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Teen social media star Siya Kakkar dies

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June 27 (UPI) — Siya Kakkar, a teen TikTok star known for her viral dance videos, has died at her home in India, her manager said.

Kakkar’s representative Arjun Sarin announced the news on Instagram on Thursday.

“No more words. You will always be the best artist. Rest In Peace,” Sarin captioned a photo of Kakkar smiling.

He told Entertainment Tonight he spoke with Kakkar hours before her death.

“She sounded very normal, just like we talk every day,” Sarin said. “I can just say she was one of the finest artists and her focus was not money. Her focus was to work for her happiness.”

Dehli Police confirmed to India Today Television that Kakkar took her own life, but they did not offer further details about the manner of her death.

“Siya died by suicide at her residence in New Delhi at around 9 p.m. on June 25. She lived with her family. Her family is in shock and has requested privacy. No suicide note has been recovered,” officials said in a statement.

Investigators said Kakkar — who has been identified in media reports as either 16 or 17 years old — was suffering from depression during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police said they have her phone and are hoping to find more answers by combing through her records.

Kakkar had about 2 million followers on social media.



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Watch: Elle, Noah struggle with long-distance romance in ‘Kissing Booth 2’ trailer

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July 6 (UPI) — Netflix is giving a glimpse of The Kissing Booth sequel.

The streaming service shared a trailer for The Kissing Booth 2 on Monday featuring Joey King as Shelly “Elle” Evans and Jacob Elordi as her boyfriend, Noah Flynn.

The preview shows Elle and Noah struggle with their now long-distance relationship. Noah has started his freshman year of college at Harvard University and urges Elle, a high school senior, to apply so they can be together.

Elle and her best friend, Noah’s younger brother, Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney), reopen the Kissing Booth at school. Elle meets a new student, Marco (Taylor Perez), and is sucked into a love triangle.

The original Kissing Booth is based on the Beth Reekles novel of the same name and premiered on Netflix in May 2018. The Kissing Booth 2 is based on Reekles’ book The Kissing Booth 2: Going the Distance and premieres July 24.

The Kissing Booth director Vince Marcello returned to direct the sequel. The new film co-stars Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Molly Ringwald.

Netflix also released a video of King and Courtney giving an official recap of the first movie.



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‘Hamilton’ causes spike in Disney+ app downloads

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July 6 (UPI) — Hamilton’s recent release on Disney+ has bumped up downloads of the streaming service’s app.

A filmed version of the Broadway blockbuster featuring the show’s original cast, was released onto Disney+ on Friday.

The Disney+ app was downloaded 513,323 times worldwide from Friday to Sunday including 266,084 downloads in the U.S., Variety reported, citing analytics firm Apptopia.

The downloads, in the U.S., were 72.4 percent higher than the average of the four weekends in June 2020 over comparable time periods.

The app, over the week of June 29 to July 5, saw a 64 percent increase in downloads from the week before, Yahoo Finance reported, citing app download research firm Sensor Tower.

Disney announced in May that 54.5 million subscribers had signed up for the Disney+ streaming service.

Hamilton offers a reimagining of the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Phillipa Soo star with Thomas Kail serving as director.



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James McAvoy voices Morpheus in ‘The Sandman’ audiobook trailer

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July 6 (UPI) — Audible is teasing its audiobook adaptation of The Sandman.

The Amazon audiobook producer shared a trailer for the adaptation Monday featuring James McAvoy as the voice of Morpheus, aka Dream of the Endless, an ancient and powerful being who personifies dreams.

“I am a passenger. I am moving through your dreams — all your dreams — and you never knew,” Morpheus (McAvoy) says in the preview.

The Sandman audiobook is based on Neil Gaiman‘s comic book series of the same name. The adaptation also features Kat Dennings as Death, Taron Egerton as John Constantine, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven and Michael Sheen as Lucifer.

Gaiman serves as narrator, creative director and executive producer for the audiobook. Dirk Maggs directed the project, which features an original score by James Hannigan.

“This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman graphic novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast,” Gaiman said in a press release in May.

Audible will release Part 1 of The Sandman audiobook July 15. Part 1 adapts volumes 1-3 of the graphic novel series, Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s House and Dream Country.

The Sandman comic series had a 75-issue run from 1989 to 1996 with DC Comics and Vertigo. Several efforts have been made to adapt the series for film or TV, with Netflix reportedly pursuing a TV adaptation in 2019.



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