Analysis: Sing a song of freedom with ‘Diana: The Musical’ and more

It “celebrates the life of Princess Diana and the light of her legacy that continues to shine across the world” and is the “first-of-its-kind landmark musical event (that) brings us face to face with one of the 20th century’s most compelling figures,” according to the streaming giant.

In one song, Jeanna de Waal as Diana sings about choosing happiness and a brand-new start. We know that was short-lived, but it feels triumphant.

It starts streaming Friday.

‘Britney vs. Spears’

Britney Spears attends the 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, July 15, 2015.

Another day, another Britney Spears documentary.

This one has stirred up the #FreeBritney movement — partly because it contains alleged text messages from the pop star herself as well as a chat with the controversial Sam Lufti, who many have blamed, in part, for her family seeking the conservatorship.

“Britney vs. Spears” is streaming now on Netflix.

For a further deep dive on the Princess of Pop, check out the recent episode of Pop Life Pop Off here. You can catch my new show every Saturday morning on CNN.com or YouTube.

‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Michael Gandolfini (right) plays the young Tony Soprano in "The Many Saints of Newark."

But will it sing like “The Sopranos”?

That’s the question regarding this prequel film for the popular HBO series, which starred the late James Gandolfini.

His son, Michael Gandolfini, plays the younger version of Tony Soprano, the character his father made famous. CNN’s resident critic, Brian Lowry, has declared that it “turns out to be a credible and rewarding film.”

“The Many Saints of Newark” starts streaming on HBO Max (owned by CNN’s parent company) Friday, the same day it arrives in theaters.

Two things to listen to

(From left) Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform onstage during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in LA, February 8, 2015.
News earlier this year that Tony Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s was met with an outpouring of sadness.

But the legendary singer is determined to give us wonderful art to help us smile through the tears.

His second collaborative album with Lady Gaga, “Love for Sale,” drops Friday. The pair are magical together.
Brandi Carlile attends the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in LA, January 26, 2020.
Speaking of magic, Brandi Carlile is aiming to follow up her Grammy-winning streak with her new album, titled “In These Silent Days.”
There has been lots of buzz around it, fueled in part by the music video for the single “Right on Time,” which was directed by “Friends” star Courteney Cox.

The new album is out Friday.

One thing to talk about

(From left) Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton and Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset are shown in the first season of "Bridgerton."
A teaser clip for season two of “Bridgerton” has dropped, and while there’s some excitement for the return of the Netflix Regency period drama, I can’t help but mourn a tad.

That’s because while the new season will revolve around the love life of Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, missing will be his best friend, Simon Bassett, Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page.

Shonda Rhimes let us know that a while ago. The series, of course, is bigger than a single character. But if you are reading this, Ms. Rhimes, we won’t be mad if Simon pops up for a scene or two … or more. Please.

Something to sip on

This sketch depicts the moment R. Kelly's guilty verdict was handed down in New York, September 27.
The guilty verdict for singer R. Kelly was a long time coming.
There had been jokes for decades about Kelly’s alleged predilection for young girls — and even vilification for those who came forward to accuse him.

The women and girls were labeled as “fast,” “money hungry,” “conniving” and some words I can’t print here.

Nevertheless, women — especially Black women — refused to stop seeking justice in the face of the #MeToo reckoning.

Now Kelly is facing decades behind bars after being found guilty in New York of charges including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, and sex trafficking.

It won’t change what has happened, but I’m sure it feels like vindication for some.

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