Actress Essence Atkins added wedding officiant to her resume over the weekend (30-31Aug14) by presiding over the nuptials between her best friend Gabrielle Union and basketball ace Dwyane Wade. The Bad Boys II star decided against having bridesmaids accompany her down the aisle in Miami, Florida on Saturday, and instead turned to her close pal and former Deliver Us from Eva co-star Atkins and her husband, Jaime Mendez, to lead the ceremony.
Speaking before the weekend celebration, Atkins revealed she got ordained some time ago, but admitted Union and Wade's wedding was going to be her first time serving as an officiant.
She said, "I'm actually officiating the ceremony... My husband and I are officiating the ceremony. My husband did the ceremony for (actor) Alfonso Ribeiro about two years ago and then they (Union and Wade) asked us to do it together, so we are officiating."
Guests at the Chateau Artisan castle ceremony reportedly included comedian Kevin Hart and Wade's basketball star pals LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Carmelo Anthony, while R&B star John Legend was on hand to serenade the newlyweds.
Blues legend Johnny Winter's final album will be a star-studded affair featuring famous friends including Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons, Dr. John and Joe Perry. The guitar great passed away suddenly in Switzerland in July (14), but not before he had completed work on a last album, titled Step Back.
His longtime bandmate Paul Nelson has produced the record, which also features Joe Bonamassa and Brian Setzer, and ZZ Top star Gibbons admits it was a dream come true to work with his idol.
He tells WENN, "I never had the opportunity to jam with him (and so) I was content to remain in awe and admiration."
Aerosmith star Perry adds, "If it was not for Johnny Winter, I would have never picked up the guitar."
Highlights of the album include Perry and Winter's collaboration on Lightnin' Hopkins' Mojo Hand, and Winter's cover of Bobby 'Blue' Bland's Don't Want No Woman with Clapton.
Actress Gabrielle Union wed sports star Dwyane Wade in an intimate ceremony in Florida on Saturday (30Aug14). The Bad Boys II star wore a Dennis Basso gown as she exchanged vows with the basketball ace in front of a small gathering of family and friends at the 'Chateau Artisan' moated castle in Miami.
R&B singer John Legend performed for guests, who were also treated to a 1930s-style juke joint-themed reception, according to People.com.
Union and Wade, who have been dating since 2009, have both been married before - the actress divorced U.S. football star Chris Howard in 2006 after five years of marriage, while Wade's union to Siohvaughn Funches, the mother of two of his sons, lasted from 2002 until their divorce in 2010.
The Miami Heat star also fathered another boy with longtime friend Aja Metoyer during a brief split from Union last year (13).
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack are set to team up for an upcoming episode of Cmt Crossroads. The singers will hit the stage together for a concert in Franklin, Tennessee in September (14) for the show which pairs up country artists with musicians in other genres.
John Hamlin, the senior Vice-president of music, events and talent at CMT, says, "Having John and Lee Ann join us on CMT Crossroads is going to be an incredible pairing - they are both among the most respected singers in their genres.
"This has all the makings of another classic Crossroads collaboration."
The CMT Crossroads concert series has previously paired up acts including Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and John Mayer and Carrie Underwood with Steven Tyler.
John Legend braved severe storms to conclude his North American tour in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday night (26Aug14).
Bad weather moved into the area around the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the hours before Legend was due to perform his final All of Me Tour concert at the outdoor venue.
The storms prompted fears the show would be cancelled as lightning strikes and heavy rain closed in, but Legend took to his Twitter.com page shortly before the concert to assure fans he still planned to perform, writing, "Denver, the show is happening tonight, rain or shine! On stage soon. Only thing that can shut us down is too much lightning. #AllOfMeTour (sic)."
The show went ahead as planned with Legend braving the rain and thunderstorms, and he later thanked fans for enduring the bad weather, writing, "Thank you Denver!!! We made it through the rain!! So much fun tonight! #AllOfMeTour... Tonight was the last North American stop on the #AllOfMeTour. Thanks to everybody who supported us! It was such a special tour!... It's time for a break now. I need it! We start up again in Asia late September."
Actors Mia Farrow and Dylan Mcdermott have led the tributes to their former co-star Lord Richard Attenborough, following the British movie icon's death on Sunday (24Aug14). The exact cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Attenborough had been living in a nursing home with his wife, Sheila Sim, and was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a serious fall in 2008.
McDermott, who starred alongside Attenborough in the 1994 reboot of Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the man who played Kris Kringle, and wrote, "Rest in peace Richard Attenborough. U (sic) were the best Santa ever."
Their co-star and former child actress Mara Wilson also added, "Sir Richard Attenborough was the only Santa Claus I ever believed in. A wonderful man. Still in shock right now. May he rest in peace."
News of Attenborough's death comes almost two weeks after Wilson's Mrs. Doubtfire co-star, Robin Williams passed away after committing suicide.
Mia Farrow, who worked with Attenborough in 1964's Guns at Batasi, also added her own tribute to her friend, and wrote, "Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP 'Pa' - and thank you," as well as comedian Ricky Gervais, who added, "RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen."
Other Twitter tributes have come from Edgar Wright, former 007 star Samantha Bond, Rob Schneider, Stephen Amell, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who noted that Attenborough's "acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," and adding, "Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."
Born in Cambridge, England, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II before pursuing an acting career.
He made his debut as a sailor in the 1942 film In Which We Serve and gained popular acclaim playing ruthless young thug Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock in 1947, eventually becoming a staple of countless British films over the next 30 years.
An accomplished stage actor, Attenborough was one of the original cast members of The Mousetrap, which went on to become the longest-running play in London's West End.
In the 1960s, he expanded his range of acting, taking on a variety of roles that exposed him to a wider audience - most notably as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett in 1963's The Great Escape.
Hitting his stride, Attenborough won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 1967 and 1968 - for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle.
But he'll be most fondly remembered for his behind-the-camera skills. In the late 1950s, he formed a production company, Beaver Films, and directed his first picture, Oh! What A Lovely War, in 1969.
He later scooped the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars in 1982 for his epic Gandhi, which also won him another Golden Globe Award the following year.
Other directorial credits followed - notably the 1992 biopic Chaplin, and classic 1993 movie Shadowlands - before Attenborough made a welcome return to the screen in 1993 as eccentric John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Attenborough won a total of eight Oscars during his career. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, and a knighthood came in 1976. In 1993, he was bestowed the honour of life peer, becoming Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames, London.
And in 2006, Attenborough and his brother David, a popular broadcaster and beloved nature expert, were awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester in recognition of their services to the university.
Attenborough was also later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and was an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.
On Boxing Day 2004, tragedy struck Attenborough's family when his eldest daughter Jane, her daughter Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, died in the devastating Asian tsunami.
His family is expected to make a full statement about his death on Monday (25Aug14).
John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the eighth time. Mark David Chapman, 59, who shot and killed the Beatles legend outside his Dakota Building home in New York in December, 1980, has lost his bid to walk free from prison.
A three-member board denied the parole request on Friday (22Aug14), following a hearing on Wednesday.
Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1981 and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Lennon's widow Yoko Ono wrote to officials when Chapman's parole application went back before the New York state's review board this week (beg18Aug14). In her letter she detailed her objections and urged the officials to keep Chapman behind bars.
He will now not be eligible for parole until 2016.
Representatives for John Legend, Metallica and Billy Joel have blasted National Football League bosses for reportedly asking next year's potential Super Bowl half-time performers to donate a portion of their post-show tour profits in order to appear. Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to perform at the U.S. football game in Glendale, Arizona in February (15), and NFL executives have asked them to give up cash they earn after the big show, insisting the Super Bowl gig is a huge money-earner for the act chosen to headline.
But the reported 'pay to play' request has been met with ire.
Metallica, Billy Joel and Rush's agent Dennis Arfa says, "Halftime's for sale! If I was a young band, and I had a billionaire backer, I'd buy my way to the Super Bowl - everybody would know me after the Super Bowl. But is Paul McCartney going to pay? I doubt it."
Meanwhile, John Legend and John Mayer's manager Troy Carter adds, "I'm not sure what artist in their right mind would give up a piece of their touring or ancillary sales to play the Super Bowl. If the NFL wants to charge artists to perform, I would just counter-program with another network and create our own halftime show.
"Let's say you put Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Meghan Trainor on one show during halftime - I'd be willing to bet you're going to get a pretty big audience."
In the past, performers have not paid or been paid for their top billing during the sports telecast, but they have been compensated for travel and production expenses.
John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman is awaiting a decision over whether he will finally be freed from prison after his eighth parole case this week (beg18Aug14). Chapman was sentenced to 20-years-to-life behind bars for gunning down the Beatles legend outside his New York City home in December, 1980.
He has been eligible for parole since 2000 but has seen seven previous applications turned down due to the gravity of his offence and the ongoing public outrage over the murder.
His parole application went back before the New York state's review board this week (beg18Aug14), but Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has already written a letter to the officials laying out her objections and urging them to keep Chapman locked up.
The killer, 59, will find out his fate in the coming days, according to the New York Daily News. If he is denied parole, he will have to wait another two years for his next review.
Rapper J.cole has paid tribute to a black teenager killed by a police officer in Missouri by releasing a new song dedicated to him. Darren Wilson shot unarmed Michael Brown, who was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a suburban St. Louis store, on 9 August (14), and the incident has sparked a series of tense protests between African-Americans and civil rights leaders and officials in the state.
As Governor Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama and Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson join forces in a bid to end days of violence, hip-hop star Cole has released Be Free to voice his frustrations with the deaths of African-American men in the U.S.
In a post on his website, Dreamvillain.com, he writes, "That coulda (sic) been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f**k if it's by police or peers. This s**t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel."
Cole is not the only celebrity to speak out about the incident in Missouri - John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have voiced concerns over the treatment of protesters by police following the shooting.
Legend took to Twitter.com to voice his opinion, writing, "I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on (news channel) CNN... He wants a fight.
"Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery... Dehumanization and racism go together."
Meanwhile, R&B star Frank Ocean took to Tumblr.com to comment on an image of Governor Nixon standing in front of a black woman as he addressed the slaying of Brown and wrote, "You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there... then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times."