Rapper J.cole has paid tribute to a black teenager killed by a police officer in Missouri by releasing a new song dedicated to him. Darren Wilson shot unarmed Michael Brown, who was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a suburban St. Louis store, on 9 August (14), and the incident has sparked a series of tense protests between African-Americans and civil rights leaders and officials in the state.
As Governor Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama and Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson join forces in a bid to end days of violence, hip-hop star Cole has released Be Free to voice his frustrations with the deaths of African-American men in the U.S.
In a post on his website, Dreamvillain.com, he writes, "That coulda (sic) been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f**k if it's by police or peers. This s**t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel."
Cole is not the only celebrity to speak out about the incident in Missouri - John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have voiced concerns over the treatment of protesters by police following the shooting.
Legend took to Twitter.com to voice his opinion, writing, "I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on (news channel) CNN... He wants a fight.
"Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery... Dehumanization and racism go together."
Meanwhile, R&B star Frank Ocean took to Tumblr.com to comment on an image of Governor Nixon standing in front of a black woman as he addressed the slaying of Brown and wrote, "You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there... then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times."
Actor David James Elliott is set to take on the role of John Wayne in an upcoming Dalton Trumbo biopic. The former JAG star will portray the Hollywood Western icon in Trumbo, alongside Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who will take on the titular role.
The film will tell the story of the Oscar-winning screenwriter, who penned 1960 epic Spartacus and Paul Newman's classic Exodus.
He became a Hollywood outcast in 1947 after he refused to testify in front of the U.S. Congress during an investigation of Communist influences in the movie industry and was sent to prison in 1950 for contempt.
Acting legend Wayne was president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, the organisation which gave the names of Hollywood's questionable celebrities to Congress.
Trumbo, which will be directed by Meet the Fockers' Jay Roach, also stars Dame Helen Mirren, Diane Lane and John Goodman.
A man was arrested at Beyonce and Jay Z's concert in California on Saturday (02Aug14) after he allegedly bit off the tip of another man's finger.
Robert Alcaraz-Garnica, 25, was arrested at Pasadena's Rose Bowl after he reportedly groped the victim's girlfriend, and as a fight ensued, Alcaraz-Garnica chomped on the man's finger.
Lieutenant John Luna of the Pasadena Police Department confirms to TheWrap.com that Alcaraz-Garnica "sexually assaulted" a female and the man sustained a "serious injury" to his finger.
Alcaraz-Garnica was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and mayhem following the incident and is being held on $100,000 (£59,426) bail pending his initial court appearance.
In addition, local police also arrested eight revellers for public intoxication and two for ticket scalping. Saturday's gig was part of the hip-hop supercouple's On The Run tour, and the pair played another show at the same venue on Sunday (03Aug14).
Actor John Goodman is in talks to re-team with his Argo co-star Bryan Cranston in the Dalton Trumbo biopic.
The Hangover Part III star is in negotiations to take on the role of film producer Frank King, who hired the blacklisted screenwriter to pen scripts for his production company, according to TheWrap.com.
Trumbo, which will be directed by Meet the Fockers' Jay Roach, will also star Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
The Oscar winner, who wrote 1960's Spartacus and Exodus, became a Hollywood outcast in 1947, after he refused to testify in front of the U.S. Congress during an investigation of Communist influences in the movie industry. He was sent to prison in 1950 for contempt.
Supplied by WENN
Pop superstar Beyonce looks set to triumph at the MTV Video Music Awards after scooping eight nominations.
The Crazy in Love hitmaker released promos for every track on her self-titled fifth album, and three of those clips have landed nominations, including nods for Video of the Year and Best Collaboration for Drunk in Love, which features her husband Jay Z.
She is also in the running for Best Female Video and Best Choreography for Partition, and Best Video with a Social Message for Pretty Hurts at the annual MTV prizegiving.
Beyonce's closest rivals are rappers Eminem and Iggy Azalea, who have picked up seven nods apiece.
Azalea's Fancy music promo, based on cult comedy film Clueless, will compete for Video of the Year and Best Pop Video, while she also appears in the Best Female Video category twice for Fancy and Problem, her collaboration with Ariana Grande. Other acts to land nods include Pharrell Williams and Grande, who have three nominations each.
The ceremony will take place at The Forum venue in Los Angeles on 24 August (14). Usher and 5 Seconds of Summer are scheduled to perform.
The list of main nominees is as follows:
Video of the Year: Drunk in Love - Beyonce featuring Jay Z; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus; Happy - Pharrell Williams; Chandelier - Sia
Best Female Video: Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Partition - Beyonce; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Dark Horse - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J; Royals - Lorde
Best Male Video: Sing - Ed Sheeran featuring Pharrell Williams; The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna; All Of Me - John Legend; Happy - Pharrell Williams; Stay with Me - Sam Smith
Best Pop Video: Happy - Pharrell Williams; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz; Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Wake Me Up - Avicii
Best Hip-Hop Video: 3005 - Childish Gambino; Hold On, We're Going Home - Drake; Berzerk - Eminem; Black Skinhead - Kanye West; We Dem Boyz - Wiz Khalifa
Best Rock Video: Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys; Royals - Lorde; Demons - Imagine Dragons; Until It's Gone - Linkin Park; Fever - The Black Keys
Best Collaboration: Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Drunk in Love - Beyonce featuring Jay Z; Loyal - Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga; The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna; Dark Horse - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J; Timber - Pitbull featuring Kesha.
Kanye West will end the summer with a busy weekend, headlining both Budweiser Made In America festivals in Pennsylvania and Los Angeles. West was recently confirmed as the Saturday-night headliner at Jay Z's event in Philadelphia on 30 August (14), and now it has emerged he'll jet to the west coast after his set and perform his hits again in L.A. the following night (31Aug14).
Iggy Azalea has just been newly added to the inaugural Los Angeles event, which will also feature John Mayer, Juanes, Weezer and Rise Against.
Rapper YG will also appear at both festivals.
The Philadelphia Made in America event, now in its third year, will also feature The National, Steve Aoki, J. Cole and Chromeo.
Singer Jessica Simpson shed a few extra pounds in the lead-up to her weekend (05Jul14) wedding by adopting a strict vegan diet.
The blonde beauty has been showing off a slimmer figure in recent months after losing the pregnancy pounds from carrying her second child, son Ace, last year (13) with the help of a food plan from Weight Watchers, for which she is a spokeswoman.
However, Simpson wanted to make sure she looked her absolute best when she exchanged vows with former American footballer Eric Johnson in California on Saturday, so she temporarily cut out all animal products from her diet. A source tells UsMagazine.com, "Jessica did a vegan diet for about two weeks leading up to the wedding."
The newlywed also reportedly boosted her vitamin levels by getting "quite a few" B12 shots to help maintain a healthy brain and nervous system.
Simpson has since returned to her meat-eating ways - at a pre-wedding Independence Day bash on Friday (04Jul14), guests were treated to a feast of beef brisket, smoked barbecue baby back ribs, fried chicken and grilled shrimp, as well as a variety of pies and watermelon.
Simpson isn't the first superstar to go vegan - Jennifer Lopez recently adopted the plant-based diet to get her in tip-top shape for the release of her new album AKA, while Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay Z also tried a 22-day vegan challenge last year (13).
Beyonce was the toast of the 2014 BET Awards after scooping three top prizes and closing the show with a taped performance of Partition from her On The Run tour with husband Jay Z. The Crazy in Love hitmaker picked up Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, the FANdemonium Award, and Best Collaboration for Drunk in Love with her rapper partner.
Pharrell Williams kicked off the proceedings with his Miley Cyrus collaboration Come Get It Bae, but instead of performing with the Wrecking Ball hitmaker, he had a little help from reclusive rap superstar Missy Elliott. The pair then burst into a rendition of her 2003 hit Pass That Dutch.
The pair received a rapturous welcome from the crowd, and Williams went on to be named the winner in the Best Male R&B/ Pop Artist category and Video of the Year for Happy.
Drake saw off competition from Jay Z to win the Best Male Hip Hop Artist prize, while Nicki Minaj went home with the female equivalent. Best Group went to Young Money, Lil Wayne's collection of artists.
Oscar-winning drama 12 Years A Slave swept the board in the movie categories, being named Best Film, while its stars Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor won the top acting prizes.
Chris Brown surprised the crowd with a performance of his new track Loyal. He was joined by Lil Wayne and Tyga for his first high-profile post-prison show. Other performers to wow the crowd included T.I. and Iggy Azalea, Robin Thicke, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, John Legend and Lionel Richie, who performed a medley of hits after being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Although they couldn't be there in person, Beyonce and Jay Z closed the show with a pre-recorded performance from their collaborative tour.
Chris Rock acted as host. The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Best Male R&B/ Pop Artist
Beyonce featuring Jay Z - Drunk in Love
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Video of the Year
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Video Director of the Year
Best New Artist
Best Gospel Artist
12 Years a Slave
Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Subway Sportsman of the Year
Jhene Aiko - The Worst
Best International Act: Africa
Best International Act: UK
Krept & Konan.
U.S. broadcaster Katie Couric is a married woman after tying the knot on Saturday (21Jun14). The 57-year-old TV star wed financier John Molner in an intimate ceremony in East Hampton, New York in front of 50 guests.
Before the nuptials, Couric told People.com, "We wanted to keep the wedding just very low-key. This is not my first rodeo so I didn't want to go too crazy and neither did John."
The pair began dating in 2012. It is Couric's second marriage - her first husband Jay Monahan passed away in 1998.
Couric, who has two daughters of her own, is now stepmother to Molner's son and daughter.
Jay Z has reportedly parted ways from the longtime business partner who helped build his successful empire. The 99 Problems hitmaker has collaborated with former finance executive John Meneilly for years, and he is credited as one of the driving forces behind the rise of Jay's Rocawear clothing line and record label Roc Nation.
He also reportedly helped facilitate a major deal with technology giant Samsung last year (13), which helped to shift a million copies of the rapper's Magna Carta Holy Grail album. Now the New York Post reports the two have parted ways, but it is unclear as to what caused the split and if they parted on good terms. One insider tells the newspaper it was "amicable", while another music industry source says it "wasn't Meneilly's choice to leave".