Veteran actress Patty Duke has become an ordained minister to officiate at weddings of same sex couples. The Miracle Worker star, who is happily married to husband Michael Pearce, enrolled in the Universal Life Church online program last month (May14) and paid the $60 (£37.50) fee to become certified.
In a recent post on Twitter.com, the 67 year old wrote, "As an ordained minister I want to marry all the gay couples in our country."
Duke, who played openly gay actress Meredith Baxter's partner on hit TV series Glee last year (13), has since invited fans hoping to tie the knot to get in touch with her via her website, pattyduke.net.
Duke isn't the only celebrity to become an ordained minister - others include Lady Gaga, Bryan Cranston, Joan Rivers and Dan Aykroyd, while Queen Latifah oversaw marriages between 33 gay, straight and interracial couples as part of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' set at the Grammy Awards in January (14).
Rap duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have teamed up with producers of Broadway play Mothers And Sons for a special HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Producer Lewis launched his own charity, the 30/30 Project, in April (14), after revealing his mother, Julie, has been HIV positive for 30 years.
After smashing a crowdfunding campaign goal to raise $100,000 (£62,500) to help build a health centre in Africa, the Same Love hitmakers are now working with bosses of the Tony-nominated play to bring in more money for the cause.
Mothers and Sons, which features veteran actress Tyne Daly, centres on a mother who returns to New York City years after her son died from AIDS, to visit his former partner who is now married with a son.
Macklemore and Lewis praise the play in a statement, which reads: "This vital play keeps the message going strong, and we are proud to lend our voices to help this cause."
On 11 June (14), post-show donations will be collected, and all the money received from merchandise sold will go towards 30/30. In addition, Lewis' mother Julie will join the cast for a post-show talk to discuss the work of her son's charity.
The aim of The 30/30 Project is to open at least four health centres in Kenya and Uganda in the coming years in a bid to provide support and treatment to sufferers of the disease over the next three decades.
The centres will be built in partnership with officials at Construction for Change, a non-profit organisation based in the duo's hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Producer Ryan Lewis took to the streets of New York to ask people for their opinions of himself as part of a pre-taped skit for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (02Jun14). Towards the end of segment, Lewis held up a photograph of himself and rap sidekick Macklemore in a bid to help them realise he was the person quizzing them. Macklemore also made a surprise appearance in the skit.
Country singer Luke Bryan has assured fans he is "good" after falling off stage and injuring himself while performing in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday (29May14). The Drunk on You hitmaker took a tumble while he was singing a cover of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Can't Hold Us at the PNC Music Pavilion, just months after he tripped up during a gig in nearby Greensboro in February (14).
Bryan was helped back on stage by security guards and joked to the crowd: "The last time I was in North Carolina I busted my a** on stage! What is it about North Carolina that makes me bust my a**? Please YouTube that s**t (share video footage of the incident online)."
The 37 year old has since taken to his Twitter.com blog to update fans on his condition, writing, "I'm good. Few stitches (sic)."
He is expected to perform at his show in Bristow, Virginia on Friday (30May14) as scheduled.
Bryan is no stranger to taking a tumble on stage - he was also left red-faced after a similar fall mid-show in Panama City Beach, Florida in 2013.
Robin Thicke's massive international hit track Blurred Lines is to go head-to-head with songs by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Passenger and Bastille at Australia's top songwriting awards ceremony. The International Work of the Year prize at the 2014 Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Awards will be fiercely contended by Blurred Lines, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Can't Hold Us, Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child, Let Her Go by Passenger and Bastille's huge hit Pompeii.
Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy will also be at the front of the pack at the ceremony after landing four nods, including a nomination for the coveted Song Of The Year award for his chart hit Riptide.
The track will go up against The Drones' A Moat You Can Stand In, Is This How You Feel? by The Preatures, Birds of Tokyo's Lanterns, and Resolution by Matt Corby.
The trophies will be presented at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia on 23 June (14).
Rapper Drake and pop-rock band Hedley lead the nominations for Canada's top music video awards. The Started From The Bottom hitmaker and Canadian band Hedley have both been shortlisted in six categories at the MuchMusic Video Awards and will go head-to-head for the coveted Video of the Year prize.
Drake has two nominations in the top category - his promo for Worst Behaviour will go up against his collaboration with The Weeknd, Live For, as well as Anything by Hedley, Everywhere We Go by SonReal and Arcade Fire's Afterlife.
Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lorde, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Pharrell Williams, Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Avicii are in the running for the International Video of the Year - Artist, while One Direction, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Maroon 5 are among those up for the Group award.
The awards ceremony, co-hosted by reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner, will be held in Toronto, Canada on 15 June (14).
Imagine Dragons and Lorde are due to perform.
Rapper Macklemore has written an extended apology to dismiss accusations of anti-Semitism after he initially brushed off the controversy over an onstage costume. The Thrift Shop hitmaker took to the stage at a gig in Seattle, Washington on Friday (16May14) and during one part of the show, donned a large prosthetic nose, beard and a black wig.
The stunt angered some critics, who alleged the star was poking fun at Jewish stereotypes, and he denied the claims, simply tweeting: "A fake witches (sic) nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody."
However, the backlash continued to rumble on, so Macklemore took to his official website to apologise for causing offence.
He writes, "Family, friends and fans alike who know me well, know that I'm absolutely not the person described in certain headlines today. There is no worse feeling than being misunderstood, especially when people are hurt or offended... I've always loved dressing up and have been doing so my entire career.
"The character I dressed up as on Friday had no intended cultural identity or background. I wasn't attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A 'Jewish stereotype' never crossed my mind... I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. I'm saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity."
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have smashed their crowdfunding goal to raise $100,000 (£62,500) to help build a health centre in Africa. Producer Lewis recruited his bandmate to front the 30/30 Project last month (Apr14), when he launched the charity effort in conjunction with his family after revealing his mother, Julie, is HIV positive.
The Same Love hitmakers have so far won the support of more than 1,200 backers, who have donated over $137,600 (£86,043). The campaign draws to a close on Wednesday (21May14).
The success of the first phase of the project will enable organisers to cover the costs of building the first medical facility in Nsambe, Malawi, where one in 10 people are infected with HIV.
The aim of The 30/30 Project is to open at least four other health centres in Kenya and Uganda in the coming years in a bid to provide support and treatment to sufferers of the disease for the next three decades.
The centres will be built in partnership with officials at Construction for Change, a non-profit organisation based in the duo's home of Seattle, Washington.
Singer Jenny Lewis has credited the recording of her new album with pulling her through "one of the most difficult periods" of her life, after suffering a meltdown following the break-up of her cult band Rilo Kiley and the death of her estranged father. The star recruited rocker Ryan Adams and his musician pal Mike Viola to help her complete The Voyager, her first solo album in six years, and she admits channelling her pain and emotions into her songs proved to be the therapy she desperately needed.
She tells RollingStone.com, "Making The Voyager got me through one of the most difficult periods of my life.
"After Rilo Kiley broke up and a few really intense personal things happened, I completely melted down. It nearly destroyed me. I had such severe insomnia that, at one point, I didn't sleep for five straight nights. Many of the songs on The Voyager came out of the need to occupy my mind in the moments when I just couldn't shut down...
"This record was the hardest one I ever made. The Voyager tells that story: the longest night of my life and the journey to finally getting some rest."
Lewis lost her dad at the end of 2010 and disbanded Rilo Kiley the following year (11).
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.