Hollywood star Hugh Grant, model/actress Lily Cole and veteran actress Barbara Windsor have joined the line-up for London Evening Standard's Get Reading festival, which will take place in the capital's Trafalgar Square on 13 July (13). Homeland's David Harewood and actor Rupert Everett are also among the stars who will give readings during the literacy festival.
J. Cole's televised performance at The Roots' Fourth of July Philly Jam in Pennsylvania last week (04Jul13) has helped to propel him to the top of the U.S. album charts. The rapper's Born Sinner has risen to number one after spending two weeks in second place on the Billboard 200 countdown.
Kanye West's Yeezus kept him from the top spot when he launched his new release last month (Jun13) and last week (ends05Jul13), Wale beat him to number one with his album The Gifted.
But sales of just 58,000 in his third week on the chart were enough to give him a second number one on the chart.
Wale's The Gifted falls to two and West's Yeezus is at three on the new chart.
Meanwhile, on the singles countdown, Robin Thicke has claimed a fifth week at number one with Blurred Lines, while Daft Punk's Get Lucky stays put at two for a fourth week and Miley Cyrus' We Can't Stop holds on to the third spot for a second week.
And actress Anna Kendrick's Cups from the soundtrack of hit movie Pitch Perfect has entered the Hot 100 top 10 at 10 after 28 weeks on the chart. Only three other women have taken longer to hit the top 10.
British pop star Cheryl Cole is wracked with worry as her sick dog is due to undergo radiotherapy treatment this week (begs08Jul13). The Call My Name hitmaker's pet pooch Kiera requires special treatment for an undisclosed illness, and Cole took to her Instagram.com page on Tuesday (09Jul13) to air her anxiety.
A message, posted alongside a photograph of the pup, reads, "This is my dog Kiera. I have had her since she was 2 months and I was 16. Tomorrow she has radiotherapy and will be in doggy hospital for 2-3 weeks.
"Will u (you) help me send her happy vibes and pray for her with me please? She's my oldest baby and it's breaking my heart."
Rapper will.i.am has moved his record label from the U.S. to the U.K. because he likes the "fresh" vibe of British music. The Black Eyed Peas star, a California native, has been based in London while serving as a mentor on U.K. TV talent show The Voice, and was inspired to bring his company over to British shores, due to the country's thriving pop scene.
He tells JohnHurnbuckle.com, "My label is now based in the U.K. I had a label over in America, (Black Eyed Peas bandmate) Fergie signed to my label and LMFAO and Macy Gray and Black Eyed Peas and I thought, you know what, I want to base my label out in the U.K., because I like this place, it's fresh.
"Why was I making music in America when it succeeds first in the U.K.? That's dumb. I've got a global perspective, thinking global and acting local."
The Boom Boom Pow hitmaker also has British pop star Cheryl Cole signed to his roster at The will.i.am Music Group.
British pop star Cheryl Cole has launched a furious online rant against a journalist over an article which alleged fame has wrecked the singer's life. The former Girls Aloud star took a group of friends to Las Vegas for her 30th birthday party last month (Jun13), and she is enraged over a column published in U.K. newspaper the Daily Mirror on Friday (05Jul13) branding the trip "depressing".
The article also alleged the singer would be better off if she had never found fame and blamed stardom for her failed marriage to England soccer ace Ashley Cole and her brush with death after contracting malaria in 2010.
Cole has now hit back at the publication and its journalist Polly Hudson, insisting the piece was "inaccurate and misinformed".
In an online message aimed at Hudson, she writes, "Meow... Who exactly was my party depressing for? Yourself? Sitting behind your little computer watching Instagram... Aww!! Well I really don't know where to start with this one I have to say! Cat's got my tongue (no pun intended).
"I am actually dumbfounded reading your nasty bitter horrible incredibly inaccurate and misinformed article! Is this what you have been resorted to (sic)??! I feel bad for you. You literally have no correct detail other than the 4 or 5 people you were able to identify from the Instagram pictures!... It's embarrassing.
"I have no idea why or where your nastiness has suddenly come from as you have only ever kissed my a**e to my face... I won't bother myself with handing you any correct information or facts as I feel that is a part of your job you seriously need to work on... Good luck with that."
Comedian Kevin Hart kicked off his hosting duties at the Philly 4th of July Jam in Pennsylvania by insisting the crowds at the big bash sing him Happy Birthday. The Philadelphia native took to the stage at The Roots' annual Independence Day bash in the city wearing a stars and stripes vest with the word 'freedom' printed on the front, and declared, "I'm home".
He then added, "It's my birthday weekend right now... Before we start this show... I've got a chance to set a record and have five million people sing me Happy Birthday.
"I don't want the old school Happy Birthday, I want (Stevie Wonder's) Happy Birthday."
The Roots then started playing the classic tune onstage as the crowd sang along and Hart danced, stating, "I love you Philadelphia".
The celebration also featured another Philadelphia native Jill Scott, as well as Grace Potter, John Mayer, J. Cole, Ne-Yo and Hunter Hayes, who stepped in at the last minute to replace sick Demi Lovato.
Marc Anthony has made history at the top of the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart by becoming the first artist to score more than eight weeks at number one with a single for 13 years. The singer's Vivir Mi Vida has held the top spot for nine weeks, but he has another 11 weeks to go to match Son By Four's A Puro Dolor, which spent 20 weeks at number one in 2000.
No Me Ames, Anthony's duet with his ex-wife Jennifer Lopez, spent seven weeks at the top of the charts in 1999.
Meanwhile, Natalie Cole's gamble in recording an all Spanish-language album has paid off - Natalie Cole En Espanol has shot to the top of the Top Latin Albums chart in America.
Ella Fitzgerald's former pianist Paul Smith has passed away at the age of 91. He died of heart failure at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California on Saturday (29Jun13).
Born in San Diego, California, Smith began studying piano at a young age and joined the Johnny Richards band in 1941.
He left the group to become a member of the Les Paul Trio in 1946 and he later moved to Los Angeles to launch a career as a studio musician and solo artist.
During his lifetime, he recorded more than five dozen records and performed with a string of music greats, including Bing Cosby, Nat King Cole and Doris Day. He also spent 11 years with Fitzgerald, and another four years with Sammy Davis, Jr., working as their conductor and pianist.
The star continued performing up until his death and over the last few years toured with his singer wife, Annette Warren. The couple was slated to headline a show at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Los Angeles on 17 July (13).
Smith is survived by his two sons Gary and Paul, as well as a daughter, actress Lauri Johnson, who starred in Meg Ryan's City of Angels and Keri Russell's Waitress.
Pop star Cheryl Cole is now a member of British aristocracy after Simon Cowell bought her an official title for her 30th birthday. The former Girls Aloud singer marked the milestone in style over the weekend (28-30Jun13) by partying in Las Vegas and throwing a lavish bash at a huge mansion in Malibu, California.
And to top off her celebrations, she was made a 'Lady' after her former The X Factor boss Cowell bought a plot of land in her name in Fife, Scotland.
Uploading her official landowner certificate, which makes her Lady Cheryl Cole for the next 175 years, she tweets, "I will now be referred to as Lady Cheryl Cole when you address me both in person & through the media."
The title is not the same as being made a peer by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, but refers to the Scottish term 'Laird', meaning 'Landowner'.
R&B singer Natalie Cole was inspired to record her new album entirely in Spanish after receiving a kidney transplant from an Hispanic donor. The daughter of music icon Nat King Cole, who suffers from hepatitis C, underwent the life-saving procedure in 2009 after a young woman from El Salvador died during childbirth.
Cole, 63, has bounced back from ill health thanks to the operation and she has decided to pay tribute to her donor with the release of Natalie Cole En Espanol, her first project since the surgery.
She tells Billboard.com, "I don't believe in coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason. That this (donor) was (from) a Latin family, I feel like I'm part Latino now. That (made) the desire to make this record became even stronger..."
Cole, who does not speak Spanish, learned the language phonetically to cover Latin American classics by artists such as Agustin Lara and Juan Luis Guerra, and she even collaborates with her late dad on Acercate Mas, using a recently-discovered recording of her father performing in Cuba in 1956.
Natalie Cole En Espanol is the star's first studio disc since the 2008 releases of Still Unforgettable and her holiday album Caroling, Caroling: Christmas with Natalie Cole.