Top TV producer Bill Bracken has defended Ariana Grande from reports of bad and difficult diva behaviour, insisting she was a consummate professional when she agreed to record a one-off duet with Canadian singer Michael Buble for his fourth annual Christmas concert special this December (14). The Home hitmaker has turned his love of all things festive into an annual TV treat for fans since 2011, and this season, he will be teaming up with pop star Grande to perform an as-yet-unannounced collaboration.
The Problem singer has faced a public backlash in recent weeks following a series of stories about her alleged "diva" behaviour, with reports suggesting she axed her Australian promotional tour because she was unhappy with a photoshoot, while a group of U.S. fans accused of being rude and stand-offish at a meet-and-greet session.
Grande previously brushed off the claims, insisting the "diva" label is actually a compliment, and now Bracken has spoken out about the rumours, admitting he has nothing but compliments about the 21 year old.
He tells the New York Post, "There's no bigger young star today than Ariana Grande. We've had a good relationship with her and flew to Vancouver, where she was performing, to organise this. She gets a bad rap as being difficult. She's not. She's great.
"(She) came on time, brought her own costumes - white short skirt and top for the solo, red dress for the duet - (she) was prepared, rehearsed. Two songs with Buble... performed 10 minutes after arriving - and out in an hour."
Michael Buble's Christmas special will air in America on 17 December (14). It will also feature an appearance by veteran entertainer Barbra Streisand, who recently recruited Buble to sing with her on her star-studded duets album, Partners.
Gone Girl and The Imitation Game were the big winners at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards on Friday night (14Nov14) after taking home seven honors between them.
The David Fincher thriller, starring Ben Affleck as a cheating husband who is suspected of killing his wife, earned the top prize of Hollywood Film, while Gillian Flynn took home the Hollywood Screenwriter award for turning her bestselling book into a movie of the same name.
The Imitation Game was a quadruple winner, earning Benedict Cumberbatch Hollywood Actor and Keira Knightley Hollywood Supporting Actress for their portrayals of famous World War Two encryption specialists Alan Turing and Joan Clarke, while filmmaker Morten Tyldum was named Hollywood Director and Alexandre Desplat earned the title of Hollywood Film Composer.
New dad Robert Downey, Jr. took time out of diaper duties to celebrate his The Judge co-star Robert Duvall as Hollywood Supporting Actor, the first award of the night, while Angelina Jolie honored Jack O'Connell with the New Hollywood award for his performance as Olympian-turned-war hero Louis Zamperini in Unbroken.
The Hollywood Film Awards, which recognize "excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking", serves as the official launch of the Hollywood awards season. The ceremony was hosted by Queen Latifah from the Hollywood Palladium and featured appearances from Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Depp, Laura Dern, Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Robert Pattinson, Hilary Swank, Jonah Hill and Geena Davis.
The main list of winners at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards is:
Hollywood Film - Gone Girl
Hollywood Blockbuster - Guardians of the Galaxy
Hollywood Actor - Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Actress - Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Hollywood Supporting Actor - Robert Duvall, The Judge
Hollywood Supporting Actress - Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Breakout Performance, Actor - Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Hollywood Breakout Performance, Actress - Shailene Woodley, The Fault In Our Stars
Hollywood Director - Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Breakthrough Director - Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild
Hollywood Screenwriter - Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Hollywood Ensemble - Foxcatcher
Hollywood Career Achievement - Michael Keaton
New Hollywood - Jack O'Connell, Unbroken
Hollywood Documentary - Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Hollywood Comedy Film - Top Five
Hollywood Animation - How To Train Your Dragon 2
Hollywood Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Hollywood International - Jing Tian
Hollywood Visual Effects - Scott Farrar, Transformers: Age of Extinction
Hollywood Film Composer - Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Song - Janelle Monae, Rio 2
Hollywood Costume Design - Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hollywood Editor - Jay Cassidy and Dody Dorn, Fury
Hollywood Production Design - Dylan Cole and Gary Freeman, Maleficent
Hollywood Sound - Ren Klyce, Gone Girl
Hollywood Makeup and Hairstyling - David White and Elizabeth Yanni-Georgiou, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Actor Kelsey Grammer is set to make a return to Broadway after joining the cast of new musical Finding Neverland. The former Frasier star is set to play Charles Frohman, the producer of playwright J.M. Barrie's production of Peter Pan, according to The New York Times.
Grammer was last seen on the Great White Way in 2010 playing a gay nightclub owner in La Cage aux Folles, a role which earned him a Tony Award nomination.
He is taking over the part in Finding Neverland from Tony winner Michael McGrath, who portrayed the producer during the show's successful run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts over the summer (14).
Grammer joins Glee star Matthew Morrison as Barrie in the production, which is based on the 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.
Finding Neverland is slated to begin performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City in March (15).
Superman villains Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon are teaming up to revisit Elvis Presley's White House meeting with President Richard Nixon in a new movie. Shannon will portray The King and Spacey Nixon in Elvis & Nixon.
The two icons met in the Oval Office in December, 1970 when Elvis was sworn in as an undercover Federal Agent at large.
Liza Johnson will direct the project.
Richard Gere's estranged wife Carey Lowell has reportedly stepped down as a co-owner of the couple's New York bed and breakfast after filing for divorce.
The Pretty Woman star opened the eight-room Bedford Post Inn with Lowell in 2007, and the couple handed over control of the restaurant to celebrity chef Michael White in March (14). The space has since been turned into Italian eatery Campagna, which relaunched on Monday (03Nov14). However, only Gere is listed as the owner of the Bedford Post, suggesting actress Lowell is no longer involved in the business.
A representative for the actor has yet to comment on the New York Post report, which emerged two weeks after Gere and Lowell headed to court for a private divorce hearing.
The pair wed in 2002.
Rapper Iggy Azalea proved her sense of humour was fully intact on Friday (31Oct14) by dressing up as Shawn Wayans' drag character from his 2004 comedy White Chicks for Halloween.
Cruel critics have long compared the Fancy hitmaker's looks to those of brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans in drag, and Snoop Dogg recently hit headlines for mocking Azalea by posting one of the Internet memes on his Instagram.com page. In the caption for the side-by-side snap, he wrote, "so we just gonna ignore that fact that iggy look like marlon from white chicks (sic)".
Un vídeo publicado por Iggy Azalea (@thenewclassic) el Nov 11, 2014 at 1:43 PDT
The Australian star took issue with Snoop's post, which followed another featuring her with no make-up, and accused him of cyber bullying, but the rappers subsequently put the feud behind them with the help of Azalea's mentor, T.I. The 24 year old can now see the funny side of the fall out and on Friday, she embraced the comparisons in the spirit of Halloween.
Azalea covered her face in pale powder and donned a pink shirt, denim jacket and skirt, white gloves and a bad blonde wig to play Tiffany Wilson, the rich socialite Wayans' cop character Kevin Copeland transforms into for an undercover job with his brother, Marcus, portrayed by Marlon Wayans.
She recruited a pal to dress up as Marcus and together, the pair headed to Jennifer Lopez's Halloween bash in Los Angeles, where stars including Demi Lovato partied the night away.
The spook-tacular event also featured a flashmob dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller, led my a man dressed as the King of Pop in his iconic red leather jacket. Taking to Twitter.com on Saturday (01Nov14), Azalea wrote, "@JLo Your party was awesome last night! The dancers!"
Pop stars Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lily Allen and Katy Perry got into the Halloween spirit on Friday by donning costumes and posting photos online. Beyonce channelled Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation look for her trick-or-treat day attire, which she unveiled at a Power 1051.1 Powerhouse event in New York on Thursday night (30Oct14), while her daughter Blue Ivy donned a Michael Jackson-inspired costume, complete with a mini red military jacket, black fedora, matching sunglasses and white gloves.
Perry and Allen also got a jump on the spookiest day of the year by attending actress Kate Hudson's Thursday night party as a Flaming Hot Cheeto snack and a midriff-baring gynaecologist, respectively.
Allen's surgeon donned scrubs, a stethoscope and a name badge that read 'Dr. Luke' - a nod to top hitmaker and producer Lukasz Gottwald.
Meanwhile, Swift posted a shot of herself dressed up like a mystical "pegacorn" - a flying unicorn - on Friday morning (31Oct14). She added the caption, "Cause, darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a PEGACORN. #HappyHalloween!"
Madonna's ex-husband Guy Ritchie and their son Rocco also dressed up for a Halloween party in London - the father and son went as Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, and U.S. comedienne Ellen DeGeneres opened her Halloween TV special as George Clooney's new bride Amal.
Carrying a blow-up dummy with Clooney's face pasted on the head, DeGeneres greeted her studio audience and said, "Happy Halloween! You can probably tell who I am. I'm Amal, the luckiest woman in the world, Mrs. George Clooney."
The lesbian star, who hosted the 2014 Oscars, then quipped, "I like Halloween because it's the one time of year you can dress up however you want, and pretend you're someone you'd never be in real life. For me, that's married to a man."
She was joined on the show by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who came dressed as Star Wars character Boba Fett and explained he had never been trick-or-treating.
He said, "It's kind of catching on now (in England), but when I was a kid it was really not big, for whatever reason. I've never been trick-or-treating in my life, which is a fact that sort of amazes a lot of people and I think I'm maybe missing out a little bit."
Australian pop star Kylie Minogue also got into the Halloween spirit ahead of her Friday night gig in Kaunas, Lithuania by donning skeletal Day of the Dead face paint for the show's soundcheck. She posted a creepy picture of herself on Twitter.com.
R&B singer Tamar Braxton broke down in tears on U.S. TV on Thursday (30Oct14) after opening up about the lengths she goes to to hide her debilitating skin condition vitiligo. Toni Braxton's younger sister first opened up about her struggles with the pigment issue, which turned Michael Jackson's skin colour from black to white, in 2012, but she has rarely spoken publicly about her changing complexion since.
She became emotional as she talked about her battle to keep her condition hidden during a discussion about emotional baggage on her daytime talk show The Real on Thursday, when she revealed she covers her hands in make-up to even out her patchy skin tone.
Fighting back tears, she explained, "The reason why I work with a whole bunch of make-up artists is because I don't want other people to see, to know about it. I used to sit on my hands, because it's really bad on my hands. And it's so funny that people think I bleach my skin, because bleaching won't take away my pigment (condition)... (But) I tan to try to hide it..."
Braxton, who was wearing a white blouse, then revealed another reason behind her tears after an old associate made a throwaway comment about her lightened skin colour just moments before cameras began rolling on the show.
She revealed, "I was just backstage, just today, and that's why I'm so emotional... Somebody I hadn't seen in a while was like, 'Oh my God, I was thinking who is that white woman over there in the white? Oh, it's Tamar'."
However, Braxton insists she has learned to be comfortable with her condition, adding, "I find myself always defending the fact that I am who I am and so, for me, I just decided, 'You know what Tamar, you're going to accept yourself for who you are...' I'm gonna be me."
Braxton wasn't the only celebrity co-host to get emotional during the chat - her fellow panel member Tamera Mowry-Housley also wiped away tears after admitting she has always felt insecure about her looks because she was constantly considered the "cute, goofy" sibling when compared to her "sexy, sassy" identical twin sister Tia.
The Sister, Sister star said, "I always thought it was a negative term, because all I wanted to be was sexy. I didn't just wanna be cute. So now, to this day, when people say, 'Oh, you're so cute', there's a part of me goes like, 'Argh, I'm 36 years old, I'm a grown woman', and I have to own that I can be sexy. Honestly, I wake up every single day and I question that."
Meghan Trainor has become the first Epic Records artist to score eight weeks at number one on the U.S. pop charts. The pop star's All About That Bass has ended Michael Jackson's run as the label's number one leader - he enjoyed seven-week runs on top with Billie Jean and Black or White.
Trainor spent all seven weeks of a record-breaking all-woman domination of the top five, which ends this week (29Oct14) as Maroon 5 take their latest hit, Animals, to number five.
Taylor Swift spends an eighth week at number two with Shake It Off, Tove Lo's Habits (Stay High) jumps up two spots to three and Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj's Bang Bang drops a spot to four.
Richard Linklater's acclaimed movie Boyhood has landed four nominations for the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards including a Best Feature nod. The drama, which took the director 12 years to complete and stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette will compete against Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Love is Strange and Under The Skin in the top category.
Hawke has also scored a Best Actor nomination for his role in the film, alongside Bill Hader for The Skeleton Twins, A Most Violent Year's Oscar Isaac, Michael Keaton for Birdman and Miles Teller for Whiplash, while Arquette is up against Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Under the Skin's Scarlett Johansson and Mia Wasikowska (Tracks) in the Best Actress category.
Nightcrawler's Riz Ahmed, Blue Ruin's Macon Blair, Boyhood's Ellar Coltrane, Wish I Was Here's Joey King, Obvious Child's Jenny Slate and Dear White People's Tessa Thompson will battle it out for Breakthrough Actor.
The prizegiving ceremony will take place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on 1 December (14). Actress Tilda Swinton and Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller with be honoured with special tributes at the event.