Classic rockers Styx and Reo Speedwagon are teaming up to raise funds for the victims of the storms that have ripped through Midwest America this autumn (13). The groups will co-headline a concert in Illinois on 4 December (13), which is being billed as Rock To The Rescue Extends A Hand To Those In Need.
Funds will be earmarked for affected families in central Illinois communities that were left reeling in the wake of devastating tornadoes and winds.
STYX guitarist and Illinois native James Young says, "As we approach the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (on 22 November), I’m reminded of his famous quote, 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country'. The good people of Illinois lent support and a helping hand to every artist on this bill at different times in their respective careers, and we owe a tremendous debt. It’s our turn to ask what we can do for this great state, and the best way we know to help those in need is to get on stage and let the incredible healing power of music play its part in rebuilding Illinois."
REO Speedwagon star Kevin Cronin adds, "I am Illinois born and bred. REO Speedwagon is an Illinois band. The word 'Illinois' is music to me. The utter devastation and human suffering in Washington, and the surrounding areas is heartbreaking. I believe that we need to take care of our own... The people of Illinois are our own, and we are theirs."
TV mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award from U.S. leader Barack Obama. The accolade was established by former U.S. president John F. Kennedy 50 years ago to honour "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".
President Obama praised the media titan for promoting the message of "you can" and pulling herself out of poverty to rise to the top of the entertainment industry.
Winfrey was feted alongside country singer Loretta Lynn, jazz musician Arturo Sandoval and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (20Nov13).
Actress Jennifer Garner headed to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (13Nov13) to address U.S. politicians about the importance of early education programmes. The Daredevil star, an ambassador for the Save the Children charity, joined Senator Tom Harkin and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Capitol Hill as they championed The Strong Start for America's Children Act, a new bill aimed at expanding and improving access to pre-school activities.
The mother of three said, "My kids have everything they need, so what I give my heart to - besides parenting my own kids - is early childhood education for kids all across America, especially for those growing up with less."
Discussing the topic further with news channel CNN, Garner explained, "The playing field for kids in America is not equal. Without starting from the very beginning and getting an earlier start on their education, they have very little chance of catching up if they start as far behind as they're starting in kindergarten."
Garner is no stranger to political activism - she teamed up with fellow celebrity mum Halle Berry in August (13) as they successfully campaigned for a new anti-paparazzi law, which imposes tougher penalties on cameramen who constantly tail public figures and their kids, and also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.
Lady Gaga hailed teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai at the Glamour Women of the Year event in New York on Monday (11Nov13), insisting the Pakistani youth was more deserving of the magazine's December (13) cover than herself. The Paparazzi hitmaker graces the front of Glamour's annual special issue and while she is grateful for the honour, she felt an image of Yousafzai would have been a better choice.
Accepting an award at the Carnegie Hall gala, Gaga admitted the spotlight belonged to fellow honouree Yousafzai, who hit the headlines last year (12) when she was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban operatives who disagreed with her outspoken support of education for girls in her homeland.
She told the audience, "Who really belongs on the cover is not me. If I could forfeit my Glamour cover, I would give it to Malala. You're so inspiring, so young and so brilliant."
And Gaga then took aim at the image of her Glamour magazine editors chose to use on the cover, adding, "Malala used her voice, so I'm going to use mine... The picture, which I'm very grateful for and very happy to be on this cover, I felt it was too beautiful. I felt my skin looked too perfect, and my hair looked too soft. This is not usually how I dress or how I carry myself...
"I believe my true mission is to inspire young people to fight back against forces that make them feel like they're not beautiful or important. I do not look like this when I wake up in the morning."
Others feted among Glamour's Women of the Year included Kerry Washington, models Christy Turlington and Liya Kebede, Microsoft founder Bill Gates' philanthropist wife Melinda, and Barbra Streisand, who was presented with the publication's Lifetime Achievement award.
Singers Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga will be honoured as Glamour Women of the Year on Monday (11Nov13). The Born This Way hitmaker, who graces the cover of Glamour magazine's December (13) issue, will be among those feted at the Carnegie Hall event in New York, while Streisand will receive the publication's Lifetime Achievement award.
Others who will be recognised for inspiring and empowering women around the world include Kerry Washington, models Christy Turlington and Liya Kebede, Microsoft founder Bill Gates' philanthropist wife Melinda, and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who hit the headlines last year (12) when she was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban operatives keen to silence her for her outspoken views about education for girls in her homeland.
Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty
Spike Lee might be teaming up with a certain pop mega-star. The controversial director is being considered to helm Spinning Gold, a music biopic based on the life of record producer Neil Bogart, with Justin Timberlake attached to star. Bogart was a legendary music mogul who helped release records from a mix of '70s music royalty including KISS and Donna Summer. The screenplay was written by Neil's son Tim Bogart, so it still remains to be seen whether the family link will cloud the story's authenticity.
Lee is a deceptively versatile filmmaker who has applied his directoral knowhow to a diverse number of movies, from bank caper Inside Man, to his solemn ode to post-9/11 New York 25th Hour. Lee has gained a stigma for always putting his politics at the forefront of his films, but he also knows when to rein them back when a picture suits it.
While certain sects of the Internet are quite sure Lee will destroy Korean cinema forever with his upcoming American remake of Oldboy, a wildly inventive revenge flick from Chan-wook Park, we have confidence that Lee can pull off both Spinning Gold and Oldboy sucessfully. People forget that Lee is a talented director when he's not ranting on Twitter, or stirring the pot outside of the director's chair. After the unmitigated disaster that was Runner Runner, we should be less worried about the filmmaker, and more worried about JT's ability to carry a film.
Basketball legend Bill Russell has issued a public apology after it was revealed he was arrested for carrying a loaded gun through airport security in Seattle, Washington last week. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials announced on Saturday (19Oct13) that the former Boston Celtics icon, 79, was taken into custody by police at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday night (16Oct13) for having a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson handgun in his hand luggage.
The firearm, which he had a permit for, was confiscated and he was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area.
He was subsequently released and now Russell has released a statement to say sorry for the "mistake".
The statement reads: "Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologise and truly regret the mistake.
"I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn't have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe."
Russell would have been allowed to keep his weapon if he had packed the gun unloaded in his checked baggage.
In addition to the citation, Russell faces a fine of up to $7,500 (£5,000).
Mark Sullivan/WireImageFans of the popular ABC shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal often find themselves wondering who comes up with the fictional plot twists and love affairs that keep them up at night. While she obviously does not work alone, the simple answer is Shonda Rhimes. The Emmy-nominated writer and producer created both shows, but that’s not all she contributes to the universe. Here are a few things you might not know about the genius behind the curtain.
She Knows How To Handle Drama On And Off The Screen
This past year Rhimes came under criticism for the treatment of her lead character Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington). Some folks (including Star Jones) accused her of glorifying marital affairs, and even felt that the interracial relationship on the show was problematic. Rhimes has brilliantly responded to such accusations by defending her art as just that — art, and not a political or social platform. And she often takes to Twitter to remind people who get a little too caught up that her shows are, in fact, fictional.
Oprah Winfrey Is Obsessed With Her
When Oprah Winfrey and former President of the United States Bill Clinton watch your show (they both love Scandal), it’s kind of a big deal. But Oprah and Shonda are so close, their Twitter exchanges are well-documented, and when Shonda made TIME Magazine’s 2013 list of 100 most influential people in the world, Oprah even wrote the powerful accompanying essay.
Halle Berry Kinda, Sorta Owes Her
Halle Berry got her start long before her role in the television biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Still, her performance in the Shonda Rhimes-written script was one of her best and most well-respected, as she (along with Rhimes) brought to life the important story of the first black movie star to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
She Was a Candy Striper in High School
This woman is living proof that volunteer work truly pays off in the end. Rhimes volunteered at a hospital during high school, and attributes that experience to her interest in such environments. Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off series Private Practice are a direct result of her candy striper days in Chicago.
She’s an Inspiration to Unemployed Writers Everywhere
After Rhimes got her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California, she was just another unemployed scriptwriter in Hollywood. She worked odd jobs to pay the bills, but eventually got her big break as a research director for a documentary on Hank Aaron. See? We all gotta start somewhere.
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Thousands of landlords probably were able to bill people for damage done to the walls when people threw their remotes after these lame season finales.
One of the best hospital dramas was only in the mind of an autistic boy? OK then... way to completely trivialize the acting work done by such great actors as Denzel Washington, William Daniels and Howie Mandel. OK, maybe the third one is a stretch. But still.. it was just a complete copout and I'm surprised the writers didn't get laughed out of the room when the idea was first suggested.
This show should undergo the judicial process for its terrible finale where the gang of four are on trial. It was one of the best shows and it just was the most lackluster idea for a finale that I could imagine. The only way it could have been worse was have it all be a fever dream for Kramer.
There are some people who think this is actually a great ending for the show and that it shows how Tony Soprano died. I'm not in that camp. My reaction was: "Wait. Why is my TV black now? WHAT HAPPENED? ARGH!"*checks internet* "IT WAS DELIBERATE?!?!" Yeah, people shouldn't have to be scratching their heads wondering if their television was on the fritz.
It was a dream. Really? REALLY? Dallas does the wimpy dream thing. You know, the whole Bobby Ewing dying thing and then magically walking out of a shower like a year later. It just wiped out a whole lot of funny laughs. Also, who the hell dreams for like 40 hours straight without waking up?
This ending took one of the best concepts ever and just spit on it. They weren't content to show this guy trying to time-travel back to his time and have it end will. Nope. Not only did it end with a stupid negative caption about how the show ended, they spelled the main character's as "Dr. Sam Becket" instead of "Beckett". I hope whoever proofread that got fired and is working as a janitor in a movie studio now.
Yes, we know they went extinct, but it was a cute show about dinosaurs with human-like personalities. In the final episode, they ended it on SUCH a bummer. I've never understood why some of these sitcoms -- you know, shows that derive their highest ratings by making people LAUGH -- end their runs on such low notes. Is it a double-middle finger at those who stopped watching it and thus made them wind up having to wrap it up? Who knows.
Sex & The City
The movies tried to redeem what was a horrible ending, but sadly, the second movie was even worse. Of course I found out about this from my wife. She was livid when she saw how it ended in such a wishy-washy way for Carrie and everyone else on the show.
It was all in her head as a writer? That's almost as bad as Newhart! What is it with writer's taking the easy way out when it comes to stuff like this? It's like they had a plane to catch during the final writing session and they were like, "OK. Let's just make her a writer and it all having been in her head." "Works for me!" "OK!" "See ya guys!"
Taking a bit from the Alf write-up: Leaving a friendly alien in the hands of the military is NOT how I would end a sitcom. Just my own 2 cents. You had this strange-looking alien that resembled a furry, big-nosed Ronald Reagan and spend most of the show having him do silly things. Now you end it on such a bummer like that? What is wrong with these writers?
Little House on the Prairie
"We're gonna blow up our town to prove a point!" A sane person would then say, "Wait, what? Have you been drinking the moonshine again?" Poor Michael Landon deserved better than this than to have that last episode on his acting resume. Fortunately, Highway to Heaven rescued him.
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Tina Fey, Julie Andrews and Tony Bennett will salute actress Carol Burnett when she is honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor next month (Oct13). The Carol Burnett Show star will be feted at the Kennedy Center's 16th annual ceremony.
A statement from the actress reads, "I can't believe I'm getting a humor prize from the Kennedy Center. It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington."
Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph and Lucille Ball's daughter Lucie Arnaz, and Burnett's former castmates Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence will also be on hand to celebrate the comedienne.
Previous honourees include Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell, Fey, Bill Cosby and George Carlin.