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.
Mariah Carey is probably best known for her five octave vocal range, her diva antics, and for being the one pop singer who brought the late Ol' Dirty Bastard to the ears of the mainstream back in 1995. She is the unofficial queen of hip-hop collaborations and nobody -- not nobody -- can do it like Mariah. Having worked with everyone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Rick Ross and Meek Mill, it seems like she's pretty much covered all bases. And according to a recent Instagram photo, she's back in the studio with Jermaine Dupri and Nas for a track on her upcoming album. But there are still a few rappers we'd love to see her work with! Before we get to them though, we should probably enjoy an oldie but goodie:
We love Kanye West, but he's kind of a diva, right? The musical magic these two could make together would be amazing, but we'd also give anything to see both of them struggle like hell to share the spotlight: all kinds of hilarious, amazing, epic.
Kendrick is great because he has so many varied styles of rap and -- like Mariah -- different vocal ranges that he can tap into at any time. His recent collaborations with Miguel and Robin Thicke tell us that he knows how to drop a great rap feature, so we'd love to see him take a Mimi track to the next level.
Mariah has worked with many-a-femme rapper, including Da Brat and Nicki Minaj. Since we consider Azealia to be the next big thing (if she can get her stuff together), we'd love to hear a divalicious track from these two. Plus, can you imagine all the mermaids and butterflies that'd be in the video? Awesome.
We all know Mimi loves her Harlem rappers -- past collaborations with Ma$e and Cam'Ron have proved to be all kinds of dope. And we also know that she loves a rapper with a grill, so we can't imagine a better link-up than one with A$AP Rocky. As long as he doesn't grab her on the butt on stage (à la Rihanna), he should be fine.
Okay, so M.I.A. may not be considered a rapper by some standards, but we definitely consider the Sri Lankan-British artist to be a member of the Hip-Hop community. She proved that she can pull off a brilliant, feminine, collaborative effort with last year's Bad Girls remixes (featuring Missy Elliot, Rye Rye, and Azealia Banks), and we think her unique sound alongside Mariah's would produce something pretty damn extraordinary.
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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.
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has donated $1 million (GBP645,161) to officials in his native New Jersey to help the state recover from last year's (12) Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey was hit hard by the tropical storm, which left America's East Coast devastated in October (12), and on Monday (08Jul13) the Livin' on a Prayer hitmaker presented a large cheque to governor Chris Christie to aid in the ongoing relief efforts.
Handing over the gift during a special ceremony, he said, "My being here is not political. It's emotional because I grew up here. I went to school here. I met my wife here. And, in the days following the storm, when I visited these streets and spoke to the residents, one thought that came to me time and time again was, 'What can I do?'
"I know that this million dollars sounds like a lot but it's really just a drop in the bucket. What I like to call the 'power of we', the coming together - that means you, me, us - we are taking a step today to rebuild lives."
The frontman has been very supportive of the local community since the disaster, which caused billions of dollars in damage and left more than 140 people dead - he performed at a star-studded benefit concert in December (12) and currently co-chairs a relief fund overseen by the politician's wife, Mary Pat Christie.
Hollywood veteran Billy Crystal has helped to raise $1 million (£645,161) to aid officials rebuilding his native Long Beach, New York following the devastation of last year's (Oct12) Superstorm Sandy. The When Harry Met Sally... star returned home on Saturday (22Jun13) to present the cheque to local authorities after helping to raise the majority of the funds from the Celebrity Fight Night charity gala in March (13). The annual event, which salutes the legacy of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, supports the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona and a host of other organisations, and the city of Long Beach was one of the beneficiaries at this year's (13) bash.
Crystal boosted the $888,000 (£572,903) raised by dipping into his own pocket to round up the gift to a cool $1 million.
The comedian previously shared his heartbreak over the extreme damage caused to his hometown during an appearance at the star-studded 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief in December (12), telling the audience, "It was the perfect place to grow up - the motto of our town is, 'I have Long Beach sand in my shoes' and now that sand is still in their kitchens, and their living rooms, and still in their streets. The ocean I used to dream about became their worst nightmare.
"No one could have anticipated the level of devastation Sandy would bring, or just how many lives it would affect. Over 100 people died, over 600,000 homes and 500,000 businesses were destroyed or damaged, entire neighbourhoods were wiped out."
This year's Best Director Oscar race has proven a surprising one, with two of the most-nominated directors at every other awards show being shut out of the big game. We're, of course, talking about Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, respectively. So hopes were high that vindication would be at their backs, guiding at least one of them to gold. And what a victory it was for winner Affleck, who took home the top feature film honors at the ceremony in Hollywood. Affleck's win is just one of many that he's gained for directing the story of Tony Mendez and the six fugitive Americans embassy workers in 1980. At this point, it seems hard to imagine Affleck will miss the Oscar trophy he could've won, had the Academy not snubbed him during nominations. What's one award amongst friends, right?
But it wasn't just a big night for movies. Big names in television — including Lena Dunham, Louis C.K., Bryan Cranston, and Looper's Rian Johnson — were all up for directoral nods on the small screen. But it was the seemingly-unstoppable Dunham that took home the top prize in comedic television for her HBO series Girls — and on her first nomination, to boot! Welcome to 2013: Year of the Dunham. (And you thought it was 2012, pish posh!) Johnson took home the dramatic prize for his work on the Cranston-fronted Breaking Bad. Cranston himself was up for directing an episode of Modern Family. From meth kingpin to primetime comedy director — there's really nothing that man can't do, huh?
Check out the full list of nominees (and winners; bolded) below!
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
Argo (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Zero Dark Thirty
Life of Pi
(Twentieth Century Fox)
(DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox)
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series
Political Animals, “Pilot”
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Hatfields & McCoys
Game Change (HBO)
American Horror Story: Asylum, “Dark Cousin”
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series
Homeland, "The Choice"
Mad Men, “A Little Kiss”
LESLI LINKA GLATTER
Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One” (AMC)
The Newsroom, “We Just Decided To” (Pilot)
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series
Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
The Big Bang Theory, “The Date Night Variable”
Modern Family, “Election Day”
Girls, “Pilot” (HBO)
30 Rock, “Live from Studio 6H”
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety
12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief
(Multiple Networks/Cable Outlets)
DON ROY KING
Saturday Night Live with Host Mick Jagger
84th Annual Academy Awards
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, "Episode #17153"
66th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs
America’s Next Top Model, "The Girl Who Becomes America’s Next Top Model"
Face Off, "Scene of the Crime"
Master Chef, “Episode #305” (FOX)
J. RUPERT THOMPSON
Stars Earn Stripes, “Amphibious Assault”
Ink Master, “Pasties and a Cameltoe”
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials
Days of Our Lives, “Trapped”
General Hospital, “Bad Water”
General Hospital, “Magic Milo”
General Hospital, “Shot Through The Heart”
One Life To Live, “Between Heaven and Hell” (ABC)
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs
Girl vs. Monster
Let it Shine (Disney Channel)
SAVAGE STEVE HOLLAND
Big Time Movie
Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
Searching For Sugar Man
The Invisible War
How To Survive A Plague
The Queen of Versailles
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
What do you think of this year's winners? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant's divorce is off - his wife Vanessa has filed documents to end the break-up.
The model filed for divorce in December, 2011, but appears to have had second thoughts a year later.
The former couple was spotted at 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief last month (Dec12) in New York and sources tell TMZ.com the Bryants spent New Year's Eve together.
The couple has two young daughters.
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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 $50 million (£31.25 million) had been raised by the 12-12-12 show to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated areas across America's East Coast when it struck in late October (12).
Bruno Mars has a "Treasure" on his hands. His hit single "Locked Out of Heaven" has held on strong to its No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the second week in row. Rihanna's "Diamonds," which Bruno recently knocked out of the top slot remains right behind at No. 2.
While the chart stays steady in many of its top 10 spots, there were still a few slight transitions. The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" moves up to No. 3, trading places with Ke$ha's "Die Young," which is now at No. 4. Justin Bieber's "Beauty And A Beast," featuring Nicki Minaj, jumps to No. 7 from No. 9 and Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" breaks into the top 10 in the final spot.
Check out the rest of the top 10 songs of the week below.
The Top 10 Songs of Billboard.com's Hot 100 Chart:
1. "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars
Last Week's Position: 1
Weeks on the Chart: 11
2. "Diamonds" by Rihanna
Last Week's Position: 2
Weeks on the Chart: 12
3. "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers
Last Week's Position: 4
Weeks on the Chart: 28
4. "Die Young" by Ke$ha
Last Week's Position: 3
Weeks on the Chart: 12
5. "One More Night" by Maroon 5
Last Week's Position: 5
Weeks on the Chart: 26
6. "I Cry" by Flo Rida
Last Week's Position: 6
Weeks on the Chart: 12
7. "Beauty And A Beast" by Justin Bieber, Featuring Nicki Minaj
Last Week's Position: 9
Weeks on the Chart: 10
8. "Home" by Phillip Phillips
Last Week's Position: 7
Weeks on the Chart: 25
9. "Some Nights" by fun.
Last Week's Position: 8
Weeks on the Chart: 43
10. "I Knew You Were Trouble." by Taylor Swift
Last Week's Position: 15
Weeks on the Chart: 9
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Massimo Barbaglia/WENN]
The Billboard Beats: Bruno Mars' 'Locked Out of Heaven' Takes No. 1
The Billboard Beats: Rihanna's 'Diamonds' Number one for Second Week
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The movie star walked the red carpet last month (Nov12) in a sheer, lace Zuhair Murad gown, and she is now giving one lucky superfan the chance to own it.
Stewart, who also autographed the dress, has decided to hand over the garment to charity officials behind the 12-12-12 Auction for Sandy Relief.
The sale follows the actress' appearance at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief mega gig at New York's Madison Square Garden last week (12Dec12), when she called on viewers of the televised show to keep donating to help those worst hit by October's (12) storm, which caused devastation across America's East Coast.
Bidding on the strapless gown had already reached $1,750 (£1,094) as WENN went to press. The auction ends on Thursday (20Dec12).
Other items up for grabs in the CharityBuzz.com sale include limited edition guitars signed by 12-12-12 performers including Bon Jovi, Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, a signed sweatshirt worn by Kanye West, and the drumsticks rocker Dave Grohl used as he staged a Nirvana reunion with McCartney as their frontman.
All proceeds will benefit the event's charity, The Robin Hood Foundation.