Actor Mike Myers is "super proud" to have been standing next to Kanye West when the rapper infamously accused former U.S. President George W. Bush of racism in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, because he's convinced the musician was speaking the truth.
The Austin Powers comedian had been selected to present a segment for a live TV fundraiser with West back in 2005, when the outspoken hip-hop star went off-script and took aim at the then commander-in-chief for his handling of the disaster relief effort in New Orleans, Louisiana, declaring, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Cameras captured the look of shock on Myers' face as he heard what West had to say, but nine years later, the actor claims he was glad someone had the courage to call out authorities for their lack of action when so many lives were at stake.
He tells GQ magazine, "For me, it isn't about the look of embarrassment on my face, it is truly about the injustice that was happening in New Orleans. "To have the emphasis on the look on my face, versus the fact that somebody spoke truth to power at a time when somebody needed to speak? I'm, like, super proud to have been next to him."
West was forced to issue a public apology to Bush after his outburst, which the former leader subsequently branded one of the lowest points of his presidency in his 2010 memoir, Decision Points. Hurricane Katrina claimed the lives of at least 1,833 people in late August, 2005 when it swept across the Bahamas, Cuba and areas of Florida before flattening parts of New Orleans.
Supermodel Heidi Klum was honoured with the Crystal Cross Award from the American Red Cross for her charity efforts during a ceremony on Saturday (17May14). The model-turned-TV personality has been working with the relief organisation for the past 10 years, but it was her work after Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast in 2012 that earned her the special recognition.
Thousands were left homeless or without power for days when heavy winds and rain battered the area, and Klum offered up items from her Truly Scrumptious line of baby and toddler clothing and nursery decor to help those in need.
At the ceremony at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., Klum told People magazine, "I try to give back. After Sandy, we got a gigantic truck and we loaded it with blankets, diapers, kids' clothes and toys because it was right around the holiday season and we went to Long Island (New York).
"So many people had lost everything, and everything was wet and it was a big mess. The Red Cross has such an infrastructure to help you, you need all these hands."
She adds, "I try to get a lot of goodies from the people I work with. I realize how fortunate I am. When you go out into these desperate situations, when you sit at a hospital with sick children, of course it changes you. We are used to seeing horrifying catastrophes on television, but when you are about to go and be there and see the sadness on people's faces and the things they just lost, it makes a huge difference."
Billy Joel will ring in 2014 at his first official New York gig since 2008. The Piano Man hitmaker, who has toyed with retirement in recent years, wowed fans at a last-minute warm-up gig for a series of European shows at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, Long Island earlier this month (Oct13), and left the stage hinting that he was planning other shows in his native state.
Now he's making devotees' New Year's dreams come true by announcing plans to perform at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on 31 December (13).
The holiday show will be his first Big Apple concert since he closed down Shea Stadium over five years ago.
The gig is a dream come true for Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, who admits Joel has been at the top of his wish list of performers ever since the new arena opened last year (12).
He says, "When we opened Barclays Center 13 months ago, Billy was one of the must-have artists for our building and we are thrilled that he will be ringing in the New Year on Brooklyn's biggest stage. New York City born and Long Island raised, Billy is an iconic New Yorker and we are looking forward to a memorable evening."
Joel stepped away from the concert stage in 2010 after undergoing double hip replacement surgery. He returned briefly at the end of last year (Dec12) when he stole the show at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief benefit show at Madison Square Garden.
Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth got their hands dirty on Saturday (26Oct13) as they joined forces with their The Good Wife co-stars to help rebuild New York homes damaged by last year's (12) superstorm Sandy. Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Zach Grenier were also among the charitable actors pitching in with the St. Bernard Project in the Rockaways area of Queens on the first anniversary of the natural disaster, which lashed America's East Coast with heavy rain and strong winds.
During the visit the castmembers, along with show creators Robert and Michelle King, presented charity officials with a cheque for over $77,000 (£51,330) to aid their ongoing recovery work.
The group outing also served as a celebration to mark The Good Wife's 100th episode, which aired in America on Sunday night (27Oct13).
It wasn't the first time Margulies and her pals had offered their support to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts - they previously headed to the Big Apple in the days after the storm to lend a hand.
Actress Kristen Stewart secured a $500,000 (£330,000) donation for the Hurricane Sandy relief effort by simply sitting with a Middle Eastern prince for 15 minutes. Producer Harvey Weinstein reveals the prince approached him and organisers of the New York concert 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief, which benefited victims of the storm, about setting up a meeting with the Twilight actress in exchange for a sizeable donation. He then approached Stewart about the offer, to which she replied, "How much?"
The agreed amount was eventually secured and Stewart obliged.
Weinstein says, "Kristen (sat) with the guy for 15 minutes."
Hurricane Sandy struck America's East Coast last October (12), affecting several states including New York and New Jersey.
Actor Josh Duhamel got his hands dirty in the name of charity on Monday (19Aug13) by joining a painting session to raise funds for disaster relief projects in the U.S. The Transformers star took part in a hand painting class for Valspar's Hearts & Hands for Habitat initiative, which auctions off colourful prints of celebrities' digits for the Habitat for Humanity organisation.
The charity will use the cash raised from the sale to pay for response programs after natural disasters in America such as the recent Oklahoma tornados or Hurricane Sandy, which battered the country's East Coast last year (12).
In a post on his Twitter.com page, he writes, "Check out the hand print I made for Hearts & Hands4Habitat (with) Valspar Paint (sic) to benefit Habitat! Bid on auction."
The online auction, which closes on 30 August (13), also includes hand print designs from Bette Midler, Kate Bosworth, Naomi Watts and her partner Liev Schreiber.
Mariah Carey was hospitalised in New York City on Sunday (07Jul13) after injuring herself on the set of her new music video. The pop superstar dislocated her shoulder while filming a promo for a remix of her track #Beautiful with rapper Young Jeezy and she is now recovering at home.
Her spokesperson has assured fans that Carey is doing well after the accident, telling TheWrap.com, "Mariah injured herself while filming a video with Jeezy for the remix of #Beautiful, directed by her husband Nick Cannon. She was taken to hospital late last night, where doctors reset her shoulder. She is fine."
Carey is expected to be back on stage when she performs at a Hurricane Katrina relief benefit show in New York City's Central Park on Saturday (13Jul13).
Ever since Hurricane Sandy reared her nasty head on the Eastern seaboard, celebrities, politicians, and everyday citizens have rallied to support New York City and its surrounding areas. We've seen the MTV commercials that claim that we can (and will) rebuild Seaside Heights, and our hearts were warmed when President Obama and Chris Christie crossed the political divide to focus on helping New Jersey. But amidst the media storm, we've heard very little about the devastating damage to the proud community that lives in New York City's oft-forgotten fifth borough — and this brought Staten Island native and Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi to action.
On Thursday night, I attended a gala thrown by Rossi and his hard-working friends at Staten Strong — a project with no overheads, that puts all donations directly into the pockets of those who need it, in the form of gift cards, clothing, generators, and more. As a native of New Jersey and someone who has directly benefited from community outreach (my own small town rallied to support my family when our house burnt down in '93), I was touched by the spirit, pride, and generosity I saw in Rossi and his friends (who include, among others, SoA stars Ron Perlman and Kim Coates, Twisted Sister, and Real Housewife Jacqueline Laurita). These are people who are hitting the ground running — giving back to their community with no sense of ego, and no expectations to receive anything in return. They simply, and righteously, want to see their communities thrive.
As Perlman explains, Staten Strong began as a simple grassroots organization, formed by citizens who didn't like what they were seeing. "I checked in with Theo [during the hurricane], because he was back here doing a family visit," he said. "He said everything seemed cool. Then about two days into the coverage, I started finally seeing coverage of Staten Island, and how devastated it was. I called Theo back and I said, 'Dude, doesn't look cool to me.' That's when he started telling me how heartbroken he was by what he was seeing, and how angered he was at how lugubrious the response was."
Rossi may have been angry — and readers/viewers may know him as the king of tears — but Juice was nothing but smiles last night, when he spoke of everything he and his friends have accomplished so far. "We just met somebody outside and gave them $1,000 in gift cards to Target," he said. "We're helping families out, directly, at a street level. I don't care what anybody else is doing, all I know is that this is the town I grew up in. Every time I walk around, nothing has been done. A lot of people didn't want to accept help... people have a lot of pride. Now they're realizing nobody is going to help them. That's where we step in — at StatenStrong.com they can fill out forms and put in applications, and we have people there the next day. We're trying to keep it as basic as possible, because we're not that smart."
Love that self-deprication, Theo. But while Rossi doesn't care what anybody else is doing, Perlman does — the New York native expressed a lot of anger towards an agency he used to support, and he's using Twitter to spread the word. "I got about 100 responses [from Twitter followers], and 100 percent of them were negative towards the Red Cross," he said. "In all of the time I was touring Staten Island, I didn't see one piece of evidence that Red Cross was even on the scene. I have anecdotal stories that they were selling cups of coffee for $1 to those who had lost everything. I'm doing a lot of research, but nothing that I've uncovered so far has led me to believe that the $188 million dollars [raised to Red Cross] went to anybody who needed it."
Coates added another organization that did little for Staten — the news media. "My little brother [Rossi] is here, and his mom is here, and his beautiful sisters... they're okay, but when he started walking the streets with his buddies, looking at the devastation, it was mind-blowing," Coates said. "Finally CNN did a story, maybe six or seven days later. [But] Theo got on his horse immediately."
As Rossi said, the Staten Strong website makes it easy for Sons fans or just general concerned citizens to make a difference, but Perlman had one more suggestion on how to spread the word — and it involves a very notoriously outspoken (and frequently profane) showrunner. "Lobby Kurt [Sutter]," he says. "Kurt's got a lot of Twitter followers. I'm sure whatever efforts he tries to put himself behind could make a big difference."
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
Follow Staten Strong on Twitter @StatenStrong
[PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Mack/Getty Images]
‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season Finale Gives Jax His Just Deserts
'Sons of Anarchy''s Theo Rossi on Life With Jax and Clay: 'He Has an Excuse to Kill Me'
'Sons of Anarchy': Kim Coates and Theo Rossi on How To Not Die — VIDEO
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Kim Kardashian and More!
Best Movie & TV Ugly Criers of 2012: PICS
The end of the year brings more best/worst/top lists than you could possibly imagine, but one list that really matters is DoSomething.org's Most Charitable Celebrities of 2012, which was just released.
All year long, we've kept up with celebrity news, gossip, and rumors, and it's nice when those celebrities who dominate the headlines and charts give back. They truly put their success to good use. And you wouldn't believe who made this year's list!
Here are the top 5 most charitable celebrities of 2012:
5. Justin Bieber
The teen pop sensation's Believe Charity Drive raised over $1 million for charity, and he works with Pencils of Promise to build schools in third-world countries. He also takes time out of his crazy touring schedule to visit young cancer patients in the hospital. And to cap it all off, he donated $100,000 so homeless children can go to school. Beliebers, you've picked a great role model to idolize.
4. Lady Gaga
With a $1.2 million personal donation, Mother Monster started her Born This Way Foundation, which combats bullying and promotes acceptance of the LGBT community. She also pledged $1 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. All this, and she started her own body revolution to help put an end to body-shaming, and kick start healthy body images for her Little Monsters.
3. Channing Tatum
People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive and his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, helped raise millions for the Rainforest Foundation. They also support Angels for Animals and sponsor abused farm animals through Gentle Barn. All that good karma is manifesting: Channing and Jenna are bringing another beautiful, charitable person into the world.
2. Miley Cyrus
Despite all her crazy and scandalous antics, and along with getting engaged to Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus has had quite the charitable year. She spent her 20th birthday promoting Saving Spot! Rescue, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding homes for dogs in shelters with high rates of euthanasia. Additionally, Cyrus participated in 2012's TOMS’ One Day Without Shoes challenge and has worked toward the benefit of Save The Music Foundation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
And the No. 1 most charitable celebrity of 2012 is...
1. Taylor Swift
It's safe to say that 2012 has been this country/pop star's year. First came the successful release of her album, Red, then she celebrated her 23rd birthday, and then there's the long list of her bevy of boyfriends (while that could be viewed as a negative, at least it gave her lots to write about!), and now she's been named the most charitable celebrity of the year. Not bad, Swift. Not bad at all. She is the youngest person to ever receive the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for her charity work. She also donated a record $4 million to the Country Hall of Fame Museum, and has made large contributions toward organizations supporting young cancer sufferers.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images]
Music Video for Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' Shows a Whole New Girl
Miley Cyrus Finds a Travel Companion in a Blow-Up Doll — PHOTO
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Are Expecting Their First Child
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Kim Kardashian and More!
’The Hobbit’: Making Sense of Kili, the Hot Dwarf
Hollywood producer Weinstein helped to put together the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief mega gig in New York last week (12Dec12), which featured rock icons including Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and The Who, and he took the charity spirit to the West Coast on Wednesday to boost funds for The Robin Hood Foundation.
The bash at Smashbox Studios was a decidedly more low-key affair with no sign of the music icons who had rocked Madison Square Garden days earlier. Instead, replays of the big show played on screens at the venue, and guests such as Chris Tucker and DJ Paul Oakenfold were treated to a performance by R&B star Rita Ora.
The event took place hours before it was announced that an estimated $50 million (£31.25 million) had been raised by the 12-12-12 show to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated areas across America's East Coast when it struck in late October (12).