Tributes have poured in for late soul legend James Brown, who died on Christmas day. He was 73.
The singer, dubbed the 'Godfather of Soul,' passed away unexpectedly in the hospital in Atlanta after suffering pneumonia. He also had diabetes and prostate cancer which was in remission.
Charles Bobbit, a close pal of Brown, said that hours before his death he was still hoping to headline a scheduled New Year's Eve gig on Sunday at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York.
Brown's glittering career kicked off when he joined a gospel group after serving a jail term for attempting to steal a car. He scored his first hit on the rhythm and blues chart with “Please Please Please” in 1956 and went on to boast 94 hits on Billboard's mainstream Hot 100.
Last month Brown performed at London's Alexandra Palace to mark his induction into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame, 20 years after entering the U.S. equivalent.
As well as enjoying individual success, Brown influenced an array of other music stars including Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Michael Jackson, as well as a string of rappers who sampled his unique grooves.
Singer Little Richard says the soul star will be remembered as an innovator and inspiration.
He says, "Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown."
Jagger adds, "He was a whirlwind of energy and precision and he was always very generous and supportive to me in the early days of the (Rolling) Stones.
"I have always been a huge admirer of him as a performer and a band leader. His passing is a huge loss to music."
Other stars leading tributes to Brown include civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who hailed the singer as a social force as well as a musical genius.
He says, "They call him Godfather of Soul--if soul means feeling and passion and pathos and cultural sensitivity, he embodied soul."
Brown juggled his musical success with a turbulent personal life. He married four times and was plagued with charges of drug and alcohol abuse.
He will be buried on Saturday in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, after a funeral in New York City, according to his management company.
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They ride together. They die together. They conquer the box office together.
The buddy sequel Bad Boys II proved a formidable opponent for an angst-y teen girl, a ship of cursed pirates and a bumbling secret agent at the box office weekend. The shoot 'em up actioner gunned down the competition with a lawful *$46.7 million, defeating the espionage spoof Johnny English, which snuck in at fourth place with a furtive $9.3 million, and the adolescent drama How To Deal, which opened in eighth position with a meager $5.8 million.
Bad Boys II also trounced last week's box office topper, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The swashbuckling tale, however, did not experience the typical second week drop off and continued to sail smoothly with an impressive $33.3 million--down only 29 percent from last week.
But while moviegoers demonstrated they hadn't had their fill of pirates just yet, they certainly weren't interested in learning how to deal. How To Deal failed to strike a chord with teen audiences, and it looks as though star Mandy Moore will find out what happens when the box office "gets turned upside down."
Rounding out the Top Five were the period thriller The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which came in third with $10.1 million, and the sci-fi actioner Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which landed in fifth place with $9.1 million.
THE TOP TEN
Sony Picture's R rated buddy actioner Bad Boys II premiered at the top of the box office with an ESTIMATED take of $46.7 million at 3,186 theaters. Its $14,658 per theater average was the highest of any film playing wide this weekend.
In the sequel, Miami narcotics detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett become part of a high-tech task force assigned to stem the flow of designer ecstasy into the city and inadvertently uncover a deadly conspiracy involving a ruthless drug lord.
Directed by Michael Bay, it stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union and Peter Stormare.
Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated fantasy actioner Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, last week's box office champ, came in second in its second week with an ESTIMATED $33.3 million (-29%) at 3,359 theaters (+90 theaters; $9,914 per theater). Its cume is $132.2 million.
Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
Twentieth Century Fox's PG-13 rated period thriller The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen fell one spot to third place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $10.1 million (-56%) at 3,002 theaters (unchanged; $3,364 per theater). Its cume is approximately $42.4 million.
Directed by Stephen Norrington, it stars Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West and Jason Flemyng.
Universal Pictures' PG rated spy spoof Johnny English took fourth place with an ESTIMATED $9.3 million at 2,236 theaters with a $4,159 per theater average.
In the film, the British Secret Service calls upon bumbling secret agent Johnny English when a plan to filch the monarchy's Crown Jewels comes to their attention.
Directed by Peter Howitt, it stars Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller and John Malkovich.
Warner Bros.' R rated sci-fi actioner Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines dropped two places to No. 5 in its third week with an ESTIMATED $9.1 million (-53%) at 3,404 theaters (-100; $2,701 per theater). Its cume is approximately $127.7 million.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo fell only one spot in its eighth week to sixth place with an ESTIMATED $7.3 million (-14%) at 2,408 theaters (-163 theaters; $2,944 per theater). Its cume is approximately $303.8 million.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
MGM's PG-13 rated Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde fell three rungs to seventh in its third week with an ESTIMATED $6.1 million (-49%) at 3,205 theaters (-170 theaters; $1,903 per theater). Its cume is approximately $75.4 million.
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, it stars Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Bob Newhart and Jennifer Coolidge.
New Line Cinema's PG-13 rated drama How To Deal debuted disappointingly in eighth place with an ESTIMATED $2.5 million at 2,319 theaters with a $2,501 per theater average.
Based on a combination of two young adult romance novels by Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You and That Summer), the film revolves around a teenage girl who doesn't believe in storybook romance--until she meets the right guy.
Directed by Clare Kilner, it stars Mandy Moore, Trent Ford, Alexandra Holden, Allison Janney and Peter Gallagher.
Sony Picture's PG-13 rated Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle dropped three places to ninth in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $3.7 million (-48%) at 2,261 theaters (-941 theaters; $1,636 per theater). Its cume is approximately $89.1 million.
Directed by McG, it stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Bernie Mac.
Fox Searchlight's R rated sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later dropped one place to round out the Top Ten in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.5 million (-40%) at 1,310 theaters (-86 theaters; $1,947 per theater). Its cume is approximately $33.4 million.
Directed by Danny Boyle, it stars Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Burns.
Miramax's R rated crime drama Dirty Pretty Things opened in five theaters this weekend and took in an ESTIMATED $101,000 with a strong $20,200 per theater average.
In the film, a kind-hearted Nigerian doctor who works at a seedy West London hotel finds a human heart in one of the toilets and uncovers something far more sinister than just a common crime.
Directed by Stephen Frears, it stars Chewitil Ejiofor, Sergi Lopez and AudreyTautou.
Fox Searchlight's R rated musical comedy Garage Days, meanwhile, opened in 23 theaters and took in an ESTIMATED $21,160 with a $920 per theater average.
The film is a coming-of-age comedy about a young Sydney band trying to get a foothold in the competitive world of rock n' roll.
Directed by Alex Proyas, it stars Kick Gurry, Maya Stange, Pia Miranda and Chris Sadrinna.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $137.6 million, up a whopping 33.63 percent from last year's take of $102.9 million. The Top 12 films were also up .58 percent from last weekend when they grossed $136.8 million.
Last year, DreamWorks' R rated drama Road to Perdition topped the box office in its second week of release with $15.4 million at 2,159 theaters (+326 theaters; $7,139 per theater average), Sony's G rated Stuart Little 2 debuted in the No. 2 position with $15.1 million at 3,225 theaters with a $4,644 per theater average and Sony's PG-13 rated Men in Black II followed in third place in its third week with $14.5 million at 3,641 theaters ((+30; $3,997 per theater).
In a further investigation into the plane crash that killed singer Aaliyah, traces of cocaine and alcohol were found in the pilot's system. During an autopsy performed on Luis Antonio Morales, authorities found cocaine in his urine and alcohol in his stomach. Investigators are now looking into how this may have affected Morales at the time of the crash.
No one can accuse J. Lo of being shy. Sky News reports Jennifer Lopez will wear nothing by a scarf and a smile in the promotional ads for her new perfume, Glow. Magazine ads and billboards will feature Lopez in the shower, with the slogan "Fresh, sexy, clean. It's the Glow. The new fragrance by Jennifer Lopez." The ad campaign had to be changed at the last minute as the original concept showed Lopez and now-estranged husband Cris Judd in a romantic clinch. Yeah, guess that wouldn't work.
Sharon Stone will join Dennis Quaid in the Walt Disney thriller Cold Creek Manor. Directed by Mike Figgis, the story focuses on a city family who moves to a dream house in the country, only to have it turn into a nightmare when the previous owner returns from prison and wants his house back.
With the success of Shrek and Chicken Run, DreamWorks Pictures continues their animation pursuits with the acquisition of the rights to the Japanese anime film Millennium Actress. From director Satoshi Kon will come a somewhat darker movie about a reclusive actress who leaves her booming acting career and retreats from the world to an isolated house. No release date has been set.
Christopher Walken, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott in a movie together? That's right. The unlikely trio will star in an as-yet-untitled Universal Pictures' project (once known as Helldorado) about a bounty hunter (Johnson) who travels to the town of Helldorado in the Amazon jungle to settle a debt. When he gets there, however, his intended target (Scott) isn't the bad guy he thought he was and the two join forces against the real bad guy, played by Walken.
Former Dynasty star Joan Collins will join the cast of the CBS soap opera Guiding Light, playing Alexandra Spaulding, a typical "rich bitch," a daytime television insider told Variety. Her appearance may be as early as September but the time schedule is still being worked out.
American audiences won't see an HIV-infected Muppet on Sesame Street. The Public Broadcasting System assured Republican lawmakers Tuesday that it created a special HIV-infected Muppet character for the South African audiences only, where one in nine people are infecting with the virus, Variety reports. PBS does not intend to bring the character to the U.S. airwaves.
Paul McCartney leads the pack this year as the highest grossing concert performer, Pollstar magazine reports, raking in about $52.8 million. Green Day and Blink-182, however, win for the number of people attending their concert, with approximately 623,000 tickets sold overall.
Widespread Panic guitarist and singer Michael House has announced he has terminal cancer. The 40-year-old musician posted the news on the band's Web site, stating, "I want to assure all of you that all that can be done has been done, and I want to thank all of you who have contributed information, medicine, and so on. I have hopes of playing again soon, although I can't say for sure when or where, and I hope to see you all there."
Despite his recent Oscar nomination for Best Actor, Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) told reporters at the Berlinale film festival Tuesday that he is "still unsatisfied to a large degree" about his work as an actor, Reuters reports. Crowe, who has three Oscar nominations on his resume, went on to say, however, he "think[s] that's a healthy thing to be as an actor."
There's a new documentary coming out about George W. Bush called Journeys With George, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 75-minute film shot by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of the new House Democratic whip Nancy Pelosi, chronicles Bush's 2000 campaign. It includes a scene where the not-yet-President drinks non-alcoholic beer, something other photographers weren't permitted to shoot.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins will make a film about a British security officer who died in New York's Twin Towers while saving thousands of civilians, the BBC reports. Rick Rescorla, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 23, became a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran whose battlefield story is being told in the upcoming Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers.
Matthew Perry is going slumming, leaving the comfy confines of Nielsen leaders NBC for upstart Fox--but only for a short visit. According to People magazine, in addition to his recent Friends renewal, Perry will guest star as a brash, cocky lawyer on two upcoming episodes of Fox's Ally McBeal.
Cary Grant will soon be the face of a first-class U.S. postage stamp, People reports. Expect the late, handsome actor to appear on perforated paper at a local post office near you in late summer or early fall.
George Harrison's final resting place was revealed Tuesday. Reuters reports the former Beatle died in a Hollywood Hills mansion that was once owned by Courtney Love and had been leased by Harrison's security guard while Love owned it. The current owner is listed as Mike Walley, who has owned the property just less than a year.
Rapper, producer, fashion designer and now actor Sean "Puffy" Combs "fit right in" with the cast of Monster's Ball, says no less an expert than co-star Halle Berry, The Associated Press reports. Combs plays Berry's husband who is ultimately executed during the film.
Puffy isn't the only one to match music and fashion: 'N Sync's Chris Kirkpatrick debuted his new clothing line FuMan Skeeto Monday night, as part of New York Fashion Week, the AP reports. The line specializes in women's vintage-chic style clothing, including novelty T-shirts and chenille patch jeans.
Musicians Sting, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman, Barry Manilow and Ashford & Simpson were announced Tuesday to be among those inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame, the AP reports. The inductees will officially be honored at the 33rd annual induction and awards dinner, which takes place in New York on June 13.