Top Story: Beyonce, 50 Cent Get the Vibe
Rapper 50 Cent and singer Beyonce Knowles were multiple winners at the inaugural Vibe Awards Thursday night in Santa Monica, Calif., Reuters reports. 50 Cent picked up statuettes for artist of the year, "dopest album" and "hottest hook" for his single "In Da Club," while Beyonce was named most stylish and won "coolest collaboration" with rapper Jay-Z for their song "Crazy in Love." Among the performers at the ceremony were OutKast, Mary J. Blige with Eve, Alicia Keys, 50 Cent and G-Unit, and R. Kelly. According to Reuters, the Vibe magazine editorial staff determined nominations; a panel of music journalists and entertainment executives selected the winners for every category except the "next" award, which was chosen via online voting. The show, hosted by Queen Latifah, will air Friday on UPN.
Time Warner Sells Off Music Unit
In an effort to streamline its debts, Reuters reports Time Warner Inc. has sold its Warner Music business including its music publishing division for a cool $2.6 billion to a group led by media mogul and former Seagram chairman Edgar Bronfman, who beat out EMI's $1 billion bid. Had Time Warner combined with EMI, the media giant would have saved some $250-300 million in costs; however, in taking the Bronfman bid, it will receive more cash up front and have less difficulty getting regulatory approval from European and U.S. regulators, who typically don't approve of consolidation within the music industry.
French Filmmakers Disregard Screener Ban
Two French filmmakers of the film Monsieur Ibrahim, which stars veteran actor Omar Sharif, have decided to bypass the screener ban and send VHS cassettes of their film to other awards organizations themselves, Reuters reports. Husband-and-wife team Laurent Petin and Michele Halberstadt Petin have already sent copies of the film, about a young Jewish boy in 1960s Paris who befriends an older Arab shopkeeper (Sharif), to members of the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominating committee. The film is being released by Sony Pictures Classics Dec. 5, which has been told to abide by the ban restrictions and send screeners only to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members. "We asked (Sony Classics) if it could distribute (the screeners), and they said no," Halberstadt Petin told Reuters. "They knew (that we would be sending out the screeners) but didn't do anything. This was our doing. They understood our position, but we own the copyright to this film, and we are entitled to (send out screeners ourselves)."
Lennon's Paintings on Display
More than 100 painting, doodles and drawings from the late John Lennon were on display for a three-day show over the weekend in Connecticut, The Associated Press reports. "It's an intimate look at John's love for life," art show organizer Larry Schwartz told AP. "It's music for the eyes." On display were handwritten lyrics and framed words to songs such as "Imagine," which is listed at $2,350, and "Grow Old With Me," with an asking price of $2,900.
Opus is Back
Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed has decided to bring back one of his beloved characters-- Opus, that outspoken penguin with a heart of gold--in a new weekly strip because he feels the lovable water fowl has more to say. "Unfinished characters make me as unsettled as a messy hallway will keep my wife from sleeping soundly," Breathed said in an e-mail interview with cartoonist Phil Frank published Sunday in The San Francisco Chronicle. Opus debuted Sunday in large format in major newspapers.
Actress Kellie Waymire Dies
Character actress Kellie Waymire, best known for making frequent TV appearances in shows such as Six Feet Under, Friends and Ally McBeal, died Nov. 13 in her Los Angeles home from an undisclosed, previously undetected medical condition, AP reports. She was 36.
College Upset By Hefner Ad
Thomas Aquinas College, a small Catholic school in Santa Paula, Calif., has a beef with a commercial for the fast-food chain Carl's Jr. that features Playboy chairman Hugh Hefner. So much so, AP reports, the college's officials asked Andrew Puzder, chief executive of Carl's Jr. operator CKE Restaurants Inc., to resign from the college's board of governors. "It's common knowledge that Hugh Hefner and Playboy stand for hedonism and unbridled pleasure seeking, and that is impossible to reconcile with what we stand for," Ann Forsyth, spokeswoman for the college, told AP.
Role Call: Allen is Skipping Christmas, Changes in the Weather
Actor Tim Allen is expected to join director Joe Roth in bringing Skipping Christmas to life for Revolutions Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comedy, written by director/writer Chris Columbus, is based on the John Grisham novel about a man who decides to skip Christmas and all the trappings and go on a vacation with his wife instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home for the holidays, he is forced to put Christmas back together…Nicolas Cage's next project, The Weather Man, is sailing some stormy seas. According to the Reporter, the film's producers had to quickly find another studio when they weren't able to agree with Columbia Pictures on a budget. The drama, now set up at Paramount Pictures, is said to be in the same vein as About Schmidt and American Beauty and centers on a divorced Chicago weatherman who is up for a new job on a network morning show in New York. As he is preparing to leave for the Big Apple, he must make peace with his ex-wife and kids.