‘The Voice’ Episodes Taped Until End of April, John Legend Says

One program the coronavirus hasn’t forced a screeching halt to is NBC’s The Voice.

John Legend, one of the four coaches on the Emmy-winning music series, says he and the others have pre-taped the show until the end of April.

“There were only three weeks of live shows planned and those were for May. So who knows what we’ll do? I don’t know if we’ll be able to do them without an audience. I haven’t spoken to the producers about what the plans are,” he told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

“And I think everybody’s playing things by ear because we don’t know where the world’s going to be in May. But if we can do those shows in May, that’d be great. Possibly without an audience, that would be understandable,” he added. “But, you know, if we can pull it off, then that would be great. We’ll see if that’s doable.”

The rapidly spreading coronavirus has forced a number of cancellations and postponements, including awards shows, concerts and the suspension of the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons. Some TV shows have taped without an audience, while others like Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of the Today show and Jimmy Fallon have aired segments from home.

The coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can be severe in some cases, especially older adults and people with existing health problems. People with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may need six weeks to recover.

The 18th season of “The Voice,” airing Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern, also includes Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and first-time coach Nick Jonas.

“(Monday) we had a very highly-rated episode, obviously, because people are home and … watching shows like The Voice,” he said.


Johnny Depp’s Libel Trial Gets Postponed Because of Coronavirus

Just days before a high-profile libel trial was set to begin between Johnny Depp and the newspaper that cast him as a “wife-beater,” a U.K. judge has decided that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic necessitates adjournment. As a result, the actor will fight News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun, at a later date.

The trial was scheduled to begin on March 23 and it was shaping up to be a complicated, transatlantic event at a time when much of the world was on lockdown attempting to control the novel coronavirus. Because the U.K. hasn’t quite gone to some of the virus mitigation lengths as some other countries, courts are largely operating normally. But this case was somewhat unusual given the necessary participation of foreigners located outside of London.

Depp is suing over a 2018 story about how J.K. Rowling could be “genuinely happy” about Depp’s role in Fantastic Beasts given allegations of abuse towards ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp insists he’s the victim, and in defense of libel claims, News Group intended to explore the truth of the relationship.

With the clock ticking toward trial, Depp’s lawyers were ordered to make disclosures, and attorneys in the case have been racing to compel witness testimony.

On Wednesday, according to Law360, High Court Judge Andrew Nicol expressed that he needed to consider a delay of the trial. According to the report, one of Depp’s barristers was in self-isolation due to coronavirus. There was also the difficulty of handling 24 expected witnesses, many of whom were expected to give evidence over video.

“There’s also the issue of if we were to start and illness struck one or more participants halfway through, what would we do?” asked Judge Nicol.

Today brought another hearing, according to The Guardian, and Nicol’s ultimate conclusion that delay was in order.

But the judge’s decision on adjournment didn’t occur without a fuss.

The Guardian also reported that Adam Wolanski, an attorney for the news publisher, accused Depp of wishing delay “not because of the coronavirus, but because he cannot face the prospect of his lies about his relationship being exposed because he’s a coward and because he knows he’s going to lose.”

Heard was said to be in California but ready to board a flight to appear at trial despite the difficulty of traveling at this moment.

Depp’s lawyers told the court he was in France, under lockdown, and couldn’t make it, added The Guardian. Jenny Afia, representing the actor, told the judge “to be realistic, responsible and, above all, to be safe,” and that ultimately at some point in the future, Depp was “extremely keen for these proceedings to go ahead as soon as possible so that he could vindicate his reputation.”

The decision to postpone the trial comes as many courts in the United States are coming to the conclusion that business as usual is nearly impossible. For example, on Thursday night, the United States District Court for the Central District of California announced that all courthouses would be closed to the public except for hearings on criminal duty matters, and that in civil matters, no hearings will go forward except for emergencies.

Adam Waldman, one of Depp’s American lawyers, said in a statement, “Mr. Depp has spent years seeking justice. The Judge hearing Mr. Depp’s defamation case against the Sun raised safety and practicality concerns. Although the case is extremely important to Mr. Depp, he was also uneasy about putting anyone else in harm’s way for the sake of it. In contrast, the Sun tabloid failed to read their own newspaper accounts about current events, and exhibited their famous disdain for the British public. Ms. Heard’s tiny coterie of friends and family ‘witnesses,’ half of whom she sued to compel them to testify, also offered to appear by video link in a libel case for which the reporter Dan Wootton himself is too afraid to testify. Mr Depp will wait for courts and borders to safely reopen, and then we will do this properly.”

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This article originally appeared in THR.com.


Bravo’s Andy Cohen, ‘Bachelor’ Colton Underwood Test Positive For Coronavirus

Former star of The Bachelor Colton Underwood and talk-show host Andy Cohen have joined the growing group of celebrities who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Underwood posted a video on his social media pages saying he has been following all social distancing rules for a week, but tested positive on Friday.

The 28-year-old former football player who appeared as The Bachelor in 2019 says he began having symptoms, primarily exhaustion, a few days ago.

“The main thing is I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath or going to the bathroom without having to sit down because I’m exhausted,” he said.

Underwood says he is recovering and self-isolating at his girlfriend’s family home in Huntington Beach, California.

Cohen the 51-year-old host of the long-running Bravo late-night show Watch What Happens Live said on Instagram and Twitter Friday afternoon that he has also tested positive, and will not do shows from home as he had planned.

“As much as I felt like I could push through whatever I was feeling to do #WWHL from home, we’re putting a pin in that for now so I can focus on getting better,” Cohen wrote.

Underwood and Cohen join other entertainers including Tom Hanks, Idris Elba and Daniel Dae Kim who have tested positive for the virus amid the global pandemic.

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The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ Album Off to Fast Start

The Weeknd’s new album After Hours is off to a hot start, according to industry forecasters. Those in the know suggest it could earn over 400,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending March 26. That forecast could grow higher, as it is based off just two full days of activity. The set was released on March 20.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the April 4-dated Billboard 200 chart (where After Hours will make its splashy debut) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s website on Sunday, March 29.

After Hours has its eyes set on 2020’s current largest week for an album, registered by BTSMap of the Soul: 7, which launched with 422,000 units on the March 7-dated list, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The Weeknd could snare a personal best week, as his largest frame was registered with Beauty Behind the Madness, which blasted in atop the list with 412,000 units (Sept. 19, 2015-dated chart).

After Hours will undoubtedly be a streaming giant by week’s end, and will have a robust sales figure. The latter is getting a boost from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for The Weeknd’s upcoming tour, which is scheduled to kick off on June 11. The album’s sales are also aided by more than 50 merchandise/album bundles currently available in The Weeknd’s official webstore.

After Hours was released via XO/Republic Records and is the singer-songwriter’s first release since his six-song My Dear Melancholy EP debuted at No. 1 on the chart dated April 14, 2018 with 169,000 units earned in its first week.

After Hours is The Weeknd’s first full-length project since Starboy, which entered at No. 1 with 348,000 units in its first week (chart dated Dec. 17, 2016).

After Hours is one of a number of albums that will debut on next week’s chart. Other efforts on course for noteworthy arrivals include Kelsea Ballerini’s Kelsea, J Balvin’s Colores and Conan Gray’s Kid Krow. And then there’s Childish Gambino’s surprise-release 3.15.20, which dropped on March 22. It’s his first album since Awaken, My Love! bowed at No. 5 on the Dec. 24, 2016-dated chart with 101,000 units earned in its first week, according to Nielsen Music.


Rita Wilson Gets Through Quarantine With Naughty by Nature Rap: Watch

Rita Wilson was casually reading a copy of Ender’s Game in isolation when Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” came on. With a “hey, ho” she launched into a full-on sing-along in the latest update from her coronavirus quarantine.

“Quarantine Stir Crazy,” Wilson, who tested positive for COVID-19 along with husband Tom Hanks, captioned an Instagram video of the moment on Sunday (March 22). “See it to believe it.”

Hanks and Wilson are in self-isolation in Australia, where the actor was filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic when the couple received the diagnosis.

Wilson’s impressive rap put a smile on many faces: “The best video EVER!!!!!!” Kim Kardashian commented, while mom Kris Jenner wrote, “OMG Rita I Love you!!!! Please come home!!!!!!”

“Yessssssss R Greeky!” Jennifer Aniston chimed in.

Yessss, Rita!!!” Chrissy Metz cheered on.

Watch it below.

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See it to believe it

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Madonna Calls Coronavirus ‘The Great Equalizer’ in Dispatch From Her Bathtub: Watch

Madonna took a luxurious soak while pondering her mortality and the spread of the coronavirus on Sunday (March 22).

The pop icon — completely nude, partially submerged and surrounded by lit candles — opted to broadcast her thoughts from her petal-strewn bathtub in order to share how she feels about COVID-19 and why she considers it a “great equalizer.” She’s been vocal and active on social media since the pandemic went global, and has been encouraging her followers to stay home as she offers updates from her own (which include workouts and impromptu performances).

Though her surroundings were relaxing, her message was anything but.

“It doesn’t care about how rich you are, how famous you are, how funny you are, how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell,” she says of the virus while sitting in the bath. “It’s the great equalizer, and what’s terrible about it is what’s great about it. What’s terrible about it is it’s made us all equal in many ways — and what’s wonderful about it is it’s made us all equal in many ways.”

She ended her message by referring to how she’d close out her performance of her 1995 single”Human Nature” every night onstage: “We’re all in the same boat, and if the ship goes down, we’re all going down together.”

Watch Madonna’s video in full below.

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Justin Bieber Jams and Hosts a Church Service in Isolation: Watch

It’s business as usual for Justin Bieber, even while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on what the singer shared on social media this weekend, he’s spending time recording while staying isolated at home. He’s also keeping up with going to church remotely.

“Making some music in isolation,” Bieber captioned a teaser on Instagram on Sunday (March 22).

In another post, he welcomed his fans to take part in a live streaming church service with him.

“By no means do you need to believe in what I believe but know your loved and more than welcome to join me as I watch church today!” he wrote ahead of the 3 p.m. ET service on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m just gonna kind of sit back and let you do your thing,” he said just before it began.

When it was over, he thanked viewers for watching with him, then said: “Hope you guys enjoyed that as much as I did … If you guys watched that and you don’t believe in the story of Jesus or whatever it may be, super OK. Everyone’s on their own journey, their own faith journey.”

“I just feel like in this time that the story of Jesus really resonates to me,” Bieber explained.

Check out some of his Instagram footage below.

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Making some music in isolation

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