Snipes says he's moving on from 'Blade' character

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision | AP, File

FILE - This Sept. 28, 2019 file photo shows Wesley Snipes at the LA premiere of "Dolemite is My Name" in Los Angeles. The news that another actor was cast as vampire hunter Blade came as a surprise to Wesley Snipes, who portrayed the character in three successful films, but he says’ he’s moving on. Marvel Studios announced at this summer’s Comic-Con that the Oscar winner Mahershala Ali would play the comics character in its blockbuster cinematic universe.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The news that another actor was cast as vampire hunter Blade came as a surprise to Wesley Snipes, who portrayed the character in three successful films, but he says he's moving on.

Marvel Studios announced at this summer's Comic-Con that the Oscar winner Mahershala Ali would play the comics character in its blockbuster cinematic universe.

Snipes' last turn in the role was 2004's "Blade: Trinity."

"People are very, very sneaky. They try to make it about the actors. And it's not about me and him," Snipes told The Associated Press in an interview. "Flattery — what do they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery. Yeah. So you know, it's something that he has acknowledged he wanted to do, and his family wanted him to do it. So I'm appreciative of getting the love. And I've created something that others want to carry on, and maybe put their own stamp on it."

Snipes, who trained in martial arts, is working on a different action-focused project.

"So we did that (Blade). That's all great. But we got something else that we going to rock," Snipes said. "So all of that stuff that you saw in the 'Blade' franchise, we got something that's going to come out that I think people will be pleasantly, pleasantly pleased."

Snipes spoke to The Associated Press while promoting "Dolemite Is My Name," which opens Oct. 4 . He plays the director and co-star of "Dolemite" in the Netflix movie about filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore and his creation of the 1975 Blaxploitation classic. Eddie Murphy portrays Moore.

"As an artist, I don't stay in one spot," Snipes said. "I'm constantly pushing the envelope of my creativity."

Top songwriter busbee dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer busbee, who co-wrote Maren Morris' breakout hit "My Church" and also crafted songs for Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Pink, Shakira and Florida Georgia Line, has died. He was 43.

Warner Records confirmed his death in a statement released Sunday but offered no details on the cause of death. His real name was Michael James Ryan.

In a statement, Warner Records' co-chairman and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and co-chairman and COO Tom Corson called busbee "one of the best and brightest creative minds in music. busbee's kindness and legacy will never be forgotten and our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time."

Several singers mourned his death on social media. Blake Shelton said he and Gwen Stefani both considered busbee a friend, writing on Twitter that there was "too much pain and unfairness period." Shakira tweeted that "an uncanny talent and unique soul has departed." Adam Lambert tweeted that busbee was "brilliant and warm, with palpable joy for his craft."

He was a co-producer on Morris' debut album on Columbia called "Hero," which was nominated for best country album. At the 2017 Grammys, "My Church" won best country solo performance. The song was also nominated for best country song, a nomination Morris shared with busbee.

He also produced Carly Pearce's debut album on Big Machine called "Every Little Thing." He also helped write top country hits like Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood's "The Fighter," Florida Georgia Line's multiplatinum hit "H.O.L.Y." and Pink's "Try."

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