Country singer Kevin Sharp has died at the age of 43. Sharp passed away on Saturday (19Apr14) due to ongoing complications from "past stomach surgeries and digestive issues".
A statement on his website reads: "We are saddened to announce the passing of Platinum Country Recording Artist Kevin Sharp on Saturday April 19, 2014... A Memorial Service celebrating Kevin's life is being planned in Nashville, Tennessee."
Sharp's career began after he sent super producer David Foster a demo tape, and in 1996, he released his debut album, Measure of a Man.
He was subsequently named New Touring Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association.
In addition to his music, Sharp also worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, following his bone cancer diagnosis in 1989.
Theatre director/actor Phillip Hayes Dean has died at the age of 83. Dean passed away following an aortic aneurysm on Monday (14Apr14) in Los Angeles.
The playwright was best known for his Paul Robeson Broadway production, which opened in New York in 1978 and starred James Earl Jones as the singer and actor.
He most recently directed a revival of the play at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in California with Keith David as the lead.
His other works include The Last American Dixieland Band, Moloch Blues, The Owl Killer and Dink's Blues and The Sty of the Blind Pig.
Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds is set to receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at the 2014 Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala. The Radioactive hitmaker will follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Taylor Swift and John Legend when he is feted with the prize, which was created in 2004 and named in honour of Hall of Fame Chairman Emeritus Hal David to celebrate the work of young songwriters.
Current organisation chairman Jimmy Webb says, "Dan Reynolds is a dream ticket for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Starlight Award.
"He has helped create truly contemporary rock 'n' roll with the band Imagine Dragons. A sound at once musically literate and issue driven yet founded on solid composition and songwriting. We are extremely happy to join Dan with the other distinguished alumni who have received the Starlight."
The Kinks frontman Ray Davies, Scottish singer Donovan and 10cc rocker Graham Gouldman are among the stars who will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014, while another top accolade, the Johnny Mercer Award, will be presented to music duo Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, and industry mogul Doug Morris will receive the Hitmaker Award.
The presentations will take place in New York on 12 June (14).
Singer Lady Gaga and actor Bill Murray helped to surprise fans on Wednesday (02Apr14) when they took over U.S. late night host David Letterman's show in New York to treat fans to a special concert. The Ghostbusters star crashed Letterman's monologue and explained he was there to work on his "bucket list".
Towards the end of the show, Murray expressed his desire to meet Lady Gaga and the singer appeared onstage to a standing ovation from the audience.
After posing for photographs together, Gaga, Murray and Letterman invited fans across the street to the Roseland Ballroom, where she performed the fourth of seven shows on Wednesday. The legendary venue will close for good on 7 April (14).
The Born This Way hitmaker closed the Late Show with David Letterman by performing her songs Dope and G.U.Y.
R&B singer Ray J is frantically searching for his beloved dog after the pooch went missing from his California home on Tuesday night (01Apr14). Maltese puppy Boogotti is believed to have wandered out of the One Wish star's house in a gated community in the San Fernando Valley and the disappearance has left Ray J heartbroken, according to TMZ.com.
His manager, David Weintraub, tells the website Brandy's younger brother spent hours trying to track down the pet in the rain, to no avail, and he is now looking to hire professionals to find his furry friend.
Country singer David Nail has opened up about his battle with depression, revealing he struggled with the condition for 10 years before seeking help. The Let it Rain hitmaker explains he kept his fight with the disease secret and tried to deal with it on his own because of his upbringing.
He tells People Country, "I lived, probably, 10 years in a really, really deep depression. Growing up in small town, it was one of those things that you don't talk about and you try to sweep it under the rug."
Fearing he could no longer keep the issue to himself any longer, Nail sought professional help after "bottoming out".
He continues, "I carried around a lot of guilt because I had all these blessings in my life and yet I was still struggling to try to find some joy. I'd be first to admit that I wasn't always the easiest guy to be around.
"But I finally realised I didn't have to do this on my own. I'm a singer, not a doctor. I decided it was time to seek out help, so I made some changes and leaned on other people rather than trying to figure it out all by myself, which is what I had done for years."
The singer has been on a combination of prescription drugs and has been working with a therapist for the past two years and he claims his music has benefited.
He explains, "In the few months leading up to the record (I'm a Fire), I found an inner peace and good place that I hadn't seen in a long, long time. As a result of that, the music began to feel how I felt personally. It's brighter, it's bigger, it has more tempo. The lyrics are more positive than in records past."
Amy Winehouse's father has slammed rumours the tragic singer would return to the stage in hologram form for a tour. Recent reports suggested the Rehab hitmaker would follow in the footsteps of late rappers Tupac Shakur and Eazy-E as the latest celebrity to come back to life with a virtual performance.
A source recently told U.K.'s The Sun newspaper that billionaire entrepreneur Alki David apparently purchased a patent for the technology used to create holograms.
The insider claimed, "The plan is that Amy will finally tour the world after failing to do so when she was alive. With an orchestra and her hologram, she can take to the stage and fans can see her perform her legendary hits."
However, Winehouse's father Mitch, who owns the rights to his daughter's image, took to Twitter.com to shut down the speculation, writing, "No truth in the hologram story. Utter rubbish as usual."
Amy Winehouse died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
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With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
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Actor/singer David Cassidy has opened up about his recent arrest and battle with alcoholism, confessing, "If I take another drink, I'm going to die". On Monday (24Mar14), the seventies pop icon pleaded no contest in a California court to driving under the influence (DUI) following his arrest in January (14).
After receiving a sentence to serve 90 days in rehab and complete a nine-month alcohol program, Cassidy is ready to face his battle with the disease head-on after a troubling few years.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Cassidy admits, "If I take another drink, I'm going to die, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I'm dead. You know, they say it's a slippery slope.
"It's not a slippery slope. It's from 12:00 to 6:00 on the clock and the whole face is ice. One sip, one drink, because there is no such a thing, not to an alcoholic. You have one and you're done. I'd be done."
The I Think I Love You hitmaker adds, "I am most definitely an alcoholic. And the interesting thing about it and the way you end up with multiple DUIs - I never got arrested for anything until I was basically 60 years old... I had been lying to myself and consequently lying to everyone else about my disease."
The 63 year old's January arrest was his third DUI since 2010, but his troubles worsened in February (14), when his wife of 23 years, Sue Cassidy, filed for divorce.
When asked how his drinking affected his marriage and its eventual demise, Cassidy divulges, "She'd (Sue) just say it made me an ass. It made me a fricking d**k (sic). I wasn't authentic. It's because I have an allergy to it. My personality changes I'm not aware of it. I never stop talking. It's obnoxious. It's embarrassing."
But the singer is hopeful for the next phase in his life, recalling the "spiritual experience" that completely changed his attitude on the future of his well-being.
He explains, "I dropped to my knees and I felt something go through me... I felt this experience that was just, thank you God. I felt this relief. I begged it and I was crying and weeping like a little boy, like a sobbing little infant, like I'm sure I did many times as a kid. And I felt this incredible sense of relief because I stopped lying to myself."
Seventies pop icon David Cassidy has been sentenced to serve 90 days in rehab following his latest DUI arrest. The actor/singer must check in to a live-in rehab facility for alcohol abuse, according to TMZ.com.
Cassidy was arrested in Los Angeles in January (14) and pleaded no contest to the charge in court on Monday (24Mar14).
In addition to rehab, the I Think I Love You singer was also sentenced to 60 months probation. He must also complete a nine-month alcohol program.
The star reportedly enrolled in a rehab clinic of his own free will last month (Feb14).
His January arrest was Cassidy's third DUI since 2010.