The death of pop star Simone Battle has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The 25-year-old G.R.L. bandmember and former The X Factor U.S. contestant was found dead at her home in West Hollywood, California on Friday (05Sep14).
Lieutenant Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department confirmed the cause of death on Sunday (07Sep14), and stated that no further details will be released.
Battle, a Los Angeles native, grew up doing part-time modeling and acting in small roles in television and movies.
She toured with the Black Eyed Peas after graduating high school and attended the University of Southern California before auditioning for Simon Cowell's first season of the TV talent show.
She joined Pussycat Dolls' creator Robin Antin's girl group in 2012, and Antin shared her sorrow of Battle's death by posting a photo collage of Battle on her Instagram.com page on Saturday (06Sep14).
Antin added the caption, "I'm so beyond devastated by the loss of our beautiful Simone ... Simone I will miss your smile, Your adorable laugh, Your loving spirit that you brought to all of us, The joy that you felt when you were singing, dancing, performing, laughing, and goofing around with your GRLs, and most of all the beautiful friendship and bond that tied us all together, that will forever be in my heart...
"How lucky we are to have had You in our lives Simone, you inspired us all, and touched fans all around the world with your sweet sweet voice and talent.... We will NEVER forget... I Love you sweet Simone Rest in Peace..."
G.R.L. was scheduled to play a gig at the Marquee nightclub in Las Vegas on Monday (08Sep14), but the concert has been cancelled.
Actress Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy has ended her romance with Paul Simon's musician son Harper after less than a year. The Newsroom star, daughter of attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., began dating Harper Simon after meeting him at a party in Morocco last year (13), but they have called time on their relationship, reports the New York Post.
Kennedy, who is the great-niece of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was previously linked to her The Newsroom co-star Thomas Matthews.
Lionsgate via Everett Collection
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is set to tackle song classics by Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and Simon & Garfunkel at a one-off benefit concert next month (Sep14).
The House of Cards star, who portrayed singer Bobby Darin in 2004's Beyond the Sea, will show off his musical talents once again at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. on 29 September (14), when he will be backed by a 40-piece orchestra. Spacey plans to perform a few pop covers, in addition to a collection of swing numbers, intertwined with stories from his career.
He tells the Associated Press, "You never know what I might come up with." Tickets for the gig are priced at $104 (£61) and proceeds will benefit the actor's Kevin Spacey Foundation.
British pop star Cheryl Cole was axed from The X Factor USA after a bust-up with boss Simon Cowell about a bizarre outfit she wore for her debut. The music mogul took his pal Cole with him when he launched his hit talent search in the States in 2011 and hoped she could repeat her U.K. role as a popular mentor and judge.
However, within three weeks, Cole's American dream had crumbled and she left the show amid fears she would not connect with U.S. viewers.
Now Cowell has admitted her departure was sparked by an argument over a weird purple and orange outfit the pop star wore for her U.S. X Factor debut.
In an interview with Radio Times, he says, "There was so much expectation on the show in America, and I definitely wasn't myself. I was uptight. When I saw her I didn't recognise her. Literally. The hair and outfit were crazy, just totally crazy.
"I asked her manager, 'What's she wearing, what's happened to her hair?' He was defensive about it. I haven't a clue why she turned up like that.
"We then did the first day of auditions, and she was nervous, shy, not in her comfort zone. She'd put on a bit of weight, but not loads. That wasn't the issue. The only way I can describe it is that it wasn't Cheryl sitting in that seat. She'd lost her confidence...
"(Later) I called her and said, 'Look, it's not going great, to be honest,' then I mentioned what she wore and she turned on me. If I could go back in time I would have kept her on the show. It was stupid doing what I did. I didn't sack her personally. That was the second biggest mistake I made."
Cowell and Cole have since made up and put the incident behind them, and the former Girls Aloud singer is even trying to convince him to marry Lauren Silverman, the mother of his son Eric.
Cole tells the publication, "I'm going to have a word with him about getting married. He jokes about being too tight (miserly) to get married but I don't think he is. He's very generous."
In 2012, Cole sued producers of The X Factor USA for $2.3 million (£1.3 million) over her sacking and received undisclosed damages as a settlement. She has since rejoined the U.K. version of the programme.
Whitney Houston, Tom Petty and Joan Baez's music agent Peter Grosslight has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 68. The William Morris Endeavor board member passed away on Thursday (21Aug14), according to Billboard.com.
Grosslight began his career in 1974, when he founded Regency Artists. He joined the William Morris Agency in 1992 when it acquired Triad Artists.
Throughout his career, Grosslight worked with several musicians including Charlotte Church, the Eagles, Journey, Luis Miguel, Brian Setzer and Carly Simon.
He also organised TV music specials with Tina Turner and Bruce Willis and secured the American rights for the Prince's Trust Concerts and Nelson Mandela's birthday show.
A joint statement from WME CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell reads: "Peter was a true gentleman, whose generosity and unique sense of humor will be deeply missed.
"He was a pioneer in our industry and represented some of the greatest performers of our time. In addition to being a tremendous agent, he served as a valuable mentor to many of us. It was a privilege to work with him."
Ashton Kutcher, Mariska Hargitay, Howard Stern and Ellen Degeneres have been crowned the kings and queens of U.S. TV in a new magazine rich list. Father-to-be Kutcher earns $100,000 (GBP58,800)-per-episode more than his Two and a Half Men co-star Jon Cryer to top the TV comedy earners list with $750,000 (GBP441,000)-per-show, while Law & Order: SVU star Hargitay leads The Mentalist's Simon Baker in the drama department, with a $400,000 (GBP235,300)-per-episode salary.
America's Got Talent judge Stern ties with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest as the top earning reality TV star with a $15 million (GBP8.8 million)-per-season haul, and DeGeneres remains the queen of daytime television on the annual TV Guide Who Earns What countdown with up to $20 million (GBP11.7 million)-a-year for her daily talk show.
British pop group S Club 7 have officially agreed to reunite as a seven-piece. The Reach hitmakers split in 2003 after five years together and have been dogged by comeback rumours in recent months.
Three of the members, Jo O'Meara, Paul Cattermole and Bradley McIntosh, began touring small venues in the U.K. under the name S Club 3 in 2008 and were joined by Tina Barrett earlier this year (14).
Now, the remaining three members - Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt and Jon Lee - have agreed to link up for a full band reunion. Their creator Simon Fuller, the former manager of the Spice Girls, will also be supporting their comeback.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The seven have had a lot of big money offers over the years but they only feel the time is right now... Simon wants this comeback to be even bigger than Take That or (British pop group) Steps."
Actor Robert Pattinson was left in awe of his sister Lizzy when she recently tried out for The X Factor in the U.K.
The Twilight star's elder sibling showed off her own skills during an audition for the upcoming season of the hit talent show, and even passed the first round in front of judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Melanie Brown and Louis Walsh.
Pattinson couldn't be more proud of his sister, gushing to The Huffington Post, "I'm like, so ridiculously proud of her. I would never have the balls to do that, ever, in a million years. I can't believe she's done it. So, it's amazing."
In addition to loaning her voice to a number of dance tracks in the early 2000s, Lizzy also contributed background vocals to the Twilight scores. The 11th season of The X Factor in the U.K. kicks off later this month (Aug14).
The stars of hit British comedy The Inbetweeners are celebrating after their new sequel movie smashed a U.K. box office record on Wednesday (06Aug14). The Inbetweeners 2, starring James Buckley and Simon Bird, received a special midweek opening at 495 cinemas across Britain, and the hugely-anticipated comedy netted $4.6 million (£2.7 million) in ticket sales.
The haul beat the previous opening day tally for a comedy movie set by the first Inbetweeners film in 2011, which took $4.2 million (£2.5 million).
It also ranked as the third-highest midweek opening of any film in the U.K., behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009 and 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The U.K. version of The X Factor is set to air in the U.S., months after the American edition of the talent show was cancelled. Executives at America's Fox network axed Simon Cowell's singing competition after only three seasons earlier this year (Feb14), but now bosses at music entertainment channel AXS TV are hoping to find success by airing the upcoming 11th season of The X Factor U.K. in the U.S.
Series creator Cowell served as a judge on the celebrity panel in the U.K. from 2004 until 2010, when he left the show to help launch the American version.
Cowell returned to the U.K. edition this year (14), and is also joined by Spice Girls star Melanie Brown and pop singer Cheryl Cole on the judges' panel.
Unlike the American version which failed to garner high ratings, The X Factor has been a hit in Britain, and will return on 30 August (14), with the U.S. premiere one day later on 31 August (14).