A man who was assaulted during a Hank Williams, Jr. concert in Michigan has died. Robert Kobe, 55, was caught up in a fight with an unnamed 15-year-old boy at the DTE Energy Music Theatre just outside Detroit on Sunday (17Aug14).
According to police reports the teen pushed Kobe during the concert, causing him to fall and hit his head on the concrete floor.
The boy was detained for one night at Oakland County's Children's Village juvenile detention facility and released into his parents' custody, while Kobe, who has been in hospital since the incident, was pronounced dead on Tuesday (19Aug14).
An investigation is still pending, but Kobe's son, Cory Kobe, tells the Detroit Free Press that his father and the teen knew each other prior to the incident, and Kobe may have even provoked the young man.
Cory says, "I want to make sure that this young man gets fair treatment. There are a lot of indications that there was no malicious intent."
Williams, Jr. has yet to comment on the incident.
Sir Cliff Richard has turned down a Portuguese honour in the wake of a sex scandal back in his native England. The singer, who owns property in Portugal, was to be presented with the keys to his adopted city of Albufeira, but he has chosen not to accept the honour, following his denial of a sex offence.
Earlier this month (Aug14), his home in Berkshire was raided by police officers following allegations Richard sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 in 1985.
Denying the claims, Richard said, "For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen."
The singer was due to be awarded the Freedom of Albufeira on Wednesday (20Aug15), but did not attend the ceremony.
The city mayor Carlos Silva e Sousa told the Daily Telegraph, "Cliff was invited to receive the gold key of the city because he is a distinguished member of Albufeira. It's a big honour. We are recognising big politicians and figures in civil society. He's not here today because it was his choice.
"It doesn't change my opinion of him. We are very proud of him, he is a big man. He is a very good man and we keep that opinion... I hope to give him the award at some point."
The news comes a day after Richard's publicist revealed the singer would not be returning to Britain from Portugal for a concert at Canterbury Cathedral next month (Sep14).
Country star Garth Brooks has broken his own concert sales record with an 10-night run at Chicago, Illinois' Allstate Arena. The singer, who has just added an 11th night at the venue, becomes the first artist to top 163,000 tickets sold in a single city in North America. Previously, he held the record for a run at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1998.
Brooks has also beaten his personal record for tickets sold in Atlanta, where he will stage seven shows on his upcoming tour, which begins next month (Sep14). The only artist to ever sell out that many consecutive shows at the Philips Arena, Garth has already beaten the record he set at the city's Omni arena in 1996.
Actress Hayden Panettiere has confirmed she is pregnant by nominating her "unborn child" for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The Nashville star finally acknowledged she and fiance Wladimir Klitschko are preparing for their first child on Wednesday (20Aug14) by posting footage of pal and co-star Derek Hough tipping a bucket of freezing water over her on Instagram.com.
Panettiere prepared for the cold blast by nominating country singer Kacey Musgraves, her fiance and her "unborn child" to take the challenge next. The actress follows in the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana, who also confirmed she is pregnant in an Ice Bucket Challenge video posted on Tuesday (19Aug14).
She opted to dodge the challenge set her by director James Gunn, and her husband Marco Perego agreed to take the plunge in her place. Celebrities including Panettiere's Nashville co-star Connie Britton, Robert Pattinson, Emily Blunt and Adam Sandler all recently took the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise cash and awareness for charity the ALS Association.
British rocker Billy Bragg staged an impromptu concert in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday (19Aug14) amid escalating violence in nearby Ferguson. Tensions have been high in the area following the death of teenager Michael Brown, who was gunned down as he attempted to surrender to police investigating a robbery incident on 9 August (14). The incident has prompted violent clashes with protesters and local law enforcement officers, and a number of celebrities have offered up their thoughts on the issues facing the city.
But folk singer and political activist Bragg and touring partner Joe Purdy decided to actually go there to see them for themselves during their current American tour, and decided to take a detour to stage a spontaneous benefit concert.
Bragg tells Rolling Stone, "A number of people said to me on Twitter, 'If you’re going to go to St. Louis, are you going to go to Ferguson?' But we didn't want to just go there and walk through Ferguson and be tourists. We wanted to do something for the community."
Through local connections, Bragg was put in touch with Steven Fitzpatrick Smith, the owner of local St. Louis pub the Royale, who has been attending the protests. Smith not only offered up his venue for the gig, but also asked fans attending to collect food, funds, and medical and school school supplies for a food pantry at a Ferguson church.
During the gig, Bragg performed some of his own tracks such as I Keep Faith, and also covered tunes pointed towards the unrest happening nearby, singing protest songs like Woody Guthrie's Hangknot, Slipknot and George Perkins' Cryin' in the Streets, while Purdy joined him for Bob Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changin'.
Bragg called on the 200 fans at the gig to take action and change the way the troubled city is perceived, stating, "The true enemy of all of us who want to make the world a better place is not capitalism or conservatism, it's cynicism. You have the opportunity to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place."
Bragg and Purdy's activism began early on Tuesday, when they met with railroad workers on strike and picketing teachers in Illinois, and they also performed for inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary.
The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has helped animal rights activists at Peta take over one of the largest chinchilla fur farms in California. The writer helped the organisation's bosses buy up the Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch in Vista and shut it down, after learning the 'pet breeders' there were electrocuting and skinning the pelts of chinchillas who didn't "work out" as companions.
Taking control of the facility recently, PETA experts discovered Valley View employees used "a toe-to-ear electrocution slaughtering method, deemed unacceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association."
A spokesperson tells WENN, "The owners admitted that they had never provided chinchillas with veterinary care and that they strapped the animals to a table in order to amputate their limbs using wire snips and six drops of brandy in lieu of anesthetics.
"The chinchillas at Valley View were locked in metal cages - often, in solitary confinement - with little or no enrichment.
"The more than 400 rescued chinchillas are now at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where they will soon be available for adoption in groups of two to four."
Simon says, "PETA is happy to have saved these fascinating animals from being painfully electrocuted and to have made sure that no coats or blankets would be made from their bodies. PETA encourages everyone to do their part to help animals like these little individuals by never buying or wearing any animal skins."
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
As a comedic actor, John Lithgow — one of the best of the sort today — plays big. With a 6'4" stature and the vocal projection of a well-read howler monkey, Lithgow has made sitcom fare seem like a night on Broadway, invigorating small-scale material with the bravado of a live performance. To me, this has always been his utmost appeal. But in soft, somber, and sweet Love Is Strange, Lithgow plays small and close. And the victory of his talents are just as present.
Lithgow’s role in Ira Sachs’ occasionally lovely, occasionally wrenching drama is one of intense vulnerability. After a long-awaited marriage to his boyfriend of 40 years, Alfred Molina, Lithgow’s Ben is forced (by the will of financial woes) from his Manhattan apartment and into the care of his nephew’s family. As a character whose neuroses are evident from minute one, Ben’s internal trauma is the principal hook for Love Is Strange: after finally winning the opportunity to commit to the man he loves, we watch the 70-year-old painter struggle to identify a “comfort zone” in a world he finds increasingly difficult to understand.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Lining the film, we have Molina, adroitly playing the stoic (frustrated more than devastated, at least as far as he’s willing to show) in contrast to the anxiety inhabited throughout by Lithgow, and the pair’s lot of conditionally generous family and friends — a community led by Marisa Tomei, Lithgow’s primary screen partner as a budding adversary to Ben, and young Charlie Tahan, who too is at unwitting odds with his misplaced houseguest.
Though the ensemble doesn’t have a weak link to speak of, the show is Lithgow’s through and through. Love Is Strange uses Lithgow in its portrait of man eroded by time and change, a team of forces that maintain volatility even when they are working for the better. Appropriately enough, Sachs’ story takes some jagged turns, failing to cement every choice in a clear intent. But as an illustration of one man’s insides in a chapter he can just barely handle — all those between hope and loss — we see something rather moving.
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Pierce Brosnan has revealed he was in the running to play Batman for Tim Burton. The former James Bond met with the director while he was looking for his Caped Crusader for 1989's Batman, but he admits he couldn't quite see himself in the superhero role.
In a new Reddit.com chat, Brosnan recalls, "I just couldn't really take it seriously; any man who wears his underpants outside his pants just cannot be taken seriously. That was my foolish take on it. It was a joke, I thought. But how wrong was I?
"Don't get me wrong, because I love Batman, and I grew up on Batman. As a kid in Ireland, we used to get our raincoats and tie them round our neck and swing through the bicycle shed."
The role was picked up by Michael Keaton, who played Batman in two Burton movies. The character has also been played by George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Christian Bale on the big screen.
Rapper Gucci Mane has been sentenced to 39 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal firearms charges. The Icy hitmaker, real name Radric Davis, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in May (14), in relation to two separate incidents in September (13), when cops found Davis, who was a felon at the time, with a gun and marijuana.
On Wednesday (20Aug14), a federal judge sentenced the 34 year old to three years and three months in a federal prison and added three years of supervised release with limitations on travel. He was also fined $5,000 (GBP2,941), according to ABCNews.com.
Gucci Mane's lawyers asked the judge overseeing the case to consider giving their client 11 months credit for time served, but the judge explained that decision was best left up to officials at the Bureau of Prisons.
Music bosses at a little-known publishing group have won a major legal tussle against Sony over chart-topping 2010 Shakira hit Loca. A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled in favour of Mayimba Music executives who alleged the Spanish-language single infringed on the work of Ramon Arias Vasquez, who wrote Loca con su Tiguere in the late 1990s. They own the rights to his music.
The Mayimba publishers sued Sony Corp of America and several other Sony units in 2012. Two of them were found to be liable in court on Tuesday (19Aug14), reports Reuters.
The plaintiffs argued Shakira's track was was based on a 2007 song by rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou, aka El Cata, which also copied Arias' music.
The judge must now determine the Mayimba Music bosses' damages.