Mariah Carey has beaten Rihanna to the top of a new poll to find the Ultimate Pop Star. TIME magazine bosses have measured artists' hits, chart placements and longevity since 1960 in an effort to find the biggest hitmaker - and Carey has been named the new queen of pop.
Rihanna comes in at two and Usher at three, while the Beatles and Madonna round out the top five.
Janet and Michael Jackson also make the top 10, alongside Whitney Houston, Katy Perry and Boyz II Men.
Veteran entertainers Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow are bringing the likes of Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston back from the dead to feature on their respective duets albums. The Funny Girl icon has been working on Partners for the past two years and on Monday (11Aug14), she unveiled the cover art for the project, revealing a collaboration with the King.
Details about the duet have yet to be released, but he won't be the only big name featured on Partners - Streisand has also headed into the studio with Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Babyface and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, as well as her younger contemporaries Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Blake Shelton, John Mayer and John Legend.
Her singer son Jason Gould, whose father is actor Elliott Gould, will also make an appearance on the September (14) album after previously joining his famous mum onstage during her U.S. and European tours in 2012 and 2013.
Meanwhile, Manilow has also headed down the collaboration route for his next release, which will be fully comprised of duets with late legends.
In a message on his Facebook.com page, the singer reveals he wasn't completely sold on the idea of another all-star duets album, so he decided to draw inspiration from beyond the grave.
He writes, "I came up with a weird idea: What if I could make duets out of my favorite songs by artists that are no longer with us? What if I could I actually sing with John Denver, Whitney Houston or Judy Garland?
"Well, after months of creating brand new duet arrangements of famous songs done by these legendary artists, I did. I actually sang with them. And we're just about done with the album...
"The album is a miracle. It's been a huge undertaking, musically and technically.
"It was an honor singing with Whitney (I ran for the Kleenex when I heard her voice!), Dusty Springfield, Louis Armstrong and more. I hope you'll like this one. I'm very proud of it. The release date is sometime in late October."
Carole King's ex-husband and former songwriting partner Gerry Goffin has died at the age of 75. The New York-born lyricist passed away early on Thursday (19Jun14) at his home in Los Angeles.
Goffin and King became a songwriting powerhouse in the 1960s, penning classics such as Will You Love Me Tomorrow for girl group The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and Little Eva's The Loco-Motion, which also became a big hit for Kylie Minogue in 1988.
Among their other notable tracks include Bobby Vee's Take Good Care of My Baby, the Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday and Some Kind of Wonderful for The Drifters.
Goffin and King divorced in 1968, but he continued writing songs and scored hits with Whitney Houston's Grammy Award-winning Savin' All My Love for You, Marianne Faithfull's Something Better and Gladys Knight & the Pips' So Sad the Song from the film Pipe Dreams, which earned him and co-writer Michael Masser a Golden Globe nomination.
He and Masser also landed an Oscar nod for the theme tune to 1975 movie Mahogany, which starred Diana Ross.
Goffin and King were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and later the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Paying tribute to her former partner, King writes, "Gerry was a good man with a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come.
"His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship."
The former couple's relationship has since become the subject of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Model-turned-actress Yaya Dacosta is preparing to bring Whitney Houston back to life on the small screen after landing the lead role in a planned TV biopic. Angela Bassett is stepping behind the camera to make her directorial debut with the project for America's Lifetime network, and she has cast The Butler star as the tragic R&B icon, according to TVLine.com.
The film, tentatively-titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, will focus on the singer's rise to fame, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown and her drug issues. It is expected to air next year (15). DaCosta rose to prominence as a competitor on reality TV show America's Next Top Model and has since established herself as an actress with roles on U.S. soap opera All My Children, medical drama House and comedy Ugly Betty.
Last year (13), she also landed a small part in Lee Daniels' The Butler. Houston's manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, recently blasted plans to turn the late superstar's life story into a TV project, insisting she is "certainly worthy of more than a television movie".
The Houston family is reportedly in the process of developing its own Whitney film, similar to Michael Jackson's This Is It concert documentary, which was released following his death in 2009.
Whitney Houston's manager and sister-in-law has expressed her disapproval over Angela Bassett's plans to make a new TV movie based on the superstar's turbulent life and troubled marriage to Bobby Brown. Actress Bassett announced plans to make her directorial debut with America's Lifetime network last week (ends23May14), revealing the film, simply titled Whitney Houston, would focus on the couple's marriage and the tragic singer's drug issues.
The movie is expected to air next year (15), but the late star's relative Pat Houston has made it clear the family does not support the project.
She tells TMZ.com, "Whitney is certainly worthy of more than a television movie. If Whitney were here today, this would not be happening."
Sources tell the website the Houston family is in the process of developing its own Whitney film, similar to Michael Jackson's This Is It concert documentary, which was released following his death in 2009.
Houston died in her hotel bathtub in February, 2012. Her passing was ruled an accidental drowning, linked to heart disease and cocaine use.
Top music producer Frankie Knuckles has passed away at the age of 59. The club music icon, dubbed the 'Godfather of House', died at his home on Monday (31Mar14), according to his business partner Frederick Dunson. His cause of death has not been confirmed but reports suggest he suffered from diabetes.
Knuckles started his music career as a DJ in New York City in the 1970s, before relocating to Chicago, Illinois.
His style of mixing disco and soul helped kick off the house club scene in 1980s Chicago. He went on to become the go-to remixer of the 1980s and 1990s, working on tracks by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, the Pet Shop Boys, and Lisa Stansfield.
Knuckles also released several albums of his own tracks. In 2004, a stretch of road in Chicago was named Frankie Knuckles Way in honour of the warehouse club he previously ran in the area. He was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Following the news of his death, a number of stars from across all music genres reached out to pay their respects.
Top British DJ Pete Tong tweeted, "R.I.P Godfather Of House Frankie Knuckles R.I.P gentleman genius groundbreaker inspiration blessed to have worked with you. Sad news."
Fellow disc jockey Rob da Bank added: "So sad to hear that Frankie Knuckles has died... amazing DJ and pioneer", while House superstar David Morales wrote on Twitter, "I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away... Can't write anymore than this at the moment."
Musician Questlove also expressed his shock, tweeting: "Jesus man. Frankie Knuckles was so under-appreciated. He was the DJ that DJ's (sic) aspired to be. True dance pioneer."
A post on hip-hop act Wu Tang Clan's Twitter feed reads: "R.I.P Frankie Knuckles... Peace. All praises due..."
Another prolific House DJ, Roger Sanchez, also paid his respects: "Yes unfortunately it is true - Frankie Knuckles has passed on today. I can't begin to count the ways he influenced me but I will never forget."
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has defended herself against online jibes about her weight. The 21 year old, whose father is Bobby Brown, has been bombarded with abuse on Twitter.com after uploading several snaps showing off her extremely slim figure.
Now Brown has hit back at her critics, insisting she is naturally lithe like her late mother.
Taking to Twitter.com she writes, "I am my mother's child! Have you ever heard of a fast metabolism? Damn, lol (laugh out loud), it's incredible how the world will judge you 4 any & everything. (sic)"
Her husband, Nick Gordon, adds, "My baby is perfect the way she is. And for the record she was made that way why change I know she is beautiful."
Houston was criticised by fans in 2001 when she performed at a Michael Jackson tribute concert looking worryingly gaunt.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
"A new Will Smith movie! What's it about?"
That question sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? That's because you already know. Sure, there are a few odds and ends you might not have caught wind of, but you're never totally in the dark on the plot of one of Will Smith's gestating blockbusters. Because they're all pretty much exactly the same.
Every one of the Fresh Prince's (is it reductive to still call him that?) headliners commits to a rigid formula of pieces so interchangeable that were he alive today, we know who Eli Whitney would deem his favorite Hollywood star.
Brilliance — the new movie that TheWrap is pinning to the 43-year-old actor — is no outlier: In the film, Smith plays a "gifted" government agent who saves a future society from terrorist attacks. Yes, that'll fit quite snugly into the proverbial fill-in-the-blank game that is the rest of his filmography...
BAD BOYSSet in Miami in the present, Will Smith (a cop) saves the city from criminals with the help of Martin Lawrence.
INDEPENDENCE DAYSet in New York and D.C. in the present, Will Smith saves the world from aliens with the help of Jeff Goldblum and the president.
MEN IN BLACKSet in New York in the present and the past, Will Smith (a cop) saves the world from aliens with the help of Tommy Lee Jones.
ENEMY OF THE STATESet in D.C. in the present, Will Smith saves himself from the government with the help of Gabriel Byrne.
WILD WILD WESTSet in D.C. in the past, Will Smith (a cop) saves the president from a criminal with the help of Kevin Kline.
I, ROBOTSet in Chicago in the future, Will Smith (a cop) saves the city from robots with the help of a robot.
HITCHSet in New York in the present, Will Smith saves Kevin James from heartbreak with the help of Eva Mendes.
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESSSet in San Francisco in the past, Will Smith saves his actual son from poverty with the help of hope and perseverence.
I AM LEGENDSet in New York in the future, Will Smith saves himself from zombies with the help of a dog.
HANCOCKSet in Los Angeles in the present, Will Smith saves the city from criminals (and himself) with the help of Jason Bateman andCharlize Theron.
AFTER EARTHSet on Earth and Nova Prime in the future, Will Smith saves his actual son from aliens and animals with the help of Scientology.
So that makes four New Yorks and three D.C.s, three counts of saving the city, two of the world, and two of his son, three movies that involve aliens, three that involve criminals, four movies where he's a cop... and in just about all of them, he's "gifted." Welcome to the game, Brilliance.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Rob Ball/WireImageFollowing in the footsteps of Adele, Ellie Goulding and Haim, British soul singer Sam Smith was this week crowned the winner of the BBC's prestigious Sound of 2014, the industry-voted poll which aims to predict who will achieve the biggest breakthrough over the next twelve months. Here's a brief guide to the 21-year-old.He'd been through six different managers by the time he was 18Something of a child prodigy, Smith's astonishing vocal range was discovered early on, but not one of the six managers he went through by the age of 18 appeared to know the best way to handle his talents, with one in particular attempting to turn him into the next Michael Buble.He's partly responsible for Disclosure's breakthroughThe Lawrence brothers may have built up some impressive buzz on the blogosphere with their classy brand of garage-house. But it was only when they hooked up with Smith on 2012's slinky falsetto-led "Latch" that they first troubled the charts.He already has a UK number one under his beltFurther establishing himself as the number one go-to guest vocalist, Smith then provided the emotive vocal for Naughty Boy's "La La La," a two-step throwback which sold nearly a million copies and topped the UK charts last May.His debut E.P. received rave reviewsProving he is capable of releasing his own material too, Smith then received rave reviews for Nirvana, a self-assured debut E.P. which took in everything from pitch-shifted Timbaland-inspired R&B to The xx-esque melancholic electro-soul.He's worked with Nile RodgersSmith then contributed to one of last year's best superstar collaborations when he hooked up with Chic legend Nile Rodgers and regular cohorts Jimmy Napier and Disclosure for the summery disco-funk of "Together."He's already won a BRIT AwardAs well as topping the Sound of 2014 poll, Smith was also voted this year's BRITs Critics Choice winner, and with "La La La" also receiving a nomination for Best British Single, he could find himself making two acceptance speeches come February 19.His forthcoming debut album is for lonely peopleInspired by both a string of classic soul divas (Whitney, Chaka, Beyonce) and his lack of experience in love, Smith has described his forthcoming debut, In The Lonely Hour, (due for release in May) as "an album for lonely people."
Drummer Ricky Lawson has died at the age of 59 after suffering a stroke onstage earlier this month (Dec13). The studio musician was hospitalised in Long Beach, California after falling ill during a show on 13 December (13) and slipping into a coma.
Doctors discovered he had been suffering from a brain aneurysm, but he failed to show any signs of improvement and his family decided to take him off life support on Monday night (23Dec13).
The Detroit, Michigan native began his career in his teens after learning how to play the drums and deciding to quit school to pursue his music dreams.
He became one of America's top studio musicians in the 1980s and enjoyed a career working with the likes of Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Whitney Houston, who he collaborated with on her classic hit I Will Always Love You.
He was also a founding member of jazz-fusion band the Yellowjackets, and won a Grammy Award in 1987 for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for their song And You Know That.
Throughout his career, Lawson also worked with artists including Bette Midler, George Benson, Quincy Jones and Al Jarreau.
Paying tribute to Lawson via Twitter.com on Tuesday (24Dec13), acclaimed musician Sheila E. wrote, "We lost a great man, drummer, father, brother and son. mr Ricky Lawson. He passed away yesterday. Please pray for his family. we will miss u (sic)."