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

  • Donald Trump tried to date Emma Thompson

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Emma Thompson was once a favourite of President Donald Trump. The actress, who has been married to actor Greg Wise since 2003, has revealed the future leader of the free world once tried to charm her into going on a date with him, while she was filming 1998 movie Primary Colors. Source
  • Amy Schumer bails on Barbie

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Amy Schumer has dropped out of the Barbie movie. The actress/comedian signed on to play the woman who inspired Mattel’s popular doll for Sony, but scheduling conflicts have forced her to bow out. “Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” Schumer said in a statement released on Thursday. Source
  • 'Qapla'!': Timmins, Ont. Klingons raise their flag at city hall to celebrate 50th anniversary

    Entertainment CBC News
    There's a flag flying in front of the city hall in Timmins, Ont. — but it's not one that usually adorns municipal buildings. On earth. The raising of the Klingon Empire flag in northern Ontario this week doesn't mean the battle-hungry alien race of warriors, made popular in the Star Trek television franchise, has conquered the region. Source
  • 'Life' review: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds' space horror a real treat for the audience

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The film "Life" is a test-tube baby, born from a blend of old-school monster-movie DNA and state-of-the-art digital effects. At times silly - yet surprisingly satisfying - this tale of sci-fi suspense and horror, set in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, gives Emmanuel Lubezki's vertiginous "Gravity" cinematography a run for its money, with dizzyingly deft camera choreography and long, unbroken takes shot by Seamus McGarvey ("Nocturnal Animals," "The Avengers") that…
  • Feds promise more money for arts, culture in budget but with few details

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • There are few details but here's what the federal budget means for the arts

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

    Entertainment CTV News
    GENEVA -- Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country -- a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster. Source
  • 'Who else would I be thinking about'; John Mayer never got over Katy Perry

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    John Mayer cried as he channelled his heartbreak over his split from Katy Perry into his new single Still Feel Like Your Man. The stars dated on and off from 2012 until early 2016, and although Perry promptly moved on with British actor Orlando Bloom, Mayer admits he never fully got over the break-up, because their relationship had meant so much to him. Source
  • Filmmaker finds Edmonton short on equipment, crews and funding

    Entertainment CBC News
    Michael Maxxis is discovering the joys and challenges of shooting a feature film in his hometown of Edmonton. The Alberta capital is still a city in training when it comes to film infrastructure, he said. Source
  • Bob Dylan holds forth on Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez, Minnesota in rare interview

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An old rock-and-roll legend has it that Bob Dylan and George Harrison were supposed to record with Elvis Presley, but The King was a no-show. As Dylan tells it, though, Presley "did show up, it was us that didn't. Source