Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has added another big win to his list of accolades after scoring the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday (24Jan15). The filmmaker and his co-producers John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole were named the winners of the prestigious Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures for their work on the Oscar-nominated comedy drama, beating the power players behind other awards season favourites Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game, among others.
The team behind The LEGO Movie had reason to celebrate after claiming the Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures, while producers behind Life Itself earned the documentary film honour.
The brains behind TV hits Breaking Bad and Fargo also landed big wins with The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama and The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television, respectively, and Orange Is the New Black producers walked away from the Los Angeles ceremony with The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy.
Other previously announced winners at the Producers Guild of America bash included Jon Feltheimer (Milestone Award), Mark Gordon (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Gale Anne Hurd (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures) and officials at Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment (Visionary Award).
Gospel group The Word is reuniting for its first album in 14 years. Keyboardist John Medeski, guitarists Robert Randoph and Luther Dickinson, drummer Cody Dickinson and bassist Chris Chew formed the band in 2001 and released their self-titled debut album to much praise.
They each returned to their solo and other group projects, but regrouped last summer (14) and started to work on new songs for a sophomore disc in New York and Memphis, Tennessee.
North Mississippi Allstars member Luther Dickinson says, "The recording locations of New York City and Memphis represent who The Word is. The spirit of each city, different though they might be each sets us free.
"And 14 years after our first album, it is so thrilling to hear what our collective power for improvisation has become. We're ready to go anywhere the inspiration takes us."
The Word's second album, Soul Food, will hit retailers in May (15) and be supported by a forthcoming tour.
Gospel legend Andrae Crouch has died, aged 72. The veteran singer passed away in his native Los Angeles on Thursday (07Jan15) from complications after having a heart attack on Saturday (03Jan15).
Last month (Dec14), he was admitted to hospital for pneumonia and congestive heart failure, and was forced to postpone his Let the Church Say Amen Celebration Tour that was slated to start on 6 December (14).
Crouch was an acclaimed singer and songwriter, having won seven Grammy Awards throughout his five-decade long career, thanks to his popular gospel songs including The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory), and Soon and Very Soon.
He also worked as a producer and arranger with such artists as Diana Ross, Elton John and Rick Astley. Crouch also directed the choirs that are featured in the background vocals in Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror and Madonna's Like a Prayer.
Crouch is only one of three gospel artists to have a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He also served as a pastor alongside his sister Sandra at the New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando, California.
Olympian Mark Schultz has apologised for "the harshness of my language" in relation to a series of angry tweets about new movie Foxcatcher and director Bennett Miller. The wrestling champion, who is portrayed by Channing Tatum in the film, took issue with Miller's movie about his links to wrestling manager John du Pont in correspondence posted on social media earlier this week (beg29Dec14).
Schultz took aim at the director for refusing to axe scenes that suggested he and du Pont, played by Steve Carell, were intimate, stating, "I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn't explicit so I didn't have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will."
He ended his tirade by stating, "YOU CROSSED THE LINE MILLER. WE'RE DONE. YOU'RE (sic) CAREER IS OVER. YOU THINK I CAN'T DO IT. WATCH ME... YOU THINK I'M GOING TO SIT BACK AND WATCH YOU DESTROY MY NAME AND REPUTATION... YOU AINT' SEEN NOTHING YET DUDE... I CAN TOLERATE A LOT OF THINGS BUT I DON'T TOLERATE DISRESPECT. WE'RE DONE BENNETT."
Schultz, who was a consultant on the movie, has now apologised for his social media outburst, writing, "My story and my life are real. I am a real human being. While I may have tweeted out of anger, I in no way regret standing up for myself, nor do I regret calling out the only other man who has had decision making power concerning my image and legacy these past years.
"I apologize for the harshness of my language, but I am firm in where I stand. I will gladly go to any lengths to protect and safeguard the integrity and truth of my story, my life, my character and my legacy. If that's not worth fighting over while I'm still alive, I don't know what is."
Schultz reveals he is "under contract to support the movie until the Oscars", but he has plans to reveal "the truth" to U.S. newswoman Katie Couric afterwards.
Actresses Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate have locked lips onscreen as part of a new video series, called 9 Kisses. The stars are showcased in the New York Times Magazine's feature, which pairs 18 of the year's best actors in nine different scenes that lead up to a kiss.
Dawson and Slate's scenario takes place in the back of a convertible, as they count down the seconds until the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. They then kiss and playfully embrace each other.
British actors David Oyelowo and Timothy Spall also share a same-sex kiss during an arm wrestling match. Spall plants a smooch on Oyelowo to distract him and win the power challenge.
Other duos who agreed to lock lips for the publication's Great Performers issue include Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Steve Carell, Shailene Woodley and Jack O'Connell, Kristen Stewart and Chadwick Boseman, Patricia Arquette and Jason Schwartzman, Julianne Moore and John Lithgow, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Miles Teller.
Heart star Ann Wilson has offered guitar great Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones a little girl power as they mull over a Led Zeppelin comeback - she wants to front the group. Robert Plant has made it clear he isn't interested in returning to the band for a reunion tour and Page has abandoned plans to hit the road with a new singer, but Wilson is hoping he will change his mind.
In a recent chat with Classic Rock Revisited, the singer, who performed Led Zep's Stairway to Heaven at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, revealed she'd relish the challenge of stepping in for Plant.
She says, "(That was) one of the most unforgettable nights of my life... When we were done, we walked backstage and there was a feeling of awe. We were like, 'What just happened?'
"We weren't nervous when we were doing it, but afterwards our nervous system came back to life and it all kicked in.
"Hypothetically, if they (Page and Jones) ever needed a lead singer and Heart was not active at the moment, then, sure, I would (do it). I would go and play with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones any day of the week."
Musicians Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Joss Stone are adding their star power to America's first Rock In Rio festival next year (15). The famous Brazilian event will be held at Las Vegas' MGM Resort and feature previously announced headliners Taylor Swift, Metallica, No Doubt and John Legend, among others.
Debbie Harry will honour the memory of John Lennon this December (14) by headlining a charity concert in his name. The Blondie rocker will top the bill at the 34th annual John Lennon Tribute at Symphony Space in New York, where Joan Osborne, Ben E. King, Marshall Crenshaw and B-52's star Kate Pierson are also set to perform.
The gig, organised by bosses at non-profit group the Theatre Within, will take place on 5 December (14), three days before the 34th anniversary of the Beatles legend's assassination.
Proceeds will be donated to the Spirit Foundation, a charity founded by Lennon and his widow Yoko Ono.
In a statement, Ono writes, "I share Theatre Within's belief that music and the performing arts have a special power to bring people together and inspire us to make a positive difference. It's beautiful that the Tribute continues to have such a powerful impact in John's memory."
This year's (14) event will also feature the presentation of the inaugural John Lennon Real Love Award, which will be handed to rock photographer Bob Gruen, who took some of the most famous pictures of the Imagine hitmaker during his time in the Big Apple.
Pop star Pink will perform a one-off, acoustic gig for fans this month (Oct14) to raise money for cancer research.
The So What singer is setting up The Power of Pink initiative in conjunction with the John Wayne Cancer Institute and the Providence Saint John's Health Centre in California. A statement from organizers reads, "The Power of Pink fundraiser was created to recognise and celebrate the strength of women who battle and beat breast cancer daily."
General admission tickets are priced at $500 (£310) and a VIP package costs $15,000 (£9,400). The show will take place at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on 23 October (14) and money raised will benefit a cancer prevention scheme.
"It’s a good movie. Again, the media angle confused the movie with (Scientology)... They did that with Phenomenon, too, and Phenomenon is really the story of Jesus Christ. It’s not Scientology! If we had to do it over again, I would still do it. It was a moment where I could say, 'I had all the power in the world and could do whatever I wanted'. Not a lot of people get that opportunity, and I did what I wanted to do." John Travolta on his movie flop Battlefield Earth.