Bella Hadid reacts as Drake’s album fuels romance rumors

Bella Hadid was quick to deny the rumors. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 30 June 2018

Bella Hadid reacts as Drake’s album fuels romance rumors

DUBAI: Canadian rapper Drake set the Internet alight on Friday when he dropped his latest album, “Scorpion.”
Spotify said the album was streaming at an average rate of 10 million times an hour on Friday, while Apple Music said it was the No. 1 streamed album in 92 countries.
On the 25-track double album, Drake, 31, confirms long-standing rumors that he has fathered a son, but does not name the mother.
However, that’s not the only thing he reveals about his private life.
In the track “Finesse,” Drake raps: “I want my baby to have your eyes, I’m going against my own advice / Should I do New York? I can’t decide / Fashion Week is more your thing than mine.”
Social media users were quick to speculate that the lyrics referred to a rumored former romance with US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid, not least because of the line, “You stay on my mind / You and your sister too hot to handle.”

Fans theorized that Drake was referring to Bella and her equally famous sister, Gigi.

However, Bella took those commenters to task and responded to the claims on Twitter almost as soon as the album came out, saying: “Not me!! That’s disrespectful. WHY CAN’T PPL BE FRIENDS w/o all the insinuation (sic).”


The album marks Drake’s comeback after an infamous diss track was released a month ago by rapper Pusha T, in which he first revealed that Drake has a secret child.
Damien Scott, Complex’s editor-in-chief and vice president of content and development, told the Associated Press that he thought Drake might have gone back in the studio to re-record “Scorpion” following Pusha T’s shocking revelation — “A baby’s involved, it’s deeper than rap/We talkin’ character, let me keep with the facts/You are hiding a child, let that boy come home,” Pusha T rapped on the track.
Scott may have been right. For the first time Drake addresses his son in a song, rapping on “Emotionless:” “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.” On the closing track, “March 14,” he raps about being a single father and says: “She’s not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine.”
“Scorpion,” which features songs with Jay-Z and a previously unreleased Michael Jackson track, includes the massive No. 1 hits “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What.” It follows Drake’s best-selling 2016 album “Views” and his 2017 release “More Life,” which set a record across all music streaming services of 385 million streams in its first week of release.
The Recording Industry Association of America said on Friday that Drake had become its top digital song artist, with 142 million digital single sales units, ahead of Rihanna and Taylor Swift.
Drake’s latest offering is a joint release on Warner Bros. and Universal Music-owned labels OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records, Reuters reported.


‘My quest’: Priyanka Chopra brings Bollywood to Toronto

Updated 14 September 2019

‘My quest’: Priyanka Chopra brings Bollywood to Toronto

  • Priyanka Chopra was the first Indian actress to lead a primetime US series
  • ‘The Sky is Pink is Chopra’s first Hindi-language film in three year

TORONTO: No Indian star has made a bigger splash in Hollywood than Priyanka Chopra — and the “Baywatch” actress said she is on a quest to shatter myths about Bollywood, including its approach to sex.
Chopra was the first Indian actress to lead a primetime US series with FBI thriller “Quantico,” and cemented her global celebrity status by marrying pop singer Nick Jonas last December.
That star power secured a glitzy, red-carpet slot at Toronto’s film festival for “The Sky is Pink,” Chopra’s first Hindi-language film in three years. It is the only Asian film on the prestigious gala lineup at North America’s biggest movie festival.
“People get surprised when they see ‘The Sky is Pink’ and they’re like, ‘this is not a Bollywood movie.’ Bollywood is not a genre!” Chopra said ahead of the premiere Friday.
“It really is my quest to educate people in that.”
Directed by Shonali Bose, “The Sky is Pink” tells the tragic true story of Aisha Chaudhary, an inspirational Delhi teenager whose life was cut short by a rare genetic disorder.
Chaudhary delivered a TED talk and wrote a book on her battle before her death in 2015 at the age of 18. But the film focuses on her parents, exploring how their marriage and love — and even their sex life — survived the loss of two children.
Until recently kissing was rarely shown in films made by conservative Bollywood, better known abroad for its colorful musical numbers and fairytale romantic plots.
“I don’t think we haven’t spoken about sexuality in Indian films — we do,” said Chopra, 37. “I think sexuality is spoken about in many different ways in Indian cinema.”
“It’s culturally sensitive, yes,” she added. “India is an amalgamation of modernity and tradition. And this film is made by a modern Indian. So hence, you see what her language is. This is true to who she is.”
Bose, whose own marriage ended after she lost her son, was approached by Chaudhary’s parents to make the film.
Chaudhary had been a fervent fan of the director’s work, and never fulfilled her “dying wish” to see Bose’s previous film “Margarita With A Straw.”
Bose said she was moved by the request but chose to focus on the parents after learning of their “amazing” love story and care for their child.
“They wanted the film to be about their heroic dying teenage girl, and I don’t feel she would’ve wanted to be on a pedestal — actually she was really cool and humble,” she said.
Chopra, who does not have children, said she drew on others’ experiences, including Bose’s, to play Chaudhary’s mother Aditi.
But there is plenty of Chopra in the role too. At one point her character is described as “the ‘almost’ Miss India.” Chopra herself was crowned Miss World in 2000.
As beauty pageants led to acting, Chopra, who attended school in the US, said she held onto her global outlook.
Also a singer, Chopra has released songs with US chart-toppers including Pitbull and The Chainsmokers.
“It’s a genuine quest of mine to be able to cross-pollinate cultures, and to be able to take Indian cinema to the globe as much as I can,” she said, adding: “It’s not the language that’s the barrier — it is the fear of the unknown.”
Movie-mad India has the largest film industry in the world in terms of the number produced — up to 2,000 every year in more than 20 languages, according to industry data.
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar regularly appears in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s top 10 highest-paid actors.
In recent years Bollywood’s influence has spread in North America, thanks to a growing, affluent South Asian diaspora — and a smattering of Western converts.
But while other Bollywood actors and actresses have landed high-profile roles in the US, such as Deepika Padukone in 2017’s “XXX: Return of Xander Cage,” none are as recognizable as Chopra.
“I really hope that there’s so many more entertainers from India that get the opportunity and push themselves toward global entertainment,” said Chopra.
“The world of entertainment is so global now,” she added. “With streaming coming in everyone from anywhere can watch anything.”