Oak Ridge Boys frontman Duane Allen enjoyed a double delight at a recent Texas Country Music Hall of Fame gala - he was inducted and then made an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy. The singer was feted in his native state during a ceremony in Carthage on Saturday (09Aug14) at the launch of a new Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to Allen's life and career.
The event also featured an appearance by Governor Rick Perry, who announced the special naval appointment in recognition of Allen's achievements in the music industry, while Allen's bandmates, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, were made honorary Texans.
Allen says, "I am still in the after-glow of a very overwhelming event in my life. It is a huge honour, and I am humbled to the core of my soul."
British TV icon Stephen Fry stunned guests at a political fundraiser on Wednesday (09Jul14) by taking aim at a high-profile investigation into allegations of sex abuse against some of the U.K.'s most popular stars. Operation Yewtree was launched following the shocking revelations of TV and radio host Sir Jimmy Savile's widespread historic sexual abuse, and it has led to the successful prosecution of stars including entertainer Rolf Harris, TV host Stuart Hall, and PR guru Max Clifford for offences committed in the 1960s and '70s.
However Fry, who was hosting the Labour Party event at London's Roundhouse, reportedly reminded guests that "fewer than half" of those held in the probe have been convicted, urged attendees to remember "people are innocent until proven guilty", and called for tougher punishments for those who make false claims.
Attempts to prosecute comedians Jim Davidson, Jimmy Tarbuck and Freddie Starr, as well as Coronation Street actor William Roache, failed after months of negative publicity.
One guest at the event tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "It was all a bit awkward. There was a smattering of applause, but mostly there was just this deadly silence."
Fry's friend, BBC DJ Paul Gambaccini, was arrested in October (13) under Operation Yewtree on suspicion of historical sexual offences but was released on bail and was later cleared of any wrongdoing, and Fry is understood to be angry that the failure to charge Gambaccini has received less publicity than his initial arrest.
Here are this week's highlights from VH1, Celebuzz, Flavorwire, and Hollywood.com
Bare it like Beckham!Celebrate the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 12 with the only reason you started paying attention to soccer in the first place: shirtless David Beckham. Celebuzz has a gallery of all of Becks' best semi-dressed moments.
Your newest guilty pleasure TV show awaits... Once you've run through the new season of Orange is the New Black, you'll need something a little lighter and a lot campier to recover from your marathon, and ABC Family is just the place to take the edge off. Flavorwire runs down the hidden gems of the network, and the best shows you'll never admit to watching.
"My conductor don't want none unless you've got trombones, hon." Sure, Sir Mix A Lot's "Baby Got Back" is a one of the best songs of the '90s, but you know what would make it even better? A full symphony orchestra on backup. VH1 has video of the rapper pefroming the updated classic, along with other great covers you might have missed.
Queen Bey Vs. Kim K: Who Reigns Supreme? Is Beyonce's picture day ponytail cuter than Kim Kardashian's fancy white bow? Just in time for #ThrowbackThursday, Hollywood.com grades the biggest stars on Instagram to see who has the more fabulous flashback photos.
British thespian Mark Rylance has beaten Twelfth Night castmates Stephen Fry and Paul Chahidi to pick up the first Tony Award at Sunday night's (08Jun14) ceremony in New York. The actor has scored his third Tony by picking up the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play prize and took the stage at Radio City Music Hall, where he honoured actor Sam Wanamaker who was blacklisted during Hollywood's Joseph McCarthy communist witch hunt era in the 1950s.
Wanamaker fled to the U.K., where he "gave the last 25 years of his life" rebuilding William Shakespeare's The Globe theatre.
Rylance, who is also nominated for a Lead Actor in a Play Tony, said, "We are children of Sam Wanamaker's vision."
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays.
British thespian Kenneth Branagh is the new darling of the New York theatre scene after winning rave reviews for his "epic" and "breathtaking" stage debut in the Big Apple. The actor/director took his production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth across the Atlantic after launching it in Manchester, England last summer (13), and the curtain went up at the Park Avenue Armory's Drill Hall on Thursday night (05Jun14).
Branagh, who co-directed the show with Rob Ashford and stars alongside Alex Kingston, has won rave reviews for his turn as the tragic Scottish king and for the immersive production. Peter Marks of the Washington Post calls the show "epic", adding, "Forget the pesky glasses. You want a movielike experience in 3D? Feast your eyes on Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford's breathtakingly visual new staging of Macbeth."
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney praises the "sensational" stage set and describes the production as a "medieval, mystical blockbuster that combines superlative, fuss-free classical theatre acting with muscular storytelling, visceral physicality and propulsive rollercoaster pacing. Oh, and lots of mud."
Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News gave the show five stars out of five, writing, "Any Macbeth rises or falls on the actor in the title role. Silver-tongued, sexy and deft with a sword, Branagh oozes charisma and carnality as his Macbeth murders his way to the throne - and his undoing. It's about time Branagh graced New York audiences with a flesh-and-blood Shakespeare star turn. It was worth the wait."
The New York Times' Ben Brantley writes, "This is the summer blockbuster that we wait for every year and too seldom find at the multiplexes, one of those action-packed, spectacle-drenched shows that sweep you right into their fraught, churning worlds and refuse to release you until the lights come up - and maybe not even then."
Alicia Keys' producer husband Swizz Beatz has been celebrated in his native New York after he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame and handed his own street honour. The Money in the Bank hitmaker headed back to his old stomping grounds this weekend (17-18May14), when he was feted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. at a special Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday (17May14), alongside fellow honourees, Dexter actor David Zayas, actress Rachel Ticotin, stage star Priscilla Lopez and New York Jets football player William Colon III.
Swizz Beatz, real name Kasseem Dean, also attended the unveiling of Swizz Beatz Street.
Taking to his Instagram.com page to share a photo of the street sign, he wrote, "I would always say I came from nothing, but I was wrong the entire time! I come from something and that's the all mighty BRONX SWIZZ BEATZ ST located on Grand Concourse please stop by".
Grammy winner Beatz received the honour in recognition of the "extraordinary accomplishments" throughout his career.
Paramount via Everett Collection
We all know the saying about how you can't pick your relatives but you can pick your friends. Unfortunately, in high school, most people are limited to those other poor souls that are slouching through the halls to get from class to class.
Every teen movie made has seemingly adhered to some form of the cliques that occur in high school, those groupings based on looks, interests or intelligence that make up the social caste system. What if, however, you could make your own clique, using characters from those films that fit into those stereotypical profiles? It would certainly have made for a more entertaining high school experience, as well as at least one killer party. Who would we pick? Here's our choices...
VIEW GALLERY: The Ultimate Teen Movie High School Clique
Composers behind the scores for Academy Award-nominated movies Gravity, Her, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks and The Book Thief were given their chance to shine on Thursday (27Feb14) at the first ever Oscar Concert. Best Original Score nominees William Butler and Owen Pallett (Her), Alexandre Desplat (Philomena), Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks), Steven Price (Gravity), and John Williams (The Book Thief) were invited to take to the stage at the University of California, Los Angeles' Royce Hall, three days before Hollywood's big night, to conduct and direct their works in full.
During the special show, which was hosted by rapper/actor Common, five-time Oscar winner Williams was given a round of applause as he declared, "(Movies) wouldn't be what they are and couldn't be made without the service of a great orchestra."
The Best Original Song nominees were also performed, with Jill Scott taking on Pharrell Williams' Happy from Despicable 2, and composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez taking on Idina Menzel's vocals on Frozen's Let It Go.
The Wolf of Wall Street actress Cristin Milioti covered Karen O's The Moon Song from Her, while former The Voice contestant Matt Carmanski belted out U2's Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Each of the artists behind the nominations for Best Original Song will take to the stage at Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars in Hollywood.
Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad are bringing their Romeo & Juliet back to the stage for one night only. The actors, who starred in the tragedy on the Broadway stage, will read selections from the play at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles as part of a musical tribute to William Shakespeare.
Bloom and Rashad will be joined by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and fellow actors Robert Sean Leonard and Joe Morton, who will read extracts from the playwright's Hamlet and The Tempest.
The concert, set for 26 February (14), will feature Tchaikovsky's Fantasy overtures for the three Shakespeare plays, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
Meanwhile, the full production of Romeo & Juliet, starring Bloom and Rashad, which closed early in December (13) due to poor sales has hit movie theatres across the U.S. for Valentine's Day (14Feb14).
The composers of this year's (14) Oscar-nominated film scores are set to join forces for a very special concert in Los Angeles a week before the Academy Awards. In the first-ever Oscar Concert, William Butler, Owen Pallett, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, Steven Price and John Williams will conduct and direct their compositions at Royce Hall on 27 February (14).
Butler and Pallett are Oscar nominated for their work in Her, Desplat for Philomena, Newman for Saving Mr. Banks, Price for Gravity and Williams for The Book Thief.
The concert will also feature this year's nominated original songs, including Frozen's Let It Go, and Pharrell Williams' Happy from Despicable Me 2, which will be performed by Jill Scott.
The Oscars take place on 2 March (14).