Superproducer Mark Ronson rush-released his collaboration with Bruno Mars after suffering a "panic attack" when it was debuted by another singer on The X Factor. The pop pairing was due to unveil the joint song Uptown Funk with a performance on the U.K. talent show last year (14) but the planned moment did not go ahead and one of the contestants was allowed to sing the track instead.
Ronson has now confessed he was terrified that wannabe star Fleur East's version of his song would become a hit before he had even put out the official release, so he moved the date from January (15) to December (14).
The move paid off when Ronson and Mars hit number one in the U.K. singles chart last month (Dec14).
Ronson tells The Sunday Times Style magazine, "We were going to perform it and, at the last minute, couldn't, and maybe that's why Simon (Cowell) said, 'We'll do the song anyway.' Maybe there's some blanket Illuminati agreement that goes on behind closed doors about all Sony stuff, but I have no idea...
"All of a sudden, you're, like, 'Is half of England going to discover this girl's version before ours?' It definitely took me by surprise and, basically, for a minute, I had a panic attack - and then it just turned out to be a good thing."
Music mogul Simon Cowell has blasted Lily Allen's allegation of corruption in the music industry and told her to stop "bleating" on. The X Factor boss was riled when the Smile hitmaker criticised the early release of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' new single, Uptown Funk, after it was performed on the U.K. reality show on Saturday (06Dec14) by contestant Fleur East.
Ronson's single has already raced to the top of the iTunes chart following the early release and Allen has sent a series of tweets, which she later deleted, slamming the move.
During East's performance, Allen wrote on Twitter.com, "Well done to Sony for managing to get a not yet released song of theirs sung on prime time weekend telly. It is an amazing song. Fleur did it justice but it's still a great example of music industry corruption."
Cowell revealed he was relieved he did not chose Allen to sit on the judging panel as they had previously discussed, and dismissed her claims as "b**locks".
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "Lily should stop bleating on about all this. Fleur needed this break, got a chance, she totally killed it. Why not be happy for another artist and say congratulations instead of thinking of some stupid conspiracy theory. The irony is I spoke to Lily about being a judge. And from what I took from the meeting, she was seriously considering it. Thank God I said no. She'd be a barrel of laughs.
"Let me tell you the real story. Someone I work with asked, 'Have you heard this song?' I said no. We got to the first chorus, and I said, 'I'm doing it with Fleur'. On Monday I get a call saying Mark and Bruno are doing it at the final. I say we won't do it. Thursday I get a call, they are not doing the final, so I said, 'OK, I'm doing the song with Fleur'."
Pop star Taylor Swift, music mogul Simon Cowell, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and British comedian Lenny Henry have been ranked among the most powerful figures in the U.K. media.
The 2014 MediaGuardian 100 poll, compiled by editors at the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, features those who boast the most pulling power and have had the biggest impact on national art, advertising, technology and journalism in the past year. Google co-founder Larry Page tops the new survey, followed by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook at two and three, respectively, but actor-turned-diversity campaigner Henry is the highest-ranked star at eight.
Swift crashes in at 10 and becomes the highest woman on the list, while British music executive and TV mogul Cowell places at number 18.
Further down the list, outspoken comedian and political commentator Russell Brand is at 37, actor Benedict Cumberbatch ranks at 50 and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes is at 58. Director David Lynch (67) and Girls creator and star Lena Dunham (92) also feature, while Kanye West's wife Kim Kardashian just makes the cut at 100.
The new U.K. list has been released on the same day Swift was named to Time magazine's shortlist for the coveted Person of the Year title.
Irish singer Kian Egan has quashed rumours that Westlife are set for a reunion. The Flying Without Wings hitmakers are reportedly negotiating with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco, to blaze the comeback trail with a new album and a 2016 tour.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "Syco started the talks about getting Westlife back for an album. The idea now is that a new album could be released late next year with a tour to follow in 2016. The lads still have a massive following that would buy a new album in their droves and pay big money to see them again live.
"Syco want another big banker of an album and Westlife are their most successful act commercially. All the guys are up for it in principle. It's now just a matter of sorting out all the details."
However, Egan was quick to refute the rumours that he would be rejoining Brian McFadden, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Nicky Byrne on stage once more.
He posted on his Twitter.com page, "Guys Im sorry to say but I don't know where these rumours are coming from about a Westlife reunion but it's untrue. Sorry."
Westlife formed in 1998 and McFadden left the group in 2004. The four-piece disbanded in June 2012.
Funnyman David Walliams penned a children's book inspired by his pal Simon Cowell's baby son because he had no idea how else to congratulate the music mogul on becoming a dad. The Little Britain star has branched into writing kids' literature and he put his new skill to the test when he wanted to mark the birth of Eric and congratulate Cowell and the baby's mother, Lauren Silverman.
Walliams reportedly presented The X Factor boss with 50 copies of the book backstage at a TV studio in May (14), and he has now revealed the reason for the special project.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "It's very hard to know what to get a billionaire who has everything he wants in life, so I wrote a book especially for him and Lauren."
Simon Cowell celebrated his upcoming 55th birthday with a surprise party in London on Sunday night (21Sep14) organized by his partner Lauren Silverman.
The X Factor mogul was joined by famous friends including British pop star Cheryl Cole and her new husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, singer-turned-TV personality Alesha Dixon, funnyman David Walliams and former actress Amanda Holden. The party took place at Italian restaurant Scalini two weeks before Cowell hits the milestone on 7 October (14). He was presented with a cake which recreated The X Factor judging panel with Cowell's baby son Eric in the hotseat along with the music mogul's beloved dogs.
Walliams, who is a judge on Cowell's Britain's Got Talent show, tweeted after the bash. "Loved seeing @Amanda_Holden & @AleshaOfficial at @SimonCowell 's birthday... Sadly after my speech I won't be invited back on BGT (Britain's Got Talent)."
X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer made good on a bet with his assistant after agreeing to get a tattoo if the film crossed the $700 million (GBP422 million) mark at the global box office. The latest X-Men movie opened in cinemas in May (14) to overwhelming success, raking in $110 million (GBP69 million) in the U.S. in its debut weekend alone.
When the superhero film passed the $500 million (GBP301.5 million) benchmark, Singer's assistant inked the official round X-Men symbol on his calf, and challenged his boss to do the same if and when the film passed $700 million.
Singer shared a photo of the new tattoo on Instagram.com last month (Jul14), and wrote, "My assistant kept his end of the bet. Tattoo at 500mil. Sucka (sic)! Yet now we are passed 700 it's (screenwriter Simon) Kinberg and my turn."
And on Wednesday (20Aug14), Singer made good on his wager, posting a photo of himself getting inked at Los Angeles' Shamrock Social Club tattoo parlour.
Offering moral support, Sir Patrick Stewart, who plays Professor X in the franchise, was on hand during the session to observe as the tattoo artist got to work on Singer's calf.
The director added the caption, "Getting my X-Tattoo with @sirpatstew witnessing midnight," while Stewart tweeted, "I'm great support staff."
The success of the film is a real tonic for Singer, who pulled out of promoting the movie after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. The case has since been dismissed.
Hit comedy The Inbetweeners 2 has soared to the top of the U.K. box office chart with opening weekend (08-10Aug14) takings of $21.3 million (£12.5 million). The comedy sequel, which stars James Buckley and Simon Bird, knocked Guardians of the Galaxy from the top spot. The superhero blockbuster fell to number two with takings of $5.7 million (£3.3 million).
The sequels continued to reign at the box office as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hung on at number three with $3 million (£1.7 million) and Planes 2: Fire & Rescue made it to number four at around the $1.7 million (£1 million) mark.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 rounded off the chart at number five, taking $1.5 million (£893,792).
The Inbetweeners 2 set a new British cinema record with its mid-week opening, which netted £2.7 million ($4.6 million).
British singer Sam Smith is in talks to record the theme tune for the next James Bond movie, according to a U.K. report. The Stay With Me singer would follow in the footsteps of superstars including Adele, Madonna and Dame Shirley Bassey if he is picked to sing the anthem for the next film in the 007 franchise.
Bond star Daniel Craig is reportedly keen for Adele to follow up on her 2012 Oscar-winning theme tune for Skyfall, but producers are said to want to sign up Smith instead.
A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Sam is our top choice. He has the profile, cool image and astonishing voice to record a Bond theme.
"And there is only so long we can hold out for Adele. Daniel Craig was pushing for her because she did such a great job last time around."
The coveted job would be a major boost for 22-year-old Smith's already blossoming career and it would mark the first time a British male singer has recorded the Bond theme tune in three decades. Rocker Simon Le Bon was the last British male to sing a Bond theme when he recorded A View to a Kill with Duran Duran in 1985.
Director Simon West is using crowdfunding for his next movie so he can avoid drawn-out talks with film studio bosses. The Expendables 2 filmmaker is using crowdfunding site Syndicateroom.com in a bid to raise $3 million (£1.8 million) for his upcoming action comedy Salty, based on the novel by Mark Haskell Smith.
Every backer of the project will become a shareholder who can make money if the movie turns a profit. Investors who donate more than $153,000 (£90,000) will be offered a minor role and those handing over more than $68,000 (£40,000) will get to meet the cast on set.
West decided to break away from film studio funding so he could have more control over the movie.
He says, "Salty is the type of film I've wanted to make for years - a tantalising cocktail of anarchic comedy, action and exotic locations. With a script that's Spinal Tap meets The Hangover, I plan to shoot Salty in a style packed with energy, fun and glamour.
"During my two decades in the movie business I've funded films in a variety of ways, but for this one I was determined to break away from the big budget, big studio model. With the studios' deep pockets comes bureaucracy that's inefficient, expensive and which can stifle creativity.
"Salty will be different - and not just because it's the first time smaller investors have been able to buy into a major film's potential returns. As it's a privately funded film, my production team and I will keep creative control while keeping costs down, while also giving free rein to the very best the cast and crew have to offer."
West also directed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Con Air.