Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Iggy Azalea were among the high-profile stars who took to the stage in Las Vegas over the weekend (19-21Sep14) for the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Some of the biggest names in the music industry graced the stage in Sin City for the two-day event, which kicked off on Friday (19Sep14) with acts including Swift, Minaj, Grande and Coldplay.
Coldplay's set was overshadowed by the appearance of actress Jennifer Lawrence at the gig, fuelling rumours she is dating frontman Chris Martin, while other acts included pregnant singer Alicia Keys, who made a surprise turn on stage to perform her new single We Are Here.
Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am also made a surprise appearance onstage with DJ Steve Aoki.
Usher rounded out Friday night by bringing out Chris Brown for a rendition of his single New Flame, and the Yeah! star baffled the crowd by setting his sneakers on fire. The flaming shoes were dealt with by a stagehand who doused them with a fire extinguisher.
Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Magic!, One Direction, Lorde and Paramore all took to the stage on Saturday (20Sep14) to close the festival. Calvin Harris brought out British pop star John Newman during his Saturday set, while Ed Sheeran performed with rapper Macklemore.
Veteran British actor John Bardon has died, aged 75. The former EastEnders star passed away on Friday (12Sep14) following a period of ill heath.
BBC bosses announced the news, writing, "Everyone at EastEnders is absolutely heartbroken to learn that John has sadly passed away. His bravery, dignity and courage in battling against the devastating effects of his stroke were admired by all who had the privilege of working with him.
"Loved by us all, John was an exceptionally talented actor whose humour, mischievousness and brilliant performances made Jim Branning one of Walford's most loveable, memorable characters and we will miss John forever."
Bardon was best known for playing Jim Branning on the hit U.K. soap between 1996 and 2011 before being written out due to ill health. During his 41-year career, he racked up more than 80 credits for roles in hit U.K. TV shows including Coronation Street, Only Fools and Horses, The Sweeney, Dad's Army, and Poirot. He also enjoyed movie roles in Disney's 1975 family film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing and John Cleese's 1986 comedy Clockwise.
In 1988, Bardon won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Kiss Me, Kate.
Friday's episode of EastEnders will feature a dedication to Bardon.
June Brown, who played his on-screen wife Dot in the soap opera, says, "I am so sorry that John has passed away but hope that he is now at peace after seven difficult years. I shall miss him very much as I loved him dearly. My thoughts are with his devoted wife, Enda."
Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Jessica Chastain are among the stars who have taken to the Internet to mark 13 years since the terrorist atrocities of 9/11. New York City was devastated by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September, 2001, which - along with a downed airliner in Pennsylvania on the same day - claimed almost 3,000 lives.
Some of the world's biggest stars joined together on Thursday (11Sep14) to mark 13 years since the horrifying events, with pop superstar Lady Gaga writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "Today we remember and honour all the lives + families ruined by the tragedy of 9/11. Practice love in their memory today #WeWillNeverForget (sic)."
Fellow singer Taylor Swift reveals she recently visited the 9/11 memorial site in New York City and it had a profound effect on her: "Visiting the @Sept11Memorial this year was something I'll never forget, in memory of a day we will always remember with tears in our eyes."
Hollywood actress Chastain urged fans to visit the 9/11 memorial museum in the Big Apple, tweeting, "Today the 9/11 museum is open to the public. We remember the lives that were lost this day 13 years ago."
LeAnn Rimes simply writes, "September 11 #NeverForget #September11 (sic)," while actor Gary Sinise adds, "Remembering all those lost in terrorist attack 13 years ago, and remembering with gratitude all who have stepped up to serve. Never Forget."
Other tributes have come in from singer Chris Brown, hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, music mogul Russell Simmons, rocker Bret Michaels, and John Stamos, Alyssa Milano, Gabrielle Union and singer Chely Wright.
Actors Mia Farrow and Dylan Mcdermott have led the tributes to their former co-star Lord Richard Attenborough, following the British movie icon's death on Sunday (24Aug14). The exact cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Attenborough had been living in a nursing home with his wife, Sheila Sim, and was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a serious fall in 2008.
McDermott, who starred alongside Attenborough in the 1994 reboot of Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the man who played Kris Kringle, and wrote, "Rest in peace Richard Attenborough. U (sic) were the best Santa ever."
Their co-star and former child actress Mara Wilson also added, "Sir Richard Attenborough was the only Santa Claus I ever believed in. A wonderful man. Still in shock right now. May he rest in peace."
News of Attenborough's death comes almost two weeks after Wilson's Mrs. Doubtfire co-star, Robin Williams passed away after committing suicide.
Mia Farrow, who worked with Attenborough in 1964's Guns at Batasi, also added her own tribute to her friend, and wrote, "Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP 'Pa' - and thank you," as well as comedian Ricky Gervais, who added, "RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen."
Other Twitter tributes have come from Edgar Wright, former 007 star Samantha Bond, Rob Schneider, Stephen Amell, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who noted that Attenborough's "acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," and adding, "Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."
Born in Cambridge, England, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II before pursuing an acting career.
He made his debut as a sailor in the 1942 film In Which We Serve and gained popular acclaim playing ruthless young thug Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock in 1947, eventually becoming a staple of countless British films over the next 30 years.
An accomplished stage actor, Attenborough was one of the original cast members of The Mousetrap, which went on to become the longest-running play in London's West End.
In the 1960s, he expanded his range of acting, taking on a variety of roles that exposed him to a wider audience - most notably as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett in 1963's The Great Escape.
Hitting his stride, Attenborough won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 1967 and 1968 - for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle.
But he'll be most fondly remembered for his behind-the-camera skills. In the late 1950s, he formed a production company, Beaver Films, and directed his first picture, Oh! What A Lovely War, in 1969.
He later scooped the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars in 1982 for his epic Gandhi, which also won him another Golden Globe Award the following year.
Other directorial credits followed - notably the 1992 biopic Chaplin, and classic 1993 movie Shadowlands - before Attenborough made a welcome return to the screen in 1993 as eccentric John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Attenborough won a total of eight Oscars during his career. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, and a knighthood came in 1976. In 1993, he was bestowed the honour of life peer, becoming Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames, London.
And in 2006, Attenborough and his brother David, a popular broadcaster and beloved nature expert, were awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester in recognition of their services to the university.
Attenborough was also later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and was an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.
On Boxing Day 2004, tragedy struck Attenborough's family when his eldest daughter Jane, her daughter Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, died in the devastating Asian tsunami.
His family is expected to make a full statement about his death on Monday (25Aug14).
Rapper J.cole has paid tribute to a black teenager killed by a police officer in Missouri by releasing a new song dedicated to him. Darren Wilson shot unarmed Michael Brown, who was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a suburban St. Louis store, on 9 August (14), and the incident has sparked a series of tense protests between African-Americans and civil rights leaders and officials in the state.
As Governor Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama and Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson join forces in a bid to end days of violence, hip-hop star Cole has released Be Free to voice his frustrations with the deaths of African-American men in the U.S.
In a post on his website, Dreamvillain.com, he writes, "That coulda (sic) been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f**k if it's by police or peers. This s**t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel."
Cole is not the only celebrity to speak out about the incident in Missouri - John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have voiced concerns over the treatment of protesters by police following the shooting.
Legend took to Twitter.com to voice his opinion, writing, "I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on (news channel) CNN... He wants a fight.
"Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery... Dehumanization and racism go together."
Meanwhile, R&B star Frank Ocean took to Tumblr.com to comment on an image of Governor Nixon standing in front of a black woman as he addressed the slaying of Brown and wrote, "You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there... then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times."
Stars including John Legend, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo and Pete Wentz have condemned police officers in Ferguson, Missouri for firing tear gas at protesters on Wednesday night (13Aug14). A group of campaigners took to the streets on Wednesday to express their outrage over the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer over the weekend (09-10Aug14).
Heavily armed riot police descended on the city centre and used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration.
The news has sparked outrage and a number of celebrities took to Twitter.com to voice their disgust.
Legend writes, "The fact that the small town Ferguson police dept (department) has all this equipment should disturb us all. Priorities... Apparently the equipment was brought in from other communities. But still... America is #1 at war and imprisoning. I wish we were #1 at building infrastructure and health care and educating our kids."
Scandal actress Washington adds, "What's happening in #Ferguson is devastating. Wow," and Fall Out Boy rocker Wentz writes, "Photos out of #Ferguson look like more like a war zone."
Ruffalo shared a link to the story and added, "No, it's not Baghdad, it's in America tonight," while dance artist Moby concludes, "Nothing makes me more ashamed of America than the abuse of power. Our country is supposed to be ruled by laws, not the gestapo (Nazi secret police)... dear #Ferguson police, your job is to protect people and respect the law. Or did you all skip police school on the day that was taught?... a reminder: It is 100 per cent LEGAL to photograph or film the police anywhere in the U.S. it's our first amendment right. #Ferguson #AbuseOfPower."
Glee star Amber Riley, Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams and singer Sam Sparro also waded into the debate on Twitter.
Fox Searchlight Pictures via Everett Collection
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy has all about taken over the planet this weekend, but for the spandex weary among us, there is some salvation out there. While it might not seem to be the case, there are other films hitting multiplexes this weekend, none of which feature a talking racoon. Seek out these films for some refreshing, comic book free counterprogramming.
Guardians of the Galaxy's use of '70s arena rock has me craving something a little more funky?Then check out the James Brown biopic Get On Up, where Chadwick Boseman brings the Godfather of Soul back from the dead with vibrant performance.
Enough with these movies based on the funny pages! How about something a little more literary?If you're craving to use your noggin a bit this weekend, check out Child of God, an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name directed by James Franco.
I want to watch American Pie, multiplied by Risky Business, and flogged on the head by the Disney Channel.If you really like Selena Gomez (and we mean really) you might want to check out Behaving Badly.
No more high energy space hijinks. I like my comedy like I like my coffee: dark, gritty, and depressing.Well you're in luck. Director John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson have teamed up once again with Calvary, a film about the Catholic Church sex scandal. Hilarious.
Veteran R&B group New Edition's former managers are suing the singers for outstanding fees amounting to over $500,000 (£295,082). The founders of Benchmark Entertainment filed documents in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday (29Jul14), alleging their former clients refused to pay up after firing them last month (Jun14), according to the New York Daily News.
Originally hired in 2012, Benchmark's founders Steven Greener, Kevin Gasser and John Hammond claim they masterminded a New Edition reunion tour, which is set to kick off later this year (14).
However, after band members Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins cut ties with them, the Benchmark bosses claim the group refused to pay them for the work they did securing the upcoming tour.
The management company founders claim they are owed at least $500,000 for setting up radio interviews and photo shoots, organising merchandising deals, securing venues and hiring a publicist,.
Benchmark's founders have also served as managers for artists such as Will Smith, Erykah Badu, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins.
The lawsuit is the latest blow for the band - Bobby Brown bowed out of an ongoing U.S. tour due to medical reasons earlier this month (Jun14).
The singer struggled to bounce back from "an intrusive medical procedure" and found himself exhausted and fatigued onstage. The 45 year old, who was placed under doctors' care, returned to the spotlight in Detroit, Michigan on Friday night (25Jul14) but still appeared to be struggling to keep up with his bandmates.
Reports suggest Brown had difficulty with the demanding choreography and frequently walked to the end of the stage to pause and break from dance routines.
New Edition's current tour wraps up in Los Angeles on 3 August (14).
Veteran Irish pop star Dana broke down in tears in court on Friday (25Jul14) as her brother was cleared of child sex charges. The singer, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970, has been supporting her sibling John Brown, 60, throughout his trial on five charges of indecent assault against two girls, aged 13 and 16, in the 1970s.
He was found not guilty on all counts at Harrow Crown Court in England on Friday, and Dana, 62, wept as the verdicts were read out.
Dana went on to become a politician in her native Ireland after stepping away from her pop career, and the allegations regarding her brother surfaced during her campaign for the Irish presidency in 2011.
Roadside Attractions via Everett Collection
To a weathered cinephile, there might be nothing sadder than a movie like A Most Wanted Man: the sort that is technically perfect, or close to it, but that lacks the panache to earn it hospice in the viewing public's minds and hearts. The latest John le Carré adaptation, a markedly superior film to Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, treats its political thriller with the patience and density that you might imagine a real spy to devote to his missions. Director Anton Corbijn is determined to build a world of espionage as piercingly authentic — if not necessarily in practice (how the hell would some two-bit film critic know what the trade is really like?) than in ambiance — as possible, paying for this triumph with the loss of accessibility and narrative rhythm. Impressively enough, the film never sinks quite to the level of tedium. But it never hits the highs of real encouragement either.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays German agent Günther Bachmann with a lovable combination of Bond-caliber determination and Office Space schlubbiness — he's a man so entrenched in his job (the "catching terrorists" racket) that his identity beyond the margins of worktime hours seems limited to sips of scotch and silent glowers. Unsurprisingly, Hoffman is A Most Wanted Man's greatest triumph: his access of the obsession and self-deprecation in a man who might have otherwise been a dimensionless vehicle not only rescues his character, but the otherwise stark A Most Wanted Man in entirety.
Roadside Attractions via Everett Collection
Without Hoffman, there is no movie. Despite acceptable turns from costars Grigoriy Dobrygin (as a Chechen Muslim targeted by Hoffman's organization), Rachel McAdams (as the diplomatic attorney driven to help Dobrygin find asylum), and — best of all — Nina Hoss (as Hoffman's colleague and friend), Hoffman is the principal feature keeping A Most Wanted Man alive.
But even at its liveliest, the film never feels particularly vibrant. Always smart, meticulous, and impressive, A Most Wanted Man lacks the nominal imperfections — the quirks and peculiarities — that might result in an active pulse. Ultimately, we are welcome to marvel at A Most Wanted Man, but it'd be nearly impossible to revel in it.
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