La Bamba star Lou Diamond Phillips is to make his Australian stage debut in the royal role that helped launch his theatre career almost 20 years ago. The actor will replace Jason Scott Lee in the Melbourne production of The King & I.
A torn calf muscle has forced Lee to withdraw from the show.
Reports suggest Phillips flew in to start rehearsals on Monday (30Jun14), and he'll hit the stage as the King of Siam, opposite Lisa McCune, on 10 July (14).
Phillips made his Broadway debut as The King in 1996, opposite Donna Murphy. Phillips played the role for more than 550 performances and won a Theatre World Award. He was also nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award.
The actor cannot wait to hit the stage when the show opens, stating, "I am honoured to once again inhabit the role of The King... I have great passion and respect for the role and am especially excited to bring my interpretation to a new continent."
The news comes a day after it was announced Japanese actor Ken Watanabe would be making his Broadway debut in a revival of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical about the real-life relationship between the King of Siam and a British schoolteacher, who he enlists to tutor his wives and children.
Superstar couple Beyonce and Jay Z are set for a big night at the 2014 BET Awards with four nominations apiece. The Crazy in Love hitmakers will compete against each other in the Best Collaboration category, in which Beyonce's song Drunk in Love, which features her husband, will battle Jay Z and Justin Timberlake's Holy Grail. Drake and Majid Jordan's Hold On (We're Going Home), Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams' Blurred Lines, YG's My Hitta collaboration with Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan and I Luv This by August Alsina and Trinidad Jame$ are also up for the prize.
Meanwhile, rivals Jay Z and Drake will go toe to toe in the Best Male Hip Hop Artist category, alongside Future, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, while Beyonce will battle Janelle Monae, Jhene Aiko, K. Michelle, Rihanna and Tamar Braxton for the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist title. Jay Z and Beyonce will also vie for the coveted Video of the Year award with the videos for Drunk in Love and Partition, respectively. Pharrell Williams' Happy, Chris Brown's Fine China and Drake's Worst Behavior are also nominated.
In the movie categories, Angela Bassett, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong'o and Oprah Winfrey will fight for the Best Actress prize, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Forest Whitaker, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart and Michael B. Jordan are up for the Best Actor trophy. The Best Movie nominees are: 12 Years a Slave, The Best Man Holiday, Fruitvale Station, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Lee Daniels' The Butler.
The 2014 BET Awards will be handed out at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on 29 June (14).
The full list of nominees are:
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Jhene Aiko, K. Michelle, Rihanna, Tamar Braxton
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: August Alsina, Chris Brown, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams
Best Group A$AP Mob Daft Punk Macklemore & Ryan Lewis TGT Young Money
Best Collaboration August Alsina featuring Trinidad Jame$ - I Luv This Beyonce featuring Jay Z - Drunk in Love Drake featuring Majid Jordan - Hold On (We're Going Home) Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake - Holy Grail Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharell Williams - Blurred Lines YG featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan - My Hitta
Best Male Hip Hop Artist Drake Future J. Cole Jay Z Kendrick Lamar
Best Female Hip Hop Artist Angel Haze Charli Baltimore Eve Iggy Azalea Nicki Minaj Video of the Year Beyonce - Partition Beyonce featuring Jay Z - Drunk in Love Chris Brown - Fine China Drake - Worst Behavior Pharrell Williams - Happy
Video Director of the Year Benny Boom Chris Brown Colin Tiley Director X Hype Williams
Best New Artist Ariana Grande August Alsina Mack Wilds Rich Homie Quan ScHoolboy Q
Best Gospel Artist Donnie McClurkin Erica Campbell Hezekiah Walker Tamela Mann Tye Tribbett
Best Actress Angela Bassett Gabrielle Union Kerry Washington Lupita Nyong'o Oprah Winfrey
Best Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor Forest Whitaker Idris Elba Kevin Hart Michael B. Jordan
YoungStars Award Gabrielle Douglas Jacob Latimore Jaden Smith KeKe Palmer Zendaya
Best Movie 12 Years a Slave The Best Man Holiday Fruitvale Station Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Lee Daniels' The Butler
Subway Sportswoman of the Year Brittney Griner Lolo Jones Serena Williams Skylar Diggins Venus Williams
Subway Sportsman of the Year Blake Griffin Carmelo Anthony Floyd Mayweather Jr. Kevin Durant LeBron James
Centric Award Aloe Blacc - The Man Jennifer Hudson featuring T.I. - I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel)" Jhene Aiko - The Worst LiV Warfield - Why Do You Lie? Wale featuring Sam Dew - LoveHate Thing
Best International Act: Africa Davido (Nigeria) Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) Mafikizolo (South Africa) Sarkodie (Ghana) Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Toofan (Togo)
Best International Act: UK Dizzee Rascal Ghetts Krept & Konan Laura Mvula Rita Ora Tinie Tempah
Spritz on some perfume and get to work, because the wait for Britney Spears' new album is over! Sure, it isn't technically released until next week, but the pop superstar announced via her Instagram account that her eighth studio album, Britney Jean, will be available to stream for free on iTunes all week... just in time for your long, holiday car ride. But, in order to appreciate the new album, and the Spears of today, we must first pay homage to the superstar of yesteryear, by celebrating the streaming of Britney Jean with a Week of Britney.
We've come up with a week's worth of Spears-themed activities that celebrate all of the great eras of her career, all week long, so that you're prepared for the album's release on December 3.
Day One: ...Baby One More TimeIn order to best capture the spirit of Spears' debut album, you'll need to ensure that your wardrobe consists primarily of crop tops and baggy cargo pants, perfect for dancing on boardwalks or basketball courts. If you're a truly dedicated fan, go all out with a replica of the schoolgirl outfit work by Spears in the "Baby One More Time" video, although clunky, square heeled shoes and pink hair pom poms are required for accuracy. Spend your morning on the beach, staring emotionally out towards the ocean, and dancing underneath the boardwalk, before treating your friends to milkshakes that you deliver on roller blades. Make sure to chew plenty of bubble gum during the day, so that people understand that you're trying to physically embody the idea of bubble gum pop. End your day with a double billing of Drive Me Crazy and Spears' episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Day Two: Oops! I Did It AgainThe wardrobe for day two is a bit more complicated, as there is really only one outfit that sums up Spear's second album: the red leather catsuit from her "Oops! I Did It Again" music video. If you've got some spare time on your hands, give sewing your own custom catsuit a try. But if you need to buy one, ensure that it includes both a mock turtleneck and another pair of awkward, clunky shoes. After you've finished rescuing the Hope Diamond from the depths of the ocean, spend your afternoon learning the chair choreography from the "Stronger" video. If your family has arrived early for Thanksgiving, perform it for them wearing a nude-colored, sequined two-piece outfit like the one Spears wore for her 2011 VMAs performance. Finally, wind down by perching atop the highest balcony in your home, wearing your favorite pink ballgown over some jeans (to give it a casual twist), and sprinkle glitter down onto the people below.
Day Three: BritneyYou've grown up some now, so it's time to showcase your new-found adulthood with plenty of ripped jeans, strategically unbuttoned white shirts, and smoky eye makeup that you forgot to take off three days ago. Most of your day will be spent dancing in dingy warehouses or opulent penthouses, although you will finally be able to wear more stylish shoes. To ensure that your performances are as accurate as possible, borrow a yellow boa constrictor to wear around your neck. Around sunset, find a nice, quiet spot in the desert to contemplate the fact that although you're no longer a girl, you're not yet a woman. Make sure that your jeans are as torn up about the situation as you are. Finally, finish off the evening with a re-watch of the cinematic masterpiece that is Crossroads, and re-enact the pivotal karaoke scene with your friends. If you've spent the last few days dating the most famous member of a boy band, now if the time to break things off and explore your independence.
Day Four: In The ZoneToday will involve several costume changes, in order to properly reflect the growth and change that Spears underwent during this time in her life. If you are flying somewhere for the holidays, choose the most attractive person on your flight, and using your dance moves, seduce them into revealing themselves as some sort of spy. If you're travelling on land, why not rent a motorcycle? Use the weird scarves tied to your arm to lure a handsome stranger into riding with you through the city at night. Once you've arrived at your destination, change into an oversized white button-down and a baseball cap, and make your way through the throngs of paparazzi into your bathroom to take a long, relaxing bath and reflect on the end of your relationship with that boybander. When you're done, change into some denim shorts and Ugg boots, and then unwind with several bags of Cheetos and a few episodes of Britney and Kevin: Chaotic. If you can, try and find a backup dancer of your own to marry.
Day Five: Blackout After you start of the day with a weird, mumbling, awkward rendition of "Gimme More," divorce the backup dancer you married yesterday and accessorize all of your outfits with a bobbed, hot pink wig. Although you'll continue to give the people around you music to dance to, spend the day relaxing and recovering from the stresses of following in Spears' footsteps. Finally, when you're ready, end the night by collecting an armful of VMA moon men and begin launching your first of several comebacks.
Day Six: Circus Most of your day will consist of performing, so if you could find a way to build your own personal three-ring circus to use as a stage, that would be ideal. If not, why not try causing chaos in your office by singing to one of your co-workers about him being a "womanizer"? Or, instead, get into the Thanksgiving spirit by donning your best '50s housewife ensemble and baking a pie, before reverting back to your flamboyant stage outfits? When all of your work is done, enjoy spending plenty of quality time with your family before capping off the evening with Spears' Glee tribute episodes. Feel free to take inspiration from the characters and recreate as many iconic Spears moments as you can, preferably in that miniature circus you built earlier.
Day Seven: Femme FataleSince the week is winding down, it's time to have a dance party with Spears' album Femme Fatale. For your wardrobe, stick with with black and white, and make liberal use of accessories like elbow length-gloves and a giant, feathery vest. Make sure to decorate your room with all of the gold and platinum records you've sold in order to provide the ideal backdrop for dancing until the world (or just the night) ends. After you're done dancing, find yourself a comfortable seat, and have your friends and family sing for you, while you judge them on whether or no they've got the X Factor. Recruit your annoyingly self-absorbed cousin to sit next to you and talk in a British accent. Cap off your evening by watching The Smurfs 2 with some of the younger members of your family, and relax before it's time to get back to work, b**ch.
Once you've completed your Week of Britney, you're all ready to buy Britney Jean when it's released on December 3.
Singer Kelly Rowland has sparked rumours she is set to marry her boyfriend Tim Witherspoon after showing off a diamond ring on her wedding finger during an online video. The former Destiny's Child star has been dating her manager for several years and has managed to keep the relationship out of the spotlight.
However, Rowland unintentionally sent gossips into a spin when she uploaded a birthday message video for the son of her producer friend Patrick 'J. Que' Smith on Friday (15Nov13), showing off a huge diamond band as she blew him a kiss.
Rowland was previously engaged to American football player Roy Williams in 2004, but they called off their wedding the following year (05).
South Dakota officials have spoken out against plans for Joan Jett to perform on their state's float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City due to her views on animal rights. The rocker and her band the Blackhearts have been selected to appear on the float promoting South Dakota and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial during the beloved annual event later this month (Nov13).
However, her longtime vegetarianism and outspoken support of animal-rights charities has rankled some residents in the state, where cattle farming is a key local industry.
Senator Larry Rhoden says, "Her agenda through PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) does not represent South Dakota. The organisation is obviously very anti-ag (agriculture). They are very misinformed on the ag industry and the animal ag industry."
Jodie Anderson from the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association adds, "South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is very concerned that the South Dakota float would be featuring a prominent vegetarian on the Thanksgiving Parade float. We hope that future floats would support not only the tourism industry but also agriculture."
However, Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen, who picked Jett to perform, is standing by his decision, saying, "For us, it's not about the talent on the float. It's about having Mount Rushmore featured before three million live viewers... more than 100 million people around the world who are seeing that float.
"She holds views that I don't, but there are a lot of people who love her as an artist. It puts the focus on Mount Rushmore and South Dakota."
Previous artists chosen to perform on the Mount Rushmore float include Don McLean and Neil Diamond.
Katy Perry sparked engagement rumours at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Sunday night (10Nov13) when she was spotted wearing a sparkling ring on her wedding finger. The music event in Amsterdam, Holland was a big night for Perry as she scooped the award for Best Female and performed her new track Unconditionally while suspended in mid-air.
However, it was her choice of jewellery which caught the attention of fans as the Firework superstar was seen wearing a diamond band on her left hand, sparking speculation that her relationship with John Mayer could be heading in a new direction.
The couple has been dating on/off for two years. Perry was previously married to British comic Russell Brand from 2010 to 2011.
British model/actress Elizabeth Hurley returned to the red carpet with former cricket star Shane Warne on Friday (08Nov13) for the first time since reportedly calling off their engagement in September (13). The couple put on a united front for the cameras in Sydney, Australia for a special breakfast celebrating the launch of Hurley's new fashion collection with local label Queenspark, although they declined to conduct interviews with newspaper reporters, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The event marked the stars' first official public appearance together since experiencing trouble in their relationship almost two months ago, when Hurley was first photographed without her engagement ring.
The Australian sports legend subsequently insisted they were just "sorting through" some private problems, but declared, "We're not throwing in the towel just yet", and they appeared to have reconciled shortly afterwards as they were spotted stepping out for lunch together with Warne's children from his previous marriage.
Warne proposed to the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery beauty in 2011 following a whirlwind relationship, which began the previous year (10).
It is not yet clear whether the couple's engagement is back on, but Hurley's diamond sparkler was still absent from her ring finger on Friday.
A representative for Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has dismissed reports suggesting the 20 year old has quietly wed her fiance Nick Gordon. Brown, who announced her engagement in July (13), sparked speculation the couple had secretly tied the knot after she described Gordon as her "hubby" in a Twitter.com post on Wednesday (06Nov13).
The suggestive post read: "Well off to sleep with my hubby @nickdgordon prayers before bedtime. godbless you all, till next time chaps".
However, a spokesperson for Houston's only child with R&B veteran Bobby Brown has dismissed the marriage speculation to Eonline.com.
The rumours emerged one month after Gordon gifted his bride-to-be with a new diamond ring to replace her old sparkler.
Showing off the impressive piece of jewellery with a photo on her Facebook.com page, she simply wrote, "Upgrade".
Brown grew close to Gordon, who was informally adopted by Houston when her daughter was 12, following the superstar's death last year (12).
R&B superstar Usher almost parted company with $80,000 (£53,300) at a charity auction earlier this week (begs28Oct13) but was outbid at the last minute. The Yeah hitmaker was determined to become the owner of a Richard Avedon photograph which was put under the hammer at the Angel Ball in New York City on Tuesday (29Oct13).
He furiously bid up to $80,000 but was beaten to the lot by jeweller designer Lorraine Schwartz, the woman behind Kim Kardashian's huge diamond engagement ring from Kanye West, who laid down $85,000 (£56,600) .
The event went on to raise $3 million (£2 million) for cancer charities.
Sir Elton John has opened up about his close links with Britain's royal family, revealing he has danced with Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne, and once took Princess Margaret out on a date. The Rocket Man hitmaker has long been a favoured pop star in the royal household and has performed at many high-profile events, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert last year (12) and Diana, Princess of Wales' funeral in 1997.
Now he has spoken out about his ties to the British Establishment and recalled how the monarch once cut in on his dance with her daughter at Prince Andrew's 21st birthday party in 1981.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "Princess Margaret and I became friends. I took her to the cinema once at the Odeon Kensington. We had a lovely time and then we went out to dinner and I took her home. Nothing happened of course!
"I also once danced with Princess Anne at Prince Andrew's 21st birthday and the Queen came over and said, 'May I join you?'. We danced to Bill Hayley's Rock Around the Clock. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life. Having been born in a council house in Pinner (near London) the chances of dancing with the Queen at Windsor Castle were pretty long."