Rocker Bruce Springsteen courted controversy by playing an anti-war song during a Veterans Day concert in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (11Nov14).
The Born to Run hitmaker was one of the performers at the Concert for Valor, a live event from the National Mall in America's capital.
Springsteen took to the stage with Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and country singer Zac Brown and the super trio sang Creedence Clearwater Revival's famous anti-war anthem Fortunate Son.
Originally written by John Fogerty in 1969, the track was released during the Vietnam War, and was meant to be against the draft.
The cover by Springsteen, Grohl and Brown was deemed questionable since nearly 12,000 of those in attendance at the Concert for Valor were members of the U.S. military.
The event, which was executive produced by Tom Hanks, featured additional performances from the Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Jessie J, Eminem, Metallica, the Black Keys, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson.
Stars such as Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, and Bryan Cranston were all on hand to introduce the performers, while the likes of Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Will Smith appeared in video footage saluting individual veterans in honour of their service.
Veteran singer/songwriter Paul Simon has agreed to open up about his life and career in his first authorised biography. The Sound of Silence hitmaker will work with his longtime pal, author and former Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn, for the book, which is expected to detail his rise to fame as one half of Simon & Garfunkel, his solo career, and his three marriages to Peggy Harper, actress Carrie Fisher and his current wife, singer Edie Brickell.
In a statement released to the Associated Press, Simon says: "I thought seriously about writing my own memoir, but I'd rather devote my time to making music, which continues to hold my full attention.
"I'm confident Robert Hilburn will write an insightful book. I enjoyed and admired his biography of Johnny Cash and I think he'll tell my story well."
Hilburn, who sits on the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is known for his 2009 memoir Corn Flakes With John Lennon and Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life and his 2013 book Johnny Cash: The Life.
He adds, "(The biography will) be a gripping, inspiring portrait of an artist, including the toughness and heart it requires to avoid giving in to the many factors - from rejection to self-doubt to writer's block and complacency - that have derailed so many pop artists."
The as-yet-untitled biography will be published by bosses at Simon & Schuster. A release date has yet to be set.
Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley and Kix Brooks have sent their condolences to fellow country singer Rachel Bradshaw after her husband, American football star Rob Bironas, was killed in a car crash on Saturday night (20Sep14). The former Tennessee Titans kicker lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a line of trees in Nashville, Tennessee before his car overturned.
He was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was subsequently pronounced dead at the age of 36.
Police have not found any evidence to suggest alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.
The news of Bironas' passing hit the country community hard and a slew of celebrity friends took to Twitter.com to pay tribute.
Upon learning of the news on Sunday morning (21Sep14), Underwood wrote, "Shocked and saddened this morning at the passing of Rob Bironas. Such a nice guy. Sending prayers and love to his family..." and Randy Houser posted, "Sad to hear of the passing of @RobBironas last night. Please pray for his wife and family."
Bentley shared a photo of himself with Bironas, who was actively involved in Nashville-based country music fundraisers and events, and in the accompanying caption, wrote, "i don't know anyone that didn't like rob bironas. lot of heavy hearts in nashville today. prayers for his family", while Brooks stated, "So sad - lost good buddy@RobBironas last night - heartbroken for dear friend @RachelTBradshaw - he was a great guy - and an amazing talent."
Charlie Daniels, Jerrod Niemann, John Rich, The Oak Ridge Boys and Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney are also among the stars who have paid tribute to the tragic sportsman.
Bironas signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2005 and remained with the team for nine seasons, during which he became the fourth most accurate kicker in National Football League (NFL) history. He was released by the Titans in March (14) and had trained during the off-season with the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bironas wed Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, in June (14).
Scandal star Tony Goldwyn has sparked rumours he is heading back to the stage after taking part in a reading for a musical version of Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. Goldwyn recently joined Tony Award-winning director Rob Ashford and a cast including Roots actress Leslie Uggams, As the World Turns' Michael Park and The Carrie Diaries' Jake Robinson to read through the play, an adaptation of John Berendt's bestselling 1994 non-fiction.
A workshop is reportedly set to take place in September (14), with plans to test the show in London before taking it to Broadway.
However, casting details for the proposed theatre runs have yet to be released, reports Deadline.com.
The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book, based on the real-life death of a call boy and his accused murderer in Savannah, Georgia in 1981, was previously turned into 1997 Clint Eastwood film starring John Cusack and Kevin Spacey.
Goldwyn previously graced the stage in a 2010 Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, while he also tested his vocal skills as Captain von Trapp in a concert performance of The Sound of Music at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2012.
20th Century Fox Film
Hi, Nancy.Hi, Helen.What's the story, morning glory?What's the word, hummingbird?Have you heard about Hugo and Kim? They were cast in Star Wars: Episode VII, although there's no confirmation just yet. I think Kim's playing Bib Fortuna.
That's pretty much what the last year and change has felt like — rumors upon rumors upon rumors of who might be cast in J.J. Abrams' upcoming addition to the Star Wars series. We've heard tell of Clone War veterans reuniting for the film, blockbuster fixtures like Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, rising indie mavens drawing notice from their turns in Coen Bros dramas and HBO series. But the waiting is over. Courtesy of TheWrap, we have official news of the 12 performers cast to headline the next Star Wars movie. Here's who they are, where you might know them from, and what we can expect from them in the new film.
Mark HamillBest known as: Luke Skywalker, power converter spendthrift and daddy issues-haver.Age: 62.In the new movie: We know very little of what Hamill will be brought on to do in the upcoming film, though with his standing as the Original Trilogy's central hero and his family rallied at the head of this story (presumably), we imagine that Hamill will have a good amount to do.
Carrie FisherBest known as: Princess Leia Organa, rigid adversary of the nerf herder lobby.Age: 57.In the new movie: We've been told, in only the most tenuous terms, that Star Wars: Episode VII will focus on Han and Leia's kids. So even if she and Ford are sidelined as the parental figures who've seen it all before (hey, it's kind of like that new Boy Meets World spinoff), then they'll likely be around for a healthy sum.
Harrison FordBest known as: Han Solo, alleged Kessel Run record holder and reformed atheist.Age: 71In the new movie: On top of the above, new rumors allow that Ford will have a pretty significant role in the new film. Considering his latter days screen presence, we imagine something in the vein of an extended carbonite nap. A few are actually predicting that Han might bite the dust in VII.
Peter MayhewBest known as: Chewbacca, devoted Life Day celebrant and family man.Age: 69 (though that's only like, 14 in Wookiee years).In the new movie: Some people are already pretty livid that Chewbacca's in the film at all, considering his death in the Expanded Universe, but you don't bring out the Wookiee suit just to have him play canasta.
Anthony DanielsBest known as: C-3PO, buzzkill.Age: 68.In the new movie: I don't know, probably a lot of kvetching.
Kenny BakerBest known as: R2-D2, frequent film extra and Robot Hall of Fame inductee.Age: 79.In the new movie: Doot beep beeeooo doot.
Oscar IsaacBest known as: The titular misanthropic folk musician in the Coen Brothers' 2013 film Inside Llewyn Davis.Age: 35.In the new movie: Isaac's role is anyone's guess at this point, although two call-outs in a casting release from last year speak to his nature. He might be playing "a late 20-something male. Fit, handsome, and confident," or, more likely, "a 30-something male, intellectual. Apparently does not need to be fit."
Adam DriverBest known as: Adam, the Lena Dunham's oddball love interest on the HBO dramedy Girls, or the space cowboy from Inside Llewyn Davis.Age: 30.In the new movie: Rumors surrounding Driver's initial mention in regard to the film had him pegged to be the villain. We had some fun with that one.
Andy SerkisBest known as: Gollum from The Lord of the Rings movies.Age: 50.In the new movie: Considering his mo-cap history, Serkis is probably playing an alien. And that's awesome.
Max von SydowBest known as: Blofeld in Never Say Never Again, the older priest in The Exorcist, or the guy from all those Ingmar Bergman films.Age: 85.In the new movie: Last fall's casting call advertised the film's search for "a 70-something male with strong opinions and a tough demeanor," exempting the necessity for physical fitness. We can't get more specific than this but it seems like von Sydow is going to be taking on some kind of authoritarian position. Maybe at the Academy (training the Solo kids, per chance), or as the penny-pinching new owner of the Cantina.
Domhnall GleesonBest known as: Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies, or the fellow from About Time.Age: 30.In the new movie: Gleeson could rival Isaac in either of the character descriptions mentioned above, though he does seem more the intellectual type (if only for the British accent).
John BoyegaBest known as: The kid from Attack the Block.Age: 22.In the new movie: Boyega could be playing the character Thomas that was advertised in a casting call last year:
"Young man to play 19-23 years old. Must be handsome, smart and athletic. Must be 18 or over. Has grown up without a father's influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn't have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can't take life too seriously."
Daisy RidleyShe's pretty new.Age: I don't know — 20? In the new movie: Could be Rachel, who was introduced in the same casting call:
"Young woman to play 17-18 Years old. Must be beautiful, smart and athletic. Open to all ethnicities (including bi- and multi-racial). Must be 16 or over. Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way alone in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17 she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by. Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead."
So there you have it: still a whole lot of grey area! But at least we know something!
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Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
Eagles rocker Glenn Frey has assured fans old friend and collaborator Linda Ronstadt is doing well after she was forced to skip her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday (10Apr14) due to ill health. The Blue Bayou singer, 67, was a member of the Class of 2014 feted during a ceremony in Brooklyn, New York, but she was a no-show after recently revealing her battle with Parkinson's disease had made travelling cross-country from Los Angeles too difficult for her.
But Frey, who did turn out to the event to honour his pal, insists devotees have no need to worry as she is feeling good otherwise.
The rocker says, "I spoke to her a couple of days ago... She's got a very bad back and she can't sit for too long without lying down and she can't lie down for too long without sitting up. But she's doing fine...
"At this time, I just think it was a little much to ask her to fly across the country for this (induction)."
In Ronstadt's absence, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris paid tribute to the singer by performing a medley of her hits for the Barclays Center crowd.
Singer Linda Ronstadt has confirmed she'll be a no-show at the upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - because she's too ill to attend. The Blue Bayou hitmaker revealed she is battling Parkinson's disease last year (13) - and her poor health makes it difficult for her to travel.
But she tells Billboard.com that she's not that bothered about the honour anyway, explaining, "I haven't given it one thought, I have to say. It wasn't anything I ever thought about.
"I never thought of myself as a rock 'n' roll singer; I sang it, (but) it's just one of the things I sang. I sang a lot of different stuff. I didn't go the last two times I was nominated for a Grammy, either. I don't have anything against it; you just don't do things for those reasons. If you're working for prizes, you're in trouble."
And she's not sure Hall of Fame officials know how to contact her anyway, joking, "I don't think they have my number."
On Tuesday (01Apr14), it was announced that Eagles star Glenn Frey, who was once part of Ronstadt's backing band, will induct Ronstadt, while Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris will perform a musical tribute to her at the New York ceremony.
Ronstadt will join the Class of 2014 at the Hall of Fame on 10 April (14) alongside the likes of KISS, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel and Hall & Oates.
Coldplay's Chris Martin, Stevie Nicks, country star Carrie Underwood and rocker Bruce Springsteen will be among the stars honouring this year's (14) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The Boss' sidekicks, The E Street Band, will be inducted at the ceremony in New York City later this month (Apr14), and Springsteen has agreed to do the honours himself, while he will also perform with his group during the show.
Nicks and Underwood will perform a tribute to Linda Ronstadt along with Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow, and Glenn Frey, who played in Ronstadt's backing group with his Eagles bandmate Don Henley, will induct the singer.
However, Ronstadt will be absent from the ceremony due to health issues.
Nirvana will be inducted by R.E.M. star Michael Stipe, Martin will honour Peter Gabriel and Tom Morello will look after KISS, while The Roots' Questlove will introduce Hall & Oates.
Gabriel and fellow inductee Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, will also be among performers during the show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on 10 April (14), but KISS have refused to take to the stage following a dispute with organisers.
Country singer Keith Urban has compiled a star-studded line-up of famous friends, including Carrie Underwood and Reba Mcentire, for his upcoming Country Music Hall of Fame benefit. The You'll Think Of Me hitmaker and veteran musician Vince Gill are serving as co-musical directors for the fifth annual All 4 the Hall Benefit Concert, which takes place on 6 May (14) in America's country music capital, Nashville, Tennessee.
Taking the Bridgestone Arena stage will be artists such as Brantley Gilbert, Deana Carter, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Ronnie Milsap.
Urban shares his excitement for the event in a statement, which reads: "I think this is going to be an extremely unique and revealing night for everyone. Not only are we going to see extraordinary 'one of a kind' performances, but we're going to hear some stories that just may have us hearing these well known songs in a whole new way."
Over the past four years, the concert has raised over $2 million (£1.2 million) for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's preservation efforts, exhibitions and educational programmes.