A musical inspired by Tupac Shakur songs is going to bring gangsta rap to Broadway.
Producers said Wednesday that Holler If Ya Hear Me will open at the Palace Theatre in June under the direction of Kenny Leon, who helmed the Broadway hits Fences and The Mountaintop. The new musical sets Shakur’s music to an original story.
The musical has a story by Todd Kreidler, who was a dramaturg for Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean, and choreography by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento of Wicked.
Top music sales
Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke owned 2013 in music.
Nielsen Entertainment announced late Tuesday that Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience was the top-selling album with 2.4 million units sold. Thicke’s ubiquitous Blurred Lines was the best-selling song with 6.4 million tracks sold.
Album sales were down. Only 289.4 million albums were sold in 2013, compared with 316 million a year before. Single tracks also saw a decrease, by 6 percent. Streaming, however, was up 32 percent with 118.1 million streams. The sales figures include data from YouTube, Spotify and other digital outlets.
New releases from Eminem and Luke Bryan rounded out the top three albums. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop and Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive placed second and third on the singles list.
Plea deal rejected
Lawyers for singer Chris Brown told a judge Wednesday that he has rejected a plea deal on a charge that he hit a man outside a Washington hotel.
Prosecutors had offered a deal in which Brown would plead guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge he faces. One of Brown’s lawyers, Danny Onorato, said outside of court that attorneys rejected the deal because Brown is not guilty.
Brown’s lawyers said in court that they expect a trial date to be set at another hearing, scheduled for Feb. 20. Brown did not speak during the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes.
Among celebrity birthdays today: Singer Joan Baez is 73. Guitarist Jimmy Page is 70. Singer Buster Poindexter is 64. Singer Crystal Gayle is 63. Actor J.K. Simmons is 59. Actress Imelda Staunton is 58. Actress Joely Richardson is 49. Singer Steve Harwell is 47. Singer Dave Matthews is 47. Singer A.J. McLean is 36. Actress Nina Dobrev is 25.