News Mash-up: Celebrities

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. custodian / kʌˈstoʊ di ən / (n.) – someone who protects and keeps something safe for someone else

    Mr. Miller was the custodian of the castle for many years.

  2. dozens / ˈdʌz əns / (n.) – large numbers of people or things

    The singer receives dozens of emails from fans every day.

  3. urge / ɜrdʒ / (v.) – to convince or strongly advise someone to do something

    The manager urged his staff to use their paid vacation leave.

  4. indigenous / ɪnˈdɪdʒ ə nəs / (adj.) – coming from, living, or existing in a particular area or region

    That type of bird isn’t indigenous to this area; I think it was someone’s pet that escaped.

  5. legitimize / lɪˈdʒɪt əˌmaɪz / (v.) – to make something, especially a bad thing, seem acceptable or allowable

    Some people believe that video games legitimize violence.


Read the text below.

Paul Simon sells song catalog to Sony Music, but no one’s saying what the price was

Paul Simon is the latest icon to sell his rich catalog of songs.

Sony Music Publishing announced March 31 that it has acquired Simon’s catalog, which includes six decades of music, from his time in Simon & Garfunkel to his solo career. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Simon has won 16 Grammy Awards. His well-known songs include Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Boxer, The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, I am a Rock and 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, among others.

“I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades,” Simon, 79, said in a statement. (AP)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry urge Biden to refuse Brazil environment deal

Dozens of U.S. and Brazilian celebrities, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, pop star Katy Perry and musician Gilberto Gil, released a letter on April 20 urging U.S. President Joe Biden not to agree to any environmental deals with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

The U.S. has been holding talks with Brazil since February on a potential collaboration to stop surging destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Indigenous and environmental groups say that any deal with the Bolsonaro government risks legitimizing a Brazilian administration that is encouraging environmental destruction and human rights violations.

“We urge your Administration to hear their call and not commit to any agreements with Brazil at this time,” the celebrities said in an open letter to Biden. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Simon said he was pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of his songs for the coming decades. If you were Simon, would you choose to sell your song catalog or pass it on to your family? Why? Discuss.
  • Financial details of the deal weren’t announced. Why do you think they’re keeping the price secret (ex. it was really high, it was really low)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • DiCaprio, Perry, and other famous celebrities released a letter urging Biden not to agree to any environmental deals with Bolsonaro. Do you think this will actually have an impact on Biden’s decision? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Some people say that celebrities shouldn’t share their opinions on politics. Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss.