Wednesday, November 28, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It was a Thanksgiving weekend wedding for "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford.
Routh, 28, married the 29-year-old actress Saturday at El Capitan Ranch, according to People magazine and the celebrity news site The Insider. The couple met four years ago.
The bride wore a Junko Yoshioka sheath dress with Chantilly lace and platinum beading, and the groom wore a cashmere suit.
In a People interview in June, Routh called Ford his personal kryptonite, saying, "She brings me to my knees."
Telephone messages left with Routh's publicists, Emily Yomtabian and Simon Halls, weren't returned.
Routh starred in last year's "Superman Returns." Ford starred in the 2004 science fiction film "Outside," and her TV credits include appearances on "Ugly Betty" and "Moesha."To read more CLICK HERE
Thursday, November 22, 2007
appeared in a London court on Thursday charged with the false imprisonment of a male escort.
The former Culture Club frontman fought through a huge media scrum after a minute-long hearing in which he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.
The 46-year-old, dressed in a black jacket and shirt, was released on bail, with the condition that he cannot contact the alleged victim.
The offence is alleged to have taken place at the star's home in east London in April this year.
Prosecutor Nicholas Paul told the court the case centered on an "allegation of false imprisonment" but did not provide further details.
George, who did not enter a plea, will appear again at Snaresbrook Crown Court on February 25 next year.
As the star left the court house he was surrounded by photographers, and it took six burly policemen to force a way through the crowd to George's car.
George refused to make any comment outside the court.
(Editing by Astrid Zweynert)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
LaS VEGAS - Though she's undeniably warm and gregarious, you can hear a bit of irritation creep into Celine Dion's voice when her years away from the pop music world is referred to as "time off."
"I don't think it was a break," she says politely but firmly. "I worked for five years."
Indeed, Dion's "A New Day" concert extravaganza on the Las Vegas strip may have been more demanding than pop life. The French-Canadian chanteuse performed several days a week in the ambitious, Franco Dragone-directed show, which was heavy on dancing, theatrics and of course Dion's booming voice. The career of Celine Dion the Entertainer was vibrant and thriving.
But for all practical purposes, the career of Celine Dion the Pop Diva was all but dormant where it once had its biggest impact the recording industry.
While thousands packed Caesars' Palace to hear her sing every night, Dion who has sold 50 million albums in the United States alone since her 1990 debut, and had one of the biggest songs in pop history with "My Heart Will Go On" disappeared from the charts. Though she released a French-language album and a CD to accompany an Anne Geddes photo book titled "Miracles," Dion decided not to put out a pop disc during her Las Vegas tenure. Her last proper studio album release was 2003's double-platinum "One Heart," released just as the show began.
So as "A New Day" winds down this year and she releases her comeback record, "Taking Chances," on this week, Dion finds herself in many ways starting over, trying to reclaim her place after being a pop queen in exile.
"She's more nervous than she was before. The fact that she hasn't been in the pop arena for five years, she's pretty nervous about it and me too by the way," says her husband and manager, Rene Angelil. "We don't know if people will accept her, if the fans are still there. We know that she has fans ... (but) a lot of things have changed in the music business in the last five years."
Something else has also changed as well: Dion's sound. The woman known (and often parodied) for her bombastic love ballads now has a harder edge to her music. Some of the songs are decidedly uptempo and would fit in easily on a Kelly Clarkson CD, with their emphasis on heavy guitars. And on the album's most intriguing track, "The Woman in Me," Dion sounds like she's singing in some nefarious dive bar. Growling her way through the blues belter, she blows away her reputation for sometimes saccharine material.
Even the album's first single, the ballad "Taking Chances," seems more mainstream pop than her usual adult contemporary vibe like a calculated attempt to capture new listeners.
But Dion, 39, says she wasn't intentionally trying to change her sound.
"I picked those (songs) without knowing that it was very different, to be honest with you," she said via phone after taping an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," part of a high-profile media blitz planned for the week of the CD's release.
"When I went in the studio and I sang them I just enjoyed myself so much. And now I listen to it and I notice it's definitely edgier but this is where I am right now," she adds. "I'm not a new Celine but it's just that I've evolved and this is where I am in my life and my career right now. ... the feeling that I feel. I'm definitely more mature and more grounded."
John Shanks, who produced several songs on "Taking Chances," including the title cut, says her new sound shows "she's viable and that she is competitive."
"It shows that there are many sides to her and it's just how she's been showcased in the past. ... I don't think she's chasing anything at all, she's not chasing a sound. I think it's a very natural growth."
But after being gone from the pop scene for so long, even a new sound may not be enough to connect with listeners. So far, the acoustic-leaning single "Taking Chances" hasn't registered on the pop charts, although it's at No. 11 on the adult contemporary charts.
One station that is taking a chance on "Taking Chances" is New York's top 40 radio station Z100. Sharon Datsur, the program director, says the typical response from listeners is "shock that it's Celine Dion, first of all, and then they say, 'Wow, I love the song.'"
Though the first single has been slow to catch on at other radio stations, Datsur said the album, which includes production by R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, rocker Ben Moody and Linda Perry, is the smart way to reintroduce Dion and create a different identity with the audience.
"I've listened to the whole album and they did this really smartly. They are working with some of the top producers that have produced some of the biggest pop hits in the last five, 10 years," she says. "For so many years, a lot of people kind of associated her with adult contemporary an older audience."
While Dion admits to being "more nervous" about her new album than past one, she's also quick to assert that she's not obsessed with trying to recapture the multi-platinum status of her glory years. Part of the reason for that is also the reason she planted herself in Las Vegas for five years: her 6-year-old son, Rene-Charles.
"I do worry, but for the important things," she says forcefully before a recent performance at Caesars Palace. "My priorities changed since I became a mommy. I love to sing, I love to perform (but) it is not my life."
To that end, Dion and Angelil are already looking past the next year, during which she plans a major world tour, and planning to add to their family. "This is our big project," Angelil says.
In fact, Dion, who is quick to point out that she has been working pretty much straight for the past 25 years, is looking forward to her next hiatus from the pop arena when she will truly have a real break.
"I miss to be home, we're building a house right now," she says wistfully. "I'm about to meet my life soon, you know, so that's what I miss the most."
Source : Associates Press
NEW YORK - It wasn't live from New York as usual.
About 150 audience members in a tiny Manhattan theater were the only folks in the world to witness a totally new "Saturday Night Live" episode starring guest host Michael Cera and musical guest Yo La Tengo.
Anyone who tuned into NBC was subjected to a two-week-old rerun featuring Brian Williams and Feist, thanks to an ongoing Writers Guild of America labor strike.
"It was everything that's never been on the show before," cast member Kenan Thompson told The Associated Press after the show. "Sometimes it doesn't get a chance to shine, but it sure shined here."
The "SNL" cast and writers collaborated on staging the special "Saturday Night Live On Strike!" event at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to benefit the behind-the-scenes staff affected by the strike. The live performance was not officially sanctioned by NBC, but "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels, who celebrated his 63rd birthday, did attend.
"He came and saw it and laughed a little bit," said Thompson.
The performance included all the trappings of a typical "SNL" episode, such as a host monologue, musical performance, "Weekend Update" news segment and several comedy sketches all without any commercial interruption.
"It was a little dirtier than usual," audience member Birch Harms said.
A typical "SNL" episode features about seven sketches, but the cast performed about 15 original sketches during the two-hour event. Thompson said he starred in a sketch called "Hip-Hop Whodunit," a mock game show about solving hip-hop crimes, and also appeared as a French comedian during "Weekend Update."
"They didn't have elaborate costumes or graphics or anything," audience member Risa Sang-urai said. "Sometimes they would explain things or wear wigs. It wasn't anything too elaborate, but you didn't really need it."
Tickets to the hush-hush sold at the 11:30 p.m. EST performance were difficult to come by. Many audience members were friends or acquaintances of "SNL" cast members or performers at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, an improv theater co-founded by "SNL" cast member Amy Poehler.
Thompsen said everyone in the current cast participated in the event, except Maya Rudolph. Past cast members Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz also performed. Singer Norah Jones made a cameo appearance, according to audience members.
Production of "SNL" shut down because many of the stars also write the shows. The cast and writers of "30 Rock" have also planned to stage a similar live performance Monday at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
"Everybody's in a holding pattern right now," Thompson said of the "SNL" staff. "It's a shame. All these creative people are just sitting around. We've obviously got material we're waiting to unleash on the world."
Source : AFP
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
GAUHATI, India - Paris Hilton is being praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India.
Activists said a celebrity endorsement such as Hilton's was sure to raise awareness of the plight of the pachyderms that get drunk on farmers' homemade rice beer and then go on a rampage.
"The elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them," the 26-year-old socialite said in a report posted on World Entertainment News Network's Web site. Her comments were picked up by other Web sites and newspapers around the globe.
Last month, six wild elephants that broke into a farm in the state of Meghalaya were electrocuted after drinking the potent brew and then uprooting an electricity pole.
"There would have been more casualties if the villagers hadn't chased them away. And four elephants died in a similar way three years ago. It is just so sad," Hilton was quoted as saying in Tokyo last week. She was in Tokyo to judge a beauty contest.
Her publicist couldn't immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Hilton promised to improve her bad-girl image after she completed a jail term in June for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
She announced plans to do charity work in Rwanda, but the trip was postponed until next year.
Sangeeta Goswami, head of animal rights group People for Animals, told The Associated Press: "I am indeed happy Hilton has taken note of recent incidents of wild elephants in northeast India going berserk after drinking homemade rice beer and getting killed."
"As part of her global elephant campaign, Hilton should, in fact, think of visiting this region literally infested with elephants," Goswami said.
Another conservationist said elephant alcohol abuse was just a symptom of the real problem.
"Elephants appear on human settlements ... because they have no habitat left due to wanton destruction of forests," said Soumyadeep Dutta, who heads Nature's Beckon, a leading regional conservation group.
"A celebrity like Hilton must focus her attention on this fact," Dutta said.
Source : US Magazine
Sunday, November 11, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger underwent surgery Saturday to remove a metal plate and cables from his leg, a spokesman said.
The hardware was used to help Schwarzenegger's upper thigh bone heal after he broke it while skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, last Dec. 23.
Dr. Kevin Ehrhart, who performed the 20-minute surgery at a Los Angeles hospital, said in a statement issued by the governor's office that there were no complications.
The governor "is in excellent health and there were no complications in this morning's successful follow-up medical procedure," Ehrhart said in a statement.
He said removing the hardware is standard practice after the leg has fully healed. Ehrhart said the second-term Republican governor will use a crutch for several days.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the governor turned over power to Lt. Gov. John Garamendi for 90 minutes during what he described as "minor surgery." Schwarzenegger was under general anesthesia for one hour during the procedure, McLear said.
McLear would not disclose the name of the hospital, citing "privacy reasons." Schwarzenegger left the hospital Saturday afternoon to return to his Santa Monica home, McLear said.
The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck and her husband, Tim, an NFL quarterback, have welcomed their second child, a baby boy, ABC announced Saturday.
The child, who weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and arrived without complications, was born Friday in Arizona.
"We're thrilled he arrived safely," Tim said in a statement. "Both mom and son are happy and healthy."
Elisabeth is expected to reveal the baby's name when she calls in to The View Monday.
The couple's daughter Grace is 2.
Tim Hasselback with wife Elisabeth at the 2007 Breeders Cup press conference, NYC.
Gary Gershoff / Wire Image
Friday, November 2, 2007
Paris Hilton apparently doesn't think her sex tape requires marketing.
TMZ has security camera footage of the 26-year-old socialite demanding that posters advertising One Night in Paris in a Toronto porn shop be taken down.
In the video, Hilton confronts a clerk about the posters, saying, "You guys can't use my image in a porn store...I am going to call my lawyer and sue the sh-- out of this place if they are not taken down right now."
While the stunned clerk relays the message to someone over the phone, Hilton appears to take matters into her own hands, ripping the posters down before telling the clerk, "This is not right...this is disgusting."
Hilton's manager told TMZ the store voluntarily gave the heiress the posters.To see the video, click HERE
Source : US Magazine
MUNICH, Germany - Amy Winehouse was at a loss for words when she won the Artists' Choice Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards. The 24-year-old British singer-songwriter wearing a short, cleavage-baring denim dress and her signature beehive hairdo was struck speechless while accepting the award before a cheering crowd. All she could muster was "um" and "thanks" before leaving the stage.
"She clammed up, she had a moment there and didn't say anything (on the microphone), which is a little sad," R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who presented the honor to Winehouse, told AP Television News after Thursday's event.
Winehouse later performed "Back to Black," a song from her acclaimed album of the same name.
The retro soul singer ran into trouble last month when she and husband Blake Fielder-Civil were arrested in Bergen, Norway, on charges of marijuana possession. They were released after paying fines of $715 each.
Her lawyer said Thursday that Winehouse is appealing the fine because she didn't understand that under Norwegian law, accepting a fine is the same as pleading guilty, which could have serious consequences when she seeks to enter the United States.
Winehouse canceled an appearance at the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards, which will be presented Thursday in New York, because she cannot travel to the U.S. "due to visa issues."