Christian rapper Lecrae has scored his first mainstream number one album in the U.S. Anomaly, the hitmaker's seventh album, debuts at the top of the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 88,000, becoming the first release to hit number one on the mainstream countdown and the Gospel Albums chart.
The disc also debuts at number one on America's Christian Albums list.
Lecrae leads seven new entries in this week's top 10 - Jhene Aiko's debut, Souled Out, bows at three, Ryan Adams lands his highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 with his new eponymous release at four, and country singer Lee Brice rounds out the new top five with I Don't Dance.
Interpol, country singer Dustin Lynch and Robert Plant also score top 10 debuts, while last week's number one, Maroon 5's V, drops a spot to two.
Meanwhile, the U.S. singles chart boasts another all-girl top five, with Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass leading the pack at number one for a second week.
Taylor Swift's Shake It Off and Nicki Minaj's Anaconda stay put at two and three, while Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora's Black Widow rises to four, swapping places with Minaj, Jessie J and Ariana Grande's Bang Bang.
Veteran actor Jeff Bridges is planning to add children's author to his extensive resume after teaming up with his eldest daughter for the special project. The Big Lebowski star, who has also established himself as a musician and a photographer, reveals he likes to find ways to include his kids in his professional career so he has started penning a kids' story with 33-year-old daughter Isabelle.
He tells People.com, "I try to create as many experiences as I can to hang out with my kids. When you're an adult, you gotta work. So I invented this word - plorking - a combination of playing and work...
"Isabelle, my oldest girl, we're working on a children's book together."
Bridges has also recruited his second child Jessie, who has served as his film set assistant for years, to open for his band The Abiders' new tour, while his youngest girl Hayley, 28, is helping to design the actor's new home.
He isn't the first celebrity to pen stories for kids - fellow celebrities including Jamie Lee Curtis, Julianne Moore, Jim Carrey, Jessica Lange, Ricky Martin and rock matriarch Sharon Osbourne have also tested their creative writing skills in recent years.
Fans of the former TGIF sitcom Boy Meets World have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Disney Channel's tween-com Girl Meets World ever since the pilot was first ordered. Recently, the cable network finally released a short clip showing a now grown Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) interacting with their adorable daughter Riley (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World's Rowan Blanchard). Excitement over seeing Savage and Fishel once again arm-in-arm as Cory and Topanga spread across social media, as fans of the '90s show began quickly sharing the clip.
Girl Meets World marks a departure for the Disney Channel as they attempt to market a show just as much to the parents of their normal six-to-12-year-old target audience. Someone who was 12 in 1993 when the original began — as Fishel was — is now 33, an age when it's entirely plausible to have children in the appropriate demographic.
By putting the focus on the children of one of TV's favorite teen couples, the network and producer Michael Jacobs have hit upon a way for the fans of the former show to look in on old favorites without having to worry too much about what's transpired. This isn't a Dawson's Creek-style flash-forward with a beloved character (Michelle Williams' Jen) on her deathbed. This is a Disney-style look in.
There's something reassuring about seeing a pair of characters that we cared about in the middle of their happy ending. We watched Cory and Topanga meet as kids and come together as teens, and we followed them right up until their wedding. Now they're still married with two kids and a nice home. It's like going to visit that one high school couple that is still perfectly content with their lives. Whether it happens all the time or not, it's nice to know that it happens sometimes.
More importantly, by blending nostalgia with the formula that Disney Channel has employed with its other live action hits like Jessie and Good Luck, Charlie, the show provides a unique opportunity for parents to actively watch with their children. Not in an obligatory sense, but in a true "I have to see this" way. Family-oriented sitcoms were once a staple of network television, but now those shows have largely moved to cable… taking many of the same writers/producers with them.
The marketing of Girl Meets World has produced something that 10-year-olds and their moms both want to see… how often does a TV show do that these days? As parents fill their kids in on who the older characters are, the kids can fill their parents in on what Riley is talking about with her friends. If that leads to a discussion of things transpiring in real life, well, that's a beautiful thing. Many movies and TV shows have paid lip service to providing such an opening for parents… GMW seems legitimately positioned to actually deliver on that promise.
Jacobs has lined up a series of cameos from the original series to keep the parents entertained including Cory's brother and parents (Will Friedle, Betsy Randle and William Russ), William Daniels' persnickety Mr. Feeny, and Rider Strong's brooding Shawn Hunter. Even Lee Norris, whose character Minkus was written off the show after the first season, makes an appearance as the father of Riley's friend Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis). It's hard to say why it's so good to see Mr. Feeny again — the show tweeted a photo of Daniels on set — but it just is.
Keeping with the family feel, it's come out during the promotion of the new show that most of the original cast — particularly Savage, Fishel, Strong, and Friedle — have remained friends since Boy Meets World ended in 2000. Even though most of the acting will be done by the new kids, Strong and Savage are each also taking a turn sitting in the director's chair on GMW.
The show can't live off of the nostalgia of parents alone. Blanchard's Riley and her BFF Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) have to connect with the normal Disney Channel audience, and really there's no way to predict whether or not that will happen. No matter whether the new show is a ratings success or not, fans of Boy Meets World will enjoy catching up with their old friends… and maybe share a few nice moments with their kids at the same time. As was the case the first time, having Cory and Topanga around makes television a nicer place.
Fashion fans have been given the opportunity to purchase glamorous outfits worn by British stars including actress Rachel Weisz and pop star Jessie J as part of a charity fashion sale. Re-sale website Vestiairecollective.com launched the initiative on Thursday (21Nov13) to mark the start of the festive season, with a special section on their website dedicated to the sale of items previously owned and loved by the British celebrities.
Prices start from $150 (£100) and items up for sale include Weisz's hot pink Joseph wool dress, a frock owned by model Daisy Lowe and a crystal-embellished dress worn by Jessie J on tour.
Other well-dressed ladies who have donated to the second annual sale include MTV presenter Laura Whitmore, model Jade Parfitt and designer Jasmine Guinness.
Profits from the sales will be handed to a range of charities selected by the donors including Barnardo's, Doctors Without Borders and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
Vestiaire Collective's U.K. Managing Director Fanny Moizant, says, "We are thrilled that so many leading lights in the fashion world have come out to support our annual charity initiative - this year we expect to raise thousands for charities... We have a treasure trove of fashion gems on the site, and we expect many of these pieces to become valuable collectors' items so we advise fashion hunters to come early."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Sean 'Diddy' Combs' children are helping the victims of the deadly typhoon which battered the Philippines last week (ends10Nov13) by donating some of their own belongings. More than 10,000 people have died since Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the southeast Asian island, with experts calling it one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.
The devastation has left thousands homeless, so the hip-hop mogul's children, six-year-old twins Jessie James and D'Lila Star, along with their elder brothers Christian, 13, and Justin, 19, have organised their own relief effort by sending essential products to the country.
According to editors at TMZ.com, the kids have filled up boxes with shoes, clothes and blankets in order to ship them off to relief agencies.
British singer Jessie J is auctioning off a pair of her shoes to raise money for charity. The Price Tag hitmaker is reportedly hoping to raise up to $18,000 (£12,000) for a pair of multi-coloured sparkly shoes from fashion store Topshop, which she wore during a show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England last year (12).
The shoes, which have been signed by the star, will be auctioned along with a signed photo at a charity gala in Hereford, England on Saturday (16Nov13) to support children with cancer.
The event is hosted by the Little Princess Trust, an organisation which provides wigs for young children who lose their hair while battling cancer.
British singer Jessie J overcame her fear of heights to perform a lofty gig in London on Tuesday (12Nov13). The Price Tag hitmaker was joined by fellow singers Conor Maynard and James Arthur to switch on the Christmas lights in the British capital's famous Oxford Street before hitting the stage to perform a small concert on the roof of the Selfridges department store.
The singer later posted a snap on Instagram.com showing herself performing, revealing she faced her fears of heights to perform above the city streets. She writes, "I did it! I performed on a stage really high up! I faced my fear! Thank you so much to everyone who came out and sang with me and made it less scary!"
Actress Jessica Biel is helping her gay friend Lance Bass prepare for his upcoming nuptials. A week after Biel, who is married to Justin Timberlake, and Bass attended the wedding of the boys' 'N SYNC bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick on 2 November (13), the pop star-turned-radio personality has revealed the actress has come up with some great ideas for his big day.
Bass, who proposed to boyfriend Michael Turchin in September (13), says, "We were sitting there talking to Jessie Biel, and she gave us a lot of great pointers. She had some really great ideas.
"One really cool idea she had was that, on the invites - because we love our onesies - send out personalised onesies to all our guests, so that at midnight after the reception it turns into a pajama party. How fun would that be? I think we might be doing that one. That was something we both loved."
The gay star tells Us Weekly he and Turchin are likely to tie the knot next October (14), adding, "We’ve slowly but surely started planning it."
Jessie Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are joining forces to be tepidly awkward together once again, but not for the hotly anticipated Adven2reland. The pair will star together in American Ultra, an action comedy directed by Nima Nourizadeh. The film's screenplay was written by Max Landis, the scribe of 2012's super-hero thriller Chronicle.
In the upcoming film, Mike (Eisenberg) is a lazy stoner who lives with his girlfriend Pheobe (Stewart). One night, their lives take an unexpected turn when Mike's past comes back to haunt him, and he becomes the target of a government operation set to wipe him out.
The two stars possessed a nerdy charm and chemistry that made Adventureland an enjoyable indie hit. Hopefully they can transfer that chemistry to this new film which sounds like it has more of a moving plot then a coming of age amusement park dramedy. Ever since Adventureland, the two stars have had divergent career paths —Eisenberg successfully taking on high profile projects like The Social Network and being nominated for awards, while Stewart stormed the box office (and the gossip columns) as Bella Swan, but has had trouble kicking off a new film franchise. After the Twilight explosion ended and Snow White and the Huntsman flopped, Stewart has been seeking shelter in indie projects. While this mini Adventureland reunion could be a satifying dose of 2009 nostalgia, it is missing a key component. Unfortunately, creepy Ryan Reynolds will not be taking part in the new film.