Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the biggest star of all

Actors come and go, radio presenters live or die by their ratings and musicians top the charts only to be dropped, hostages to the vagaries of fickle public opinion.

But some stars are destined to be remembered forever, their successes immortalized in terrazzo and brass on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — a draw for visitors from across the world that has more staying power than any individual celebrity. 

Launched in 1958, the walk has built up more than 2,600 stars, each a tribute to the contribution of a public figure in the fields of motion picture, television, recording, radio or, latterly, live theater. 

“The criteria for getting a star are longevity in the field of entertainment — of five years or more — awards nominations, and very important to us is that they do philanthropic work,” said Ana Martinez, who arranges the ceremonies.

The ceremonies often coincide with the release of a movie as it is the celebrity who chooses the date, and a $40,000 fee is paid by the honoree’s entourage — $15,000 to cover the event and the rest for maintenance.

Read also: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell get Hollywood stars

– Millions of tourists –

Nearly 50 years after its launch, the 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) stretch smack in the middle of Hollywood now attracts an estimated 10 million tourists a year, who come to soak up the glamour. 

“It’s very special to be here, to be here in person to see the stars of the singers I love and I listen to often, and of the actors that I grew up with,” Brazilian tourist Daniela Oliveira told AFP.

Not all the honorees are actors and musicians, of course — the late film critic Roger Ebert has one, as do hockey announcer Bob Miller, LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Winnie the Pooh. 

Other stars often go to groups — fictional or otherwise — such as the munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Muppets” and “The Simpsons,” while Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse and Godzilla have their own. 

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– Selection controversy –

E.M. Stuart, erstwhile president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, is credited with coming up with the idea in 1953 for an attraction that would “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour.”

The walk’s initial costs came to $1.25 million and the first stars honored the likes of Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Burt Lancaster and Joanne Woodward. 

The selection process for honorees sparked controversy, however, when it emerged that Charlie Chaplin had been turned down for a star and his son sued unsuccessfully for damages amounting to $400,000. 

Chaplin finally got his star in 1972, five years before his death.

The walk was designed to accommodate 2,518 stars, and by the 1990s most of the space had gone, prompting the dedication of a second row.

Now there are hundreds of blank stars — leaving hope for newcomers to the entertainment industry pining after the Hollywood dream. 

Read also: Real places that inspired scenes in Oscar-nominated films

Source – TheJakartaPost

#Ukraine – Kiev puts finishing touches to Eurovision as song contest gets political.

With the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest set to kick off in a few days, host city Kiev puts final touches on preparations.

With the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest set to kick off in just a few days, host city Kiev is rushing to complete the final touches on preparations for the international competition.

Kiev has started welcoming Eurovision fans and set up food stalls, performance stages and big screens in the centre of the town which will broadcast the semi-finals and final next week. But as Ukraine prepares to host the final stages of the Eurovision competition next week, a dispute remains over its decision to bar Russia’s entrant to the contest – because she had performed in Crimea after it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Russia has vowed to boycott the competition, saying Ukraine’s move had tarnished the event. Ukraine hit back by saying that Moscow had deliberately tried to provoke Ukraine.

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Relations between Ukraine and Russia soured following the annexation and the outbreak of a war between Kiev and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people. Hostilities spilled over into the glitzy Eurovision show after Ukrainian contestant Jamala unexpectedly won the contest last year with an entry that Russia called politicized.

Russia’s proposed entry, Yulia Samoylova, is due to perform in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Tuesday, May 9, coinciding with the first semi-final of Eurovision.

Ukraine expects about 12,000-14,000 spectators to attend the competition next week with millions more watching on television. It will be the second time that Kiev hosts the event.

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Rock n’ Roll legend Chuck Berry dead at 90

NEW YORK – Chuck Berry, one of the creators of rock ‘n’ roll who helped shape modern youth culture with his dance-ready rhythms but who struggled to overcome institutional racism, died Saturday. He was 90.

Police in the St. Louis area, where Berry was born and lived most of his life, said that first responders found the guitar legend unresponsive when they answered an emergency call at his home.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” it said on Facebook.

Berry became a sensation in the years after World War II as the baby boom generation came of age in an increasingly prosperous America. The middle-class son of a carpenter and a high school principal, Berry grew up under segregation but instinctively sensed how to bridge the racial divide.

 Berry had played blues guitar but found that his white audience was more interested in country. He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock ‘n’ roll.

“It used to be called boogie-woogie, it used to be called blues, used to be called rhythm and blues,” he later said. “It’s called rock now.”

Whatever the music was named, Bruce Springsteen, one of many artists heavily influenced by Berry, said the man was indispensable.

“Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” Springsteen wrote on Twitter.

His 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” was so influential and recognizable that the US space program chose it to represent rock music for potential extraterrestrial listeners on the Voyager spacecraft.

Struggles with racism 

“Roll Over Beethoven” from 1956 was almost a manifesto of rock ‘n’ roll as the charismatic Berry urged the DJ to switch off the classical records and turn to the new genre of the youth.

Other hits included “Maybellene,” one of the pioneering rock songs that gave a guitar edge to a popular fiddle tune, and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” in which Berry hailed rock ‘n’ roll’s sweep across the United States.

Berry was one of the first African Americans to find a widespread white audience, with his gentle demeanor and the usually innocuous subject matter of his songs initially insulating him in a country where many black people lived under Jim Crow institutionalized racism.

But that changed as his fame grew. After a packed performance in 1959 in Meridian Mississippi, a white crowd set upon Berry and forced him to leave through a side entrance after accusing him of kissing a white girl among his fans.

“One of the girls threw her arms around me and hung a soul-searching kiss that I let hang a second too long,” Berry later explained. He was arrested for disturbing the peace and left the city after paying a fine.

His career soon was interrupted when he was arrested in 1959 under an obscure law for taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

Berry defended himself against allegations that he had slept with the young waitress. But he was convicted by an all-white jury and served a year and a half in prison. In a bitter irony, he was incarcerated just as the United States was swept by white rockers influenced by him, including the British invasion led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger hailed Berry on Saturday as an inspiration, saying: “He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers.”

Final album due 

After his prison time, friends described the laid-back and fun-loving Berry as a changed man, and the conviction has long been viewed in the African American community as a warning sign for artists on the rise.

Berry mostly avoided the media limelight as he resurrected his career. In a rare 1987 interview with NBC television, Berry declined to describe himself as the father of rock ‘n’ roll, listing others including his contemporary Elvis Presley as well as Fats Domino and Little Richard.

“We’re all I think just a cog in the wheel. We all got the ball rolling,” he said.

Berry initially found success after record executive Leonard Chess sensed his crossover potential and signed him after an introduction from Muddy Waters. Berry late in his life stayed low-profile in St. Louis where he played two decades worth of shows at the Blueberry Club, with his son Charles Berry Jr. in his backup band.

In a surprise, Berry last year celebrated his 90th birthday by announcing that he had recorded his first album in 38 years.

Entitled simply “Chuck,” the album is slated to be released sometime this year.

In a statement as he announced the album, Berry dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry.

“My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Beyonce wows at Grammys, David Bowie wins 4 awards

In glittery gown, gilded crown and gold choker, a pregnant Beyonce took the Grammy stage Sunday in a lengthy performance of two songs from her critically acclaimed album “Lemonade.”

She was introduced by her mother and former stylist, Tina Knowles: “Ladies and gentlemen, with my mother’s pride, my daughter, Beyonce.”

Beyonce sang on top of a long table, even leaning back on a chair while singing “Love Drought.” She later sang “Sandcastles” while sitting down, hitting high notes.

She earned a loud applause from the audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, including daughter Blue Ivy and husband Jay Z. Earlier, Beyonce won best music video for “Formation.”

David Bowie, who died last year from cancer, won all four awards he was nominated for. He won three in the pre-telecast, and took home best rock song for “Blackstar” during the live show.

“Blackstar,” his final album released days after he died, also won best alternative music album, rock performance, and engineered album, non-classical (Bowie is listed as one of the engineers on “Blackstar.”) In the latter category, he beat out Prince, who also died last year.

Adele kicked off the Grammys with a live rendition of her comeback anthem, “Hello,” which helped her win two early Grammys, and may put her on track to win album, song and record of the year. Other A-list stars like Bruno Mars and Katy Perry will also perform.

Adele’s “Hello” won best pop solo performance and “25” won pop vocal album in the pre-telecast ceremony. In the top three categories, she will go head-to-head with Beyonce.

Chance the Rapper won the first award in the live telecast for best new artist. He also won best rap performance during the pre-show awards.

“Glory be to God. I claimed this victory in the name of the Lord. I want to thank God for my mother and my father who supported me since I was young,” Chance the Rapper said onstage.

James Corden, hosting the Grammys for the first time, rapped some of his monologue at the top of the show, namedropping Prince, Rihanna and Drake.

Twenty one pilots won best pop duo/group performance for the hit “Stressed Out.” They removed their pants when accepting the award in homage to their earlier days when they watched the Grammys at home in their boxers.

In the pre-telecast, Beyonce’s younger sister, critical R&B darling Solange, won her first Grammy for best R&B performance (it was her first-ever nomination). Drake, who isn’t attending the live show, won best rap song and rap/sung performance for the smash hit, “Hotline Bling.”

Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — which is nominated for an Oscar — won best song written for visual media. His No.1 hit is from the “Trolls” soundtrack. Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott won two Grammys in the Christian category for the album she recorded with her family. Scott, who has won seven Grammys with Lady A, cried onstage both times when accepting the wins.

“We’ve been crying since this project started,” her father, Lang Scott, said.

Best new artist nominees The Chainsmokers won best dance recording for the pop hit “Don’t Let Me Down,” while album of the year nominee Sturgill Simpson won best country album for “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.”

The country music rebel thanked his wife, who he said told him to quit his job on the railroad years ago and move to Nashville.

Joey + Rory won best roots gospel album for “Hymns,” and Rory Feek was emotional onstage as he remembered his wife Joey, who died last year from cancer.

“My wife’s dream was to make a hymns album. She didn’t have the chance to do it until she’d been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, so she’d sing in hotel rooms while she did chemotherapy and radiation,” said Rory, who added that his wife said if they were nominated he had to attend the Grammys. “She got a big smile on her face and she said, ‘Remember, if we win, I’ll know before you will.”

Some actors won Grammys, too: Don Cheadle picked up best compilation soundtrack for visual media for “Miles Ahead,” where he is credited as a compilation producer, and Carol Burnett won the best spoken word album Grammy.

“The Color Purple” won best musical theater album, giving Jennifer Hudson her second Grammy and earning Tony winner Cynthia Erivo and “Orange Is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks their first Grammys.

Beyonce was the overall top nominee with nine. There are few things the pop diva has not conquered, and the Grammy for album of the year is one of them.

For the third time, Beyonce is nominated for the coveted trophy, an award given to few R&B-based performers and only two hip-hop acts in the Grammy’s 59-year history.

She was nominated for the top prize in 2010 with “I Am … Sasha Fierce” (losing to Taylor Swift) and in 2015 with “Beyonce” (Beck was the surprise winner). Her “Lemonade” album is competing Sunday, along with its hit “Formation” for record and song of the year.

Beyonce has lost record of the year four times, and she’s marking her third nomination for song of the year (she won in 2010 with “Single Ladies”).

Beyonce’s main competition is Adele, who won album, song and record of the year in 2012 with “21” and “Rolling In the Deep.” While some critics argued that Beyonce’s “Lemonade” was more artistic and had a stronger impact on culture, Adele’s “25” marked her comeback and became a multiplatinum juggernaut, setting a record when it sold over 3 million units in its first week.

Their competition for album of the year aside from Simpson includes Drake’s multihit “Views” and Justin Bieber’s redemption album “Purpose.”

Nominees battling “Formation” and “Hello” for record of the year include Rihanna and Drake’s “Work,” twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out” and Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.”

Song of the year nominees are “Formation,” ”Hello,” ”7 Years,” Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” and Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” shared with co-writer Ed Sheeran.

The Chainsmokers, who have dominated the pop charts, will compete with Chance the Rapper, Maren Morris, Anderson .Paak and Kelsea Ballerini for best new artist.

Collaborative performances include Lady Gaga and Metallica, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, and A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak. Chance the Rapper will perform with Kirk Franklin, who won two awards, including best gospel album and gospel performance/song for writing “God Provides” for Tamela Mann.

Tributes for Prince and George Michael will take place, while Demi Lovato, Andra Day and Tori Kelly will honor the Bee Gees and the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Fever.”

Rihanna, Drake and Kanye West are the second-most nominated acts with eight each.

Source: TheJakartaPost

Coming soon: Movie based on love story between John Lennon and Yoko Ono

The producer of Captain Phillips and Fifty Shades of Grey, Michael De Luca, is working with Yoko Ono to produce a film chronicling the love story between the late John Lennon and Ono.

The movie does not yet have a set release date but will feature Theory of Everything’s Anthony McCarten, Luca, Ono and Immersive Pictures’ Josh Bratman as screenwriters.

De Luca has said as quoted by Rolling Stone that the storyline will “focus on the ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the US – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want”.

Lennon’s first encounter with Ono came about when the latter set up an art exhibition called Unfinished Paintings and Objects in November 1966.

Their conversation kicked off when the Beatles founder asked Ono about her painting called Painting to Hammer a Nail In.

At that time, Lennon was still married to his first wife, Cynthia. Nonetheless, in 1968, the couple got a divorce and Lennon married Ono the following year in Gibraltar.

Throughout their relationship, Ono and Lennon made music together and became famous for their anti-war protests against the Vietnam War and support for the hippie movement. (nik/kes)

Source: TheJakartaPost

Grammys to pay tribute to Prince & George Michael

Sunday’s Grammy Awards will include special tributes to pop music icons Prince and George Michael.

Organizers announced Wednesday that the program will include two performances in honor of the stars who died last year. The announcement didn’t say who would perform the tributes.

Previously announced performers for this year’s show include Adele, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Bruno Mars and Metallica. Gaga performed a medley of the late David Bowie’s hits during last year’s show.

The “Late Late Show’s” James Corden is hosting the Grammys, which will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday night from Los Angeles.

Source: TheJakartaPost

Popular YouTubers can now stream live from cell phones

In a move against Facebook’s streaming service Facebook Live, YouTube has rolled out the ability to live-stream from mobile devices for creators with 10,000 or more subscribers.

In a blog post, the company stated that the service would be easily accessible from the YouTube app, adding that its features had been tested by “hundreds of creators to refine the mobile streaming experience”. Based on their feedback, live chats were slowed and streaming quality was boosted. 

The feature will also allow creators to monetize their live streams, starting with Super Chat. This would allow viewers and fans to highlight and pin their messages in live chats for a fee, with the hope that it would catch creators’ attention. “Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age,” YouTube said.

YouTube has supported live streaming since 2011 and hosted the most watched political live-streams of all time, the 2016 US presidential debates. But the site had previously not supported mobile streams, unlike Facebook’s Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, as reported by Reuters

According to YouTube, the live streams will share the same features as YouTube’s regular videos. “They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use.” (sul/kes)

Source: TheJakartaPost

‘Pregnant Beyoncé just going to perform at Coachella’

Beyonce forging full steam ahead with plans to play Coachella, even with her 2 buns in the oven … TMZ has learned.

Sources involved in pulling off Coachella tell us Bey has no intention of canceling, and has already booked 2 other big artists to join her onstage. She’s made housing arrangements out in the desert for her guest stars, and we’re told both knew well in advance that Beyonce’s preggo.

One of the performers is from the Roc Nation roster. The other is from a different label, but still close to Bey. Our sources say the guests have blocked off their schedules for the gig and there’s no going back now.

It’s still unclear how she’ll handle the performance, since she’ll likely be in her third trimester by April. Beyhive might not love it, but there’s always the seated option.

Source: AD / TMZ

Beyoncé shares (naked) pregnancy photos

Besides the pregnancy announcement of Beyoncé on Twitter and Instagram, she shares even more pictures with her fans, including some in Eve costume ....

Source: Twitter / Instagram/ Beyoncé website

 

 

Adam Levine receive star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine will soon have his own star embedded on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The singer-songwriter will be given the 2,601st star, which will be in the Recording category.

“As both the front man and primary songwriter of the multi-Grammy Award winning band Maroon 5, Adam Levine continues to indelibly impact the face of modern popular music,” Walk of Fame management stated on its official website.

The dedication ceremony for Levine will be held on Feb. 10 at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, the United States. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler will be the MC, while Levine’s fellow The Voice coach Blake Shelton and rock legend Sammy Hagar will give speeches at the ceremony.

On the Walk of Fame website, producer Ana Martinez remarked that Levine’s fans had been “patiently waiting for this day”.

“Fans from around the world have been constantly checking with us, saying ‘When? When?’ Now is the time,” she said. She invited Levine’s fans to attend the ceremony.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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