Janet Jackson welcomes a son

Janet Jackson has given birth to a baby boy, according to a representative for the pop superstar.

Jackson, 50, and her husband, Wissam Al Mana, welcomed their first child, named Eissa, on Tuesday.
"Janet had a stress-free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably," said the rep for the singer.
In April, Jackson announced that she was postponing her tour amid speculation that she was pregnant.
"I thought it was important that you be the first to know," she said in a video circulated to fans via social media. "My husband and I are planning our family, so I'm going to have to delay the tour."
Jackson then went under the radar, though she was spotted shopping in September and appeared to be pregnant in photos published by "Entertainment Tonight."
The singer publicly confirmed the she was expecting in an interview with People in October.
"We thank God for our blessing," she told the publication.
Jackson married Qatari businessman Al Mana in 2012.
Source:CNN.com
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07/Jan/2017

Prayers for Kanye West

(CNN)News that Kanye West has been hospitalized resulted in an outpouring of well wishes for the rapper.

West entered UCLA Medical Center Monday after abruptly canceling the remaining dates for his Saint Pablo concert tour.
A source close to West's family told CNN that the rapper is being treated for "exhaustion."
His admittance came after several days of making headlines for his behavior including rants and refunds to concertgoers after he ended a show early.
Fans and fellow celebrities expressed concern for West and his mental state on social media.
"He's not just an artist but he's a father, a son a husband and above human," actor Marlon Wayans tweeted after soliciting prayers for West. "Get well soon."
The outspoken artist has had plenty to say lately, including his thoughts on politics, which he had taken to sharing with his concert attendees.
West recently sat down with design magazine Surface and talked about everything from education to why he refuses to ever compromise and his view of Utopia.
"I don't think people are going to talk in the future," he said. "They're going to communicate through eye contact, body language, emojis, signs. Imagine that. If everyone was forced to learn sign language."
He also said he believes in "empowering people."
"I don't want to give you anything as definitive as 'always do this,'" West said. "It's about finding a balance between being the person who knows the most and the person who's the most naïve."
Source:Cnn.com
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26/Nov/2016

FBI closes Brad Pitt child abuse investigation

(CNN)The FBI has closed an investigation into child abuse allegations against Brad Pitt involving one of his children, an FBI spokeswoman said.

Pitt has six children with actress Angelina Jolie, who filed for divorce in September.
The accusation stemmed from an incident on a private plane, giving the FBI jurisdiction. The incident occurred one day before Jolie filed for divorce.
A source familiar with the situation told CNN in early November that the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services cleared Pitt of wrongdoing after allegations surfaced involving one of his children.
The FBI's Los Angeles bureau confirmed on Tuesday that the investigation had been closed.
"In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation. No charges have been filed in this matter," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement.
A representative for Pitt had no comment.
Jolie is seeking sole physical custody of the couple's children. Pitt has requested joint custody.

For the time being, the children are staying in their mother's custody and have "therapeutic visits" with their father, Jolie's representatives said previously.

Source:CNN.com

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26/Nov/2016

Florence Henderson was 'America's mom'

(CNN)Despite having a career which spanned more than half a century, Florence Henderson was most known for her role as Carol Brady.

And the prodigious actress was more than okay with that.
"For me 'The Brady Bunch' is just a part of the fabric of my career, but for a lot of people, that's it," Henderson said in a 2011 interview. "I kept performing through 'The Brady Bunch' and still do. It doesn't bother me. If I hadn't been allowed to do that it may have."
That blurred line between Florence Henderson and Carol Brady is the reason there has been an outpouring of grief over Henderson's death on Thursday from heart failure.
One person tweeted "Florence Henderson? Great, now 2016 killed our mom. :("
Henderson was so good at portraying the sunny, loving Mrs. Brady that it was easy to forget her role on the show was a character -- and one which broke ground.
The "Brady Bunch" offered America -- and pop culture -- its first blended TV family. It was a story about widow and widower with three children each, who create a new family together. Carol and Mike Brady were also the first TV couple shown in bed together.
It was a role Henderson was almost too busy to take.
She was on the road when she got the call to audition for Paramount for the series. And shooting "Song of Norway" when the pilot was sold.
Henderson told the Television Academy in 2014 that it helped she was also the mother of four young children at the time. She also said the show was hard work and the cast embraced it.
"We believed every word we said," Henderson recalled. "I don't think you can parody something unless it has been done incredibly truthfully."
Viewers believed it too, which is why she became so beloved.
It's also why fans were stunned when Henderson revealed personal info, including the fact that as an octogenarian, she had a "friend with benefits."
Carol Brady, having sex? Shocking!
While appearing on "Today" last year, Henderson said she didn't "get the memo" that she was supposed to be slowing down with age. She continued to work out with a trainer and enjoy the company of a male friend.
Source:CNN.com
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26/Nov/2016

Nicole Kidman on adoption, giving birth and surrogacy: 'I am a mother because I love being a mother'

(CNN)Nicole Kidman wants to keep adoption "very much a part of our conversation," and her latest role in "Lion" is doing exactly that.

Kidman adopted two children with ex-husband Tom Cruise and has two biological children with husband Keith Urban. She told CNN that her desire to have a family stemmed from her own "maternal instincts," which have been a "driving force" in her life since she was a young girl.
"I think because I've experienced motherhood in so many different ways," she said. "I've experienced adoption, birthing a child and I've experienced surrogacy. I'm like when it comes to it, I just wanna be a mama."
"I suppose my maternal instincts and drive has always been there since I was little ... and that's a huge driving force of who I am, which is why I probably played it out in so many different ways. I am a mother because I love being a mother."
Nicole Kidman stars with Dev Patel in "Lion."
 
Kidman plays Sue Brierley in the true story of an Australian woman who adopts a 5-year-old boy from India after he is separated from his family. The boy, Saroo, grows up, decides to search for his biological family and uses Google Earth to find them.
"As Sue said, there are so many facets to adoption," Kidman said. "There's women that adopt because that's what they've come to. There's women that adopt because that's the vision that they had, which was Sue. There's women that adopt because suddenly something happens in the family. Like in my family, my mother's cousin became her sister because her mother adopted her because her family passed away. So there are so many different ways in which adoption plays out, and I'm just glad to show one side of it."
For Kidman, the film, also starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara, holds a very special place in her heart.
"I've made films that make philosophical statements or examinations of the human condition and all, but this for me is a film very much about life and about connection and the strengths of mothers," she said.
"Lion" hits theaters Friday.
Source:CNN.com
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26/Nov/2016

Robert Vaughn dead: American actor passes away at 83

CNN)Robert Vaughn, who played a slick spy on TV's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," died Friday, his manager, Matthew Sullivan, told CNN. He was 83.

Vaughn had been ill with acute leukemia and was receiving treatment in recent months.
A New York native, Vaughn was born to parents who were already in show business.
His mother, Marcella Vaughn, was an actress on stage and his father, Walter Vaughn, was a radio actor. His parents divorced when he was young.
As a teen Vaughn moved to Los Angeles to live with his mother and obtained a degree in theater from Los Angeles City College in 1956.
He was drafted into the military and served as a drill instructor in the Army.
Vaughn dived into acting after his military service ended and in 1960, his role as Chet in the film "The Young Philadelphians" earned him a best supporting actor Academy Award nomination.
More roles followed in films like "The Magnificent Seven" and in TV series including "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
But it was his performance as a suave spy in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," which defined Vaughn as a star.
"I said 'It's James Bond on television,' and [co-creator Norman Felton] said 'That's it,'" Vaughn recalled in an interview with the Television Academy about how he got the role. "He said, 'But don't say that. [James Bond] creator Ian Fleming and I are friends and that might cause problems.'"
Vaughn continued working throughout his life in films like "Superman III" and "The Towering Inferno" and, more recently, in TV shows including "Murder She Wrote" and "Law & Order."
He is survived by his wife, Linda, and two children, Cassidy and Caitlin Vaughn.
Source:CNN.com
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11/Nov/2016

Michael Phelps on secret marriage and new baby

(CNN)Michael Phelps is now owning up to secretly getting married.

The Olympian filmed a Facebook Live stint Thursday in which he admitted that he and Nicole Johnson tied the knot June 13 in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
The admission came as Phelps and some friends were playing golf.
"I've been married for a while," he said. "A couple months. I had to keep it a secret from y'all. I had to keep it hush-hush from you guys."
When one viewer asked why he didn't go public with the marriage, he answered, "Just because." The superstar athlete gave interviews after the Olympics and discussed looking forward to his future wedding.
Then Phelps hinted that a infant son Boomer may be getting a little brother or sister.
"Thank you for the beautiful comment," Phelps said. "Baby number two may be coming soon. Who knows, though?"
Phelps and Johnson got engaged in February 2015. Johnson gave birth to their son, Boomer, in May.
Source:CNN.com
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29/Oct/2016

Kim Kardashian West thieves 'weren't there for jewels'

CNN)The concierge who was held at gunpoint with Kim Kardashian West has revealed more details about the robbery.

The hotel employee who goes by Abdulrahman sat down with "Entertainment Tonight" to share details about the daring heist on October 3 in Paris. A group of men surprised him and the reality star, making off with millions of dollars' worth of jewelry from Kardashian West.
"They weren't there for jewels at first; they were there for money," Abdulrahman told the show.
Kardashian West was bound on that terrifying night and has since greatly reduced her social media presence and public outings.
There had been speculation that a 20-carat diamond ring she showed off on her social media accounts had prompted the heist.
But Abdulrahman said that for the robber communicating with them it "was just a ring I think. He didn't stop asking for money."
"(The robber) ... doesn't understand English, and also she didn't understand French, and the guy was asking for money, money, money," he said. "She believed that they were there for her ring. She showed her hand ... there is no ring, and the guy is like, 'Where is the ring?' At the moment she gave him her ring -- it was on a table close to the floor -- she gave her ring to the guy ... and he put it in his pocket."
Pocketing the massive diamond didn't stop the thief from demanding money.
"He put the jewels in his (backpack) and he left the bag open, that is why he lost some jewels and the gold in the hotel," Abdulrahman said.
Police continue to investigate, but there have been no arrests.
Source:CNN.com
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29/Oct/2016

Final Tribe Called Quest album coming

(CNN)Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest was working on a new solo album when he died of complications from diabetes in March.

Now, his group is releasing what they said is their final album.
In a letter posted on his Facebook page Thursday night, Tribe member Q-Tip said their reunion last year on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" sparked creativity.
It was our first TV performance in 18 years," the rapper wrote. "The energy for us that night was one that we hadn't experienced on stage together in some time!"
That night was also the night of the terrorist attack in Paris -- and as Q-Tip explained -- an impetus for the group to record again.
"As we left 30 Rock I felt the need, we all did, to get back to the studio and start that cookup!! So we got to it," he wrote.
"It was coming together nicely and as you may know we lost our brother, may God rest his soul on March 22," Q-Tip wrote. "But he left us with the blueprint of what we had to do."
One of the pivotal hip hop acts of the 1990s, Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad have long been revered by fans.
The group famously split in 1998 and both Phife and Q-Tip launched solo careers. The 2011 documentary "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest," directed by actor Michael Rapaport, traced the group's influence along with its eventual disbanding.
In his announcement, Q-Tip said "this isn't filled with old Phife bars" but the album will feature fellow rap artists Busta Rhymes and Consequence.
A Tribe Called Quest's new music will debut November 11.
Source:CNN.com
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29/Oct/2016

Kevin Meaney, comedian and actor, dies

(CNN)Standup comedian and actor Kevin Meaney, who made numerous appearances on late-night TV and was famous for delivering the line, "That's not right," has died, his agent said Friday.

Meaney was found at his home in Forestburgh, New York, agent Tom Ingegno said. His age and the cause of death weren't immediately known.
Meaney was scheduled to perform Saturday night in Rhode Island, according to his website.
After his first HBO special in 1986, Meaney was catapulted to the spotlight and debuted on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson the following year, according to Meaney's website. He returned to the show a dozen times.
Meaney starred in the CBS sitcom "Uncle Buck," which ran for one season in 1990, and appeared on "Saturday Night Live."
Fellow comedians were quick to offer condolences on Twitter.
Source:CNN.com
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22/Oct/2016

Is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie the most influential woman in Africa right now?

(CNN)Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named as the new face of Boots No7 beauty range, Tuesday, further securing her position as one of the most influential African women in the world.

The move is more than a meaningless celebrity endorsement. Adichie's love of makeup is no secret: "I love make-up and its wonderful possibilities for temporary transformation. "And I also love my face after I wash it all off," she said in a statement published in British Vogue.
"There is something exquisitely enjoyable about seeing yourself with a self-made new look.
"And for me that look is deeply personal. It isn't about what is in fashion or what the rules are supposed to be."
Adichie has not hidden her issues with the beauty industry. Like many women of color in the spotlight, she has previously admitted to carrying her own foundation with her at all times, in case the makeup artist does not have her shade.
She has also spoken about the false promises peddled to women to world over. "I think much of beauty advertising relies on a false premise -- that women need to be treated in an infantile way, given a 'fantasy' to aspire to..." she said in an interview with British Vogue.
"Real women are already inspired by other real women, so perhaps beauty advertising needs to get on board."
The public seem to think Boots got it right with Adichie, choosing someone that is both relatable and influential.

We should all be feminists: on stage, on the catwalk, in schools

When Adichie talks, people listen, quote her in songs, print her words on T-shirts and send her words to every 16-year-old in Sweden.
Beyoncé Knowles quoted Adichie's TEDxEuston speech 'We Should All Be Feminists' so heavily in a single named Flawless, that she named her a contributing artist.
While Adichie was not too impressed with some of the reactions to the citation -- people expected her to say Beyoncé made her career -- she did eventually acknowledge it, stating it as a different type of feminism to hers, but adding that both are effective.
More recently Adichie's words appeared on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week. Italian fashion designer and Dior's first ever female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, had the words 'We should all be feminists' on a T-Shirt in her ready-to-wear SS17 collection.
Adichie was also front row at the show, and her speech was included in the soundtrack.
In the world of education, Adichie has also made her mark. In December 2015, the Swedish Women's Lobby and publishing house Albert Bonniers launched a campaign gifting Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists speech to all high schools in Sweden.
A third book written by Adichie is being made into a film, her short story "The Thing Around Your Neck" that's being adapted by Ghanaian filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu.

To the first lady with love

Politically, Adichie is finding her voice too. This month Adichie wrote a moving thank you note to First Lady Michelle Obama in a New York Times piece, alongside feminist Gloria Steinem, author Jon Meacham and actress Rashida Jones.
"Women, in general, are not permitted anger," she wrote candidly.
"But from black American women, there is an added expectation of interminable gratitude, the closer to groveling the better, as though their citizenship is a phenomenon that they cannot take for granted."
She was also called on to write an op-ed for the same publication on Nigeria's failed promises, in which she documents her thoughts on Buhari's rise to power and presidency, in which she stated: "[Buhari] had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria's path. He wasted it."

Views on motherhood

This summer Adichie announced she was the mother of a baby girl. Private as she is, the public have been keen to learn from Adichie, prompting her to release her feminist manifesto on how to raise a child -- a letter of fifteen suggestions written as though to a friend who has recently given birth.
"Teach her to reject likeability," she writes. "Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people."
Ending with a humble acknowledgment of her position as a source of endless guidance: "Do you have a headache after reading all this? Sorry. Next time don't ask me how to raise your daughter feminist."
Source:CNN.com
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22/Oct/2016

Kylie Minogue won't tie knot until Australia legalizes same-sex marriage

Kylie Minogue won't tie knot until Australia legalizes same-sex marriage

Singer Kylie Minogue, right, and Joshua Sasse pose for photographers upon arrival for the Brit Awards 2016 at the 02 Arena in London, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
 

(CNN)Australian-born singer Kylie Minogue and her fiancé, actor Joshua Sasse, are taking a stand in support of same-sex marriage.

Minogue, 48, and Sasse, 28, got engaged in February. The couple say they won't walk down the aisle until Australia's government recognizes same-sex marriage.
"There are chances of a Melbourne wedding," Sasse said. "But me and Kylie have talked about it and... until this law has passed in Australia, we will not be getting married."
They might not be tying the knot any time soon. Australia's main opposition party has vowed to oppose Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's suggested national referendum on the issue.
"I simply can't fathom on any level whether it's moral, religious, or anything, that I have the right to get married and to marry the person I love, and that somebody else doesn't just because of their own sexual orientation," Sasse said Thursday in an interview with CNN affiliate the Seven Network.
"That is not what equality is all about."
Sasse has launched a campaign, "Say I Do Down Under," selling T-shirts that promote same-sex marriage in Australia.
The shirts benefit Australians for Equality, a coalition of organizations advocating for legalization through a "free vote of parliament," rather than a referendum.
The movement is attracting high profile supporters including Australian singer Sia, actress Margot Robbie, American TV host Kelly Ripa, and country music icon Dolly Parton, with whom Sasse and Minogue are shown in a photo posted on Sasse's Instagram account earlier this week.
Robbie even wore her "Say I Do Down Under" shirt on television this past weekend as she hosted the 42nd season premiere of NBC's Saturday Night Live in New York.
The country's conservative Liberal government had planned to hold a national plebiscite, similar to a referendum, on whether or not to allow gay couples to marry in February 2017.
But the opposition Labor Party said the government should simply make same sex marriage legal without a national vote, avoiding a vicious debate over LGBT rights and savings millions of dollars in election funding.
Source:CNN.com
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06/Oct/2016

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo welcome baby

(CNN)"The Voice" coach Adam Levine has a new girl in his life.

The Maroon 5 singer and his wife, model Behati Prinsloo, have welcomed a daughter, E! reported.
Dusty Rose Levine is a first child for the couple, who documented the pregnancy on social media.
The couple married in 2014.
Early on during the pregnancy, Levine posted a photo comparing bellies with his wife and a caption that read, "Week 20 and I'm finally popping! #impregnanttoo."
Source:CNN.com
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25/Sep/2016

Monty Python's Terry Jones diagnosed with rare dementia

(CNN)Terry Jones, best known for his part in the British comedy group Monty Python, has been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts confirmed today.

"Terry has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a variant of Frontotemporal Dementia," a representative for Jones said in a statement released through BAFTA. "This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews."
The statement came along with news that the academy will present its Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television to Jones.
Though famous for Python, the 74-year-old has also written and directed drama films, presented documentaries, composed operas, written short stories and published poems.
Primary progressive aphasia is described by the National Aphasia Association as a rare neurological syndrome that affects a person's ability to communicate. The syndrome is often a result of strokes or head injuries and can occur in other neurological disorders, including brain tumors and Alzheimer's disease.
Symptoms often begin about age 60 and gradually worsen over time. People with primary progressive aphasia can eventually lose their ability to understand written or spoken language.
Most people with the condition are between 40 and 80, though men are affected twice as often as women, the association said. Although some patients may benefit from speech therapy, no medicines exist to treat the condition.
"Of course this has been no secret to us for some years but he did manage to make O2!" his Monty Python co-star Eric Idle said Friday on Twitter, referring to the group's reunion performances in London in 2014.
Formed in 1969, Monty Python also included Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman, who died in 1989. Jones directed some of the troupe's best-known films, including "The Meaning of Life," "Life of Brian" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
"We are very much looking forward to celebrating the work of Terry Jones during the ceremony with a look back at his work from 1969 to the present day," said Hannah Raybould, director of BAFTA Cymru.
Source:CNN.com
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25/Sep/2016

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and the search for the perfect PR Hollywood divorce

Celebrity marriages have not had the best of times: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Middle-aged, male A-list stars are taking a beating. The situation has become so dire that the celebrity news channel E! Online is predicting the “End of an era for celebrity idol worship”.

But nothing quite prepared the celebrity world for the totalling of Brangelina.

Related: Brad Pitt: FBI evaluating whether to investigate airplane incident

From alimony to palimony to the rise of the pay-as-you-go marriage (the wage-earning party to pay into a separation fund throughout the length of the marriage so there are no surprises when or if the marriage eventually ends), Hollywood couples have long been pioneers when it comes to marital innovation, but the end of Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie has left a nuclear pall over Hollywood-land.

The normally loquacious PR Howard Bragman, known for containing tabloid feeding frenzies, offered no advice. “Just sad to me,” he wrote in an email.

In some instances, say managers, both parties should be able to walk away with their careers and box-office potential enhanced. But the Brangelina marriage crack-up already looks to be heading in the opposite direction, with reports of the FBI looking into “an incident” on a flight the Pitt-Jolie family took on 14 September.

Pitt was reportedly “lawyering up” after the FBI announced the agency “is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued”.

“This one is going to end with both of them having their images bruised,” predicts Allison Hope Weiner, a lawyer and journalist who has covered Hollywood for more than 15 years.

What is clear is that in this confrontation nothing is left to chance and the leaks that appear in the media – usually via celebrity website TMZ’s host Harvey Levin, are deliberate and highly strategised.

“They know that if they can get to Harvey first, and he publishes first, they can set the tone because the rest of the media consider TMZ a first-party source,” says one talent manager familiar with the frontlines of Hollywood scandal. “Angelina needs some kind of leverage to go for full custody for the kids.

“If you’re wise enough you can see that websites like TMZ granulate – serialise – everything because it creates entertainment product for them to carry it. They’re making money off it.”

It’s no mystery, then, that barely a week into the split, the children are already the focus of the battle. On Thursday, the LA Times received a leak that Pitt was subject to the FBI investigation over the private plane trip back from France last week.

Image conscious: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the Cannes film festival in 2011. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

As TMZ reported: “Sources familiar with the situation tell us, Brad, Angelina and their kids were on a flight last Wednesday when he allegedly got wasted on the private jet. He allegedly went wild, screaming at the kids.”

The website continued: “We’re told the plane landed at an airport around 8pm, and witnesses say Pitt continued his rant on the tarmac, and even tried leaving in one of the fuel trucks.”

In her divorce filing, Jolie listed the couple’s date of separation as the following day, 15 September, and it was later suggested that the LA county department of children and family services had looked into the incident.

Related: Queen of divorce: Angelina Jolie hires expert in separating Hollywood royalty

Though LA celebrity divorce lawyers routinely deny leaking to TMZ – and blame court clerks for those leaks – both anti-Pitt items suggest that Jolie’s publicists and lawyers (she is represented by divorce specialist Laura Wasser) are setting the pace.

“How do you think the media find out that a parent is being investigated for not properly caring for a child?” says Weiner. “In many instances, the existence of an investigation is leaked to the press.”

By Friday, Pitt was fighting back, reportedly enlisting the help of attorney Lance Spiegel, who has worked with celebrities such as Charlie Sheen and Michael Jackson. One source told People magazine: “He was appealing to her to do this quietly – not to save the marriage but to consider the wellbeing of the children – and it was ignored. He is just wrecked by this.

“He was willing to do anything, change any habit, change any lifestyle, to do what had to be done to make this work,” adds the source. “And by ‘make this work’ that means doing what has to be done to make even a split one that is amicable and in the best interests of the children.”

Jolie’s demands are already clear: The actor, 41, has asked for physical custody of the children and is requesting that Pitt be granted visiting rights, while Pitt wants shared custody, sources have said.

While none of that is entirely new or surprising, the PR battle over both stars’ parenting skills is well under way, according to Weiner: “It’s managed so the client looks like a loving and caring parent. In some cases, nannies are instructed to walk in the back so parents can be photographed with their children and look as if they have no professional help with parenting.

“Moreover, paparazzi are informed when to catch parents out at the park with their children, providing an opportunity for the star to be photographed ‘spending quality time’ with his or her child.”

Related: How Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt defined the 21st-century fame machine

Could a celebrity divorce ever be harnessed to engineer a career lift? The answer, in at least one high-profile case, seems to be yes.

When Gwen Stefani divorced British rocker Gavin Rossdale for allegedly cheating with the nanny – “the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage; we remain partners in parenthood” – Stefani came swinging back with a new relationship (Blake Shelton), and heartbreak-linked new material: a duet (Go Ahead and Break My Heart); a hit album (This is What Truth Feels Like) and a TV show (The Voice).

“They may say that but it’s a racket among the lawyers,” says the talent manager. “They want to inflame and create issues that extend the back-and-forth. Then it becomes a media thing – a crisis – and that becomes licence to bill.” And that’s before the whole thing gets wrapped up in a non-disclosure agreement.

When Depp and Heard’s marriage hit the rocks earlier this year amid reports of domestic violence, a settlement was quickly agreed before any further damage could be inflicted.

The couple concluded their relationship with this, somewhat enigmatic, statement: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.”

THE PRICE OF SEPARATION

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

The couple divorced in 2010 following reports of Woods’ serial infidelity. Details of the financial settlement have not been disclosed, but US media reports suggest the former Mrs Woods will receive more than $100m (£77m).

Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving

Reports suggest the film director paid $100m to Irving after they divorced in 1989. The couple had been married for three and a half years but cited career-related pressures as a reason for separating.

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

The couple, pictured, adopted a son and daughter, Connor Antony and Isabella, and were married for 11 years, separating in 2001. Cruise cited irreconcilable differences. It was not disclosed how the couple divided their £214m joint fortune.

Mel Gibson and Robyn Gibson

After their 30-year marriage ended in 2011, Robyn, the mother of Mel’s seven children, was reported to have been awarded half of her ex-husband’s estimated $850m fortune.

Source: MSN.com

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25/Sep/2016

One Direction alum Zayn Malik developing boy band drama for NBC

(CNN)Zayn Malik's One Direction days might be behind him, but a new TV project with NBC will have the singer calling upon his boy band experience in a major way.

Malik is teaming up with prolific TV producer Dick Wolf for a new drama that will center on the "highs and lows of a wildly successful boy band," read an announcement from Universal Television and NBC on Tuesday.
The show, titled "Boys," is currently in development.
"Dick Wolf is a legend," Malik said in the statement, "and the opportunity to work with him and NBC to create a compelling drama series is awesome."
NBC promises the drama will provide "an inside look" into the pressures that come with worldwide success and feature original music.
"It's exciting to be diving into this project with such passionate and prolific producers," said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. "Zayn certainly brings an authentic point of view to this world where kids are catapulted into fame at a dizzying speed. On top of our excitement around the creative ideas being discussed, we have a lot of respect for the musical and digital ambitions behind the project."
Malik and Dick and Noelle Wolf will executive produce the project, along with others.
"Boys" marks Malik's first foray into scripted TV.
Malik was part of teen-adored British boy band One Direction for five years before leaving in 2015. He released his first solo track in January.
Two-time Emmy winner Wolf currently produces "Law & Order: SVU," "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med" and the upcoming "Chicago Justice" for NBC.
Source:CNN.com
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16/Sep/2016

Nollywood takes center stage at the Toronto International Film Festival

(CNN)The city of Lagos will take center stage at the Toronto International Film Festival [TIFF] Thursday.

The commercial capital of Nigeria has been chosen as part of the 'City to City' programme. Each year a city is selected and filmmakers living and working there are showcased. Previous featured cities include; London, Mumbai and Seoul, this year eight Nigerian films will be screened.
"Lagos is entirely unique," said Cameron Bailey the programme curator in a statement. "The city of Fela Kuti's music has also given birth to one of the world's most vibrant film industries."
"The 1,000 low-budget features 'Nollywood' produces each year generate about $1 billion in box office. Now, from that commercial hotbed, a new generation of filmmakers is emerging to both advance and challenge Nollywood."
For TIFF International Rising Star Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, global recognition of the world's second largest film industry has been a long time coming.
"It's about time for Nollywood to start getting the right attention," the actress told CNN.
"I know our movies get exported, but it almost seemed like it's because we have [Nigerian] immigrants in different parts of the world. It was still our audience demanding for it. But now a huge film festival like TIFF, this isn't just Africans in Canada. Now we've gotten attention from a major film festival. "
addition to the recognition, Iyamah-Idhalama hopes the films will showcase the wide range of Nigerian storytelling and change perceptions about Nigerians.
"A movie like 93 days is talking about Ebola and heroism in Nigeria. It's almost an oxymoron; Nigeria and heroes," she said. "We're now beginning to tell stories that will motivate the average person to make a difference."
Iyamah-Idhalama, who stars in three of the films featured at TIFF, including '93 Days' and 'The Wedding Party,' started acting in 2012, a time she says the industry started to shift.
"People were beginning to see hope," she explained. "People were beginning to take the arts more seriously...a lot of things were happening. You could see there was a major shift that was beginning to happen."
Nollywood generates an estimated $600 million a year and is extremely popular at home, but the industry still faces challenges.
"We have grown tremendously," she continued. " [But] we still have a long way to go. There's still a structure that needs to be put in place, we still need to build an ecosystem but we've come a long way."
One of the major challenges facing the industry is piracy, rampant due to weak copyright laws and enforcement. According to the World Bank for every legitimate copy of a movie sold, nine are pirated, costing the industry billions in revenue.
At a time where the Nigerian economy continues to stall, Nollywood has been touted as a lifeline but only if these challenges are tackled head on by the government.
"Let's be honest our economy is not the best right now, but we are a people that push through tribulation," she said.
"Entertainment is always our fallback, if we get the support that we need from the government trying to curb piracy and put certain laws in place we can do better work," she continued. "We can export [that] and get the box office numbers without having to go through oil or agriculture."
Despite the challenges, Iyamah-Idhalama is hopeful and excited about the opportunities TIFF will bring the industry. "I'm just excited to have the opportunity to tell African stories as an African."
The Toronto International Film Festival has been celebrating the best of international and Canadian cinema for over 40 years, they introduced the City to City programme eight years ago. The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.
Source:Cnn.com
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16/Sep/2016

Justin Timberlake concert film heading to Netflix

(CNN)You can soon have a front row seat to a Justin Timberlake concert anywhere you watch Netflix.

The pop star's 20/20 Experience World Tour film called, "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids," will drop on the streaming service October 12.
Netflix announced the acquisition Friday, ahead of the movie's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film's Oscar winning director, Jonathan Demme ("The Silence Of The Lambs") called the project "a space age music film."
"There's tremendous dancing in this piece. He's got an extraordinary band called the Tennessee Kids," Demme told Rolling Stone. "Huge horn section, two lead guitars, two drummers, eight dancers, four exquisite background singers. And we caught them on their last performance."
The movie was shot at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas -- the final stop of the two-year tour.
In the film's trailer, Timberlake summed up the spirit of the night in three words: "What a run."
Source:CNN.com
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12/Sep/2016

Alexis Arquette dies at 47: Actress and transgender activist

(CNN) Alexis Arquette, an actress and transgender activist, died Sunday while surrounded by members of Hollywood's famous Arquette family.

Arquette was 47. Brother Richmond Arquette and brother-in-law Todd Morgan confirmed the death to CNN.
Arquette was best known for film roles, including one in "The Wedding Singer" and another in "Pulp Fiction."
Born Robert, Arquette was the sibling of actors Rosanna, David and Patricia Arquette.
A 2007 film about her transition to becoming a woman, "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother," was popular on the film festival circuit.
"Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis, passed this morning September 11, at 12:32 am," Richmond Arquette wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
In February, actor David Arquette reportedly said during an appearance on "Kocktails with Khloe" that Alexis no longer identified as transgender.
"She was like, 'Yeah, sometimes I'll be a man, sometimes I'll be a woman. I like to refer to myself as gender suspicious,'" David Arquette said.
Richmond Arquette wrote that Alexis was with brothers, sisters, a niece and "several other loved ones" at the end. David Bowie's song "Starman" was playing.
Richmond Arquette described Alexis to CNN as "a force" who "died as he lived, on his own terms" and said he was happy to have been "with him as he began his journey onward."
A cause of death was not specified.
Alexis Arquette began acting at an early age. Her first role was as a transvestite named Georgette in the 1989 film "Last Exit to Brooklyn."
She would go on to appear in dozens of roles from low-budget movies to television roles.
Arquette was one of the earliest high-profile advocates for transgender rights and said she identified with being a woman at a young age.
In 2009 she told Dr. Drew Pinksy during an interview on "Larry King Live" that she was born into "a pretty liberal family."
"I've worn makeup since I was 12," Arquette said. "They weren't in denial so much as their fear was that if I came out as transgender and live my life as a woman that might receive a lot of flak from people on the street."
On Sunday Patricia Arquette tweeted "Breaking through the veil singing Starman" with a link to that Bowie song, and "My first best friend - Cosmic Dancer" with a link to the T. Rex song.
Actress Roseanne Barr tweeted, "Hail hail a vagenius has vacated this realm! RIP Alexis Arquette." Barr included a photo of Arquette backstage at Barr's talk show in 1999.
Singer Boy George also paid homage to Arquette, who famously portrayed a Boy George-inspired singer in the 1998 film "The Wedding Singer."
"R.I.P. my sister Alexis Arquette," Boy George tweeted. "Another bright light gone out far too soon. Love to the family and all that loved Alexis."
Source: CNN.com
 
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12/Sep/2016

Social media swoons at Essence magazine photos of Obamas

(CNN)Turns out, a picture is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, thousands of tweets.

The internet collectively swooned over photos of President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, who grace next month's cover of Essence magazine.
While the Obamas addressed various issues such as their legacy and what it means to African-American children, social media was more focused on their photos.
"I think when it comes to black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them," Obama says in the interview. "It matters."
Well, intimate photos matter too, if social media is anything to go by.
Shortly after Essence released the photos this week, the tweets poured in.
"Be right back, gonna make #relationshipgoals memes that have nothing to do with this photo for Facebook & Instagram," Desus Nice tweeted.
Others focused on the first lady's fit physique.
"I would buy a "Michelle Obama's 365 Days of Squats" DVD," @bimadew tweeted. "The disclaimer on the box would read: "This is mostly genes. But you can try, boo"
Others described the President and first lady as "couple goals."
And in true election season fashion, others used the picture to reminisce about the Obamas' last few weeks in the White House.
"Miss you already," @lotusjk1 tweeted.
Source:CNN.com
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10/Sep/2016

Madonna loses custody war for son with ex-hubby Ritchie

New York (AFP) - Pop diva Madonna has settled a bitter custody dispute with former husband Guy Ritchie, agreeing for their teenage son to stay in Britain with his filmmaker father, a US court says.

"Their custody case is resolved," Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the New York court where the divorced couple had fought for custody of their son Rocco, told AFP on Thursday.

The custody agreement reached Wednesday stipulates that the 16-year-old is to remain with his British father, according to US media reports citing Ritchie's lawyer, Peter Bronstein.

Bronstein was not immediately available to comment.

Madonna, who wanted her son to live with her in the United States, reacted enigmatically on social media. The pop star posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a black hoodie with the word "bitch" scrawled across it in red.

Madonna and Ritchie had battled for months for custody of Rocco in US and British courts.

Judges heard that Rocco remained in London with his father after a visit in December last year. Madonna wanted the teen to return to live with her in the State of New York.

The celebrity couple divorced in 2008 after eight years of marriage. Madonna aired her feelings about the painful end to their relation in her album "MDNA", released in March 2012.

The two also have a 10-year-old adopted son, David Banda.

Source:Yahoo.com

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08/Sep/2016

Calvin Harris says 'all hell broke loose' after his break up with Taylor Swift

While Tom Hiddleston might very well be burning that I heart T.S. t-shirt, it wasn't that long ago that Taylor Swift was parting ways with another light-haired hunk, Calvin Harris. British GQ's choice for Patrón Tequila Solo Artist of the Year opened up to the mag about his relationship of more than a year with the singer/songwriter.

"The aftermath of the relationship was way more heavily publicized than the relationship itself," the DJ said. "When we were together, we were very careful for it not to be a media circus. She respected my feelings in that sense. I'm not good at being a celebrity."

However, Harris revealed that consideration evaporated once their relationship disintegrated.

"But when it ended, all hell broke loose," he said.

Previously, Harris said that Swift wanted to keep the fact she wrote the lyrics for This Is What You Came For a secret. However, in July, Swift's rep confirmed to PEOPLE that she collaborated on the song, which made Harris look like a liar for telling Ryan Seacrest the two probably wouldn't work together. Harris took to Twitter to stand up for himself.

"Now I see that Twitter thing as a result of me succumbing to pressure," he shared with the magazine. "It took me a minute to realize that none of that matters. I'm a positive guy."

Harris also said he and Swift ended things because their relationship turned out to be "the wrong situation."

Source:USA Today.com

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08/Sep/2016

Kanye West's New York Fashion Week show was a hot mess

After unveiling his Yeezy Season 3 collection during a concert/performance art piece in February, West debuted his Yeezy Season 4 line to  fans at New York Fashion Week and on Tidal on Wednesday. It's safe to say that the show — which featured models  fainting  in the hot sun and music that sounded like Finding Nemo's Dory talking to a whale — was not received as well as his last show. Here's what happened.

The beginning.

The livestream began shortly after 3 p.m. ET with the view of a cloudy New York skyline and the sounds of The Life of Pablo, the album West debuted at his last show. And then, the stream continued with that view (which got sunnier) and more Pablo tracks for an hour before the camera angle finally changed.

One hour in.

First, we saw a self-congratulatory reel of interviews with Kanye fans grateful for the opportunity to be connected with Tidal and see West's show. Then, it was back to the music and aerial views of New York City.

One hour and 30 minutes in.

The stream was silent for a few moments before some ambient music played. The muffled voices in the background of the track seem to indicate that the music is coming from inside the New York show. We still seem to be flying above the city.

One hour and 40 minutes in. 

The music continues with the sound of a woman bellowing over low-sounding instruments. (Sometimes it sounds like horns, sometimes strings or even synth. Whatever it is, it doesn't exactly sound pretty.

We land at Roosevelt Island, and see "multiracial" models in nude bodysuits, black and camouflage army jackets and white hoodies. A man unaffiliated with the production jumps in to assist a model who was about to fall.

One hour and 50 minutes in.

Kanye appears. Dressed in all black, the designer walks the catwalk, smiles and waves.

Two hours in.

The stream freezes and replays the interviews with Kanye fans from the hour-mark.

Two hours and 10 minutes in.

There are reports of women passing out. On the livestream, which is replaying earlier footage, models look miserable. West's Fade video star Teyana Taylor appears to be keeping it together on the catwalk while model Amina Blue struggles to walk in her heels and eventually takes them off. A few other models sit in the grass, looking exhausted.

Two hours and 20 minutes in.

Kanye is seen running offscreen.

Source:USA Today.com

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08/Sep/2016

Celebrity Answering Service Endures, Its Secrets Intact

The office of the Belles Receptionists & Answering Service hums with ringing phones and the polite greetings of operators in a small building on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan.

“Belles,” answered a receptionist the other day. “Yes, I’ll get that message to him. Have a lovely afternoon.” She scribbled the message onto a card and filed it with others.

An industrial-looking timepiece called a Remind-O-Timer sat on her desk. Metal pegs around its face can be flipped to set an alarm; the device hasn’t been used much since the service was founded in 1956, but Belles receptionists keep it around for sentimental reasons.

A bygone era looms over the office. A mass of telephone wires had been stripped from the walls; a dark rectangular outline remains. A battered box filled with hundreds of creased note cards illuminates personalities of the past and their quirks: “Do not test her line after 8 a.m.,” stresses the card of a Park Avenue client; “Ask for correct name spellings,” reads the card of a New York aristocrat. A dismantled telephone switchboard collects dust in a back room; the company retired it this year after one client, a holdout, finally agreed to upgrade an antiquated landline.

Six of these wood-paneled consoles once dominated the office, shaping the company’s culture for five decades.

Photo

 

A picture from an old newspaper article on the wall at the Belles office in Manhattan shows the actress Judy Holliday, center, training with Mary Printz, left. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The office’s most visible relics, however, reflect its golden history. Dozens of framed, fading photos of former clients line the walls: Robert Redford. Al Pacino. Dolly Parton. Bianca Jagger. Art Carney. Dustin Hoffman. Kathleen Turner. Isabella Rossellini. Richard Dreyfuss. Liz Smith. Angela Lansbury. Swifty Lazar. Howard Cosell. Shirley MacLaine. Liza Minnelli.

The photos offer passage to an era when the Belles was the glamorous answering service to the stars, its number unlisted and passed on by referral only, its operators privy to secrets salacious or mundane. A 1977 issue of Cosmopolitan proclaimed it “the most famous answering service in the United States”; its celebrity had been established in 1956, with the opening of the Broadway musical “Bells Are Ringing,” which it inspired, starring Judy Holliday.

Recent interviews with those who witnessed the company’s celebrity period, when it was, for that matter, called Belles Celebrity, echoed the sentiment: If you weren’t on the Belles, you weren’t anybody.

You wouldn’t know it now, but once, six operators were seated here, elbow to elbow, night and day, inhaling packs of Winstons, taking calls and jotting notes, arms dancing across the machines as they plugged in and unplugged the cables.

Known as the girls, they handled their calls coolly amid the smoky pandemonium. Remarkably, this scene played out within the Belles offices until the early millennium. About 20 Belles receptionists were employed in its prime; only six work there now, four of them for long enough to remember the switchboard days. They are still called the girls. Nowadays there’s just one operator in the fluorescent-lit room for each shift.

Photo

 

Dozens of framed, fading photos of former clients line the walls at Belles Receptionists & Answering Service. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The office may be a nostalgist’s dream, but operations have been modernized. Antiquated technology has been replaced, and the clientele is now of the conventional sort requiring a 24/7 answering service: law firms, doctors’ offices, elevator repair companies. Clients receive texts now, and the calling cards, replete with private (though outdated) celebrity information, may be shredded. An office redesign is planned. “Bring the place back up to code,” said the current owner, Roger Snyder, who bought the company in 2009.

But the Belles maintains one last stubborn and vital link to its past.

Ten or so star clients, skeptical of the merits of modern communications technology, loyally continue to use the service. They are referred to internally as “legacy clients,” and they include the Broadway giants Stephen Sondheim and John Kander, the fashion photographer Bruce Weber and the writer Nicholas Pileggi, whose wife, Nora Ephron, shared a line with him until her death in 2012.

“I couldn’t imagine not having Belles,” said Mr. Weber, adding that he doesn’t even trust hotels with wake-up calls, only the Belles.

“They do things Siri can’t do,” Mr. Pileggi said. “I don’t think of it as a horse-and-wagon thing.

“I think the Belles would prosper into this period, rather than fade away into a historic sunset, if only more people knew about what they can provide.”

The company is guarded about its legacy clients. I was left to deduce their identities through guesswork and the cooperation of skeptical publicists. (“You want to know if my client is still using a what?”) But names occasionally slipped during afternoons at the office.

“When we get a call from Sondheim, I instantly know it’s him,” said Mr. Snyder.

“He’s very direct,” a receptionist said.

Do they ever hear anything juicy?

“Oh, I’ve heard some good stuff,” another receptionist said. “We get the scoop first.”

Continue reading the main story

 

“We once had a big thing before the media broke it,” she said, offering only a tight smile when asked what it was.

Woody Allen was among the holdouts for years until he finally cut his line early in the new millennium. Still, he offered his recollections on the Belles in an email.

Photo

 

Melissa Garcia, a Belles receptionist, in April. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

“I stayed with the Belles long after I needed an answering service because they were just a part of my NY life,” he wrote. “I would still be with them but our operation was streamlined and I could not really make an argument for them other than a sentimental one.”

Candice Bergen also offered some insight, in a call from her home in East Hampton. Ms. Bergen, who shared a line with her husband, the director Louis Malle, was elated to discover that the company still existed, and she had nearly as many questions as answers.

“Are the girls still there?” she asked.

“He’s still using them? Really?

“They’re everything that’s disappeared in life,” she said. “They do a romantic thing in a time that is virtually devoid of romance.”

Mr. Allen seemed to agree, calling the Belles “a colorful part of NY’s social life.”

“And while all the other answering services were all functional more or less but anonymous and bland,” he said, “the Belles like a movie star had a kind of intangible charisma.”

Before the dawn of voice mail, telephone answering services were a practical necessity. All walks of busy people used them, and they were fairly affordable. Average fees ran perhaps $20 a month. Mary Printz, the charismatic founder of the Belles, who died in her mid-80s in 2009, saw a niche in the allure of exclusivity. “I don’t want lawyers, plumbers, or electricians,” she would say. “I only want celebrities and millionaires.” As it happens, the Belles clients now include a plumber.

Photo

 

A wooden timepiece called a Remind-O-Timer. Metal pegs around its face can be flipped to set an alarm. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The Belles began as a small operation in a Manhattan apartment jammed with rotary telephones, and it evolved into a sensation, acquiring 600 clients and at its peak making an estimated $2 million annually.

It was partly luck: One of Mrs. Printz’s earliest clients was the Broadway lyricist Adolph Green, who based Judy Holliday’s character in the “Bells Are Ringing,” a lovestruck telephone receptionist, on Mrs. Printz. Miss Holliday shadowed Mrs. Printz at the Belles offices to prepare; Mrs. Printz rebranded the company with a focus on celebrities after the show’s opening, and the word-of-mouth was instant. A poster for the hit musical’s 1960 movie adaptation, starring Dean Martin and Miss Holliday, still hangs in the Belles office. (“They all look like Judy Hollidays in my head,” Bruce Weber said of the receptionists.)

By the mid-1960s, the company’s glamorous association with Broadway and its alluring exclusivity had made it the premier service of its kind, and its receptionists had become the comforting voices, occasional psychiatrists and keepers of secrets to the stars.

“We were just star-struck girls,” said Florence Provinzano, 68, a former Belles receptionist who remembered taking calls for Robert Redford, Woody Allen and Candice Bergen. “We fell in love with the magic of the switchboards.” She recalled her heart jumping when, at 17, she was assigned the line Yul Brynner called on, and how hands were slapped away in the daily frenzy to pick up Rock Hudson’s calls.

Belles receptionists could become intimately engaged in their clients’ lives: dog walking, plant sitting, fish feeding, reading stock market quotes, reserving theater tickets, storing apartment keys, reminding clients of dinner appointments at Le Cirque or Maxwell’s Plum and maintaining discretion about marital strife and infidelities. “Divorce was good for business,” Ms. Provinzano said.

Photo

 

Index cards were used to record personal notes on individual clients. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

“We knew when stuff was going down,” she continued. “We heard about Nixon resigning before it was on the TV. The phones were crazy when the Woody and Mia Farrow thing was happening.”

Days were rarely dull, and were typified by incidents that might seem impossible in today’s relentlessly managed culture of celebrity.

Noël Coward once called in despair in the middle of the night: He needed more Scotch to keep Marlene Dietrich entertained. But it was Sunday, and the liquor stores were closed. Mrs. Printz dispatched her husband to buy a bottle from a bartender and deliver it personally.

Swifty Lazar, the celebrated agent, offered Mrs. Printz a large sum to write a book about gossip she had gleaned. “What would I write about you?” she asked. Mr. Lazar, a Belles client, hung up.

The F.B.I. stormed the Belles to collect the messages of Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle-blower who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Mrs. Printz refused to hand them over. Or at least that’s the way Ms. Provinzano remembers it.

Photo

 

A box of creased old index cards once used for clients. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The masterful bedside manner of Belles receptionists wasn’t accidental; it sprang directly from Mrs. Printz’s sassy and gregarious personality. She didn’t suffer fools gladly and had no qualms, for instance, about eliminating Burt Reynolds’s service after he accused the Belles of giving out his private number, or brusquely dismissing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “Thank you for inquiring about our answering service,” Mrs. Printz wrote in a 1982 letter to Mrs. Onassis. “Handling volumes of prank calls is not possible for this organization. Calls of this nature could confine an operator to one line exclusively. We must give equal attention and consideration to all of our subscribers. Sorry we couldn’t be of help to you.”

Mrs. Printz (known to adoring clients as Ma Belle), was born in Grosse Pointe, Mich., in 1923, and moved to New York, where she married her second husband, a cocktail pianist named Bob Printz, when she was 26. (Mr. Printz died this summer.) She sought a job matching his nocturnal hours and before long found herself talking to strangers through a switchboard in a cramped room alongside other women wearing headsets. Realizing she was gifted at ingratiating herself with strangers, she later started what would become the Belles.

Her son, Joe Printz, remembered the pall cast over the family’s house when his parents bought their first answering machine in the early 1990s. “She knew it was a game changer,” he said. “She could see herself getting displaced.” The company lost hundreds of clients as the millennium progressed. “I remember the day she told me Woody was leaving,” Mr. Printz said. “She was so sad.”

Mrs. Printz’s thoughts on the decline were recorded in an unreleased documentary. It boiled down to the fact that people didn’t trust others to be “in charge of their secrets” anymore, she says.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the people I had for years and years and years died, and most of the young people don’t want what we have to offer,” she says in the film. “This is still what’s left of a personalized business.”

Photo

 

Small sticks of worn plastic, once used to jam a client’s switchboard service if their bill went unpaid. Credit Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

“I have a feeling that this is going to come back some day, this kind of service,” she adds, “because people are fed up of getting a machine.”

Mrs. Printz eventually sold the Belles to Mr. Snyder, a former Marine who was helping to manage the company’s office building at the time.

“You’d think the history of the Belles would make people come out,” he said, “but it didn’t work that way.”

Mrs. Printz was picky about prospective buyers, Mr. Snyder said, and had requested his assurance on two things: “Keep the legacy intact, and take care of my girls.” Mr. Snyder had studied business at Columbia and saw the opportunity to revitalize a historic brand, but the transition ended up being far more agonizing than he’d expected.

The switchboards confounded him, the girls had not been girls for a long while, and the office walls were stained brown from decades of cigarette smoke. “They didn’t know how to use computers,” Mr. Snyder said. “No modern technology. There was no website. There were still typewriters.”

Thus began the Belles’ tardy transition to modernity. An early website Mr. Snyder designed stressing the company’s past was scrapped; receptionists were taught how to use computers; and the company dropped “Celebrity” from its name. He retired the switchboards: Three were thrown out, two were sold and the last was kept out of respect, he said.

Mr. Snyder can still slip into fascination with the time warp surrounding him. He retrieved a plastic jar filled with small sticks of worn plastic. “This is a plug,” he said, holding up a red one. “We used to use them to jam someone’s service if they hadn’t paid the bill.” He pushed it into an imaginary switchboard with a grin on his face.

He recently stood in front of the dismantled switchboard in his office’s back room. A box containing its gutted parts sat on a shelf.

“If you were to put a soul into this thing and it could talk, we would have some very interesting conversations. It could tell us some stories,” Mr. Snyder said. “But the times change and things change. That’s the cycle of life: We move on.”

Some bulbs on the switchboard, which once lit up when calls came in, were colored red. In later years, he explained, receptionists started marking the last few active personal lines with a red marker. “Eventually it came down to one,” he said. I asked who the holdout was.

“I can’t tell you,” he said.

I pressed him. He upheld the code of the Belles.

“I’m not saying,” he said with finality. “They’ve been with us a long time.”

Source:NY Times.com

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04/Sep/2016

Gene Wilder, star of 'Willy Wonka,' dead at 83

(CNN)Gene Wilder, who brought a wild-eyed desperation to a series of memorable and iconic comedy roles in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, his lawyer, Eric Weissmann, said.

He was 83.
Wilder is best known for his collaborations with director Mel Brooks, starring as the stressed-out Leo Bloom in Brooks' breakout 1967 film "The Producers," and later in the monster movie spoof "Young Frankenstein." He also portrayed a boozing gunslinger in "Blazing Saddles."
For many people, Wilder might be best remembered for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," playing the mysterious candy tycoon in the 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl's book.
In a statement to CNN on Monday, Brooks called Wilder "one of the truly great talents of our time."
"He blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship," Brooks wrote.

Story highlights

  • Gene Wilder has died, his lawyer confirms to CNN
  • The actor, who played the title role in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' was 83
 

(CNN)Gene Wilder, who brought a wild-eyed desperation to a series of memorable and iconic comedy roles in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, his lawyer, Eric Weissmann, said.

 
Wilder chose not to disclose his illness, the statement added.
"He simply couldn't bear the idea of one less smile in the world," Walker-Pearlman said.
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30/Aug/2016

Madonna gives fans the shock of a lifetime

(CNN)Madonna really is the coolest.

The Material Girl surprised 400 fans Wednesday who were attending the 25th anniversary screening of her 1991 documentary, "Madonna: Truth or Dare."
The singer, wearing a fire-engine red, off-the-shoulder dress, was beaming when she showed up at the Museum of Modern Art.
The documentary followed Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour. The film originally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991, and went on to become the highest-grossing documentary at the time.
Madonna took to Instagram to share the special moment with her seven million fans: "Surreal Moment! At the MOMA!! So nice to watch a film in a museum. So many freedoms we take for granted that we did not have then. Thank you Alek Keshishian. We changed history with this film.!"
Source:CNN.com
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30/Aug/2016

Abedin, Weiner separating after new sexting allegations

Washington (CNN)Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin announced Monday that she and former US Rep. Anthony Weiner are separating after new reports surfaced that he sent sexually suggestive photos again.

"After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy," Abedin said in a statement Monday.
Abedin was "furious and sickened" by the picture of Weiner and their 4-year-old son, Jordan, according to two people close to the family. The sources said she did not know about it or details of the latest sexting exchange until this weekend.
Weiner, who torpedoed his own political career five years ago with a sexting scandal and whose wife is Clinton's closest adviser, deleted his Twitter account after the latest report surfaced.
A Donald Trump supporter told the New York Post that the two of them exchanged racy photos over the course of about a year, including one exchange where she alleges that he sexted her with his son apparently sleeping next to him.
"Someone just climbed into my bed," Weiner allegedly wrote in a message, sent July 31, 2015, according to the Post.
He then is alleged to have sent a picture of a barechested man with white boxers and a bulge, while a small child is asleep beside him.
"Your do realize you can see you(r) Weiner in that pic??" the woman replied, according to the Post.
Abedin and Weiner had been distant and "heading on a path apart" for a few months, but she was reluctant to leave, according to the two sources close to the family. Her faith is a big part of that, as she has told friends and even Vogue magazine, and she knew it would draw headlines.
Weiner was with her and Jordan this weekend in the Hamptons, but left Monday morning. Abedin spoke with several close friends Sunday night and early Monday morning before deciding to announce a separation.
"She did not want this to be another distraction for Hillary," one friend said.
CNN has reached out to Weiner for comment.
The Republican presidential nominee weighed in on the incident on Monday, saying Abedin made a "wise decision," but said Weiner's proximity to Clinton could possibly have compromised classified information.
"I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information," Trump said in a statement. "Who knows what he learned and who he told? It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment."
A pair of news outlets, NY1 and The New York Daily News, both suspended or moved to cut ties with Weiner Monday.
"Anthony Weiner is on indefinite leave from the station," a NY1 spokesman told CNN's Dylan Byers. Weiner was a frequent guest on the New York news channel's "Inside City Hall" program. And the New York Daily News said it would no longer run his columns.
The New York Times asked Weiner recently if he had sexted anyone recently. He deflected at the time, saying "I'm not going to go down the path of talking about any of that," before changing the topic to Trump.
Photos published by The New York Post late Sunday show the man completely and others feature Weiner's face, but the photo of the boy has been partially blurred out, and the woman's face is blurred out in her photos.
The Post, which did not completely identify the woman, said she provided 12 selfies from Weiner. The paper described her as a 40-something divorced woman from the West.
Abedin and Weiner have been "essentially" separated for months, a close friend to Abedin said after she officially announced their separation on Monday.
The clearest sign of this: Abedin had recently not been wearing a wedding ring, a fact that did not go unnoticed by people inside and around the Clinton campaign.
Abedin has long been one of Clinton's closest aides, matched only by Cheryl Mills in her access and relationship with the woman who could be the next president. And Abedin herself has been thrust in the middle of the race, as questions about whether she helped Clinton Foundation donors gain special access have arisen recently, with a spate of new email releases.
Abedin is Clinton's most well known aide. While Clinton works the ropeline after events, Abedin is always close behind and Clinton supporters regularly ask the aide for selfies with her, much like they do with the candidate.
Weiner's relationship with Abedin is scrutinized during a recent documentary on his unsuccessful 2013 bid for a political comeback during the New York City mayoral primary.
He resigned from Congress in 2011 after he accidentally posted a lewd photo of himself on his Twitter account. In the midst of Weiner's first sexting scandal, it became known that his wife was expecting their first child.
Two years later he was caught again, sexting with an aspiring porn star from southwest Indiana named Sydney Leathers. During his run for mayor, Weiner, had adopted the online pseudonym "Carlos Danger."
As of about 7:35 a.m. ET, Weiner's Twitter page had been taken down.
Weiner is alleged, in a separate New York Post article, to have been baited last month into a racy online chat with a Republican operative he thought was a young woman.
Source:Cnn.com
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30/Aug/2016

Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson is Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actor, Says Forbes

Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson is rock solid at the box office — so much that he is Hollywood’s highest-paid actor.

The star of the forthcoming "Fast 8" earned an estimated $64.5 million in the last 12 months, according to Forbes — more than double what he made last year. Matt Damon, who placed third, with $55 million, saw a 120 percent increase over last year’s earnings, thanks in large part to his starring role in the box office hit "The Martian."

Jackie Chan came in second, with $61 million. Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp round out the top five.

Robert Downey Jr. topped last year's list of top earners for the third consecutive year, with $80 million. This year, he drops to eighth, with less than half those earnings.

Jennifer Lawrence Tops Forbes' List of Highest Paid Actresses
Taylor Swift Tops Forbes' Highest-Earning Celebrities List

"The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence earlier this week topped Forbes' list of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses, with $46 million.

Earnings are estimated based on paydays, endorsement deals and other earnings for acting during the year. Here are the 10 highest-earning actors, according to Forbes:

1. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, $64.5 million
2. Jackie Chan, $61 million 3. Matt Damon, $55 million 4. Tom Cruise, $53 million 5. Johnny Depp, $48 million 6. Ben Affleck, $43 million
7. Vin Diesel, $35 million
8. Shan Rukh Khan, Bollywood star, $33 million (tie) 8. Robert Downey Jr., $33 million (tie) 10. Akshay Kumar, Bollywood star, $31.5 million (tie) 10. Brad Pitt, $31.5 million (tie)

Source:Yahoo.com

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26/Aug/2016

Homeland Security investigating Leslie Jones website hack

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it is investigating the hack of Leslie Jones' website that revealed several private details of the actress-comedian's life.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of Homeland Security, said Thursday that its New York office is looking into the breach that exposed the driver's license, passport and intimate photos of the Saturday Night Live star, along with hateful and racist images.

ICE Public Affairs Officer Rachael Yong Yow said the agency does not release information related to active investigations. Jones' website was taken offline after the hack was exposed Wednesday.

The Ghostbusters actress was also targeted on Twitter last month with a barrage of racial slurs and obscene photos. She called on the social networking service to do more to curb harassment, and Twitter banned several users as a result.

In recent years, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and Kate Upton have been among Hollywood actresses who've had stolen nude images of themselves posted online.

No charges have been filed against those who hacked and posted images of Lawrence, Upton and numerous other celebrities in a massive dump of intimate images of celebrities in August 2014.

Two men were recently convicted after federal prosecutors charged them with hacking into the accounts of several celebrities and stealing images and other personal information. However, neither of the men, Andrew Helton of Astoria, Oregon, or Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, are suspected of posting the stolen images online.

Helton was sentenced to six months in federal prison in July, half of the sentence prosecutors had sought. Helton pleaded guilty to stealing 161 nude or explicit photos from 13 people, including unidentified celebrities, and said his arrest forced him to confront his mental health issues. He is due to report to prison in October.

Collins' sentencing date has not been set.

Johansson, Kunis and Aguilera were hacked by a Florida man, Christopher Chaney, who used publicly available information to obtain access to the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry. Chaney was sentenced to 10 years and remains in a low-security federal prison in Mississippi.

"I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed," Johansson said in a tearful videotaped statement played in court before Chaney was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in December 2012.

Private information and images of celebrities are frequent targets for hackers. In 2012 a site posted credit reports, Social Security numbers and other financial info on celebrities, including Jay Z and his wife Beyonce, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher and many others.

Source:USA Today.com

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26/Aug/2016

Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys make great harmony on 'The Voice'

Los Angeles (CNN)As The Olympics comes to a close on NBC, the network will tease the start of another great competition: "The Voice" Season 11.

Judging by a sneak peek at the new season, which features first-time coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, it's going to be eventful.
CNN was given an early look at a half-hour season preview of "The Voice" set to air after the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday, and here's what you should know.

Cyrus and Keys come out swinging

The newest additions to the spinning chairs waste no time making themselves at home. It's clear from the start that Cyrus and Keys are on a quest to build the strongest teams they can -- even if it means they go toe-to-toe with veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
In the sneak peek, each of the new coaches take different approaches to wooing potential team members, and at times, Levine and Shelton find it hard to compete.
Cyrus plays up her off-beat, youthful energy. At one point, she tells a contestant who wore her grandmother's vintage vest to the audition that they share "grandma power."
Keys, meanwhile, goes for a warm, personal approach that none of the other three could possibly duplicate.

Keys might be the one to beat

Speaking of Keys, early indicators are she's going to be the most calculated and deliberate coach during auditions this season. She doesn't seem like the type who will be turning chair around for just any good singer.
Her strategy appears to be seeking out singers who she feels a connection to. One person who ends up on her team calls Keys "honest and real," and that sums up what Keys' approach to mentoring will probably be as well.
As an artist that puts a lot of stock in authenticity, Keys seems to be on the lookout for artists with strong points of view that she can take to a new level.
In other words, the other coaches should be on high alert for this savvy coach.

Levine and Shelton have fun picking on Cyrus -- but she fights back

Even though the bromance of Levine and Shelton is out in full force once again this season, Cyrus' addition promises to only add more fuel to the fire.
Like when she guested as a mentor on the show last season, Shelton has a lot of fun poking fun at the younger singer's eccentric style and her gift for gabbing. ("When do you breathe?" he joked at one point.) But she doesn't take it lying down.
At one point, Cyrus pointed out to a contestant that unlike her fellow coaches, the "internet actually existed" when she was coming up in the music world. (Levine laughed the comment off, saying, "We weren't born in the '30s.")

Most importantly, there's perfect harmony

New dynamics are tough to test out, but the first look at the new season feels less like a timid step into the future and more like a leap into a new era for "The Voice."
Cyrus and Keys make sure their musicianship shines brighter than everything else. (They even do an impromptu duet with a contestant and have a fun performance with Shelton and Levine.) And that could make for a pretty harmonious season.
Season 11 of "The Voice" premieres September 19.
Source:CNN.com
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23/Aug/2016

Frank Ocean releases 'Endless' visual album

(CNN)Finally we know what that video in the workshop was all about.

Frank Ocean released a "visual album" late Thursday. Titled "Endless," it was streamed on his site and Apple Music.
The 12 songs and interludes, including an earlier released version of Aaliyah's cover of the Isley Brothers' "At Your Best (You Are Love)," runs for 45 minutes over a black-and-white film shot by Francisco Soriano. In it, three versions of Ocean work on a building project in a warehouse.
Ocean has a few collaborations on the album, including with R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and British artist James Blake.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting a sophomore album from Ocean for the past four years.
But the expectation for new music heated up in recent weeks after Ocean's brother posted a photo on Instagram with the title 'Boys Don't Cry."
Rolling Stone reported that the "Boys Don't Cry" album is still happening -- just not under that name.
"That album, set for release by Apple this weekend, was previously called Boys Don't Cry, but Rolling Stone has learned that the singer has scrapped that title in favor of an alternate title," according to the publication.
Source:CNN.com
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23/Aug/2016

Tyra Banks is going to teach at Stanford University

(CNN)Tyra Banks is going from "America's Next Top Model" to possibly the next top professor.

The supermodel/mogul is set to lecture and co-teach a class on creating and protecting brands at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, the Wall Street Journal reports.
About 25 graduate students will have the opportunity to enroll in the course and learn from Banks for two weeks next May.
While the former talk show host is no stranger to the classroom, (she was enrolled in an executive education program at Harvard in 2011) it will be her first time teaching.
On Monday, Banks tweeted about the course "Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand."
"I'm beyond excited to teach," she wrote. "It's in my blood and I can't wait to meet my students."

Tyra Banks is going to teach at Stanford University

Tyra Bankswill be lecturing and co-teaching at Stanford Business School next year.
 

Story highlights

  • Banks will co-teach a course next May
  • About 25 graduate students will be able to enroll in her course

(CNN)Tyra Banks is going from "America's Next Top Model" to possibly the next top professor.

The supermodel/mogul is set to lecture and co-teach a class on creating and protecting brands at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, the Wall Street Journal reports.
About 25 graduate students will have the opportunity to enroll in the course and learn from Banks for two weeks next May.
While the former talk show host is no stranger to the classroom, (she was enrolled in an executive education program at Harvard in 2011) it will be her first time teaching.
On Monday, Banks tweeted about the course "Project You: Building and Extending your Personal Brand."
"I'm beyond excited to teach," she wrote. "It's in my blood and I can't wait to meet my students."
And for all those students hoping to learn a little modeling 101, Banks tweeted "And there will be no Smizing course. Sorry to disappoint."
 
Source:CNN.com
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23/Aug/2016

Kevin Hart Marries Longtime Love Eniko Parrish Tie the Knot

Kevin Hart has tied the knot!

Hart, 37, married longtime girlfriend Eniko Parrish, 31, in a wedding in California, surrounded by friends and family.

The bride wore a custom Vera Wang lace mermaid gown which featured hand-embroidered French Chantilly lace appliqués, luxurious French tulle skirt and silk covered bridal button accents. Parrish then changed into another custom lace Vera Wang gown for their reception, this one featuring hand-placed French Chantilly lace appliqué. The couple shared shots of their nuptials on Instagram, which included photos of Hart's two children.

Parrish shared a glimpse from the reception on Snapchat, taking a short video with Hart smiling at the camera and chatting with friends. It appeared that the party included a lit-up ferris wheel and a merry-go-round

The couple got engaged almost two years ago, when Hart proposed to Parrish on her 30th birthday.

Kevin Hart Marries Longtime Love Eniko Parrish – See the Photos

 
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Kevin Hart Married Eniko Parris
Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish
Kevin Hart/Instagram

By Maya Anderman

08/14/2016 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Kevin Hart has tied the knot!

Hart, 37, married longtime girlfriend Eniko Parrish, 31, in a wedding in California, surrounded by friends and family.

The bride wore a custom Vera Wang lace mermaid gown which featured hand-embroidered French Chantilly lace appliqués, luxurious French tulle skirt and silk covered bridal button accents. Parrish then changed into another custom lace Vera Wang gown for their reception, this one featuring hand-placed French Chantilly lace appliqué. The couple shared shots of their nuptials on Instagram, which included photos of Hart's two children.

Parrish shared a glimpse from the reception on Snapchat, taking a short video with Hart smiling at the camera and chatting with friends. It appeared that the party included a lit-up ferris wheel and a merry-go-round.
 

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Kevin Hart Marries Longtime Love Eniko Parrish – See the Photos| Kevin Hart

Kevin and Hendrix Hart

Kevin Hart / Snapchat

The couple got engaged almost two years ago, when Hart proposed to Parrish on her 30th birthday.



In a video of the proposal shared on Instagram, the comedian gushed about his wife-to-be.







"On this perfect day I chose to make the most perfect decision," he said before getting down on one knee.



"I said YES!!!!! To the most amazing man in the world," Parrish wrote on Instagram.

The two lovebirds have never been shy about showing their affection for one another, frequently posting sweet pics of each other on social media.

On Saturday, Hart shared a Snapchat video of himself with Parrish walking around a California beachside resort, gushin

Kevin Hart Marries Longtime Love Eniko Parrish – See the Photos

 
0 Comments
Kevin Hart Married Eniko Parris
Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish
Kevin Hart/Instagram

By Maya Anderman

08/14/2016 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Kevin Hart has tied the knot!

Hart, 37, married longtime girlfriend Eniko Parrish, 31, in a wedding in California, surrounded by friends and family.

The bride wore a custom Vera Wang lace mermaid gown which featured hand-embroidered French Chantilly lace appliqués, luxurious French tulle skirt and silk covered bridal button accents. Parrish then changed into another custom lace Vera Wang gown for their reception, this one featuring hand-placed French Chantilly lace appliqué. The couple shared shots of their nuptials on Instagram, which included photos of Hart's two children.

Parrish shared a glimpse from the reception on Snapchat, taking a short video with Hart smiling at the camera and chatting with friends. It appeared that the party included a lit-up ferris wheel and a merry-go-round.
 

ADVERTISING
 


 

Kevin Hart Marries Longtime Love Eniko Parrish – See the Photos| Kevin Hart

Kevin and Hendrix Hart

Kevin Hart / Snapchat

The couple got engaged almost two years ago, when Hart proposed to Parrish on her 30th birthday.



In a video of the proposal shared on Instagram, the comedian gushed about his wife-to-be.







"On this perfect day I chose to make the most perfect decision," he said before getting down on one knee.



"I said YES!!!!! To the most amazing man in the world," Parrish wrote on Instagram.

The two lovebirds have never been shy about showing their affection for one another, frequently posting sweet pics of each other on social media.

On Saturday, Hart shared a Snapchat video of himself with Parrish walking around a California beachside resort, gushing about his bride to be.

Source:People.com

 

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14/Aug/2016

'Ocean's Eight' will have all-female lead cast with Anne Hathaway and Rihanna

Another grand caper is underway, but this time with an all-female crew of thieves.

Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and rapper Awkwafina are close to deals to join Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett for the Warner Bros. heist film "Ocean's Eight," according to sources close to the production.

The casting of the spinoff, which was first reported by Deadline, follows the studios' successful "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. This time the crew will be all women.

Casting is still going on, and there's been no word on who will fill the role of the eighth member. The film has been under development for some time.

The franchise -- three films so far -- starred George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, followed bank robbers who pulled off extravagant heists in Las Vegas and Europe. The series has made more than $1.1 billion worldwide at the box office.

The latest iteration of the series will be directed by Gary Ross, "The Hunger Games" director. It will be produced by the franchise's original director, Steven Soderbergh, and the script will be written by Ross and Olivia Milch.

The cast features some of the most famous actresses in Hollywood -- and some of the most award winning. Bullock, Blanchett, and Hathaway have all won Academy Awards, while Carter has been nominated twice.

The inclusion of Rihanna is also notable. The singer had roles like 2012's "Battleship" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," which is due out next year.

"Ocean's Eight" is a spinoff of 2001's "Ocean's Eleven," which is itself a reboot/remake of the 1960 film of the same name that starred Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

The film is set to begin production in October in New York. No release date has been announced.

Source:CNN.com

 

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13/Aug/2016

Kanye West apologizes to Beck, Bruno Mars

(CNN)Kanye West is on an apology spree.

In a series of tweets, West reached out to singers Beck and Bruno Mars to express remorse over his well-documented disses.
"I would like to publicly apologize to Beck. I'm sorry Beck," West tweeted Thursday night.

Beyonce backer

West turned heads -- and not in a good way -- when he briefly went on stage after Beck won a Grammy for Album of the Year. In an interview after the show this month, West asked Beck "to respect artistry" and give the award to Beyonce.
Though West did not grab Beck's microphone like he's done in the past, his brief stunt was similar to a 2009 incident when he stormed the stage during the VMAs and declared Beyonce should have won an award instead of Taylor Swift.
West and Swift appeared to put it behind them, hugging it out at this month's Grammys.

Bruno props

Bruno Mars got more than an apology Thursday.
"I used to hate on him but I really respect what he does as an artist," West tweeted.
West then asked him to sing a hook on a song that he co-produced.
There was no immediate response from Bruno Mars or Beck.
Source:CNN.com
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09/Aug/2016

Mariah Carey to guest star on 'Empire'

Los Angeles (CNN)"Empire" has booked what could be its biggest musical guest star to date.

Fox announced Monday that Mariah Carey has officially been recruited to guest star in an October episode of the network hit.
Carey will play a character named Kitty, "a mega-superstar who comes to 'Empire' to collaborate with Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) on an explosive new song," according to a press release from Fox.
The casting comes about one year after executive producer Lee Daniels first publicly said he hoped to have Carey appear on the show, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.
In its first two seasons "Empire" has made it a habit of pulling in big names in music to play guest characters. Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Xzibit have all appeared. Pitbull, Timbaland and Ne-Yo have also appeared as themselves.
"Empire" season 3 premieres Sept. 21.
In other guest star news from Fox announced on Monday during its day at the Television Critics Association press tour: Amy Schumer will lend her voice to all of the network's animated shows on Sept. 25.
Fox also announced a "New Girl"/"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" crossover and the first-ever one-hour "Simpsons" episode.
And Twentieth Century Fox TV touted a new deal struck with "Hamilton" director Thomas Kail. He will establish a production company under the company's umbrella and develop TV projects for both broadcast and cable.
Kail recently helmed Fox's "Grease: Live" and won a Tony for his work on "Hamilton."
Source:CNN.com
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09/Aug/2016

'SNL' loses two major cast members ahead of new season

Los Angeles (CNN)"Saturday Night Live" is losing two of its familiar faces.

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not be returning to the long-running sketch series, NBC confirms to CNN. TVLine first reported the news.
Killam and Pharoah have both been on the series for six seasons.
Killam is best known for playing characters like Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey. He also played presidential nominee Donald Trump for a period of time last season before handing the role back over to Darrell Hammond, who played Trump previously.
Pharoah was known for his portrayals of President Barack Obama and Will Smith, and earned rave reviews for his take on former presidential candidate Ben Carson.
In an interview with Uproxx, Killam seemed taken aback by NBC's decision not to pick up his contract for the upcoming season.
"I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren't going to pick up my contract," he said in an interview with the publication. "I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home."
Killam is working on his directorial debut, "Why We're Killing Gunther."
Killam admits that the post-production on the film would have had some cross over with his "SNL" commitments, but he was unsure whether that played a role in his contract being terminated a year early.
Ultimately, he sounded grateful.
"I set out to be on 'SNL' and I got to do that and I did very well," he said. "And I love and adore and will forever have close ties and tight bonds with the brilliant, smartest, funniest people I've ever met in my life. So, I have no gripes at all. I am so, so, so lucky to have been given the time I've been given."
"SNL" will return for Season 42 this fall.
Source:CNN.com
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09/Aug/2016

Mariah Carey invites you into her 'World' in new E! docuseries

(CNN)It's Mariah Carey's world and we're all just living in it.

That is, of course, the perception one would gain from seeing the singer promote her eight-episode E! docuseries at a panel during the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday.
The singer cracked jokes and earned laughs from a notoriously tough crowd of reporters as she promoted the upcoming series, which she billed as a documentary more than a garden variety reality show.
At one point, she even invited her glam squad on stage to give her a touch-up during the panel.
"I don't even know what reality is -- literally," she deadpanned.
"Mariah's World" will chronicle a busy time in the singer's life, following her as she preps for her first European tour in ten years and her wedding to Australian businessman James Packer.
It will also feature appearances from her 5-year-old twins, Moroccan, who she affectionately calls "Rock," and Monroe.
"They could have their own show because that's how funny they are," the singer said.
Appearances from ex-husband Nick Cannon might also be possible, but Carey said that remains to be seen, as the series is still being edited.
When a reporter mistakenly assumed Cannon would be on the series, Carey was quick to correct him.
"I didn't say that, darling," she said, as the audience laughed. "I said he came around -- I don't know what makes final cut."
Carey admitted the filming process was difficult to become accustomed to, saying she was "withholding" at first because she is "never sure who to trust." But she eventually opened up.
Whatever ends up on screen, the legendary singer hopes it's at the very least "entertaining."
"I don't know that anybody really knows the real me because if somebody sees me on TV ... it's not enough time to get to know somebody," she said. "My goal is for it to be a lasting piece of work for my fans."
With the show now almost behind her, the singer's focus remains on creating new music.
She said she's taking a "different approach" with her next record.
"Right now I'm just writing and recording and collaborating and then we'll see what the best of the best is," she said.

"Mariah's World" premieres Dec. 4.

Source:Cnn.com

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05/Aug/2016

Jimmy Fallon to host 2017 Golden Globes

(CNN)NBC has recruited a well-known face from inside the peacock family to host the next Golden Globes.

The network announced Jimmy Fallon will host the 2017 ceremony.
This will be Fallon's first award show hosting gig since the Emmy Awards in 2010.
"This is the most spontaneous and uninhibited award show on television, and Jimmy's playful, disarming comedic brilliance makes him the ideal host to enhance and elevate the sense of fun and irreverence that's made the Golden Globes one of the premier events of the entire broadcast year," wrote NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement.
Ricky Gervais hosted the show in 2016. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler served as co-hosts -- to great acclaim -- for three years prior.
The Globes mark the unofficial start of Hollywood's award season. The show will air January 8, 2017 on NBC.
Source:CNN.com
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05/Aug/2016

Drake, Kanye West announce joint album at OVO Fest

wo of rap's biggest names are joining forces for a new album.

During Drake's OVO Fest in Toronto, Kanye West made a surprise appearance, dropping another big announcement on the crowd.

“Toronto, I got one question for you ... Is you all ready for this album? " he asked the audience. "I’m not talking about Pablo. I’m not talking about Views. I want to ask y’all, y’all ready for this album?”

The two rappers both had albums come out earlier this year — West's The Life of Pablo in February and Drake's Views in April.

To clear up any confusion about West's announcement, Drake also came on stage to confirm a new collaborative album.

“What my brother was asking before was, are you ready if we make an album?” he told the crowd. “That’s what he was asking.”

The real question — will the album come out via Apple Music or TIDAL? Both rappers have kept their recent releases exclusive to their platform of choice (West and TIDAL, Drake and Apple), and Drake was one of the names West called out on Twitter to help resolve the beef between the two services.

Source:USA Today.com

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02/Aug/2016

Celebs and fans mourn with Toya Wright

(CNN)The deaths of reality TV star Toya Wright's two brothers have led to a flood of condolences on social media.

Ryan "Rudy" Johnson and Josh Johnson were fatally shot shortly after midnight Saturday in New Orleans.
New Orleans police told CNN they were called to an area just north of the French Quarter and found two males with multiple gunshot wounds inside a car. The pair died at the scene, police said.
Investigators said they have not determined a motive for the killings.
Wright, who is the ex-wife of rapper Lil Wayne, appeared on two BET series, "Tiny & Toya" and "Toya: A Family Affair."
On Sunday, Wright shared a photo of her slain brothers with the caption "Help me Lord. I will never understand this. #stoptheviolence #ineverfeltpainlikethisbefore #riptomybrothers #icantbelievethis #prayformyfamily."
Several fans and celebrities reached out to Wright via social media. Her former co-star, Tameka "Tiny" Harris and her husband, rapper T.I. Harris tweeted "RIP bros. For us to really have an argument in the BLM movement WE MUST show that Black Lives Matter to Us!!!!! We All WE GOT!!!! My family's condolences."
The tragedy even elicited a response from Wright's former rival, singer K. Michelle. The two women had long feuded over issues with Wright's estranged husband, Mickey "Memphitz" Wright, who K. Michelle used to date. (The couple is currently featured on WE tv's "Marriage Bootcamp.")
"Nobody deserves that type of pain. We may never be best friend but U are my sister in Christ. I pray for u and your whole family," K. Michelle tweeted.
Wright has an extended family of siblings. Many of them were featured on her former series, "Toya: A Family Affair."
In 2011, the New Orleans native talked about her close family in a promo for the show.
"You will see how family oriented I am," she said. "How much I really love my family, and how much I do in my power just to keep us together as a family."
Souce:CNN.com
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02/Aug/2016

Kristen Stewart opens up about her girlfriend

In an interview with Elle magazine, the 26-year-old actress discussed her relationship with film producer Alicia Cargile for the first time saying, "I'm really in love with my girlfriend."

Source: CNN

 

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02/Aug/2016

Shannen Doherty on cancer battle: 'I don't look past today'

Shannen Doherty's cancer fight has taken a heartbreaking toll on her.

The 45-year-old actress revealed last August that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015, and in an exclusive new interview with ET, Doherty cries when speaking about her intense battle.

"It's hard," she acknowledges to ET's Jennifer Peros, shedding tears. "I started thinking that I wasn't going to live... I don't look past today."

"I don't know if I'll ever look like me again," she adds, wearing a scarf over her head.

WATCH: Shannen Doherty Chronicles Shaving Her Head Amid Breast Cancer Battle

In the emotional sit-down, Doherty reveals a devastating setback in her diagnosis for the first time.

"I want to believe that if I fight, I'm gonna be OK," she says.

Doherty's exclusive interview airs on Monday, only on ET.

On Wednesday, ET chatted with her former "Beverly Hills, 90210" co-star, Jason Priestley, who shared his love and well-wishes for his on-screen sister. Priestley was especially moved by Doherty's decision to share pictures of her shaving her head on Instagram.

"What she did the other day, shaving her head and posting the pictures and everything, that was incredibly brave," Priestley, 46, said. "Shannen's a strong kid and a tough fighter, and I know that she's gonna come through this fight and she's gonna be OK."

WATCH: Shannen Doherty Opens Up About Cancer Battle and Her Career -- People Think I'm 'Unable to Perform'

Fellow "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress Tiffani Thiessen also shared kind words.

"I wish her all the best, of course," Thiessen told ET.

Source: Fox News.com

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30/Jul/2016

Mary J. Blige files for divorce from husband of 13 years

Mary J. Blige is ending her marriage to her husband-manager after nearly 13 years.

Court records show the "Family Affair" singer filed for divorce from Martin "Kendu" Isaacs on Tuesday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. No additional details for the breakup were included in the filing.

Blige and Isaacs were married in December 2003 and have no children together. The actress-singer has won nine Grammy Awards, including for her albums "Growing Pains" and "The Breakthrough."

The singer is asking a court to deny Isaacs spousal support.

The divorce was first reported Thursday by celebrity website TMZ.

Source:FOX News.com

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30/Jul/2016

Bradley Cooper was at the DNC -- and some people are not amused

(CNN)Every now and then, facts get a little mixed up with fiction.

Take the example of Bradley Cooper. The actor was at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night -- minding his own business -- when he started trending on social media.
Not because of his beard and flowing hair, which made him look like a well-moisturized pirate with glistening skin. But that's a whole other story.
Apparently, some people believed Cooper was a Republican, based on his riveting portrayal of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in the blockbuster film, "American Sniper."
Kyle was a right-wing icon who loved his weapons. He once said President Barack Obama's gun control proposals were aimed at "trying to ban everything."
A bunch of people may be confusing movies with real life, and are not amused that Cooper doesn't mirror his character in the war movie.
How dare Cooper defy his movie persona and attend a Democratic convention? Cooper, who was in the film directed by Clint Eastwood? (Remember that awkward moment when Eastwood interviewed an invisible Obama at the GOP convention?)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But just like Cooper is not a gun-slinging raccoon from his role in "Guardians of the Galaxy," he does not appear to be a Republican either. Cooper -- and his beard -- have donated to Democrats before.
So sure, Cooper played Kyle, the man who after several tours in Iraq, was killed by a former Marine in 2013 while shooting at a Texas gun range.
Sure, Cooper perfected a Texas twang to play the man who wrote about his many kills in the book, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."
But Cooper has a right to pick whatever political affiliation he chooses, no?
And he's a Philly native. Can't a man attend one of the biggest parties is his hometown in peace?
Source:CNN
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30/Jul/2016

Keshia Knight Pulliam on her messy marital split

(CNN)Pregnant "Cosby Show" star Keshia Knight Pulliam is speaking out about the end of her brief marriage.

In a tearful interview with Entertainment Tonight's Nischelle Turner, Knight Pulliam said she was blindsided by her husband -- former football player Ed Hartwell -- when he filed for divorce and asked for a paternity test for the child she is carrying. The couple has been married only seven months.
"I have never cheated on [Hartwell] during my marriage," Pulliam said. "That's not who I am."
The site Young, Black and Fabulous broke the news that Hartwell had filed for divorce in an Atlanta court, just one week after Knight Pulliam announced she was pregnant with a daughter.
Knight Pulliam, who as a child star was beloved for her role as Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," said she was not the one who cheated. She also said she did not push for their marriage, and that Hartwell told her he wanted more children.
The former linebacker has a son, Ed Jr., with his ex-wife, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Lisa Wu.
Knight Pulliam said she no longer wants to be married to Hartwell. She just wants to focus on her coming child and to set the record straight, she said.
"This isn't about fame," Knight Pulliam said. "This isn't about social media likes or follows. This is about my character -- my integrity as a woman being attacked -- and that's not OK."
Source: Cnn.com
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30/Jul/2016

Sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 plane completes record global flight

The Solar Impulse 2 airplane touched down early Tuesday, completing its final leg of the first entirely solar-powered flight around the world.

The experimental airplane landed amid much fanfare in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — the same city where the historic voyage began more than a year ago, in March 2015.

Moments after landing Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, stuck his hand out of the cockpit, giving a thumbs up, and said: “We made it! We made it! All together, we did it!”

Piccard took off from Cairo early Sunday local time for the last portion of the journey that combines global circumnavigation and solar energy. He alternates legs of the flight with fellow Swiss pilot André Borschberg, who landed the plane in Cairo on July 13.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Monday joined a live-stream video call of the flight and encouraged Piccard during the pilot’s final leg.

“You are always welcome on our team,” Piccard told Ban from the cockpit. Musician Akon also called into the live stream to support the mission.

During one stretch of the plane's world tour using only energy from the sun, Borschberg completed the world’s longest non-stop solo flight last July — a four-day, 21-hour, 52-minute trip from Japan to Hawaii.

After that record-breaking flight, damage it caused to the plane's battery delayed the project until the plane resumed its flight in April. The aircraft then made multiple stops in the United States, from San Francisco to Phoenix, then to Tulsa. Other stops included Dayton, Ohio; Allentown, Pa.; and New York City, before crossing the Atlantic to Spain in June.

The solar project began 14 years ago not only to advance aviation technology but also to raise awareness about climate change, both pilots have said.

“The most important thing isn't to make world records," Piccard said last year. "It's to show what we can do with clean technologies.”

Bob Van der Linden, the curator of aeronautics at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum, recently said, “It was never intended to be a pioneering plane,” but instead a way to advance solar power technology.

Source: USA Today

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26/Jul/2016

Faith Ekakitie stopped by police at gunpoint while playing Pokémon Go

SAN FRANCISCO — Faith Ekakitie, a defensive end for the University of Iowa, says "the first time I've truly feared for my life," came while playing the popular smartphone game Pokémon Go in an Iowa City park.

A bank a short distance away had been robbed and the suspect was identified as a large black male, wearing all black with something on his head, according to Ekakitie's Facebook post that described the incident, which comes amid heightened scrutiny of police shootings of African-American men.

Iowa City police noticed the 23-year-old Ekakitie fit the armed suspect's description. Ekakitie, who had headphones on, did not hear the approach of the police officers who drew their guns. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder detailed the incident from his perspective and from what he thought must have been the perspective of police, writing he was "happy to be alive."

Sgt. Jorey Bailey told The Des Moines Register: "I don’t think race played a factor in this, nor does it in circumstances like this because of the detailed description, the location given by the person and the short time span in which this all occurred."

Some African Americans, especially African-American men, are taking precautions to avoid arousing suspicion with potentially lethal consequences. There is even a Tumblr post with tips on how to play safely: Walk a dog (on a cloth leash, not a chain), wear glasses, avoid white neighborhoods or bring a non-black friend.

Ekakitie urged people to "be more aware of their surroundings."

"Because clearly I wasn’t," he wrote on Facebook.

He also asked people to "unlearn some of the prejudiced that we have learned about each other."

Source:USA Today.

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26/Jul/2016

Are Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne reuniting?

Things might be shaping up for Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's marriage.

In May, Sharon announced she and Ozzy were separating after 33 years of marriage. She kicked Ozzy out, Sharon confirmed on her television show, The Talk, saying she couldn't "keep living like this."

But Monday morning, while promoting his new History Channel reality series, Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, Ozzy said he and Sharon were "back on track."

Ozzy called their issues a bump in the road. "Some days are good. Some days are terrible," he said. "Some days you just drift apart for a while but you get back on the horse, you know?"

Then it was Sharon's turn to weigh in on live TV. On Monday's The Talk, she retorted: "Um, 'Get back on the horse,' how dare you? He's such a romantic fool. So romantic back on," she said. Still, Sharon seemed to indicate the two were working it out.

"It's been very hard...I shouldn't speak for him but I know he wants to come on the show anyway and talk for himself to you all. I'm fine with that," she said. "He feels he owes everybody here an apology because he's put us all through it."

Sharon continued: "He's very embarrassed and ashamed about his conduct...I can't speak for him. But for me, um, yes, you know – I forgive. It's going to take a long time to trust but you know we've been together for 36 years, 34 of marriage, and it's more than half of my life."

She may be forgiving, but that doesn't mean Sharon is forgetting. "I just can't think of my life without out him," she said. "Even though he is a dog. He's a dirty dog," she said. "So there we are. He's going to pay for it though, big-time."

Source: USA today

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26/Jul/2016

DNA tests prove N.J. man, imprisoned for rape, is innocent

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A Long Branch man convicted in 1992 for the rape of a 17-year-old girl, a crime for which he served more than four years in state prison, has been exonerated through modern DNA testing, acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Friday.

Dion Harrell, 49, could not have committed the crime based on the new DNA evidence, Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement. The prosecutor, whose office initially opposed Harrell's request for post-conviction relief, called it "wonderful news for Mr. Harrell and his family. Our goal as prosecutors is to see that justice is done."

It clearly wasn't when Harrell's case was decided.

Harrell, who could not be reached for comment, was 22 years old when he was wrongfully identified as the attacker in the Sept. 18, 1988 sexual assault. The teenager told authorities that Harrell had dragged her into a dark parking lot on Broadway in his hometown and forced himself on her.

She said he then took her purse and fled the scene, Gramiccioni said.

The girl went home and reported the crimes to her mother, who called the Long Branch Police Department, the prosecutor said. What happened next, as it turned out, put an innocent man behind bars.

At his 1992 trial, Harrell presented witnesses who testified that he had been playing basketball with them when the  attack occurred. Nevertheless, Harrell was convicted on the basis of the victim's testimony and on the testimony of a state expert who said Harrell could not be excluded as a possible suspect based on his blood type.

What the expert witness failed to add was that in fact, no human male could be eliminated as a suspect based on the biological evidence presented alone, Vanessa Potkin, an attorney for the Manhattan-based Innocence Project, said in an earlier interview.

Harrell was sentenced to eight years in state prison and was released on parole in 1997.

Dion Harrell, now 49, was 22 when he was falsely accused

Dion Harrell, now 49, was 22 when he was falsely accused of rape in 1988. (Photo: File)

Gramiccioni said in his statement that the 1992 conviction "was based upon the best evidence available at that time. Advancements in science have now provided evidence of Mr. Harrell’s innocence, and our duty to act is clear. Today, modern DNA technology has provided justice. We will be working collaboratively with Mr. Harrell’s attorneys at the Innocence Project in New York to take the necessary steps to vacate the 1992 conviction."

Until last year, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office had denied Harrell's request for a DNA test, arguing that he had no right to a DNA analysis because he was no longer incarcerated. That position was based on a state law that contained provisions for incarcerated convicts to ask for testing of DNA evidence.

Harrell has always maintained his innocence, according to Potkin.

Although Harrell had been out of prison for nearly 20 years, his conviction still required him to be subject to the provisions of Megan's Law. He has had to register with authorities as a sex offender and, therefore, continued to face obstacles in securing employment and permanent housing, Potkin said.

The prosecutor's office dropped its objection to the DNA test in February 2015, after the Press reported on the case. It could not immediately be learned why it took more than a year since then for the results of the DNA testing to be learned; at the time, officials said the results could be released within a month. Calls to Gramiccioni's office were not immediately returned.

Paul Cates, a spokesman for the Innocence Project, could not be reached as well.

In his statement, Gramiccioni said DNA evidence was first used in the United States in 1987, when a Florida man was convicted of rape after DNA tests matched his blood sample with the semen traces recovered from his victim in Orange County. However, it was not until after 1992 that the New Jersey State Police Forensics Laboratory started testing and utilizing DNA evidence for criminal prosecutions in New Jersey, he said.

Source: USA today.com

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26/Jul/2016

Leonardo DiCaprio raises $45 million with the help of his famous friends

(CNN)Not surprisingly, Leonardo DiCaprio has some wealthy, famous friends. As it turns out, they're also generous.

DiCaprio and his pals raised $45 million for his environmental foundation at the actor's third-annual charity gala in St. Tropez on Wednesday night. DiCaprio will also donate a portion of the money raised to families of the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack in Nice, France last week.
Mariah Carey and Chris Rock were in attendance. Rock posted a photo on Instagram captioned, "new couple alert." Clearly a joke considering Carey is engaged to billionaire James Packer, who was also at the party.
Jonah Hill, Tobey Maguire and Edward Norton all posed for photos with the man of the night. Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Spacey, Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron were among the other celebrity guests at the star-studded event.
The evening featured premium entertainment from The Weeknd, Lana del Rey and Andrea Bocelli. DiCaprio hosted an auction that included his own Rolex watch and a pair of diamond cufflinks he wore when he won his Oscar for "The Revenant."

DiCaprio takes the stage with Bono. The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation raised over $45 million to support environmental projects.

In true DiCaprio fashion, the gala was also attended by a bevy of beauties. Model Doutzen Kroes shared a photo from the party with several long-legged friends in tow. But you can't player-hate on a man when he's partying with a purpose.

Source:CNN.com

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25/Jul/2016

'Power' creator Courtney Kemp on success of the show

(CNN)Courtney Kemp knows she's fortunate to have her gritty crime drama "Power" airing on Starz.

"I'm able to put some kind of subversive content in this show dealing with racial politics without having it be right there on the surface," Kemp told CNN. "I get support from my network."
Letting go and letting Kemp has paid off for Starz.
More than 2 million viewers watched the season 3 premiere of "Power" last Sunday -- a 58% increase from the show's season 2 premiere episode. Soon after, Starz announced it had renewed "Power" for two more seasons.
Kemp is one of the few African American women in her role as a series creator and showrunner. She got her start in the New York magazine world writing for publications like GQ and Vibe, before heading to Los Angeles where she segued to TV.
That led to Kemp cutting her chops on series like "The Bernie Mac Show" and "The Good Wife."
Kemp is the power behind "Power" and said her "first job is to make a great show."
"You don't keep your job if you don't make a great show," Kemp said. "You can't be of service to as many people with jobs, and mentorship, and advice without having a platform from which to speak."
"Power's" main character is James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) -- a drug kingpin known as Ghost who is attempting to go straight. St. Patrick's professional history is complicated by his tangled personal life and a murderous best friend. He may not sound like a loveable guy, but fans of the series have embraced its complicated characters.
"You have to be able to understand their motivations," Kemp said. "You may not agree with everything they do. At the end of season 2 when Ghost kills half their organization...you get it. You understand why he's doing it. It doesn't mean you support murder. You just understand Ghost's motivation."
Some critics of "Power" object to its stereotypical portrayal of people of color as drug dealers. But Kemp views that as short sighted.
"I find that amusing because I think, 'You don't get it.' The revolution is that we can be anything," Kemp said. "We don't have to be one thing, or the other. The idea that it is my responsibility to represent only good black people...I mean what are talking about? That's not a character, that's a polemic."
Kemp is protective of both her characters and her actors. So much so, she is bothered by the fans who are nasty to Lela Loren, the actress who plays prosecutor Angela Valdes.
On the show, Ghost has left his wife and family for Angela. Kemp said some fans are taking it very personally.
"Lela is not Angela. She is playing Angela," Kemp said. "She's an amazing actress and the reason you don't like Angela, if you don't, is because Lela is killing that part, so instead say 'Thank you.'"
Kemp said she is thankful to be working with such a strong team of actors and appreciates "Power's" devoted audience.
"I am not in the results business, " Kemp said. "I literally can't make people watch. But people showed up and I am just really grateful."
Source:CNN.com
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25/Jul/2016

Pippa Middleton Is Engaged—Here’s What We Know

Royal watchers—rejoice. There is happy news coming out of Brexit-entrenched England today. Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Kate, is engaged to James Matthews, her boyfriend of less than a year. Matthews, a hedge fund manager, reportedly proposed to Middleton over the weekend in the Lake District area of England—and apparently took the younger Middleton sister completely by surprise. However, Matthews must have had this in the works for at least a little bit, considering that he apparently asked her father Michael Middleton for permission.

Matthews, 40, and Middleton, 32, had a brief romance in 2012, but reunited last year. The couple spent New Year’s in St. Barth’s—where the future bridegroom’s parents own a hotel. More recently, the couple attended Wimbledon together—where they certainly looked to be very much in love. But beyond the fact that the tournament is a major event in England, the outing also makes sense in light of the fact that the couple are both fairly athletic, and like to lead an active lifestyle. However as romantic as the couple’s past year has been, the next is certainly set to be even more so.

The wedding, which has been predicted to take place in 2017, is bound to be the wedding of the year. Additional details aren’t known at this time. Will Middleton wear a white silk Alexander McQueen gown—like the one she donned as a bridesmaid at the Royal Wedding? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure, if she can cause such a stir as a bridal party member, her wedding day look is not likely to disappoint.

Source:Vogue.com

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21/Jul/2016

Adele Had Us Long Before “Hello”

dele is back and breaking hearts with her sensational third album and an upcoming world tour. Hamish Bowles talks to her about fame, family, and fabulous frocks.

On a dewy winter’s morning in Oxfordshire, the sun is fighting through rain clouds, and a phalanx of industrial heaters is being employed to warm the chilly, cavernous rooms of a poetically crumbling castle where Annie Leibovitz has decided to photograph Adele Laurie Blue Adkins as a Pre-Raphaelite damsel. “It’s been six years!” exclaims Adele, who was last photographed by Leibovitz for Vogue in 2009, in the wake of the release of her soulful, self-penned debut album, 19, in “me messy hotel room in L.A. with my boyfriend’s boxers hanging around!” as she gleefully recalls.

Adele, then 20, was a blissfully unprocessed girl whose incendiary talent had propelled her from the hardscrabble London projects of Tottenham and Brixton to the cusp of international stardom. At her tough inner-city high school, “my music teacher was shit. Unencouraging,” she remembers, but at fourteen she successfully auditioned for the performing-arts Brit School, singing Stevie Wonder’s “Free” and playing “Tumbledown Blues” on her clarinet.

The experience was liberating. Tony Castro, the head of the music department at the time, insisted on his students writing original songs, so Adele dutifully sat down for the first time to do so. “If it wasn’t for him,” she says, “I probably wouldn’t have written ‘Hometown Glory’ and ‘Daydreamer.’ I think being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world. If my career stopped, it’s what I’d do.”

Her vocabulary then was spangled with profanities and constantly interrupted with peals of cackling, corncrake laughter. Adele is older, wiser, and more thoughtful now, but her drollery and “dirt mouth,” as she calls it, remain keystones of her persona.

Soon after she signed with XL records in 2007, she was introduced to her inspired manager, Jonathan Dickins, with whom she has been working ever since. Dickins insists on bringing her into every meeting and keeps her involved in all aspects of the business. “That’s why I’m not afraid,” she says. “One of the things I enjoy most about my career now is that my main team is the same, so we’ve all had this experience together, which makes it really special. It can be quite lonely just getting bigger and bigger—but not when I’ve got everyone around me.”

When I escorted Adele to the 2009 Grammy Awards, she was more or less ignored on the red carpet—at one point the photographers shouted at her to step aside so they could capture Kate Beckinsale in her lavishly trained black satin mermaid gown—but she electrified the power audience with her eviscerating rendition of “Chasing Pavements,” won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and beat out the Jonas Brothers for Best New Artist; she was so surprised that she came onstage barefoot, having long since kicked off her Manolos, with the belt of her custom Barbara Tfank dress undone, and chewing a mouthful of gum.

The rest, of course, is history. And after the release two years later of the wrenching 21, which sold 30 million copies and for which she won six Grammys on an evening where it is safe to say that she was not overlooked on the red carpet, her life changed.

She had recently met Simon Konecki, an Old Etonian former investment banker with the scruffy, bearish looks of a Williamsburg hipster, who is now the CEO of Drop4Drop, providing sustainable clean water to communities around the world. Adele, who had been “singing hard every day” since she was fifteen, suffered a vocal hemorrhage and canceled most of her planned appearances to promote 21 as a result. She credits Konecki with getting her through her recovery from surgery, which included six weeks of total silence followed by slow vocal rehab.

“When I met Simon, I knew that something was going to happen,” she remembers. After the world-class losers whose bad behavior became the fodder for some of the most universally powerful songs of our time, Adele had finally found herself a winner. Their son, Angelo, was conceived, she tells me authoritatively, “the day the last Vogue cover came out!”

I was just shocked that all of a sudden I was 25!” Adele says. “But actually I like myself more than ever. I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I really like how I look, I like who I am, I like everyone that I surround myself with

The two new men in Adele’s life transformed it completely. They have eradicated the need for much of the drama that she used to thrive on. “I can’t have any other junk in my head to worry about as well,” she tells me. Angelo, meanwhile, “makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.”

Adele took time off to be with her new family before she even thought about putting her third album together. “My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work,” she says, adding, “I think I had to take the right amount of time off to let people miss me.” (Unsurprisingly, she cites the reclusive Sade as a performer she admires, and Kate Bush, whose sixteen-year-old son persuaded her to stage a comeback tour with him after 35 years out of the public eye.)

In her euphoric new mood, Adele looked to Ray of Light, her favorite Madonna record and one inspired by motherhood, and to Moby’s Play, with its powerful gospel samplings. But her new material didn’t make sense to her. “I just didn’t really know what I was going on about,” she remembers. “How could I ever try and fool anyone by putting the record out and expect them to get it if I didn’t get it? It seemed a bit lazy.”

Dickins, who became a parent around the same time she did, was wary too. “He was watching me from a distance, making sure that I was getting my balance right,” remembers Adele. “He saw how full-on it was for his girlfriend, and so he sympathized with me and gave me my space. I’ve always said you’re only as good as your next record,” she continues, “and he said that when I first met him at eighteen.”

Numerous songs about Angelo were put aside when she decided her fans wouldn’t be able to relate to them as she did. (Angelo can actually be heard on “Sweetest Devotion,” however.) Adele felt that her relationship with Konecki was also too private to explore in her music, although “Water Under the Bridge” is about him. The breakthrough came when she turned her scorching light on herself, reflecting on the seismic changes in her life and looking back, with aching poignancy, to the responsibility-free days of her adolescence.

Adele worked on the album with a roster of collaborators, from established hitmakers to relative unknowns. She discovered Tobias Jesso, Jr., online, and they worked together on “When We Were Young.” It is her favorite song on the album, one that she describes as “a bit of a letter to myself. It’s really about regrouping,” she explains, “because naturally me and my friends have dispersed. We all love each other still, but we don’t have time to be unconditional and 24/7. . . . My eyes were so cloudy for a year after I had my child, and I thought I would never regroup with myself, ever.”

Her collaboration with the legendary producer Max Martin, producer of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” resulted in the infectiously perky “Send My Love (to Your New Lover),” which she has admitted is “poppier than a lot of pop songs I’ve even heard.” The writing came in fits and starts. “Hello,” with Greg Kurstin, for instance, took almost four months to complete, while “All I Ask,” written with Bruno Mars and inspired by the power ballads of “divas from the nineties,” like Whitney Houston—“where the artist is really showing off their vocal range,” as Mars tells me—took a bare 48 hours. “We all crowded around the piano until we found something that sparked,” Mars remembers, a process that took “a day, and maybe one more day to make sure we weren’t tripping out and we actually had a song. It makes me very jealous because it doesn’t happen like that all the time!”

“I’ve always been a really big fan of Bruno,” says Adele, “but when we worked together he was beyond. He can do anything, literally singing the best vocals you’ve ever heard live in your life while he is playing a drum or a bass or doing some mad percussion riff. I think he definitely will be the biggest, biggest, biggest artist in the world.”

A sense of what did not make Adele’s scrupulously exacting cut can be gleaned from her fruitful collaboration with Sia. Although their songs did not land on Adele’s album, “Alive” became a powerful hit single for Sia herself.

Adele still writes her lyrics the old-fashioned way, in a notebook. The first thing that she does is to annotate her age on the front page with a Sharpie pen. When it came time to write “25” on that page, Adele was brought up short.

“I was just shocked that all of a sudden I was 25!” she says. “But actually I like myself more than ever. I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I really like how I look, I like who I am, I like everyone that I surround myself with. Obviously I have insecurities,” she continues, “but they don’t hold me back.” Adele’s endearing self-deprecation is famous. She laughs about her “bum chin,” her “intense” forehead, and her “potato fingers.” She swears by Spanx for her public appearances but describes putting them on as “like pumping a sausage bag full of meat!”

In truth, however, Adele is healthier than she has ever been. As well as the litany of foods and drink she has to avoid to protect her throat, she has given up the Marlboro Lights that she used to more or less chain-smoke, and has almost given up alcohol—this is the woman who admits that she could once put away a bottle of wine a day. “I was trying to get some stamina for my tour,” she says, “so I lost a bit of weight. Now I fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes—which is a really big problem for me!” she adds, laughing as she describes a newfound shopping habit.

She still works on custom dresses with her unassuming long-term stylist, Gaelle Paul—by designers including Armani, Valentino, and Burberry’s music-savvy Christopher Bailey (who “has been really hands-on ever since I started showing an interest in fashion”), but she also does damage at places like Joseph and Chloé. In fact, she is such a fan of Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller—and her successful juggling of work and motherhood—that she invited her for tea, and they struck up a friendship. With Paul, she has developed a strong, iconic fashion image that owes a debt to the concert gowns on the covers of the Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald CDs Adele found in the two-for-one bargain box at her local HMV when she was fourteen—and that have influenced both her music and her style ever since. Adele happily calls them her “June Carter clothes.”

In 2013, when she was presented with the MBE by Prince Charles, she wore a Buckingham Palace–appropriate inky brocade Stella McCartney dress and a Philip Treacy net fascinator, adding the Tottenham-fabulous flourish of miniature crowns on her nails. (She mounted her ribboned medal in a pretty nineteenth-century giltwood frame, and it now hangs in her powder room at home, above the toilet “next to me Aesop poo drops!” as she gleefully tells me.)

Meanwhile, the jet-glittered gown that the London designer Jenny Packham made for her to wear the night she won the 2013 Academy Award for “Skyfall,” her instant-classic Bond song, is enshrined, Streisand-style, on a dress form in a glass case in her dressing room, alongside the aureus award itself. (“It’s so excessive that I feel terrible,” says Adele of this glamorous, crowded room in her house. “But I totally intend to share those dresses.”)

For a day of shopping, Adele is essentially wearing the uniform of the London projects: leggings, sneakers, big gold hoop earrings. Her Balenciaga bag, a double-face shearling caban, and her “Adele” face, however, add diva luster. “I’ve made an effort for you today,” she says. “I don’t go out like this. I look like a bedraggled mother; I look like anyone else. When I’m with my kid I’m in leggings and a jumper and a pair of Converse because the grubby little hands are going to mark anything nice.”

She credits this self-presentation for her ability to have kept a low profile these past three years, but she also carefully disdains many of the conventional trappings of success. When someone suggests London’s latest see-and-be-seen restaurant, Adele shrieks, “Don’t let anyone take me there; it’s like a celebrity hangout! It’s like something from Zoolander!”

Our retail odyssey begins at Argos, a store that is far from a celebrity hangout. Goods are now ordered up on computer instead of from the company’s classic catalogs. “I’m an absolute germaphobe,” Adele says, wincing. “Because of my surgery,” she explains, “I can’t sing at all if I have a sore throat. This is my worst nightmare, to touch the screen.” Along with electrical goods and children’s toys, there is a cabinet filled with charm necklaces bearing inscriptions like “nan” or “best mum in the world.” “I used to buy my jewelry from here,” Adele confides. “I couldn’t wait to have a mum necklace.”

Leaving Argos, we move decidedly upmarket to hit the lavishly displayed food emporium at Fortnum & Mason. “It reminds me of Home Alone,” says Adele, a film aficionado with an encyclopedic memory of the five or more features she watches every week. After acting herself for the 26-year-old Xavier Dolan on the “Hello” video (“He’s a little punk arse,” she says approvingly), she is keen to work with another movie director on “When We Were Young” and is intrigued by the idea of Todd Haynes. “I loved Carol,” she says. “I loved the way it looked, and I loved the awkward silence in it—I’d like to have some awkward silence in the music video.” While her strapping bodyguard hovers by the entrance doors to avoid drawing attention to her, fellow shoppers take furtive cell-phone photographs as Adele dithers over her food purchases. By all accounts, including her own, she is a very good cook.

“Mum went to Italy for a few months just before 21 came out, so I was left to fend on my own,” she remembers. “I got really bored of takeaways, so I thought I would learn how to cook. I actually started from Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals.” She specializes in pan-global comfort food, “but right now it’s boring,” she says. “It’s just panfried sea bass and spinach!”

To recover from our shopping adventures, we collapse over dim sum in a moodily lit basement restaurant in Soho. Having returned to England two weeks earlier, Adele is still on a post-Manhattan high. “It sounds so cheesy, but it was a real homecoming,” she says, crediting her 2008 appearance on Saturday Night Live, to promote 19, with jump-starting her career in the U.S. (Sarah Palin showed up that night, and 17 million people tuned in.)

My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work,” she says, adding, “I think I had to take the right amount of time off to let people miss me

“I didn’t miss being in the spotlight,” she confides, “but I really missed that side of myself. I was happy to be lost in the wilderness for a while, but I was a bit frightened that I was never going to get back. I suppose there was lots riding on what to follow 21 up with. Once ‘Hello’ came out, I felt like I’d got nothing to prove. I’m just going to sing now because I want to, and I’ll make records when I want to and not because someone is forcing me to do it. Not that anyone ever has,” she adds, with a wicked twinkle in her eye. “I’d fire them if they tried!”

The New York trip in late fall was a startling lesson in losing the anonymity she has carefully cultivated between her last two albums. When she left her downtown Manhattan hotel, she was mobbed by fans: “It looked like the Backstreet Boys,” she tells me. “I was cracking up. I live a very different life when I haven’t got music out.” The paparazzi, however, who courted her by playing—and even singing—her songs, were a disquieting presence. They bother her less at home, where she and Konecki successfully sued the intrusive British photographers to keep them away from their son. “We need to have some privacy,” says Adele. “I think it’s really hard being a famous person’s child. What if he wants to smoke weed or drink underage, or what if he’s gay and doesn’t want to tell me, and then he’s photographed and that’s how I find out?”

At Radio City Music Hall, her concert was electrifying. She shucked off her teetering Louboutins to plant herself firmly on the stage, her Jenny Packham concert gown (specially beaded to complement the auditorium’s Deco Moderne glamour) pooling at her feet. And then she sang, and a whole new, otherworldly Adele was born. The voice is smoother now. After the successful throat operation, her magnificent contralto gained four notes.

In recent months she has started daily voice exercises that give a rhythm to her days and help to focus her pre-performance nerves. Right now she is preparing herself for a nine-month tour, kicking off in Belfast in late February and culminating (per the schedule thus far) in Mexico City in November. “I’m only touring for the fans, to see the people that changed my life,” she tells me. “There’s no need for me to tour. I’ll always be nervous, worrying whether I’m going to be good enough. And the adrenaline is so exhausting.”

But as a fan herself, who was first smuggled into concerts by the Cure and the Beautiful South at the age of three in her mum’s coat, and taken to the Prodigy set at Glastonbury when she was eight, Adele understands how important it is to see and hear your idols live. Her childhood highlight came when her mum managed to get some costly Spice Girl tickets. “People always think I joke about this,” she says, “but the Spice Girls blew up when I was seven. And seeing them coming from a humble background—there was hope in it. It was really a massive part of my life when the whole Girl Power thing happened.”

Since then, as she says, “any record that’s ever moved me, when the artist is alive, I’ve seen them live. I’d get pissed off if that artist was still alive and I never saw him.” Nevertheless, “the whole tour is revolving around my baby,” she says. She will be home in London when his nursery school begins.

Although she has a nanny, Adele is an exceptionally hands-on mother. She has had a hectic week, with appearances in Italy and Germany, but she always gets a day flight so that she can put Angelo to bed at night, and keeps in constant contact with him through FaceTime when she is not around. In New York—where her punishing schedule included appearances on The Tonight Show, Today, Saturday Night Live, a standing-room-only concert for 199 fans at Joe’s Pub (where she made her U.S. debut in 2008), and Radio City Music Hall—Adele says that she was “probably getting two hours’ sleep a night.” She had asked fellow performers how they coped. “Pink was honest,” she tells me. “She said, ‘It’s bloody hard work.’ ”

Nevertheless, she admits, “The whole thing about me feeling good about myself comes down to Angelo. I can’t wait till I meet his best friend,” she says. “I’ll make his room a shrine when he goes to university!”

On set for her Vogue portraits, Beyoncé’s hauntingly breathy “Crazy in Love” remix from Fifty Shades of Grey set the scene. Later, it was Lana Del Rey’s “Salvatore” on the sound system. “I’m obsessed with her,” says Adele. “Her lyrics are fierce. The chorus of this song makes me feel like I’m flying, like that bit in your life when it goes into slo-mo. When you’ve got nothing to do and you’re staring out of the window and your mind goes to magical places.” Adele scoffs at the idea of listening to her own music.

I’m only touring for the fans, to see the people that changed my life,” says Adele. “There’s no need for me to tour. I’ll always be nervous, worrying whether I’m going to be good enough

“What? For like ‘Ooh, let’s get in the mood’?” she asks, genuinely appalled. “No, I couldn’t imagine! Never.” At home with Angelo she’s more likely to find herself singing “Let It Go” from Frozen. When she recently listened to 19 again, she was struck by how, well, like a nineteen-year-old she sounded.

Even now, Adele’s youth brings one up sharply. “You know how I discovered Barbra Streisand?” she asks me, incredulous. “When Will Young on Pop Idol sang ‘Evergreen’!” She loves the enduring aura of Streisand and Bette Midler. “Because of how fast everything is now. I’m not sure that anyone can remain like that anymore.” Yet Adele, of all people, is one who bids fair to stay true to herself. Although she has deep respect for the chameleon talents of stars like Madonna and Taylor Swift, “I don’t have it in me to reinvent myself a lot,” she has said, “to flip in and out of genres and styles and trends.”

She has even resisted the contemporary platforms that most performers of her generation use to communicate with their public. “There have been moments over the last three years when I wanted to become quite aggressive on social media,” she confesses. “I felt I needed the comfort of people’s reassurance. But then for me it was all about having to do what no one else does in order to stand out. So I just bit my tongue and held off.”

Instead, she seems to be absorbing the lessons of the legendary performers she so admires. Adele brought the intimacy of a small venue to the epic grandeur of Radio City, and the same at the Wembley arena, where we go for our final outing as she performs on the season finale of Britain’s X Factor.

The U.K. version of Dancing with the Stars may have double the ratings, but this show has a special place in Adele’s heart. “It was always the pinnacle of my week,” she remembers. “My first sleepover was on a Saturday, and I got to watch X Factor with my friends. My first kiss was watching X Factor at a party.” The venue, built as the Empire Pool in 1934 and used for the 1948 Olympics, also has a resonance for her. “I saw Spice Girls here, I saw East 17, I saw Backstreet Boys!”

The dressing room, however, repurposed from the Deco industrial changing rooms designed for the original swim teams, is sauna-hot, and there isn’t a terry-cloth robe in the joint (a hapless runner returns with one of the satin kimonos that the pro boxers use between bouts). There is a Santana poster on the wall, a battered white leather Chesterfield sofa, and a boom box that “looks like something from my bedroom circa 1982,” laughs Adele’s London-cool p.a., Laura. But the diva trappings are here, too—the room is scented with Baies Diptyque candles; Chris Martin and Harry Styles (performing with Coldplay and for One Direction’s last appearance, respectively) come to pay their respects; and Simon Cowell has sent an arrangement of white phalaenopsis orchids so enormous that it takes two strapping men to carry it in.

Adele’s miniature dachshund, Louis Armstrong, scampers underfoot (“Pets don’t talk back,” she observes knowingly), and the dress rack bears a grand midnight-blue beaded Jenny Packham dress (“Off the rack,” marvels Adele. “How great is that?”), and an edgier Burberry dress pierced with punkish steel rivets. “It’s a bit funky, isn’t it?” she asks, and opts for this one as a good fit with “my new hair,” the choppy shoulder-length bob she just had cut.

“It needs to be perfectly in between ‘done’ and ‘not done,’ ” Adele instructs as she submits to hair and makeup. She has dubbed her performance look “borderline drag”—when we first met, she playfully described it as equal parts Dusty Springfield and Lady Bunny, but now the Dusty dos are out. “Can you see the amount of paint going on?” she asks, laughing, as she purses her lips to define the cheeks for the blusher. “It’s basically Boy George with his black chin!” she adds, referring to the singer’s celebrated 1980s contouring tricks.

Her transformation is a hypnotic two-and-a-half-hour process, and Adele nods off several times. “It’s a real pleasure for like an hour,” she admits, “then your bum goes numb and your back starts to ache!” False lashes are still an integral part of her look (Adele can’t apply her own; “They’re so wonky,” she says, “that they look like the end of the night at the beginning of the night!”). She admires the final effect in her mirror. “More contour? More lashes?” she asks. “Joking!”

She has requested a teleprompter tonight. “I always think I’m going to forget my lyrics,” she explains. And, right on cue, 45 minutes before Adele is called onstage, those legendary nerves begin to kick in. Everyone is bidden to leave her dressing room, and the corridor outside trembles to the reverberations of her vocal exercises.

Her performance onstage is word-perfect, and she needn’t have worried about the teleprompter: I am aware of a soft, mellifluous buzzing all around me, as though I were listening to “Hello” in Sensurround sound—and I realize that the twelve-and-a-half-thousand people in the auditorium are quietly singing along with her.

Source:Vogue.com

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21/Jul/2016

Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney 'taking a break'

(CNN)Amid reports that pop superstar Lady Gaga and her actor fiance Taylor Kinney had split, the singer has decided to clarify.

Gaga posted a photo of the couple walking together on Instagram with a caption that began "Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates."
"Just like all couples we have ups and downs, and we have been taking a break," Gaga wrote. "We are both ambitious artists, hoping to work through long-distance and complicated schedules to continue the simple love we have always shared."
Prior to their announcement the couple had been very private about their relationship. On Wednesday, Gaga asked fans to "root" for them.
"We're just like everybody else and we really love each other," she said.
Source:CNN.com
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21/Jul/2016

Taylor Swift is top-earning celebrity

While the world has been watching Taylor Swift's love life play out, she's been amassing some serious coin.

Swift has nabbed the top spot on the 2016 Forbes Celebrity 100 list. The singer earned an estimated $170 million in the past year, driven in part by her very successful 1989 World Tour. Swift more than doubled her take from last year, when she earned $80 million.

"She smashed the Rolling Stones' North American touring record, grossing $200 million on the continent en route to quarter of a billion dollars in total," Forbes reports. "She also pads her pocketbook by shilling for brands including Diet Coke, Keds and Apple."

Musical artists One Direction came in second on this year's list with $110 million. Rounding out the top 5 were author James Patterson ($95 million); talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (both $88 million); and comedian Kevin Hart ($87.5 million).

The top 10 list of highest-paid celebs is as follows:

1. Taylor Swift ($170 million)

2. One Direction ($110 million)

3. James Patterson ($95 million)

4. Dr. Phil McGraw ($88 million)

5. Cristiano Ronaldo ($88 million)

6. Kevin Hart ($87.5 million)

7. Howard Stern ($85 million)

8. Lionel Messi ($81.5 million)

9. Adele ($80.5 million)

10. Rush Limbaugh ($79 million)

One sad note: Had Swift stayed with her now ex-boo, superstar DJ/producer Calvin Harris, she would have topped two lists.

With his $63 million in earnings, the pair would have been the top-earning Celebrity 100 couple, outpacing Beyonce and Jay Z, who earned a combined $107.5 million over the past year.

Shake it off, Taylor -- there's always next year.

Source:CNN

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17/Jul/2016

Mick Jagger becoming a dad again at 72

Papa was a Rolling Stone.

Mick Jagger is set to welcome his eighth child, according to Billboard.
The 72-year-old rocker and his 29-year-old girlfriend, American ballerina Melanie Hamrick are said to be expecting. The pair began dating in 2014.
Jagger has seven children ranging in ages from 45 to 17 and in 2014 became a great grandfather when his then 21-year-old granddaughter Assisi Jackson gave birth to a baby girl.
The Rolling Stones frontman will celebrate his 73rd birthday on July 26.
Jagger now joins band mate Ronnie Wood, 69, whose wife gave birth to twin girls over Memorial Day weekend.
Source:CNN
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15/Jul/2016

Snoop Dogg, The Game Lead March to LAPD Headquarters

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Snoop Dogg and the Game led a peaceful march Friday to Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, where they urged improved relations between police and minority communities.

The rappers organized the demonstration hours after five police officers were shot to death in Dallas. In a posting on his Instagram account announcing the march, the Game said women and children should stay home and men of color should march to make law enforcement “aware that from today forward, we will be UNIFIED as minorities & we will no longer allow them to hunt us or be hunted by us !!!”

“Let’s erase the fear of one another on both sides & start something new here in the city of Los Angeles,” the posting said.

Snoop and the Game arrived at headquarters with about 100 marchers as a new class of 37 police recruits were graduating. Snoop shook hands with police officials and told reporters he hoped his presence would help reintroduce the black community to the department and open a dialogue.

“We wish them luck,” he said of the new graduates, “and we wish that they have a better understanding with the people so that they can do their job, peacefully, and make it home safely, just like we want to make it home safely.”

At the graduation ceremony, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck exhorted the new officers to not let what happened in Dallas interfere with their mandate to uphold the law fairly for all.

“This is not about black lives. This is not about brown lives. This is not about blue lives. This is about America,” said an emotional Beck, speaking slowly and deliberately, his badge covered with a strip of black mourning tape. “This is about a country based on a promise that does not recognize a difference in the shades of humanity. You are the symbol of that promise.”

He told the graduates that after they report for their first day of work on Sunday they will encounter people experiencing the worst days of their lives.

“Given their circumstances you might act in a similar fashion,” he said. “Have empathy. Look into people’s hearts. … Help them.”

Beck asked God to bless the city of Dallas. He also said more than 200 Los Angeles police officers have died in the line of duty, including 60 since he joined the force 40 years ago.

Source:Yahoo.com

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11/Jul/2016

Chaka Khan and sister enter rehab over prescription drugs

NEW YORK (AP) — Chaka Khan and her sister have entered a drug rehabilitation program to battle their addictions to prescription drugs, and Khan says the death of her good friend Prince helped hasten her decision to get help.

In a statement released to The Associated Press Sunday, the 63-year-old Grammy-winning singer said she has been battling an addiction to the same medication that led to Prince's death. Prince was found dead at his Minnesota home April 21. An autopsy found he died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.

Unfortunately, I will miss concert appearances over the summer," she said. "However, it's vital that I put my health and well-being first. I know that I am disappointing some of my fans, but I also know they would want me to recover and be well and healthy."

Khan has entered an intensive rehabilitation and aftercare program with sister, Yvonne Stevens, also known as Taka Boom.

Khan said the pair "agreed we would take this journey together and support each other through the recovery."

"The tragic death of Prince has had us both rethinking and reevaluating our lives and priorities. We knew it was time to take action to save our lives. My sister and I would like to thank everyone for their support, love and prayers."

A statement posted on the singer's official site says all performances scheduled for July are postponed.

Khan covered Prince's song I Feel For You, which became one of her biggest hits. The two were longtime friends.

Source: USA Today

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11/Jul/2016

Lady Gaga Finally Has a Driver's License

Lady Gaga can legally drive a car now! The 30-year-old singer took to Instagram on Friday to share that she officially has a driver's license.

"Thelma and Puhleaaaze (And yes I FINALLY got my license after years of driving with an adult present 😆 and a learners permit)," she wrote. "I'M FREE. Rollin with the homies."

Gaga has actually been learning to drive for the past few years and she's been quite vocal about it on her social media channels. Back in 2012, she tweeted, "Maybe while I'm learning to drive you don't need to sneak up on me and stick your GIANT camera IN A MOVING VEHICLE."

The Oscar-nominated singer/actress has a few other accomplishments to be proud of. Earlier this week, Gaga sat down with the Dalai Lama for a conversation that was broadcast on Facebook Live. During their 20-minute talk, the singer and His Holiness discussed the power of kindness and compassion.

"Thank you for this special day," she tweeted on Sunday. "Science tells us kindness improves health, let's take care of the body of our nation."

Gaga also joined forces with 48 other celebrities -- including Demi Lovato, Kerry Washington, and Chaz Bono -- to partake in the Human Rights Campaign to pay tribute to the 49 victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on June 12.

Watch Gaga's touching tribute to the Pulse nightclub victims in the video below.

Source: Yahoo

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02/Jul/2016

Katy Perry Retains Queen of Twitter Title, Becomes First User to Reach 90 Million Followers

Cue the fireworks: Katy Perry is officially Twitter royalty!

The "Roar" singer became the first user to reach an impressive 90 million followers on Friday, and the milestone didn't go down without a few celebratory tweets.

WATCH: Katy Perry's Twitter Account Was Hacked, Tweets Profanity and Mentions Taylor Swift

"It's party time, @katyperry!" a message from Twitter's official account read. "With 90 million on the guest list, we're gonna need a really big dance floor."

It's party time, @katyperry! With 90 million on the guest list, we're gonna need a really big dance floor. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TiuHfZllPW

— Twitter (@twitter) July 1, 2016

The 31-year-old pop star, who remains the most-followed user on the site, was quick to respond, retweeting the message and writing, "Dang this is tight."

Dang this is tight 😎 https://t.co/r9GhNsbNvy

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) July 1, 2016

NEWS: Katy Perry Among Hundred-Plus Celebs to Sign Letter to End Gun Violence

Immediately following the accomplishment, #Katy90GIFParty started trending, where fans began congratulating the California native with their favorite animated images of the diva. Many featured pics of her dancing, winking and placing a sparkly tiara on her head, as a queen of Twitter should do!

#Katy90GIFParty
Katy Perry The Queen of World😻😻😻 pic.twitter.com/DHxO6v7lLo

— Katycatfrance (@katycatfrance74) July 1, 2016

There is only one GIF to celebrate Katy for reaching 90M followers. It sums up everything! 😜💖👑#Katy90GIFParty pic.twitter.com/NjlOMiPHdu

— ❤Katy&StanaFanGirl❤ (@Stana_Katy) July 1, 2016

No caption needed to explain Katy's reaction for today #Katy90GIFParty pic.twitter.com/ShYdESL4yu

— kp (@arithekatycat) July 1, 2016

Only queens can get to 90m...🔥 #Katy90GIFParty pic.twitter.com/2lUyOx7cwd

— rose (@KatycatRose) July 1, 2016

Congratulations katy, you deserve more. Let's celebrate #Katy90GIFParty 🎉💖 pic.twitter.com/xCU10eVk5a

— Kroeger (@ismanvrro) July 1, 2016

Katycats right now 🐱 #Katy90GIFParty pic.twitter.com/Z4n1RbIl8K

— Leo (@PerryBlueberry) July 1, 2016

WATCH: Katy Perry Meets Disadvantaged Children During 'Heartbreaking' Trip to Vietnam

Following close behind Perry is Justin Bieber with 83.9 million followers, and her rumored frenemy, Taylor Swift, with 79 million followers.

Ironically, some of Perry's most retweeted posts, which you can see below, involve mentions of the "Sorry" singer. She also gets a lot of love from tweets about One Direction.

WE ARE BELIEBERS! http://t.co/pivBJmII

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) October 4, 2012

IF ONE DIRECTION DOESN'T PERFORM ON THE VMA'S I AM GONNA JUMP OFF THIS LEDGE

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) September 6, 2012

@NiallOfficial congratulations, you didn't let me down! xo

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) March 13, 2012

I'll be your Mrs. Robinson... RT @NiallOfficial: @katyperry looks like its official ... me and you http://t.co/iYvge5Sb

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) September 7, 2012

WATCH: Is Katy Perry's New Perfume Shading Taylor Swift?

Perry's Twitter account also made headlines in May when it was hacked by a user tweeting out vulgar messages, including a shout-out to Swift that read "miss you baby."

Luckily, the mishap didn't cause Perry to give up her well-deserved Twitter crown. Watch the video below to hear more.

Source: Yahoo

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02/Jul/2016

Matthew McConaughey Is Teaching a Film Class at University of Texas Austin

Matthew McConaughey is heading back to school, but this time as a teacher. 

On Thursday, the University of Texas Austin shared a video on their Facebook page announcing that the actor will return to his alma mater this fall as a professor of film. McConaughey, who graduated from the UT Austin in 1993, is teaming up with Free State of Jones director Gary Ross to give 30 lucky students a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the civil war drama. McConaughey plays Newt Knight, a Mississippi farmer and rebel, in the movie that hits theaters July 1. 

But this isn’t the first time he’s shared his movie knowledge with UT students. McConaughey co-taught the same course about the making of his film Surfer Dude back in 2008. 

And he’s full of Longhorn spirit! The Interstellar actor regularly returns to campus for football games. 

Check out this video to find out more about McConaughey’s teaching stint, and tune in to The Insider With Yahoo on TV tonight for the latest in entertainment news.

Source: Yahoo

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02/Jul/2016

Scarlett Johansson Named the Highest Grossing Actress of All Time

Scarlett Johansson has officially earned more money at the box office than any other actress in history.

At 31, the actress has already raked in $3.3 billion at the domestic box office, making her 10th highest earning actor, male or female, in Hollywood, according to Box Office Mojo.

By far the youngest actor on the top 10 list, Johansson was only beat out by the likes of Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr., Eddie Murphy, Tom Cruise, Michael Caine and Johnny Depp.

The next highest-grossing actress on the list is Cameron Diaz at 19, followed by Helena Bonham Carter at 26, Cate Blanchett at 29, Julia Roberts at 30, Elizabeth Banks at 31, Emma Watson at 32 and Anne Hathaway at 50.

Johansson has appeared as Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, in five Marvel films including Iron Man 2 in 2010, The Avengers in 2012, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014 and Captain America: Civil War in 2016. She also voiced Kaa in The Jungle Book and starred in Hail, Caesar! earlier this year.

The actress recently spoke about the gender wage gap in Hollywood, telling Cosmopolitan, "There's something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole."

She added, "I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I'm proud to be an actress who's making as much as many of my male peers at this stage ... I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I'm addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It's part of a larger conversation about feminism in general."

Source:Yahoo

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02/Jul/2016

Nick Cannon Gets Emotional About Mariah Carey and Their Twins in ''Divorce Papers'' Freestyle

Dang, so Nick Cannon is going to deny any drama with ex Mariah Carey and then come out blasting his ex on a freestyle?! Nope, sorry.

The media mogul did drop a freestyle today called "Divorce Papers," which would make anyone assume that it's about the alleged conflicts surrounding his reported refusal to sign papers, but that's not the case. While the track definitely touches on his relationship with Carey, it's nothing but love and honesty.

Cannon's freestyle is an emotional diary of everything that's been going on in his life lately—from venting about the media's coverage of his divorce to his personal struggles (including the recent death of his father James Cannon) to his lack of trust: "When y'all need help/ y'all call me/ When I need help, y'all call TMZ/ and y'all believe everything that you see."

His bars get especially heartbreaking when the 35-year-old starts talking about his kids Monroe and Moroccan. "We single now but we really need to think about is how a child deals/ how a child feels/ because we got two and they brilliant for real/ resilient for real," he raps.

"My daughter said daddy why your eyes in tears/ because last time I dropped your brother off I didn't get a call the next day and it felt like years/ and Ima be honest/ sometimes I hate to hear you're on the other line having fun without me/ I wonder if my son will ever doubt me.../ What's love I don't care about it I just want my kids to be safe."

annon explained the concept behind "Divorce Papers" to Karen Civil: "My purpose for creating this 'Divorce Papers' freestyle was not to feed the tabloid chatter, or even to diffuse it. This was strictly a creative way for me to express my frustrations with the media, the naysayers, myself and ultimately with the voices in my head."

He continued, "One late night in my studio, after hearing the recent accusations against me and my character, I turned on my drum machine, found this amazing Willie Hutch sample, looped it, and went into the booth and let it all out. It felt great!"

The celeb admits he was a little apprehensive on releasing the freestyle. "I've been sitting on the song for almost a week now because I was really torn on whether or not I should release it. The last thing I would ever want to do is add fuel to the fire, especially a fire that was fabricated by the press. But, ultimately I felt it was necessary to clear the air and set the record straight once and for all."

As for how he and Carey are doing, Nick once again reassures everyone that they're on solid ground, and that his focus is on their twins.

"My ex and I are in a great place and are diligently moving things along so we both can continue to be happy. I am happy for her and all her new endeavors, both personal ones and professional ones. I sincerely hope the media doesn't once again try to manipulate my words or my purpose for releasing this song. As the world knows, I am an open book and I'm proud of that. When it comes to expressing myself, I take the fearless approach and that's what I chose to do here.

"As Father's Day approaches this weekend, I've been reflecting quite a bit on my life as a father and how I want to be the best one I can be, the way my father figures were to me. So with that said, I just ask that the public continues to respect our process and remain patient and loving as me and my family aim for happiness."

Source: Entertainment Tonight.com

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22/Jun/2016

Celine Dion Candidly Revisits René Angélil's Final Days: "We Were Living in Hope, Knowing That There's No Hope"

After losing her husband René Angélil to a decades-long battle with cancer, Céline Dion knows the show must go on even if her heart never will. 

"You know what, I'm 48 years old and I lost the love of my life. I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering," she candidly said to People"I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace."

However, finding such peace was not an overnight process for the Grammy-winning musical icon who had known her late husband nearly all her life. After meeting him at 12 years old, Angélil immediately became Dion's agent and transformed her into a swift success in Canada. 14 years later, they became husband and wife and remained that way for over two decades as she continued to rise up as one of the most notable singers in musical history.

Unfortunately, their partnership in and out of the studio came to an untimely halt when the producer passed away in January after fighting throat cancer for the second time. 

"It's been a long, long journey," Dion told the magazine about Angélil's declining health.

While Dion consistently kept a brave exterior in the public eye, the 48-year-old mother of three faced terrifyingly trying moments at home. 

"We were living in hope, knowing that there's no hope," she said. "There were times when I was very, very scared and he'd write me 'The end is near, I feel it.' I would go back and say, 'How can you say that? Are you in more pain?' Now I know it's possible for someone dying to feel when it comes."

When his last day arrived, Dion asked him not to worry and assured him she and their children were going to be okay. Then, she plead for him to go in peace. 

"I covered him because he was very cold," she said in an interview on Good Morning America"I took one of his bathrobes. I put one on him, one on me and I talked to him in his ear. I kissed him so much."

The loss was equally difficult to explain to the couple's three young sons, René-Charles, 15, and twins Eddy and Nelson, 5. 

"The only thing I wanted is for them to say up," Dion said on GMA, referencing the Disney film, Up. "Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting."

Nearly five months since his passing, Dion has resumed many of the projects she began with Angélil at her side, including performing in her Las Vegas residency show. 

"I really, really want to prove to my kids their mother is strong," she told the magazine. "He left me with all of his strength. Every day we live with him, just not physically. I'm thankful that he does not suffer anymore."

On May 22, Dion will be honored with the esteemed Billboard Icon Award at the annual award show, where she will also take the stage to perform an all too fitting rendition of Queen's "The Show Must Go On"—her first live performance since losing René.

"René always insisted the show must go on," she told People. 

Source:ENews Online.com

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22/Jun/2016

Iggy Azalea Never Towed Ex Nick Young's Car—but She Is Moving Out of His House

Iggy Azalea is setting the record straight.

After photos surfaced of a towing company retrieving a blue 1962 Chevy Impala from the celeb's home, the Aussie rapper took to Twitter (of course) to the clear the air on recent rumors that she had ex Nick Young's car, which she gave to him for Christmas in 2014, towed out of her driveway following their split.

"I never had anyone's car towed nor did I kick nick out of 'my' house," she wrote. E! News learns that Swaggy P's vintage ride was actually being taken to get repaired for mechanical issues.

Iggy continued to share that the property actually belongs to the NBA star, and she'll be the one packing up and leaving. "The home belongs to nick, I am the one moving. Thanks."

Source: ENewsOnline.com

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22/Jun/2016

Rihanna Breaks Down in Tears During Dublin Concert

Rihanna let her guard down and got extremely emotional tonight.

The singer took the stage in Dublin, Ireland, as part of her Anti World Tour Tuesday night, and at one point broke down in tears to the point where she couldn't even continue singing her song to the fans. In Instagram videos captured by a user at the concert, RiRi is seen singing the first few lyrics of her famous hit song with Eminem "Love the Way You Lie" with tears in her eyes.

As the crowd proudly sings the song back to the star, she gets overwhelmed with emotion and steps back with her hand in the air. She attempts to continue belting the track, but kept getting choked up. As for why Rihanna was so emotional—it's not entirely clear, but it seems as though the celeb was just taken aback by all the love she was getting from the crowd.

Regardless of the reason, it was a very sweet moment.

Source:ENewsOnline.com

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22/Jun/2016

Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx's Relationship Finally Confirmed

We now have confirmation of Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes' relationship.

The former Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Claudia Jordan, joined the Allegedly podcast on Tuesday and revealed that Foxx is, in fact, dating Holmes.

When asked about the Annie actor, Jordan said, "[He's a] good friend of mine. Never [hooked up with him]." When asked about his relationship with Holmes, Jordan added, "He is very happy with her. I like that he seems very happy."

The confirmation comes after Holmes sparked engagement rumors in January when she was spotted wearing a ring on that finger, recirculating speculation that she's been seeing Foxx after her split from Tom Cruise.

It all started in 2013 at a charity event, the 4th annual Apollo in the Hamptons,where Jamie and Katie were photographed dancing together. Then, earlier this year, a report claimed the stars have "been hooking up on the DL" for the past year and a half. Both Holmes and Foxx remained mum on the speculation at the time, but the actor wasn't afraid to speak out about it in March, promising it's all tabloid rumors.

"Oh come on, you guys have been trying to get that to stick for three years," Foxx told an inquiring paparazzo in Los Angeles at the time. When asked for clarification, Foxx reassured the shutterbug that the two are "just friends" and are actually working together on an upcoming animated project. "That's all it is," he added.

ost recently Holmes' rep called a report that their wedding plans were on hold due to Holmes' pregnancy "categorically untrue." Foxx's rep also told E! News that he is "not engaged, not getting married and not having another child."

But just because they aren't engaged or expecting a child doesn't mean they aren't something.

In fact, multiple sources have told us that they are dating, with one insider saying it's been going on for years, and it's "not a secret among their friends." They have remained most careful not to be seen in public together and they strategically coordinate their arrivals and departures in able to be at the same place at the same time but not attract too much attention.

And according to Claudia Jordan, that's the truth!

Source: E News Online.com

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22/Jun/2016

Gayle King Reveals Nearly 28-Pound Weight Loss

Looking good, Gayle King!

The CBS This Morning co-anchor shared her weight-loss success on Instagram on Friday, revealing she's lost nearly 28 pounds since September.

View photos

"In 9 months have a baby? Or lose 27.7 lbs on @weightwatchers," King wrote. "I chose to count points. It all began 9-12-15…almost there."

Source: Yahoo.com

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13/Jun/2016

James Corden at Tony Awards: 'Hate will never win'

"Hate will never win," James Corden said. "Together, we have to make sure of that."

Corden began Sunday's 70th annual Tony Awards with a heartfelt message about the horrific terror attack in Orlando, Florida, that had unfolded 18 hours earlier.

 

He said "tonight's show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle."

Immediately following Corden's remarks, the cast of "Hamilton" performed an opening number on stage, with one significant change: Their usual prop muskets were set aside. The Tonys, Broadway's biggest night of the year, began on time at 8 p.m. ET, televised by CBS.

"The Broadway community really wanted to continue with this, as did we," CBS chief executive Les Moonves told CNNMoney. "It's important that the show go on. And the show's being done in honor of the victims."

One of the early Tony winners, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of "Hamilton," held back tears during his impassioned acceptance speech Best Original Score.

The "Hamilton" star's speech was an emotional reading of a sonnet he wrote for his wife which focused on the mass shooting that took place in Orlando early Sunday morning.

"When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised. Not one day," he read. And the sonnet concluded: "Love is love is love is love is love is love it cannot be killed or swept aside. It cannot be killed or swept aside... now fill the world with music, love, and pride."

Outside, the scene on the red carpet before the program began was noticeably subdued. Still, hundreds of fans shouted as Broadway stars arrived and posed for photos. Some attendees wore silver ribbons to commemorate the terror attack.

And a few dozen members of the group Everytown for Gun Safety held up signs with messages decrying gun violence.

Corden set the tone for the evening by saying, "On behalf of the whole theater community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity.

"All we can say is, you are not on your own right now," he said. "Your tragedy is our tragedy," Corden said. "Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality, and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved."

Related: 50 killed in Florida nightclub, shooter pledged ISIS allegiance

Corden was responding to the shooting spree at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, which has left an estimated 50 dead and another 53 injured. It is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Frank Langella echoed those feelings when he accepted the award for Best Actor in a Play for "The Father."

Rather than thank a "litany of names," Langella said, "Today we had a hideous dose of reality and I urge you, Orlando to be strong because I'm standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on Earth and we will be with you every step of the way."

"Tonight, every note I sing will be in remembrance of the lives taken in Orlando," actress and Tony nominee Laura Benanti tweeted Sunday afternoon.

While she was preparing, longtime Tony voter Colleen J-Roggensack wrote, "I am reminded theatre heals and tonite we will celebrate the good in the world."

When the attack was first reported, there was speculation that the show or the red carpet might be delayed or changed in some way.

Moonves confirmed that discussions took place early Sunday morning about what to do.

But the organizers said in a mid-morning statement that the show would go on.

"Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy," the producers said. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them."

The first comment from the man who's expected to be the biggest winner of the night, "Hamilton" creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, was an image of a rainbow-colored heart and the word "Orlando."

Source: CNN.com

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13/Jun/2016

Merqury Quaye releases debut single, 'Remember'

Ghana's leading hype man and radio presenter, Merqury Quaye has released the highly anticipated inspirational single titled 'Remember'.

The Hitz FM presenter and a professional master of ceremonies (MC), who continues to add value to his brand, will blow the minds of many who never knew his song composition and rap abilities, when they listen to the track which is already receiving massive radio airplay in the capital, Accra.

The highly inspirational song was premièred by BET Awards nominee, MzVee, on Hitz FM, when she sat in for Merqury on AU Day.

The song ‘Remember,’ produced by Dr Ray with great vocals by Choirmaster (Formerly of Praye’s fame), talks about appreciating people for the contributions they make in the lives of others.

In the first verse, Choirmaster touches on the need for us to cherish the pot that once gave us water whiles the Commander of the famous #TurnUpArmy, Merqury Quaye jumps on the second verse to talk about the need not to bite the hands that once fed you in his cool and collected rap.

Merqury Quaye is the host of #CruiseControl, a flagship drive time show aired on Accra-based Hitz 103.9 FM between 3 and 7pm from Monday – Fridays.

He doubles as host of the Urban Hitz show on Saturdays from 10 am to 1:00 pm. The song has received positive reviews since it's release.

Source: Ghanaweb.com

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04/Jun/2016

Popular Ghanaian actor opens up about his cocaine addiction

Ace Ghanaian actor, Timothy Bentum who is known for his atrocious character in movies, tells his story of drug addiction and the saving grace that delivered him from the dungeon of sin and drugs. According to Timothy, the journey of his 12 years addiction to drugs, with cocaine as his major, began after taking his first jolt of cigarette when he was only 13 years. The rest, he says, “is history”.

“I was in school one time and we had to do a play on drug abuse and one of my friends said ‘charley, this place, we for high before we go oo’. You see the irony of the story? Going to do a play on drug abuse and then in reality we were taking it in,” he revealed.

The undying love of a parent


Though born into a home in which the Christian faith was hallowed, Timothy, blinded by sin and the unprofitable pleasure that drugs gave him, flouted the rules of the truth into which he was born. “I grew up in a home where morning devotion was held every day. You would either be part of it or move out, and even if you were dying, you’d still go to church. My parents were staunch Christians,” he says.

“It’s always been my parents’ prayers that kept me alive. Probably, I would have been long gone. I heard them almost every night begging God and seeking His face on my behalf,” he adds. But in spite of the spiritual groaning of his parents, Timothy would not hesitate to cause them further trauma by selling their belongings to buy drugs. He reminisces how he took his parents through certain depressing episodes, but according to him, “my parents were very patient with me, never gave up and still kept praying for a change to come.” “I know that sometimes answers to prayers take a long time to manifest but I guess this is the prayer of my parents manifesting now,” he adds.

Sowing the seed


For Timothy, his transformation from sin to grace was not the fast kind. He describes it as “a slow and tugging one.” “Anytime I go past a church and I hear them singing worship, something inside of me moves. It’s all the result of the seed sown by my parents,” he recollects.

“This is where I would pause to advise that, parents and guardians take time to plant the seeds of Christ in their children and even if they go wayward, because the seed is there, they will end up coming back to Jesus,” he advises parents.


Transformation from sin to grace

“The truth of the matter is that I did not have that kind of Paul experience on the way to Damascus or Jesus coming down in bright light and saying ‘Timothy, my son it’s time to come home’,” he clarifies. “One Sunday morning, I was walking to the ghetto to get some cocaine and then I met a friend who used to come to my house to eat. He was going to church with his wife and kids and then I wondered what had changed for him because we used to be together,” he recalls. It was at this point that the reality check struck at Timothy, as he realised the need for him to get back to God.

“The devil has a cunning way of stealing you away so slowly that you don’t know how fast or far you have fallen until the light of God comes through. It always start with a little desire for something and then you realise you are craving for it the more. “That morning, there was a blast in my head. I went back home and I cried. I told God that if He could hear me, then it was time for Him to take me back. God came through for me,” he tells the Revelation.

It is very unusual to find a drug addict of 12 years coming clean without a relapse or withdrawal symptoms but according to Timothy, his recovery came as a miracle—no twitches, fever whatsoever and even the doctors and psychoanalyst would not believe his recovery. All he had to do was to eat properly to heal the scurvy look that years of cocaine consumption had marred him with.


Life after transformation

According to Timothy, most of his colleagues did not take the change in good faith. While some cut off completely from him, others are waiting patiently for him to snap out of the ‘Jesus fever’ and come back to the world. “Some are very critical of me and I hear them say ‘oh! leave him, he only went in to get money and women; he will soon be back’,” he reveals.

Even though Timothy is going about his ‘father’s business’, he is still acting and directing movies. Nonetheless, he is very critical about the role he plays. “I can’t go about kissing every girl in the name of acting, no.”

He also says that his transformation made him realise that even in the showbiz, people use diabolical powers to work. “When you come around with a positive energy, it affects them and they don’t want you around because there is a spiritual clash,” he reveals.


Timothy Bentum Ministries (TBM)
God’s plans for Timothy fell in pleasant places, with the Lord calling him into a ministry of delivering people from drug addiction.

According to him, he was not called to pastor a church but to evangelise to the world about how God saved him, and to reach out to them with the message of the cross. The Timothy Bentum Ministry has been in existence for about four years, and it aims spreading the gospel.

The TBM undertakes programmes, including “Fame and Faith” – in which Christian celebrities reached out to students in the second cycle tertiary instutions. Every year, the TBM also organises the Actors, Presenters, Professionals and Musicians for Christ (APPMC) event, a time when players in the entertainment industry gather to seek God’s face and to spread the gospel.

“The kind of impact Majid would have when he preaches the gospel may even be greater than that of an Archbishop. That’s why I get celebrities on board and they are passionate about Christ,” he explains.


Testimonies

Timothy finds it easier to relate with drug addicts because he has been down that road before.

“Gays, addicts and prostitutes reach out to us for help and the change that comes is awesome,” he submits. “We have crazy testimonies. Some of the transformations are slow but just like taking a basket of rice to the river to wash, with intention of fetching the water but by the time you get to your destination all the water is drained. You go back to fetch and it’s the same story but unknown to you, the rice is being washed,” he adds. Timothy is married to Gloria Maa Efia Bentum and they are blessed with two children. His message to all is simple and profound: “There is no dungeon so deep that the love of Christ can’t reach.”

Source: GhanaWeb.com

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04/Jun/2016

Black Star international film festival launched

Accra , Feb. 01, GNA -The Black Star International Film Festival, a film forum and advocacy platform, aimed at bridging the gap between the local and international film industry, has been officially launched in Accra.

     The launch was attended by key stakeholders from the Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industries, government agencies, and development partners; and the media.

         Speaking at the Ceremony, Juliet Asante, the Founder and Executive Director of the Black Star International Film Festival said:“ We believe that the images we see and the stories we tell, are important to who we, are as a people.

“ Through the Black Star International Film Festival, we are opening the door to stories that drive the narrative of Africa and for African film makers to share their experiences with an international audience while allowing international film makers to share in the rich culture of Africa’’.

Ghana, thus Ms Asante said, was  poised to welcome filmmakers from around the globe annually to celebrate the Art of Filmmaking.

     Femi Odugbemi, an award-winning Filmmaker, Writer, Producer, and a respected voice in the Nigerian movie industry, expressed admiration for the initiative and pledged his support to the success of the Festival.

     Madam Dzifa Gomashie, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, noted that the Film Festival was a timely platform being created to help take the movie industry to the next level.

     ‘’I encourage all stakeholders to make the initiative a resounding success, the need for intellectual discourse around the opportunity the festival offers cannot be over emphasised and I am very happy that this initiative is taking off”, she said.

     She gave the assurance that the Ministry would support the festival for it to gain grounds.

     The BSIFF’s overarching theme is, ‘Face Forward’ , while the goal this year is to highlight the importance of film as a cultural diplomacy tool, as a global connector, as a trade enabler and as an employment creator.

     The Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF), was set up to research global industry policies, to mobilise and sensitise stakeholders and to identify partners to advocate industry friendly policies.

     The annual festival would bring together filmmakers from all over the world, would screen and celebrate films and their makers, it would work at helping to close the gaps through that the industry faces through workshops, stakeholder engagements and advocacy.

Source: Ghana Web.news

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04/Jun/2016

New York (CNN)Rapper Troy Ave has been arrested after a deadly music hall shooting in New York on Wednesday night

New York (CNN)Rapper Troy Ave has been arrested after a deadly music hall shooting in New York on Wednesday night -- not long after he performed on stage, the New York Police Department said. Rapper T.I. had been scheduled to appear later in the show.

Troy Ave, who is Roland Collins, 33, was in police custody at a New York hospital after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, Detective Annette Shelton said Thursday.
Collins, who was an opening act at the concert, is in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the leg, police said. He walked to New York University hospital, authorities said.
When reached by CNN early Thursday, Collins' father, also named Roland Collins, said his son was doing fine. CNN reached out to the Collins' family again for comment after his arrest and the man who answered the phone said, "No comment."
How Collins came to be shot is under investigation by the NYPD, Shelton said.
One man was killed in the shooting and two others were injured, Detective Hubert Reyes said. The victims' names have not been released.
No one else has been charged in the case.

Fistfight then a gunshot

The incident began as an argument that turned into a fistfight outside a room reserved for rappers at the concert, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.
About five minutes after the fighting began, someone pulled a gun.
Police said Collins is the man seen on surveillance video entering a VIP area of the concert venue, Irving Plaza, Wednesday evening and firing his weapon once.
The video, released by the NYPD, shows several people cowering under a bar and couples embracing before a man enters the room.
A door swings open and a man carrying a gun enters the room, followed by two other men.
In the short video, the gunman raises his hand several times and fires a shot to the opposite side of the room as debris clouds the screen and people scurry around the room, knocking over chairs.
Other charges may be pending against Collins, Shelton said.
T.I., who didn't perform because of the shooting, wrote on Twitter on Thursday afternoon: "Rest In Peace Bro. God bless."
He posted the message with an image that included a longer, sentimental note.
"My heart is heavy today. Our music is intended to save lives, like it has mine and many others. My heartfelt condolences to the family that suffered the loss & my prayers are with all those injured," the image read. He did not give the victim's name.
Source: CNN.com
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30/May/2016

Céline Dion: 'I lost the love of my life'

(CNN)Months after the death of her beloved husband and brother, superstar singer Céline Dion is trying to be strong.

Dion sat down with People for its cover story to talk about her life since she lost both husband René Angélil and brother Daniel Dion to cancer.
The singer is scheduled to receive the Icon Award and perform at Sunday night's Billboard Awards. She will be singing a cover of Queen's "The Show Must Go On," at the awards and told People "René always insisted the show must go on."
"You know what, I'm 48 years old and I lost the love of my life," she said. "I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering. I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace."
Dion said she is trying to be strong for her three children with Angélil, René-Charles, 15, and 5 year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.
The children were not present during her husband's final moments, she told People.
"I got on my knees and I kissed him," Dion said. "It was the coldest thing I've ever experienced in my life, but it was amazing. I said, 'Promise me not to worry. I'm fine, the kids are great, we're gonna be okay. It's enough suffering. Just go in peace.' "
The couple first met when Dion was an aspiring 12-year-old singer and the much older Angélil became her manager. They were married for 21 years.
Source: CNN.com
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26/May/2016

Jay Z responds to Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' in new song

(CNN)Ever since Beyoncé dropped her visual album "Lemonade" in April, fans have been awaiting Jay Z's side of the story.

On Tuesday night they got it -- sort of.
The rapper appears on the remix of Fat Joe's new song "All the Way Up," which was released Tuesday on Jay Z's streaming service Tidal.
On the song, Jay Z raps "You know you made it when the fact your marriage made it is worth millions/Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is/Survival of the lit-est/ N****s who really up vs. n****s up in your business."
Umm, ok.
Not exactly the confession fans were seeking in the wake of Beyoncé's album, with songs addressing infidelity, betrayal and heartbreak. That led some to question if the superstar singer was spilling tea about her marriage to the rapper.
Jay Z's freestyle rhymes may remind some of his wife's verses on her "Flawless" remix in 2014. In that song, she appeared to be referencing a now famous incident that same year in which her sister, Solange Knowles, was captured on surveillance video pummeling Jay Z in an elevator at the Standard Hotel in New York City following the Met Gala.
"We escalate, up in this b**ch like elevators," Beyoncé rapped. "Of course sometimes s**t go down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator."
Jay Z also pays homage to the late superstar Prince who, prior to his death, had a deal with the music mogul to stream his music on Tidal.
"Prince left his masters where they safe and sound/We never gonna let the elevator take him down," Jay Z raps.
Source: CNN.com
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26/May/2016

'Saved by the Bell' star Dustin Diamond back in jail after probation violation

(CNN)Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for playing the role of Screech on the 1990s high school comedy "Saved by the Bell," has been arrested in Ozaukee, Wisconsin on a probation hold, according to the Ozaukee County Jail.

Diamond was sentenced to four months in jail for stabbing a man during a Christmas Day 2014 altercation at a bar in Wisconsin. He served three months of the sentence.
A probation hold occurs when the offender's probation agent believes he or she has not complied with the terms of their probation. People on probation hold are generally held in county facilities while the agent completes a violation investigation.
If the incident that led to the violation investigation is serious enough, the offender -- in this case Diamond -- could have their parole revoked.
No new charges have been filed against Diamond, and no other information is available at this time, according to the jail.

Knife drawn in bar

Diamond was arrested following an altercation as he and fiancée Amanda Schutz were out celebrating. A group of people started asking for photos when someone "sucker-punched" Schutz, he told his former co-star, Mario Lopez, in an interview for "Extra."
"She leaned back to me and her face was covered in blood."
After one of the men in the group grabbed Schutz's hair, Diamond told the host, "I opened my pocket knife and said, 'Let my wife go immediately,' which worked."
Diamond denied that he actually stabbed anyone, saying that the victim "nicked his arm on the tip of" Diamond's pocket knife.
The actor served three months of his sentence and said of his experience in jail, "It's pretty daunting, it's pretty scary going into that environment."
During the interview, Diamond said he wants to focus on getting his acting career back on track and starting a family with Schutz.
"I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me... for that clean slate," he told Lopez. "Time for a change."
Source: CNN.com
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26/May/2016

What's streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu in June

What's streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu in June

 

(CNN)June is feeling hot, hot, hot with all the streaming options.

From beloved movies to eagerly awaited new seasons of returning series, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are here to give you a reason to stay indoors and out of the summer heat.
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26/May/2016

Belly and The Weeknd protest Trump, ditch 'Kimmel'

CNN)Viewers of Wednesday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" saw presidential hopeful Donald Trump, but not scheduled musical guests The Weeknd and rapper Belly.

The rapper was set to perform his song "Might Not" which features singer The Weeknd, for whom he has written several hits.
A rep for Belly confirmed to CNN that the appearance was canceled after he discovered Trump was to be a featured guest on the late night show.
"A strong believer in equal rights for all, Belly is taking a stand against a man who has made many negative and detrimental remarks about minorities, women, various religious groups and more," a press release from Belly's camp stated. "His television debut was meant to support the release of his soon-to-be-released mixtape 'Another Day In Paradise.' Belly hopes that his fans understand his point of view, and he plans to make it up to them very soon."
The rapper is not the first musician to be rubbed the wrong way by Trump.
Recently The Rolling Stones became the latest band to to ask the presidential hopeful to not use their music at his rallies and appearances.
Singer Adele also requested that he not use her songs, and in October 2015 Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sent the Trump camp a cease-and-desist letter regarding the use of his band's song "Dream On."
"I feel like the way I was raised was to be able to see through all the titles in this world — from religion to race," Belly said in a statement. "I just didn't want to feel like I was a part of a celebration for somebody who has beliefs that the majority of us don't agree with."
Trump did not mention the canceled performance during his appearance on the late night show.
Source: CNN.com
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26/May/2016

Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp

Los Angeles (CNN)Actress Amber Heard has filed for divorce from actor Johnny Depp, according to documents obtained by CNN.

Heard, 30, and Depp, 52, have been married since February 2015.
She filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court on Sunday citing irreconcilable differences and requested spousal support, according to court records.
Depp and Heard made headlines last year after being charged with illegally bringing their two dogs into Australia, which has strict biosecurity laws regarding foreign animals.
Heard pleaded guilty to knowingly producing a false or misleading document, while two other charges of illegally importing her dogs were dismissed. She was spared a conviction over the incident and given a one-month good behavior bond sentence instead.
Depp, who was filming the latest installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise during the incident, and Heard then released a strange but somber apology video, which Depp has since had a bit of fun with.
He's also started taking shots at the man who threatened to euthanize their two terriers, former agriculture minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, saying the politician looked like he was "inbred with a tomato" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Wednesday.
It's not clear who will get to keep the dogs.
Depp's newest film, "Alice Through the Looking Glass," opens in theaters Friday.
Source: CNN.com
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26/May/2016

Whoa! Eva Longoria tied the knot in secret ceremony in Mexico

NBC canceled her sitcom Telenovela just a week ago, but Eva Longoria has no reason to be down.

The actress married her fiancé Jose Antonio Baston in a private ceremony in Mexico Saturday. She sweetly commemorated the big day in a post on Instagram, writing how they exchanged vows "in our garden, surrounded by a small gathering of people we love."

 

According to People, the nuptials took place at Baston's home in the lakeside town of Valle De Bravo, Mexico. The bride wore a white dress designed by Victoria Beckham, who was in attendance along with husband David, and other celebrities including Ricky Martin, Mario Lopez, and Melanie Griffith.

 

The former Desperate Housewives star announced her engagement to the Mexican media mogul last December. He is her third husband after NBA player Tony Parker and General Hospital actor Tyler Christopher.

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26/May/2016

James Blake on Frank Ocean's new album: It's 'better' than 'Channel Orange'

While Frank Ocean has presumably been off living his best life, the Internet has spent the last four years trying to process Channel Orange, what we did to deserve it and whether or not Ocean was just going to Lauryn Hill us.

And while we still don’t have an album (Jesus may return before we do), it appears that Ocean has been Thinkin' Bout us.

According to The Colour in Anything artist James Blake, Ocean's long-awaited album is an even greater opus than his previous work. In fact, Blake — who counts Ocean among his collaborators in his album credits — shared that The Colour in Anything was heavily inspired by Ocean's new record.

"His music was a huge influence on the way I was writing the record, the way I was writing melodies," Blake told Rolling Stone in an interview published Wednesday. "I was more of a fan of him when I heard his newer music," he added. "It's better. You grow, you improve, you nail a new message to the board. He's had time to mature. It’s really cool to watch."

Wish we could say the same, Blake, but we'll take your word for it!

And while we wait for Ocean's new LP, we'll just be over here hating. And looping this SNL performance.

Source: USA Today.

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26/May/2016

How to say thank you — royal style

oyals really know how to say "thank you" with panache — and a picture.

Fans of the Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge who wrote to congratulate them on their recent fifth wedding anniversary got a charming thank-you card in response, along with a never-seen picture of the royal couple.

We know this because one of the recipients, royal photographer Paul Ratcliffe, posted it on Twitter Wednesday, which was then picked up by every royal and Cambridge-loving website in the U.K.

 

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were so touched that you took the trouble to write as you did on the occasion of their 5th Wedding Anniversary. It really was most thoughtful of you and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes.”

The photo shows the couple standing in what looks like a garden at Kensington Palace. She is wearing a white jacket and pleated skirt by Alberta Ferretti, according to the blogs that track her fashion. The photo was taken earlier this year by photographer Chris Jelf, who also took the Cambridge family's official Christmas portrait last year.

Another garden shot of the Cambridges, taken in October

Another garden shot of the Cambridges, taken in October 2015 but meant for December Christmas cards. (Photo: CHRIS JELF, AFP/Getty Images)

 

Official portraits of the young royals are not common and some of them are never meant to be seen by a wider public; instead they're reserved for such purposes as thank-you notes.

In 2014, when the Cambridges and their son, Prince George, returned from three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia, they sent thank-you notes with a picture to some of the people who hosted them on the trip. It briefly appeared on Twitter when a recipient posted it but was quickly taken down.

Source: USA Today

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26/May/2016

Actors Of Nigerian Descent Blazing Path In Hollywood For Next Generation

EXCLUSIVE: David Oyelowo, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nonso Anozie, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. These are but a few of the actors of Nigerian descent whao are working steadily in Hollywood — actors who have, for the most part, not changed their names for more easily pronounced stage names. Each has a unique story, but all have the same determination to forge a path based on their excellence in the craft while also firmly holding onto their Nigerian heritage.

 

As Captain America: Civil War opens this weekend with a storyline that involves Nigeria — played by actors of American and South African descent — what better time to talk to these actors of Nigerian decent?

Gbenga Akinnagbe head shot  The common thread among this crop of acting talent is one of pride in their roots, in their country of origin and in their — by American perceptions — unusual names. “My mother begged me to change my name; she thought I wouldn’t get a job because it was difficult to pronounce,” said Akinnagbe, who next stars in what could be a career-making role: the true story of a convict boxer in the indie film Heart Baby. “People would ask me, ‘Are you going to change your name?’ I said, ‘No. People are going to learn it.'”

Sound familiar? It should. Arnold Schwarzenegger kept his hard-to-pronounce name, and moviegoers around the world embraced the action star regardless. In Nigeria, a name is part of a spiritual ancestry of sorts and carries with it a strong meaning. For instance, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s name means “the crown” (Ade), “has arrived” (Wale) “warrior” (Akin) “of great chieftiantacy” (Nuoye) “of abundant prosperity (Agbaje). Similarly, Chukwunonso “Nonso” Anozie means “God is with me,” and Oyelowo means “a king deserves respect.”

In honoring Oyelowo as breakthrough performer of the year at the 2105 Palm Springs Film Festival, Brad Pitt even led a song to teach people how to pronounced the actor’s name.

Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje“Every day from when I first (began working), even in fashion, I was asked to change my name. Many, many times,” said Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost, Suicide Squad), who started out as a model in the European fashion industry before becoming an actor. “I fought for my name because it is who I am. I was very intent on not changing my name. As a child in school, even my teachers (in England) tried to changed my name to Robert, but it didn’t feel right. It’s not me. I had to fight for it. Your ancestors and your parents name you based on the constellations and the legacy of that lineage, and I learned early on that every time someone calls you that name, it re-affirms who you are. My name describes my purpose in life.”

Anozie (Zoo, Game of Thrones, Cinderella) said that people in drama school said he should change his name to Zach Power. “There is a certain pride to your African lineage,” he said. “Even though when you are young and people make fun of you at school, I still feel blessed every time I hear my name.”

Another commonality among actors of Nigerian descent, they say, is the premium that is placed on education for a higher purpose, and children are pressured to go into a profession that is highly regarded. When Oyelowo said he wanted to become an actor, his parents “were mortified. Acting is not a ‘proper job.’ Nigerians value education very highly, and Nigerian parents value being able to brag about their highly educated children even more. Saying you have a struggling actor for a child carries no weight in Nigerian society.” He said that changed when his father saw him play King Henry VI at the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. “To hear my dad leaning into a statement like ‘My son is the King of England!’ was something to behold.”

Akinnuoye-Agbaje had a similar experience: “As the only son, my father wanted me to take over his business (as a lawyer). To think of acting as a way to make a living was sacrilege.” So, in order to make his parents happy, he pursued his education and achieved both a Bachelors and a Master degree in law before following what he felt was his true vocation. His parents are part of the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and part of a wave of immigrants that moved to England through a government program, but they didn’t meet until they were in Europe. Then they married and had five children. Akinnuoye-Agbaje was put into foster care because that it how it was done in England as both of his parents worked. His foster family actually took care of more than 50 Nigerian children. So he had two sets of parents — one black and one white — but for him it was a fight for survival. People would spit on him and unleash dogs on him as he tried to get to school through the mainly white neighborhood. It was a very tough upbringing.

While studying law, he had a part-time job selling menswear in a retail store when a photographer approached him. Eventually, Akinnuoye-Agbaje fought his way into becoming one of first black fashion models (the first on the cover of Sportwear International). And then, to pursue his passion for acting, he followed a girlfriend to the United States.

CongoHis first role was in the 1995 film Congo, and while doing that film, actor Tim Curry approached him and said he believed he had a big future in this profession and introduced him to a British agent. He went onto work in several films because he could do an African accent — some of his biggest breakout characters were African on such projects as The Bourne Identity and Lost. But it wasn’t until HBO’s Oz that Hollywood sat up and really took notice of him. And, at the end of the day, his success ended up actually bolstering his father’s legal practice because it brought him clients who big fans of his son’s show.

“I was the really the first Nigerian actor to come into Hollywood, cut down the bush and break through,” said Akinnuoye-Agbaje. “Acting is no longer foreign to our culture, and to see Nigerians getting an opportunity to express themselves on the grandest stage is heartwarming. And particularly because our parents’ generation disregarded this profession as something credible. Now we have made it a credible entity. As more people hear our names and it’s not a novelty, it will become part of the fabric and fuse with who we have always been, which is African storytellers.”

These actors also are becoming strong role models for a new generation. Many started in Britain before making their way to the U.S. Oyelowo was born in the U.K., as were Ejiofor, Anozie and Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Some began in theater, including Oyelowo, was in the Royal Shakespeare Company for three years before doing the TV show Spooks/MI5.

Says young actor John Boyega (the lead in Star Wars: The Force Awakens), the success of Oyelowo working in projects, including some that pay homage to his Nigerian lineage, has been his inspiration. Boyega was also born in England to parents of Nigerian descent and followed the same path as Oyelowo from stage to Hollywood. “Seeing an actor like that, who I can relate to on a personal level, is one of the things that pushes me and my generation forward against the inevitable challenges of this business,” said Boyega.

Anozie had his own challenges on the path to success. Like Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Anozie also grew up in a rough part of London, started acting in the Talawa Theater Company (“Talawa” means “strength”). “It was a black-led theater company,” said Anozie, who still loves the stage. “For me, the biggest influencer on me was Kenneth Branagh. I did a play with him at the National Theater, and he just came from the start of positivity every day and led from the front.” The two actors would end up working together many times; Branagh even directed him in Cinderella.

Anozie ended up at the Royal Shakespeare Company as well, after being plucked out by a scout as one of 16 actors to play major roles and not just spear carriers — a move that followed a local newspaper article noted the lack of diversity. Because of his talent, he became the youngest person in British history to play King Lear. He was only 23, which bested Sir John Gielgud, who was 26. “It was a major deal for my life. I am a 6-foot-6-inch-tall black man. I remember early on when I told friends that I wanted to be an actor and one of them was my Asian career adviser (in school). He looked at me and said, ‘It’s hard enough, but being a tall, young black man is going to be super difficult.’ I looked at it as a challenge.” Anozie said he just knew from a young age that he was going to be an actor.

othelloHis King Lear role led to a world tour of his play, Othello. After an exhausting year of traveling, he found representation in the States and set his sights on doing film and TV. He got his big break with the 2007 film The Last Legion, which starred Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley (who he has worked with three times now). He had his first screen test, however, in 2005 with the Barbershop TV series, but that role went to Akinnagbe.

Akinnagbe also started out on the stage, but it was a major life event that pushed him into it. He had been working in the congressional affairs department of a federal organization in Washington, D.C. (Corp. for National Service), and he became curious about acting and starting going to auditions for plays. He went to one audition, came back to his work cubicle, received a phone call and was offered the role. The next phone call he received would change his life: It was from his uncle, who told Akinnagbe that his father had just died. “I resigned my job after that,” he said. “During the day, I figured out funeral arrangements, and at night I did rehearsals.” He decided that life was too short not to follow his dream.

Eventually, he ended up as a background player on The Wire, and slowly that changed from a recurring character to a regular. In between, he continued doing stage plays and then landed in the indie film Savages.

“Being a member of the Nigerian acting community, I’m not surprised there are so many of us now because there is a stick-to-it-iveness,” says Akinnagbe “There is a multi-tasking drive to achieve.”

Kenneth BranaghBut where did they find role models? For Anozie, it was a teacher named Lord Eric, who would read African stories to him and other children. Through him, Anozie became to realize that “this black man was a reflection of me.” Later, it was Spike Lee and his films. He also learned from other actors like Branagh and Nigel Lindsay about how they led and affected the cast in such a positive manner; because of them and how he learned to communicate with actors, Anozie now is interested in directing and producing. “My goal is to put something into the world that will change people’s lives.”

For, Oyelowo he identified strongly with a legendary actor. “Sidney Poitier has always been a North Star for me,” he said. “He remains my acting hero and inspiration.” Oyelowo, though he was born in the U.K., lived in Lagos from ages 6-13 — a country where  he was not considered a minority. Because he was there during his formative years, that fact greatly impacted his life.

sidney poitier afi“To live in a society where every opportunity or offer is genuinely at your disposal does something incredible to your self-worth,” Oyelowo said. “By the time I returned to the U.K. and subsequently America, where I’m a minority and opportunities require more of a fight, my self-worth and notions of what I could achieve had already been baked into my psyche. I call it the ‘Sidney Poitier syndrome.’ I truly believe Mr. Poitier achieved what he did despite the racially turbulent times. He did it in because he grew up in the Bahamas, where his self worth hadn’t been daily pummeled by racial obstacles. Nigeria gave me the same thing. Nigerians are proud, kingly people. I wear that heritage unashamedly.”

Akinnagbe feels so strongly connected to Nigeria, that three years ago, he got a Nigerian driver’s license and passport. “I want to be there more. It’s very easy to lose your culture within one generation, and I don’t want to do that,” he said. “I love that people are keeping their names. A lot of the black actresses I know who want to get further, feel that they have to wear wigs and perm their hair. We have learned that long flowing hair like the Europeans is beauty. There is a question of what is pretty and beautiful. Natural hair is beautiful. If they don’t change that (thinking), Hollywood won’t either. We can’t wait for Hollywood to change the image, we have to change the image and make our own stories.”

David Oyelowo in SelmaOyelowo also noted that there has been a lot of resistance in Hollywood to actors of color being the hero or protagonist. “I’ve largely fought this battle by being a producer and developing my own projects. Thankfully, some of those projects have done well enough to force the issue that I can carry a story,” said the actor who spent seven years preparing for his role as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. “For an industry built on fear, you have to accept that half your job as an actor is to put people’s fears to rest so that your opportunities grow in conjunction with their confidence in you. I’m in the midst of that journey right now. I once asked Tom Cruise the secret to his success. He said, ‘Create, create, create … wait for no one. Create your own work.’ If it worked for Tom …”

Akinnagbe did just that, helping to produce and also starring in Ben Bowman’s comedy-drama Knucklehead, about a man who is developmentally disabled and tries to cure himself. The film bowed at Dances With Films last year. Akinnuoye-Agbaje also is putting together a project about his family and what they all went through coming out of Nigeria into the U.K.

The actors interviewed for this story said they felt a strong spiritual connection to Nigeria. “I’m always a Nigerian first,” said Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is the lead in the upcoming Michael Shamberg film Wetlands. “I’m British as well and also American because I’ve spent more time here. I consider myself a global citizen. I love my country and my culture, and it’s very important for me to represent that.”

Added Anozie, who is getting married to a Nigerian woman and will have traditional ceremony in their country of origin: “Culturally, I definitely feel like if you grow up with Nigerian parents, you hold on to the culture. There is something about Nigeria. It’s like no where else in the world. The people and country were produced through diversity — there are extremes in Nigeria, and it’s going to produce very gifted people. I think that is what it does. The culture hasn’t been taken away. Instead, it’s something to wear as a badge.”

Source: Yahoo.com

 

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14/May/2016

Lupita Nyong'o in talks to join Marvel's 'Black Panther' cast

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o is in talks to join the "Black Panther" cast as the lead character's love interest, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman, was introduced into the Marvel movie franchise in the recently released "Captain America: Civil War." The "Black Panther" movie will continue a storyline from that movie of an African prince whose father is murdered at the United Nations.

Nyong'o, who an Academy Award for her work in "12 Years a Slave," plays the mother of a young woman chess master from Uganda in Disney's "Queen Of Katwe," to be released in September.

Source: Yahoo.com

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14/May/2016

Devon Still's Daughter Leah Was Just the Cutest at His & Asha Joyce's Wedding

Leah Still was the cutest flower girl at her dad Devon Still's wedding Friday and stole the show at the reception with a heartwarming speech.

The 6-year-old cancer survivor, who captured the hearts of fans with her brave health battle, led the NFL star's bride and longtime love Asha Joyce down the aisle. She and Devon wed in a romantic ceremony at the New York Public Library in New York City.

Family and friends, including his fellow football players, attended the event, which was livestreamed on Facebook and was selected as The Knot's Dream Wedding of the year.

Devon and his little girl had made headlines two years ago when he revealed Leah had been diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. In March 2015, the family was told she is cancer-free.

"Thank you for everyone supporting me and I love my new family," Leah told wedding guests at the reception, as seen in a video celebrity guest Holly Robinson Peete posted on Instagram. "Now let's party!"

The happy couple entered the wedding to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." At the reception, they and Leah all danced together to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, earning applause from their guests.

Asha wore three dresses that evening: A strapless Pnina Tornai wedding gown with Swarovski crystals, lace appliques and a mermaid skirt, paired with Simon G jewelry, as well as a champagne, ruffled Allure gown with a mermaid skirt and a strapless, tulle Allison Parris dress from Rent the Runway.

Devon sported a custom-made dark velvet Martin Greenfield Clothier tuxedo.

Leah looked adorable in a sparkling, pink Hayley Paige flower girl dress and a custom-made bracelet designed by the bride and groom and artisans and designers at Simon G. Jewelry.

The bracelet incorporates her favorite color—pink—and includes butterflies to represent "transformation into a new, beautiful life," The Knot said in a statement.

 

"After we got engaged, we put off on the wedding because my daughter was supposed to be the flower girl," Devon said in a statement released by The Knot. "When the doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of surviving, we were not sure that we were ever going to get to that point where I was able to watch her walk down the aisle."

"Now that we are going into the wedding, I think it's finally hitting us that we are over that hump," he added. "She really beat cancer."

Devon Still, Asha Joyce, Daughter Leah Still, Wedding

Joseph Lin Photography

Source: E News Online

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14/May/2016

Tyga Gets Candid About Kylie Jenner Split, Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna

Tyga says he will always love Kylie Jenner, in what marked his first comments about the former couple's recent breakup.

The 26-year-old rapper and 18-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star called it quits this week, about six months after they broke up briefly. A source had told E! News their latest split was "a long time coming." Tyga told E! News recently he has been doing "good" since the breakup.

Tyga talked about Kylie in a rare, brief and candid interview with paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, as seen in a video posted by TMZ.

"Did age difference play a factor in the breakup?" a photographer asked him.

"Um," Tyga responded, lifting his head in thought. "Uh, I think, you know, we're both just focusing on our lives, our individual lives right now, you know? Sometimes things don't work out. But, you know, I love her."

"There'll always be love between the two of you?" the photographer asked.

"For sure," Tyga said.

"People, uh, grow and you know, it's time to evolve, you know what I mean," he said on-camera. "So everybody should have the opportunity, you know, at love and, you know, to live their life."

When asked if Rob is a good stepfather to King Cairo, Tyga said, "Don't go too far."

Source: E news Online

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14/May/2016

Arsenio Hall sues Sinead O'Connor over Prince drug claims

(CNN)U.S. comedian Arsenio Hall is suing singer Sinead O'Connor for defamation.

This is after she posted a note on Facebook accusing Hall of supplying Prince with drugs "over the decades" and of spiking her with drugs.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, is seeking damages of "not less than" $5 million.
"Desperate, attention seeker Sinead O'Connor has maliciously published outlandish defamatory lies about comedian Arsenio Hall, falsely accusing him of supplying illegal 'hard drugs' 'over the decades' to the recently deceased music artist, Prince, and of spiking her with drugs once years ago," the lawsuit says.
 
On Monday, O'Connor, who is no stranger to controversy, accused Hall of supplying Prince with drugs.
"Two words for the DEA investigating where prince got his drugs over the decades ... Arsenio Hall. Anyone imagining prince was not a long time hard drug user is living in cloud cuckoo land," O'Connor wrote in a post that has since been deleted.
"Arsenio I've reported you to the Carver County Sheriff's office. Expect their call. They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy's house. You best get tidying your man cave."
Hall has denied the "heinous accusations" in the lawsuit, calling O'Connor's statement "despicable, fabricated lies."
 
Source: CNN.com
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08/May/2016

Afeni Shakur, mother of hip-hop legend Tupac, dead at 69

Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panther who overcame drug addiction and inspired the work of her rap icon son Tupac Shakur before guiding his estate after his murder, has died. She was 69.

Marin County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responded to Shakur’s houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., Monday night after she fell ill and suffered a suspected heart attack, police said.

A family member and a close friend were present when she became unresponsive, cops said.

“At this point, there is nothing to indicate to us that there was any foul play, nothing suspicious about this other than this being sadly a natural event,” Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said.

Paramedics arrived around 9:30 p.m., and Shakur was rushed to Marin General Hospital, where she was treated for about an hour before she was pronounced dead, according to Pittman.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

Afeni Shakur (seen in June 2011) has died aged 69, after a suspected heart attack.

“It’s a sad day,” Tupac’s biological dad, Billy Garland, told the Daily News. “Her contributions to this world will always be remembered. We weren’t really active in each other’s lives, but the pain is magnified when it’s the mother of your child.”

TUPAC SHAKUR DIES DAYS AFTER DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN 1996

The New Jersey trucker, 66, recalled Shakur as a strong woman. He lamented their court battle after Tupac’s death in 1996, which ended with a judge denying his inheritance claim in 1997 because he contributed little to the superstar’s upbringing.

“We had a lot of legal issues that got blown out of proportion, and I regret that,” he told The News. “It’s just a shock that she’s gone. I hope she’ll be at peace.”

Shakur, born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, N.C., changed her name when she moved to New York City and joined the Black Panther movement. She and other party members were arrested in 1969 and charged with conspiracy to bomb multiple city landmarks.

In May 1971, Shakur was acquitted on all charges after she represented herself in court while heavily pregnant. She gave birth to Tupac a month later.

Shakur was the subject of her son’s 1995 hit song “Dear Mama,” which hailed her triumph over poverty and drug addiction.

“There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand/You are appreciated,” he rapped.

After Tupac’s 1996 shooting death, Shakur took the helm of his estate, which earns more than $1 million a year. She has funneled much of the money to charity.

“She was a remarkable woman. In her youth she was a lion in the black movement. She was indefatigable,” Richard Fischbein, a New York lawyer who worked with her in the Bronx when Tupac was a young boy, told The News.

Tupac Shakur, who was fatally shot in 1996, celebrated his mother's accomplishments in the 1995 song “Dear Mama.” Ron Galella/WireImage

Tupac Shakur, who was fatally shot in 1996, celebrated his mother's accomplishments in the 1995 song “Dear Mama.”

Shakur called Fischbein after Tupac’s death, and he became the administrator of the estate.

"She guided that estate in honor of Tupac. We must have put out five albums after he died. She took a lot of that money and spent her time trying to help young black kids, and kids in general," he said.

Shakur is survived by daughter Sekyiwa Shakur, 40, who was living on a nearby houseboat. A source told The News it was Sekyiwa who called 911.

LOVE LETTER TUPAC SHAKUR PENNED IN HIGH SCHOOL SELLING FOR $35K

Fischbein said Sekyiwa likely will take over the estate and foundation created in Tupac's name.

Afeni (l.) and Tupac Shakur are seen together in the 2003 documentary "Tupac: Resurrection." MTV

Afeni (l.) and Tupac Shakur are seen together in the 2003 documentary "Tupac: Resurrection."

"She is going to do a great job. She'll follow Aseni's wishes, I'm sure," he said.

Dina LaPolt, a California attorney who handled Tupac Shakur's estate for nearly 10 years, fought back tears as she described Shakur, who inspired the lawyer to open up her own firm in 2001.

"She's an advocate. She's an activist. She taught me never to compromise your values -- to always fight for what you believe in," she told The News.

LaPolt oversaw the legal work behind 11 posthumously released albums while she represented the estate between 2001 and 2010.

The lawyer developed a close professional relationship with Shakur, who LaPolt described as "one of the smartest people I've ever worked with," citing how the Black Panther represented herself in court. The activist mother also influenced LaPolt's personal life, she said

Source: NY Daily News.com

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08/May/2016

EXCLUSIVE: Janet Jackson Pregnant With Her First Child 2 Weeks Shy of 50th Birthday

Just days before Mother's Day, a source confirms to ET that Janet Jackson is pregnant with her first child.

The baby news comes after the 49-year-old singer -- who will turn 50 on May 16 -- announced last month that she will be postponing her tour to start a family with husband Wissam Al Mana. “We’re in the second leg of the tour and there actually has been a sudden change,” Jackson explained in a video posted to Twitter on April 6. “I thought it was important that you be the first to know. My husband and I are planning our family, so I’m going to have to delay the tour.”

“Please, if you could try and understand that it’s important that I do this now,” Jackson asked of her fans. “I have to rest up, doctor’s orders. But I have not forgotten about you. I will continue the tour as soon as I possibly can."

WATCH: Janet Jackson Steps Out for First Time Since Surgery, Preps for Tour Return

Jackson secretly wed Al Mana, 41, in 2012, but didn't confirm the news until early 2013. This is the singer’s third marriage.

In 2008, ET spoke with Jackson about whether she and her then-boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, would be open to having kids. "I would love to have children of our own, but we also would love to adopt," she said. "So, we'll see what happens. It'll happen someday."

WATCH: Janet Jackson Surprises Fans by Pretending to Be a Statue -- and It's Adorable!

When ET correspondent Cojo gushed that she would "the greatest mother in the world," Jackson responded, "Well, I hope so. People say that, but I hope so."

Check out ET's behind-the-scenes look at Jackson's new music video for "Dammn Baby."

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08/May/2016

Beyoncé and Jay Z Were a "Really Happy Couple" While Out to Dinner With Blue Ivy

Beyoncé and Jay Z weren't together for the Met Gala, but they reunited as a family unit for a dinner with their daughter, Blue Ivy.

Bey, Jay and Blue Ivy went to dinner at Mamo in New York City Thursday, and a source tells E! News that they've been there before. A few of their favorite items are the restaurant's signature truffle dishes, including a pasta and pizza, but the source tells us the special on the menu that night happened to be the couple's love for each other and their daughter.

"Blue was adorable. She kissed Jay during dinner on his head and cheeks and then was playing music by tapping her hands on the table, which caused Jay and Beyoncé to smile and laugh," the insider says. "There were a lot of smiles and happiness that came from the table throughout their meal. Beyoncé and Jay seemed like a really happy couple." 

The two couldn't help but gush over their little girl either, the insider adds. "The way they love Blue was really obvious during dinner. Beyoncé and Jay treat Blue so well," the source says. "Blue had great manners at the table. She was also very well behaved. Beyoncé and Jay were looking at each other throughout the dinner, and it seemed that they were really enjoying being together."

The rapper and the "Formation" songstress spent close to two hours at the restaurant. Their romantic family night out comes on the heels of Lemonade, her headline-making album that caused a flurry of speculation about infidelity and who "Becky with the good hair" was. The Beyhive wondered if it could be Rachel Roy or Rita Ora, but the latter star put rumors to rest when she snapped a selfie with Bey at the Met Gala.

As for why Jay didn't stand by Bey's side at the Met Gala, a source told E! News that they felt it would help her album more if she attended solo. "They thought it was a good move that Beyoncé go alone this year to the Met," the insider explained.

"They aren't fighting but they thought it would be a better look if she came solo for her new album and all the hype that was attached to it."

Mission: accomplished.

E news.com

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08/May/2016

Bobby Brown Petitions to be Added as Plaintiff in Bobbi Kristina Brown Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nick Gordon

Bobby Brown has petitioned to become a plaintiff in the Bobbi Kristina wrongful death lawsuit against Nick Gordon.

Documents from Fulton County Court show that the 47-year-old singer was requested to be added as a plaintiff in the ongoing $10 million wrongful death civil lawsuit, which alleges that "Ms. Brown died due to a violent altercation with Defendant (Gordon) after which he placed her in a bathtub, unconscious, after he injected her with a toxic mixture."

On June 24, 2015, Bobbi Kristina's court-appointed conservator, Bedelia Hargrove, filed a $10 million wrongful death civil lawsuit against Gordon -- who was at the scene and had performed CPR on her before paramedics arrived -- accusing him of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and transferring money from Brown's account into his own without authorization.

No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon and his lawyers have called the wrongful death civil suit "slanderous and meritless."

The daughter of Brown and the late Whitney Houston was found unconscious in her bathtub on Jan. 31, 2015. Bobbi Kristina died nearly seven months later, on July 26, 2015, at the age of 22.

Source: ET Online

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08/May/2016

Beyoncé Fans Really Can't Tell the Difference Between Rachel Roy and Rachael Ray

Clearly, there aren't enough Rachels in Hollywood these days.

Talk-show host and famous chef Rachael Ray is feeling the wrath from Beyoncé fans all around the world this weekend. But as it turns out, all the anger and attacks is being misdirected at the wrong person. The likely target is none other than designer Rachel Roy

It all started Saturday night when Beyoncé released her sixth studio album on Tidal. In one of the songs titled "Sorry," Jay Z's leading lady sings about a cheating lover with the words, "He only want me when I'm not there / He better call Becky with the good hair."

While nobody was (and is) 100 percent sure who this Becky person is, some started to speculate that it's Roy the fashion designer. After all, her Instagram post that has since been deleted didn't do her any favors.

"Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always," she wrote on Instagram. "Live in the light #NoDramaQueens."

Perhaps it's an act of rage. Maybe people are just hangry. Regardless, followers began swarming Ray's social media platforms with lemonade emoji's and plenty of not-so-nice comments.

"30 minute meal hoe," one wrote on Sunday afternoon. Another added, "Go caramelize SOME onions." Wait, is that really an insult because we're pretty sure Ray would enjoy it?

If you're not surprised by the news, perhaps this will put you over the edge.

BuzzFeed pointed out that Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson—who is one of just 10 people Beyoncé follows on Twitter—was confused by the Rachels.

As a result, he tweeted, "I thought Rachel Roy was Rachel Ray. I've never heard of Rachel Roy. I thought it was a typo."

Stay strong Rachael Ray, this too shall pass.

Source: E News

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25/Apr/2016

Springsteen, ‘SNL’ pay tribute to Prince

Bruce Springsteen opened his show in Brooklyn on Saturday night with an emotional tribute to Prince, performing “Purple Rain.”

Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage at the Barclays Center bathed in Prince’s preferred purple lighting, leading the crowd in a singalong of the late pop icon’s most famous song.

“Prince forever,” Springsteen told the New York crowd at the end of the song. “God bless!”

Springsteen’s Prince tribute wasn’t the only one seen in New York on Saturday night.

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which was supposed to be airing reruns, instead produced a career-spanning retrospective  of Prince’s “SNL” performances in a special hosted by former cast member Jimmy Fallon.

“Other people may have been on the show more times or performed more frequently,” Fallon said. “But there was always something different about a Prince performance — it was special, it was an event, it was Prince.”

NBC also shared Prince’s most recent “SNL” appearance, which never made it to air: his surprise performance at the afterparty for the show’s 40th anniversary special in February 2015.

Fallon recalled that around 4:30 a.m. during the star-studded party at New York’s Plaza hotel, comedian Dave Chappelle told him that Prince was in attendance and said he should try to get him to perform.

“I just said, ‘Prince, if you’re in the room, I dare you to come up and sing something with us,’” Fallon said.

The crush of celebrities in attendance, including Paul McCartney, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, suddenly parted and — with “a cloud of purple smoke,” Fallon said — Prince took the stage for an impromptu version of “Let’s Go Crazy,” with Fallon, Chris Rock, Cuba Gooding Jr., Martin Short and Maya Rudolf serving as backup singers.

"Dearly Inebriated," Prince told the crowd before launching into a raucous version of the 1984 hit.

“He got up and it was unbelievable,” Fallon said. “He just destroyed.”

Source: Yahoo

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25/Apr/2016

Aretha Franklin celebrates 74th birthday in Manhattan

EW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin was in the mood for celebrating, and not just because she had a birthday party.

"Good news, we're ready to sign for the movie," Franklin said Thursday night of the biopic about her life she has been trying to arrange with "Straight Outta Compton" producer Scott Bernstein. "We've agreed on all the key points. There's very little left now (to negotiate), very little. They have given me creative control and that's all I wanted."

Plans for a biopic date back to at least 2011, when Franklin announced she wanted Halle Berry to star. Jennifer Hudson is now reportedly being considered for the lead.

Franklin spoke to The Associated Press in the first floor lounge of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where she has held parties before, as some 100 of her friends gathered Thursday to wish her a happy birthday. Franklin, who turned 74 on March 25, arrived in white fur and settled into a corner table alongside record executive Clive Davis and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, among others.

Source: Fox News 11

There was music, of course, but little of Franklin's. The singer of "Respect," ''Chain of Fools" and other classics took the night off, content to smile and nod her head along to performances by the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars and Dennis Edwards of Temptations fame. Near the end, a multi-tiered vanilla cake was wheeled out, with a tape recording of Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday" playing on the sound system.

Davis, who has known Franklin for more than 30 years and worked with her on numerous recordings, told the AP he approached their collaborations with a sense "that everything she does is history."

"Everything will be studied centuries from now," he said.

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18/Apr/2016

News/ Kim Kardashian Visits Iceland With Kanye West & Kourtney Kardashian and Has a Tomato-Tastic Time

Kim Kardashian recently flew to Iceland for another fun family trip.

The 35-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was accompanied by Kanye West, 38, sister Kourtney Kardashian, 36, and BFF Jonathan Cheban, 42.

The group was joined by several bodyguards and arrived at Keflavik International Airport Sunday morning on an Icelandair flight from New York, The Iceland Monitor reported.

E! News has learned Kanye is filming a music video in the European country, known for its gorgeous scenery. Indeed, Kim and Kourtney posted on their Instagram pages and Snapchats breathtaking shots taken near a waterfall.

"That is gorgeous," Kim said. 

It is unclear if Kim and Kanye brought their kids, daughter North West, 2, and four-month-old son Saint West, or if Kourtney brought hers—Mason Disick, 6, Penelope Disick, 3, and Reign Disick, 1. Their father, Scott Disick, 32, has been hanging out with Kim and Kourtney's sisters Kendall Jenner, 20, and Kylie Jenner, 18, at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California this weekend.

The Kardashian sisters were spotted with most of their children during a family trip to snowy Vail, Colorado earlier this month.

Source: E News

 

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18/Apr/2016

Where's Beyoncé's new album?

Beywatch continues.

If you were up at midnight Monday checking Tidal and Beyoncé's social media accounts for that eagerly awaited new album, you weren't alone.
It's April 4, and members of the Beyhive know that the number "4" has special significance to both her and her husband, rapper Jay Z.
The singer was born September 4, 1981, and Jay was born December 4, 1969. The couple married on 04/04/08, got matching tattoos of the Roman numeral four (IV) and named their daughter Blue Ivy (IV, get it?). And let us not forget that she had an album titled "4" that was released in 2011.
Fans have been waiting in "Formation" since that single was released in February, and the superstar's Formation World Tour begins April 27 in Miami, so surely the album is coming soon, right?
Twitter sure hopes so.
Comments have included prayers and sentiments like, "raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by Beyoncé waiting to drop her new album."
 
Source: CNN
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18/Apr/2016

Prince briefly hospitalized with flu after emergency landing

One night after playing a pair of intimate shows at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, the High Priest of Pop was briefly hospitalized.

TMZ reported that Prince, 57, was transported to an area hospital early Friday following an emergency plane landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was battling the flu last week, the complications of which forced him to postpone the performances until this Thursday. According to TMZ, he fell ill again on the plane.

But it was confirmed by sources including Entertainment Weekly and People that a representative for Prince said the star was safely at home and doing fine, though still struggling with the flu.

Source: USA TODAY

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16/Apr/2016

Johnny Manziel Touches Down at Coachella ... With OVO Ryan

The party continues for Johnny Manziel ... because the QB just arrived at Coachella. 

Seriously. 

Manziel just got to the music festival along with his pal Ryan Silverstein -- aka OVO Ryan -- the same guy he was with during that bad car crash on the Sunset Strip this past weekend. 

Ryan is currently being investigated for hit and run. Manziel told police he was a passenger in the car. Johnny has not been accused of any wrongdoing. 

Several people in Johnny's life have begged and pleaded with the QB to seek treatment -- including his past 2 agents -- but Johnny has refused.

Source: TMZ

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16/Apr/2016

So Gone: Monica Claps Back at Rumors Shannon Brown Is Cheating

Monica's husband, Shannon Brown, was recently put on blast by an Instagram model for slipping into her DMs and allegedly cheating on the R&B singer. According to screenshots shared by the model, the Miami Heat shooting guard allegedly hooked up with her at a hotel and admitted to her that he is unhappy in his marriage.

After staying silent about the rumors for the past couple of days, Monica finally decided to break her silence and share a few thoughts on social media. "In life tests are sure to come & because of my faith & belief that God is in control I don't run to talk about my problems because I'm too busy thanking him for the good he's doing in my life," she captioned a photo of her kids tossing around a football.

So Gone: Monica Claps Back at Rumors Shannon Brown Is Cheating

The NBA player is the latest to deal with DM drama.

 

 

 
 
 

Monica's husband, Shannon Brown, was recently put on blast by an Instagram model for slipping into her DMs and allegedly cheating on the R&B singer. According to screenshots shared by the model, the Miami Heat shooting guard allegedly hooked up with her at a hotel and admitted to her that he is unhappy in his marriage.

After staying silent about the rumors for the past couple of days, Monica finally decided to break her silence and share a few thoughts on social media. "In life tests are sure to come & because of my faith & belief that God is in control I don't run to talk about my problems because I'm too busy thanking him for the good he's doing in my life," she captioned a photo of her kids tossing around a football.

The cryptic message doesn't exactly convey one way or the other what's going on between Mr. and Mrs. Brown, but we do know for sure that Monica is focusing on her family and not giving in to the internet chatter about her marriage.

Source: BET.COM

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16/Apr/2016

How?! Future Welcoming Baby No. 4 With New Woman?

The past year has been interesting for Future with regards to the women in his life. After a rough public feud with his ex-fiancée Ciara and her new beau Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson, the rapper is now the topic of another discussion — which may or may not involve the mother of his next child. According to an Instagram comment by a mystery woman, she is three months pregnant with Future’s child.

The allegation made its way around the web after a comment was left under the page of another one of Future’s child’s mothers, Brittni Mealy. A user by the name of @stacy8629 — who boasts no photos on the social network — claimed that she was involved with the rapper, is now pregnant and was also “buddies” with Mealy in the process.

“Girl, Future for all us,” she wrote. “Ask him who he was with when you keep blowing up his phone. Yeah I’m three months pregnant too, so just sit back and wait on it. Just like you was buddies with Ciara, we was buddies so karma is a b***h.” Mealy’s reply was a little less lengthy, writing: “Awesome! IDGAF!”

Future’s beef with Ciara — who is also a mother of one of his children — has shifted from Twitter to the courtroom, as the singer has reportedly filed a whopping $15 million lawsuit against the EVOL rapper. In a series of alleged email leaks between Ciara and Future’s lawyers, the rapper’s social media commentary on Ciara is being pointed to as detrimental for their child.

"It is not in the child's best interests, no matter how frustrated his famous parents are or how you spin it, for parents to post negative comments about each other on social media," reads a portion of the leaked emails, according to The Daily Mail. "Calling Ms. Harris a 'b***h' on Twitter was so insulting and disrespectful."

For what it’s worth, let’s hope there isn’t more drama headed Future’s way. Peep the mystery woman's Instagram comment below:

Source:BET

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07/Apr/2016

Previously FBI’s Most Wanted, Tupac’s Stepfather Is Now Up for Parole

Tupac’s stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, is up for parole after serving half of a 60-year sentence after being convicted in a 1981 Brinks armored truck robbery for $1.6 million that left one security guard and two New York State police officers dead. Now 65 years old, Shakur was sentenced in 1988 for conspiracy to aid bank expropriation and is scheduled for a parole hearing this week at the federal penitentiary in Victorville, California, the Associated Press reports.

Shakur was reportedly a part of a revolutionary group called “The Family,” and made his way onto the FBI’s Most Wanted List following the deadly robbery. He was also convicted of racketeering, after allegedly aiding in the escape of Assata Shakur, Tupac’s step aunt. Assata was convicted in the 1973 killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, and later fled to Cuba where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro. In the Brinks robbery that led to Mutulu’s conviction, Peter Paige, a Brinks security guard, and policemen Waverly Brown and Sg. Edward O’Grady were killed. He maintained his innocence in the incident. His attorneys argued that no proof of his involvement was produced.

Federal parole was abolished in 1987, but is still being granted to inmates who were convicted before the mandate. Officer O’Grady’s son, Edward O’Grady Jr., attempted to appeal to the U.S. Parole Commission against Mutulu’s possible release.

“I offer that the crimes Mr. Shakur was convicted of are a brand of violent extremism similar in scope, if not scale, to what we are seeing from the Islamic State and Al Qaeda before them,” he stated.

According to Mutulu’s official site, http://mutulushakur.com/site/about/, a series of covert FBI operations against political organizations called COINTELPRO is responsible for his conviction.

“As a part of this movement Dr. Shakur has been a target of the illegal Counterintelligence Program carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (COINTELPRO),” it reads. “This was a secret police strategy used in the U.S. starting in the 1960s to destroy and neutralize progressive and revolutionary organizations. It is believed that Dr. Shakur’s resistance to this program led to his arrest and trial.”

Following his hearing, the U.S. Parole Commission will decide if Mutulu will walk, based on a recommendation from his hearing officer.

Source:BET

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07/Apr/2016