Michael Ball drew huge crowds when he was spotted busking in Harrogate, England on Tuesday (16Sep14). The veteran crooner performed Pharrell Williams' hit single Happy and attracted a large audience of spectators.
Ball's stunt was filmed by a camera crew prompting speculation he was shooting a new music video.
An onlooker tells local newspaper the Harrogate Advertiser, "He was just sat there drumming on a bucket and singing. Someone in the office recognised him and we had a Google to check. He was quite good!"
Ball was rewarded for his hard work with a free coffee from a nearby cafe. The owner adds, "He was lovely and very polite."
Pharrell Williams has become the latest celebrity to urge U.S. leader President Barack Obama to visit Ferguson, Missouri following last month's (Aug14) race riots between locals and law enforcement officials.
The town became a warzone after teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer investigating a robbery, and Williams is among those who feel Obama should have been there to calm tensions.
Pharrell tells CNN, "The President needs to go down there. When your parents come into the room, whether it's you or your cousin that knocked the vase down, you all stand at attention (sic)." Justifying his comments by stating, "I'm not into politics, but I have opinions", the Happy hitmaker insists the Ferguson drama is just the beginning of what could become a big problem for Obama and his aides, adding, "I'm disappointed in the way that it was handled from the government's side... This is a deeper laceration in this country... This is going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever."
But Williams, who believes the police officer at the centre of the Ferguson drama should be punished, insists black youths need to avoid clashes with cops, adding, "When they (police) told him (Brown) to get out of the road, he should have got out of the road (sic); I wouldn't have been in the road in the first place."
The Peter Pan TV special scheduled for America later this year (14) has landed a darling Broadway favourite - five-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara has been cast as Wendy, John and Michael Darling's mum. The Bridges of Madison County and South Pacific stars joins a cast that includes Allison Williams as Pan, Christopher Walken as Captain Hook and Christian Borle who will double up as pirate Smee and George Darling.
Jonah Hill poked fun at an ex-girlfriend while picking up GQ magazine's International Man of the Year honour in London on Tuesday night (02Sep14).
The Wolf of Wall Street star took aim at his sixth grade love while accepting the style trophy from Bradley Cooper. Hill said, "Emily, my first girlfriend... You broke my heart and left it shattered. It was really sad. I know you were young and love is wild and you grow apart, but I'm GQ International Man of the f**king Year!"
The twice Oscar-nominated star joined Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Pharrell Williams, Van Morrison, New Order, new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Paulo Nutini among the big style winners, while Johnny Depp presented punk veteran Iggy Pop with GQ's Icon Award at the Royal Opera House.
And the women weren't left out - Kim Kardashian West, who was joined on the red carpet by her husband Kanye West, picked up the Woman of the Year prize and stunned in a custom-designed haute couture Ralph & Russo gown. Reminding the world her full name is now Kim Kardashian West, the reality TV star said, "I want to thank GQ for making me Woman of the Year, and my husband for making me feel like woman of the year every day."
Among those handing over the top prizes at the ceremony Lindsay Lohan, Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Daisy Lowe, Bob Geldof, Pippa Middleton and author E.L. James, who presented her Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan with a Breakthrough Award.
The full list of GQ Men of the Year Award winners is:
Comedian of the Year: John Bishop
Editor’s Special Award: Liam Neeson
Chef of the Year: Tom Kerridge
Designer of the Year: Christopher Bailey
International Man of the Year: Jonah Hill
Writer of the Year: Michael Lewis
Philanthropist of the Year: Tony Blair
Breakthrough Fashion Designers of the Year: Agi and Sam
TV Personality of the Year: Peter Capaldi
Innovator Award: Ewan Venters
Inspiration Award: New Order Hugo Boss
Most Stylish Man: Douglas Booth
Sportsman: Lewis Hamilton
Actor of the Year: Benedict Cumberbatch
Entrepreneur of the Year: Andre Balazs
Special Achievement: Paolo Nutini
Vertu Breakthrough Award: Jamie Dornan
Legend Award: Van Morrison
Solo Artist of the Year: Pharrell Williams
Leading Man of the Year: Colin Firth
Humanitarian of the Year: Ringo Starr
Woman of the Year: Kim Kardashian West
Icon Award: Iggy Pop
Singer Michelle Williams has spoken out in defence of former Destiny'S Child bandmate Beyonce's decision not to tame her daughter Blue Ivy's wild hair, insisting cruel critics should focus on their own kids. Style critics and Internet trolls have taken aim at the Crazy In Love hitmaker and her rapper husband Jay Z in recent months over their choice to let two-year-old Blue Ivy's locks grow out naturally.
The haircare debate even led to a bizarre petition launched online, calling on the baby's superstar parents to comb her afro, but Williams is baffled by the unlikely hot topic.
She tells America's Sister 2 Sister magazine, "Let's worry about your own children and nieces and nephews and make sure they're getting good grades in school and not worry about somebody's hair."
And Williams is warning cyber bullies everywhere not to mess with her or her loved ones.
She says, "I think the cyber bullying is just stupid because the majority of the time most of the cyber bullies just type it (online), but when they see you on the street, they're not gonna say it to your face.
"Every now and then, depending on what day you catch me, if you say something out of line to me - because I don't want you to be ignorant, I want you to be knowledgeable - I will spit something back to you that's factual and I'll say 'God bless you' at the end."
Williams' comments emerge days after Blue Ivy's appearance with her famous parents at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (24Aug14), when she helped her dad present Beyonce with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, prompted further haircare criticism from bloggers.
Chris Brown's on/off girlfriend Karrueche Tran also poked fun at the child's hair during a guest hosting stint on U.S. music video chart show 106 & Park on Monday (25Aug14), when she read from a script of jokes and quipped, as Blue Ivy, "I really did wake up like this because my parents never combed my hair."
The backlash she received prompted BET network boss Stephen G. Hill to apologise for the remark on behalf of his company.
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
Actress/singer Vanessa Williams is facing a hefty bill from U.S. authorities amid allegations she owes $370,000 (£217,647) in unpaid taxes.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials issued the lien to the Ugly Betty beauty earlier this month (Aug14) in relation to an address mix-up on the star's 2011 tax return. The documents were filed under her accountants' Manhattan address, even though she lives miles away, in the New York hamlet of Chappaqua, reports the New York Daily News.
Williams is the latest celebrity to be targeted by IRS bosses - singers Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige and Courtney Love, actor Michael Madsen and rapper Flo Rida are among the more recent stars hit by the tax authorities.
Getty Images/Michael Tran
It happens every year. We go into the Emmys hoping for thrills, for surprises, for inspiration, and we come out the other side tired, bored, and begrudging Modern Family. As per usual, this year’s ceremony offered plenty of detestable moments, both in the form of award snubs and onstage bits that don’t seem to have been thought through. In all honesty, a comprehensive list of the things that incurred violent eye rolls at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards would take even longer to read than the never-ending show did to watch, so here’s a roundup of the top achievements in the organization’s unparalleled artistry of regret: the worst moments from this year’s Emmys.
Why, Weird Al, why?
Shortly after reminding us of his irreverent genius with the release of the long-awaited studio album Mandatory Fun, Weird Al Yankovic took the Emmys stage mid-ceremony to perform a patchwork of quick, lazy parodies to the theme songs of the night’s various nominated comedy and drama programs (most notably Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Modern Family). None of the obvious, haphazard lyrics lived up to Al’s established ingenuity, barely earning a laugh throughout the act.
Does anybody else hear wind chimes?
The average Emmy viewer began to question his own sanity last night when the program began inscrutably ringing wind chimes to mark the victories of some of its big winners. The perplexing, noxious sound was enough to institute a subconscious resentment of whatever party had just taken the stage to collect his or her golden statue. We thought we were happy for Bryan Cranston until a high-pitched clanging washed the whole episode in general unpleasantness. Now we can’t even remember who we were rooting for!
Aren't we over Sherlock?
In its inceptive years, Sherlock was an interesting, fun, and inviting new miniseries. But this past season, the writing observed a qualitative decline and the acting showed off nothing new. With so many interesting and talented players up against Martin Freeman (the entire Normal Heart supporting cast) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, and the Fargo fellas... including his own costar Freeman, who we'd rather have seen win for the FX series than for the BBC detective show) and writer Steven Moffat, we can't really sign off on this year's wins.
That one off-putting clip in the Robin Williams tribute
We don’t mean to cast a foul shadow over the heartfelt remembrance of Robin Williams, but we can’t help but find it odd that the Emmys chose to include a clip of him affecting racial stereotypes among its rather short montage of his material. With so much standup gold, late night circuit merriment, and Mork and Mindy treasure to choose from, why stoop to such a questionable selection?
Do you see Rosco now, Stephen? Is he in the room with us?
We’ve spent years enjoying Stephen Colbert’s contribution to the political satire circuit, and plan to enjoy many more beside him as he graduates to hosting The Late Show. But every once in a while, the comic mastermind throws out a clunker, namely his “imaginary friend” shtick that earned (duly) zero laughs. Colbert stretched a weird one-note joke much longer than we hoped he would when he prattled on about the lack of appreciation for his invisible costar Rosco. It didn’t have the cleverness or imagination of Colbert’s usual esoteric material… it was just silly and, quite frankly, dumb.
Hey, Emmys, you guys see that new show Orange Is the New Black?
You could make viable cases for Louie and Veep as the deserving owners of this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series Award, but a little part of each of us was rooting for Orange Is the New Black. Speaking sociopolitically, the Netflix series is offering its viewers more progressive characters, relationships, and situations than Modern Family is so often credited with doing: while the ABC sitcom relegates its gay and Latina characters to jokes about home décor and mispronunciation, OITNB actually celebrates and explores its roster’s diversity sincerely… and it manages to be funny all the while.
Stop milking the folksiness!
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are both talented actors, a fact exhibited most prominently by their partnership on HBO's True Detective. And while we may love them as actors, and even perhaps as celebrities, they both seem to be milking their fame for all its worth. Sure, an entertaining routine is welcome in any awards show presentation, but Harrelson and McConaughey seemed to have eschewed a written-and-rehearsed comedy bit in favor of a few moments of self-serving rabbelrousing.
The general air of predictability
Yes, many of us were ecstatic for Breaking Bad stars Cranston, Anna Gunn, and Jesse Pinkman. No, we don't have the energy to maintain fury over the victories of Modern Family and Jim Parsons year after year. It's just the complete lack of suspense, surprise, or even the pretense of possibility that can be a little bit numbing to those tuning in. Do we really live in such a formulaic time for artistic expression? Doesn't it eat at us to accept that invention and originality, projects that actually challenge us, are so seldom rewarded, while the same shows and stars year after year are granted accolades for keeping us comfortable? Can't we... eh, who cares, at least we finally have our Simpsons marathon.
And the very worst moment of this or, quite possibly, any Emmys ceremony...
The Award goes to... Sofia Vergara, for The Epitome of Sexist Objectification!
There's a fine line between parody and reality, between upholding reprehensible behavior satirically and doing so earnestly. But the Emmys' Sofia Vergara-on-a-spinning-pedestal bit does not come close to that line. It lives far, far to one side, happily resting in its own sexist comforts, where women are deemed objects and the very idea of questioning the validity in this viewpoint is worthy of chuckles. The Modern Family star stood happily atop a rotating platform, devolving to little more than something to gawk at while her partner in crime, Chairman of the Television Academy Bruce Rosenblum, giddily mocked the idea that what they were doing was at all problematic. That's bad. Gwen Stefani mispronouncing "Colbert"-levels bad.
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Following the Emmys' traditional In Memorium segment, honoring a collection of television greats who sadly passed away over the course of this past year, the ceremony paid individual tribute to a particularly beloved figure: Robin Williams. Billy Crystal, a friend and colleague of Williams', took the stage to speak personally about the comedic genius. Crystal spoke wistfully of Williams' great line of works, of his many successful endeavors to make the world a funnier place. But the highlight of his well-crafted speech came from his own life experience, spending time with his pal Robin at Comic Relief events and family functions.
Crystal remembered attending a charity baseball game with fish-out-of-water Williams, who made up for his own lack of familiarity with the sport by inventing a Russian character and tossing jokes about professional ballplaying in his home country. Furthermore, Crystal recounted with adoration Williams' penchant for joking around with Billy's older relatives, describing our cherished star as always ready with a gag, no matter the situation. Crystal illustrated just how much fun Williams had with bits like these, citing such an example as the sort of shtick that would fill his eyes with light.
Following Crystal's speech, the ceremony offered clips of Williams' work on the late night circuit, on sitcom TV, and on the live stage. Despite the odd choice that was one clip of Williams performing a comedy routine about racial stereotypes (why opt for such material when he's got legions of more admirable gold to choose from?), we can't help but remember the great contribution Williams made to comedy the world over.
Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry ruled the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Sunday (24Aug14), by picking up the biggest honours. The Roar hitmaker took home the first Moonman trophy of the night for Best Female Video for Dark Horse and was joined onstage by rapper Juicy J who appeared on the track.
Cyrus, who returned to the prizegiving a year after causing a stir with her raunchy routine with Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke, was all about the message this year, choosing to use her Video of the Year acceptance speech for Wrecking Ball to pay tribute to homeless youths.
The pop star sent a man named Jesse to accept the prize on her behalf for the "1.6 million runaways and homeless youths in the United States, who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now."
He continued, "I know this because I am one of these people... If you want to make a powerful change in the world right now, please join us and go to Miley's Facebook.com page. A dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream you dream together is reality."
Beyonce was feted with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and wowed the crowd with a show-stopping performance featuring a medley of hits from her self-titled album, including Partition, Flawless and Drunk in Love.
After her stunning set, which brought the audience to its feet, she was presented with the accolade by daughter Blue Ivy and husband Jay Z, who called his wife "the greatest living entertainer."
Beyonce tearfully accepted her award, saying, "I'm so full. Thank you, I have nothing to say, but I'm filled with so much gratitude. I just thank God for this moment and I love y'all so much. Blue I love you, my beloved I love you, my fans I love you, MTV I love you, goodnight."
The moment appeared to be her bid to once and for all end divorce rumours.
Ed Sheeran and Fifth Harmony were also big winners, taking home the Best Male Video and Artist to Watch awards, respectively.
Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J kicked off the ceremony with Grande singing her hit Break Free, followed by Nicki Minaj giving a jungle-themed performance of her new track Anaconda.
Jessie J then started off the trio's new hit song Bang Bang, but Minaj suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when she did not complete her quick-change in time and was forced to hold the front of her dress together so as to not expose her bare breasts as she returned to the stage.
Other performance highlights included Sam Smith with his hit song Stay With Me and Maroon 5, who made their VMAs debut with a performance of Maps outside of the venue.
Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora also hit the The Forum stage for their first-ever live performance of Black Widow.
There was also a couple of serious moments in among the festivities - Robin Williams, who passed away earlier this month (Aug14), was remembered and rapper Common asked for a moment of silence for Missouri teenager, Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on 9 August (14), sparking the ongoing unrest in the state.
The 2014 MTV VMAs winners at press time were:
Video of the Year - Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
Best Hip-Hop Video - Hold On (We're Going Home) by Drake featuring Majid Jordan
Best Male Video - Sing by Ed Sheeran
Best Female Video - Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
Best Pop Video - Problem by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
Artist to Watch - Fifth Harmony
Best Rock Video - Royals by Lorde
Best Lyric Video - Don't Stop by 5 Seconds of Summer
MTV Clubland Award - Stay the Night by Zedd featuring Hayley Williams
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - Beyonce
The 2014 MTV Video Music Award winners are...
Best Female Video"Dark Horse" - Katy Perry, ft. Juicy J
Best Male Video"Sing" - Ed Sheeran, ft. Pharrell Williams
Best Pop Video"Problem" - Ariana Grande, ft. Iggy Azalea
Best Hip-Hop Video"Hold On (We're Going Home)" - Drake, ft. Majid Jordan
Best Rock Video"Royals" - Lorde
Artist to WatchFifth Harmony
Video of the Year"Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
Micbael Jackson Video Vanguard AwardBeyonce
Best Lyric Video"Don't Stop" - 5 Seconds of Summer