Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams and Tim Mcgraw are set to perform for the A Very Grammy Christmas special next month (Nov14). The show will feature the artists performing holiday songs and sharing festive stories before the nominations for Album Of The Year for the 2015 Grammy Awards are announced during the broadcast.
A Very Grammy Christmas will film in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium on 18 November (14) and air in the U.S. on 5 December (14).
Additional performers will be announced at a later date.
Celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman have paid tribute to veteran comedienne Joan Rivers following her death on Thursday (04Sep14). The legendary funnywoman, 81, died at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital after she was removed from life support following a cardiac and respiratory arrest on 28 August (14).
Her daughter Melissa announced that her mum passed away just after 1pm local time, and celebrities have been paying tribute to Rivers ever since.
Fellow comedienne and longtime pal Whoopi Goldberg took to Twitter.com to share her condolences, and wrote, "My friend Joan Rivers has passed away once again to quote Billy Crystal... There are no words. Bon Voyage Joan."
News of Rivers' death comes weeks after Goldberg also paid tribute to another close friend, Robin Williams, who died last month (Aug14).
Australian actor Jackman lauded Rivers' comedic presence and wrote, "We lost one of the true originals today. Joan Rivers. A force. You will be missed," while Depp called her "An Amazing Individual", and Mel Brooks wrote, "Joan Rivers never played it safe. She was the bravest of them all. Still at the top at the end. She will be sorely missed."
Other tributes from Zoe Saldana and British comedian Ricky Gervais hit Twitter, and rocker Ozzy Osbourne thanked the late comic for being kind to his daughter Kelly - Rivers' co-host on TV show Fashion Police. He wrote, "Not only was Joan a comic genius, she was an amazing woman. Thank you for always having Kelly’s back. You will always be a legend. RIP."
Celebrities also brought levity to the tragedy of her death, recalling catty remarks Rivers had made about them on awards show red carpets. Actress Anna Kendrick said, "Being publicly told that my dress is hideous will never feel quite as awesome. You will be truly missed", singer Demi Lovato added, "RIP Joan Rivers... You made fun of my boobies just last week and it was an HONOR," and pop star Katy Perry joked, "What's the point of wearing all these dumb costumes if Joan's not here to rip them apart? RIP Joan Rivers. You are a one of a one."
Former Charmed star Rose McGowan recalled that "Joan once said I looked like a whore," and Evan Rachel Wood shared a similar sentiment, and remembered, "She once said I looked like I needed a trip to the VD (venereal disease) clinic..." before adding, "The day I was ridiculed by Joan Rivers for the way I looked was the day I felt like i made it in Hollywood."
Girls star and creator Lena Dunham even poked fun at Rivers' self-depricating extensive plastic surgery, and quipped, "I told (comedian Marc) Maron I'd have a zinger when Joan died. But I didn't think she ever would. She felt eternal, and anyway, zingers are her territory. That being said, Joan is gone but a piece of her lives on: her nose, because it's made of polyurethane."
A plethora of comedians also shared their praise for Rivers, including Kathy Griffin, Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, Wanda Sykes, Arsenio Hall, Tim Allen and Kevin Hart, as well as celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Boy George, Samuel L. Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, La Toya Jackson, Martha Stewart, Naomi Campbell, Brad Paisley, Alec Baldwin, Josh Groban, Maria Shriver, Simon Pegg, William Shatner, Ariana Grande, Vanessa Williams, Julianne Moore and John Stamos.
Suicidal Tendencies bassist Tim 'rawbiz' Williams has died. The rock band announced the news in a statement posted on Facebook.com on Wednesday (27Aug), but no further details about his death have been disclosed.
The message reads, "It's with complete sadness that we have to announce the passing of bassist Tim 'Rawbiz' Williams. Tim played bass for Suicidal Tendencies for almost four years until recently. Tim was a monster on bass, running around on stage in the pit, giving his all, even when his body wasn't at its best. We will always remember him and appreciate all the kind words by those that were touched by his bass playing and him personally."
Williams performed with the band for four years and played on its latest album, 13, which was released in 2013.
Newlywed R&B star Kelly Rowland has confirmed rumours she is pregnant with her first child. The former Destiny's Child singer sparked speculation she was hiding a baby bump on Saturday (07Jun14), when she performed at a concert in Oklahoma wearing an uncharacteristically over-sized outfit.
She has since gone public with her pregnancy secret by taking to Instagram.com on Tuesday (10Jun14) to share a photo of her man's Air Jordan sneakers, alongside a matching infant-sized pair. In the accompanying caption, she writes, "I'll be stuntin (sic) like my daddy..."
The news comes a month after Rowland married her manager Tim Witherspoon in a private ceremony in Costa Rica, which was attended by her former bandmates Beyonce and Michelle Williams.
Rowland's kid will be the second Destiny's Child baby - Beyonce is mother to two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy.
Former Destiny'S Child star Kelly Rowland's wedding secret is out - editors at People magazine in America have obtained the singer's wedding snaps. The 33 year old exchanged vows with music manager Tim Witherspoon in Costa Rica at the weekend (10-11May14) and sources tell the publication that the small wedding party included her former bandmates Beyonce and Michelle Williams.
The insider says, "Kelly was really happy, Tim was happy, and it was a great break for everybody from the normal grind, but now they're all going back to work."
Rowland told People that she was planning a low-key wedding at the end of last year (13), stating, "I think we really just want it to be us and our pastor. That's it."
In the promotional materials for this summer's Sex Tape, there's a whole lot of Jason Segel. The actor and his costar Cameron Diaz appear in various stages of undress, including altogether naked. Segel, of course, is no stranger to taking off his clothes for the camera. The former How I Met Your Mother star was famously nude multiple times in his breakout hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Many people found his nudity refreshing, given that it is usually women who are objectified sans wardrobe on the big screen, but Sarah Marshall costars Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis kept their clothes on. No matter how you slice it, though, Segel's seems to be another example of the double standard.
When an actor with an imperfect body like Segel or Robin Williams doffs their clothes for a scene, it's typically seen as funny. When Lena Dunham does it on HBO's Girls, it results in social media posts imploring the actress to keep her clothes on and questions at press conferences about whether all the nudity is necessary.
Seemingly, for an actress to play an acceptable nude scene it either needs to be completely required by the story — think Halle Berry in Monster's Ball or Jodie Foster in The Accused — or she has to look really, really good naked (as far as the vocal public is concerned). There isn't an apt comparison for a woman, but when an actor like Jonah Hill or Mark Wahlberg comes out and openly states that he used a prosthetic device to cover his anatomy for a nude scene, everyone just shrugs. An actress can get away with using a body double occasionally, but if she's going to do a nude scene the audience by and large expects to see the real deal… and if she wants to have surgery to enhance certain features then all the better.
Segel, and a lot of male stars, can get away with being naked without issue because our society views male and female sexuality differently. In much the same way, there's no question about whether Segel's character would really be with a former model such as Diaz, while Dunham was questioned about her character's "unrealistic" fling with the very handsome Patrick Wilson.
Segel learned his craft under the tutelage of Judd Apatow, who is also a producer on Dunham's show. Aptatow has long been a proponent of creative uses of nudity. When the writer/producer/director was confronted about the amount of time that Dunham spends nude on Girls by The Wrap's Tim Malloy, he defended the practice for both sexes: "There's male nudity in Walk Hard [helmed by Sex Tape director Jake Kasdan]. I have people naked when they're willing to do it," Apatow said. "Lena is confident enough to do it so we have the opportunity to talk about other issues because she is braver than other people. If Paul Rudd said to me, I'm willing to be completely naked in the movie, I would use it. If Seth [Rogen] said he was willing to be completely naked — he showed his butt in a post-sex scene in Knocked Up — I would use it because it's more honest.”
While it's commendable that Apatow thinks that we should look at nudity across the board, the truth is that many people just don't see it the same way. Most of society continues to have an unrealistic expectation of women, wanting them to fit by turns into both sexual and asexual standard: the age-old Madonna-whore complex. Questioning Dunham's right to have her character naked without questioning Segel's or Kasdan's decision making process is inherently sexist… there's just no getting around that.
Benjamin Franklin, himself a fan of nudity, once told his fellow Founding Fathers, "We must all hang together or we will most assuredly hang apart." Similarly, it's either all right for all actors and actresses to be nude — regardless of body type — or it needs to be criticized equally for both sexes.
Quite simply, naked freedom for one should mean naked freedom for all.
DJ Avicii had a strange Thursday (27Mar14) - he was hospitalised hours after picking up two big honours at Germany's answer to the Grammy Awards. The Swedish dance music star was forced to scrap his Miami, Florida concert on Thursday night after he fell ill.
As WENN went to press it wasn't clear what prompted the Wake Me Up hitmaker to check into hospital, but his health emergency came just hours after he learned he'd won honours for Best Electronic Dance Music Act and Best Single for Wake Me Up at the Echo Music Awards in Berlin.
The DJ, real name Tim Bergling, wasn't at the ceremony as he was preparing for his show in Florida.
Echo winners also included: Robbie Williams (Best International Rock/Pop Artist - Male), Birdy (Best International Rock/Pop Artist - Female), Depeche Mode (Best International Rock/Pop Group), Eminem (Best International Hip Hop/Urban Artist), German rockers Die Toten Hosen (Best Live Act), Tim Bendzko (Best National Rock/Pop Artist - Male), Ina Muller (Best National Rock/Pop Artist - Female), violinist and YouTube sensation Lindsey Sterling (Best Crossover Act), Helene Fischer (Album of the Year for Farbenspiel), and Swiss singer Beatrice Egli, who stunned experts by beating favourites Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to the Best International Newcomer award.
The show featured performances by Kylie Minogue, James Blunt and Birdy, among others, and Swiss duo Yello stunned the audience with a live remix of their 1985 hit Oh Yeah, recorded on Boris Blank's cellphone as they collected the Echo award for Lifetime Achievement.
ABC Television Network
Nashville, the brainchild of Academy Award-winning writer Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), started off with a ton of promise. The pilot was heavily promoted and the audience that tuned in was treated to an inside look at the clashing generations within the country music industry... a real life storyline that has been repeating ever since the advent of rock-and-roll. Connie Britton seemed to take her Friday Night Lights character and make her a successful music icon along the lines of Reba McEntire, while Hayden Panettiere schemed convincingly as the up-and-coming singer who's part Taylor Swift, part ice princess.
Early on, the show focused on the yin and the yang of Britton and Panettiere's relationship, with the former's Rayna Jaymes stuck in a career rut and Panettiere's Juliette Barnes more interested in kicking the established Queen of Country while she's down than helping her get back up. Throw in Charles Esten's caught-in-the-middle guitarist and there was plenty of drama to go around. Certainly, there were some soap opera elements — the parentage of Rayna's older daughter and the political machinations of her husband and powerful father among them — but as long as Britton and Panettiere were at the center the show stayed fairly even keel.
Then came the back half of the first season and things started to go off track. After initially steering clear of cameos, despite shooting on-location in Nashville, suddenly every member of the Grand Ole Opry started popping up to squeeze in a line or two. Juliette's mother appeared and brought a little too much crazy, while Rayna's husband became the mayor and left her for Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Season 2 became even more scattered as the focus shifted to ancillary characters like Clare Bowen's Scarlett and Sam Palladio's Gunnar. Next thing you know, there are assassination plots and a murder-suicide, Juliette is ostracized for questioning the existence of God, and Rayna finds her Tim McGraw in Will Chase's Luke.
Enough! While it's fine that the show has some soap opera elements — so do Scandal and Grey's Anatomy — Nashville has gone so far off-course that some fans have already abandoned it. It's not completely a lost cause, though. With the second season winding down, there are still ways to fix it.
For starters, keep the cameos to a minimum. Just because Rascal Flatts or some NASCAR driver is available doesn't mean that you need to put them on the show. Once and a while is fine, but not every episode... and not when there really isn't any purpose to their being around. Next, lose the political intrigue. No offense to Eric Close, but we don't really care about Mayor Teddy.
Most importantly, put the focus back on Rayna and Juliette. Britton and Panettiere aren't just capable actresses, at their best they are both mesmerizing. Preventing them from engaging with each other — whether in conflict or in country congeniality — is like moving Scandal's Olivia Pope out of D.C.; the whole reason for the show would be lost. Keeping Juliette down too long is a mistake, just as it would be to tone down her ego or her conniving. We don't need her in a happy relationship with Jonathan Jackson's Avery... we need her using all of her assets to get back to the top.
Similarly, Britton needs a good, juicy storyline to sink her teeth into. Having a happy and contented Rayna is not in the best interest of the show. She should be scraping and clawing to maintain her career, not chit-chatting with other country music royalty about her fledgling record label.
The show is teetering on the brink of oblivion — or, worse, irrelevance — and needs to act fast to bring back into focus the stories that drew us in at first. Otherwise, it will be a tough sell to get viewers to come back for season three… if there even is one.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Kimora Lee Simmons has reported tied the knot with her banker boyfriend Tim Leissner in a secret ceremony. The model-turned-fashion designer has yet to confirm the news that she has wed for a second time, but her ex-husband, rap mogul Russell Simmons, has fuelled the rumours by defending his former wife amid reports she's dating Cash Money Records CEO Bryan 'Birdman' Williams are dating.
In a tweet on Wednesday (19Feb14), Simmons, wrote, "All of us love @OfficialKimora but the fact is she is happily married. Tim has been family for a while now."
Kimora and Leissner, an executive at American investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, were spotted sporting rings on their left wedding fingers during a vacation in December (13). During their island getaway to St. Barts, the couple was joined by her ex-husband and their two daughters, and her son, Kenzo, with ex-boyfriend Djimon Hounsou.
Kimora and the music mogul finalised their divorce in 2009, while she and Hounsou split in 2012 after five years of dating.