S.O.S.: Canadians react to Sting playing NBA All-Star halftime in Toronto

TORONTO -- Some basketball fans are sending out an SOS about the choice of Sting to headline the NBA all-star game's halftime show next month in Toronto.

See Full Article

The 16-time Grammy Award winner was trending on Twitter after Thursday's announcement, and some users -- including former Toronto mayor Rob Ford -- were expressing outrage.

Some questioned why a local act wasn't chosen to headline, noting Canadian artists including Drake and Justin Bieber are dominating the Billboard charts.

Others said they didn't feel the "Message in a Bottle" singer-songwriter and former frontman for the Police was the right fit for a blockbuster basketball event.

"Really @Toronto2016? Sting? What were your backup options, Cher and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra? How about some TORONTO talent!" said a tweet from Ford's account.

Ford, who's now a city councillor, added there were "so many options," including the Weeknd, Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Kardinal Offishall and Deadmau5.

Chuck Swirsky, a former play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Raptors who now calls Chicago Bulls games, tweeted: "Kind of surprised Drake wasn't selected as featured entertainer at All Star Weekend. Nothing against Sting but....."

Still, some defended the choice.

"Sting has been selling out stadiums, exploring world beats, influencing the artists that you love, writing his own songs ... getting sampled AND fighting for human rights long before most of the people complaining about him on social media were born," said "Hockey Night in Canada" host George Stroumboulopoulos in a series of tweets.

Stroumboulopoulos added NBA officials "probably know more about their target than those who aren't in the meetings."

"Why do some people think that the NBA needs a gangster artist? That's a question they probably don't want the answer to."

Sting, who kicks off a tour with Peter Gabriel in June, will play the halftime show at the Air Canada Centre on Feb. 14 and Montreal acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil will also perform.

Last year's halftime artist was Ariana Grande, with a guest appearance from Nicki Minaj. In 2014 the halftime show included Janelle Monae and Earth, Wind, and Fire. The 2013 headliner was Alicia Keys.

Earlier this month, organizers announced Toronto rapper Drake will coach Canada's team at the NBA all-star celebrity game on Feb. 12 at the Ricoh Coliseum.

The Canuck team includes two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and Toronto Blue Jays all-star right-fielder Jose Bautista.

Comedy star Kevin Hart will coach the U.S. team, which includes actors Michael B. Jordan and Jason Sudeikis.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Celebrities react to deadly Manchester Arena attack

    Entertainment CTV News
    Reaction to the fatal explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." - Ariana Grande, via Twitter. Source
  • Rebel Wilson tells court Australian articles hurt her career

    Entertainment CTV News
    MELBOURNE, Australia -- A tearful Rebel Wilson testified on Tuesday that a series of magazine articles published in Australia were a deliberate attack on her character and damaged her acting career. Wilson is suing Australian publisher Bauer Media for defamation over several articles published in 2015 that the Australian-born actress said led to her film contracts being terminated. Source
  • Zack Snyder exits ‘Justice League’ after daughter’s death

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — The recent death of director Zack Snyder’s daughter has driven the prominent filmmaker to step away from finishing the ensemble superhero movie “Justice League.” A source close to production who was not authorized to speak publicly said Monday that director Joss Whedon would take over completing the film, which should still hit its Nov. Source
  • Lawsuit: Fyre music fest more 'Hunger Games' than Coachella

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Litigation is piling up like bonfire kindling against organizers of the Fyre Festival that flamed out in a fiasco. Angry participants had lashed out on social media with the hashtag .fyrefraud as the music festival fell apart on an island in the Bahamas in April and fraud is the first claim in a $100 million class-action suit. Source
  • 19 dead, 59 injured after blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K.

    Entertainment CBC News
    Police say there have been a "number of confirmed fatalities" and injuries after an explosion at the Manchester Arena in northern England, where U.S. pop star Ariana Grande was giving a concert. Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a— @gmpolice Source
  • Children among 22 dead, 59 injured in attack at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K.

    Entertainment CBC News
    Police say there have been a "number of confirmed fatalities" and injuries after an explosion at the Manchester Arena in northern England, where U.S. pop star Ariana Grande was giving a concert. Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a— @gmpolice Source
  • Box office Top 20: 'Alien: Covenant' dethrones 'Guardians 2'

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Ridley Scott's space horror film "Alien: Covenant" scared reigning box office champ "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" out of the No. 1 spot over the weekend -- but just barely. "Alien: Covenant," a sequel to 2012's "Prometheus," opened with $36.2 million, pushing "Guardians 2" to second place with $34.7 million in its third weekend in theatres. Source
  • Jet owned by Elvis to be auctioned after sitting 30 years

    Entertainment CTV News
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley and featured on the National Geographic Channel is set to be auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 30 years. The red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar, one of many owned by the King of rock 'n' roll, has no engines and needs a restoration of its cockpit. Source
  • With catcalls and applause, Cannes debates rise of Netflix

    Entertainment CTV News
    CANNES, France -- This year's Cannes Film Festival has been a sprawling, international referendum on Netflix, with votes registered in catcalls and applause, and some of the biggest names in cinema staking out their positions. Source
  • Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson recreates iconic SUNshine Boy photo on 'SNL'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson donned some familiar garb to recreate an iconic photo from his past. One of the photo bumpers leading into commercials during Saturday's episode of SNL featured the Baywatch star wearing a black turtle neck, gold neck chain, leather fanny pack, and tissue paper under the wrist. Source