Pregnant pop star Kelly Clarkson had to school her producer Grant Kurstin in classic Christmas songs while making her holiday album Wrapped In Red, because the Jewish musician had never heard of any of her festive favourites. The Since U Been Gone hitmaker made a list of the winter tunes she wanted to cover and was stunned when Kurstin failed to recognise any of the titles.
She says, "It's so funny, he's Jewish, so he didn't know any of the songs, so we were in the studio like, 'You know, Run Run Rudolph (by Chuck Berry)?' and he was like, 'Nope'. 'White Christmas (made popular by Bing Crosby)?' 'No'. It was so funny.
Clarkson also shares her versions of classics such as Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas, Frank Loesser's Baby, It's Cold Outside and Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Wrapped In Red also includes a handful of original festive tunes.
Beyonce is set to storm back to the top of the U.S. album charts after selling 80,000 copies of her surprise new release in just hours. The diva stunned fans and chart experts alike by releasing 14 new songs and 17 videos on Thursday night (12Dec13) - and fans simply can't get enough.
Devotees have been jamming iTunes to download the album tracks and promos, and even Beyonce's celebrity fans are excited.
Actress Chloe Grace Moretz has taken to Twitter.com to write, "I'm in love with @Beyonce she has reinvented music and the industry. Sexiest album," while Katy Perry has cancelled all her plans for Friday (13Dec13), so she can obsess over Beyonce's new album, tweeting, "Don't talk to me today unless it's about @Beyonce THANX."
And Demi Lovato adds, "Sexiest woman ON THE PLANET... and WHO DIRECTED THESE VIDEOS?!!? #OBSESSED."
The Crazy in Love hitmaker avoided the usual fanfare surrounding the release of a new record, and simply alerted fans to the new music, released exclusively to iTunes, via social networking sites Facebook and Instagram.
The self-titled collection, her fifth solo offering and first studio album since 2011's 4, includes collaborations with her husband, Jay Z, rapper Drake and Frank Ocean. Her daughter, Blue Ivy, also makes an appearance on the track Blue.
Beyonce stunned fans on Thursday night (12Dec13) by unexpectedly releasing an album on iTunes. The Crazy in Love hitmaker avoided the usual fanfare surrounding a new record, instead simply alerting followers to the release via social networking sites Facebook and Instagram.
The self-titled work, her fifth solo offering and first studio album since 2011's 4, included 14 new tracks, including collaborations with her husband, Jay Z, rapper Drake and Frank Ocean.
Her daughter, Blue Ivy, also makes an appearance on the track Blue.
The record is a visual album and each track has its own video.
Here Are Our Picks For Who Will Win, And (More Importantly) Who Should Win The Major Golden Globes' Television Awards This Year:
Best Actor DramaBryan Cranston, Breaking BadMichael Sheen, Masters of SexKevin Spacey, House of CardsJames Spader, The BlacklistLiev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Will Win: Bryan CranstonShould Win: Bryan CranstonBryan Cranston punctuated his run on Breaking Bad with an astounding mix of vulnerability and ferocity, and more than deserves the Globe for his final ten performances as Walter White. It would almost be a sin to give the award to anyone else this year.
Best Actress DramaJulianne Margulies, The Good WifeKerry Washington, ScandalTatiana Maslany, Orphan BlackRobin Wright, House of CardsTaylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Will Win: Julianna MarguliesShould Win: Tatiana MaslanyIf the Golden Globes were purely a numbers game, then Tatinana Maslany would win the Globe without contest for playing multiple of clones on Orphan Black, but what's really special about her performance is the craft and care she put into each character as she imbues each clone with different characteristics, accents and mannerisms that almost magically make them feel like separate characters.
Best Actor ComedyJason Bateman, Arrested DevelopmentDon Cheadle, House of LiesMichael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox ShowJim Parsons, The Big Bang TheoryAndy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Will Win: Jim ParsonsShould Win: Jason BatemnanBateman has long played the straight man in his family of dysfunctional nit-wits on Arrested Development, and when Netflix revived the series for a long-awaited fourth season, the actor deftly slipped into this role again with ease. It's unfortunate, then, that The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons will probably come away with the award.
Best Actress ComedyZooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VeepAmy Poehler, Parks and Recreation Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Will Win: Lena DunhamShould Win: Amy PoehlerLena Dunham is fantastic as the dippy and dream seeking Brooklynite Hannah Horvath, but Amy Pohler's Leslie Knope is even better as the sheer force of joy that lies at the center of the hilarious Parks and Recreation. Plus, the fact that Amy has never won the award which should be considered a war crime.
Best Supporting ActressHayden Panetierre, NashvilleJacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the EdgeJanet McTeer, White QueenMonica Potter, ParenthoodSofia Vergara, Modern Family
Will Win: Sofia VergaraShould Win: Monica PotterParenthood, NBC's little drama that could, has long deserved some attention from the award's circuit, but last season saw the show take on the topic of breast cancer with an incredible amount of weight and sincerity. It would be unforgivable not to award the show some recognition, and Monica Potter's Kristina Braverman carried the aformentioned storyline with grace and soul-shattering pathos.
Best Mini-Series or TV MovieAmerican Horror Story: CovenBehind the CandelabraDancing on the EdgeTop of LakeWhite Queen
Will Win: Behind the CandelabraShould Win: Top of the LakeTop of the Lake took the small town murder mystery in strange and darkly beautiful directions, and should take home the golden trophy, but Behind the Candelabra is certainly the more high profile nominee, and will probably take home the prize.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryModern FamilyGirlsBrooklyn Nine-NineParks and Recreation
Will Win: Parks and RecreationShould Win: Parks and RecreationThe prospect for a sixth season of Parks and Recreation are looking grimmer than ever, so if there were ever a time to award the drama, now is definitely it. We're thinking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be feeling a little guilty for overlooking this wonderful comedy series for all these years. It doesn't hurt that Parks and Rec is the funniest, and most consistent comedy on the list.
Best DramaBreaking BadDownton AbbeyHouse CardsMasters of SexThe Good Wife
Will Win: Breaking BadShould Win: Breaking BadBreaking Bad ended its fifth season with a swaggering confidence, and delivered one of the most exciting and sure-footed finales in recent television history. It will win this category with ease, and duly deserves the honor without question.
Anne Frank's diary is to be transformed into an animated feature by Oscar-nominated movie director Ari Folman. The Israeli filmmaker won international acclaim for his 2008 animated picture Waltz with Bashir, based on his own memories of the 1982 Lebanon War, and he will tackle Frank's famous diary for his next project.
Folman will start work on the film next year (14) with the backing of the Anne Frank Fonds charity, and he insists the project will help tell the tragic youngster's story to new generations.
He says, "Bringing the Anne Frank Diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge. There is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations."
Anne Frank died at the age of 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in 1945. She became one of the best-known Jewish victims of the Holocaust following the publication of her secret diary in 1947.
Kendrick Lamar has become such a big deal over the past year or so that any name associated with his automatically gets props. SZA is a young, up-and-coming artist from New Jersey and she recently signed to Kendrick’s label TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment). To say that this girl is "dope" or "talented" would be a gross understatement. She is a breath of fresh air in a pop culture universe that generally encourages women to be either half-naked and talented, or fully-naked and talentless before they start getting recognition. From what we’ve seen and heard of SZA she is a true musician, with her own unique style that she has held onto thus far (and she is neither half-naked or fully-naked). If she must be compared to anyone, she could be aligned with someone like Solange, and she’s got a voice reminiscent of Tweet (remember "Call Me"?) There’s even a little Corinne Bailey Rae in there too, and folks have even been comparing her to the great Frank Ocean.
Check out her latest video below for "Teen Spirit," which premiered on Vogue last month. And get to experience more of her music HERE. With the right backing — and maybe a feature or two from her label mate Kendrick — we’re hoping that SZA is the next big thing.
Sleepy Hollow continues to be a fantastic mix of creepy monster-evil and traditional family drama. Last week Crane discovered that he was a father, as Katrina had given birth to his son after putting him under the spell that forever linked him to the Headless Horseman. This week he began a dangerous search to uncover the truth about his son’s life and the things he discovered were pretty frightful.
Christmastime = Family Drama, Forever
The episode began the way any proper Christmas episode should, with a few good quips about egg nog. Lieutenant Mills tried to school Crane on the modern-day Yuletide goings-on and he was (as usual) none too impressed by the way things had changed since back in his day. He also had more on his mind than the coming of Santa Claus, having invited an old friend -- the Sin Eater -- over for a supernatural session. The Sin Eater (AKA Henry Parrish) was able to send Crane over to Katrina’s realm where he confronted her about their child. Katrina revealed that she had been targeted by her coven after what she did to save Crane and -- in her attempt to evade them -- she fled to Europe where she discovered she was pregnant. She ran back to her safe haven (the home we were introduced to last week) to give birth to their son, Jeremy. Jeremy’s story once again linked Crane and Mills, as Katrina revealed that she had given the baby to Grace Dixon and her husband in hopes of keeping him safe from her coven. She had also made for him the creepiest looking doll ever, as a protectant.
The Truth About Jeremy
Crane, Mills, and their new partner in crossing-over-into-other-realms Henry the Sin Eater went to a historical library in search of answers about Crane’s progeny. They uncovered some devastating news – first, that Jeremy’s half-witchy blood started wreaking havoc on his community, as the sounds of his cries actually started whole fires (that scene was very Looper-ish). One of those fires resulted in the death of Grace Dixon and her family. And, second, Jeremy ended up in an orphanage, where he was the target of physical abuse at the hands of a priest. That abuse inspired such pain and anger in Crane’s son that the blood from his wounds brought his protectant doll (AKA the Golem) to life. And because Crane was now living, his existence called the golem back to Sleepy Hollow. His first kill was the librarian, who was actually a witch attempting to keep Crane from discovering the truth.
Like many characters in Sleepy Hollow, the Golem wasn’t entirely evil and wasn’t entirely good. On the one hand he was built to protect Jeremy, but he was also a dangerous killer. And pretty scary. Crane had to be the one to destroy him in the end, but first he discovered from the witches (known as the Four That Speak As One) that they had buried Jeremy alive. And after achieving victory over the golem and the coven (for their death was linked to Crane's arrival), Crane was faced with a familiar horror: the Moloch. The Moloch tells him that his death is also imminent, along with that of the other witness. This was interesting because earlier in the episode Captain Frank had learned that the two witnesses in the Bible suffer the same fate. It looks like we can expect Crane and Mills to spend much of the season running from death, and as Frank now functions as an apostle of sorts, he’ll be running from a similar fate.
A Few Questions To Ponder Until Next Week:
Where in the world was Abbie’s sister Jenny? This week there was some borderline romantic friction between Frank and his ex, but we’re still rooting for Jenny and Frank to bring all their drama together and make sweet Sleepy Hollow love down by the fire ... or at least go out on a date.
How much creepier are these monsters going to get? Last week it was a live scarecrow, this week a live doll? Whatever. We love it.
With Christmas a little over two weeks away, the major networks have slowly begun to roll out their holiday programming. Then there's shows like Nashville and Sons of Anarchy, both of which are airing all new episodes – they count too, you know! Here's what else you need to be watching this week.
NashvilleRemember what a really good network drama was like? You know, the type that didn't involve a bloodied body part with a heinous killer on the loose? (Looking right at you, CSI!) Yeah, turns out they still exist, with ABC's Nashville being one of the best dramas on network TV. Of course it always helps when you have Connie Britton in your cast. Maybe just a little. A new episode of Nashville airs Wednesday at 7 PM ET on ABC.
Sons of AnarchyClay is dead, the Irish are out of the picture, and a lot is now hanging in the balance for Jax and the boys as season six of Sons of Anarchy comes to a close. Sorry, going to go a bit off topic here, but could anyone really have seen Charlie Hunnam playing the lead role in next year's big screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey? That would have just been ... weird. The season finale of Sons of Anarchy airs tonight at 7 PM ET on FX.
Anger ManagementHis personal life may be filled with drama (seriously, how many porn stars can one man date?!), but Charlie Sheen is clearly still at the top of his game as the star of FX's hilarious sophomore comedy Anger Management. And after all this time, all the producers of Two and a Half Men got was (gasp!) Ashton Kutcher! A brand new episode of Anger Management airs Thursday at 9:30 PM ET on FX.
It's A Wonderful LifeThe holiday classic returns to television, and this year NBC is going all out by airing It's A Wonderful Life in amazing 3D! Okay, that's not true, but wouldn't it be cool if it was? You can check out Frank Capra's warmhearted drama for about the billionth time this Saturday at 8 PM ET on NBC. And although 3D glasses are not required, that shouldn't stop you from wearing them. You know, to make a fashion statement.
Frosty ReturnsJimmy Stewart not doing it for you? Then you can just as easily turn the dial (do those still exist?) to CBS, which will be airing 1992's Frosty Returns at 9:30 PM ET. And what better way to muster up the holiday spirit then by watching a towering yeti coming to life to save Christmas? Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
Oscar-nominated Sound Of Music star Eleanor Parker has died, aged 91. The actress played The Baroness in the hit movie musical, which was revamped for TV in America just last week (05Dec13).
She was nominated for an Oscar three times and appeared in close to 50 movies, including the 1950s classics Scaramouche, Lizzie, Detective Story, The Naked Jungle and Escape From Fort Bravo.
Parker also played opposite Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm.
Her last credit was 1991 TV movie Dead on the Money.
Parker died on Monday (09Dec13) at a medical centre near her home in Palm Springs, California.
Flowers will be placed on the actress' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday (10Dec13).