Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay-Z joined demonstrations on the streets of New York City on Saturday (20Jul13) to protest against the controversial verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. The stars have been among the most outspoken critics since neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges after fatally shooting the 17 year old in Florida in 2012.
The not guilty verdict sparked numerous protests across the U.S. and the celebrity supercouple joined in by attending a rally in the Big Apple on Saturday.
The stars joined the protest outside the New York Police Department headquarters in Manhattan, along with civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton.
Beyonce has also urged fans to sign a petition stemming from the case by posted a link to Moveon.org on her official website, with the statement: "We are still struggling with the issue of inequality and the lack of value for a black man's life. Trayvon Martin's most basic civil right, the right to live, was violated.
"We have made so much progress and cannot allow hatred and racism to divide us. When we all join together, people of all races, we have the power to change the world we live in."
Superstars Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake turned up the heat in New York on Friday (19Jul13) by bringing out Alicia Keys and Timbaland to join them onstage during their joint concert. The Suit & Tie hitmakers, who are currently touring North America as the Legends of the Summer, had two special guests lined up for the Yankee Stadium gig with Jay-Z sending the audience into a screaming frenzy as he welcomed Keys to perform their chart smash hit, Empire State of Mind, in their hometown.
Timberlake also got into the Big Apple spirit by belting out a rendition of Frank Sinatra's city anthem New York, New York and he further delighted fans by introducing his longtime producer Timbaland into the spotlight for SexyBack.
Keys' husband Swizz Beatz, another of Jay-Z's frequent collaborators, was also in attendance at Yankee Stadium, but he remained backstage and shared a Twitter.com photo of the couple after the show, alongside the message, "Date Nite NYC Yankee stadium we out cheaaaa (here) (sic)".
Friday night's concert wasn't the first to feature a surprise guest - Rihanna made an appearance at the London kick-off for the Legends of the Summer tour last weekend (14Jul13) to perform Run This Town with the hip-hop mogul during the Wireless Festival.
Actress Rose Byrne is in talks to join Cameron Diaz in a revamped version of beloved movie musical Annie. The Bridesmaids star has been tapped to portray Grace in the role made famous by Anne Reinking in the classic 1982 film, according to Eonline.com.
If she signs on, it will be Byrne's debut in a big screen musical. She will appear alongside Diaz as cruel orphanage boss Miss Hannigan, Jamie Foxx as the rich Daddy Warbucks character, who will be renamed Benjamin Stacks, and child star Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role.
Will Smith and rap mogul Jay-Z are attached to produce the project, which is scheduled for release next Christmas (Dec14).
Zachary Levi's new Broadway show First Date got off to a rough start last week (begs08Jul13) when the actor choked on his meal in the middle of a monologue. The Tangled star made his New York stage debut on 9 July (13), when the musical about an awkward dinner date began previews at the Longacre Theatre, and during one particular scene in the show, Levi took too big a bite of his cheeseburger and raised a few laughs as he struggled to manage the mouthful.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday (16Jul13), he said, "Live theatre has some hiccups every once in a while. There's a scene, where part of the show I'm eating a cheeseburger, and I start choking in the middle of the show and everyone started laughing.
"I was like, 'I could be dying right now and everyone is loving this'. I kind of screwed up a couple jokes and a song that I was supposed to sing because I couldn't talk, but it was fine, everything worked out and I didn't die."
Rapper Drake is on the look out for new investment opportunities so he can become the next big hip-hop mogul and bank $250 million (£161 million) by the time he turns 29. The Best I Ever Had hitmaker has set himself the lofty goal after achieving his dream of making $25 million (£16 million) by his 25th birthday, and he is confident he will soon be joining the ranks of Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Sean 'Diddy' Combs, who have all established themselves in the business world.
The 26 year old tells GQ magazine, "Rappers aren't the really rich ones. We all have nice houses with studios and cars, but you need a piece of someone's business to be super wealthy.
"I feel this great responsibility to see how far we (rappers) can take it, how out of reach can I set the bar for whoever comes after. While I'm here, I'm gonna keep pushing that bar higher up and make you really work for it."
John Malkovich has revealed he once fancied himself as a vigilante on the mean streets of New York City. The movie star, who often plays quirky characters, portrays a retired tough guy in the RED films - and he admits the role brought back memories of the time he spent tackling criminals in the Big Apple when he was a struggling actor.
He admits he frequently became embroiled in arguments with petty street criminals and bullies, and he admits one particular incident almost turned deadly when someone questioned his fashion sense.
During an appearance on America's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Wednesday (10Jul13), he said, "I was at a restaurant and a mugger came by and grabbed someone's purse... A friend of mine... said to me, 'Did you see that? Let's go!' And so we finally ran this guy down into the park, but he'd had an associate and passed it off.
"(I also had an) altercation with a mugger that involved some harsh words and a butcher knife.
" I had on a very nice suit, he said a bunch of things to me on the street for no reason, which on reflection I wasn't so happy with, and then I went and changed clothes and picked up my utensil (and went out back looking for him) and asked him if he wanted to carry on the discourse. He declined and life went on."
Jay-Z has spoken out about his old feud with Robert De Niro, suggesting the acting veteran showed him a lack of respect after asking the rap mogul to get involved in his New York film festival. The Raging Bull star was previously said to have reached out to Jay-Z and talked to him about recording a song for the Tribeca Film Festival, but after initially agreeing to the collaboration, the Empire State of Mind hitmaker failed to return De Niro's calls.
The actor allegedly confronted Jay-Z about the incident during Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday party in the Big Apple last November (12), with a source telling the New York Post at the time, "Bob wasn't in any mood to make polite conversation. He told Jay that if somebody calls you six times, you call them back. It doesn't matter who you are, that is just rude."
The hip-hop mogul addressed the issue during an interview on New York's Power 105.1 radio station on Wednesday (10Jul13), and although he failed to offer up details about the fall out, he hinted that De Niro had offended him in some way.
He explained, "It doesn't matter who you are, everybody has to be respectful and everybody has to be a human being, you know? No one's above (manners)... We're all human beings and we all have to be respectful to one another and that's just standard. That's how I carry on with anybody."
"You learn something every day! Never knew @S_C_ (Shawn Carter) was a fan of Toxic! That's Big Pimpin." Britney Spears is pleased to learn she has an admirer in Jay-Z after he named her 2004 track as his favourite song by the pop star during a rare question and answer session with fans via Twitter.com on Monday (08Jul13).
Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z gave a teenage schoolgirl her big break in the music industry by picking her to help produce a track on his new album. Ebony Oshunrinde, also known as Wondagurl, was asked to contribute to Magna Carta Holy Grail after a chance meeting with the rapper's friend Travis Scott, who works with Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Scott passed along a reggae-inspired beat the 16 year old had made, and Jay-Z decided to use it for his song Crown.
The young Canadian, who is still in high school, admits it is a huge honour to see her name in the credits alongside Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Pharrell Williams.
She explains, "Travis texted me and said, 'I'm about to change your life.' Usually that doesn't happen to 16 year olds. A lot more people want to work with me now. It's pretty cool."
Rapper Jay-Z has reportedly won permission from New York City officials to stage a roof-top gig in the Big Apple next month (Jul13). The hip-hop star approached local officials to ask whether he would be allowed to perform on top of the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan on 8 July (13) in conjunction with an appearance on U.S. talk show The Late Show with David Letterman.
Jay-Z has now been given the go-ahead, according to the New York Post.
The star had to formally approach officials as a permit is required for a performance on the theatre's marquee so local authorities can close roads around the building.