The son of late soul legend Marvin Gaye is desperately seeking an organ donor after suffering kidney failure. Singer Marvin Gaye III, 46, reveals he has been receiving dialysis treatment for the past three years after experiencing complications from diabetes, but is still waiting for a transplant as medics have yet to find a suitable match.
He has now issued a public appeal to members of ethnic minorities to sign up as donors in an effort to draw attention to the challenges faced by black and Hispanic communities, in particular, in need of organ transplants, reports the Associated Press.
Pharrell Williams has spoken out about his involvement in a legal battle with Marvin Gaye's family over his hit collaboration with Robin Thicke, insisting Blurred Lines is "completely different" to a track by the music legend. The Gaye family and bosses at Bridgeport Music, who own the rights to George Clinton's band Funkadelic's compositions, claim Blurred Lines bears striking similarities to Gaye's Got to Give It Up and Funkadelic's track Sexy Ways.
The allegation prompted Williams, Thicke and their collaborator T.I. to take pre-emptive legal action in a bid to protect their song, filing paperwork at a court in California seeking a judgement ruling Gaye's heirs cannot make a copyright claim.
Williams has now given his opinion on the case, insisting Blurred Lines sounds nothing like Gaye's song.
He tells the Associated Press, "I'm a huge fan of Marvin Gaye. He is a genius. He is the patriarch... If you read music, all you have to do is read the sheet music. It's completely different... (Gaye) is the king of all kings, so let's be clear about that. And we take our hats off to him. But anybody that plays music and reads music, just simply go to the piano and play the two (songs). One's minor and one's major. And not even in the same key."
Hollywood and Broadway has lost a legend: Marvin Hamlisch, the celebrated composer behind such masterpieces as the beloved Broadway staple A Chorus Line and the score for classic films including The Sting, Sophie's Choice, The Way We Were, Bananas, Ice Castles, and Ordinary People has passed away at the age of 68.
According to a statement released by Hamlisch's publicist to the Associated Press, the Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Pulitzer Prize-winning artist died on Monday, August 6 in Los Angeles after a brief illness. No other details were given. He recently penned the score to a musical of The Nutty Professor, which, according to his publicist he was scheduled to fly to Nashville this week to see in production. Hamlisch, a Julliard graduate, ran the pop culture gamut from Hollywood to Broadway and beyond. In addition to the more than 40 films that he scored (including, most recently, 2009's The Informant!) and his famous Broadway efforts (in addition to A Chorus Line, he also wrote the music for The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success) the prolific star wrote pop hits for the likes of Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand (the timeless theme song to "The Way We Were"); appeared on screen (he played himself in the romantic comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days); and was a principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pasadena, New York, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Seattle and San Diego. His final film score was for Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!. According to the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena Symphony and Pops President Melinda Shea said Hamlisch's death was unexpected. "He'd pulled a back muscle recently, but there was nothing serious. He had some really wonderful new endeavors," Shea told the Times, adding, "It's just such a tragedy that this has happened, when he was still so young." Hamlisch, who famously caught the eye of Gilda Radner's nerdy Lisa Loopner on Saturday Night Live, is survived by his wife of 25 years, Terre Blaire who he resided in New York with. On his official website there's a quote from Hamlisch that reads, "Music can make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can." It's safe to say with the unparalleled legacy he leaves behind, Hamlisch did just that. [Photo credit: WENN.com]
Tonys 2012: The Winners
Nora Ephron, Writer and Director, Dies of Cancer
Maeve Bincy, Circle of Friends Author, Dies
The grandson of billionaire businessman Marvin Davis, who was part of the last series of U.S. reality show Celebrity Rehab, was picked up by cops in Newport Beach on 27 January (11) for alleged drug possession and placed on $20,000 (£13,330) bail.
Now he has been formally charged for the offence, and was also charged with misdemeanours of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia, reports TMZ.com.
According to legal documents from the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Davis was allegedly high on a "central nervous system stimulant (prescription medication) and narcotic analgesic (painkillers)" at the time he was arrested.
He faces up to three years behind bars if he is convicted of all the charges.
Following his arrest Davis released a statement accusing his family members of calling cops and releasing details to the press in a bid to boost their own public image.
The day before his run-in with police Davis also appeared on a live reunion episode of Celebrity Rehab, in which he insisted he had been clean since completing treatment last year (10).
The grandson of billionaire businessman Marvin Davis was arrested in Newport Beach, California on Thursday night (27Jan11). He is now facing a charge of possession of a controlled substance and has been released on $20,000 (£13,330) bail, reports TMZ.com.
According to the website, Davis fired off a statement after his release in which he accuses his family of calling cops and releasing details of his arrest to the press in a bid to boost their own public image.
Davis says, "I am shocked that my family would once again alert the police, and media, about a personal family matter simply to promote their own public image. You don't see Charlie Sheen's family calling the cops on him."
And he believes the drugs found by cops may have been part of a cruel set up, adding, "Authorities are investigating whether a certain family member planted the drugs in my home."
Davis' arrest came a day after he appeared on a live reunion episode of Celebrity Rehab, on which he starred last year (10) in a bid to get professional help for his addictions. On the show, which aired in the U.S. on Wednesday (26Jan11), he insisted he had been clean since completing treatment.
A ray of light in the ongoing Travolta tragedy …
Authorities in the Bahamas have detained an island lawmaker and a paramedic in an alleged plot to extort money from actor John Travolta after the death of his son, The Associated Press reports.
One of the suspects, ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne, was detained on Friday. He was quoted in some tabloids, describing efforts to revive the celebrity's chronically ill son, Jett, who died of a seizure this month at their family vacation home on Grand Bahama.
As well, Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater, an attorney from Grand Bahama, has been held for questioning since Thursday, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames told AP.
Dames said Lightbourne was detained after police issued an alert that he was wanted for attempted extortion, was "considered dangerous and should be approached with caution."
The alleged extortion plot has not been revealed in its entirety, only that the extortionists claimed they would release pictures of Jett, as he lay dying, unless they were paid money. Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston returned home to Florida with the ashes of their 16-year-old son, and Travolta's spokesperson said Friday he has no comment.
Let’s hope justice will be served quickly.
MORE NEWS: Rehab for Kelly Osbourne
The big-screen live-action adaptation mostly captures the look and feel of the ‘60s cartoon many of us grew up watching. It could have used a few more occurrences of our favorite line “Look out Speed! AH!” but oh well. As it goes Speed (Emile Hirsch) has grown up with motor oil pumping through his veins helping his Pops (John Goodman) make racecars and idolizing his older brother Rex (Scott Porter) a top-notch driver. Then tragedy strikes when Rex is seemingly killed in an accident. Heartbroken Speed is determined to take his place showing some serious skills on the track. His girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci) thinks he’s the bomb as do his mom (Susan Sarandon) younger brother Spritle (Paulie Litt) and pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim. But Speed is soon in for a rude awakening when he is introduced to the corrupt world of auto racing forcing him to team up with the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox) to make it right again. Go Speed go! The usually somber Hirsch--who is best known for his indie work in films such as Alpha Dog and Into the Wild--seems at first an odd choice to play Speed. But his seriousness works well against the campiness surrounding him especially in the more emotional moments. Same goes for Fox as the stoic Racer X. Still one can’t help but think of him as his Lost alter ego in a dark glasses and a mask. The rest of the cast just has way too much fun including Ricci as the cute-as-a-button-but-full-of-moxie Trixie Goodman as the blowhard Pops and especially young Litt as Spritle. Out of all Speed’s animated characters re-envisioned Litt does the best job capturing Spritle’s cartoon mischievousness. The monkey ain’t bad either. Chim-Chim AH! Oh those Wachowski brothers (Andy and Larry). They sure do like to come up with as many inventive ways to visually stimulate you as they can don’t they? Their Matrix series set CGI on fire--and now Speed Racer which quite literally takes you inside a video game the Wii or Xbox could only dream of ever creating. The film is virtual eye candy from start to finish--a mixture of Tim Burton-esque colorful sets wild adrenaline-filled special effects and constant camera movements. They may actually need to post a warning for those who suffer from motion sickness. However Speed’s main problem which is the same problem the Matrix franchise suffered from is its tendency to overanalyze the plot. The Wachowskis love to preach turning a scene about the racing world’s corrupt beginning into a 15-minute diatribe. They try to combine the campiness of the animated TV series with serious undertones but it only weighs the film down. You can feel the kids in the audience tapping their feet waiting for more action. So let’s just give the kids what they want: fast-paced excitement wrapped up in a colorful package.
As the real-life 1950's pin-up girl Bettie Page actress Gretchen Mol shakes her moneymaker in this true-American-story drama. Page a Tennessee-raised religious cutie moves to New York in 1949 for a new life when college dreams don't materialize. She's a trusting soul who loves to pose for strangers' cameras and naturally falls into modeling. In no time she's wearing suggestive lingerie and trading spankings with other models. To Bettie the bondage get-ups are silly not prurient. But despite efforts to expand herself and learn acting she remains a pin-up girl. In Bettie's most famous picture she's posing nude in a Santa hat in a 1955 Playboy magazine. After testifying at Congress amid the sexual Puritanism of the '50s Bettie realizes her "notorious" reputation. She quits the biz for her religious beliefs and disappears from the public eye for good. Mol's performance is described in press materials as "incandescent." It is brave to say the least. The actress’ movie career has needed a jolt since she was labeled the next “It” girl in the late ‘90s after starring with Matt Damon in the 1998 Rounders. Her last film was Neil LaBute’s 2003 The Shape of Things. But Mol finds her niche in Notorious. She plays Bettie as she was--a simple-minded and free-spirited character which can be a dangerous combination. The actress doesn't add impresario nuances to the pliable young woman beyond the Southern accents but it is an incandescent performance nonetheless. Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol) brings her rough features to Paula Klaw Bettie's tough-minded manager transitioning from the Emmy-nominated success of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Mol and Taylor play off each other very well. Recent Oscar-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) also sneaks in there as a Southern senator calling for pornography investigations. In the hands of director/writer Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner Notorious snaps along like an old crime noir quick like a paperback on the beach. It is ironic and biting smoldering with sexuality but the melodramatic intentions are obvious. The dialogue lapses into clunky spots occasionally but they seem deliberate. The script's potency should not be understated. It's a statement about government's role in bedroom matters and the side effects of an American society prudish about its sexuality. Harron seems a sharp-edged journalist a chronicler of 20th century America and recruited Oscar-nominated researcher Sam Green (The Weather Undergound) to strengthen the movie's veracity such as recreating '50s-era Times Square. Bygone technical methods such as Super 8 cameras are used to match the classy black-and-white photography. Notorious is a little rough but fairly successful in its mission.
Steven Spielberg is promising film fans and critics his new movie about the 1972 Olympics will hit cinemas on time next month, even though composer John Williams is struggling with the score.
Spielberg is in a real race to complete the film, Munich, in time for the all-important Oscars consideration period this side of Christmas—even though the film seems far from finished, according to new movie-awards website TheEnvelope.com.
The controversial drama about the hunting down of Palestinian militants who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games only finished filming in late September and Williams has yet to record a single note for the soundtrack.
But Spielberg insists his film will hit cinemas on time.
The director's spokesman Marvin Levy says, "There aren't many movies like this, which start shooting around July 1 and plan to be in theatres on Dec. 23. But it will get done. Munich's production is moving forward exactly as it should."
According to the new Los Angeles Times website, which will monitor all the movie awards leading up to the Oscars, Dec. 8 is the last possible day Munich can be considered for the early press awards. Golden Globe ballots are due on Dec. 10.
Many critics, who vote on the ballots, have been told they'll see the film in early December.
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Frenchie Davis, the American Idol semifinalist whose unconventional style but full-voiced performances were a popular addition to the show, has been removed from competition, USA Today reports, because she has acknowledged to the producers that she worked for a porn website four years ago. Fox says she'll be replaced during the Feb. 25 episode.
In a City News Service report, the prosecutor in the case against actor Paul Reubens said the comedian did indeed own a collection of child pornography. Deputy City Attorney Richard Kraft filed court documents Wednesday in response to a defense motion to dismiss the case against Reubens, who was arrested last November for possessing child pornography after authorities searched his home. Kraft states the actor had "an enormous quantity of pornography [including] a collection of child pornography magazines, photographs and movies of nude children, variously involved in sexual acts.'' Reubens has pleaded innocent to the charges and his attorney maintains Reubens' rights have been violated in the case.
State officials postponed a hearing today to determine if rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight should be sent back to prison for violating his parole by allegedly associating with gang members, according to City News Service. The hearing on whether to revoke parole was delayed because the California Board of Prison Terms "wanted to review our decision about whether he could have legal representation at the hearing," said Bill Sessa, the panel's liaison.
Phil Spector is claiming the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his $1.1 million mansion last week was accidental, according to the Associated Press. Marvin Mitchelson, a prominent divorce attorney and Spector's good friend, told AP, "I believe his defense will be that this was a tragic accident…I've spoken with various individuals connected with the case, and I'm 100 percent certain it's not a homicide." Spector's lawyer, Robert Shapiro, has not made a public announcement about the case as yet.
Tough guy Steven Seagal testified against members of the Gambino crime family Tuesday, claiming they have been threatening him and trying to extort money after he fell out with his former business partner, Julius Nasso. Reuters reports the actor said in a statement outside the courthouse, "In the movies, I play a tough action hero, but I have feelings. I have been a victim twice: once, the victim of the crimes which are now on trial, once again as the victim of a vicious smear campaign aimed at discrediting me."
Yeah, baby! Mike Myers will receive the Jack Benny Award for Comedy Achievement Wednesday at the University of California, Los Angeles campus, City News Service reports. Past recipients include Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, Adam Sandler and Whoopi Goldberg.
Variety reports Robert Redford will join Jennifer Lopez in the drama An Unfinished Life to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat). The film centers on a single mother (Lopez) who is forced to live with her estranged father-in-law when she hits financial hardship. Of course, the two eventually find a peace between them.
According to Reuters, the Advertising Standards Authority, a British ad watchdog, chastised 20th Century Fox for sending out "menacing" mobile phone ads for the DVD release of the film Minority Report. The organization received several complaints from people who found the DVD message "offensive." In the ad message, Tom Cruise's voice is heard saying lines from the film but does not identify itself as a promotion until the end. A studio home entertainment division spokesperson told Reuters the message was sent only to people who registered to receive information about upcoming DVD releases.
Variety reports Fox paid well over $2 million in a deal with Michael Jackson to air the pop singer's own cut from the video footage of his recent controversial interview with British journalist Martin Bashir. Called Michael Jackson Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You will air Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Can't wait.
Pepsi will pay several million dollars to urban charities to stave off a threatened boycott after the soft drink company yanked an ad campaign with controversial black rapper Ludacris, Reuters reports. Orchestrated by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, the agreement was made to give money to grassroots nonprofit organizations targeting disadvantaged youths.