Singer Janelle Monae performed for U.S. President Barack Obama at a star-studded political fundraiser in Los Angeles on Wednesday (23Jul14). The event took place at the home of Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, and was co-hosted by the show's star Kerry Washington.
As well as Obama, attendees included Scandal actors Tony Goldwyn and Scott Foley, and veteran music mogul Berry Gordy.
Obama addressed the crowd, and singled out Monae for particular praise, saying of the Tightrope hitmaker, "She's played so often at the White House, there should be a room named for her."
According to reports, the politician revealed Monae is in possession of a video showing him dancing with pop star Usher, adding, "She can blackmail me at any time. I did not drop and split, but I did bust a move."
Proceeds from the gathering will go to the Democratic National Committee.
Sir Mick Jagger has opened up about the death of his girlfriend L'Wren Scott in a new TV interview, admitting it has been a "hard year" and he threw himself into work to cope.
The Rolling Stones frontman was asked about the tragedy during an interview on America's Today show, which aired on Friday (18Jul14) to promote the new James Brown biopic Get On Up that the singer produced.
Jagger looked sombre as he revealed he threw himself into work to deal with the pain of Scott's death. He said, "I'm doing okay. It's difficult. (It's been a) very hard year, but I got back into it by working on touring with the Stones in Europe and doing other things, including doing this great movie... (I've had) a lot of support... and I appreciate that."
Jagger was on tour with the band in Australia when his long-term partner took her own life at her apartment in New York City in March (14), prompting the group to postpone shows in Australia and New Zealand.
The veteran singer returned to the stage in Norway in May (14).
The longtime manager of acclaimed hip-hop group The Roots has died. Rumours surfaced on Wednesday (16Jul14) suggesting Richard Nichols had died following a long illness, but his musician pal Jon Pinder cleared up the reports on Thursday morning (17Jul14), revealing he was still alive but was nearing the end.
In a post on Facebook.com, he wrote, "Rich Nichols... is fading and it's just a matter of time before he leaves us".
However, Nichols lost his battle with leukaemia hours later.
His death has been confirmed on The Roots' Okayplayer website, with the band calling him "the guiding spirit behind the group".
A number of stars have taken to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the music manager, with hip-hop veteran Talib Kweli writing, "Rest in peace to one of the greatest men I've ever met, Rich Nichols".
R&B singer Jill Scott added, "Enduring respect for a brilliant, extraordinary MAN... Peace is yours", while rapper Phonte tweeted, "RIP to my man Rich Nichols. The lessons he taught me both in and out of the studio were priceless. Rest easy, good brother", and producer 9th Wonder posted, "Rest In Peace, and Power".
The Roots, fronted by drummer Questlove, also expressed their thanks to fans for their messages of support on Thursday, writing, "Much respect and gratitude to all who have expressed your condolences and shared memories of #RichNichols. We thank you."
Nichols began his music career as a jazz radio DJ before signing on as The Roots' manager in 1991. He executive produced all of the band's albums, including its latest release, ...and then you shoot your cousin.
He also worked as a producer for the likes of Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Al Green, Erykah Badu, Common and Sly and the Family Stone.
Rocker Ronnie Wood's ex-wife Jo has spoken out to defend the behaviour of Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger following the death of his girlfriend L'Wren Scott. Scott committed suicide at her New York home in March (14) and last month (Jun14), Jagger sparked speculation he had moved on from his partner of 13 years after he was photographed on a hotel balcony in Switzerland with 27-year-old American ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick.
The images drew harsh criticism from Scott's sister Jan Shane, but the late designer's brother, Randy Bambrough, defended Jagger, insisting there was no reason to doubt the love he had for Scott.
Now Jo Wood, who split from Jagger's bandmate in 2008, has also defended the rocker's behaviour, insisting the singer is simply carrying on with his life the only way he knows how.
She tells Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, "This is the only life Mick knows after all these years. He's the epitome of rock and roll. He will always have a wild streak, but I say good luck to him. He should grow old disgracefully. When I am 70, I hope I will still be going out with guys. I am sure most men would say, 'How fantastic'. He's 70, go for it. What do people want him to be doing? Sitting in a rocking chair?"
Newlywed Eve is heading back to work in a new TV movie alongside singer Jill Scott and actress Regina Hall. With This Ring will reunite Hall with her Think Like A Man co-star Gabrielle Union, who is executive producing the project for America's Lifetime network with Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds' ex, Tracey Edmonds.
The film, about three friends who vow to get married within a year of attending a wedding, will be written and directed by Nzingha Stewart and is set to start production in Cleveland, Ohio next month (Aug14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
With This Ring, which will premiere later this year (14), marks rapper/actress Eve's first new screen job since tying the knot with Gumball 3000 race founder Maximillion Cooper in early June (14).
Liza Minnelli's publicist poked fun at Shia Labeouf's Broadway arrest over the weekend (28-29Jun14) by sending the actor a DVD copy of movie musical Cabaret. LaBeouf was unceremoniously ejected from the New York theatre hosting the revived stage production on Thursday night (26Jun14) after he was allegedly caught smoking.
The Transformers star reportedly yelled at theatre staff as they asked him to leave the premises, briefly disrupting the show and its leads Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams.
And Minnelli's publicist, Scott Gorenstein, didn't miss an opportunity to have a little fun at LaBeouf's expense, sending him a DVD copy of the singer/actress' film adaptation of Cabaret.
He says, "I figured he may want to find out how it ends."
Minnelli won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal as Sally Bowles in the 1972 release.
L'Wren Scott's brother has thrown his support behind the tragic fashion designer's longtime lover Sir Mick Jagger in a bid to silence "ridiculous" gossip about the singer's private life. The designer committed suicide at her home in New York City in March (14) while the Rolling Stones star was on tour in Australia, prompting the singer to jet back to the U.S. and put the band's trek on hold.
Jagger was recently photographed on a hotel balcony in Switzerland with 27-year-old American ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, sparking suggestions he has moved on following the death of his partner of 13 years.
Scott's brother Randy Bambrough has now moved to dismiss speculation about Jagger's personal life, calling the gossip "completely ridiculous" and adding to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I continue to have a very warm relationship with Mick and have never questioned his love for L'Wren and how important she was in his life."
Bambrough's comments follow remarks by Scott's sister Jan Shane, who publicly criticised Jagger, saying, "These pictures (of him in Switzerland) make me wonder what Mick is really thinking and feeling. His daughter says that he is still heartbroken and devastated about losing my sister, and then you see these these photos - he will never change."
"I was singing You'll Never Walk Alone (at an event) for Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife Coretta Scott King, and I promise you I flew up. I did. I levitated. But there's a rumour that I crack chandeliers with my top notes. That's not true." Soul singer Patti Labelle on the truth and rumours about her live performances over the years.
Scottish rocker Dale Barclay will debut two new The Amazing Snakeheads bandmates at a concert in London on Tuesday (17Jun14) after parting ways with his drummer and bassist. The singer broke the news to fans in an emotional post on Facebook.com on Sunday (15Jun14), suggesting the split with original bassist William Coombe and drummer Jordan Hutchinson was far from amicable.
The message read: "In the interest of transparency and fairness I will say this. William quit the band and Jordon (sic) knows why him and I are no longer friends. F**k anyone who thinks otherwise.
"I have no intentions of p**sing over something that meant so much to me so will never go into detail of the where, why and when of what has happened, especially on this barrel of bulls**t."
A follow-up statement released on Monday (16Jun14) reads: "The Amazing Snakeheads have had a line-up change - Dale Barclay is now accompanied by Andrew Pattie and Scott Duff. The band will be performing tomorrow night at Meltdown Festival in London, at Reading and Leeds (U.K. festival) this August and at all other shows as previously announced."
The new-look trio will perform in public together for the first time on Tuesday, when the band will take the stage at the Southbank Centre as part of James Lavelle's Meltdown Festival.
The line-up change comes just two months after the release of The Amazing Snakeheads' debut album, Amphetamine Ballads.
Jazz great Jimmy Scott has died at the age of 88. The singer passed away in his sleep on Thursday (12Jun14) at his home in Las Vegas.
Born in Ohio, Scott began performing professionally in the late 1940s and enjoyed R&B chart success in America in 1950 with Everybody's Somebody's Fool.
He enjoyed sporadic success in the 1950s and then signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine Records, where he released Falling In Love Is Wonderful in 1963.
His success was short-lived and, by the mid-1970s, he had returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a shipping clerk and an elevator operator, among other things, according to Billboard.com.
Scott enjoyed a career resurgence in the early 1990s when he appeared in the finale of David Lynch's TV drama Twin peaks and released a Grammy-nominated comeback album, titled All the Way.
He went on to release the acclaimed albums Dream and Heaven, and recorded Holding Back the Years, which featured his renditions of songs by the likes of John Lennon and Elton John.
Scott suffered from a rare genetic condition, known as Kallmann's syndrome, which left him small in stature and gave him a permanently youthful appearance and the nickname Little Jimmy Scott.
He moved from Cleveland to Las Vegas in 2007 for health reasons.