Singers Jennifer Hudson and Ellie Goulding performed at a youth empowerment event in London on Friday (07Mar14) to thank youngsters for their charity work. The inaugural U.K. concert at Wembley Arena was held to celebrate and promote kindness by young Brits, and all 12,000 guests had earned their ticket by completing acts of local and global service.
Goulding and Hudson thrilled revellers alongside other stars including rapper Dizzee Rascal and British singer/songwriter Birdy, and the entertainment was broken up by inspirational speeches from public figures such as tycoon Sir Richard Branson and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
Goulding wrote on Twitter.com ahead of the show, "Today I am delighted and honoured to perform at We day. Inspiring today's youth to change the world."
Prince Harry also delivered a speech at the event, while casually dressed in a shirt and jeans, and he began by cracking a joke: "You were probably hoping for Harry Styles so I'm sorry to disappoint you - no, I'm not going to sing!"
Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas, his cousin Princess Beatrice, and U.S. TV actors Jacob Artist and Shay Mitchell also attended the daytime event.
Veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard has vowed to avoid discussing Britain's monarchy with rocker Morrissey to prevent a clash at their joint gig later this year (14). The Devil Woman hitmaker is to play a support slot at the former The Smiths frontman's concert in Brooklyn, New York in June (14) and he has already caused a stir by joking about meat eating at the famous vegetarian's show.
Now the crooner - who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1995 and was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales - has wisely decided to keep quiet about the monarchy when he meets fervent anti-royalist Morrissey.
In an article for NME magazine, Richard writes, "I know Morrissey is quite different to me. He has a very political side to his lyrics - he likes to protest and talk about issues. People have said to me, 'Do you think you're going to get along?' I say opposites attract.
"We'll probably meet at the soundcheck, and I don't see we're going to have a lot of time to have a conversation. We'll probably steer clear of talking about the monarchy. I just hope I get time to say, 'Thanks for having me, mate,' and wish him good luck."
British singer Sir Cliff Richard is adamant he will not risk upsetting Morrissey by eating meat during their joint concert, insisting: "It was a joke." The Devil Woman hitmaker made headlines around the world when details of his unlikely support slot playing second on the bill to the former The Smiths frontman emerged earlier this month (Feb14).
He will perform for one hour before Morrissey's set in New York in June (14), but rumours suggested he had put the show in jeopardy by announcing plans to "eat a chicken curry afterwards".
However, the veteran pop star is now adamant the remark was made in jest and he has no intention of upsetting the staunch vegetarian.
Richard tells Time Out with Phillip Silverstone on TuneIn Radio, "I made a joke of it. I said, 'Well I might have a chicken curry after the show', and of course it's very hard to find a chicken curry in New York, so it was really a joke. And they put in things like, 'I expect when we meet that he would eat meat with me'. I don't expect him to - the man is a genuine (person), he believes what he believes and I respect that.
"So it's slight frustration really, and even though I've learned to live with it, it still doesn't mean I don't get upset when it happens, and I still can't figure out why they would want to create a wedge between Morrissey and me when we have never even met."
Singer/songwriter Ray Kennedy has died, aged 67. A member of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand house band, the multi-instrumentalist hit the road as a touring members of groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Krupa, Little Richard and Otis Redding.
He hit it big in the mid-1960s after signing a deal with Atlantic Records as half of the duo Jon and Ray.
Kennedy and partner Jon Misland worked with producers like Phil Spector and Arif Mardin, but failed to release an album.
The singer went solo after working with Group Therapy on two late 1960s albums, and found success as a songwriter, working with the likes of the Beach Boys (Sail On, Sailor).
He also co-founded KGB with Barry Goldberg and Michael Bloomfield.
Kennedy spent the 1980s as a solo artist and session musician, contributing to the music for the 1988 Olympics and touring with Aerosmith and the Michael Schenker Group.
He also worked with Englebert Humperdinck, Wayne Newton and Mick Fleetwood - he co-wrote These Strange Times for Fleetwood Mac.
Legendary New York music mogul Marty Thau has died at the age of 75. Thau, who discovered and managed the New York Dolls and Suicide, suffered renal failure and passed away in Petersburg, Virginia on Thursday (13Feb14).
The New York City native started his music career as singer Tony Orlando's manager before he was signed to Neil Bogart's Cameo-Parkway Records label in Pennsylvania as a promotion executive.
He stuck with Bogart when the music legend sold the label to Allen Klein in 1968, and created Buddah Records, which boasted the Ohio Express, the Isley Brothers and Melanie and Edwin Hawkins Singers among a roster of talent.
Thau went on to become a partner in Inherit Productions, a management/ production/publishing company that represented Van Morrison and John Cale, but it was during his tenure as head of A&R at Paramount Records that his managing career really took off after catching an early New York Dolls gig.
As New York's punk scene took off in the mid-1970s, Thau launched Red Star Records and signed Suicide, The Real Kids, the Fleshtones and Richard Hell. He also produced early demos for Blondie and the Ramones.
British actress/singer Samantha Barks has moved in with her boyfriend, actor-turned-singer Richard Fleeshman. The Les Miserables star was first linked to Fleeshman late last year (13), and now she has revealed the romance has already turned serious as the pair is living together.
Speaking ahead of Friday's (14Feb14) Valentine's Day celebration, Barks told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "Actually, we've just moved in together and I'm looking forward to spending the day (Valentine's day) with him."
Barks previously dated model David Gandy and Welsh TV presenter Matt Johnson.
Veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard has risked jeopardising his headline-grabbing concert appearance with Morrissey just hours after it was announced by boasting that he will eat a chicken curry at the famous vegetarian's show. Morrissey shocked fans on Thursday (13Feb14) by announcing two special guests for his upcoming 2014 tour of the U.S., unveiling Sir Tom Jones as the support act in Los Angeles and the Living Doll hitmaker for his New York gig.
However, within hours of the announcement, Richard has thrown the show into jeopardy by insisting he plans to flout the former The Smiths star's strict vegetarian-only concert rules.
Morrissey famously tries to ban meat products from being sold at venues when he is performing, and he even walked offstage at California's Coachella festival in 2009 because he could smell burgers cooking on a nearby stall.
Richard admits he only has a passing knowledge of Morrissey's career, and when asked during a BBC News interview if he will be "going vegetarian for the day" when he performs at the rocker's concert, he replies, "Certainly not. No, of course not. I like to think he might eat some meat when I arrive, but I wouldn't expect him to. So I don't think he'd expect me to be vegetarian. If I found he was offended by people eating meat then I won't eat it in front of him. But I'll have a chicken curry afterwards."
British rock singer Morrissey is advertising two special guests for upcoming U.S. concerts - posters uploaded to his official fansite suggest Welsh crooner Sir Tom Jones will join him in Los Angeles in May (14) and British pop legend Sir Cliff Richard will be his special guest at a New York date in June (14). There has yet to be an official announcement confirming the gigs.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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Lady Gaga is planning to sell off her spare Virgin Galactic ticket after she was booked to perform during one of the space shuttle flights. The singer will become the first star to perform in space when she sings onboard a Virgin Galactic flight next year (15) as part of New Mexico's Zero G Colony tech festival.
Gaga has now revealed she already had a ticket for one of Sir Richard Branson's space trips when she was booked for the gig, so she is selling her seat to raise money for her Born This Way Foundation.
She tells America's Harper's Bazaar magazine, "I honestly can't wait (to perform in space). I can't wait to design the performance. I'm auctioning off my second seat to raise money for the Born This Way Foundation."
Gaga also insists she is planning an out of this world performance, adding, "I want to make a moment that is about much more than me. Performing in space is such an honour. I want to challenge myself to come up with something that will not only bring everyone together but will also have a message of love that blasts into the beyond."