Pop parody king 'Weird Al' Yankovic is having a laugh at the top of the U.S. album chart after debuting his latest collection of comedy tunes at the top of the Billboard 200. The 54 year old's new release, Mandatory Fun, has rocketed to number one, giving the star his first chart-topper.
Weird Al took to his Twitter account on Wednesday (23Jul14) to alert fans to the news, writing, "It's official. MANDATORY FUN enters the Billboard album chart this week at #1. Wow. WOW."
He added, "If you'd told me 30 years ago this would happen, I never would've believed it. If you'd told me 2 WEEKS ago, I never would've believed it.
"I'm so pleased everybody is enjoying the album, and I'm enormously grateful for everyone's support. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU."
Mandatory Fun is Weird Al's 14th studio album, and features comedy takes on hits like Pharrell Williams' Happy (Tacky) and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines (Word Crimes), but the highlight is his reimagining of Iggy Azalea's Fancy, which Yankovic has turned into a handyman anthem, called Handy.
He promoted the new album by releasing eight music videos in eight consecutive days, and recently hinted the new release may be his last: "I hate to draw lines in the sand and say this is absolutely the last album, but it sure looks that way. It's the end of my record deal."
Jason Mraz's Yes! debuts at two on the new countdown and rockers Rise Against enter at three with The Black Market.
Meanwhile, pop/reggae group MAGIC! land a second week at the top of the Hot 100 with Rude.
Iggy Azalea's Fancy and Sam Smith's Stay With Me are unmoved at two and three on the new singles countdown, while Ariana Grande's Problem and Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz round out the top five.
British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been named the most important artist in Britain's black and urban music scene by a panel of experts. A list put together by bosses at BBC Radio 1Xtra names The A Team hitmaker the most important musician in the music genre, followed up dance duo Disclosure and rapper Tinie Tempah.
Presenter Yasmin Evans writes of Sheeran, "Having JUST his music in mind and disregarding anything else that we may have considered for other artists there is SO much power in what he produces & writes that this alone holds so much power."
However, the list has sparked a backlash among some musicians and fans, with rapper Wiley insisting black British musicians are being pushed out.
In a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, Wiley writes, "We influence a man and all of a sudden it turns he has influenced us... Lol (laugh out loud)... England music industry is backwards. God bless those who try tho (sic)... People think i am mad. I am not mad i can just see skull duggery from miles away... We have been bumped basically. Not taking anything away from ed... he is sick. but black artist in england we are getting bumped."
Singer Sam Smith, production team Rudimental, Emeli Sande, Katy B and Krept & Konan also appear in the list's top 10.
Director Randall Miller has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass following the death of a camera assistant on the Georgia set of the Allman Brothers biopic. Sarah Jones, 27, was hit by a train and killed in February (14) as the production crew shot footage for Midnight Rider on railroad tracks in Wayne County. Six other crew members were also injured.
A criminal investigation was launched and now the Wayne County District Attorney has indicted Miller, his producer wife Jody Savin and the film's executive producer Jay Sedrish on the two counts amid allegations they failed to secure a permit to shoot on the train tracks.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars, while the criminal trespass misdemeanour could land Miller and the producers 12 months in prison.
Production on the movie, based on the memoirs of Gregg Allman, was halted following the train tragedy and the subsequent exit of lead actor William Hurt, who had been set to portray the rocker. Hurt had previously expressed his concerns about safety on the Wayne County set in an email to a friend, days before Jones' death.
The criminal charges are not the only legal woes for Miller - Jones' parents filed a civil suit against the movie's filmmakers in May (14), and a number of other crew members involved in the accident have lodged official complaints.
News of the indictment emerges days after stars including Heather Locklear, Nina Dobrev and Sam Underwood joined a group of Hollywood crew members to film a public service announcement (PSA) in Jones' memory. The short film calls for increased safety measures on film and TV sets.
Supplied by WENN
Sam Smith's London home was targeted by burglars while the pop star was at Britain's Glastonbury Festival, according to a U.K. report.
The Stay With Me hitmaker performed at the iconic music event in Somerset, England over the weekend (28-29Jun14) and shared a series of posts on his Twitter.com account about the fun he was having at the festival.
However, when he returned to his south London home, he reportedly found the property had been broken into and a number of items stolen.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "Sam and his mates were all down at the festival when it happened. They (the burglars) took a number of items from his property. Sam was gutted when he got back. He's clearly paying the price of fame."
Supplied by WENNThis is said to be the second time the singer's home has been broken into this year (14). The source adds, "Sam loves where he lives but his management are looking to move him somewhere else as his current place is not very secure."
Ed Sheeran has landed the fastest-selling U.K. release of the year (14) so far after his second album debuted at the top of the British albums chart. Fans snapped up over 182,000 copies of the singer's sophomore project x, setting a new sales record following Coldplay's Ghost Stories, which shifted 168,000 units in its first week on release in May (14).
Celebrating the news on Twitter.com, Sheeran writes, "182k sold in the UK week one making it the fastest selling album of the year. I'm on cloud 9 and keep laughing at everything. Love you all."
Another top seller, Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour, climbs one spot to two, while last week's (22Jun14) number one, Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, slips to three.
Ghost Stories and Paolo Nutini's Caustic Love round out the new top five.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. singles chart, Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill take first place with dance track Gecko (Overdrive), while Ella Henderson's Ghost slips to two and Sheeran's Sing remains at three.
Getty Images/Dave J Hogan
British pop star Lily Allen fought back tears in a radio interview as she recalled the pain of dealing with her newborn daughter's health problems.
The Smile hitmaker, who performed at Britain's Glastonbury Festival on Friday (27Jun14), battled her emotions as she recounted how scared she was about losing her little girl Ethel to a throat condition shortly after she was born in November, 2011.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs on Sunday (29Jun14), Allen struggled to talk and kept sniffling as she spoke about Ethel's struggle to eat and breathe.
Allen says, "She was working so hard to breathe, to just exist really, and she wasn't really gaining any weight at all. Because all of the food she was taking on, she was just expending the energy on this breathing process. I was scared of losing her the whole time, all I wanted to do was just breast-feed her and to sit there in my chair with her and spend those precious hours into the night looking after your child."
"I just remember the doctor saying when they first diagnosed her with the condition they said, 'It's a one in a hundred chance that you are going to have to operate', and then of course she needed the operation and then they said 'It's a one in a hundred chance that they will have to operate again' and I just thought how many one in a hundred chances do I have?"
Ethel, now aged two, was tube-fed for eight months and underwent two operations. Allen and her husband Sam Cooper also have 17-month-old daughter named Marnie.
Actor Sam Rockwell will return to the stage at Massachusetts' Williamstown Theater Festival this summer (14) to replace Chris Pine in a revival of Fool For Love.
Pine had been due to star opposite Six Feet Under actress Lauren Ambrose in the Sam Shepard play, but they both bowed out due to "scheduling difficulties". Now Rockwell has stepped in to fill the gap, with 2012 Tony Award winner Nina Arianda taking over from Ambrose.
Daniel Aukin will direct the production, which will premiere on Tuesday (24Jun14) and run until 2 July (14).
Moon star Rockwell previously graced the stage at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2011 in A Streetcar Named Desire.
There's nothing sexier than a hip young gent with a sweet ride, leather duds, a clean shave, and a silent glower that says, "I buy American." At least that's what the promotional team behind Fifty Shades of Grey seems to think... perhaps misunderstanding the title as '50s Shades of Grey, as they've stuck star Jamie Dornan in a still that's family friendly even by the standards of my grandmother who still insists that I shouldn't be listening to that awful Bill Haley.
The pic keeps in step with the confirmation that director Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades will be R-rated, as opposed to the NC-17 that the book's material would more naturally call for, leaving us to expect as tame and tepid a movie about sadomasochism can conceivably be. If you have your doubts, take another look at the photo. It doesn't even seem like Dornan's Christian Grey is driving, rather sitting in park until the devil-may-care youths breaching the speed limit are safely beyond the horizon. Lousy kids.
Dornan and Dakota Johnson will take to the big screen with their mutual first step to film stardom next Valentine's Day, a date appropriately void of organic passion.
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After weeks of watching, re-watching, live-tweeting, recapping, analyzing, and debating, the fourth season of Game of Thrones has finally come to an end, leaving a void in both our hearts and our Twitter feeds. Once the fanfare and discussions about the shocking deaths and the major changes from the books finally die down, we will be faced with an unbearable winter without Westeros. How will we carry on without Dany and her dragons? How can we stay calm when we don’t know what’s happening with Tyrion? How will we survive the long months before we get new episodes?
Well, by watching TV of course. Game of Thrones may have ended, but there are plenty more shows with all of the fantasy, politics, blood and nudity that we have come to rely on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for, and we don’t even have to wait until next year to enjoy them. We've run down all of the shows airing in 2014 that will help fill the Westeros-sized hole in your heart, and how long you have to wait to get your fix. And if that doesn't work, there's still several thousand pages of George R.R. Martin's writing available for you to read. That should help pass the time.
True Blood How Long We Have To Wait: One week until June 22. What It’s About: The seventh and final season of the Southern vampire drama picks up with most of the characters dead or seemingly dead, an outbreak of Hep-V terrorizing the vampire population and everyone gaining and losing characters quicker than alliances shift on Game of Thrones. How It Will Fill the Void: True Blood and Game of Thrones have two key elements in common: blood and nudity. Expect plenty of both in the upcoming season.Airs: Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.
Tyrant How Long We Have To Wait: A week until June 24.What It’s About: The second son of a dictator leader of a foreign country returns from a self-imposed exile in Los Angeles, and must deal with the conflicts that arise between the culture of his homeland and the US and his oppressive father. How It Will Fill the Void: If you’re looking for political intrigue, culture clashes, a struggle for power and a father/son dynamic reminiscent of Tywin and Tyrion Lannister, this is the show for you.Airs: Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX.
The Leftovers How Long We Have to Wait: Two weeks until June 29.What It’s About: Set two years after 2 percent of the population disappears in the rapture, the series follows the rest of the world as they struggle to understand what happened to their loved ones, and attempt to move forward with their lives. How It Will Fill the Void: Like the White Walkers, the Children, and everything Melisandre is doing with the Lord of the Light, The Leftovers centers on a strange, unexplained supernatural phenomenon, and explores the personal drama that results.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on HBO.
The Strain How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: Created by Guillermo del Toro, The Strain is about a viral strain that turns people into horrifying, bloodsucking monsters that are terrorizing the population. It’s also based on a trilogy of books by Chuck Hogan, in case you’re all caught up on A Song of Ice and Fire. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s got horror, terror, suspense, excitement, supernatural elements and – we’re assuming – plenty of gore. Plus, it has Walder Frey himself, David Bradley, presumably on a mission to traumatize as many viewers as humanly possible.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on FX.
Masters of Sex How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: The pioneering work on human sexuality done by William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s. The second season will see Masters and Johnson grow closer, and the challenges it presents their personal and professional relationships. How It Will Fill the Void: All of the nudity and explicit sexual situations, but presented in a way that not only serves a narrative purpose and raises important questions about society and the human body, but also isn’t degrading towards women. What a novel concept!Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on Showtime.
Outlander How Long We Have to Wait: Two months until August 9.What It’s About: Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows Claire, a World War II nurse who is mysteriously sent back in time to the 1700s. There she is forced to marry Jaime Fraiser, a romantic and chivalrous Scottish soldier, and she is torn between two very different lives. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s a sweeping period epic that incorporates sci-fi, adventure, war, and romance that should help you move on from the tragic ending of Jon and Ygritte’s relationship.Airs: Saturdays at 9 PM on Starz.
Sleepy Hollow How Long We Have to Wait: Four months until September 22.What It’s About: The surprise hit of last year centers on Ichabod Crane, who is sent forward in time to 2014, where he solves supernatural crimes with Det. Abbie Mills, and the two of them attempt to stop the apocalypse. How It Will Fill the Void: Witty banter, well-matched partners, a supernatural threat, colorful characters, a spooky witch you should probably be wary of and some truly gruesome crimes – throw in a giant and it’s practically Game of Thrones’ fourth season.Airs: Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.
Gotham How Long We Have to Wait: Indeterminate, although it’s likely to premiere in September or October.What It’s About: Before Bruce Wayne grew up to be Batman, it was Det. Jim Gordon who cleaned up the crime and corruption on the streets of Gotham, even if that meant taking on some super villains of his own. How It Will Fill the Void: Like Ned Stark in King’s Landing, Jim Gordon is a noble man trying to bring justice to the murder, manipulation and scheming that runs amok in the city. Let’s hope he fares a bit better.Airs: Mondays at 8 PM on Fox.
Better Call Saul How Long We Have to Wait: Six months until November. What It’s About: A spinoff of Breaking Bad that focuses on Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman, a lawyer who will do anything to keep his operations running smoothly. How It Will Fill the Void: You’ll probably become addicted to it, just as you were to Breaking Bad, which will help pass the time until Game of Thrones returns. Airs: On AMC, although a night and time hasn’t been revealed yet.
Canadian band Hedley took home a trio of trophies at the 2014 MuchMusic Video Awards on Sunday (15Jun14). The quartet went into the Canadian music video network's annual prizegiving with six nominations and landed three wins thanks to their cheeky promo for hit song Anything.
They took the top honour of Video Of The Year, as well as Favourite Video and Pop Video Of The Year.
Toronto-born rapper Drake was unable to attend the ceremony in his hometown, but still won Hip-Hop Video of the Year (Worst Behavior) and International Video Of The Year By A Canadian (Hold On, We're Going Home).
Canadian group Sam Roberts Band took the prize for Rock/Alternative Video Of The Year for Shapeshifters, while Lorde's Royals was named International Video Of The Year (Artist). Imagine Dragons were honoured with the International Video Of The Year (Group) for Demons.
Another hometown boy, Justin Bieber, took the Favourite Artist or Group prize for the fourth year in a row, but was not present to accept his award. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez scooped Favourite International Artist or Group, and thanked all her fans in a pre-taped video message, noting that Canada is one of her "favourite countries in the world".
Reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner served as co-hosts for the ceremony, and Kendall kicked off the night by poking fun at herself after she stumbled over her words as she introduced the nominees for International Video of the Year, much like she did at the Billboard Music Awards in May (14).
The night also included performances by Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Ariana Grande, and Imagine Dragons, while actors Jena Malone, Kellan Lutz, Chloe Grace Moretz and Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka also took to the stage to present the night's awards.