Celebrities including Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran helped raise $23.2 million (£14.5 million) during the U.K. Stand Up To Cancer telethon on Friday (17Oct14).
The "Toxic" hitmaker took part in a sketch called "Andy Murray: The Movie", in which celebrities were auditioning for parts in the upcoming biopic of the Scottish tennis player's life. Spears tried out for the role of Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears with a fake Cockney accent, while Williams tried a Scottish twang as he auditioned for Murray. Others trying out for parts included Ed Sheeran, who played "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by Scottish group The Proclaimers, while Andy Serkis filmed his audition in a motion capture suit. Swift took on British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for a 'bake it off' competition sketch, where they were supposed to each make a chocolate cake. However, Oliver began singing and dancing to a revamped version of her new single Shake It Off and the pair ended up pulling funny moves and throwing food around.
British rocker Noel Gallagher teamed up with supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell for a celebrity version of Gogglebox, where viewers are filmed watching TV. The trio watched reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor and gave a comedic running commentary. Also during the broadcast, Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey revived their Men Behaving Badly characters for the first time in 16 years for a one-off sketch about testicular cancer. Will Ferrell appeared as his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy, giving a news report on cancer, Sherlock star Martin Freeman took part in a magic card trick with celebrity illusionist Derren Brown, and Nicole Scherzinger and John Legend were interviewed during a live taping of chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man. At the end of the live telethon, $23.2 million had been raised for Cancer Research U.K.
Stevie Wonder cancelled a transatlantic flight to record his contribution to a charity cover of the Beach Boys classic God Only Knows after missing the session when he fell sick. The soul legend is one of several stars who sing a line in the track, including Sir Elton John, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Chris Martin, and Kylie Minogue.
However, Wonder was forced to sit out the main recording session when he was struck down with a bout of influenza, and when he had recovered enough, the Superstition hitmaker cancelled his flight home to return to the studio.
Sam Walker, creative director at Karmarama, the team behind the fundraising track, says, "This was almost certainly the lowest point in the whole project. We were gutted and were on the verge of giving up but then another call came through, to say that he was back in if we could record and shoot him the following day.
"He would move his flights back if we could say yes in the next fifteen minutes. It took about 30 seconds to make the decision."
When Wonder finally got to sing his line in the song, Walker and his team watched in awe: "It sounded amazing and we were blown away. Without doubt, having been that close to not getting him, it is definitely one of the highest points in the whole two and a half years. And to top it all off he's such nice bloke as well."
The song was recorded in aid of the BBC's Children in Need fundraising telethon, which is due to take place next month (Nov14).
Pharrell Williams and One Direction have teamed up with a host of other top music names to rework the Beach Boys' God Only Knows for a new BBC Music initiative. The track, which was broadcast simultaneously across the BBC network's radio and TV networks on Tuesday (07Oct14), will be released in aid of kids' charity Children in Need.
Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Queen guitarist Brian May and Beach Boys star Brian Wilson also appear on the track.
Disgraced fashion guru John Galliano is returning to the spotlight after landing a job at top design firm Maison Martin Margiela. The style mogul was fired from his position as head designer at Christian Dior in 2011 after he was arrested and convicted of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks to a couple during a night out in France.
He subsequently fell out of favour in the fashion world, but he is now set to make his big comeback in Paris after being given a second chance by Maison Martin Margiela, where he will serve as creative director.
His first collection will debut in January (15).
Announcing the news, Renzo Rosso, the president of Margiela's parent company OTB, says, "Margiela is ready for a new charismatic creative soul... John Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time - a unique, exceptional couturier for a Maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion."
Celebrity Margiela fan Kanye West also celebrated the news in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "JOHN GALLIANO is the new creative director of MARGIELA, I heard this rumor when I was in Paris and just received confirmation this morning! It is very exciting to see what powerful creatives do at different houses..."
Acclaimed musician George M. Roberts has died aged 86. Roberts passed away on Saturday (27Sep14) in Fallbrook, California after suffering complications from pneumonia. He had also been battling multiple sclerosis.
Roberts was known as 'Mr. Bass Trombone' in the music industry, having played on more than 6,000 recordings over his 50-year career.
He was an in-demand session player in Los Angeles from the 1950s through until the 1980s, and he worked with music greats including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.
Roberts also recorded two solo albums, the second of which, movie composer John Williams served as the arranger and pianist.
Williams went on to hire Roberts to play on many of his film scores, including Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Roberts also appeared in the orchestras which recorded themes for U.S. variety programmes including The Rosemary Clooney Show and The Dinah Shore Show, as well as the Academy Awards and President John F. Kennedy's inauguration ceremony in 1961.
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.
Songwriter and instrumentalist Johnny Rotella has died, aged 93. The musician's son, John Rotella, confirmed his father passed away peacefully in his sleep in Van Nuys, California on 11 September (14), just days before his 94th birthday.
A statement from Kathy Spanberger, head of music publishing company Peermusic, reads, "He was not only a gifted songwriter but also a renowned musician and raconteur. I will miss the lunches... I had with Johnny because we got to sit back and listen to the wonderful stories of the days he worked with the greats in our business, including Sinatra, Goodman and Glenn Miller."
While growing up in New Jersey, Rotella played clarinet and saxophone in an array of bands throughout his teens, and after military service in World War Two, he relocated to California, began work as a studio woodwind player and became established on the music scene.
Rotella wrote the anthem Nothing But the Best for Frank Sinatra and recorded with Neil Diamond, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan.
He was a sought after session musician, a band regular on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour variety show in the 1970s, and he wrote more than 200 songs, performed by the likes of Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Doris Day.
Rapper Eminem is suing a political party in New Zealand over allegations they used one of his songs without permission. Lawyers representing the hip-hop star and his music publishers filed paperwork at the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday (16Sep14) accusing the National Party of copyright infringement for using his song Lose Yourself in campaign adverts.
Joel Martin, who represents Eminem's publishing company, says, "It is both disappointing and sadly ironic that the political party responsible for championing the rights of music publishers in New Zealand by the introduction of the three strikes copyright reforms should itself have so little regard for copyright."
The song was used in adverts for Prime Minister John Key's re-election campaign, and party representatives have denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the lawsuit, saying, "The National party will be defending this action vigorously. As the matter is now before the courts we will not be making any further public comment."
Director Andrew V. Mclaglen has died at the age of 94. The son of former professional boxer and Academy Award-winning actor Victor McLaglen passed away on Saturday (30Aug14) at his home in Washington.
McLaglen worked with John Wayne on five films including McLintock! and The Undefeated and James Stewart on four including The Rare Breed and Bandolero!.
He also directed Doris Day and Peter Graves in The Ballad of Josie, Kirk Douglas in The Way West and Dean Martin in Something Big.
In addition to his film work, McLaglen directed several TV shows including Gunsmoke, Rawhide and Perry Mason.
Arctic Monkeys and Sophie Ellis-Bextor were among the big winners at Tuesday night's (02Sep14) AIM Awards in London. The British band picked up the Association of Independent Music's Album Award for AM, while singer Ellis-Bextor was named Best Live Act.
Other winners included London Grammar, Ben Watt and Twin Atlantic, while Richie Hawtin picked up an Outstanding Contribution honour.
The full list of winners is:
Independent Album: Arctic Monkeys - AM
Independent Track: Twin Atlantic - Heart And Soul
Independent Breakthrough: London Grammar
Outstanding Contribution: Richie Hawtin
Best Live Act: Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Hardest Working Artist: Ghetts
Independent Video: Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - You Will See Me
Best Difficult Second Album: Ben Watt - Hendra
PPL Award For Most Played Independent New Act: London Grammar
Best Independent Festival: Barn On The Farm
Special Catalogue Release: Various - Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound
Independent Label: Domino
Indie Champion: John Doran
Pioneer Award: Martin Mills
Best Small Label: Hyperdub
Innovator: Steve Goodman
Special Recognition: Alison Wenham