Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whose Celebrity Shoes?

Whose Celebrity Shoes?

Katy Perry

Pop singer Katy Perry!!
She was performing on Italy’s version of The X Factor (Sept 7th) in one of her many unique outfits.
Michael Jackson’s New Album: 

So Close And Yet, So Far Away


An album of Michael Jackson‘s unreleased music is still for a November release from Sony.
But really, among the insiders, no one knows what’s going to be on it. Or if it will be ready in time. The word is that Sony/Columbia Records chief Rob Stringer recently made a trip west to see what the heck is going on. It’s unclear what he found.
In the Jackson world, things are vaguer than ever on this subject.
My sources say there are different camps working on different tracks, and that at some point someone is going to have to make some decisions. One thing is for certain: no one is talking to Jackson’s long time engineer, Bruce Swedien, the man who actually knows what music is available from all his different sessions.
So producer Rodney Jerkins is working on a few tracks, I am told. Some of them may be from that group of songs Michael recorded with Eddie Cascio in his New Jersey home studio three summers ago.
On the other side, John McClain – Jackson’s co-executor and long time family friend– is said to be working on some songs with Michael’s brother Jackie Jackson. Jackie was recently put on the estate’s payroll as a family liaison. He’s said to be the “most reasonable” of the Jackson brothers, and the one with whom everyone gets along. Akon is also said to be working on one or two tracks.
But McClain is another issue. It was under his aegis that the unearthed song, “This Is It,” was produced and released as part of the movie and soundtrack of the same name. But the song wasn’t a hit. One listen to Paul Anka‘s version of it, live, and you see what could have been. Anka has another unreleased track in the Jackson archives.
But the clock is ticking: two months from a release date, and there’s no concept, title, artwork or marketing plan.

Elton John Petitions Rock Hall for Leon Russell Induction

Elton John plus Leon 
You may wonder, what happened to our “friends” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
They’re meeting on September 13th to have the annual fight over who will get onto the ballot and who won’t. As usual, it will be a slugfest between Jann Wenner‘s minions and the few independent voices left on the nominating committee.
I’m told that Leon Russell‘s chances have gotten a lot better since Elton John made an album with him and went on tour together. Elton has petitioned everyone on the nominating committee for Russell. His induction is long overdue. Russell is not only a seminal influence as a rocker, but he wrote some of the best pop songs ever including “A Song for You” and “This Masquerade.”
But that leaves a lot of question marks. Sting is eligible this year as a solo artist. He’s had had too many hits and influenced so much of the music business that he’s the only cinch.
From there things look bleak. Wenner and company have made a point of skipping over some key people from the late 70s to the mid 80s. Cyndi Lauper should be in. The Cars have been overlooked. Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, as well.
Then there’s the holdovers from the 70s. Wenner bears everyone a grudge for something, so this group is hard to navigate. Chicago, Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, The Moody Blues and Todd Rundgren are on that list.
Going backwards, there are a whole roster of important musicians and stars, many of whom are now gone including Billy Preston and Mary Wells Dionne Warwick, Chuck Wills, Chubby Checker. and so on. And let’s not forget Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka.
Or, of course, the nominating committee can choose from a list of one hit wonders who first released albums in 1985. We love ‘em but still: Fine Young Cannibals, til Tuesday, and Simply Red. If they’re not available, Pet Shop Boys are ready and waiting from last year.
And PS Isn’t it time for producers to be honored? Phil Ramone, Richard Perry, Richard Gottherer, Russ Titelman, Lenny Waronker, Tommy LiPuma, and posthumously Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd are just a few that come to mind.

Is Oprah As Big as the Beatles Now? Kennedy Center Will Honor McCartney, Winfrey


Is Oprah as big as the Beatles? The Kennedy Center seems to think so. They’ve just announced their awards for this December, and the two big names are Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah, of course, gets this as part of her year long winner’s lap. Her show ends its run in May.
McCartney’s award is a long time coming. None of the Beatles are in the Kennedy Center. Obviously, John Lennon and George Harrison, sadly cannot be inducted. McCartney’s award represents his work and the work of the group, frankly. And this is his year for big honors. He was at the White House last spring to pick up the Gershwin Prize.
The other awardees this year are country legend Merle Haggard, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and, at long last, “Hello Dolly!” Broadway composer Jerry Herman.
Ironically, it was Herman’s hit song, “Hello Dolly!”–as recorded by Louis Armstrong–that fought the Beatles for the number 1 spot on the charts in 1964.  It would be very funny if producer George Stevens, Jr. got McCartney to sing “Hello Dolly!” at the show.
The Kennedy Center opted for no Hollywood names this year. Among some that were bandied about were Meryl Streep and George Lucas. Michael Douglas might have been a cool choice considering his illness, and that he’s having a banner year with “Wall Street 2″ and “Solitary Man.”
In music, some fans were hopeful of an award for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the legendary songwriting team. This is their 60 th anniversary. But there’s always next year.

It’s Colin Firth’s Turn for the Oscar as “King’s Speech” Triumphs

colin firth

I wish I could be in Toronto on Friday night when “The King’s Speech” is met with thunderous applause and standing ovations. (I don’t arrive until late Friday night.)

Tom Hooper‘s movie about King George VI, father of the current Queen of England, and his speech therapist, is going to rock the festival, just as it has Telluride It’s one of those Best Picture nominees that is just perfect in every way. Stars Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush–not to mention Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle, and Guy Pearce–just take your breath away individually and as an ensemble.
Hooper is well known for his Emmy award winning work directing mini series for HBO. He was behind “John Adams” and “Elizabeth I” with Helen Mirren. Last year Hooper made his first feature, “The Damned United.” It was a good film but it didn’t foreshadow at all what Hooper had in mind. “The King’s Speech” is a fascinating hybrid of old fashioned film making done on the cutting edge. And the nice part is, you won’t have to see it three times to figure out what happened.
The story is simple: King George (Michael Gambon)– that’s Elizabeth’s grandfather–is dying. He will be succeeded by his son, Edward (known in the family as David.) But Edward is in love with an American divorcee, Mrs. Wallis Simpson. When the king dies, Edward takes the crown. But in short time he abdicates to be with her. Next in line is Edward’s brother, “Bertie,” Elizabeth’s father. Bertie is married to another Elizabeth, whom we came to know as the Queen Mother.
Helena Bonham Carter has made so many movies with Tim Burton that you kind of forget how good she is not being crazy, evil, or possessed. She is sublime as the Queen Mum, almost a revelation. She is there to support and guide her husband, who stammers ferociously and has deep seated fears about communicating with his public. That’s where Geoffrey Rush comes in, as the real life speech therapist Lionel Logue. The scenes with three of these actors in them–Firth, Rush, and Bonham-Carter–are the actors’ scenes to beat in this awards season.
So it’s a relief to report on “The King’s Speech.” There’s none of that usual last minute gasping and wondering that has accompanied  Oscar level films in the last few years. It’s the first week of September, and there’s some great to look forward to for holiday release. For the Weinstein Company, “The King’s Speech” is the much needed hit–commercially and artistically– to lift them back into the winners’ circle.
And for Colin Firth, who came close last season with “A Single Man,” it looks like 2010 is really his year.

Madonna’s Movie May Suffer from “King’s Speech” Comparison

There’s room in history for lots of different interpretations. But there’s rarely room in Hollywood for two movies on the same topic at the same time.
Madonna is still shooting a feature film for which she reportedly put up big bucks of her own. “W.E.” centers around the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Winsdor, juxtaposed with a modern American couple. The wife in the modern couple is named Wally, and she’s obsessed with Wallis Simpson. Call it “Wally and Wallis” after “Julie and Julia.”
Now, however, we have Tom Hooper‘s “The King’s Speech,” which is largely concerned with the abdication from the throne of King Edward–the Duke of Windsor–and his relationship with Mrs. Simpson.
Unlike the gauzy romantic view of the Duke and Duchess in “W.E.,” the couple don’t fare so well in “The King’s Speech.” That’s because the latter film sticks to history. The couple were Nazi sympathizers, and not too bright. Edward was only interested in Mrs. Simpson, not in the British public. In “The King’s Speech” he is being led around by the nose by Mrs. Simpson, who is described as promiscuous. “She shares her favors with others,” is how it’s delicately worded. Theirs is not a great romance, but a big mess.
One of the best moments in “The King’s Speech,” is when Prince Albert–soon to be King George VI–and the soon to be Queen Mum attend a wild party thrown by Edward and Mrs. Simpson at Buckingham Palace. Albert (Colin Firth) asks Edward (Guy Pearce) what he’s been doing on the throne. Edward thinks about it. “King-ing.” he replies vacantly.
Lucky for Madonna, “The King’s Speech” will be just about done with its run next spring before “W.E.” is ready to be seen.

James Franco Sells His “SNL” Doc, Heads to Toronto

James Franco is the entertainer of the year.
Let’s see: he’s heading to the Toronto Film Festival where he stars in Danny Boyle‘s “127 Hours.” There’s Oscar talk, of course. Then he’s off to Yale to start work on his post-graduate writing program. He’s got a book coming out this fall. During the summer, he curated a weird art show in New York. And filmed a prequel to “Planet of the Apes.”
Today, Oscilloscope announced that it’s picked up the documentary Franco showcased last spring at South by Southwest about  “Saturday Night Live.”  Oscilloscope is Adam Yauch‘s great little film company that currently has “A Film Unfinished” in theaters. In a couple of weeks they’re released “Howl” with Franco playing Alan Ginsberg. Of the doc, Franco says: “It’s pretty cool. I shot it last spring.”
Between “Howl” and “127 Hours” and several short films, and now this, Franco’s going to get some kind of award this winter. They may have to make one up for him.
Oh right: I forgot about his long, inexplicable stint on “General Hospital.” And the trenchant New York magazine piece that ran on him this summer. James Franco is living the movie “Phenomenon.”
I asked him today what else is coming? An opera? Has he learned to make haggis? Will he start an international think tank?
His emailed answer: “All those things are coming.”
Look out. He means it.
Gisele Bundchen Shines at Fashions Night Out

Gisele Bundchen Hits the Runway for Fashions Night Out
What girl wouldn’t enjoy “Fashion Night Out”?
After playing with her hair during rehearsals, Gisele shined on the runway (Sept 6th) in New York.
The Lincoln Center was the setting for what was being called the largest public fashion show in NYC history.
Fashion Night Out, which debuted last year, is an evening of shopping related events sponsored by Vogue and the counsel of fashion designers of America to stimulate fashion sales.
A ladies dream!
Angelina Supports Pakistani Flood Victims

Angelina Rises and Shines to Meet With Pakistani Flood Victims

You can be called actress, mega-star and gorgeous but it must be something special to be called - Goodwill Ambassador!
That’s exactly what millions of Pakistan people are calling Angelina Jolie right now.
The “Changeling” chick donned a long black robe with a black headscarf as she met with people displaced by the recent flood, deemed to be the worst natural disaster Pakistan has ever experienced (Sept 7th).
Angie is there to highlight the suffering of millions of flood victims and the need for continuing aid for the displaced.
“We have to support them,” Jolie said. “For all the people worried about conflict in this part of the world, they think it is far away and don’t understand the corruption. The only way to make for a healthier, more hopeful, stronger Pakistan and Afghanistan is to help support education and help people, especially in this time of need, and not allow for more devastation and more desperation.”
Salma Valentina Cover Up at LAX

Salma and Shy Valentina at LAX
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for those pesky paps!
Little Valentina shielded her eyes from the flashbulbs (Sept 6th) as her star mom pushed her along at LAX.
Did ya know Salma just celebrated her 44th birthday?
Happy birthday to Salma.
Hot, huh?
And, Salma fans can look forward to her lending her voice as the character “Kity” in the upcoming movie, Puss in Boots.
It’s set to hit theatres Nov. of 2011.
Christina Aguilera and Her Little Man Christina Aguilera and Her Smiley Son

The singer and her “little man” Max were seen leaving a Cafe in Venice Beach, CA (Sept. 5th).
He’s 2 1/2 now.
They were joined by dad Jordan Bratman in his Ferrari after lunching at 3 Square Cafe.
Like the hats?
What can you say other than - fedorable!
Here’s what Christina had to say about what Max has brought to their marriage
“Having Max has brought us closer together. [Jordan] changed the first nappy while I was in bed recovering from my C-section — and he’s been so hands-on ever since. When I see them together it makes my heart sing and melt at the same time.”
Miley Cyrus Gets Romantic in Paris

Miley Cyrus Filming Romantic Scenes in Paris

She’s laughing out loud in Paris!
After being spotted in Detroit earlier this summer Miley and her castmates, Ashley Greene and Adam G. Sevani were spotted filming in Paris (Sept 6th).
The film, LOL:  Laughing Out Loud,  is about a group of young people, led by Cyrus (whose character is named Lola), who try to navigate high school peer pressures and romance in a tech-savvy world.
It also stars Demi Moore as Cyrus’s mom.
Demi said this about Miley:
“She’s great and I think that she is incredibly grounded. … [Miley] is a true professional, and she truly has a wonderful family. It really shows.”

Young Parents May Be Especially Prone to Depression

Greatest risk is during first year after child is born, researchers say
Young Parents May 
Be Especially Prone to Depression Many parents experience depression during the first 12 years of their children's lives and the risk is highest during the first year after birth, a new study has found.
Researchers in the United Kingdom examined data from 86,957 families seen in primary-care clinics between 1993 and 2007 in order to identify parents with depression. They found that more than one-third of mothers and about one-fifth of fathers had an episode of depression between their child's birth and their 12th birthday -- 19,286 mothers had a total of 25,176 episodes of depression and 8,012 fathers had a total of 9,683 episodes of depression.
Overall, the depression rates were 7.53 per 100 mothers and 2.69 per 100 fathers per year. But the rates during the first year after the birth of a child were 13.93 per 100 mothers and 3.56 per 100 fathers.
"These high rates of depression in the postpartum period are not surprising owing to the potential stress associated with the birth of a baby, [for example,] poor parental sleep, the demands made on parents and the change in their responsibilities, and the pressure this could place on the couple's relationship," wrote Shreya Dave, of the Medical Research Council in London, and colleagues.
Depression was most likely to occur in parents with a history of depression, those who were aged 15 to 24 when their child was born, and those who were more socially deprived, according to the report, which was released online Sept. 6 in advance of publication in the November print issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
"There is a well-established link between depression and social and economic deprivation both in the general population and among parents. This finding may reflect the stresses of poverty, unemployment, low employment grade and lower social support among people of lower socioeconomic status," the researchers concluded.
In addition, "younger parents may be less prepared for parenthood with more unplanned pregnancies and may be less able to deal with the stresses of parenthood compared with older parents," Dave and colleagues wrote.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Ke$Ha is proud of her wild pop persona - insisting she is the female version of Van Halen hellraiser David Lee Roth.
The 23 year old hit the charts last year with TiK ToK, a track about her hard boozing and partying ways.
But the star doesn't understand why she has been slammed for promoting drinking and clubbing to her teenage fans - because there is no reason a female performer can't be as wild as her male rocker predecessors.
She tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "You'd have to have no pulse not to come to my show and not have fun. David Lee Roth could be... running around, drinking whiskey and jumping into the crowd. I see no reason why a woman can't do that."

Kim Kardashian has moved swiftly to dismiss rumors her reality TV star sister Kourtney has separated from boyfriend Scott Disick, insisting the couple is "doing really well".
Kardashian welcomed the couple's first son in December (09), and the pair has been dogged by rumors of a split since reuniting just before the birth.
Fresh reports published on Wednesday (01Sep10) again suggested the couple had called time on the relationship, and had officially separated. But Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Kim is adamant stories of a split aren't true.
Kim tells "Kourtney and Scott are not separated. They are actually doing really well."

Melanie Brown has taken to the web to shrug off rumours her marriage is on the rocks - by posting a picture of her and husband Stephen Belafonte cosying up together.
The former Spice Girls star's husband was said to have told a British tabloid last month (Aug10) that the couple's union is over and Brown plans to return to Britain without him.
The claims forced the singer's representative to insist the relationship was "all fine", but the pair has remained tight-lipped about the state of their marriage.
However, the former Scary Spice has now taken to her page to bury the rumour for good - she's posted a snap of the pair hugging for a private photo.

Katy Perry is planning to become a British citizen after she marries funnyman Russell Brand.
The I Kissed A Girl hitmaker is set to wed the funnyman later this year (10) and, to make life easier as she jets between her native America and the U.K., the singer is eyeing dual-citizenship.
She says, "I love London and just being here. I've decided that when the day does come, I will become a dual citizen. Then I can just pass through customs real quick."
And the singer expects to cut through the red tape really easily - because she's so well known already in Britain.
She tells chat show host Alan Carr, "You've already kind of adopted me, so maybe I don't have to go through all the paperwork?"

Lauryn Hill has revealed she shied away from the spotlight for years because she wanted to "reclaim" control of her private life.
The former Fugees star garnered critical acclaim in 1998 when she released her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but she subsequently took a step back from the limelight after becoming disillusioned with the music industry.
Lauryn Hill recently admitted she wanted to focus on her role as a mother to her five kids with longtime partner Rohan Marley, and she also needed to put her career on hold because she felt she was losing her identity.
She tells FUSE TV, "I wanted a real life as well, out of public scrutiny.
"I wanted to be able to live, to reclaim my private life, to reclaim my individuality outside of mass media scrutiny. I wanted that freedom to do whatever I wanted to do."
Lauryn Hill staged a successful concert comeback at the Rock The Bells festival in California last month (Aug10) and is now said to be working on her first new release in 12 years.

Jay-Z and Eminem rocked Detroit, Michigan on Thursday night (02Sep10) by performing with an all-star line-up including 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Drake.
The hip-hop heavyweights have teamed up for the Home And Home tour, which features two stadium dates in Eminem's native Detroit this week (02-03Sep10) and a pair of concerts in Jay-Z's New York later this month (Sep10).
The Empire State of Mind hitmaker hit the stage after an opening set by rap newcomer B.o.B. and performed a medley of his chart smashes, running through tracks such as Big Pimpin' and Forever Young, before bringing out Young Jeezy to guest on Hard Knock Life.
He paid tribute to the fans packed into the sold-out show at Comerica Park by labelling his monumental hour-long gig as "one of the best experiences of my entire life", before handing over the stage to hometown hero Eminem.
The Slim Shady star kept concertgoers on their feet as he put on an energetic performance of songs like Lose Yourself, Without Me and My Name Is, with his longtime sidekick DJ Alchemist and a full band behind him.
A string of big names joined Eminem onstage, including 50 Cent for Patiently Waiting, Drake for their collaboration Forever, and his D12 bandmates for Fight Music and Purple Pills, but it was the introduction of Dre for his classics Still D.R.E. and Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang, and his duet with Jay-Z for Renegade which garnered the loudest cheers.
Singer Liz Rodrigues stood in for an absent Rihanna on Eminem's current chart hit Love The Way You Lie, and she also took on Dido's vocals on Stan.
Eminem expressed his delight at returning to the limelight in his hometown, declaring, "I am so motherf**king happy to be back!"
The rap legends' second gig in Detroit on Friday night (03Sep10) will reportedly feature Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
The New York shows will take place at the new Yankee Stadium on 13 and 14 September (10).


The Scissor Sisters are set to thrill fans with their next project - they've recruited pop superstar Lady Gaga for a guest appearance, according to a report.
Frontman Jake Shears approached the singer about teaming up in the studio after they met at Sir Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball in June (10).
The Poker Face hitmaker agreed to work with the band - and now the stars are in the final stages of negotiations for the upcoming collaboration, according to Britain's Mail on Sunday.
A source tells the publication, "Jake has performed with huge stars like Kylie (Minogue). He is desperate for the union with Lady Gaga to go ahead. He was concerned Lady Gaga might decide against it but he has been reassured that the collaboration will happen in some way, shape or form."

Justin Bieber: Exclusive Photos from Movie Shoot

leave it to bieber
Last night (August 30th) at Madison Square Garden, there was some filming for a movie.
Ah yes, annoying little Justin Bieber, who’s the subject of a film about what’s under his bangs, was on stage making a 3D version of his tremendously exciting life.
A helpful spy sent me these two pics. One is of Justin with Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. The other shows him with Usher.
Quick: which of these things is alike? Which is different? Discuss and explain.
There were about 500 people in the invited audience, I am told. Leave it to Bieber is having problems with his voice (d’oh!) such as it is, so the audience was given an explanation that these things will be taken care of later in the studio. Oh, I am sure they will.
From Leif Garrett to Bobby Sherman to Fabian, etc there have always been teen pop stars. Remember the Jonas Brothers? Or Hanson? (Note corrected spelling.) These are the acts for whom state fairs are produced. Let’s love the Bieb while we can. Five years from now, the lawsuits over money lost, etc. will make excellent stories.

Justin Bieber Lip Synchs at Film Shoot, Gets Knocked Down

leave it to bieber
Justin Bieber’s show tonight at Madison Square Garden should be interesting to say the least.
At last night’s film shoot at the Garden for his 3D movie, the 16 yer old Bieb had to lip synch to the music. The reason, as stated, was that he’s still ill and can’t sing. I’m not convinced that he’s much of a singer in the first place. But the little tween kids love him, and don’t care one way or another. They don’t know the difference.
The shoot lasted eight hours–from 3pm to 11pm–and also included Sean Kington in addition to the aforementioned Usher and Jaden Smith, who I guess is launching some kind of music career now. Bieber, a Canadian found on YouTube, is surrounding himself with R&B acts. I wonder how Usher feels having to play along with all this hype. He’s the actual artist.
There are of course, staged scenes in this 3D extravaganza. During a fight scene last night, I’m told Bieber — who vertically challenged– was knocked over by one of the larger dancers. Still, he dusted himself off and returned to the action.
Meanwhile, Bieber has issued some announcement to his teen fans that they should up tonight even if they have don’t have tickets. He’s letting tens of hundreds of tween girls think that if they wear purple they’ll somehow get in.  Obviously MSG wouldn’t allow such an announcement unless there were plenty of unsold tickets.

Seal: Record Company Keeps Him a “Secret”

Seal– such a good singer songwriter, has a new album coming out on September 28th. It’s called “Commitment.”
Did you know about it? Of course not. It’s from Warner Music Group.
The first single is called “Secret.” It was released to YouTube and other outlets three days ago. Surprise!
I ran into Seal at the Governor’s Ball for the Emmy Awards with his delicious wife, Heidi Klum. They were celebrating losing the Emmy for “Project Runway” to “Top Chef.” Oh well. It’s better to look good than to feel good.
Seal told me he decided to stick with WMG for this album and one more, despite their shall we say indifferent attitude to promoting their CDs or selling them. Also, “Commitment” is an album of all new songs, not remakes, covers, or greatest hits. It does seem that in the modern era of music, getting out new songs is a challenge. The public, record companies and radio feel, only want to hear what they already know.
But “Secret” is a beautiful single. It has “hit” written all over it. If only Snooki were in the video. Can’t wait to hear more from the album.

Billy Preston Legacy: Will it Go Round in Circles?

FILE PHOTO Billy Preston Dies At 59
The great and legendary musician Billy Preston would have turned 64 on September 2nd. He died in June 2006, however, leaving a crazy legal entanglement.
Billy was the real “Fifth Beatle,” the only artist ever to have his name on a record with the Beatles–”Get Back.” He played on many of their hits, and with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Of course, he’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Billy’s hits included “Will it Go Round in Circles,” “Nothing from Nothing,” and “Outta Space.” He co-wrote the classic hit song, “You Are So Beautiful to Me.”
I knew Billy, and I know his manager, Joyce Moore, who’s been a musicians’ advocate for over 30 years. When Billy died, it was after an eight month coma that may have been caused during a hospital mishap. Prior to that, Billy was on dialysis for kidney failure. Three times a week Moore drove him to treatment, and took exceptional care of him.
Since Preston‘s death, Moore has lived with a massive set of legal issues that would cripple a normal person. Four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, she’s now represented by a cool lawyer– Bruce Fein, former general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and a regular witness before Congress on a wide array of constitutional and international law matters.
Fein says:   “I am optimistic that the courts will do justice to Billy Preston’s legacy once the true facts are exposed.  His music is a national treasure which rapacious litigants are attempting to hijack under the aegis of law.”
Fein is standing up for Preston and for Moore (the wife of R&B legend Sam Moore) against a variety of people including Preston’s two half sisters whom he’d disavowed long ago. One of the sisters’ sons-in-law represented the family until he was recently disbarred.
Moore and Fein are also up against Los Angeles’s perennial celebrity bankruptcy trustee, R. Todd Neilson.
A major point: Billy Preston never filed for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy  was filed in his name one month before he went into an unexpected coma— by an attorney who may not have been licensed at the time. It’s unlikely Preston’s signature on the papers is real.

Neilson is an interesting guy. He’s automatically handed every major celebrity case in Hollywood. He’s a Director (aka senior partner) with LEGC, an international sort of combination management consultancy and tax accountant. On the LEGC website he’s listed alternately and enigmatically as “R. Neilson” and “tneilson”.
R. Todd Neilson is also Chairman of the very exclusive Private Bank of California, which describes itself as “a full-service commercial bank that focuses on high net worth and high income individuals; business professionals and their professional service firms; and business owners, particularly of family owned and closely held businesses.” Translation: it’s for the very rich. It’s unclear what if any conflicts occur between Neilson’s bankruptcy business and his bank life.
Happy birthday, Billy, and here’s hoping that your legacy gets its proper solution soon.
Alicia Keys Bumpin’ It

Alicia Keys Bumps Around Town with Swizz Beatz
A little arm in arm action for Alicia and her husband Swizz Betz!
The two were spotted (Sept 1st) in New York enjoying a stroll in the Tribeca district of New York.
The  lovers wed in Corsica, France, in late July.
Keys announced her pregnancy and engagement to Beatz in May, and their first child is due later this year.
Look for Alicia to return to the stage at her annual Black Ball at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on September 30.
She’ll perform alongside Jay-Z and Sade.
Meanwhile, Betz is crafting new music for Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige and completing his own album Haute Living.

Katy Perry’s “Thumbs Up” in London

Katy Perry Fan Friendly in London

The t-shirt says it all - happy!
Katy gave us the “thumbs up” in London (Sept. 1st) as she was leaving the GMTV studios.
And, why not?
Her new album “Teenage Dream” debuted at number one!
“Teenage Dream” sold over 192,000 copies which was good enough to end Eminem’s reign and fight off Fantasia’s new album. Fantasia finished second with 117,000 copies sold while Eminem finished third this week.
And, let’s not forget about her upcoming wedding to comedian Russell Brand.
She said: “There’s a track on the new album called Firework, which is about him directly. It’s my favorite.”
Rihanna Filming Battleship in Hawaii

Rihanna Filming Her New Video

Hey, who sunk my battleship?
Remember that Hasbro board game?
Well, guess what, they’re basing a movie on it!
And, Rihanna’s in it.
That’s her arriving at her hotel in Oahu, Hawaii (Sept 1st) where they’re filming.
“Battleship” follows a Naval fleet which goes on an adventure across the seas, over the skies and land in a battle for planet survival against a superior force.
Universal Pictures eyes to release it in theaters across the U.S. on May 18, 2012.
Johnny and Penelope on Set in L.A.

Johnny and Penelope Share a Night of Explosive Chemistry on Set

Here’s a couple of the lastest pics from Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz’ new film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On The Stranger Tides.”
Directed by Rob Marshall the movie will hit theatres in May of 2011.
In this action-packed tale of truth, betrayal, youth and demise, Captain Jack Sparrow crosses paths with a woman from his past (Penelope) and he’s not sure if it’s love–or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.
Robbie Williams and New Wife Step Out

Robbie Williams and New Wife Step Out for First Time

That’s Robbie Williams and his new wife Ayda Field stepping out in London (Sept. 2nd) for the first time since their marriage on August 7, 2010.
The two enjoyed a romantic meal at Locanda Locatelli Italian restaurant.
Ayda showed off her hot legs in a tight mini lace dress whereas Robbie opted for casual/cool.
Robbie, 39, who has battled drug and alcohol addictions in the past, met Ayda, 31, shortly after checking out of rehab in the US in 2007.
‘She makes me want to be a better person. And in the process, I have become a better person,’ Robbie explained on his wedding day.
The singer and his new wife are in the UK while Robbie promotes his new single Shame and prepares for his performance at the Help For Heroes charity concert on September 12.
Alexandre Pato with his Gondola Girlfriend

Alexandre Pato with his Girlfriend in Italy

Check out the AC Milan footballer with his girlfriend enjoying the pleasures of Venice, including a visit to San Marco and a romantic gondola ride through the canals (Sept. 1st).
That’s what you call - kickin’ it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Iran's animal man shares home with snakes, croc and monkey

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Filming with animals can be frightening for actors but a man living in a tiny apartment in Tehran with his crocodile, three snakes, an eagle and a miniature monkey says he can help.
"There are many actors and actresses who are afraid of animals. I try to help them overcome their fears and communicate with animals," says Amir Rahbari, a 37-year-old professional trainer who chooses to live among his animals.
In a cramped 20-square-meter (215 sq ft) flat in a tower block in the north of the Iranian capital, Rahbari holds two big pythons around his neck, explaining that, to him, they are family.
"These animals are my children, my family, they made me famous and helped me to convey my thoughts and my job in the world."
Rahbari has worked on movies and television projects, teaching actors that their fear of animals is not instinctive but something they learned as children learn from their parents.
He says he can cure actors' animal phobias in less than 30 minutes.
Due to his lifestyle, and the problems it causes with neighbors, he has to move homes two or three times a year.
But Rahbari likes sharing a small space with his reptiles and other creatures. "I can see my animals more when I live in a small apartment. We are together when I am eating or sleeping but living in a big apartment prevents us from being together all the time."
Keeping animals as pets is not common in Iran, so Rahbari is aware that his set-up is highly unusual.
"I don't want to bother my neighbors. I have a garden outside Tehran where I keep my dogs and wolves. They are all talented and most of them have taken part in different movies."
He firmly believes that animals are not for show and is uncomfortable with the fashion among affluent Iranian youth to keep dogs as a status symbol, despite Islamic law banning humans from living in close proximity with dogs.
"Keeping them requires special conditions. It should not turn into fashion."
Pointing to Melissa, his 3-meter (10-ft) yellow python curled in her basket, he added: "They go on hunger strike and put an end to their lives if they are not comfortable with the place they live in."

Bravo Renews Real Housewives of New York City and New Jersey; Reunion Hits Season-High

Story photo: Bravo Renews Real Housewives of New York City and New Jersey; Reunion Hits Season-HighTeresa and Jacqueline
Bravo has renewed The Real Housewives of New York City and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, a network rep confirms.
The Big Apple series will be back for Season 4, the Garden State edition for its third season.
Report: Bethenny Frankel exiting Real Housewives of New York City
Neither show's casts have been confirmed. NYC'sBethenny Frankel told US on Tuesday that she is leaving the show and there have been reports New Jersey castmate Danielle Staub has been fired. Staub has denied that, and Bravo refused to comment on both reports.
The renewal news follows the explosive first part of the New Jersey reunion. Monday's telecast attracted 3.9 million viewers to make it the most-watched episode of the season, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported both pickups.
The second part of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion airs Monday, Sept. 6 at 9/8c.

Former Pro Athletes Rick Fox & Kurt Warner Gear Up To Go 'Dancing'

Story photo: Former Pro Athletes Rick Fox & Kurt Warner Gear Up To Go 'Dancing'Rick Fox, Kurt WarnerGetty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Rick Fox has a secret weapon helping him get ready for the Season 11 premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" - his girlfriend - Eliza Dushku.
"It's been amazing -- talk about a partner that's made sure that my body's on track to be prepared for September 20," Rick told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson of how the actress, who attended the Season 11 cast announcement in LA on Monday night, has helped him limber up for the competition. "I've been doing exercises that I didn't know existed - Pilates... [And we've been working on] creating flexibility at home."
The former basketball star, who played for both the Celtics and their arch rivals, the Lakers during his professional career, told Shaun he's been looking at mistakes of past competitors on "DWTS" and has his game frame on.
"I've been working on the hip action... my frame and dancing down to my partner, who is obviously not 6' 7," he said, referring to his height.
AH Nation Poll: Which 'Dancing' guy are you most excited to see hit the ballroom? Click HERE to vote!
In addition to celebrity competition from Florence Henderson, Jennifer Grey and David Hasselhoff, Rick will face off against another professional athlete on the dance floor in search of the mirrorball trophy - recent football retiree - Kurt Warner.
"As soon as I retired, the call came pretty quickly," the former Arizona Cardinals quarterback told Shaun of his invitation to Season 11. "We thought about it and thought about the different challenges to it and the different things we've got going on [and we] thought it 'd be a great opportunity to reach out to a different audience."
Kurt said he's got the phone numbers of former "DWTS" competitors Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, but has no immediate plans to bend their ear for advice.
"I definitely had their numbers... but early on, I'm gonna try to feel it out on my own," he said.

Michael Douglas 'Very Optimistic' About Cancer Battle

Story photo: Michael Douglas 'Very Optimistic' About Cancer BattleMichael Douglas arrives to "The Late Show with David Letterman" on August 31, 2010 in New York CityWireImageAccess Hollywood
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Michael Douglas is battling back against cancer.
Two weeks after revealing doctors had found a tumor in the actor's throat, a rep for Douglas told Access Hollywood the star isn't taking the diagnosis lying down.
"He's a great fighter and very optimistic," the rep told Access on Tuesday.
The rep also noted Douglas began his chemotherapy and radiation treatments "a week ago and has to do it for eight weeks."
In a new interview with People magazine, Douglas showed off his determination to win his battle with the disease.
"I'll beat this," Douglas told the mag, in an interview which will appear in the new issue of People later this week.
Douglas is scheduled to appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Tuesday night, where he will be promoting his upcoming film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized again

Story photo: Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized againZsa Zsa Gabor listens in court in Beverly Hills in this May 1, 1990 file photograph. REUTERS/Pool/FilesReuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was returned to the hospital after slipping into unconsciousness on Tuesday following a series of health-related setbacks since breaking her hip in July.
Gabor, 93, was in "a great deal of pain" Tuesday morning and her husband, Frederick Prinz von Anhalt, found her to be "not responsive," her spokesman, John Blanchette, told Reuters.
Von Anhalt called an ambulance to take his wife to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where doctors were able to stabilize her condition. No further details were available.
Earlier in August, Gabor was given last rites by a priest at the same hospital.
At that time, doctors wanted to perform surgery on her liver that would give her a 50-50 chance of survival, but the couple decided "she wanted to spend her final days at home," according to Blanchette. She returned to her Bel Air mansion in mid-August.
The Hungarian-born Gabor, whose string of movies, television shows and wealthy husbands dates to the 1950s, broke her hip on July 17 when she fell out of bed while watching the TV game show "Jeopardy." She had surgery to replace the hip two days later.
She has appeared in more than 30 movies, and her penchant for calling everyone "dah-ling" in her Hungarian accent made her a well-known Hollywood personality.
Along with her two glamorous sisters Eva and Magda, Gabor made several appearances on radio and television shows in the 1950s and 1960s. She appeared in the movie "Moulin Rouge," followed by "Lili" and later "Touch of Evil."
Gabor and von Anhalt have been married for 24 years. Before him, she was married eight times to a string of husbands that included a Turkish diplomat and the hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.

Shia LaBeouf Crowned Hollywood's 'Bang For The Buck' King

Story photo: Shia LaBeouf Crowned Hollywood's 'Bang For The Buck' KingShia LaBeouf attends the premiere of 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' held at the Palais des Festivals during the 63rd Annual International Cannes Film Festival, France, May 14, 2010FilmMagicAccess Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- As the star of the "Transformers" saga, Shia LaBeouf is no stranger to big screen explosions - but where the actor really brings the boom is in the studios' piggy banks.
For the second year in a row, Shia has been dubbed the star who brings the most "bang for the buck" in Hollywood, according to a new report by Forbes.
The money mag determined the actor brings in $81 of profit to the studio for every $1 they spend on him, thanks to the success of films like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
While "Crystal Skull" brought in $790 million at the box office, the "Transformers" sequel earned a whopping $833 million.
Coming in second on the new list was big screen beauty Anne Hathaway, who turned every dollar into $64 for the studios, thanks largely to "Alice in Wonderland" and "Bride Wars."
Hollywood's boy wizard, Daniel Radcliffe, found himself in third place, with a $61 return on his efforts - although he does not come cheap, Radcliffe's "Harry Potter" films make so much money ($5.4 billion at the box office worldwide), his salary is well worth it.
Robert Downey Jr. landed in the fourth spot on the list, bringing in $33 for every buck spent on the resurgent actor. Films including "Sherlock Holmes" and "Iron Man 2" were some of the highest grossing films of the past few years, all the while with Downey's salary reportedly staying relatively in check.
Rounding out the top five was leading lady Cate Blanchett, whose success in films such as "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Robin Hood" translated into a $27 profit for every dollar paid to the British beauty.
In coming up with their list, Forbes "looked at the top 36 earners in Hollywood. To qualify, each actor had to have starred in at least three movies in the past five years that opened in more than 500 theaters."
They did not take into account any movies that opened after June 1, 2010 and also did not include stars who lent their voices to animated films because "the actors aren't really the draw and they tend to take pay cuts for voice work."
Each film's estimated budget, along with box office, DVD and TV earnings were taken into account, compared to each actor's compensation for their respective works.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Complete list of Emmy winners from show

Story photo: Complete list of Emmy winners from showAl Pacino accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for "You Don't Know Jack" at the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California August 29, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (EMMYS/SHOW)Associated Press
- Partial list of winners at Sunday's 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:
• Drama Series: "Mad Men," AMC.
• Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.
• Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
• Actress, Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT.
• Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS.
• Actress, Comedy Series: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime.
• Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
• Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife," CBS.
• Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family," ABC.
• Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Jane Lynch, "Glee," Fox.
• Miniseries: "The Pacific," HBO.
• Made-for-TV Movie: "Temple Grandin," HBO.
• Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack," HBO.
• Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
• Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
• Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julia Ormond, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
• Directing for a Comedy Series: Ryan Murphy, "Glee," Fox.
• Directing, Drama Series: Steve Shill, "Dexter," Showtime.
• Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Mick Jackson, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
• Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Bucky Gunts, "Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Opening Ceremony," NBC.
• Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show," Comedy Central.
• Reality Competition Program: "Top Chef," Bravo.
• Writing for Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, "Modern Family," ABC.
• Writing, Drama Series: Matthew Weiner and Erin Levy, "Mad Men," AMC.
• Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Adam Mazer, "You Don't Know Jack," HBO.
• Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: 63rd Annual Tony Awards, CBS.
For a complete list of winners: