Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and the man he replaced in the band, Mick Taylor, appear to have formed a new supergroup after hitting the stage together for an exclusive gig in New York on Thursday (07Nov13). Taylor joined Wood and his band onstage at the BluesFest in London at the beginning of the month (Nov13) after becoming fast friends with his Stones successor on their 50 and Counting Tour, during which the group's former guitarist joined his ex-bandmates for parts of their show.
And it seems the get together has become so much more - Wood and Taylor joined veteran musicians Al Kooper and Simon Kirke at New York's Cutting Room for one of the Big Apple's hottest tickets this week.
Fans including The Kinks star Ray Davies paid up to $300 (£200) to pack into the venue to see the new group's first official U.S. gig.
Among the old rockers' set list was one Stones track, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, and a host of blues classics from their heroes like Jimmy Reed.
He can sing, cook and now he shows us that he can act. One of our favorite Idols chats with us about winning American Idol, having his own Vegas show and his upcoming role on Law & Order: SVU.
You're the first 'American Idol' winner to score a Vegas residency. We hear it’s a great show.
I really love performing in Vegas. It’s pretty awesome to have your own show room and to be a part of such a historic landscape of entertainers that have had residencies here.
What is your favorite act in Las Vegas...other than yours?
There’s so many wonderful talented entertainers. I love all the Cirque Shows. It’s like asking me what my favorite song is. It’s a really hard question. It depends on your mood.
Can you tell us a little about your role on Law & Order: SVU?
I’ve been working with an acting coach for about a year now. I have been auditioning for scripted TV. What's great about this role is that I get to play myself, and I love the show. It's one of my favorites on TV.
Would you have any desire to judge American Idol?
I know the idea has been kicked around a lot. I would love to take on that role because I know a lot about it, and I would love to help up-and-coming artists get to really successful points in their careers, which is what I think American Idol does.
How was working with Clay Aiken and Ashanti?
Those two were wonderful to work with. Ashanti is as sweet as she can be, and we just had a ball on set. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope I get to see and work with them again.
We hear you’re working on a country album.
I definitely think it will be country, soulful music. Coming from the South and Alabama, you pick up on a lot of genres. Country music was definitely a big part of my life. I’m really blessed to be able to work in Nashville and live and work in Las Vegas and Birmingham - where I'm from - and to work with wonderful country artists and writers on this next record.
Who have you enjoyed performing with the most?
That’s a tough one. I think adding blues harmonica to "Gin and Juice" with Snoop Dogg was probably one of the best moments I’ve had as an entertainer. Adding blues to rap was the most innovative thought we had. Definitely a fun moment.
Any dream future collaborator?
I'd love to work with Paul Simon. He's one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I just really love his music, and I’ve been playing it for a long time. Hopefully our paths will cross.
Word is you’re a great cook. You even own your own restaurant, Saw's Juke Joint in your native Birmingham, Alabama. What inspired you to get into the restaurant business?
Well, I used to perform in that location long before my American Idol days. I was always around restaurants and clubs. I was always a foodie. When you’re from Alabama, you're born a foodie. I love the culinary arts, music and food. It’s the perfect match. Saw's is a wonderful combination of those. Live music, jalapeno poppers stuffed with BBQ and sweet tea fried chicken. It’s a soulful venue.
Do you ever play there?
I do. I sneak in and perform some nights. It’s always fun to come back and surprise folks.
You have a couple recipes in the new Taste of Home cookbook, Recipes Across America. Where'd you learn to cook?
My grandmother and my great-grandmother were always in the kitchen. I love to cook. I love big pasta diners with friends and family. Spaghetti is one of my favorites to cook for everybody. I don’t get to cook too much because I travel a lot, but when friends or family come over, we do pasta.
What will you do for Thanksgiving dinner?
I always like to take Thanksgiving to be with my family and friends. There's a lot of great cooking around, and there's always a festive atmosphere.
Lastly, I have to ask: How did it feel to win American Idol?
You know, it was one of those feelings that I will never forget for the rest of my life. As many years as I spent as a struggling musician, it all culminated in that moment...of catching my break. I am very grateful for that.
Catch Taylor on Law & Order: SVU on NBC Wednesday, November 6 at 9PM ET.
British actor Robson Green is officially single after a judge granted his divorce from Vanya Seager in just 40 seconds on Tuesday (29Oct13). The Soldier Soldier star split from his former model wife, a one-time personal assistant to Simon Cowell, in 2011 after 10 years of marriage.
On Tuesday, District Judge Caroline Reid signed off the divorce at a court in London.
After they separated two years ago, Green's hectic filming schedule was blamed for pushing them apart.
The pair is parents to 13 year old son Taylor.
Country star Taylor Swift defied her music managers' advice not to contribute a new song to the One Chance movie soundtrack after falling in love with the real-life underdog story. The film stars actor James Corden as cell phone salesman Paul Potts, who shot to fame as an opera singer after winning Simon Cowell's reality TV show Britain's Got Talent in 2007.
Swift reveals she was on a recording break when she heard about the soundtrack opportunity, and she had to fight her representatives to break her radio silence and create the song Sweeter Than Fiction.
She says, "I had to fight to do this because I try to take a break in between albums and try to give people a minute to not hear me on the radio.
"I had to go around and ask people, 'Can I please, please put something out even though we're supposed to be going quiet?' My management, my label were like, 'No new music until the next album comes out.' Then I saw the movie and I was like, 'I have to be a part of this.'"
Swift teamed up with fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff to pen the upbeat track and they had no trouble coming up with ideas for the tune.
She adds, "Getting to see the struggles and triumphs of someone who never stopped chasing what he was after really inspired me. It's a beautiful movie and I just wanted to share it with as many people as I could."
Michael Buckner/Getty ImagesWhile most people scoffed when The Canyons director Paul Schrader compared its troubled star Lindsay Lohan to silver screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, they do have at least one thing in common – they've both been immortalised in song by Sir Elton John. Indeed, exactly 30 years after he penned "Candle In The Wind" as a tribute to the original Blonde Bombshell, the Rocket Man revealed this week that the closing title track from his new 31st studio album, The Diving Board, was based on watching the Mean Girls star's descent from talented actress to car-crash TMZ regular. Here's a look at five other songs that have been inspired by celebrities.
Alanis Morissette – "You Oughta Know"A tour-de-force of angst-ridden alt-rock, "You Oughta Know" transformed the Canadian from a Tiffany-esque teen pop mall queen to the world's biggest banshee. But few would have expected the subject of her fury to have been such an unassuming figure as Uncle Joey from Full House. Despite his initial denials, Dave Coulier finally admitted in 2008 that he was in fact the man who stamped on Morissette's heart after they dated in the early '90s.
Madonna – "Miles Away"Best-known for possibly the most tacky album cover of all time and a bandwagon jumping collaboration with Timbaland & Timberlake, Madonna's much-maligned 2008 release, Hard Candy, wasn’t always so contrived. Indeed, this gorgeously melancholic electro-ballad was possibly one of the most honest and autobiographical songs of the Material Girl's career as she poured her heart out over the hardships of maintaining a long-distance relationship with now ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
Carly Simon – "You’re So Vain"Long before Taylor Swift turned the concept of 'blind gossip' into an art form, singer-songwriter Carly Simon got all the tabloids talking when she assassinated a former boyfriend's character on "You’re So Vain." Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty and James Taylor's names have all been thrown into the ring as possible suspects. But only Simon and the man who paid $50,000 to discover the answer back in 2003 appears to really know who the guilty party is.
R.E.M. - "Man On The Moon"Seven years before they wrote "The Great Beyond" for the Jim Carrey-starring biopic of the same name, R.E.M. paid tribute to the late cult comedian Andy Kaufmann with this enduring hit from Automatic For The People. Referencing everything from the Taxi star's flawless Elvis impersonation to his work with wrestlers Fred Blassie and Jerry Lawler, the track was named so due to the moon-landing style conspiracy theories surrounding his 1984 death.
Annie – "Me Plus One"Taken from her 2004 debut, Anniemal, "Me Plus One" saw Norwegian starlet Annie narrate the real-life moment when Geri Halliwell locked herself in a car with producer Richard X after discovering that he'd given the song she desperately wanted to record to former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens instead. Also sampling the barks of the former Spice Girl's dog Harry, this insanely catchy slice of electropop undoubtedly ranks as one of the more bizarre celebrity odes.
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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Taylor Swift has paid tribute to British opera singer Paul Potts by writing a song in his honour. The pop star was so moved by Potts' musical journey from amateur singer to superstar via TV show Britain's Got Talent in 2007 that she decided to pen a new track about it.
Swift has contributed the song to the soundtrack of a biopic about Potts, called One Chance, and film producer Harvey Weinstein credits music mogul Simon Cowell with getting the Love Story hitmaker involved.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail, "Simon knows her through the One Direction connection and he thought she'd be touched by the film and he was right because she was."
The single, titled Sweeter Than Fiction, will be unveiled on 6 September (13) when One Chance premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
Carly Simon has let Taylor Swift in on the biggest secret of her career after divulging the inspiration for her hit track You're So Vain. The young pop star brought the music veteran out on stage with her at a gig in Massachusetts on Saturday night (27Jul13) for a duet of Simon's famous song, which is long rumoured to have been written about one of the singer's famous former lovers.
Possible subjects have included James Taylor, Sir Mick Jagger and music mogul David Geffen, and Simon has never divulged the answer publicly, but she has now told Swift the secret.
Speaking in a joint interview with Simon backstage on her RED tour, Swift says, "I was thinking she might tell you (the secret), but I do know now."
She adds of the song, "When I heard You're So Vain, I thought, 'That is the best song that has ever been written.' That is the most direct way anyone has ever addressed a break-up. It's amazing."
Twift has become famous for writing songs about her past relationships without divulging the famous names who inspired her hits.
Classical musician Min-Jin Kym is celebrating after her stolen $2 million (£1.3 million) antique violin was recovered last week (beg22Jul13), two years after the precious instrument was snatched. The internationally-renowned star's 300-year-old Stradivarius violin was discovered at a property in the Midlands, England more than two years after it was taken from a sandwich shop in north London.
The 2010 theft featured in special appeal on BBC TV programme Crimewatch and a man and two teenagers were later convicted of the crime in 2011, but the violin, along with two bows worth a combined total of more than $100,000 (£67,000), were not recovered.
Kym is thrilled her prized possession has been discovered intact with only very minor damage.
She tells the BBC, "I still can't believe it. Every moment of the day - even when I was sleeping - the loss of the instrument, the feeling of responsibility, was there.
"This had been the instrument I had been playing on since I was a teenager so it was a huge part of my identity for many years. Obviously it was devastating. (I now feel) an incredible feeling of elation. I'm still feeling the butterflies in my stomach."
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Taylor, who led the hunt, adds, "I always maintained that its (the violin's) rarity and distinctiveness would make any attempt to sell it extremely difficult, if not futile, because established arts and antiques dealers would easily recognise it as stolen property."
Police originally thought a violin recovered in Bulgaria in March (13) could have been the missing instrument, but an expert proved it was a replica.
"It was just so wonderful that I just wanna do it again. She was so great and she really led me through my own song." Carly Simon loved performing her break-up anthem You're So Vain onstage with Taylor Swift in Massachusetts on Saturday night (27Jul13).