play Surprise Sets at Do LaB Stage on Saturday, April 13

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Do LaB continued an electrifying and star-studded Coachella Weekend One on Saturday, April 13. Check out highlights from day two below:

  • For one of the most stunning surprises of the festival, Billie Eilish & Friends took over the Do LaB stage for a party that featured three unreleased tracks performed off her forthcoming album, Hit Me Hard And Soft. The set also featured a variety of party-starting tracks DJed throughout, plus a live performance of hit ‘Rack City’ by Tyga.
  • Pioneering dance act Kaskade played the second surprise set of the day, joined by fellow fan-favorite electronic act Alison Wonderland during the set.
  • Swiss Electronic duo Adriatique teamed up with dance icon BLOND:ISH for a surprise back to back set to finish out the night.
  • Additional previously announced day two programming featured Sam Gellaitry, VNSSA B2B Nala, Ahadadream, Jersey, AZZECCA, and more.

Stay tuned for notifications on announcements, surprise sets, and more by visiting the link here. Set times for the remainder of the weekend can be found here, along with more general info on Do LaB in the press release here. Additional photo selects from each day can be found here (photographer name listed in file name for photo credits).

The Do LaB stage at Coachella provides a preview of the brand’s flagship boutique festival, Lightning in a Bottle. The five day Lightning in a Bottle experience fuses a top tier musical lineup, immersive art installations, cause-driven educational programming, and a variety of yoga and movement programming within a sprawling lakeside venue in beautiful Buena Vista Lake, California.

Taking place over Memorial Day Weekend on May 22-27, LIB 2024’s musical programming highlights include Skrillex, Labrinth, Lane 8, James Blake, M.I.A., Skream, Tycho, ISOxo, Tipper, Fatboy Slim, CloZee, Nora En Pure, Bob Moses, Honey Dijon, Damian Lazarus, and several more.

More info on LIB can be found on their website here and in the official press release here, along with the media application here.

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Coachella 2024: Goldenvoice Surf Club ft. Bicep, Barry Can’t Swim, salute, Mia Moretti on Saturday, April 13

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Goldenvoice launched their newest daytime series Goldenvoice Surf Club Coachella Weekend One on Saturday, April 13.

The event featured forward-thinking electronic and crossover artists on a sprawling grass amphitheater stage, a state-of-the art 68,000 square foot wave-pool featuring pro-surfers; 2,000 sq ft swimming pool; luxury daybeds and cabanas; water park; lazy river, with wellness amenities and five top tier eateries spread throughout the venue.

  • The lineup featured Bicep (DJ Set), Barry Can’t Swim, salute, Mia Moretti
  • Programming included pro-surfers surfing the wave pool throughout the day
  • Beatport presented the Beatport Next stage, whose lineup featured Mary Droppinz, Bianca Oblivion, Anna Morgan, Sinego, and more

Sound Presents at Goldenvoice Surf Club on Sunday, April 14th will feature performances from Innervisions label head Âme, the masked icon Claptone, and FHUO label head Folamour, and Sound resident Keyspan.

Weekend Two kicks off on Saturday, April 20th with one half of experimental electronic duo 100 gecs Dylan Brady and three special back-to-back sets from the global underground. Ireland’s Steel City Dance Disc mainstay KETTAMA goes B2B with Australian underground maverick Partiboi69 as KETBOI69, boundary breaking Aussie export Mall Grab will team up with Stay on Sight’s Skin on Skin, and long time collaborators and UK dubstep pioneers Skream and Benga tag team after their triumphant return last year.  Weekend Two is rounded out on Sunday by an infectious DJ set from British production outfit JUNGLE, Los Angeles indie-disco duo NEIL FRANCES (DJ set), and LA underground staple Juliet Mendoza.

See press release here

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Iconic fashion designer Roberto Cavalli dies aged 83

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talian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, known for his animal-print designs loved by showbusiness stars, has died at the age of 83, his company said.

Cavalli, who founded his label in the early 1970s, had been ill for some time. He is survived by his six children and his partner Sandra Bergman Nilsson.

“The Roberto Cavalli company shares condolences with Mr. Cavalli’s family, his legacy remains a constant source of inspiration,” Sergio Azzolari, chief executive of Roberto Cavalli, said in a post on Instagram.

The designer died on Friday at his home in Florence, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Cavalli, who used bright colours and patchwork effects in his often revealing creations, was an extroverted art lover who wore tinted glasses and smoked a cigar.

He expanded into real estate and often spent evenings in his popular “Just Cavalli Cafe,” a nightclub in central Milan.
Giorgio Armani said he always had “enormous respect” for Cavalli even though his vision of fashion could not have been more different.

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“Roberto was a true artist, wild and wonderful in his use of prints, capable of transforming fantasy into seductive clothes,” he posted on social media platform X.

A popular image of US model Cindy Crawford in July 2000 shows her descending Rome’s Spanish steps in a Cavalli-designed long slip dress depicting a tiger face.

“You will be missed and you are loved by so many that your name will continue on, a beacon of inspiration for others, and especially for me,” said Roberto Cavalli’s creative director Fausto Puglisi.

The Florence-based fashion group is owned by Auriel Investment SA, controlled by Dubai’s Hussain Sajwani who rescued it in 2019.
Cavalli’s funeral will be held in Florence on Monday, Italian media reported.

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Global Citizen NOW action summit to convene political, corporate, cultural, and philanthropic leaders to act today and save tomorrow

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It's illegal to insult the President, Rwandan Supreme Court affirms.

Global Citizen NOW, the summit driving action to end extreme poverty, returns to New York City for a third year, on May 1 and 2. Leaders from the worlds of public policy, media, entertainment, philanthropy, advocacy, and the private sector will convene for two dynamic days focused on taking action today to save tomorrow.

Hosted by Global Citizen, the world’s leading international advocacy organization, the 2024 edition of the summit will focus on ideas for urgent action to achieve a world where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled, including access for all people to food, energy, healthcare and education; advocate for the flourishing of our planet by pushing for increased climate financing and the phase out of fossil fuels; and drive toward a future where every person and country can prosper through economic development, access to finance, innovation and job creation.

Global Citizen NOW co-chairs include long-time Global Citizen supporters Anitta, Danai Gurira, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Johnson, and Michelle Yeoh.

Political leaders co-chairing this year’s summit include Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana; Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Stefan Löfven, Former Prime Minister of Sweden; and Erna Solberg, Former Prime Minister of Norway.

Co-chairs from the private sector include Hans Vestberg, Chairman & CEO, Verizon; Nir Bar Dea, CEO, Bridgewater Associates; Leon Kalvaria, Vice Chair of Client and Banking, Citi; Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer, Cisco; Tshepo Mahloele, Founder & Chairman of Harith General Partners; Tim Mapes, SVP and Chief Communications Officer, Delta Air Lines; Diego Scotti, EVP & General Manager, Consumer Group, Global Marketing & Communications, PayPal; and Chris Stadler, Managing Partner, CVC Capital Partners.

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Leaders from foundations and policy co-chairs include Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Senait Fisseha, VP of Global Programs, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Gargee Ghosh, President, Global Policy & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General, International Labor Organisation and Former Prime Minister of Togo; Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund; and Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Co-chairs from the cultural sector include Michele Anthony, EVP, Universal Musical Group, Desiree Gruber, Founder and CEO, Full Picture; and Jane Rosenthal, CEO and Founder, Tribeca Enterprises.

Other participants include: Chris Anderson, Head of TED; Helder Barbalho, Governor of Pará; Alain-Richard Donwahi, President, COP15; Dana Canedy, Managing Editor, The Guardian US; Janja Lula da Silva, the First Lady of Brazil; Dr. Sania Nishtar, CEO, Gavi; and Brian Tippens, SVP, Chief Social Impact Officer, Cisco.

“The world is standing at a crossroads and we have a choice: we can watch the impoverished go hungry, suffer through natural disasters, and die from preventable diseases, or we can take bold action to defeat poverty, defend the planet and course correct toward a more equitable future,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder & CEO, Global Citizen. “We have the power to create monumental impact this year, but only if we have the courage to stand up and take action now.”

“I have made it my mission to work to amplify underrepresented voices,” said Danai Gurira, Award-winning actor, playwright and Global Citizen and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. “I am very pleased to join this year’s Global Citizen NOW action summit, and look forward to engaging in enriching conversations that generate immediate and impactful solutions to pressing issues and address the severe inequities facing the African continent.”

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Taking place at Spring Studios in New York City, Global Citizen NOW is supported by our partners Authentic Brands Group, Bridgewater Associates, Cisco, Citi, Delta Air Lines, P&G and Verizon.

Global Citizen NOW returns this May with a powerful two-day program focused on turning ideas into actionable impact to end extreme poverty NOW. The summit brings together global leaders and grassroots advocates from all spheres of society to generate urgent change to defeat poverty, demand equity and defend the planet, united to act today to save tomorrow. Virtually, millions will have the chance to tune-in, watch the discussions, and contribute ideas in real time.

The summit includes the Global Citizen Prize 2024 award ceremony, honoring five trailblazing advocates profoundly impacting their local communities around the globe in the areas of gender equity, civic space, climate change, food and nutrition, and health and vaccines, as well as the recipient of the Cisco Youth Leadership Award, a young person positively impacting the world using technology innovation. Winners will be announced in April. Proud partners of the Global Citizen Prize 2024 include Cisco, Citi, with support from the Ford Foundation.

A limited number of tickets to attend Global Citizen NOW are available for purchase at globalcitizen.org/now/nyc.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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O.J. Simpson dies at 76

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O.J. Simpson dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the former football great who was accused of and ultimately acquitted of the brutal 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, has died, according to his family. He was 76.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace,” a statement from his family said.

In May 2023, Simpson posted a video on X, then known as Twitter, revealing that he had recently “caught cancer” and “had to do the whole chemo thing.” He added, “It looks like I beat it.” Simpson didn’t specify the nature of the cancer.

Then in February 2024, a Las Vegas television station reported that Simpson was again undergoing treatment for an unspecified cancer. Simpson himself posted a video on X that day, denying rumors that he was in hospice care, though he did not otherwise confirm or deny reports that he was ill. Two days later in another video update on X, Simpson thanked those people he said had reached out to him, adding “My health is good. I mean, obviously I’m dealing with some issues but I think I’m just about over it.”

Simpson, nicknamed “The Juice,” broke records as a college and professional football player, and extended his celebrity and fortune as a sportscaster, a movie and television actor, and as a corporate spokesman, most notably for Hertz rental cars.

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All that changed on June 12, 1994, when Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally stabbed to death outside of her home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Within days, police announced their intention to arrest the former football star for the murders.

Five days after the killings, 95 million Americans watched as Simpson’s white Ford Bronco – with longtime friend Al Cowlings at the wheel and Simpson in the back seat with a handgun, threatening to kill himself – led police on a 60-mile, low-speed televised chase through Los Angeles that lasted some two hours.

Simpson ultimately surrendered to police and stood trial for the murders. In October 1995, after 11 months from jury selection to verdict, Simpson was acquitted in a trial that was televised daily and became an international sensation.

Twelve years later, Simpson was arrested in September 2007 after he led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal, at gunpoint, what he claims was his own sports memorabilia. Simpson was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. The following year, he was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison. Simpson was released on parole on Oct. 1, 2017.

Simpson is survived by four children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

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Kato Kaelin, a houseguest of Simpson’s at the time of the murder who became a key witness during the trial, expressed his condolences Thursday to Simpson’s children and his “love and compassion” to the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman.

“Nicole was a beacon of light that burned bright. May we never forget her,” he said in a video statement posted on X.

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