The ballet world is spinning after one of the art's brightest stars walked away from Britain's Royal Ballet without explanation, days before he was due to take the lead in a new production.
Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin announced this week that he is quitting immediately. He had been due to open as Oberon in "The Dream" next week.
The 21-year-old studied dance in Kiev before attending the Royal Ballet School in London from the age of 13.
He has thrilled audiences since he became the company's youngest-ever male principal dancer at the age of 19. His poise, muscularity and gravity-defying leaps have brought comparisons with the young Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Royal Ballet director Monica Mason said Polunin's resignation had "come as a huge shock."
Chesney heads country field
Kenny Chesney has come roaring back in terms of industry recognition with a field-dominating nine nominations for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.
The runner-up for most nods was Jason Aldean, who collected six, ahead of Lady Antebellum with five, Brad Paisley with four and Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Grace Potter and the Eli Young Band with three apiece, academy officials announced Thursday.
Newer-vintage performers such as Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown scored the most nominations last year, but Chesney this year is up for entertainer of the year, male vocalist and song of the year, plus double dips under the ACM's rules recognizing performers who also are producers, for his album "Hemingway's Whiskey," his hit single (with Grace Potter) "You and Tequila" and vocal event for the same song.
Chesney, Swift, Aldean and Paisley are joined by Blake Shelton vying for the ACM's top trophy, entertainer of the year, which went to Swift last year.
Awards are to be announced during an April 1 ceremony that CBS will telecast from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Theater gets large donation
Hedge fund manager William Ackman donated $25 million to New York's nonprofit Signature Theatre, which said it will rename its new Frank Gehry-designed off-Broadway complex after his foundation.
The Pershing Square Signature Center is scheduled to open Tuesday with three theaters, two rehearsal studios and public space. Ackman, 45, is chief executive and founder of Pershing Square Capital Management LP.
Ne-Yo wants inclusive music
Ne-Yo has a dream: He believes the record industry is segregated, and has hopes of changing that as the new senior vice president of artists and repertoire for Motown Records.
Even though Motown's legend is rooted in black music, it was music that appealed to everyone, helping to unite a nation in sometimes divisive times. As a top exec at Motown, Ne-Yo wants to unite people musically once again.
"I want to get back to a place where everybody's listening to the same thing no matter what race, color, creed you are," the Grammy-winning singer said in an interview after Universal Music made the announcement this week. "[Now] there's music that's specifically for black people and there's music that's specifically for white people, and I feel like the essence of … music is lost when you do that."
The 32-year-old Grammy winner, who has multiple hits of his own and has also written smashes for others like Rihanna and Beyonce, says he is looking to sign artists who have a drive and a tremendous work ethic, not just one-hit wonders.
Hollywood Bowl shuttle fares rise
Getting to the Hollywood Bowl this summer will be slightly more expensive for the thousands of people who rely on the park-and-ride shuttles.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a measure this week to increase round-trip park-and-ride service from $8 to $10 for those who purchase their tickets on site at the lots.
Those who purchase tickets in advance will avoid the hike and pay $5, the same as in previous seasons. But some additional fees may apply for advance purchase, so riders could end up paying more than $5.
Shuttle service from four close-by shuttle lots — two located on Ventura Boulevard near Universal City, as well as one at Hollywood and Highland and one at the L.A. Zoo — will increase from $4 to $5. As with the park-and-ride service, there can be surcharges when purchasing shuttle tickets in advance online.
Back home: Country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard, 74, was released again from a hospital in Macon, Ga., and has returned to his home in Redding, Calif., to recuperate from a bout of pneumonia and other medical issues.