Filmmaker Adam Mckay has thrown his support behind an anti-gun violence campaign by shooting a parody video taking aim at members of the U.S. Congress for allegedly accepting campaign funds from gun lobbyists. The Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy director has teamed up with activists at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to call out the politicians who are purposefully blocking new safety legislation, which would expand background checks on those wishing to purchase firearms, out of loyalty to corporation bosses donating campaign cash to keep them in office.
The video footage features a man posing as a congressman begging for a cash handout and compares him to real-life lap dogs as a voiceover states, "There's another kind of lap dog that's just as docile and submissive: members of Congress that belong to the corporate gun lobby. If you've got a treat or campaign money, he'll do whatever they want."
The campaign website lists Congress' biggest culprits, which allegedly include House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Marco Rubio, among many others.
In a statement, McKay adds, "If a lap dog could serve in Congress, they would do whatever the gun lobby wanted for a piece of bacon or a doggy treat. But lap dogs can't be elected to Congress, so the gun lobby got these shameless congressmen to sit and roll over for campaign checks.
"They are good little doggies who don't give a hang about the safety of innocent Americans. It's time they were finally recognized for their blind obedience to the almighty dollar."
Pitbull has signed up to host the American Music Awards again after his debut last year (13) turned into ratings gold.
The rapper will front the 2014 show from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on 23 November (14), and admits he's thrilled to be back. He says, "World, who would have thought Pitbull hosting the AMAs two years in a row. The harder I work, the luckier I get. Thank you (TV producers at) ABC and Dick Clark Productions for the amazing opportunity. More than anything, let's get ready to have fun."
Pitbull will also perform, along with Charli XCX. Other acts and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks. Iggy Azalea leads all nominations with six, just ahead of John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams, who each have five. Meanwhile, AMA bosses have hit back at Sinead O'Connor's claims she was uninvited from performing at this year's awards ceremony because The Pope was not interested in introducing her.
In a post on her website earlier this month (Oct14), the singer claimed Dick Clark Productions officials reached out to the pontiff and asked him to introduce O'Connor, who famously ripped up a photo of his predecessor as part of a protest against the Catholic Church during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, and he refused to get back to them. As a result, Sinead alleges show bosses dumped her planned performance. But sources close to AMA officials insist the Nothing Compares 2 U hitmaker has her facts all wrong, telling TMZ.com her remarks are ridiculous.
Celebrities including Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran helped raise $23.2 million (£14.5 million) during the U.K. Stand Up To Cancer telethon on Friday (17Oct14).
The "Toxic" hitmaker took part in a sketch called "Andy Murray: The Movie", in which celebrities were auditioning for parts in the upcoming biopic of the Scottish tennis player's life. Spears tried out for the role of Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears with a fake Cockney accent, while Williams tried a Scottish twang as he auditioned for Murray. Others trying out for parts included Ed Sheeran, who played "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by Scottish group The Proclaimers, while Andy Serkis filmed his audition in a motion capture suit. Swift took on British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for a 'bake it off' competition sketch, where they were supposed to each make a chocolate cake. However, Oliver began singing and dancing to a revamped version of her new single Shake It Off and the pair ended up pulling funny moves and throwing food around.
British rocker Noel Gallagher teamed up with supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell for a celebrity version of Gogglebox, where viewers are filmed watching TV. The trio watched reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor and gave a comedic running commentary. Also during the broadcast, Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey revived their Men Behaving Badly characters for the first time in 16 years for a one-off sketch about testicular cancer. Will Ferrell appeared as his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy, giving a news report on cancer, Sherlock star Martin Freeman took part in a magic card trick with celebrity illusionist Derren Brown, and Nicole Scherzinger and John Legend were interviewed during a live taping of chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man. At the end of the live telethon, $23.2 million had been raised for Cancer Research U.K.
Singer John Legend has dismissed rumours his friend Jay Z is heading towards a split from wife Beyonce.
The showbiz supercouple has been under the spotlight in recent weeks amid reports their marriage is in trouble, but Legend, who has worked with the rapper on a number of tracks, is adamant his pal is not worried about the false gossip. Legend tells Jo Parkerson of British radio station Magic FM:
"I think all of us (friends) are aware of what people are saying and we probably care a little bit but we also know they don't know everything that's happening. And so when you hear all this speculation about Jay and Beyonce getting divorced... If you're Jay, you know the truth. "You can only let the rumours affect you so much... He knows the truth and he's pretty mellow as well. He's cool and collected and he knows how to take it all in his stride."
R&B singer John Legend and his supermodel wife Chrissy Teigen are selling their Los Angeles mansion for $2 million (£1.25 million) to trade up for a larger property. The couple, which wed last year (13), purchased the Hollywood Hills home in 2007, but now Legend and Teigen are seeking a bigger property as they continue with the next phase of their married lives.
The three-bedroom home was built in the 1960s and has a combined living room, dining room and kitchen, which opens onto a deck.
Legend tells the Wall Street Journal that they are looking for a new home in the same area, and are hoping to find a place similar to the one they're putting on the market.
He says, "We're ready to expand a little bit. If we could have the twice-as-big version of this place, we would get it. We love the feel of this home."
The Doors are to be honoured with the 2014 Inspiration Award at the upcoming Classic Rock Awards in Los Angeles. The two existing members of the group, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, will accept the accolade on behalf of late bandmates Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison at the first U.S.-based awards ceremony in the 10th year of the British magazine's annual prizegiving.
Densmore and Krieger have released a statement which reads: "In 1965 and '66, our brothers across the pond were making a lot of beautiful noise, and we attempted to create our own magical sound out here on the west coast. It's really nice to see them now turning around, coming back here to L.A., and recognizing what the four of us accomplished together on a beach in Venice, CA.
"To receive this award on our own soil, from the Brits, is an honor, and we take it as a sign of respect, so thank you, from us and on behalf of our fallen brothers, Jim and Ray."
Previous Inspiration Award recipients include Rory Gallagher, Jon Lord, Steve Marriott, Ronnie James Dio and Phil Lynott.
The event, which will be hosted by Sammy Hagar on 4 November (14), will also be a special night for Gregg Allman, the recipient of this year's Living Legend Award.
Black Sabbath, The Black Keys, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Queen + Adam Lambert will compete for the night's Band of the Year honour, while the coveted Album Of The Year award will be a battle between Bruce Springsteen (High Hopes), Judas Priest (Redeemer Of Souls), Motorhead (Aftershock), Pearl Jam (Lightning Bolt) and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (Hypnotic Eye), among others.
Stevie Wonder cancelled a transatlantic flight to record his contribution to a charity cover of the Beach Boys classic God Only Knows after missing the session when he fell sick. The soul legend is one of several stars who sing a line in the track, including Sir Elton John, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Chris Martin, and Kylie Minogue.
However, Wonder was forced to sit out the main recording session when he was struck down with a bout of influenza, and when he had recovered enough, the Superstition hitmaker cancelled his flight home to return to the studio.
Sam Walker, creative director at Karmarama, the team behind the fundraising track, says, "This was almost certainly the lowest point in the whole project. We were gutted and were on the verge of giving up but then another call came through, to say that he was back in if we could record and shoot him the following day.
"He would move his flights back if we could say yes in the next fifteen minutes. It took about 30 seconds to make the decision."
When Wonder finally got to sing his line in the song, Walker and his team watched in awe: "It sounded amazing and we were blown away. Without doubt, having been that close to not getting him, it is definitely one of the highest points in the whole two and a half years. And to top it all off he's such nice bloke as well."
The song was recorded in aid of the BBC's Children in Need fundraising telethon, which is due to take place next month (Nov14).
Chris Brown will lead the way at the 2014 Soul Train Awards after scoring seven nominations. The Kiss Kiss hitmaker is bouncing back from months of legal troubles, which included a prison stint earlier this year (14) after he was kicked out of a court-ordered rehab programme for anger management, and now he has been given a career boost. He will compete for the titles of Song of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year, Best Dance Performance and Best Collaboration for his track Loyal, featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga.
His New Flame duet with Usher is shortlisted for Video of the Year, while he will fight for Best R&B/Soul Male Act against the likes of five-time nominee Pharrell Williams, Trey Songz and John Legend.
Meanwhile, Williams will go head-to-head with Beyonce, who has notched up six nods, for Album of the Year. Other nominees in the coveted category are John Legend, Drake, Janelle Monae and Michael Jackson, whose posthumous release, Xscape, makes the shortlist.
Beyonce and Monae are also in the running for Best R&B/Soul Female Act, alongside Jennifer Hudson and Jhene Aiko.
The 2014 Soul Train Awards, which celebrate the best in black music, will take place in Las Vegas on 7 November (14).
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea looks set to dominate the upcoming American Music Awards after scoring six nominations. The hip-hop star has landed a slew of top nods ahead of next month's (Nov14) ceremony in categories including Artist Of The Year, New Artist Of The Year, Favorite Artist - Rap/Hip-Hop and Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock.
Her chart-topping hit Fancy will also compete for Single Of The Year, while The New Classic is in the running for Favorite Album - Rap/Hip-Hop.
She faces fierce competition from another female star, Katy Perry, who is hot on her heels with five nominations. The Roar singer will go up against Azalea for the coveted Artist Of The Year trophy, along with stars including Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, One Direction and Lorde, among others.
Perry's Dark Horse will face Azalea's Fancy in the singles category, while the pair will also do battle with Lorde in the Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock category.
John Legend and Pharrell Williams also have five nominations each, while Lorde is up for four.
The prizes will be handed out at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on 23 November (14).
The main nominations are as follows:
Artist Of The Year:
New Artist Of The Year:
5 Seconds of Summer
Single Of The Year:
Iggy Azalea - Fancy
John Legend - All of Me
MAGIC! - Rude
Katy Perry - Dark Horse
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Favorite Male Artist - Pop/Rock:
Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock:
Favorite Band, Duo Or Group - Pop/Rock:
Favorite Album - Pop/Rock:
Lorde - Pure Heroine
One Direction - Midnight Memories
Katy Perry - Prism
Favorite Male Artist - Country:
Favorite Female Artist - Country:
Favorite Band, Duo Or Group - Country:
Eli Young Band
Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Album - Country:
Garth Brooks - Blame It On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences
Eric Church - The Outsiders
Brantley Gilbert - Just As I Am
Favorite Artist - Rap/Hip-Hop:
Favorite Album - Rap/Hip-Hop:
Iggy Azalea - The New Classic
Drake - Nothing Was The Same
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Favorite Male Artist - Soul/R&B:
Favorite Female Artist - Soul/R&B:
Mary J. Blige
Favorite Album - Soul/R&B:
Beyonce - Beyonce
John Legend - Love in the Future
Pharrell Williams - G I R L.
Punk legend John Lydon has urged Brits to ignore Russell Brand's pleas to stop voting. Brand has caused controversy in recent months by calling for a revolution to overthrow the democratic system in his native U.K. and urging citizens not to support politicians by voting in elections.
The former Sex Pistols star has now slammed Brand as a "phoney" and called anti-voting activists "'bumholes", insisting that if Brits want to change politics they should "engage with it not reject it".
During an appearance at Britain's Cheltenham Literature Festival, Lydon says, "I'll tell you what rubbishes politics for me - when celebrities get involved. I'm very, very wary of tagging my name in to support any of these f**king phoney b**tards. But don't be like Russell Brand and bumholes like that. If you don't vote, you don't count. You've got to start local. There's f**k all on TV, so go to town hall meetings and give them f**king hell. I've been thrown out of so many town halls. I'm not being flippant. If you don't start locally you're not going to change the world."