YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez was treated to a special serenade by a hopeful who asked to dance with her during his audition for the singing competition. The pop star is back at work for the upcoming 14th season of the talent show, and during a recent search in Nashville, Tennessee, Lopez happily granted the request of one lucky contestant.
In a video clip released online, the young man asks Lopez to dance, to which she happily obliges. As she rests her head on his shoulder, the contestant serenades her with Sam Smith's Stay With Me, while fellow judges Harry Connick, Jr. joins in on piano and Keith Urban takes hold of the hopeful's guitar and strums along while singing harmonies.
After the soulful serenade, Lopez exclaims, "Thank you! This is so sweet. That's the most fun I've had in months!"
The 14th season of American Idol kicks off in January (15).
Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is set to release a tribute album to his daughter, who was the victim of a tragic Connecticut school massacre in 2012. Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, six, was killed when gunman Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.
In 2013, singer/actor Harry Connick, Jr., who has worked with Greene, penned a tribute song for Ana Grace and now the saxophonist is releasing a full album of tunes inspired by his dead daughter.
He says, "She had qualities in her that were very well beyond her years. She would sort of sense when somebody needed a word of encouragement or a hug or a little piece of kindness. She would do it without being prompted or without someone asking for it."
Greene's album will feature Ana Grace singing the hymn Come Thou Almighty King, which was recorded months before the massacre, according to Billboard.com.
The proceeds from the record will benefit the Ana Grace Project and The Artists Collective charities.
Singers Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. are all set to return for the upcoming 14th season of American Idol. The trio of judges, along with host Ryan Seacrest, will reprise their roles for the next series, according to 21st Century Fox Senior Executive Vice President David Hill, who announced the news on Monday (23Jun14).
During a network event in Las Vegas, he said "Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I'm thrilled that they are returning to American Idol for another season.
"Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream."
The upcoming season, which will premiere early next year (15), will mark Lopez's fourth time on the panel with the nationwide talent search, while it marks Urban's third and Connick, Jr.'s second.
American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. performed together for the first time during the U.S. talent show's star-studded season finale. The 13th season of the singing competition came to an end on Wednesday night (21May14) and to celebrate the crowning of a new winner, the trio, alongside former judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson, joined forces to sing a medley, marking the first time in the show's history that all the judges took the stage to perform together.
With Connick Jr. on the piano, Urban on guitar, Jackson on bass, and Lopez providing vocals, the supergroup sang a mash-up of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors and Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way. Earlier in the show, Lopez took the stage solo to perform her latest single, First Love.
The night was filled with other superstar performances, including sets from KISS, Demi Lovato, Paramore, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker, Aloe Blacc, and season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who all shared the stage with this season's finalists.
In another Idol first, host Ryan Seacrest showed off his vocal skills by belting out Richard Marx's hit Right Here Waiting, and was joined by Marx himself for a memorable duet.
Caleb Johnson, 23, who had previously auditioned for the programme twice before, was named this year's (14) American Idol, beating 17-year-old Jena Irene to the title.
Harry Connick, Jr. has confirmed he'll be returning as an American Idol judge.
The crooner joined the show this year (14) alongside a returning Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, and just a day after the Jenny From the Block star announced she was hopeful that all three judges would be back for the next season of the TV talent contest, Connick, Jr. has revealed he's in.
Appearing on U.S. morning show Live! With Kelly and Michael on Wednesday (14May14), he said, "I'll be back," when quizzed about his plans for Idol.
“The plan is to all come back... Everything has gone great this year... The finale’s coming up, it’s been going great. We love each other, the chemistry is good, the ratings are climbing back up. It’s a good time. I love the show.” Jennifer Lopez is keen to return as an American Idol judge alongside Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
After a winter cold enough to evoke legitimate concern of a White Walker invasion, we're finally starting to remember what sunshine feels like. Although it isn't quite summertime yet, we're about ready to take our first steps into beach season: Tanning. Surfing. Volleyball. Dolphins. In the latter department, we'll have a little help — the first trailer for Dolphin Tale 2 is set to hit on Thursday, inciting due excitement for the sequel to the charming 2011 family film.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
The new movie, opening in theaters on Sept. 19, continues the adventures of young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble), who fell in love with beached dolphin Winter and put his all into ensuring the injured sea creature's safety and survival. This time around, Nelson will devote his efforts to the rescue of Hope, an orphaned dolphin calf who attracts not only the attentions of the young environmentalist but of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff as well. Like Dolphin Tale, the sequel is based on a heartwarming true story that tears back the cynicism and reminds us of the true warmth living in the hearts of people. (...and dolphins. Mostly dolphins.)
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Hollywood.com was lucky enough to pay a visit to the Dolphin Tale 2, meeting with cast members like Gamble, Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Austin Highsmith, Austin Stowell, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, as well as producer Andrew Kosove and Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates.
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Look for the first teaser for Dolphin Tale 2 on Thursday at 7:30 PM ET, and catch the film when it hits theaters on Sept. 19.
Jennifer Lopez turned the air blue on American Idol on Wednesday night (26Mar14) when she dropped a four-letter expletive as she gave tips to a contestant. The talent show judge was praising contestant Jena Irene for her performance and encouraging her to be wilder onstage when her fellow judges Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban began jokingly attempting to persuade Lopez to demonstrate a 'hair flip'.
As the audience joined in the goading, Lopez forgot herself and either said "f**k you" or "f**k off", but quick-thinking studio workers were swift enough to censor the moment and cut the camera away from the judge.
Lopez quickly composed herself and continued with her appraisal.
Who is Harry Connick Jr.? Well, he's a Grammy award-winning jazz pianist who became famous for providing the soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally. He's also an accomplished actor with projects as varied as Independence Day and Will & Grace on his resume. Plus, he does a killer Jeff Goldblum impression on request. Oh yeah, he also might be the coolest judge that American Idol has ever had.
Simon Cowell became a cultural icon for his abrasive belittling of contestants; Randy Jackson made "dawg" a part of the national lexicon. AI would never have become the phenomenon that it did without them. Still, calling them cool is a bit of a stretch.
Connick, with his loose-limbed charm, doesn't have to work at being cool. What the singer has provided for AI is the same thing that Blake Shelton and Adam Levine give to The Voice: a level of genuine self-confidence that isn't threatened by the cameras, the audience, or the contestants. Connick doesn't have to worry about his image or his credibility. He gives the impression that if his fame faded away and he had to spend the rest of his life playing clubs in his native New Orleans, he'd be perfectly content with that. When a series of young auditioning singers had no idea who he was, Connick turned it into a series of self-deprecating jokes… including introducing himself to one contestant as Chris Isaak.
While some contestants took to calling him "Harsh Harry," in reality, his criticisms come across as being honest assessments. He might be the funniest judge the show has ever had, but he has no problem telling contestants what he really thinks of their performances. During Hollywood week he told the assembled group that he hates it when singers complain about not feeling well and warning them not to expect any sympathy from him if they try it. Hearing a performer acknowledge that a paying crowd really doesn't care if a performer is sick — that they paid to see a show and they expect to see one — was both refreshing and a healthy dose of practical advice for the would-be stars. As sincere as he is, Connick is not afraid to get goofy. Case in point: when he started dancing during contestant C.J. Jones audition (that is, if you can call doing the robot dancing).
Off the show, Connick has also been a boon for the Fox marketing department as he continuously entertains reporters and talk show hosts alike. He's equally adept at breaking into song or offering up fake answers to banal queries, such as telling Entertainment Weekly that Keith Urban is really from Brooklyn and "mistakenly" referring to Jennifer Lopez as Jennifer Lawrence.
So, who is Harry Connick Jr.? In the end, he's the guy that's making American Idol relevant again.