THE GRAPEVINE

Published February 18, 2024

WEDDINGS ABROAD

The video scandal is behind him, it seems. Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has given an interview in which he has claimed that, ever since India imposed a ban on Pakistani artists performing on Indian soil, India’s elite have begun to arrange their wedding parties in other countries, so that artists such as Shafqat Amanat Ali, Atif Aslam and Rahat F K himself could be invited to sing for them. It has suddenly turned everyone’s attention away from Rahat F K the singer with a temper to Rahat Fateh K the vocalist with a diplomatic bent of mind.

SOLO FLIGHT

A lot of fans of the former pop band Strings felt sad when the duo representing it — Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood — parted ways after three decades of togetherness and both embarked on separate journeys. Faisal K, who had already dropped a couple of singles, has now come out with — actually it was on February 2 — his first album as a solo performer. It’s called Zindagi Jahaan Le Jaey (wherever life takes me). All streaming platforms have it. Congrats Faisal K! Hope life takes you to where you want after Strings were broken.

STILL INTACT

On February 5, Abhishek Bachchan (son of Amitabh Bachchan and husband of Aishwarya Rai, in case anyone’s forgotten) celebrated his 48th birthday. The thing is that, for the last few years, tongues were wagging about Abhishek and Ash baby’s rocky marriage. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case now as this is how the former Ms World wished her hubby on his big day on social media: “Here’s wishing you a happy birthday with much happiness, love, calm, peace and good health. God Bless. Shine on!” Yep, after this, he will shine on, as much as he can shine with way bigger celebrities than him in the family.

PROUD OF HER

Very seldom does it happen in our part of the globe that an actress publicly praises another actress. But Mawra Hocane is all love for Mahira Khan. We know that Mahira K is hugely popular on both sides of the Wagah border and rumour has it that she will work in a South Indian film soon. In a recent Instagram post, Mawra H wrote the following for her senior colleague: “I’m so proud of you. Not for everything that the world already knows. But for everything behind the scenes. You know my prayers for you.” Behind the scenes? Well, she must mean the planning that happens for getting into a character.

FAST CAR

It was such a delight, and the high point, of this year’s Grammy awards when the inimitable Tracy Chapman made an appearance on the Grammy stage after 35 years. She turned up alongside country singer Luke Combs to perform her iconic working class track Fast Car. It had music celebs in the hall, including Taylor Swift, sing the song with her with profound admiration for Tracy C apparent on their faces. Also, she got a pretty warm and long standing ovation. Anyone who hasn’t seen that bit of the show, go watch it. It’ll make your worries go away, at least for a moment or two.

DAKOTA NEPO JOHNSON

The nepo-kid debate has taken Bollywood and Hollywood by storm. What people don’t realise is that by getting born into a showbiz family doesn’t make you less of a human. Here’s what Dakota Johnson — daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith — has told a journo about what happened when she decided to become an actress instead of pursuing education after high school. “My dad cut me off. He said if you go to college, you still get an allowance. And I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to be an actress.’ So he was like, ‘Alright, well you’re on your own. I was cut off. I definitely had moments where I couldn’t afford groceries and things like that and needed to ask my mom to help me. She was the nice one.” Dakota J, hope he doesn’t ask you to buy him groceries now!

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 18th, 2024

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