Country music star Toby Keith returned to the rubble of his home town with a local Oklahoma TV crew earlier this week (beg01Jul13) to pay tribute to a beloved weatherman who kept him up to date with the May (13) storms. The Beer For My Horses singer was in Oklahoma the night before the tornadoes hit and had to watch the destruction of the 20 May (13) storm on an iPad app in a Nashville, Tennessee studio.
He quickly halted his recording plans and headed home to make sure his family and friends in Moore were OK - and he returned to the town with meteorologist pal Gary England this week as he prepared for his benefit concert in Norman this weekend (06Jul13).
Keith told the News9 weatherman, "I've got the News9 app on my iPad and so I got in the studio and started working and flipped it on.
"We sat and watched it (storm) as it crossed the interstate and 4th Street; I said, 'It's gonna get my sister...', and so we said, 'We have to start making arrangements to get back.'"
Keith told England that the frequent Oklahoma storms always bring back bad memories from his childhood: "We didn't have the storm shelters we have today... We had bunk beds and mum would wrap the mattresses around (them), put one on top, and we would just get in. We rode some out.
"There was (sic) big pieces of sheet rock and stuff coming through your window in the bedroom and the house was rattling... Those are bad memories."
The singer then thanked local news veteran England for his tireless storm reporting, insisting, "We lean on you for this," and adding, "You save a lot of lives."
Keith's tornado benefit concert on Saturday will feature performances from Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Trisha Yearwood and rocker Sammy Hagar.
Bonnie McKee's music video for "American Girl" just dropped and it features a slew of celebs. The video for the catchy, bubble-gum pop tune includes stars like Katy Perry, Jenny McCarthy, Adam Lambert, Ms. "Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen, Ke$ha, Kiss, Macklemore, E!'s Fashion Police crew, the hilarious Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch, Jewel, and a handsome Lance Bass among plenty others.
The "American Girl" video bounces from A-lister to A-lister as each star sings and dances to a line of the Award-winning songwriter's hit. McKee, who has teamed up with pop star Katy Perry on a bunch of her songs, even got a nice shout out from the fellow "California Gurl." Cutie-pie Perry tweeted, "Wanna see me in bed in my pj's?! Watch this then" and posted a link to the video (below). And yes, Perry looks absolutely adorbable bopping along to the ditty in her jammies.
Although Bonnie McKee, who is a successful songwriter-turned-superstar, looks super fly with her hippie-styled headband and firecracker popsicle, it's hard to focus on the red-headed singer when every celebrity you can possibly imagine keeps captivating the screen. But then again, with lyrics like "Hot blooded, all American girl/ I was raised by a television" a cast of celebrities sounds about right.
Having friends in high places will undoubtedly boost views on McKee's Vevo channel. But after all the hits she supplied her video co-stars, it seems to us like they owed her one in return. Regardless, it's super fun watching some of our fave stars rock out to this head-bopping, sugary track.
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The Rolling Stones and pop star Robbie Williams have paid tribute to celebrated British stage designer Mark Fisher following his death on Tuesday (25Jun13) at the age of 66. The architect died in his sleep at a London hospital after a long illness and his loss has hit his famous clients hard.
A statement from the Stones reads: "The remarkable sets he designed for us over last two decades played a major part in the success of all those tours. His passion, dedication and professionalism was infectious. We all loved his dry sense of humour and unflappable demeanour.
"Mark will be sorely missed - not only by us but by every single member of ours and any crew he worked with."
Fisher recently helped to create a giant head of Williams for his current Take the Crown tour and the former Take That star marked his tragic death during a concert in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday night by dedicating his hit song Angels to his pal.
Taking to Twitter.com, the singer added, "R.I.P Mark Fisher, music's greatest architect. He will be missed."
Fisher, who was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2000, was also known for his work with Pink Floyd and was the brains behind U2's massive 360-degree 'claw' stage.
He was also involved in stage designs for Queen musical We Will Rock You and both the opening and closing ceremonies for the London Olympics last year (12) and the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.
British actor Robert Kazinsky suffered a sleepless night ahead of a "terrifying" nude scene in True Blood with the show's star Anna Paquin. The former EastEnders star has landed his big break in the U.S. with a role in the hit vampire series, but admits he was overcome with nerves when he was told to strip off for his first ever nude scene.
Kazinsky insists he was reluctant to take his clothes off and feared he would be compared to the show's hunky star Joe Manganiello.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "I have never had to be naked before... For me it was pretty damn terrifying. No one cared apart from me. They were like, just take your clothes off, now, we are running out of time. But it was absolutely jaw-dropping and terrifying... You get given a day's notice and I was up all night stressing about it and how bad I am going to look next to Joe. I am a redhead and very pale and in a stark moonlight I do glow. I have a glowing a**."
However, Kazinsky insists the friendly crew put him at ease and he was thankful to be shooting the scene with Paquin as she was so understanding.
He adds, "Everyone is so friendly and treats it as just a scene. You essentially remove your ego then your clothing and as the shame begins, the ego drops off... It wouldn't be so easy if I wasn't working with Anna. She's so professional.
"I don't want to say she is really experienced at getting her clothes off, but on this show she is. Before the scenes she said from day one 'Shut up' and 'Do it - if I am doing it you're doing it'."
The cast and crew of The Sopranos are mourning the loss of former colleague James Gandolfini, who died in Italy on Wednesday (19Jun13). The actor, best known for playing mob boss Tony Soprano in the hit drama, was just 51 years old when he passed away after reportedly suffering a heart attack in Rome.
The stars of The Sopranos and bosses behind the TV series were plunged into mourning upon hearing of his death, and have now offered their condolences.
David Chase, the show's creator, was one of the first to release a statement, which reads, "He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart.' There would be silence at the other end of the phone. He wasn't easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain."
Lorraine Bracco, who played Tony Soprano's psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, simply says, "We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."
Rocker/actor Steven Van Zandt, who played Tony's partner and strip-club owner Silvio Dante, wrote in a post on Facebook.com, "I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. (My wife) Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to (Gandolfini's wife) Deborah, (his kids) Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy's family."
Co-star Joseph R. Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore, adds, "James is one guy who never turned his back on me. He was the most humble and gifted actor and person I have ever worked with. He was a great man and I will forever be indebted to him", while Steve Schirripa, The Sopranos' Bobby Baccalieri, says, "Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad."
Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini's onscreen wife, has yet to comment on the tragedy.
The Sopranos ran for six seasons between 1999 and 2007.
Transformers director Michael Bay has spoken out to praise the firefighters who raced to the rescue when a blaze broke out on the set of the latest installment in the robot film franchise. The moviemaker is currently shooting the fourth Transformers movie with lead actor Mark Wahlberg in Texas, and the project hit the news last week (11Jun13) when a fire broke out a house where they were filming.
Bay has now opened up about the incident, praising the emergency workers who attended the scene, and clarifying reports which suggested a member of the crew had been injured.
In a post on his blog, Bay writes, "Shooting of Transformers 4 is going great with Wahlberg and the new cast. We are having a great time in Texas... Yes there was a small smouldering fire at a house and no, no one was injured during the fire. And no, no one 'just narrowly escaped' as the news dramatically states. A crew member though twisted his ankle after falling in a gopher hole on the ranch.
"The fire was put out in a brief 15 minutes by a great fire crew on set. It was an attic fire and cause is unknown. No we were not shooting in the attic, we were shooting outside on the ranch."
The new blockbuster is due for release next summer (14).
Music legend T-Bone Burnett is leaving his behind-the-scenes role on country music TV series Nashville to focus on other projects. The critically-acclaimed producer, who is married to Nashville creator Callie Khouri, served as the hit show's music guru throughout the first season, working on more than 100 original recordings and mentoring stars including Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.
However, the in-demand hitmaker is now quitting his job as executive music producer to work on a new album with Sir Elton John as well as the soundtrack for the Coen brothers' new movie Inside Llewyn Davis, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A statement from Burnett's manager reads, "His slate of other film, television and recording projects would have made it impossible for him to return for a second season. He became close to many of the actors on Nashville, and wishes all of them - as well as the show's producers, writers and crew - all the best with the coming season."
Watchmen director Zack Snyder flew into a panic after learning about the devastating storms in Oklahoma last month (May13) because his daughter was in the town worst hit by the twister, visiting her boyfriend. A number of deadly tornadoes touched down on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, and the town of Moore was ravaged by the natural disaster, which claimed the lives of 24 locals.
And Snyder admits he became a nervous wreck as he worried about his daughter's safety.
He tells USA Today, "She didn't tell me (she was going there). I was like, 'What are you doing?'"
And he had a difficult time watching news coverage of the residents running for cover: "I cannot express how upsetting it was... It's just insane."
Meanwhile, Snyder knows first-hand what's it like to encounter a twister in real life - because he and the cast and crew of his new Superman movie Man of Steel often encountered dangerous storms while filming in Illinois during the 2011 summer tornado season.
He adds, "I was freaked out as the tornado sirens were going off... I was like, 'This is crazy!'"
Ironically, there's a killer tornado scene in Snyder's new Superman film, and the director admits there was never any discussion about altering the twister footage following the Oklahoma storms.
The filmmaker states, "He's (Superman) changed by those events. If anything, we feel like our Superman has a connection - not to make light of it - to the kind of grief that happens during those kinds of natural disasters. Also, in a sad way, even Superman can't change that."
Tom Hanks is battling vocal problems as he continues his hit Broadway run in Nora Ephron play Lucky Guy and has revealed castmates and crew have been asked not to chat with him backstage. The Oscar winner took to Twitter.com on Wednesday (05Jun13) and posted a shot of the notice that has been pinned up backstage at New York's Broadhurst Theatre, urging his co-stars and stagehands not to talk to the Forrest Gump star.
The poster reads: "Please help me keep Tom (chatty cathy) Hanks on VOCAL REST. He's only 13 inside and can't help himself."
Meanwhile, the note suggests his understudy, Tom Hammond, is getting ready to step in. It continues: "Hammond has to grow back the moustache."
However, in a tweet accompanying the photo, Hanks insists that won't be necessary, writing, "My voice is better now, thanks."
Cyndi Lauper broke down in tears when she watched a special video filmed by stars including Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell in tribute to her successful Broadway musical Kinky Boots. The singer has achieved critical acclaim and a slew of awards nominations, including 13 Tony nods, for her stage show, and the cast and crew of Kinky Boots paid tribute to Lauper by filming a short tribute to her hit single Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
In the clip, stars of the show are seen singing along and dancing with the red high-heeled boots which give the show its name, and a number of famous faces joined in the fun.
Goldberg and O'Donnell appear in the clip, along with U.S. media personalities Kelly Ripa, Katie Couric and Kathie Lee Gifford, and castmembers from other Broadway shows including The Lion King amd Annie.
Lauper admits she was thrilled with the video and burst into tears when she watched it.
In a post on her Twitter.com page, she writes, "Saw the video my peeps (people at) Kinky Boots made for me. I cried, sweetest thing."
Lauper went on to send messages of thanks to those involved in the clip. Her message to Goldberg reads, "Saw (you) on that video. Made me cry. Love u (sic)!"