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

  • Shia LaBeouf takes anti-Trump performance to New Mexico

    Entertainment CTV News
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Actor Shia LaBeouf has brought a performance-art piece against President Donald Trump to New Mexico's largest city. The Albuquerque Journal reports that LaBeouf, along with two other artists, brought on Saturday a 24-hour live-streaming camera mounted to a wall with the message in block letters: "He will not divide us," referring to Trump. Source
  • ‘Big Little Lies’, ‘The Good Fight’ and the final season of ‘Bates Motel’ tops this week’s TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Harris' TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 19 1. Big Little Lies Debut In an affluent community, a suspicious death at an elementary school fundraiser (could it be anything other than suspicious in that venue?) draws attention to the friction between some of the mothers. Source
  • Anna Paquin busts TV stereotypes as Bellevue's flawed female lead

    Entertainment CBC News
    A female lead unlike what we typically see onscreen is what drew Anna Paquin to star in CBC's new crime drama Bellevue. "Annie is kind of everything that you don't normally get to see in female characters in mainstream TV or films," said Paquin, who leads the eerie new series as police detective Annie Ryder — a single mom who's a bit of a misfit in her community because of a strange and troubled past. Source
  • Lana Del Rey drops new single 'Love'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lana Del Rey has just dropped a new single entitled Love, her first new music since she released the album Honeymoon in 2015. The singer had earlier sparked rumours of new music by having a series of mysterious posters installed around Los Angeles. Source
  • Lisa Marie Presley says she's broke after ex asks for money

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Lisa Marie Presley describes herself as deeply in debt and just out of a treatment facility in court papers that accuse her estranged fourth husband of having hundreds of inappropriate photographs of children on his computer. Source
  • U2's Bono meets with Mike Pence, calls him 'the 2nd-busiest man on earth'

    Entertainment CBC News
    While in Europe for his first major foreign policy address representing the Trump administration, Mike Pence had an impromptu meeting with U2 frontman Bono. The activist and singer called the vice-president "the second-busiest man on Earth. Source
  • Making a living in Toronto's dwindling music club scene [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - He was in a band with a hit record at 14, but Sebastian Agnello says his occupation is “bar musician.” And he has 40-plus years of experience watching the Toronto bar scene’s ups and (these days) downs. Source
  • Huge re-opening slated for Hugh's Room

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Going against the tide of a number of Toronto club closings since the beginning of the year, Hugh’s Room should reopen on March 15. Owner-operator Richard Carson announced in early January his tiny west-end club, which favoured acoustic music including the likes of Jane Siberry, Judy Collins, Maria Muldaur and Leon Redbone over its 16 years, was closing its doors due to “insolvency. Source
  • James Earl Jones, Donald Glover to star in live-action 'Lion King' remake

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    James Earl Jones life has circled round again as he is set to lend his voice, along with Donald Glover, to Disney’s upcoming remake of The Lion King. Director Jon Favreau announced the casting of the two men as voice actors. Source
  • James Earl Jones, Donald Glover cast in 'Lion King' remake

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- James Earl Jones and Donald Glover are lending their voices to Disney's upcoming remake of "The Lion King." Director Jon Favreau announced the casting of the two men as voice actors. Source