• The bishop who officiated Aretha Franklin's funeral apologized Friday to Ariana Grande for how he touched her onstage and a joke he made about her name. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III led Franklin's funeral and awkwardly greeted Grande on stage after she performed "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Images of the moment showed Ellis' hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest. The preacher apologized in an interview at the cemetery where Franklin was interred late Friday. "It would never be my intention to touch any woman's breast. ... I don't know I guess I put my arm around her," Ellis said. "Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize." He said he hugged all the performers during Friday's eight-hour service. "Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That's what we are all about in the church. We are all about love." Many people posted close-up images of the moment on Twitter, tagging it #RespectAriana. Ellis also apologized to Grande, her fans and the Hispanic community for making a joke about seeing her name on the program and thinking it was a new item on the Taco Bell menu. "I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community," Ellis said. "When you're doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there." Ellis' touching of Grande overshadowed some criticism earlier in the ceremony about the short dress Grande wore for her performance. Numerous people posted criticisms online that the dress was too short for church.
• Singer Lana Del Rey has canceled her planned performance at an Israeli music festival after pressure from Palestinian boycott activists. In a Twitter message late Friday, Del Rey said she is delaying "until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans." It wasn't clear whether it was a direct response to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement's boycott call. Still, it marked a setback for Israel, which aims to prevent politics from infiltrating the arts. Del Rey was to headline the inaugural Meteor Festival in northern Israel next week. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement urges businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel. It says it's a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause. But Israel says it masks a more far-reaching aim to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state.
A Section on 09/02/2018
Print Headline: Names and faces