Morrissey has donated the $15,500 (£10,000) he won from a British TV network over song misuse to animal activists at PETA to help them fund a campaign against the production of foie gras. The former The Smiths frontman sent his lawyers after Channel 4 bosses after they used his song Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want to advertise TV chef Gordon Ramsay's Christmas Cookalong Live show in 2011.
Fervent animal rights campaigner Morrissey argued he'd never allow his music to be used to promote a chef who uses foie gras, and he won a sizeable settlement.
Announcing his decision to use the cash to fund the PETA U.K. campaign, the rocker says, "Ramsay may very well stick his head in his microwave when he hears that the money I received from Channel 4, because one of my songs was used to promote his Christmas show, is being donated to PETA to fight foie gras.
"Foie gras is so cruelly produced that he'd be against it if he had an ethical bone in his body."
PETA U.K. associate director Mimi Bekhechi says, "Morrissey never stops speaking out against cruelty to animals, and his generous gift will allow PETA U.K. to be just as outspoken in combating foie gras. In a way, we have Gordon Ramsay to thank - it was a gaffe involving his show that will fund our efforts to make sure that everyone knows that foie gras comes from the diseased livers of abused birds."
Rocker Sting is set to perform 10 concerts at New York City's Public Theater this autumn (13) to help raise money for the arts organisation. The Shape of My Heart hitmaker will kick off the series of shows at the Anspacher Theater on 25 September (13) and the proceeds will be donated to the struggling non-profit.
The former Police frontman will play songs from his upcoming album The Last Ship, many of which were inspired by his work on a musical of the same name, about a shipyard in Newcastle, England, near where Sting spent much of his youth.
The play will debut on Broadway next year (14) and artistic theatre director Oskar Eustis says, "Sting is one of the great artists of our time, a brilliant songwriter who is also a model of activist commitment. The Last Ship is shaping up to be a masterpiece, both an elegy for and a celebration of the working-class life of the Newcastle shipyards."
The rocker, real name Gordon Sumner, will also celebrate his 62nd birthday on stage - one of his final gigs falls on 2 October (13).
Searching For Sugar Man star Rodriguez sealed his comeback by opening the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on Thursday (04Jul13). The 2012 film, which charts two fans' quest to track down the forgotten folk star, catapulted the singer/songwriter into the spotlight and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in February (13).
After spending years in the music wilderness, Rodriguez is now riding high on his new-found fame - he landed a spot at Britain's Glastonbury festival last weekend (29-30Jun13) and now he has enjoyed the honour of opening the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.
Rodriguez played at the event on the shore of Lake Geneva on Thursday, while other artists to perform on the festival's first day included Leonard Cohen and Lianne La Havas.
Sting and Prince are also booked to appear during the festival, which will conclude on 21 July (13) with a concert held in honour of music legend Quincy Jones.
Christian Bale has officially hung up his cape after ruling out speculation he will reprise his role as Batman for the upcoming Justice League superhero movie. The Welsh star previously insisted he would only consider donning the Batsuit once more if director Christopher Nolan wanted to make a follow-up to last year's (12) The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in their film trilogy, and as plans for the DC Comics superhero adventure take shape, the actor has made it clear he will not be involved.
He tells EW.com, "We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three (Batman films). That's enough. Let's not get greedy."
Instead, Bale is keen to see another star step into his shoes and tackle the Caped Crusader for a new generation of fans.
He says, "It's a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with."
Bale is the latest star to distance himself from the long-delayed Justice League film, which will bring together Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and The Flash in the same way box office blockbuster The Avengers saw the stars of the rival Marvel franchise unite to save the world.
Earlier this year (13), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played an early version of the Caped Crusader's sidekick Robin in The Dark Knight Rises, insisted he would not be taking over as Batman in the forthcoming project, while last summer (12), Ben Affleck denied reports he was in talks to direct the film.
The movie adaptation of the popular comic book series is slated to hit movie theatres in 2015.
Casting details have yet to be announced, although Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is expected to reprise his role as Superman for the film.
Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber are among the pop stars who have landed a handful of top nods in the second wave of nominations for the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. Swift's hit song I Knew You Were Trouble and Cyrus' We Can't Stop will go head-to-head with Lovato (Heart Attack), Anna Kendrick (Cups) and Bieber's ex, Selena Gomez (Come & Get It), for the title of Choice Single: Female Artist, while the Baby hitmaker's Beauty And A Beat is up for the male equivalent, alongside Bruno Mars (Locked Out Of Heaven), Pitbull (Feel This Moment), Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z (Suit & Tie), and Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams (Blurred Lines).
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Swift is also nominated in the categories of best break-up tune and country song.
Candie's Choice Style Icon will be a fight between Cyrus, Lovato, Emma Watson, Lea Michele and Ariana Grande, while the Choice Twitter Personality will be a competition between Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and U.S. President Barack Obama.
In the acting categories, Choice Movie Scene Stealer will be a tight race between the likes of Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Sada: Breaking Dawn - Part 2) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises), while the TV nominees include Cyrus for her stint in Two and a Half Men, as well as Glee co-stars Chord Overstreet and Heather Morris.
Singers Blake Shelton and Adam Levine of The Voice scored nominations for Choice TV Personality - Male, and Lovato (The X Factor) and model Heidi Klum (America's Got Talent) picked up mentions for the female equivalent.
The full list was released on Monday (01Jul13), over a month after the first wave of nominations were announced in May (13).
The winners will be unveiled during a special ceremony in Los Angeles on 11 August (13).
Jennifer Lopez, Jason Bateman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rosario Dawson are among the 276 new members invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year (13). Jason Schwartzman, Milla Jovovich and Lucy Liu have also received mentions on the acting roll call, while directors include Bridesmaids' Paul Feig, The Hangover's Todd Phillips, Shame filmmaker Steve McQueen and Benh Zeitlin from Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Girls creator Lena Dunham and French actress Julie Delpy land invites as writers, while soul superstar Prince is listed in the music category.
Academy President Hawk Koch says, "These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today. Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy."
Also invited to join the Academy are Chris Tucker, Danny Trejo, Emily Mortimer, Paula Patton and Jack Huston, and if they accept, they will all be granted ballot slips to vote for the winners of the 2014 Oscars and beyond.
Celebrating the big news, Gordon-Levitt writes on his Twitter page, "An honor. Thanks!"
Celebrated pianist Keith Jarrett and saxophonist Anthony Braxton are set to receive America's prestigious Jazz Masters Award. The pair will be joined by bassist Richard Davis and educator Jamey Aebersold as the 2014 winners of the National Endowment for the Arts prize, the nation's highest jazz accolade.
The honourees will be feted at a ceremony in January (14) and will each be awarded fellowships worth $25,000 (£16,129).
The class of 2013 featured musicians Eddie Palmieri, Mose Allison and Lou Donaldson and New York's Village Vanguard Jazz club owner Lorraine Gordon.
Veteran entertainer Marie Osmond was given the fright of her life on Tuesday (25Jun13) after a giant toy spider was used to scare her during a guest hosting stint on live U.S. show The Talk. The singer was telling viewers about her fear of arachnids after commenting on viral video footage of Canadian meteorologist Kristi Gordon, who freaked out live on air after spotting a crane fly on a weather camera.
Sharing her story, Osmond said, "I hate spiders... My mother used to make us put up clothes on a clothesline and it was cold out so I went to put on a sweater and as I went to put my hand in (to the sleeve) it was like this bag of spiders (all over my arm)..."
The star didn't get to finish her story as a prop spider was placed on her shoulder, causing her to scream and jump out of her seat, shouting, "Jeez! It's not even funny!"
As her co-hosts Aisha Tyler, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Sara Gilbert laughed, she screeched, "Ah! Get it away!"
Will history look back upon the past 60 years as the Second Elizabethan Age? Stephen Daldry’s production of The Audience answers with a Queen’s English-accented “yes.” The West End play that reunited Helen Mirren, in her Oscar-winning role as Elizabeth II, with the writer of The Queen, Peter Morgan, was finally available for New Yorkers to see when a live HD stream of the stage production screened as an exclusive engagement from National Theatre Live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music June 15. Considering the abundance of exciting theater in New York it may seem hard to imagine how a projection of a filmed play onto a movie screen could be “an event.” Except that we still don’t know if The Audience will ever cross the Pond. If it does, only the royal yacht Brittania could possibly stow all the Tonys it will win.
The Queen lives a life of performance. Being Sovereign is a role she’s adopted in what may be the longest-recorded display of method acting in history, at least according to Morgan. The Audience takes us through all six decades of the Queen’s reign, with the 67-year-old Mirren equally at home playing 26, Elizabeth’s age upon assuming the throne, and 86. Mirren’s changes in posture and bearing — from ramrod and regal in 1952 to stooped in 2013 — along with some padding and five different wig changes, sell the effect. She hopscotches back and forth through time, with each scene taking the form of her weekly meeting with the Prime Minister, a conference at Buckingham Palace the PMs refer to as “The Audience.”
Morgan’s selective with his presentation of history, grouping scenes thematically, rather than chronologically, and focusing on only eight of the twelve PMs who’ve served since the Queen’s coronation. Nervous fussbudget John Major talks about using negotiating techniques he developed during peace talks in the Balkans to broker a truce between Diana and Charles, while Gordon Brown (played as an emotional wreck by former Inspector Lynley, Nathaniel Parker) vents about feeling overlooked by the Obama White House. The Queen finds an uncommon friendship in common man Harold Wilson, whose rough-and-tumble Labour views oddly intersect with her own, and tension, though not testiness, with Margaret Thatcher.
Mirren’s one scene with Haydn Gwynne as the Iron Lady is remarkable in its subtlety. A lesser playwright would have scripted a scenery-chewing showdown between the Queen and Thatcher. What’s conveyed instead is a strongly professional working relationship that could never become a true friendship. Morgan, Daldry, and Mirren aren’t interested in tabloid sensationalism — her children are barely mentioned aside from Major’s “peace talks” joke — but in revealing the Queen’s character and personality through a recurring ritual, and how her conducting of that ritual reveals the ways she’s changed over time. The maturation we see in the four years between when she first meets Churchill in 1952, when she’s still wearing her mourning black and emotionally fragile, and the strong leader who confronts Sir Anthony Eden over his hawkishness during the Suez Crisis is a beautiful ripening. It’s a prismatic view of a human life.
Artistic depictions of people in power often emphasize their “larger than life” status. But Morgan and Mirren show Queen Elizabeth as not so much a towering presence as a stabilizing force, symbolic of a continuity and grace that could never be found in party politics. “When you’ve been around for as long as I have,” Mirren’s Queen says in 2013, “The same ideas and people are bound to pop back up — just wearing a different tie.” People generally think that history repeating itself is a bad thing, a sign that we’re incapable of learning from the past. Watching The Audience, history repeating itself has never been more enlightening...or enjoyable.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has laughed off reports she was evicted from her Georgia apartment, insisting she moved out voluntarily. The 20 year old and her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, were allegedly booted from the property earlier this week (begs03Jun13) following a series of noise complaints from neighbour Joshua Morse, but Brown claims he was the real troublemaker in the building and they moved to get away from him.
In a Twitter.com post on Wednesday (05Jun13), she writes, "Awoke2CrazyNeighborStory ha Those pplR (people are) insane! @nickdgordon & I choose2move THEY were the nightmare."
Brown, Houston's daughter with R&B star Bobby Brown, took a parting shot at Morse by allegedly leaving a nasty note on his doorstep on Tuesday (04Jun13) following her departure.
The message, which her neighbour posted online, read: "Thanks... You are s**t at the bottom of our shoe. Thank You for making a hard year harder.
"You are a miserable couple and always will be. You were honored to have us living above you and you couldn't stand such a young beautiful couple far more successful than you ever will be. I pray your misery doesn't rub off on your innocent little baby."