The Beatles have been named as the recipients of a lifetime achievement honour at the upcoming 2014 Grammy Awards. The Fab Four, who won eight Grammys during their career, will be honoured by The Recording Academy, the organisation behind America's top music prizegiving, along with The Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk and Kris Kristofferson.
Mexican singer/songwriter Armando Manzanero and Zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenie have also been named as Lifetime Achievement Award honourees, while producer/songwriter Rick Hall, rock photographer Jim Marshall, and movie music composer Ennio Morricone will be granted the Academy's Trustees Awards.
The honourees will be feted during a special ceremony held on the day before the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, and they will also be formally acknowledged during the live show at the Staples Center on 26 January (14).
"A couple of years ago, my memory just started going. I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that..." Veteran singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson admits that years of bangs and concussions from his days as a footballer and boxer are beginning to take their toll on him.
Veteran singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson heard Janis Joplin's rendition of his Me & Bobby Mcgee tune for the first time on the day she died 43 years ago. Kristofferson was among the celebrities who paid tribute to the tragic blues singer at her Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday (04Nov13), and he performed the track that became her signature at the event.
He also recalled hearing Joplin's heartbreaking rendition of the song hours after learning she had died in 1970.
He explained, "Her producer gave me the record and it was pretty hard to listen to. I was listening to it at my publisher's office where we used to hang out, there was nobody there and I was playing it over and over again just so I could hear it without breaking up.
"It's really hard to say much about the stars and how much they mean; she means so much more to me than a star on a sidewalk."
Instead of some poorly conceived duets filling time during American Idol's two-hour Top 6 performance show, the finalists — Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller and lone dude Lazaro Arbos — will sing two songs each. One comes from the lengthy Burt Bacharach and Hal David songbook, while the second theme, "Song I Wish I'd Written," is much more expansive. Hollywood.com chatted with the finalists on their final rehearsal day and got the scoop on why they chose each tune.
"My song that I wish I had written is 'Love On Top' by Beyonce," Holcomb tells us. "I just actually got done rehearsing and it’s coming together really well. It's not like a wind blowing, 'wooo' [crazy moment], but it's fun. I love that song; it's upbeat and it shows my voice."
Glover is tackling another diva, the incomparable Adele — specifically, the British singer's cover of The Cure's "Love Song." "I am so excited because this is the kind of music I see myself doing in the future," she explains.
In a slightly more obscure move, Miller chose her favorite worship song, "Love Came Down" by Kari Jobe. "It’s definitely not a well known song but I’m so excited for people to hear it," she says. "She is an incredible singer. It’s more like a worship song, but I’m taking the song and making it relatable to everyone."
Like Miller, Harrison is a songwriter herself. She took the assignment very seriously, finally settling on "How Do You Make It Through the Night." "It’s written by Kris Kristofferson, but so many people who influence me have covered it, like Tammy Wynette to Elvis, so I’m really excited about it," she says. "It was kind of hard for me to choose because as a songwriter, you have [tons of] people who have influenced your writing. This song in particular I thought would give me an intimate moment I haven’t had yet — more country rather than Aretha and everything else I’ve been doing."
Country girl Arthur is also excited to stick with her roots and sing "The Dance" by Garth Brooks. "It was actually in a show that I did when I was 11 years old," she says. "It was one of those songs that really opened up my mind to how deep lyrics can be and how there’s more meaning to it than what you think."
Robbie Williams' "Angels" might not have been Arbos' first pick, but it's a song that's still close to his heart. "It’s not my all-time favorite song, but it’s a song that I do love and I felt it was right for the show," he says. "I do know it well. Hopefully I don’t forget the words since that has been becoming a recurring problem!"
The second theme was slightly more problematic for many contestants, but not Harrison. "For a lot of them it’s like the Dionne Warwick catalog," she jokes. "I’m singing 'What the World Needs Now,' which I love. I’ve always loved that song. Have you ever seen My Best Friend’s Wedding? It’s basically that soundtrack, what we’re doing. I’ve always loved that song and from the list of that catalog this was the one I could make my own more than any other."
Holcomb, however, hasn't seen the Julia Roberts rom-com, despite the fact that she chose the movie's iconic ditty "Say A Little Prayer." "I've seen Date Movie, and that's, like, a spoof of that movie," she says. "The song's in there! Listen, I did watch the scene of the song when the guy sings at the table."
Glover chose "Don't Make Me Over" by Warwick, and although she doesn't want to change the classic too much, "I still want to put that Candice in there," she says. "I never want to have anyone to change me, change my opinion. That's what got me sent home the first couple of times. I want to definitely be myself."
Staying true to her country vibe, Arthur's pick, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," was covered by country greats like Bobbie Gentry, Sheryl Crow, and Trisha Yearwood. Arbos, on the other hand, just went with the producers' suggestions and chose The Carpenters' "Close to You." "I heard it and I loved it," he says.
Miller is going obscure on her second song, too. "Anyone Who Had a Heart," which she didn't know before she chose it, is "really intense and dark, which I like," she says. "It doesn’t have an old-fashioned sound; it has more of a modern sound so that’s good."
More:'American Idol' Results: Burnell Taylor Bottoms Out'American Idol' Rock Week is a Bad TripBurnell Taylor says Amber Holcomb Has a Crush Too
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Diaz and Timberlake fight back against paparazzi attack
Actress Cameron Diaz and pop star boyfriend Justin Timberlake got into an altercation with the paparazzi late Saturday night when they grabbed a photographer's camera after being photographed outside the Chateau Marmont hotel late Saturday night. According to the Associated Press, representatives for the stars said in a statement that the couple "was ambushed by two men, who jumped out of a concealed hiding place on a dark, deserted street late at night." The reps added that any actions taken against the photographers were strictly for self-defense. Shortly after the dispute with the paparazzi, Diaz turned the camera over to police in hopes it will help investigators identify the men. Officer Sarah Faden of the Los Angeles police department said that shortly after the incident one of the photographers called to complain about the couple, accusing them of battery and grand theft. Faden also added that no arrests or charges have been given yet to anyone involved in the incident.
Singer Liza Minnelli sued by former bodyguard
Former bodyguard and chauffeur to Liza Minnelli is accusing the singer of sexual harassment and assault and battery, Reuters reports. According to the court papers revealed on Wednesday, M'hammed Soumayah is seeking over $100 million in damages and $89,000 in back wages. In a six-page complaint filed with Manhattan Supreme Court, Soumayah admits to having sex with Minnelli after many advances brought on by the Oscar Award winner. Soumayah says that he has evidence of the relationship between him and Minnelli, but does not list the type of evidence in his complaint. In the complaint however, Soumayah said that throughout his employment, Minnelli "hit and assaulted" him "repeatedly", but fearing the loss of his $238,000 salary, Soumayah tolerated the "violent outbursts." In addition to Soumayah, Minnelli's estranged husband, David Gest, is also suing the singer for $10 million for beating him during drunken rages. Minnelli has counter-sued Soumayah for breach of contract and has also counter-sued Gest for cheating her out of $2 million. Minnelli's spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Comedian Bill Maher sued by ex-girlfriend
Comedian and talk show host of HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher, is being sued by his former girlfriend, Nancy Johnson for $9 million in compensatory damages. Stating that Maher convinced her to quit her job as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, Johnson said that Maher promised to marry her and buy her a house in Beverly Hills. Johnson said she ended their 17-month relationship after Maher became abusive and made "insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments" towards her. Maher's spokesperson was contacted, but had no comment on the breach of contract suit filed by his former girlfriend.
ABC stations cancel Saving Private Ryan airing
According to the Associated Press, a few ABC affiliates have announced that they will not be airing Saving Private Ryan on Veterans Day, stating that the film's violence and language could break the rules created and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission. Those stations not granted permission by the FCC include
Cox Communications television stations in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and three Midwest stations owned by Citadel Communications. "Under strict interpretation of the rules, we can't run that programming before 10 p.m.," said Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications. Any type of profane speech which can be defined as language that is "so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance," or that tend "to provoke violent resentment" can only be aired from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the FCC. ABC has told its affiliates it would cover any fines, but Cole said the network could not protect its affiliates against other FCC sanctions.
Conservative groups protest against Kinsey film
Many conservative groups across the country are taking a stand against the release of Kinsey, releasing in limited theaters this Friday before it goes nationwide in upcoming weeks, the AP reports. Kinsey follows the life of Alfred Kinsey, played by Liam Neeson, as he explores his own adulterous behavior and sexual fantasies. Conservative groups are fighting back against the film, saying that Alfred Kinsey is somewhat responsible for the sexual revolution that has left so many people with life-threatening diseases. Robert Peters, president of the conservative group Morality in Media, saw an advanced screening and states, "Kinsey wasn't wrong about everything. No question there was an unhealthy shame about sex that prevented people from getting help," said Peters, "A film could have been produced that would have shown that side of Kinsey but also shown the hell that he released."
Kenny Chesney wins top country music honors
Tuesday night's telecast of the Country Music Awards sent country singer and producer Kenny Chesney home with CMA's top honor of Entertainer of the Year. Reuters reports the 38th annual award show, held at the Grand Ole' Opry in Tennessee, awarded the singer with that top honor in addition to Album of the Year and another award for producing his own album, When the Sun Goes Down. Keith Urban took home male vocalist of the year, Martina McBride for female vocalist of the year, Rascal Flatts for vocal group of the year, Brooks & Dunn for vocal duo of the year, and musician of the year went to guitarist Dan Huff. Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Tim Nichols, Craig Wiseman, and Gretchen Wilson were also awarded for their musical talents. Veteran singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson and former CMA chairman, Jim Foglesong, were both inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Carson gives $5.3 million to the University of Nebraska
Former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson donated $5,300,000 million to the University of Nebraska foundation. According to the Associated Press, the 79-year-old Carson is an alumnus of the school and has maintained a strong relationship with the University throughout his career. The money will go to support the Performing Arts' Department and their latest plans to renovate their 100-year old Temple building by creating a new black box theater and film soundstage.
Fox plans to create reality series for wireless phones
Twentieth Century Fox has announced that they are teaming up with the nation's biggest cell phone company, Vodafone PLC, to create one-minute dramas that can be viewed from cell phones, the AP reports. Based on the hit show, 24, these "mobisodes" will be introduced in 2005, and will be available in Europe and the United States, through their joint carrier, Verizon Wireless. The cellular version of the hit television drama, 24 will be based on characters from the actual show, 24 "mobisodes" in all.