My knowledge of country music is pretty limited so I was not aware of who Joe Nichols was when he appeared on Regis & Kelly yesterday.
I sure know now!
The 33-year-old singer has released seven albums which have produced fourteen Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts including the Number One singles Brokenheartsville, Tequilla Makes Her Clothes Fall Off and Gimmie That Girl. Man with a Memory earned Nichols a Top New Male Vocalist award from the Academy of Country Music.
Nichols released a new single, Believers, to radio on March 27, 2009. It is the first single from his sixth album entitled Old Things New. The song reached the Top 30 on the country singles chart. The album’s second single is Gimmie That Girl which reached Number One on the country charts this month.
This wasn’t mentioned on American Idol tonight but it is mighty big news: Ellen DeGeneres is starting a record label!
The label, to be called eleveneleven, already has its first discovery: 12-year-old YouTube sensation Greyson Chance who first appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show two weeks ago.
The official announcement will be made tomorrow on Ellen’s talk show.
“Greyson … inspired me to start a record label called eleveneleven. He is my first artist and we are making a record together,” DeGeneres said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Chance is from Edmond, Oklahoma and was spotted by Ellen after posting a video of himself playing the piano and singing Lady Gaga’s hit song Paparazzi at a sixth grade music festival on the web. He was invited to appear on Ellen’s show on May 13 which sparked even more interest in him.
Chance, whose original video has been viewed more than 20 million times, has since posted two original compositions on YouTube — Stars and Broken Hearts. Chance already has other heavy hitters behind him: Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary and Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter.
Ellen will continue to use her show as a platform to find new artists whom she will sign to eleveneleven which is being set up in collaboration with Telepictures Productions.
America’s top-ranked men’s player, Andy Roddick, is a legitimate threat to win any of tennis’s grand slam tournaments – except for the French Open.
But the 2003 US Open champion, three-time Wimbledon finalist and four-time Australian Open semifinalist has never made it past the fourth-round in Paris. His preparation for this year’s tournament was hardly ideal: Andy skipped a clay-court event in Rome so he could celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary with his wife, Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Brooklyn Decker. He missed another tuneup tournament in Madrid because of a stomach virus.
Still, he managed to win his opening round match Tuesday, digging himself out of a hole and coming back to beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 .
“It’s kind of like when you miss an assignment in school, and they give you a chance to get extra credit. I’ve been trying real hard to get extra credit … and I definitely wasn’t match-tough,” Andy told reporters after the match. “There was a lot of ugliness out there today. But at the end of it, I get to play again.”
Roddick hadn’t competed on clay since last year’s French Open when he reached the fourth round for the first time—and he hadn’t played on tour anywhere since April 4, when he won the hard-court title at Key Biscayne, Fla.
“Spending three days in bed in Madrid wasn’t the way we wrote it up,” he said. “That was bad.”
Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox will be battling it out for the American Idol title tonight and it’s anyone’s guess who will end up the winner.
Casey James, the hunky 27-year-old singer from Texas, was voted off last week but like Lee and Crystal, he has great star potential.
Casey came to our attention during the Idol auditions when judge Kara DioGuardi asked the 6 feet 3 inches hunk to take off his shirt. He complied … and the ride took him to third place finalist on the ninth season of the singing competition.
“Who’s to say that I would be here had I not done that,” Casey told reporters this week. “I think if you feel like you can back yourself up and not [just] be the guy that took his shirt off — because, hopefully, that’s not what I am now. I would say, ‘Do what you need to do to get the ball rolling.’ There’s a possibility had I not done that that I might not have made it past that first round.”
Casey says that each step along the way, he had been prepared to get the boot: “What will be, will be, and you have to be prepared either way. Every single time that I made it through … obviously, you’re elated and happy … and the other night when I didn’t, I kind of knew that was coming, so I was more than prepared that night.”
Casey, Lee, Crystal and the rest of this year’s top 10 will begin a summer concert tour next month then he hopes to record an album.
“It’s time to get started,” he said. “he reason for the show is to allow us to do music, and that’s what I intend on doing because it’s what I love. Now I have the opportunity to do it, so it’s go time.”
So who does Casey think will win the Idol crown?
“They both have very unique and standout sounds,” he said. “I think that pretty much says it. You can’t say anything else other than that. They are who they are, and that’s why people are voting for them, so I think that’s just going to continue. It’s going to grow, and I think it’s going to be a crazy good show.”
Leave it to the great Liza Minnelli to steal the spotlight at last night’s Sex and the City 2 premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Liza has a role in the flick, out this week, as the entertainment at Anthony and Stanford’s wedding.
Olympian Johnny Weir (pictured below) got his share of flashbulbs looking dapper and beautiful at the same time.
But it’s really about the four ladies who we love, love, love! Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis were all quite glam but I’d give first place to SJP this time around.
The great actor Ian McKellen turns 71 years old on today.
Sure, de’s been Mr. Blockbuster in recent years with key roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the X-Men franchise. But he had been a Tony winning (Amadeus) and Oscar nominated (Gods and Monsters) for many decades.
He came out publicly 12 years ago, is now an outspoken gay rights activist, and has only become an even bigger star since. Of course, we love him all the more for bringing a young, hot date to the Oscars the year he was nominated for Gods and Monsters.
When the sitcom Bette! premiered in the fall of 2000, it was quite a coup for CBS to have landed the two-time Oscar nominee for her first TV series.
I watched every episode but not everyone was as loyal as ratings began dropping after a strong premiere.
Bette Midler played a fictional version of her movie and recording star self and cast as her daughter was the one and only Lindsay Lohan – post Parent Trap and pre-Freaky Friday. After two episodes, Lindsay was replaced by Marina Malota as the daughter.
Kevin Dunn played Midler’s hubby for most of the season’s run but inexplicably was replaced by Robert Hays for what turned out to be the final two episodes. Joanna Gleason played Midler’s BFF and manager throughout and guest stars included Olivia Newton-John and Dolly Parton.
Here is the show’s pilot with my favorie line being an exhausted Bette telling to her TV hubby: “I look like the last 20 minutes of For the Boys.”
Bette was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best actress in a comedy series and won both the People’s Choice Award and the TV Guide Award for best actress in a new comedy.
There’s a reason why Tuc Watkins has had more than one job in recent years: the man has a whole lot of talent.
I’m a huge Tuc fan and have enjoyed him in his best-known role as David Vickers on One Life to Live for more than a decade as well as his run on Showtime’s Beggars and Choosers and current role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives.
Tuc has been able to repeatedly come and go from OLTL in order to do other projects over the years and the latest is the off-Broadway play White Lies. He has the title role of Joe White, a 40something womanizing bachelor who spins a web of lies to pretend to grant the dying wish of his mother to have grandchildren. The cast also includes the great Betty Buckley, Peter Scolari, Rena Strober, and Christy Carlson Romano.
Tuc talks to Soap Opera Weekly about the play and about returning to his role as the scheming, funny and sexy David Vickers.
Here is a portion:
Q. Had you worked with any of your co-stars before?
Tuc: No, I hadn’t met anyone. Of course, I knew who Betty Buckley and Peter Scolari were. We’ve all had a great time together, and we make each other laugh offstage. If you can do that, then onstage is a breeze.
Q. All the David fans are delighted that he’s breezing back into Llanview.
Tuc: Well, if there are David fans out there, then they should absolutely come see White Lies. There’s a lot of similarities between David Vickers and Joe White. The thing that’s hardest – the most difficult part that I’ve had in playing Joe White – is I can’t decide who is more handsome, David Vickers or Joe. It’s been a real struggle. It’s been a real struggle. I’m still trying to work that out.”
Q. Have you ever had to balance doing a play and a TV show simultaneously before?
Tuc: The first time I did One Life to Live, back in 1876 (laughs), I did an off-Broadway play called Fortune’s Fools at the same time. So, I was riding my bike a lot between the Upper West Side for ABC and the Cherry Lane Theater in the West Village. There are two sides to that coin. It’s great to be able to do two different projects, and the actors love to be busy, but at the same time, I got a little cranky. So I’m trying to learn from that this time.
Q. Are you excited about the ride ahead in Llanview?
Tuc: I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun. The great thing about going back to OLTL is it doesn’t matter what the story is, and I never really ask because I just figure we’re going to have a good time doing it. So if David steals the baby, great, or if he buries diamonds in Dorian’s backyard, that’s great too.
This winner of the Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles crowns is one hot Frenchman!
He’s Michael Llora and he is currently competing in the men’s doubles tournaments at the French Open which began on Sunday.
On Monday, the adorable 30-year-old pro lost his first-round singles match so now can completely focus on the doubles. He reached the finals of the doubles in Paris back in 2004 so a win at his home tournament would be sweet.
Not only is Michael extremely handsome and fit, he’s also a bit of an exhibitionist!
On winning the men’s doubles again for the second time at the Australian Open in 2004, Llodra and his tennis partner Fabrice Santoro made headlines by stripping off their shirts, shoes, socks and shorts. Dressed in a pair of white briefs only, Llodra threw his clothes into the crowd, to the cheers of many onlookers.
On November 20, 2005, Llodra teamed up with Santoro to win the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, a competition which pitted the top 8 doubles teams in the world against one another. But Michael had a different partner, Arnaud Clement, to win the 2007 Wimbledon doubles title and he once again celebrated by throwing his shirt, racket and towel into the crowd.
While he excels at doubles, Michael is a solid singles player who has won four tournaments on the ATP tour including a title in February in Marseille, France.
Maybe if he wins the doubles in Paris he’ll take it all off again?
If you want laughs, you will get plenty watching Rip Taylor’s one-man show It Ain’t All Confetti at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. But you will also be deeply moved by the monologues he delivers about his life and what performing in front of an audience means to him.
After tossing off dozens of silly jokes rapid-fire with confetti and various props in the mix, Rip literally rips off his toupee and gets real. He tells about a tough childhood which included being in foster care where he was molested and learning to make bullies laugh in school to escape their fists.
He tells of working in the U.S. Capitol as a congressional page before joining the Navy where, unexpectedly, he got his start in showbiz. From then on, the anecdotes flow. There were 20 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and nearly as many on The Jackie Gleason Show until “The Great One” flew into a rage because Rip casually touched him while they shared a laugh.
His shtick of ripping up index cards after a joke fails was born during what he thought was a bomb appearance on The Merv Griffin Show. Rip thought he was going over so badly that he began ripping up cards and throwing shoes then stormed off the set. He was invited back the next day by Merv and asked to be that crazy man again.
He hasn’t stopped since.
Rip didn’t talk at all about The $1.98 Beauty Show, thew syndicated show from the late 70s that I remember him so well for or his time as a regular on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. Maybe that’s because he has so many other accomplishments including a three-time Entertainer of the Year winner in Las Vegas and serious acting roles in such films as Indecent Proposal where he played Demi Moore’s boss, unrecognizable in a dramatic role sans toupee.
The running theme of the show is how the spotlight was a cure-all for Rip and it is clear that it still is for this star now in his mid-70s. I’ve interviewed him on several red carpets and he has at times appeared a little shaky because of knee surgery. But as I watched him own the stage Friday, it was as if 25 years had melted away and he was still in his prime.
Fascinating to watch.
Rip’s show is performed inside the El Portal’s 99-seat Forum Theater so there is a real intimacy to the show which has already been extended through June 6. (click HERE for ticket info).
Rip is well-regarded by his peers and many showed up for Friday night’s official grand opening including Kathy Griffin (pictured, left, with Rip after the show) along with Ruta Lee, Alek Trebeck, Julie Newmar, Bruce Vilanch, Anne Jeffreys, Dee Wallace, Dick and Pat Van Patten, Susan Olsen (pictured below with Rip and Jane Kean), Judy Tenuta, Kate Linder, Rich Little, Margaret O’Brien and others.
I talked to some of these folks before the show began and asked them what made this show a must-see:
Ruta Lee: “Rip Taylor, beyond being one of the funniest people God put on this Earth, is also one of the nicest people God put on this Earth. He’s generous, he’s warm, he’s very loving and he’s totally insane which makes him an angel.”
Bruce Vilanch: “I loaned him my hair 20 years ago and I’ve come to collect it.”
Susan Olsen: “I loved Rip [on the Brady Bunch Variety Hour), he was a sweetheart. He's still a sweetheart. He contributed to our book Love to Love You Brady which was about the variety show. He was a doll."
Jane Kean: "He's one of my favorites., he's just a natural funny man. He got a ticket for jay walking with my sister once, that makes us very close [laughs].”
Judy Tenuta: “We’re both high maintenance and wild.”
Fellow comedian Rich Little said he wouldn’t want to share a marquee with Rip because: “I don’t think I’d want to because no one would notice me.”
Kathy Griffin didn’t do press but she did sign autographs for a very aggressive group that also swarmed around Alex Trebek and Susan Olsen. Publicist Harlan Boll, who was handling PR for the event, had profanities and slurs shouted at him by some of the autograph hounds and the police had to be called. Thankfully, most of the audience was already inside the theater and blissfully unaware of the ugliness going on outside.
Everyone is buzzing about last night’s Lost finale. Since the show makes me crazy, I skipped it and watched Law & Order SVU reruns instead.
But I can appreciate how sad some fans are that they will no longer be getting a weekly fix of super sexy Josh Holloway who played bad boy Sawyer for all six seasons.
Josh is on the cover of the latest issue of Men’s Health and I thought I’d share with you some of what he has to say about his post-Lost plans:
People have offered him TV roles, and he’s said no. And he’s not interested in playing another Sawyer type, either. He’ll always love Sawyer, he says, but he’s explored the character so thoroughly he’s damn near given him a physical. And if Holloway’s not learning, he’s stagnant. And if he’s stagnant, what good is he?
Lost left him with little time to try much else, and he was forced to turn down opportunities. So for his next act, he’s intent on playing roles he’s unpracticed in, and doing it in film, a medium he has less experience with.
“I like the growth that happens to an artist in transition,” he says. “A lot of growth takes place throughout your insecurities, through having to reevaluate something you thought was working and finding a way to make it work differently. All of that is very uncomfortable.”
So how do you know which route is right? “That’s a big question, and it’s answered only by the individual asking it,” Holloway says. You have to look around for answers: to who needs you, to what’s in your reach. And then to yourself. Holloway did that, and thought: I’m a 40-year-old man. I can stay in a comfort zone, or I can try something different. For me it’s now or never. I’m going to go for it.
BALLPARK BABE: Okay, could Matthew Morrison BE any more perfect?
This man has the charisma, face, the body and the talent and all were on display over the weekend when he sang the National Anthem at the Met-Yankees game.
The YouTube video doesn’t provide any close-ups but you can hear the Glee star’s awesome voice and you can see more close-ups of Matthew – including him holding a big bat – by going over to Socialite Life.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved principal of St. Nicholas in the Bronx, comes to believe that the parish’s charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is molesting a 12-year-old male student.
In this scene from the brilliantly acted 2008 film Doubt, the nun confront the priest and both Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman are first-rate in this dramatic confrontation scene. Both were nominated for an Academy Award as were co-stars Amy Adams and Viola Davis.
I’m late with my Morning Man due to feeling a bit under the weather.
But the handsome Coby Bell is certainly worth waiting for!
Coby is the son of Broadway actor Michel Bell and began his acting career doing guest spots on such television shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ER before landing his first recurring role on the NBC series LA Doctors.
Oh, you don’t remember it? Well, it didn’t last past 13 episodes. But Coby has lasted and went on to play Officer Ty Davis for six seasons on NBC’s Third Watch. He is now starring in the CW series The Game.
Coby, 35, most recently appeared in a guest spot on the hit USA Network series Burn Notice.
The married father of two is also a musician and songwriter in a reggae band and serves as a mentor to underprivileged youths in the Big Brothers of America.
Sean Hayes is not only a 2010 Tony Award nominee for his role in the musical Promises, Promises, but it’s just been announced that he will follow in the footsteps of such stars as Hugh Jackman, Angela Lansbury, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg as host of the Tonys!
“I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Tony Awards,” Sean said in a statement. “As the new guy on Broadway, it’s an honor to be included in the established alumni.”
Executive producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss have also released a statement: “We couldn’t be more excited about Sean carrying on the tradition of excellent hosts, for the Tony Awards. Sean’s humor, charm and natural ability on the stage will make an already great show, even better.”
How cool is this that Sean, an Emmy winner for his role on Will & Grace, will make it two years in a row that an openly gay man is hosting the Tonys (Neil Patrick Harris was last year’s host).
The Tony Awards take place June 13th, live from Radio City Music Hall and be telecast by CBS.
La Cage Aux Folles was named outstanding revival of a musical Sunday at the Drama Desk Awards while one of its stars, Douglas Hodge, won the lead actor in a musical revival prize beating out actor Nathan Lane (Addams Family) and Cheyenne Jackson (Finian’s Rainbow), among others.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music) tied for the outstanding lead actress in a musical revival with Montego Glover (Memphis). Sondheim on Sondheim starring Vanessa Williams and Barbara Cook was named outstanding musical review.
Other winners include: John Logan, Red (outstanding play), Memphis (outstanding musical), A View From a Bridge and Fences (outstanding play – tie), Liev Schreiber (A View From a Bridge) was named best actor in a play and Jan Maxwell (The Royal Family) won best actress in a play.
Roger Federer begins play at the French Open today where he is the defending champion and the number one seed.
Even though he is the greatest male player in the history of the game and still at the peak of his powers, most experts consider four-time champion Rafael Nadal the favorite going in.
I say it’s never a good idea to count out Federer who is also the reigning Wimbledon champion and won the Australian Open in January. In all, he has won 16 grand slam singles titles – a record.
Federer told reporters Friday at the tournament’s draw ceremony that arriving at Roland Garros this year “felt different because I have so many great memories from this court now, whereas in the past, I mean, I played good matches, but I couldn’t come back and think, ‘This is where I’ve had my most emotional wins in my career.’ I didn’t. They were all at Wimbledon or U.S. Open or other places.”
Before finally winning the men’s singles title last year over Robin Soderling, Federer had lost three consecutive finals in Paris to Nadal as well as a semifinal in 2005.
If Nadal remains in his current form, he will be tough to beat. But Federer cannot be counted out of any grand slam tournament.
He’s got to be favored in a 3-out-of-5 set match and he has not lost before the semifinals of a major since French Open 2004.
Harvey Milk’s legacy still inspires more than 30 years after his murder and that was made clear during the first official day in his honor on Saturday.
Harvey Milk Day, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year, was used by activists as an opportunity to demonstrate Milk’s brand of activism by targeting districts in Los Angeles County that voted heavily in favor banning same-sex marriage and made personal appeals for legalization.
“We become human when we tell our stories, that is why across the state we’re going out and talking to people who aren’t with us,” Marc Solomon, marriage director of Equality California, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, told the Los Angeles Times. ” Harvey Milk was an activist, a fighter and believed so strongly in personal stories as a way to make progress happen,” he added. “So it’s very befitting to do that.”
Dustin Lance Black (pictured, left, in a photo by Brian Putnam), had a busy day appearing at several events including a fundraising party at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
Lance, who won an Academy Award last year for his screenplay of the film Milk, was among the dozens of volunteers and advocates who kicked off the day’s events by gathering at the East Los Angeles Service Center (see video at bottom of this post). Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and state Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) also spoke.
Milk, who would have been 80 on Saturday, was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978. He served for 11 months before he and Mayor George R. Moscone were assassinated at City Hall by former supervisor Dan White.
Journalist Karen Ocamb reports on what sounds like a remarkable event at Fairfax High School. Here is a portion of her coverage as reported at Karen’s LGBT POV site:
Among the plethora of activities marking the first-ever Harvey Milk Day in California was the Harvey Milk Schools Project Concert by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, with the story written by Alastair Gamble with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (pictured here with “Milk” producer Bruce Cohen and Harvey Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk).
The first part of the GMCLA concert at the Fairfax High School Auditorium in Los Angeles Saturday night featured songs from the chorus’ June 19-20 concert L’Amour: Music from the Movies of Baz Luhrmann at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood where the stage will be transformed into the Moulin Rouge.
For the premier of the Harvey Milk Schools Project, however, the high school auditorium stage was a set of bleachers for the singers, colorful boxes and most importantly, the audience’s imagination. This is useful since, as GMCLA Executive Director Hywel Sims explained, the GMCLA’s Alive Music Project goes into local high schools as ambassadors of music education (music programs often the first cut in times of economic crisis) while carrying the message of equality and anti-bullying through their performances, story telling and post-concert conversations.
The new Harvey Milk Schools Project is scheduled to go into a magnet school on Thursday, their first performance of the work following Saturday’s premiere.
There is also an account of the evening at Metblogs.
Other high-profile events on Saturday included a celebration at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, a fundraiser at the home of Sharon and Kelly Osbourne.
Black appeared at the party at Tussand’s in Hollywood but not at the Osbourne party which was presented with Equality California. There apparently was some drama connected to Black’s absence with the site Queerty.com reporting that EQCA dis-invited Black from the party because they wanted controversial gay blogger Perez Hilton there instead.
That seems a bit hard to believe but EQCA did release a statement to Towleroad.com attempting to clarify things: We didn’t disinvite Dustin Lance Black from EQCA’s Harvey Milk Day event held at the home of Sharon and Kelly Osborne. …We did let Black know that Perez Hilton might be attending the event as a guest of the Osbornes out of courtesy, as we know that there is tension between them (of which the Osbornes were not aware). Hilton was also on the media lists for other organizations’ Harvey Milk Day events. We would never disinvite anyone from our events, and our Harvey Milk Day events were open to the press. Hilton did not attend the event. We did let Black know that Hilton wasn’t coming, and he sent me a text saying that he didn’t think he could make it to the event before it ended.
We would never disinvite someone from an event who has done as much for the LGBT community as Black has. We’re incredibly impressed with Black’s advocacy for LGBT rights and hope to continue working with him in the future. He is a great champion for our community.
Anyway, it’s a bit of a PR nightmare for EQCA.
Let’s move away from that silliness and check out the video below of Lance speaking on Saturday morning:
Not a single scene has been shot of the second season of Glee and yet FOX has already renewed its phenomenal freshman hit for a third season, according to EW.com.
It’s a vote of confidence that is well-earned for the Tuesday night show that has seen many of its episodes become instant classics.
Season-to-date, Glee is the No. 1 new scripted series among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34, and has averaged 9.4 million total viewers. During its spring telecasts, the musical dramedy averaged a 5.6/14 among 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers. It wraps its first season June 8.
“In just one year, Glee has transcended the television landscape and emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon,” said Peter Rice, the Fox Networks Group Entertainment Chairman, in a statement.
Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly added: “Everything about Glee – from the concept to the characters to the marketing – has been innovative and risky, but with [series creator] Ryan Murphy tapping into the zeitgeist, the risk has paid off with this truly remarkable series. Glee has one of the most active, devoted fan bases I’ve ever seen, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to give Gleeks a third season of their favorite show.”
Murphy also released a statement: “It’s been a whirlwind year – from shooting the pilot to performing at the White House to the concert tour that began last week – and yet we all feel like we’ve just begun this amazing musical journey. We think our Gleeks worldwide are going to love what we’ll have in store for them in seasons two and three.”