Entertainment News Roundup: WWE chief Vince McMahon to retire amid probe into misconduct claims; A different Middle-earth is explored in Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

Ne-Yo wants to let the music speak for itself in new album ‘Self Explanatory’

US R&B singer Ne-Yo is letting his music speak for itself with the release of his eighth studio album “Self Explanatory,” which came out last week. The three-time Grammy winner said making music at this point in his career is easier and comes with less pressure.

WWE chief Vince McMahon to retire amid probe into misconduct claims

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc’s Vince McMahon said on Friday he would retire as the company’s chief and chairman, about a month after executive stepping back from those roles due to an investigation into his alleged misconduct. McMahon, 76, was being investigated by the board for agreements to pay $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, the Wall Street Journal had previously reported. https://on.wsj.com/3PtSOdb

Pat Benatar won’t perform ‘Hit Me with Your Best Shot’ anymore

US singer Pat Benatar will no longer perform her song “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” at live shows out of respect for American families affected by mass shootings. In an interview with USA Today on Thursday, Benatar said her view of the song’s lyrics, which include the words “fire away,” have changed.

Global brands are taking note of Africa’s music and talent

Global media and music brands are racing to claim a stake in Africa’s music market as internet and smartphone penetration popular artists and genres far beyond Africa’s borders. Companies are taking note of global interest, with Universal Music Group launching Virgin Music Africa Label & Artist Services in June for independent African labels and artists. The service will digitise out-of-print music catalogs to tap into the growing market for the sounds and chart-toppers of the continent.

A different Middle-earth is explored in Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ series

The creators of Amazon.com Inc’s “Lord of the Rings” unveiled the most extensive look yet at the series on Friday at the annual San Diego Comic-Con convention, promising an entirely different immersion into the fantasy world of Middle-earth. The expensive series, subtitled “The Rings of Power,” takes place 4,000 years before the events in the blockbuster movie adaptations of writer JRR Tolkien’s beloved books. The time period is known as the Second Age.

Chris Pine touts ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ film as Comic-Con returns

Actor Chris Pine said he had never immersed himself in the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons until a few years ago when he was asked about starring in a movie about the fantasy world of swords and sorcery. Now, he’s a convert. Speaking to thousands of fans in a convention hall at San Diego Comic-Con, Pine said he hoped the Paramount Pictures big-screen imagining of the game, due in theaters next March, would help “spread the gospel of D&D.” It’s a game, he said, that everyone should play in high school.

Ricky Martin restraining order scrapped by Puerto Rico judge

A Puerto Rico judge has lifted a restraining order on actor and singer Ricky Martin at the request of the man who earlier this month had said the pop icon had harassed him, lawyers representing Martin said on Thursday. The man had said in a domestic violence complaint that he feared for his safety because Martin had refused to accept his decision to end a romantic relationship, had continued calling him and had loited outside his home.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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