Bollywood icon Aamir Khan says next film will be biggest yet

Actor Aamir Khan speaks during a news conference to promote his film “Secret Superstar” in Singapore, October 2, 2017. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 03 October 2017
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Bollywood icon Aamir Khan says next film will be biggest yet

SINGAPORE: Aamir Khan, the Bollywood superstar with a conscience, says his next movie about a small town teenage girl who uses the Internet to become a singing sensation will be much bigger than his last film, which was India’s highest grossing ever.
Khan, 52, plays a sleazy music producer in the film “Secret Superstar” and says he is second lead to teenager Zaira Wasim, playing a schoolgirl who defies her conservative Muslim family to pursue her dream of a singing career.
Khan’s last film “Dangal,” or wrestling pit, was based on the true story of a former wrestler who trains two of his daughters to become champions in the sport. It was the highest grossing movie for Bollywood, as India’s Hindi film industry is known, and was powered by huge collections in China.
“While both are about the empowerment of the girl child, I feel it (Secret Superstar) is a much bigger film,” Khan said in an interview in Singapore ahead of the movie’s release later this month. He and his wife have produced the film.
“While Dangal was about the dream of a father which a daughter fulfils, this is about the hopes and aspirations of a 14-year-old girl from a small town in India. I don’t know what the box office will be but it’s a bigger film than Dangal in what it’s trying to say.”
Three of Khan’s films are in Bollywood’s top four all-time hits. Besides Dangal, these include “PK,” in which he played an alien dealing with religious divisions in India, and “3 Idiots,” about the frailties in India’s education system.
All three have also done well in China, and Khan said he was “very happy with the type of relationship that’s building between me and my audience in this part of the world with each film.”
He also produced and acted in a popular television documentary series on social ills in India called “Satyameva Jayate,” or Truth Alone Triumphs.
That series led him to set up a non-profit to work on a project to ease the shortage of water in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, he said.
Despite the social messages in his movies, Khan said he has no desire to become a politician, as some other Bollywood stars have.
“The desire in me to contribute back to society is something I can do very well in the field that I am in,” he said. “I don’t have to join politics. That’s an area I don’t ever want to go into.”
Khan, who belongs to India’s Muslim minority, was embroiled in controversy two years ago when he said his Hindu wife had asked him if they should move out of India over concerns about insecurity. Khan later said the family had no plans to leave.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has been accused of intolerance toward liberal and dissenting views.
Khan said intolerance had not affected his ability to express himself as an actor.
“For me, when I’m making a film, my primary responsibility is to give my audience a good time. Then if it’s giving a message which is important and creative, if it’s changing the way we look at things, great.
“If it’s giving a message which is highly negative, then I would not be a part of it.”


Musicians and fans pay tribute to DJ Avicii

Updated 21 April 2018
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Musicians and fans pay tribute to DJ Avicii

  • The DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead Friday in Muscat, Oman.
  • He had been holidaying in Oman with friends.

Stockholm: Thousands of fans gathered in Stockholm Saturday to remember Swedish star Avicii, one of the world’s most successful DJs who has died aged 28.
The DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead Friday in Muscat, the capital of the Gulf sultanate Oman, where he had been on holiday with friends.
A police source in Oman said the death was not considered to be suspicious, adding that the circumstances would remain confidential at the request of the family.
On Saturday afternoon, several thousand people gathered to remember the DJ at Sergels Torg plaza in Stockholm, where the crowd danced to his hit songs.
“He was a modern Mozart,” said 61-year-old language teacher Chris Koskela. “One of the greatest artists that Sweden has ever known.”
Fellow DJ Sebastian Ingrosso, who organized the event with Swedish House Mafia, tweeted: “We were just kids with dreams, Tim inspired us all and millions more.”
On Friday night nightclubs across the capital held a minute’s silence and his name was projected on the Ericsson Globe arena, where in 2014 Avicii played three sell-out gigs.
Tributes poured in from the musical world, as well as from Swedish royalty.
Madonna, who worked with Avicii on her last album, posted a picture of herself in the DJ booth with him and wrote: “So Tragic. Goodbye Dear Sweet Tim. Gone Too Soon.”
DJ David Guetta, who collaborated with Avicii on “Sunshine,” wrote: “We lost a friend with such a beautiful heart and the world lost an incredibly talented musician
In 2015, Avicii DJ-ed at the wedding reception of Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip and his bride Sofia. In a statement they said: “We had the honor to have known him and admired him both as an artist and the beautiful person that he was.”
Avicii was among the first DJs to break through into the mainstream as electronic dance music grew over the past decade from nightclubs to Top 40 radio.
His biggest hits included “Wake Me Up,” which went to number one across Europe in 2013 and featured the soul singer Aloe Blacc.
But he had made no secret of his health problems, including pancreatitis, triggered in part by excessive drinking linked to his party lifestyle.
In 2016, Avicii stunned fans by announcing his retirement when he was just 26, saying that he wanted to leave the high-flying electronic music lifestyle.
Avicii — who for years was one of the world’s most lucrative electronic musicians — in 2016 made number 12 on the list of top-paid DJs of Forbes magazine, which said he earned $14.5 million in the previous year.