Actor Billy Crystal struggled through his Emmy Awards tribute to his late friend Robin Williams at last month's (Aug14) ceremony, branding the stage salute "the hardest thing" he has ever done. The When Harry Met Sally star agreed to memorialise his Oscar-winning pal following his death days earlier on 11 August (14), and during his touching speech, Crystal remembered Williams as a comedic "genius" and "the greatest friend you could ever imagine".
However, Crystal, who reveals he and Williams used to speak "three, four times a day sometimes", admits honouring the Good Will Hunting actor in public so soon after the tragedy was a really tough task.
He says, "I think it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It was only two weeks to the day of the Emmys that everything had happened (Williams had died).
"They (Emmy bosses) called me and said, 'Would you do it?' and I said, 'Of course', but then came the task of doing it right and being sort of the spokesman for everybody, in front of 17 million people. He was my closest friend and to do it with some humour and in only a short period of time that I had to do it was difficult."
But Crystal will always have fond memories of his longtime friendship with Williams and his numerous pranks, including one he played last year (13).
He recalls, "When it was announced that I was coming back to Broadway, there was, what must have been like, 50 (phone) messages from somebody called Gary, who wanted to be my dresser. It was Robin. (He said), 'I've worked with everybody... I used to work with Carol Channing, that was a nightmare!' He'd just leave all of these phone messages and I have them all and I will always cherish them."
He adds, "There was nobody like him, ever... Robin had the amazing ability to say something that wasn't that funny, but the audience would scream because his commitment to the joke was so strong. He would just wrestle you to the ground, I've never seen anything like him and I don't think we ever will."
Robin Thicke has confessed under oath that he was so jealous of Pharrell Williams' talents he told interviewers he had a bigger part in the writing of 2013 hit Blurred Lines.
Interrogated for allegedly ripping off Marvin Gaye's song Got to Give it Up, the singer reveals he amped up his involvement in the song because he was upset that his biggest hit was really someone else's brainchild. Thicke and Williams are currently in the middle of a drawn-out legal battle with Gaye's children over claims they sampled various segments of the late soul legend's song without permission, and in sworn testimony, revealed for the first time in a Los Angeles federal court on Monday (15Sep14) and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, singer Thicke admits he took too much credit for the track.
He told the Gayes' lawyer, "I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit... I tried to take credit for it later because (Williams) wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that... I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there."
But when he was asked if he was around when the rhythm track was being created, he added, "To be honest... I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted... I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. "I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was... but the reality is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song... (I was) lucky enough to be in the room."
Williams appears to agree with Thicke in his deposition, explaining, "This is what happens every day in our industry. You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that's where the embellishment comes in." But the Happy hitmaker insists it's Thicke's voice that holds the song together - and that's why he gave the singer so much credit: "It's the white man singing soulfully and we, unfortunately, in this country don't get enough... we don't get to hear that as often, so we get excited by it when the mainstream gives that a shot."
Thicke goes on to admit that any comments he made in media interviews about the song's similarities to Gaye's track and his love for the soul man's music, which are now being used as proof of his sampling acts by the Gayes, were probably made in a drug haze, adding, "I had a drug and alcohol problem for the year... I didn't do a sober interview."
Thicke further confesses he was high on painkiller Norco when he sat down for a revealing TV chat with Oprah Winfrey, and reveals his wife Paula Patton left him when he told her the truth about his drug use. Thicke and Williams' depositions were recorded back in April (14).
Taylor Swift was hospitalised when an ex-boyfriend crashed a snowmobile they were riding on.
The Love Story hitmaker was travelling on a snow vehicle with a former lover when he lost control and wrecked it, and the pair was admitted to hospital for minor injuries. Swift has penned a song called Out of the Woods about the relationship and references the incident in the lyrics, writing, "Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/Twenty stitches in a hospital room."
Swift was surprised the accident remained a secret, telling Rolling Stone magazine, "You know what I've found works even better than an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? Looking someone in the eye and saying, 'Please don't tell anyone about this.' "People think they know the whole narrative of my life... I think maybe that line is there to remind people that there are really big things they don't know about."
Although the pop star does not mention the boyfriend by name, the interview has sparked speculation that the song is about One Direction star Harry Styles, who Swift dated last year (13).
Hollywood actor Denzel Washington has launched a public campaign to install himself as the next James Bond.
The Training Day star hopes to replace Daniel Craig and become the first black actor to play 007, and he has asked devotees to bombard producers with messages via Twitter.com. During a web chat on Reddit.com, Washington was asked about his Bond ambitions, and he urged fans to get the campaign underway.
He explains, "The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes I would (love to do it)! Who's doing James Bond now... Daniel Craig! Did they shoot another one? Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! Send it to the studio! We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today! James Washington. Denzel Bond!"
The actor's remarks sparked a flurry of posts on Twitter with the hashtag #DenzelisJamesBond.
Pop star Miley Cyrus is set to debut her first collection of art at a New York Fashion Week show on Wednesday (10Sep14). The Wrecking Ball hitmaker's neon-coloured sculptures made out of random objects, ranging from plastic jewellery to teddy bears, will premiere at Jeremy Scott's fashion presentation. Elements of her work will also be worn by models during the catwalk show.
She tells V magazine, "Jeremy brought a lot of peace and self worth to me because even though to some people, it was just me gluing some things together, to me, it made me not a f**king pop star dumba**. And that's my goal in my life: to not die a pop pop dumb dumb... I can't. I will freak out... My fans will be into it, especially because I'm involving them. It's building connections with people. And I'll have my stuff on models - stuff that I'm excited for them to wear. I'm excited. And this is giving me happiness, so that's all I have to focus on."
Cyrus goes on to explain her foray into the art world came about after she began feeling down at the beginning of the year (14).
She adds, "This seems so f**king lame to say but I feel like my art became kind of a metaphor - an example of my life. Because a bunch of s**tty things kept happening... At the beginning of this year, I hated 2014 because everything that could go wrong kept going wrong. Being in the hospital, my dog dying... Everything just kept s**tting on me and s**tting on me. So then I started taking all of those s**t things and making them good, and being like, I'm using it... That's how I started making art. I had a bunch of f**king junk and s**t, and so instead of letting it be junk and s**t, I turned it into something that made me happy."
The art exhibition, named Dirty Hippie, will move to the offices of V magazine in New York the following day (11Sep14).
George Clooney visited a German hospital last month (Aug14) for a routine inspection on his back after injuring it on the set of Syriana in 2005.
The Ocean's Eleven star hurt his back when filming a violent torture scene for the drama and underwent surgery when fluid began leaking from his spine.
Clooney, who has publicly discussed the excruciating pain he suffered, still feels the lingering effects of the injury and often visits doctors to have his back checked out. According to E! News, the actor went to a hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany in August (14) for treatment and is now back at home in Italy.
German rocker Michael Schenker is on the hunt for three priceless guitars and computers containing recordings for his new album after thieves broke into his studio over the weekend (30-31Aug14) and stole equipment. The star was working on new tracks with former Rainbow singer Doogie White when he took the weekend off and discovered his headquarters in Greven, Germany had been raided.
The theft reportedly took place between Friday evening and Sunday morning at Kidroom Studios - and one of the guitars stolen, a custom-made Dean V, was one of only three ever made.
White tells ClassicRock.com, "We're a bit f**ked and a bit p**sed off. I only got home on Friday after laying down the vocals... The thieves broke in through skylights and stole a bunch of guitars, and also the computers containing the tracks. Then we found they'd also taken the back-ups.
"There's still some confusion over whether we even have rough mixes of the songs. It remains to be seen what, if anything, we have left to listen to and work from."
The singer has warned the thieves they may struggle to sell the items they stole, adding, "The criminal masterminds behind this sorry affair just saw guitars and computers. They have no idea how difficult it may be to offload them. Any reputable dealer will know they're stolen. No fan will buy them - they're more likely to knock the seller out and hand them back. And casual (guitar) players won't want them. A Dean V ain't for doodling on in front of the TV."
Police in Greven have launched an investigation into the burglary, while Schenker is considering what to do next.
White adds, "The temptation is to say, 'Return that which you have taken and you can go free, no questions asked'. However much that sticks in our craw, it may be the course of action to take. We'll see what happens over the next few days.
"I spoke to Michael and he's very matter-of-fact about it all. We agree there's not much we can do, other than knuckle down and get on with what needs to be done. We'll refocus, regroup and have a fresh plan in a day or two."
Pals Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora teased fans with a super-sexy performance at Los Angeles' first Made in America festival on Saturday (30Aug14).
The 24-year-old Australian rapper and her 23-year-old British sidekick hit the stage at Grand Park to perform their collaborative hit Black Widow and almost locked lips.
The blondes squatted on the stage and faced off with one another, coming just inches from a same sex kiss that clearly turned the crowds on. Fancy hitmaker Azalea was on a bill that also included Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons and Afrojack as Jay Z's festival came to Los Angeles for the first time three years after its launch in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
An estimated 26,000 fans attended the inaugural festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, and despite police reports suggesting 29 people were arrested at Grand Park for drugs and alcohol-related crimes, officers say a majority of the revellers were well behaved.
Made In America, which is a two-day event, spans across the U.S. as it not only takes place in L.A., but also simultaneously in Pennsylvania's capital city. Ora is expected to hit the stage again on Sunday (31Aug14), alongside Saturday's Philadelphia Made in America headliner Kanye West, AWOLNation, John Mayer, Weezer and Cypress Hill.
Sunday's Philadelphia line-up features Tiesto, Pharrell Williams and Kings of Leon, who are planning to make their stage comeback after having to scrap a series of shows following a tour bus crash that left drummer Nathan Followill with broken ribs and other injuries. In a post on Twitter.com on Sunday, the drummer wrote, "It's show day Philly. I haven't melted faces in a few weeks so I'll be bringing some extra heat."
Today, August 29th, 2014 marks the 21st birthday of Liam Payne. Daddy Direction can legally drink in America! An important thing for us grown-up Directioners. To celebrate the day, we’ve got 21 fun-facts about Liam. Not that boring stuff, like his zodiac sign (Virgo) or his middle name (James, just like his band-mate Niall Horan).
1. He is afraid of spoons. It’s not that weird, it’s kind of cute.
2. Of the band, he’s the only one who comes to work with his hair done. The other band members show up with their hair all over the place, but he won’t leave his house without doing his hair.
3. If he wasn’t a singer, he would make a fabulous journalist:
He might have been drunk, but he actually asked all the questions a fan wanted to know after watching the Brit Awards.
4. His favorite film is the Toy Story trilogy.
5. Liam once told TOTP that he had the best dance moves and he was, “The king of the dance floor!” With his signature 1-2-3 flick. Recognize those moves anywhere?
6. Liam’s dream job, aside from the one he is currently living as a pop-star, is a fire fighter.
7. He once had his underwear stolen (and then later worn) by a fan.
8. If Liam could invent an ice cream flavor, it would be “Krispy Kreme Donut.”
9. He once confessed to owning a pair of pink hair straighteners. We can see the evidence of that here.
10. He has said that Justin Timberlake is one of his biggest inspirations. He also sang “Cry Me A River,” at his 2010 X Factor audition. Good thing too, since look where that got him!
11. Once, he was asked what food he would be, he responded: “I’d be 7 bananas because it’s too much potassium and that’s dangerous.” Gotta love a bad boy.
12. His favorite color is still purple (had to include this because it’s adorable).
13. Liam once had no idea what YOLO and DTF stood for, so he guessed “Yummy Oreos Love Origami” and “Dedicated To Fans.” Better abbreviations, in my honest opinion.
14. Liam wishes he’d written the song “99 Problems,” by Jay Z. We wonder why?
15. All of his band-mates have said he’s got the best abs in the group. We cannot deny this.
16. Liam has a man-crush on Twilight star Taylor Lautner.
17. He has two pet turtles named Boris and Archimedes. He also has an adorable little husky named Loki (with his ex-girlfriend Danielle Peazer).
liam w/ loki is the cutest thing ever #liampayne pic.twitter.com/QM04PgaUru
— Hana (@hana1999hana) August 26, 2014
18. One time Liam was left behind and when the tour bus took off, he started running after it while waving his arms. The rest of the band mistook him for a fan at first.
19. Until he was 19-years-old, Liam suffered from kidney problems (1 scarred and dysfunctional kidney) that kept him from drinking and he had to lead a very careful life. Luckily, he’s all healthy now and can legally drink with his American fans!
20. The one person guaranteed to make him laugh is band-made, Louis Tomlinson! “Even if I’m in a situation where I’m mad at him, the person that can make me smile is Louis. Whatever happens he’ll make me laugh about something.”
21. One of Liam’s tattoos (the feather and lyrics) is dedicated to his Nan.
Happy Birthday Liam! We hope you have an awesome day and get to relax a little, if that's possible to do in the middle of a world tour.
Which is your favorite Liam fact? Tweet us yours along with the hashtag #Happy21stBirthdayLiam!
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Lena Dunham began seeing a therapist at the age of nine to tackle symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
The Girls actress reveals her battle with the anxiety disorder in an excerpt from her new memoir Not That Kind of Girl which was published in The New Yorker this week (beg25Aug14). Dunham admits she was "afraid of everything" while growing up and lived in fear of catching a life-threatening illness. She adds, "The germophobia morphs into hypochondria morphs into sexual anxiety morphs into the pain and angst that accompany entry into middle school."
Her parents, who both had therapists of their own, sent her to sessions at the age of nine and she later discovered the reason behind her anxiety.
Dunham writes, "Sitting with my mother in the beauty salon one afternoon, I come across an article about obsessive-compulsive disorder. A woman describes her life, so burdened with obsessions that she has to lick art in museums and crawl on the sidewalk. Her symptoms aren't much worse than mine: the magazine's description of her most horrible day parallels my average one. I tear the article out and bring it to (my therapist), whose face crumples sympathetically, as though the moment she'd been dreading had finally arrived..."
The actress/director goes on to explain she has learned to cope with her condition over the years, but adds, "My O.C.D. isn't completely gone, but maybe it never will be. Maybe it's part of who I am, part of what I have to manage, the challenge of my life." Hannah, Dunham's character in Girls, also suffers from the disorder.
The memoir will be released on 30 September (14).
Series that gives tips about gourmet dining out on a budget as host Racheal Ray travels around the country and beyond in search of affordable restaurants and hot spots that give a taste of local flavor.