Liam Payne has been hailed a hero for helping to save a friend when a horrific fire broke out at the One Direction star's London apartment by beating out the flames. Payne's childhood pal Andy Samuel was left with 20 per cent burns to his chest, legs and arms after a heater on the balcony of the singer's penthouse exploded at a barbecue on Monday (02Sep13).
At the time of the accident, Payne was in the kitchen but he rushed out to extinguish the flames and douse his pal with water.
Now Samuel's stepfather Matthew Baker has praised the pop star for his heroic actions, telling Britain's Daily Mirror, "We are so grateful to Liam because he saved his life. The lantern just exploded as Andy was lighting it and it took the full force of the flames. Liam helped him by beating out the flames and dousing him with water. He acted quickly and swiftly.
"What happened was absolutely awful. My son is very poorly. I've spoken to Liam on the phone and he told me exactly what happened. He is very shocked himself. It's bad enough but it could have been a lot worse."
Andy's 12-year-old sister Harriet also posted a tweet to Payne, writing, "I want to thank Liam for saving my brother."
Samuel remains in a stable condition with Payne at his bedside, while two other unnamed victims were also taken to the hospital to be treated for superficial burns to their hands.
Officials are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
Where it was once rock stars who pushed boundaries, it was the pop stars who provided the shock value at the VMAs. Inspired by the not remotely rock-n-roll theatrics at the VMAs, a few music writers proclaimed the death of the once edgy genre, siting mainstream rock acts such as Fun. and Mumford and Sons as evidence that only crossover groups can succeed with the masses.
The Huffington Post's Jerry A. Coyne blames a lack of creativity for the death of rock music, siting Avril Lavigne's new song "Rock N Roll" as evidence. "When all these bells and whistles are used to gussy up what is essentially a mediocre song, you know there's something wrong," he writes. "And the overweening thing wrong is that rock and roll is dead."
In a more informed piece by music blog Pigeons and Planes, Ernest Baker laments the fact that modern mainstream rock is neither memorable nor boundary-pushing. "There was a time when rock had a complete, undisputed, suffocating stranglehold on the entire realm of popular culture, and that time is no more."
Now, it seems that all genres come in and out of style, and perhaps rock's time will come. But in a land of celebrity Twitter meltdowns, Lady Gaga, and Miley's VMA performance, it's possible that we don't need rock for boundary-pushing. Only time will tell.
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Black Sabbath ruled out the option of hitting the recording studio with legendary drummer Ginger Baker because they didn't want to have to deal with "problems" the eccentric former Cream would bring with him. Producer Rick Rubin suggested Baker as a replacement for Bill Ward after contractual issues prompted the band's original drummer to walk away from reunion plans, but guitarist Tony Iommi admits he and his bandmates were not convinced the veteran rocker would be a good fit.
Iommi tells WWeek, "We put a stop on... We didn't want to go into the studio and have problems."
The group eventually decided to hit the studio and record their hit comeback album 13 with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk, and Iommi adds, "We did try some big name drummers - some very big name drummers. They were great, but Rick particularly suggested Brad. He did work hard; he was thrown into the deep end and he was very nervous. He got used to us, our jokes, the way we prank around."
Last week, former Emerson Lake & Palmer star Carl Palmer told WENN he was considered as Ward's replacement but scheduling issues prompted him to turn the dream job down.
Half the fun of animated movies these days, especially in a movie that is as little fun as Smurfs 2, is figuring out who voices all the characters. While I understand why celebrities love to be in Studio Ghibli and Pixar movies, why someone, especially a very rich and famous someone, would choose to be in a movie featuring the line "I'm just smurfin' with ya," is beyond me. Here are a few excuses from celebs, both voice and live-action actors, who should have known better.
Paul Reubens AKA Pee-wee Herman thinks that there's a hidden darkness to his character."I have one line as a Smurf. I think somebody went, 'What happened to Jokey Smurf?' and they went, 'Oh, my god!' and wrote a line. But, I just did the sequel, and I only have one line again. I feel like I should lay down to be talking about this, but the only thing I can figure out is that Jokey Smurf has a bomb. That's his thing. He's got a gift with a bomb, and maybe they're thinking that shouldn't play with kids, so they cut him out."
Katy Perry wasn't allowed to watch The Smurfs growing up."I grew up in a very religious household and so a lot of things were monitored. Some things were allowed but Madonna was always taboo and so were The Smurfs. Growing up, there was never anything wrong with The Smurfs per se; my parents were just very particular about television. But I think there are a lot of incredible family values to learn from these types of films and especially this one."
Alan Cumming was excited to bring some Scottish lingo into mainstream animation."Well, I mean, I really liked the fact that I brought that word, 'numpty' back. It felt great, hitherto unknown to most of the world. A word not used that often in Scotland anymore, actually. It's going to be bounced back into the common parlance. That makes me happy. I think that [his character Gutsy], there's a Scottish voice, it's very strong and saves the day."
Neil Patrick Harris wanted people to know that Smurfs 2 would be better than its predecessor. "From all accounts, the second film is a better film than the first one...Family's important and this movie touches upon the definition of family to each person."
The Office co-star B.J. Novak did not exactly have his heart set on playing Baker Smurf."Here's what happened. I heard they were doing a Smurfs movie. I was very excited. I love the Smurfs. I originally wanted to write the Smurfs movie...so I contacted them...they said, well we actually already have a writer. So I said, all right, if there's any chance I could be a Smurf that would be great. And about six months later they called me and said "we have Baker Smurf for you." I'm like, ok, at least it's a Smurf...with a trade as opposed to a personality trait."
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Superstar singer Rihanna is rumoured to be lining up a role as jazz queen Josephine Baker in a new film. The biopic will document the troubled life of the iconic musician, and the Diamonds hitmaker is reportedly first choice to star in the lead role.
Producer Lance W. Reynolds says in a statement, "Rihanna is one of the most talented performers of this millennium and with her unique acting and performing abilities, I have no doubt she will bring Josephine back to life on the big screen."
The film about the life of Baker, who became notorious for dancing naked apart for a tutu of fake bananas in the 1920s, is set for release next year (14).
New Kids On The Block star Donnie Wahlberg and actress/model Jenny Mccarthy took their romance to the red carpet on Saturday (24Aug13) by showing up hand-in-hand at a Dancing with the Stars charity event. The couple hooked up earlier this summer (13) when singer/actor Wahlberg appeared on McCarthy's late-night U.S. talk show, and they went public with the relationship at Hotel Baker in St. Charles, Illinois.
Rose Byrne has praised Australian actor Simon Baker for helping her face her fear of birds when she was forced to work with doves in British comedy I Give It A Year. The Bridesmaids star discovered her phobia on the set of the film when Baker's character attempts a big romantic gesture, and she could only marvel at her co-star's calmness as the creatures flitted above their heads.
She tells WENN, "I was terrified. I'm not good with birds. I didn't realise how close the proximity was and I was a mess! The scene was hijacked by my fear. It turned what was supposed to be a really romantic scene into real hell!
"Simon was unflappable. He had the birds landing on his head and he didn't break a sweat. No one was pooped on, but I was so jumpy. It was awful."
Justin Timberlake, Nile Rodgers and Anita Baker are among the stars of the music industry who have voiced their sorrow following the death of jazz great George Duke. The legendary musician and producer passed away on Monday night (05Aug13) at St. John's Hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 67 after a battle with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
The news sent a shockwave through the music industry, and his famous friends and fans were quick to pay tribute to the Grammy-winning star who helped create hits for musicians including Michael Jackson, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.
Pop superstar Timberlake hailed Duke as his inspiration, writing in a post on Twitter.com, "RIP George Duke. Funk, Jazz, Music legend... One of the greatest," while Chic star Rodgers mourned the loss of a friend, adding, "George Duke RIP my co-music director Montreux Jazz (Festival) 2006 - Your funk made us 'Reach For It'."
R&B superstar Baker writes, "R.I.P. George Duke, legendary jazz/funk keyboardist/producer," and songwriter Diane Warren offers, "So sorry to hear of the passing of George Duke. Thank U (sic) for the music. Legend."
Other stars who have posted tributes to Duke include Janelle Monae, Holly Robinson Peete and Josh Groban.
Actress Emma Roberts' comments are coming back to haunt her following her arrest in Canada earlier this month (07Jul13) - she recently told a magazine reporter she'd hate to be considered a bad girl. The Scream 4 star, who is Julia Roberts' niece, was taken into police custody for allegedly attacking her actor boyfriend Evan Peters in a hotel in Montreal.
Her representative has since insisted Roberts and Peters are trying to resolve their problems privately following the "unfortunate incident" which they are brushing off as a "misunderstanding".
The incident comes as the new issue of Nylon magazine, which features an expose on the actress, hits retailers.
In the publication, she insists she likes her reputation as a good girl, telling interviewer Ashley Baker, "I can't say I'm never going to mess up, but if I do, I'll definitely be very sorry."
Country star Billy Ray Cyrus and his estranged wife Tish have reunited after undergoing couples therapy, according to a family friend. Miley Cyrus' mother filed divorce papers to end her 19-year marriage to the Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker in June (13), citing irreconcilable differences.
However, the couple sparked rumours of a reconciliation earlier this month (Jul13) as they strolled hand-in-hand along Malibu Beach Pier in California - and now family friend Ken Baker, who works as a journalist for E! News, has claimed the pair is back together after taking steps to repair the relationship.
Baker explains, "I spoke to Tish and she told me they both woke up and realised they love each other and decided they want to stay together. They recently went into couples therapy, something they hadn't done in 22 years of marriage, and it's brought them closer together and really opened up their communication in amazing ways.
"She also said marriage can be really hard, especially after 22 years of being in the entertainment business, and admitted they've had rough times. But they both realised they didn't want to be another statistic and want to make it work.
"They went into the therapy with the goal of divorcing in a way that was healthy for the children, but ended up coming out of it with the realisation that they in fact want to stay together. Tish sounds happy and energised about having this fresh start."
Baker's comments come less than a day after Tish posted a picture of herself cuddling up to the singer on her Instagram.com page and declaring, "Date night".
The couple, who also split three years ago before swiftly reconciling, shares five children together.