J-Lo, Prince among Oscar invitees

LOS ANGELES, United States - US pop veteran Prince and singer-actress Jennifer Lopez are among the artists invited to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lucy Liu, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, British actress Emily Mortimer and French actress Emmanuelle Riva were also among 276 new members invited to join the Academy.

Directors invited include Benh Zeitlin, who made last year's Oscar-nominated "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and Todd Phillips of the blockbuster "Hangover" movies, the latest of which came out in May.

"These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Hawk Koch, head of the Academy, which has some 6,000 members who vote annually for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood's awards season.

"Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide. I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy," he said.

Other actors invited include Chris Tucker ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Rebecca Hall ("Iron Man 3"), Sandra Oh ("Sideways"), Milla Jovovich ("Chaplin") and Jason Schwartzman ("Moonrise Kingdom").

"Purple Rain" star Prince was invited with other fellow musicians, including Ramiro Belgardt ("Star Trek Into Darkness"), Jennifer Dunnington ("The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"), and Aaron Lael Zigman ("Sex and the City").

The new members, in categories including everything from cinematographers and producers to make-up artists and publicists, "have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures."

The new members will be welcomed into the Beverly Hills-based Academy at an invitation-only reception in September. - Rappler.com

Jennifer Lopez image from Shutterstock