One of my older siblings used to play Elton John albums over and over and over during my childhood.
This was during Elton’s 70′s commercial peak and the albums were Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rock of the Westies, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player and his first Greatest Hits album.
Now 66, Elton has a new album out called The Diving Board and he tells Entertainment Weekly that it is a return to even earlier days well before The Lion King and all the rest.
‘I’ve made 40 albums but in all this time, I’ve never put the sound that first made me famous [as a concert act] on any studio record. [Producer T Bone Burnett] was the one who said, “I want to get back to basics” and with him I’ve actually fallen in love with making records again.’
Elton adds that The Diving Board is ‘the kind of album I think that, at my age, I should be making, because it is moving me forward musically. I don’t sit and listen to my old albums. I’m not interested in coasting.’
But back then, he had no problem getting those big selling albums played on the radio.
These days, it’s a different story.
‘It’s frustrating when you don’t get played on the radio,’ he says. ‘Because you have to work much harder to promote tour record, but it’s worth it. We don’t get platinum records and the chart position anymore, but it’s not about that. The world is different and so are we.’
Ronan Farrow has suddenly been in the news a lot in recent days for professional and personal reasons.
The 25-year-old journalist and human rights activist is, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in talks to host his own weekend show on MSNBC.
On the personal front, the only biological child of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen may actually have been fathered by his mother’s ex-husband, Frank Sinatra.
He looks a lot more like Sinatra than Allen but who knows!
Ronan joked about it on Twitter yesterday: ‘Listen, we’re all *possibly* Frank Sinatra’s son.’
He has long been estranged from Allen who became romantically involved with Ronan’s adopted sister Soon-Yi Previn resulting in a bitter split between he and Farrow.
The younger Farrow has been a real prodigy who attended college at an age when other kids are in junior high, graduated from Yale Law School, is a member of the New Yortk Bar and a Rhodes Scholar.
Oh yeah, and there’s also this: He has served in the Obama administration’s foreign policy department and also at the State Department, where he founded the Office of Global Youth Issues. Farrow was also an advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Arab Spring uprising.
And that’s just the highlights. This guy, who’s great looking to boot, would make anyone feel like an underachiever!
I have to confess to not paying much attention to the 21-week trial that had Michael Jackson’s estate suing AEG Live for hiring the doctor responsible for the star’s drug overdose death in 2009.
But if you have been paying attention, you should know that the jury’s verdict was announced this afternoon and the concert promoter has prevailed. Jackson lawyers have said they have grounds for an appeal so this thing could take years to decide.
CNN reports that the jury decided that Dr. Conrad Murray was competent, so even though AEG Live hired him, it was not liable for Jackson’s death and didn’t owe the Jackson family millions of dollars in compensation.
“I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend,” the company’s CEO Randy Phillips said. “We lost one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael’s tragic death.”
Jackson, just about to launch a comeback concert tour, died of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, which Murray told investigators he was using to treat the singer’s insomnia so he could rest for rehearsals.
Murray is set to be released from jail later this month after serving two years for involuntary manslaughter.
“We felt (Murray) was competent” to be Jackson’s general practitioner, said juror Greg Barden. “That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical.”
I love everything about Cher – except when she’s a blond. It’s just not my favorite look of hers but otherwise she’s golden.
The diva dropped by Live With Kelly and Michael this week and performed her new hit I Hope You Find It which I found myself singing in the shower this morning.
I don’t have video of the entire appearance but am posting what I have such as this silly game Cher and Cher Alike. There is also a little dressing room girl chat between Cher and Kelly Ripa about clothes and stuff. What I notice is that Cher is so good at taking the many compliments that are flying her way this time around.
On a CW show with hunky young male stars including Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley and Ed Westwick, you wouldn’t expect one of the parents on the show to be just as hot as the younger set.
But Gossip Girl had the good sense to cast Matthew Settle as Badgley’s dad and I’d say he’s the hunkiest of them all! (He’s also the father of raccoon-eyed Jenny but why ruin a good post!)
The actor was previously best-known for his role as Capt. Ronald Speirs on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
Fans of Brothers & Sisters will also remember him from season one of the show. He was Kitty’s fiancee, the one who she left back in New York to take a TV job in Los Angeles.
He also had recurring roles on ER and The Practice and has appeared in the films The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The In Crowd, The Celestine Prophecy, U-571 and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
Matthew was born in Hickory, North Carolina and is the youngest of six children.
Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas have done an interview with Out Magazine for the first time.
They address those pesky gay rumors.
‘We have a lot of gay friends and gay fans. It’s a boy band stereotype; people assume, but we don’t take offense,’ Joe Jonas says. ‘(Being in Out) is a moment for us for sure. We keep saying, “Well, it’s about time.”’
Adds Nick Jonas: ‘Prior to us being a band, I was a super theater geek. I loved theater and I still do, and I care about fashion, and I care about a lot of things that I feel like stereotypes are attached to.’
Their first single and video since 2009, First Time, has been released and it will soon be followed by their fifth studio album V.
Brant Daugherty, briefly involved in the gay storyline earlier this year on Days of Our Lives, was robbed at gunpoint last week as he returned home after performing on Dancing With the Stars.
The actor revealed what happened to him to People.com: “After the show I got dropped off and was walking up to my apartment building and a man followed me up with a gun and told me to give him my stuff.”
“It was a complete random occurrence of events and it led up to one of the worst nights of my life – after having such a great night last week on the dance floor,” he also said, adding that police said they never received a report like this in this “very safe neighborhood.”
The mugger made off with a pair of workout pants, two T-shirts, dance shoes, a toothbrush and Brant’s cell phone.
“You don’t really know how to react to something like that,” he said. “You’re laughing one minute, then you kind of get a little overwhelmed and start crying. Then you’re laughing again.”
“It was kind of a roller coaster of a week,” he added.
I don’t know why it is, but Madonna has never, ever, ever done a thing for me through any of her incarnations. I’ve never had much interest in her at all and it seems like I should.
Cher, however, had me at I Got You Babe.
So, you gotta know I just love this little tidbit from a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ Q&A over weekend.
The legendary diva, 67, was asked: ‘Do you still hate Madonna?’
Cher is not one to lie in an interview so she said: ‘Madge, no. Actually I don’t. I never hated her, I just thought she was a bitch.’
Cher also said of the Material Girl: ‘Actually I quite respect her. Actually I think Madge might be one of the most amazing artists I’ve known. I don’t like everything she does, for sure, but she is always riding the crest of the wave. She always saw trends WAY before anyone else, and had great videos. So, besides saying ‘WTF is MDNA’, I’m fine with it.’
In the summer of 2012, Twitter followers turned on Cher for making a sly dig at Madonna.
‘WTF is MDNA?’, she tweeted before posting a sarcastic comment about the record’s name once fans explained it was a play on words referring to the party drug MDMA, more commonly known as ecstacy.
‘How tasteful!’ Cher replied.
Then there was backlash before Cher tweeted that she didn’t mean to offend: ‘Doesn’t any fkng body cut slak 4 fkng mistakes! It not like I cut her heart out with a spoon! Madge & I are cool!’
Below is Cher performing her new single, I Hope You Find It, last week on The Late Show With David Letterman:
Michelle Rodriguez has publicly – and quite casually – confirmed that she is bisexual.
This post will, no doubt, make people want to comment with something like “I’ve known that all along” or “That’s news?”
Try and refrain. Those kind of comments are irritating to me and add nothing to the conversation.
The reason this is news is because it’s the first time Michelle has actually talked about her sexuality in an open and honest way.
She tells Entertainment Weekly that she has ‘gone both ways’ and is bisexual.
‘I do as I please,’ she says. ‘I am too f—ing curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.’
Michellecame to fame in 2000 in the film Girl Fight and has since gone on to appear in the films Avatar, Blue Crush and the Fast & Furious franchise as well as the TV series Lost.
Her next film is the upcoming release Machete Kills.
Lesbian rumors had swirled around Michelle throughout her career and as recently as two years ago she told a red carpet interviewer that “Michi like sausage.’
Now she tells EW: ‘I don’t talk about what I do with my vagina, and (the media is) all intrigued. I’ve never walked the carpet with anyone, so they wonder: What does she go with her vagina? Plus, I play a butchy girl all the time, so they assume I’m a lesbo.’
The up and coming singer Steve Grand of All-American Boy fame is on the cover of Instinct Magazine.
Steve, as you probably know, wrote his breakthrough song and paid for the video that exploded on YouTube over the summer.
“It’s been the most amazing, most hectic thing, a real whirlwind,” Steve tells Instinct. “I was terrified leading up to it. I knew I had to do this, that I had this in me. This video and song have had a much greater impact, a much deeper impact than I could have ever hoped for. I really wasn’t expecting for it to resonate with people on such a deep level. It’s been a huge, huge gift.”
After the song took off, Steve gave an interview with Good Morning America in which he discussed the therapy he underwent after coming out to his Christian family. He wants to make clear that it was not conversion therapy.
“This is such a touchy subject to talk about. I don’t want to misrepresent what happened, but I also don’t want to endorse anything or take away from others’ experiences,” Steve says. “I was not in conversion therapy. I was seeing a Christian therapist, who, among many beliefs, believed I would be happier if I didn’t live life as a gay man. He did not shame me. He did not make me feel bad for what I felt. But he did believe I would be happier in life if I lived as a heterosexual, and that part is indeed harmful. If you’re doing anything but affirming someone’s sexuality, you’re harming them. Especially a child.”
When I met Days of Our Lives star Eric Martsolf a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize that he had been one of Greg In Hollywood’s Morning Men already (July 21, 2009). But he’s so beautiful, he gets a second go-round and I get to share with you our little chat.
Eric has played the role of Brady Black on Days for the past two years, a role he landed after an six year stint as Ethan Winthrop on the now-canceled Passions.
But before making it big in the daytime world, Eric paid his dues in a series of jobs: he sang on a Hawaiian cruise ship for a year and has modeled for over 50 designers, companies, and businesses.
He was also a radio broadcaster for WDCV 88.3FM and was a singer/dancer at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania and performed at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
He not only has beauty and talent, he also has brains: Eric has a degree in Political Science from Dickinson College.
Eric tells me his is excited about the direction his Days character is going into: “Brady Black for most of his life has been kind of a Dudley Do Right, trying to do the right thing all the time. Well, he’s has a little drug history apparently and he’s getting ready to take a downward spiral. He has two women in his life who he cares for and it just so happens that they’ve been holding some secrets from him that he’s not too happy to have unfolding. And he turns to the dark side.”
Will this be a gradual transition? Apparently not!
“He goes from Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader like in an episode so it’s great,” Eric says. “As an actor you live for those moments to just go to that awful place and portray that because that’s so much more fun. I’m very excited. There’s some twists and turns that this character is going through and I’m looking forward to that roller coaster.”
Eric, like a lot of soap stars, savors his connection to fans of his and of the show: “My TV life has been primarily soaps so these fans are the only ones I’ve ever known. Soap fans are kind of like country music fans, they just stay with you through thick and thin. Sometimes the writing is great and sometimes the writing is not so great but they don’t jump ship, they don’t let you go. We’re in their living room every single day.”
And sometimes, Eric doesn’t have his shirt on like in this little strip poker scene! Enjoy…
He’s conquered television (Heroes, American Horror Story) and movies (Star Trek franchise) and now it is time for Zachary Quinto to conquer Broadway.
The out actor is starring in Tennessee Williams’The Glass Menagerie and is savoring the experience.
He tells The Washington Post: “I was walking to work today. I’ve been walking the past few days because it’s so beautiful out, so I walk from downtown. And I was like, ‘This is my life’ — living in Manhattan, a dream I’ve always had, and I’m walking to my theater on Broadway to do Tennessee Williams. It’s not lost on me. I really am humbled by it often. I feel really grateful.”
Fans of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars are familiar with dancing pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy who is on his fifth quest for the mirror ball trophy this season.
Val, 27, is a 14-time US champion in dance and is paired paired with former Saved by the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley who, of course, danced in Showgirls.
The younger brother of former DWTS dancer Maksim, Val has been stepping into his own in recent seasons with his sarcastic humor shining through at times. He told Berkley, for example, that his favorite Saved by the Bell character was Kelly (Tiffani Theiseen) and not Jessie (played by Berkley).
Val and partner Zendaya came in second place last season.