The Morning's Top 5 Pop Culture Stories


1. Iranian authorities have canceled a ceremony planned in honor of the country’s Academy Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi; while an official reason was not given, apparently many conservatives were upset with A Separation’s frank presentation of the troubles plaguing Iranian society, calling it liberal propaganda. [via ArtsBeat]

2. AMC Theaters will be holding an all-day marathon of Marvel Studios movies (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger) in select theaters across the US on May 3rd as a buildup to the midnight premiere of The Avengers. [via Coming Soon]

3. Jay-Z and Kanye West finally came to an out-of-court settlement with Syl Johnson, the soul singer whose song “Different Strokes” they illegally sampled on their track “The Joy,” but details of the deal were not released. [via TMZ]

4. Heading down to SXSW, and stressed about where you’re going to find a good high-speed wireless connection? An ad agency called BBH is turning homeless people into 4G hotspots as part of a controversial new campaign, with a pay-what-you-want donation for unlimited access. Just look for the folks in the “I am a 4G hotspot” t-shirts. [The Stool Pigeon via Wired UK]

5. According to Billboard , Taylor Swift was the highest-earning musician of 2011, pulling in over $35 million through music sales, royalties, and touring. U2 and Kenny Chesney rounded out the top three. [via BBC News]

Bonus Buzz: Pop Culture Math