Singer/actor Harry Connick, Jr. is set to be unveiled as the latest addition to the American Idol line-up after reportedly signing on to join Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on the judging panel. Show producers have been scrambling to fill the seats left vacant following the departure of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and veteran producer Randy Jackson earlier this year (13), and have recently been in talks with producer Dr. Luke and Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun to help find the next singing star.
However, those negotiations fell through and executives at Fox, the network which airs the programme in the U.S., are said to have asked Connick, Jr. to return following a number of successful guest appearances on the series throughout the years.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the jazz star made the deal official by attending a private party hosted by Idol producer Simon Fuller in Los Angeles on Thursday (29Aug13), where Urban and Lopez were also on hand to toast the imminent announcement.
Urban is the only star returning as a judge from the 12th season of Idol - Lopez stepped down from the panel of experts last year (12) after two seasons.
Connick, Jr. has been a longtime fan of American Idol and previously admitted he had been approached to take on a role as a talent judge years before - but the timing has never been right.
He said, "The last time I was here, I was so flattered, that they (producers) were kind of talking about it, and it didn't work out. There were a lot of things going on on their side and a lot of things going on on my side with just stuff. It's hard to make a commitment like that... What I've done thus far on the show has been really fun, so I've had a great time... Who knows what'll happen in the future."
Justin Timberlake ruled the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Sunday (25Aug13) by picking up four honours and delivering the night's performance highlight. The pop superstar took home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Video of the Year for Mirrors, which also claimed Best Editing honours, and his Suit & Tie promo earned the Best Direction prize.
He also wowed with a show-stopping performance featuring a medley of his solo hits and a brief 'N SYNC reunion.
Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were also big winners - they scored Best Hip Hop Video and Best Cinematography trophies for their Can't Hold Us promo and also landed the night's Best Video with a Social Message award for their gay anthem Same Love, which they performed with Mary Lambert and special guest Jennifer Hudson.
Lady Gaga kicked off the ceremony at the Barclays Center in typical bizarre fashion, dressed as a futuristic Mother Superior. The Paparazzi singer began her performance of new single Applause wearing a weird white nun's habit but the get-up was quickly ripped off her by dancers to reveal a glittery black leotard with matching skull cap.
That outfit became a shimmering blue two-piece, topped by a peroxide white wig. The pop superstar also donned a canary yellow wig and face paint during the opening performance, and wrapped it up following a quick change, dashing out in a two-piece bikini and long blonde shaggy hairpiece.
Other performance highlights included Miley Cyrus, who performed We Can't Stop surrounded by dancing teddy bears, while wearing a fluffy grey bodice. She also sported a new hairstyle - tight cat-ear-like bunches on top and a short ponytail.
The former child star then proved she's all grown up by ripping off her top to reveal orange rubber bra and panties as she took part in a performance of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. The hitmaker strutted out on stage wearing the thick-striped black and white suit.
During the pair's suggestive routine, Cyrus donned a large foam hand to feel Thicke up with and then bent over and wiggled her backside into the singer's crotch while smiling with her tongue hanging out.
After watching Cyrus dancing with Thicke, comedian Kevin Hart joked, "Miley better go and get a damn pregnancy test after doing all that grinding."
Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Drake also hit the Barclays Center stage, while Katy Perry closed the 2013 ceremony by performing her new song Roar from underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
The full list of 2013 MTV VMAs winners is:
Video of the Year - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Best Hip-Hop Video - Can't Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Best Male Video - Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
Best Female Video - I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
Best Pop Video - Come & Get It by Selena Gomez
Artist to Watch - Austin Mahone
Best Collaboration - Just Give Me a Reason by Pink featuring Nate Ruess
Best Video with a Social Message - Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Best Rock Video - Up in the Air by 30 Seconds to Mars
Best Art Direction - Q.U.E.E.N by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu
Best Choreography - Treasure by Bruno Mars
Best Cinematography - Can't Hold Us bu Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Best Direction - Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z
Best Editing - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Best Visual Effects - Safe & Sound by Capital Cities
Best Song of the Summer - Best Song Ever by One Direction
Norman Winter, a publicist who represented music icons including Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan, has died. Winter passed away on Thursday (22Aug13) in Las Vegas due to complications from Lewy Body disease. His family declined to reveal his age, but he was believed to have been in his 80s.
He worked closely with the King of Pop to promote his legendary Thriller album, and also helped Jackson acquire some of the The Beatles' song catalogue and negotiate his endorsements with Pepsi.
Throughout his career, Winter also worked with a whole host of music greats such as Neil Diamond, Dr. Dre, Garth Brooks, Paul Anka, Queen, Barry White, AC/DC, Marvin Gaye, Usher, Billy Joel, and Jackson's sister Janet.
Jackson's longtime attorney John Branca says, "We are so sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend Norman Winter. Norman was a unique, one of a kind character who was dearly beloved. He was of great help and service to Michael and our team during the Thriller period."
Winter is survived by his wife Joy, daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth and brother Alfred, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Still churning out genius at the age of 87, Elmore Leonard was showing no dearth of imagination decades into his writing career. Author of the novels that inspired films like Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty, and the FX series Justified, Leonard has given as much to Hollywood's crime genre as just about any other creative force. Sadly, Leonard succumbed to complications following a stroke suffered three weeks back, passing away on Tuesday morning, as reported by his Facebook page. Leonard was reported to be surrounded by family, in the comfort of his home, at the time of his death.
Leonard pioneered his writing career in the 1950s, kicking off a long line of novels with The Bounty Hunters. Only a few years later, his books began to earn the attention of producers, taking form in film and television adaptations. Elmore's first title to earn the treatment was Hombre, written in '61 and taking big screen form in '67. In addition to penning prose that would translate to films by great directors and screenwriters, Elmore worked on a handful of his own screenplays, such as Richard Quine's The Moonshine War and Burt Reynolds' Stick. Elmore is also famously responsible for the short story that inspired two film adaptations in '57 and 2007.
With Justified going strong on the FX network with a cult fan base and his novel The Switch being brought to film in the developing feature Life of Crime (starring Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, and Isla Fisher), Leonard's influence has shown no signs of waning. The great writer, with a flare for crime, drama, and comedy alike, will surely be missed, but will no doubt maintain a presence in film for years to come.
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Jennifer Lopez is heading back to the American Idol judges table, according to her boyfriend. Casper Smart let the big news slip while promoting his new TV show A Step Away on E! News on Friday (16Aug13).
When asked if his girlfriend would be joining Keith Urban for the 13th season of the show, he simply said, "yes".
Reports suggest the dancer was under the impression the news item had already been released by the talent show's producers.
Last month (Jul13), Fox Network President Kevin Reilly revealed Idol bosses had been in negotiations with Lopez, who served as a judge alongside Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler for two seasons on the show before stepping aside to concentrate on touring and acting last year (12).
Tyler also stepped down and their spots were filled by Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Jackson, Carey and Minaj all quit the show at the beginning of the summer (13). Urban announced he would be returning in July (13).
Matt Damon's sci-fi thriller Elysium has fought off competition to take the number one spot on the U.S. box office charts. The action film, directed by District 9's Neill Blomkamp, debuted with a modest $30.5 million (£20.3 million), beating Jennifer Aniston's new comedy We're the Millers, which opened in second place with $26.6 million (£17.7 million).
Disney's new animated movie Planes was another new entry at three with a $22.5 million (£15 million) gross, while Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and 2 Guns rounded out the new top five.
August... the very mention of the month in reference to the box office traditionally elicits thoughts of a non-blockbuster creating, "dog days" inspiring, less than stellar timeframe for movies. A closer look reveals quite the opposite. We argue that August is one of the best months to be a moviegoer because you get edgier films like this weekend’s R-rated sci-fi action film Elysium from Sony (studio says mid-$30 millions this weekend) and Warner Bros. R-rated comedy We're the Millers (expect low $20 millions for Fri. through Sun. after a Wed. debut of $6.77 million) along with family fare such as Disney's Planes (likely $28 million through Sunday) and Fox's Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (expect just under $20 million for the weekend after a Wed. debut of $5.45 million). It is certainly a somewhat schizophrenic month when it comes to content...and that's why we love it!In our opinion, 2009 was a great year for August releases and really showed that it was no longer was a second class month worthy of scorn and derision (and in fact has evolved arguably into one of the best months of the summer in terms of content) when both Inglourious Basterds and District 9 were released within a week of each other. Both films earned rave reviews and solid revenues while breaking out of the typical cookie-cutter mold of traditional summer fare. Universal's 2 Guns has already kicked off August in similar R-rated fashion and Kick Ass 2 will capitalize further on this next week. R-rated comedies also do well in August when "Blockbuster Fatigue" has set in and audiences are looking for something a little different and a bit more challenging. In 2005, the R-rated hit The 40 Year Old Virgin was a notable example. Say what you will about these Top 25 August performers, but at least some of them tried to push the envelope:HOLLYWOOD.COM - TOP 25 AUGUST RELEASES TITLE DOMESTIC GROSS RELEASE DATETHE SIXTH SENSE $293,506,292 Fri, 8/6/99SIGNS $227,965,690 Fri, 8/2/02RUSH HOUR 2 $226,164,286 Fri, 8/3/01THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM $221,471,070 Fri, 8/3/07THE FUGITIVE $183,875,760 Fri, 8/6/93RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $176,760,185 Fri, 8/5/11THE HELP $169,705,587 Wed, 8/10/11G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA $150,201,498 Fri, 8/7/09TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY $148,213,377 Fri, 8/4/06AMERICAN PIE 2 $145,096,820 Fri, 8/10/01XXX $141,204,016 Fri, 8/9/02RUSH HOUR 3 $140,080,850 Fri, 8/10/07CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER $122,012,656 Wed, 8/3/94SUPERBAD $121,463,226 Fri, 8/17/07INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS $120,523,073 Fri, 8/21/09THE OTHER GUYS $119,219,978 Fri, 8/6/10S.W.A.T. $116,643,346 Fri, 8/8/03DISTRICT 9 $115,646,235 Fri, 8/14/09THE BOURNE LEGACY $113,203,870 Fri, 8/10/12TROPIC THUNDER $110,461,307 Wed, 8/13/08FREAKY FRIDAY $110,222,438 Fri, 8/8/03THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN $109,449,237 Fri, 8/19/05THE PRINCESS DIARIES $108,244,774 Fri, 8/3/01AMERICAN WEDDING $104,440,899 Fri, 8/1/03THE EXPENDABLES $102,981,571 Fri, 8/13/10
Happy Birthday, Mr. Dictator. On Saturday night, Jennifer Lopez stirred up controversy by performing at an event in Turkmenistan where she sang "Happy Birthday" to authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. According to Human Rights Watch, the former Soviet Republic's government is "among the most repressive in the world," with President Berdymukhammedov imprisoning and torturing citizens who have criticized his regime.
During the event hosted by the China National Petroleum Corporation, J.Lo performed her hit songs and shimmied away onstage at a lavish $2-billion resort on the Caspian Sea. According to the New York Times, she "graciously obliged" to sing to the country's dictator to celebrate his 56th birthday. The singer was reportedly paid $1.4 million for her performance — guess it's not true that "Love Don't Cost a Thing."
J.Lo is by no means the first celebrity to have performed in countries or for leaders with human rights violations. Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Usher, and 50 Cent have all performed at parties for family members of the oppressive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Hilary Swank attended a birthday party for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been "linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses." For the most part, these celebrities apologized profusely when they learned that these leaders were connected to serious human rights violations, from brutal torture to acts of terrorism. They also donated their performance earnings to charity.
But some celebrities have shown no qualms about their associations with suspect political figures. Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, and Kevin Spacey were never shy about their friendships with controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Michael Jackson was close with and accepted money from Prince Abdullah al-Khalifa of Bahrain, whose family has quite a track record of human rights violations. Steven Seagal is a pal and supporter of Vladimir Putin, and he has allegedly signed on to be the face of Russian weaponry abroad. Seagal has also been known to defend Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — yep, the same guy whose party Hilary Swank "deeply regrets" having attended.
Hey celebs, do the world a favor and make sure you've done some research before you legitimize brutal leaders who violate human rights. Thanks.
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Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins has produced songs for some of the biggest music artists of all time, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez. But his new reality show on NUVOtv, House of Joy, debuting on July 18 at 10:00 PM ET, documents his biggest challenge yet: helping launch the singing career of his wife Joy Enriquez.
In this exclusive clip from NUVOtv, Jerkins and Enriquez talk about what to expect from the show. Needless to say, there won't always be joy in this House of Joy.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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And now we have even more shake-ups for American Idol fans. Shortly after announcing that the Idol Summer tour has been cut short, it looks like longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick will not be returning for American Idol’s 13th season.
According to The Wrap, the producers have been fired in an effort to shake up the show and win back their consistently dwindling viewers. Lythgoe and Warwick launched American Idol together back in 2002 following the success of their first reality singing completion Britain’s Pop Idol. Their rumored departure follows on the heels of news that FOX’s alternative programming president, Mike Darnell, was leaving his post at the network after 18 years.
FOX is clearly trying to shake things up at Idol now that it’s been announced that Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj are not returning as judges for Season 13. It's rumored that Jennifer Hudson is thisclose to signing the deal to lead a panel former Idol contestants-turned-judges.
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