Rocker Bruce Springsteen courted controversy by playing an anti-war song during a Veterans Day concert in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (11Nov14).
The Born to Run hitmaker was one of the performers at the Concert for Valor, a live event from the National Mall in America's capital.
Springsteen took to the stage with Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and country singer Zac Brown and the super trio sang Creedence Clearwater Revival's famous anti-war anthem Fortunate Son.
Originally written by John Fogerty in 1969, the track was released during the Vietnam War, and was meant to be against the draft.
The cover by Springsteen, Grohl and Brown was deemed questionable since nearly 12,000 of those in attendance at the Concert for Valor were members of the U.S. military.
The event, which was executive produced by Tom Hanks, featured additional performances from the Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Jessie J, Eminem, Metallica, the Black Keys, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson.
Stars such as Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, and Bryan Cranston were all on hand to introduce the performers, while the likes of Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Will Smith appeared in video footage saluting individual veterans in honour of their service.
Miranda Lambert was crowned the queen of country music after taking home four trophies at the 2014 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (05Nov14).
The Mama's Broken Heart singer picked up almost half of her nine nominations, including her fifth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year prize. Lambert also nabbed Album of the Year for Platinum, and Single of the Year (Automatic). She also scored the Musical Event of the Year award for her we Were Us collaboration with Keith Urban.
The night's other big winner was Luke Bryan, who took home the coveted Entertainer of the Year honor. Lambert's husband Blake Shelton added another trophy to the couple's collection after he was named Male Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time.
Other victors included Little Big Town (Vocal Group of the Year), Florida Georgia Line (Vocal Duo of the Year), and Kacey Musgraves, who took home the Song of the Year award for Follow Your Arrow.
Vince Gill picked up a special award recognising his impact on country music - the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence has only been given to one other person - late legend Johnny Cash.
The evening at Nashville, Tennessee's Bridgestone Arena kicked off with two high-energy performances from Kenny Chesney and Lambert, who teamed up with Meghan Trainor for a rendition of her number one hit All About That Bass. Co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley each took the stage to perform their latest singles, and there were also sets from Urban, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, and a duet from Eric Church and George Strait.
Other performances came from The Band Perry, who honoured ailing country music icon Glen Campbell by singing his song Gentle On My Mind, while Little Big Town joined Ariana Grande to sing her hit Bang Bang.
Musgraves surprised the audience by bringing country icon Loretta Lynn onstage for a rendition of her 1971 hit You're Lookin' at Country, and The Doobie Brothers were joined by Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles and Hillary Scott for two renditions of the Michael McDonald-led band's hits.
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, actresses Connie Britton and Lucy Hale, and supermodel Lily Aldridge were among the presenters at the ceremony.
The full list of winners for the 2014 Country Music Association Awards is as follows:
Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
New Artist of the Year: Brett Eldredge
Album of the Year: Platinum - Miranda Lambert
Song of the Year: Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves
Single of the Year: Automatic - Miranda Lambert
Music Video of the Year: Drunk on a Plane - Dierks Bentley
Musical Event of the Year: We Were Us - Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally, Guitar
Rocker Steven Tyler is going a little bit country this Christmas by teaming up with Brad Paisley for a U.S. TV special. The Aerosmith frontman has signed up to take part in the 2014 CMA Country Christmas concert and he will join singer Paisley onstage for a one-off duet at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on 7 November (14).
Alan Jackson has also been added to the line-up, performing alongside Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Sara Evans and Lucy Hale, while Sugarland star Jennifer Nettles will host the event, which will air in the U.S. on 1 December (14).
Tyler is no stranger to the country industry - he previously teamed up with Underwood for a mash-up of Aerosmith classic Walk This Way and the blonde beauty's hit Undo It at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, and they reunited in 2012 for a Country Music Television special.
He also recently announced plans for his debut solo album, revealing the project will be recorded in country music mecca Nashville early next year (15).
Actor Tom Hanks has teamed with executives at U.S. cable network HBO to present an all-star concert, which will be televised on America's Veteran's Day next month (11Nov14).
The Captain Phillips star will executive produce the Concert for Valor, which will air live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and feature performances from Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Metallica, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood and the Zac Brown Band. Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg and Hanks will also make special appearances.
Announcing the joint venture with Hanks, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler says, "We are honored to play a small role to help raise awareness and support for our service men and women. "Their immeasurable sacrifice deserves our nation's gratitude. This event will not only celebrate their service, but help remind Americans of the many challenges they face on and off the battlefield."
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack are set to team up for an upcoming episode of Cmt Crossroads. The singers will hit the stage together for a concert in Franklin, Tennessee in September (14) for the show which pairs up country artists with musicians in other genres.
John Hamlin, the senior Vice-president of music, events and talent at CMT, says, "Having John and Lee Ann join us on CMT Crossroads is going to be an incredible pairing - they are both among the most respected singers in their genres.
"This has all the makings of another classic Crossroads collaboration."
The CMT Crossroads concert series has previously paired up acts including Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and John Mayer and Carrie Underwood with Steven Tyler.
YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
Justin Timberlake, Imagine Dragons Robin Thicke and Jennifer Lopez were among the big winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14), each taking home top honours. The SexyBack hitmaker, who is currently on his world tour, emerged victorious in a total of seven categories, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist, while he also claimed the title for Top Billboard 200 Album for The 20/20 Experience.
Imagine Dragons and Robin Thicke were also multiple winners on the night, while Lorde had double the reason to celebrate as she was named Top New Artist and her hit Royals earned her the Top Rock Song prize. It was also a big night for Jennifer Lopez, who opened the Las Vegas ceremony by joining Pitbull and Claudia Leitte to perform their official 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer anthem, We Are One (Ole Ola).
She returned to the stage almost three hours later to close the show with her new song First Love as she was feted with the Icon Award by pal Ricky Martin and rapper Iggy Azalea, while video tributes from the likes of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Mary J. Blige were shown on a big screen. She grew emotional as she gave thanks to her friends, family and key colleagues and she wrapped up her acceptance speech by addressing all the youngsters watching the awards on TV, telling them, "Have faith, think big, dream big and know that anything is possible. You never know where you might end up. Thank you, I love you."
Other show highlights included Ricky Martin's energetic Vida and Lorde's first TV rendition of her new single Tennis Court. There was also a pre-taped Birthday surprise from Katy Perry, who recorded a segment from her recent gig in Newcastle, England, where she plucked a real birthday girl from the audience and serenaded her onstage, for the awards show, while footage from Miley Cyrus' concert in Manchester, England last week (14May14), when she sang a cover of the Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds with the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, also aired.
The main list of winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, presented by rapper Ludacris, is as follows:
Top Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top New Artist - Lorde
Top Male Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Female Artist - Katy Perry
Top Duo/Group - Imagine Dragons
Top Touring Artist - Bon Jovi
Top Billboard 200 Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Billboard 200 Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Hot 100 Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Hot 100 Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Radio Songs Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Radio Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Digital Songs Artist - Katy Perry
Top Digital Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Social Artist - Justin Bieber
Top Streaming Artist - Miley Cyrus
Top Streaming Song (Audio) - Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
Top Streaming Song (Video) - Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball
Top Christian Artist - Chris Tomlin
Top Christian Song - Matthew West, Hello, My Name Is
Top Christian Album - Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Volume II
Top Country Artist - Luke Bryan
Top Country Song - Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, Cruise
Top Country Album - Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
Top Dance/Electronic Album - Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Top Latin Artist - Marc Anthony
Top Latin Song - Marc Anthony, Vivir Mi Vida
Top Latin Album - Marc Anthony, 3.0
Top R&B Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top R&B Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top R&B Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Rap Artist - Eminem
Top Rap Song - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, Can't Hold Us
Top Rap Album - Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Top Rock Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Rock Song - Lorde, Royals
Top Rock Album - Imagine Dragons,
Night Visions Milestone Award - Carrie Underwood
Icon Award - Jennifer Lopez.
Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
Tobey Maguire's daughter delighted guests at rocker Linda Perry and actress Sara Gilbert's wedding on Sunday (30Mar14) by taking to the stage to perform a song for the newlyweds. The couple exchanged vows in Malibu, California over the weekend and Juliette Lewis, Steven Tyler, Spider-Man star Maguire and Gilbert's The Talk co-hosts Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, Sheryl Underwood and Julie Chen were all in attendance.
According to reports, the ceremony was more like a rock concert, with performances from 1980s artists including Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin, Missing Persons' Dale Bozzio, The Motels' Martha Davis and Terri Nun from Berlin, but the highlight of the show came when Maguire's seven-year-old daughter Ruby hit the stage to belt out a cover of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun, reports TMZ.com.
Former 4 Non Blondes frontwoman Perry also showed off her musical talents by teaming up with Nun to sing Berlin's Sex (I'm A...) hit.
For months now, Hollywood.com has been entrenched in a heated debate. A debate that warrants more fire and enmity than anything in the spectrums of politics, religion, or professional sports. We're talking the long-gestating battle of Mara vs. Mara. And finally, we've taken to the public to express our horses in this neverending race. So whose side are you on — Team Kate or Team Rooney?
PRO KATEJulia Emmanuele
The first season of American Horror Story is probably the most insane of the three, and it often felt to me as if Ryan Murphy was just throwing out every single idea he had in an attempt to make the show as shocking and full of plot twists as humanly possible, which, for the most part, is what Kate Mara's character Hayden is there for. In theory, she exists purely to cause more conflict between Ben and Vivien, due to the fact that she’s mentally unstable and attempts to manipulate Ben into leaving his wife to help her raise the baby she’s carrying. But Kate’s performance keeps her from being a walking plot device, and she creates a character that is by turns terrifying and unpredictable, desperate, and sadly seems to genuinely believe that she and Ben have something special. She truly hopes that she can have a family with him, and even though she’s willing to accomplish that by any means necessary – including attempting to steal Vivien’s baby after both she and Hayden are dead – Kate tempers all of that instability with genuine emotion. In her last scene, where she tells Tate that Violet will never love him, it’s petty, sure, but it’s also resigned. Kate takes a character that is, like every other character on that show, there primarily for shock value, and finds the humanity in her insane plot. She gives the character depth, and makes you feel for her, even as she’s carrying out her insane plan.
Then there’s House of Cards and Zoe Barnes. Zoe’s the kind of character that audiences will either love or hate, and I’ve seen strong opinions on both sides. Personally, I’m a big fan of Zoe, and a lot of that has to do with the way that Kate plays her. She’s ambitious and cunning, willing to do whatever she needs to for her own benefit, and doesn’t care who she needs to hurt in order to advance, all of which makes her the perfect counterpart to Frank Underwood. But Kate doesn’t just make her a female version of Frank; she gives her layers and depth that help ground the ambition and drive that characterizes Zoe. There’s an episode where Frank talks about how it’s important that he and Zoe keep secrets from each other, and how they are different things to different people. Kate’s whole performance epitomizes that. You get the sense that she’s hiding something about herself from everyone – that maybe the tough, ambitious front that she puts on the whole time is just there to keep her vulnerability hidden. The best example of this is the scene where Zoe comes over to the Underwoods' house, tries on Claire’s dress and ends her affair with Frank, which reads both like a little girl playing dress-up and the start of Zoe becoming a legitimate threat. She’s imitating Claire’s earlier behavior, and she’s acting in a way that is slightly childish. But Kate also makes sure that Zoe’s resolve comes across just as clearly as her pettiness. He’s not taking her seriously, but she’s establishing herself as someone who will try to take Frank down. Kate gets all of that across in the two minutes it takes for her to try on the dress and walk around the room.
It’s a testament to all of the layers that Kate gives Zoe that the character and her performance gets more compelling with every re-watch. Look at all of Zoe’s weird, nervous tics that fade away over the course of the season, as she becomes more confident and starts taking control of the story. She starts the first season biting her nails and slouching in on herself; by the end, she’s taking the lead away from Lucas and Jeanine, both of whom are older and more experienced and holding her own against Frank. Zoe’s awkwardness, her fear, and her ruthlessness are all clear in the way that Kate carries herself and delivers every line, and all of that comes together to create a character that would likely not be nearly as compelling with another actress in the role.
ANTI KATEMichael Arbeiter
Would you still watch House of Cards if Kevin Spacey wasn't in it, and it was just Kate's character? I wouldn't. But I'd still watch Dragon Tattoo if they ousted Daniel Craig and just made it about Rooney. You would too, admit it. It'd be better.
Also, boring name.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
PRO ROONEYMichael Arbeiter
Here's the thing about Rooney Mara — there's not just one thing about Rooney Mara. To one of you, Rooney Mara might be a sociopathic code-breaker, cemented irreparably into her Girl with the Dragon Tattoo role. To another, the mile-a-minute Sorkin fixture who set an ingenious egomaniac off on his quest for digital world domination. Rooney has not had the luxury of pinning her talents and memorability to the forced familiarity of a television role. Rooney opts for movies, which, no matter how many times you tweet otherwise, is still the superior artistic medium to television. In the past five years alone, Rooney has amounted a slew of big screen roles that have identified her as a creative mystic and an on-the-rise industry figure.
We'll start with her Dragon Tattoo transformation, perhaps the role that adorned her with the degree of notability that she enjoys today. Yes, Kate's House of Cards character requires some dexterity, but the stretching required to playing her ballsy reporter Zoe barely compares to that inherent in roles like Lisbeth Salander... and that's considering the fact that both characters come from the same filmmaker: David Fincher (it should be noted that both House of Cards and Dragon Tattoo are adaptations). From the get-go, Rooney is thrust into a decidedly challenging world — her ability to glimmer with charm through the veneer of Fincher's abrasive adaptation is a testament to her uncompromising film presence.
Contrastingly, Rooney fits right into the mellifluous portrait of Spike Jonze's Her, even when introduced three quarters of the way through the movie. Playing an organic alternative to Samantha, the "ideal woman" who outgrows her romantic partner Theodore Twombly (god, I just love that name), Rooney socks her onscreen partner Joaquin Phoenix and the audience alike with a ton of earnestness, anchoring the "fantasy" of the film back to Earth but never robbing it of its sense of wonder. That's all in the performance, which keeps her shy of Hollywood's traditional platform of mysognistic villainy. Rooney understands the role and deals with it responsibly, and we're never beckoned to look away even when she's smacking us with cold, hard truths.
But Rooney is not reliant on high concept roles to let her skill set show. As the diabolical loon at the center of Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects, she balances humanity and monstrosity to an absolutely chilling degree. As the star of the haunting crime drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints, she allows for the appreciation of the full spectrum of human desperation. And even though it might be her smallest major role, Rooney's turn at the forefront of Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network is powerful, funny, caustic, endearing, frightening, and permanent enough to have us believe that it could truly spark an egomaniacal genius' plight to take over the digital world.
ANTI ROONEYJulia Emmanuele
I’ve never felt particularly invested in any of Rooney’s characters. To me, there’s never any depth there, never anything to make it seem as if there’s a character underneath the costume and the script. Her performances have always come across as relatively flat to me. She delivers her lines well, and she can look affected by the scene, but there’s never any gravity to it, never anything that makes me want to keep watching her the way I can with Kate. She’s just kind of… there, whereas Kate’s characters are fully formed, interesting people in their own right, and she finds ways to hint at the layers underneath, and a past that has shaped the way the characters approach situations now.
What do you think?