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

Headlines over Amal Clooney ‘baby bump’ earn backlash

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who represents victims of rape and kidnappings by members of the Islamic State group, urged a United Nations meeting to step up the pressure on the extremists, so why did her yellow dress and her “baby bump” also make headlines?

Criticism was swift Thursday for some news and entertainment outlets from outraged social media users, including some on Twitter who responded to the Time Inc. tweet: “Amal Clooney shows off her baby bump at the United Nations.”

The tweet linked to a story that ran on Time’s Motto website, which is focused on younger women. The story’s headline also referenced a “baby bump” but was changed, a spokeswoman for Time confirmed Friday. She declined further comment.

The Mirror in London went with: “Amal Clooney is a vision in yellow as she shows off hint of baby bump in chic dress,” while E! News ran: “Amal Clooney Shows Baby Bump in What Could Be the Ultimate International Women’s Day Poster,” all according to a story in the Washington Post questioning the approach in context to her speech.

Read also: Amal Clooney shares her own family’s refugee story

Among the critics was Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who has slammed media in the past for focusing on her “childless” status. In response to the Clooney bump tweet, Sturgeon wrote: “I’m pretty certain that this wasn’t the purpose of this impressive human rights lawyer’s appearance at the UN.”

Clooney became an international celebrity after her union with Oscar-winner George Clooney. They married in 2014 and are now expecting twins.

At the U.N., she urged Iraq and the world not to let the Islamic State “get away with genocide.” She expressed frustration that nothing has happened since she came to the U.N. six months ago seeking accountability for IS victims.

Amal Clooney represents Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman captured by IS in Iraq in 2014. Murad has spoken out since her release about being raped and sold as a sex slave and is now a U.N. goodwill ambassador. Murad accompanied her to the U.N. and told the meeting that victims have been waiting more than a year for an investigation of IS to start.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Adele confirms marriage during Australian concert after years of speculation

New York – Adele, who has become a global pop sensation with her songs of heartbreak, has confirmed years of speculation that she is married.

The English singer has been in a long-term relationship with Simon Konecki, a former financier who founded drop4drop, a charity that presses for global access to clean drinking water.

The couple have a four-year-old son, Angelo, but Adele has been coy about whether they are married as she tries to maintain her privacy.

But she confirmed their status at a concert in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday (March 5, 2017) as she introduced Someone Like You, her breakthrough 2011 hit written about the lingering pain of a breakup with a previous boyfriend.

“That feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on earth,” she said, according to a fan’s video posted online.

“And I am addicted to that feeling. Obviously, I can’t go through with those feelings because I’m married now,” she added, to a smattering of cheers.

Attentive fans at last month’s Grammy Awards also heard Adele thanking “my husband and my son – you’re the only reason I do it.” Her representative declined at the time to say whether she had been confirming her marriage to Konecki.

Adele, 28, has been one of the most successful artists of the 21st century with her ballads of nostalgia and heartache.

With the latest Grammys, she became the first artist to win all three most-coveted awards – for album, record and song – in two different years.//AFP

Source: TheNation

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

Thailand – 3 police and celebrities linked to Lao drug lord

AT LEAST three policemen are facing investigation after being recognised in photos alongside alleged Lao drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha.

Two more celebrities, meanwhile, will be summoned for questioning in relation to the expanding investigation into Xaysana’s alleged drugs network in Thailand. Famous motorcycle racer Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, better known “Benz Racing”, was the first prominent figure to have his name linked to Xaysana.

National Police Commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda had ordered probes into reported links between three Thai police and Xaysana, Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said yesterday, in his role as deputy spokesman of the National Police Office.

The investigations will start based on pictures showing the policemen posing alongside Xaysana, who was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport last month on drugs charges.

“The probes will determine what kinds of connections these police officers have had with the alleged drugs kingpin,” Krissana said.

Meanwhile, deputy chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) Pol Maj-General Pornchai Charoenwong said police would summon two more celebrities for questioning. “But I can’t disclose details yet,” he said.

Xaysana had portrayed himself as a rich and well-connected man from Laos, throwing many parties in Thailand and acquainting himself with well-known celebrities and other influential figures in recent years.

As the ongoing investigation into Xaysana’s alleged network has grown, police suspect that some celebrities in Thailand assisted him with money laundering and asset concealment.

Akarakit was the first Thai celebrity to be implicated in the scandal. His home and car-accessory shop were searched last week and he turned himself in to the NSB last Friday.

According to Akarakit, he does not know Xaysana personally but had borrowed Bt6 million from Nattapon Nakkam, who was recently arrested for allegedly facilitating drug deals for Xaysana.

“Nattapon and Akarakit have provided conflicting information about the purpose of the Bt6-million loan,” Pornchai said.

He also said Nattapon and Akarakit had transferred money back and forth for more than one year. “In this period, there were also some suspicious deposits in Akarakit’s bank accounts,” Pornchai added.

Asked about reports that Xaysana’s network may have also involved the children of former politicians, Pornchai said relevant authorities would look further into the details.

Source: TheNation

Spot the differences in before photos of Miss Universe Thailand

Before the glam makeover that prepared her for the world of beauty pageants, Miss Thailand Universe 2016 was an ordinary, adorable girl next door.

Although she didn’t win the prestigious crown or the title of the fairest woman in the world, Chalita “Namtarn” Suansane was welcomed home yesterday like a national hero — a really hot one. She stole the media spotlight from other beauty queens from the start of the competition with her fierce style and extravagant costumes in 17 suitcases.

Remarkable for her striking cheekbones, tanned skin, and stunning body, Namtarn didn’t always look this smoking hot. We have collected some photos from her earlier days, when she was a smiley girl you might have seen at a shopping mall. Oh, and she wasn’t that tan either.

Now with a new look that fits international beauty standards, let’s play spot the differences in her before and after pictures.

Photos: Namtan Chalita/Facebook

Let it be clear she never deserved to win, because, she can not speak English,
(She has used a interpreter)

What needed for a international career.
How ever she can in front be selected ?

Source: Coconuts.co

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

 

 

Star-packed Berlin film festival

Penelope Cruz, Hugh Jackman, Catherine Deneuve, Richard Gere and Robert Pattinson are among the high-wattage stars due on the red carpet at February’s Berlin film festival, organisers said Tuesday as they unveiled the line-up.

The 67th Berlinale is the first major cinema showcase in Europe each year and presents nearly 400 productions from around the world. 

The 11-day event will kick off in the German capital February 9 with the world premiere of the French biopic “Django” about Gypsy-jazz great Django Reinhardt and his family’s persecution in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Eighteen films will vie for the Golden Bear top prize, which last year went to harrowing Italian refugee documentary “Fire at Sea” from a jury led by Meryl Streep.

This year Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct”, “Elle”) will lead the seven-member jury including US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Mexican actor and director Diego Luna (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). 

Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick told reporters that the event, known as the most politically minded of Europe’s top festivals, would shine a light on what he called dark times in the West.

“The programme we have put together features films that deal with themes of courage and confidence and do it with a whole lot of humour,” he said. 

“You never know what is going to be happening in the world when you start assembling the line-up but it’s as if the filmmakers were able to look into the future and see current developments. But despite all the turmoil in the world, it’s an upbeat programme.”

Veterans and popcorn fare 

In keeping with its long post-war tradition, the festival will mix arthouse cinema from European veterans including Poland’s Agnieszka Holland (“Europa Europa”), Britain’s Sally Potter, Germany’s Volker Schloendorff, previous Golden Bear winner Calin Peter Netzer of Romania and Aki Kaurismaki of Finland with popcorn fare.

The latest Wolverine instalment of the X-Men superhero series “Logan” starring Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Richard E. Grant will have its world premiere in Berlin and “T2: Trainspotting”, the sequel to the drug-fuelled Scottish cult classic will get a gala screening.

Potter (“Orlando”), one of four women directors in competition, has pulled together a cast including Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall for the comedy “The Party” set in a house in present-day London.

Gere stars with Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Chloe Sevigny in the thriller “The Dinner” by US director Oren Moverman (“Love and Mercy”), an adaptation of the Dutch novel by Herman Koch.

Cruz joins Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) in the Spanish production “The Queen of Spain” set in the 1950s under Franco, screening in the Berlinale Special sidebar section.

French production “The Midwife” by Martin Provost stars Deneuve as the mysterious former mistress of the title character’s father.

And Pattinson is due in Berlin for a screening of James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z” an adaptation of a bestseller by David Grann of the New Yorker.

Source: TheNation / News Guru

‘La La Land’ waltzes to huge victory at Golden Globes

LOS ANGELES – Whimsical modern-day musical “La La Land” pirouetted its way into major Oscars contention Sunday as it swept the board at the Golden Globes, the glitziest party of the showbiz year.

Damien Chazelle’s nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals picked up all seven of the statuettes for which it was nominated — giving the film momentum as it launches its campaign for next month’s Academy Awards.

    The film’s influence was felt from the opening moments of the three-hour ceremony — host Jimmy Fallon and a slew of stars got the bash underway with a parody of some of the iconic scenes from the movie, which is set in Los Angeles.

    “This is a film for dreamers,” said Emma Stone, who took home the prize for best actress in a musical/comedy for her role as aspiring actress Mia.

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