Steven Spielberg’s daughter launches adult entertainment career, says dad supports her sex worker ambitions

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Steven Spielberg‘s daughter says she has self-produced adult entertainment videos and is an aspiring sex worker in a new tell-all interview.

Mikaela Spielberg, one of the famed director’s seven children, has begun self-producing solo adult film videos at the age of 23, she told The Sun.

Spielberg’s daughter, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., has already submitted an application to become a sex worker — and the self-proclaimed “sexual creature” shared in the revealing interview that her famous father is supportive of her endeavors.

Director Steven Spielberg poses with his daughter, Mikaela (left), actress/director Drew Barrymore and daughter Sasha (right) at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Whip It’ at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 2009. (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

According to the aspiring star, the “Schindler’s List” director and his wife, Kate Capshaw, were “intrigued” when she shared the news with them of her new porn gig over the weekend. She added that her parents were “not upset” by her revelation.

The 23-year-old added that producing solo porn has made her feel satisfied after having battled years of mental health issues and alcoholism.

“I got really tired of not being able to capitalize on my body and frankly, I got really tired of being told to hate my body,” Mikaela told the outlet.

She continued: “And I also just got tired of working day to day in a way that wasn’t satisfying to my soul. I feel like doing this kind of work, I’m able to ‘satisfy’ other people, but that feels good because it’s not in a way that makes me feel violated.”

The 73-year-old director’s daughter opened up about past abuse by “predators” during her early years by “outsiders” who had no relation to the “Jaws” filmmaker. She’s also been open about her borderline personality disorder.

Mikaela first announced her solo porn career on her social media accounts, declaring that her new gig is “safe” and “consensual.” She said her goal is to earn enough money from the opportunity that she won’t need to rely on her father’s funds.

“I can’t stay dependent on my parents or even the state for that matter – not that there’s anything wrong with that – it just doesn’t feel comfortable for me,” Mikaela said.

Actress Kate Capshaw (center), and daughters Mikaela George Spielberg (right) and Destry Allyn Spielberg (left) attend EIF Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s 16th Annual ‘An Unforgettable Evening’ presented by Saks Fifth Avenue at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel. (Donato Sardella/Getty Images for EIF)

Mikaela stressed that she does not feel any shame in her choices and sees her new career as a “positive, empowering choice.”

She pointed out that she will not engage in sex on camera with anyone else. Mikaela is currently engaged to a man named Chuck Pankow, 47, who also is rallying behind her budding adult entertainment career.

For now, Mikaela told The Sun that her videos have consisted of showing off her “moneymaker” breasts and hinted that she believes “fetish work” could become one of her specialties.

Her stage name was revealed to be “Sugar Star” and her videos were up on PornHub but she took them down while she awaits the approval of her Tennessee sex worker license.

The young woman added that her hope is for Spielberg and Capshaw to see her grow in her new endeavors.

Spielberg and Capshaw adopted Mikaela in 1996 and she grew up in the film industry, having spent time on the set of “Artificial Intelligence” as a young girl.

The famous director’s daughter concluded that she’s always shared a special bond with her dad, whether over their mutual love of sci-fi and horror, or just the fact that Spielberg and Capshaw have been incredibly self-sacrificing and supportive.

“I have amazing parents that had their struggles with me, I’ve had my fights and struggles with them, but it’s only out of fear that people sometimes care incorrectly because they want you to be alive and safe,” she said.

Reps for Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

This content was originally published here.

EXO’s Chen Apologizes To EXO-L For Hurting Them With His Sudden Marriage Announcement

EXO‘s Chen has just released a new statement to EXO-L about how sorry he is to them after his sudden marriage and upcoming child announcement.

In his statement, Chen apologized to EXO-L for the sudden news, and how he was sad to see his words hurt others.

Hello, this is Chen.

I have been thinking a lot about how to express my feelings, and I am finally leaving a message to EXO-L. I was worried that I would hurt you with some awkward words, but I would like to say I am sorry to all of the fans who have been waiting for me. I would like to apologize to EXO-L who must have been surprised and embarrassed by my sudden news.

When I first started writing [the original letter], I had a lot of thoughts of what to say to EXO-L, who been with me since the start of my career. But I thought I should be the one to tell everyone first, so I wrote the letter… Unlike what I was feeling, I was very sad to see that my lacking words hurt and disappointed others.

I don’t know if my feelings could be conveyed well, but I am truly grateful for the love that you all have given me up until now, and I know better than anyone that I am where I am right now because of that love.

I am sorry that I am apologizing to you all so late, and I will continue to work hard to show you a good side of myself.

Thank you.

— EXO’s Chen

On January 12, Chen revealed through a post on EXO’s fancafe that he would be marrying his longtime girlfriend, and hinted at her pregnancy. SM Entertainment later confirmed the marriage news, as well as confirming Chen’s hint that they were expecting their first child together.

This content was originally published here.

Janet Jackson Pays Tribute to Good Times Costar Ja’net DuBois: ‘I’ll Miss You’

Janet Jackson is honoring the life and legacy of her late Good Times costar, Ja’net DuBois.

Following DuBois’ death at age 74 on Monday, Jackson — who played Penny Gordon Woods, the adopted daughter of DuBois’ character Willona Woods in Good Times — shared a sweet Instagram tribute in honor of the late actress.

“I am so very saddened to hear my longtime friend Ja’Net DuBois has passed away. I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment,” Jackson, 53, wrote alongside a series of photos of the pair.

“I’m grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories. I pray for comfort for all her family and friends. Thank you Ja’Net, I’ll miss you. 🖤” Jackson added.

DuBois’ Good Times character was a close family friend and neighbor to the Evans Family. She was known for being independent, generous and always up for fun.

The show followed Florida and James Evans as they raised their children in a Chicago housing project. The series first aired in February 1974 and ended after six seasons in 1980.

Along with Jackson, many celebrities have paid tribute to DuBois following the news of her death, including Holly Robinson Peete, Loni Love and DL Hughley.

The Glendale Police Department told PEOPLE Tuesday that officers responded to a call regarding DuBois “not breathing” late Monday. Officials later determined that DuBois was deceased.

Glendale Police Sgt. Dan Stubbs told the Associated Press that DuBois appeared to have died of natural causes and there is no ongoing investigation into her death.

A rep for DuBois did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

In addition to her famous Good Times role, DuBois appeared in a number of television series including The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Beverly Hills, 90210, ER and The PJs, where she starred as Mrs. Avery.

DuBois’ Hollywood career landed her a TV Land Impact Icon Award for Good Times in 2006 and an Emmy Award for outstanding voice-over performance for The PJs.

She also famously sang and co-wrote The Jeffersons theme song, “Movin’ On Up.”

DuBois is survived by her three children Rani, Yovanne and Burghardt DuBois. Her son, Raj Kristo Gupta, died in 1987 after a three-year battle with cancer, according to EW.

This content was originally published here.

Al Pacino’s Girlfriend Meital Dohan Ends Relationship Due To 39-Year Age Gap

Al Pacino Meital Dohan RelationshipPA Images

Israeli actress Meital Dohan has ended her relationship with Al Pacino, as ‘it’s hard to be with a man so old’. 

Rumours of the 79-year-old’s split from Dohan, 40, had been circulating ever since he attended the 92nd Academy Awards alone two weeks ago.

The pair were together for two years, and while the actress maintains that it was ‘an honour’ to be with The Irishman star, their 39-year age gap proved too difficult in the end.

Al Pacino Meital DohanPA Images

Dohan, known for her role in Weeds, took part in an interview with Israel’s LaIsha magazine as theories continued to brew concerning the couple’s status (they were last seen together back in October, at the Los Angeles premiere of Martin Scorsese’s latest Oscar-nominated epic).

As per The Times of Israel, she told the outlet: 

It’s hard to be with a man so old, even Al Pacino. The age gap is difficult, yes. I tried to deny it, but now he is already an elderly man, to be honest. So even with all my love, it didn’t last.

When asked about their relationship and any gifts The Godfather legend had bought her, Dohan laughed off the suggestion their relationship was benefited by material purchases. ‘He only bought me flowers. How can I say politely that he didn’t like to spend money?’ she said.

Al Pacino Meital DohanPA Images

The pair reportedly met at a Hollywood after-party back in 2018, and started dating soon after. While they had a fight recently and their relationship came to an end, the actress hopes she remains good friends with Pacino, and is glad to have been part of ‘his legacy’.

Dohan explained: 

I had a fight with him and left him recently, but of course I really love and appreciate him, and I was glad to be there for him when he needed me, and to be a part of his legacy. It’s an honour for me. I’m glad this relationship happened between us, and hope we remain good friends.

Pacino previously dated Argentine actress Lucila Solá for more than a decade (whose daughter Camila Morrone has been in a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio since 2017).

Camila Sola, Al Pacino, Lucila Sola attending the 'Manglehorn' premiere at the 71nd Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2014./picture alliancePA Images

The actor has three children from previous relationships, including 18-year-old twins Olivia and Anton with actress Beverly D’Angelo, whom he dated from 1996 to 2003. He also has a 30-year-old daughter, Julie Marie, with his former acting coach Jan Tarrant.

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Game Over For Meghan & Harry, Queen Blows Up Their Money-Making Scam

Queen Elizabeth II is taking no prisoners, even if that means taking a stand against her own misguided grandson. Meghan Markle and her kowtowed husband Prince Harry are waking up to devastating news on Wednesday. The British Monarch took the unprecedented move of dropping a nuclear bomb right on the leftist duo’s money-making scam, and it’s game over for poor Meghan and Harry. Don’t miss this.

Meghan Markle is a former D-list actress who set her sights on Queen Elizabeth’s grandson. Within a few months, Markle had grifted her way into Harry’s world, but her end game was a sinister plot to use the British Monarchy as her brand in a money-making scheme.

The Queen just dropped a nuclear bomb on Meghan’s scheme. 

Markle’s scam of the British Monarchy always hinged on one thing: trademarking various brands as “Royal.” Months before Meghan and Harry revealed they were leaving the Royal Family, the American grifter had already started scooping up various domains like “sussexroyal.com” where she planned to sell goods and services.

Back in March 2019, Meghan had hired Bill and Hillary Clinton former adviser Sara Latham. Meghan was ready to use the Clinton Foundation as her template in building a “pay for play” type organization. Markle would turn the British Monarchy’s “royal brand” into something that was up for sale to the highest bidder.

So, like a bad actress, Meghan cried on British TV last October that she was barely holding up. It seems her life as a duchess in one of the world’s wealthiest families was just so overwhelming. Of course, this was a perfectly timed interview. Then, after the holidays, the dastardly duo makes their move to divorce themselves from the Royal Family.

However, they wanted their cake and to eat it too. 

Meghan and Harry made it clear they wanted to leave the United Kingdom and have no responsibilities as a working Senior Royal. But they still wanted all the perks. The press attention was off the charts, and so the Queen smartly gave them enough rope to hang themselves. In January, she took their “resignation” but said the “final details” would take some time to be determined.

Then, Her Majesty waited and watched to see what Meghan and Harry would do. Well, when Harry took a speaking gig with JP Morgan and started talks with Goldman Sachs as “the first steps by the Prince to land lucrative gigs on the paid speaking circuit,” that was all she needed to see.

Along with Meghan’s hardcore “woke” political stances, the Queen saw the writing on the wall. The leftist duo would be engaged in promoting their hypocritical causes. Meghan and Harry have a habit of lecturing us about climate change while grifting private jet rides from their celebrity friends.

The biggest issue to be determined surrounded the use of the coveted brand as “royal.” This was the linchpin to all of Meghan’s plans. The former cable TV actress had been making plans to use “royal” for at least 18 months, and without it, poor Meghan and Harry would have nothing to pimp out to the public.

Well, the Queen’s final answer is that the British Monarchy’s brand is not for sale. 

“Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be moving forward in their new life without a valuable part of their brand, with the Queen and other senior palace officials reportedly agreeing that the couple will no longer be able to keep the word ‘royal’ as a part of their brand,” Page Six reports. 

“Maybe they can trademark ‘certified former royal’?” Page Six adds.

According to the Daily Mail, the two had hoped to leverage “Sussex Royal” into not just a new website but a “global trademark for a range of items and activities, including clothing, stationery, books and teaching materials” and a new charitable organization with the name.

“Queen BANS Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from using lucrative ‘Sussex Royal’ brand that they hoped to use to build new lives because ‘they simply cannot sell themselves as Royals’” Daily Mail’s headline blared.

Royal watchers including British citizens are behind the Queen banning Meghan and Harry from using her brand in seedy money-making schemes. 

“Quite right too. If you don’t want to do the duty, you don’t get to exploit the royal label to make money,” tweeted Piers Morgan.

Quite right too. If you don’t want to do the duty, you don’t get to exploit the royal label to make money. https://t.co/xMGlLejGvg

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 18, 2020

Even the Irish Post tweeted out: “Tough, but fair.”

— The Irish Post (@theirishpost) February 19, 2020

“Yes, Brits were waiting for HMQ to stand firm and speak up for them. The Sussex’s have been an embarrassment to the monarchy and the entire country with their behavior acting as if they couldn’t be reined in. Ex-royal don’t identify with the Royal name,” tweeted “dpbrown1953.”

Yes Brits were waiting for HMQ to stand firm and speak up for them. The Sussex’s have been an embarrassment to the monarchy and the entire country with their behavior acting as if they couldn’t be reined in. Ex-royal don’t identify with the Royal name. https://t.co/qxIb24hYLC

“Queen saw that $500,000+ speaking engagement with bankers and 1% in Miami and was Nah, not having it,” tweeted “ultrapurwater.”

Queen saw that $500,000+ speaking engagement with bankers and 1% in Miami and was nah, not having it.

Queen BANS Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from using lucrative ‘Sussex Royal’ brandhttps://t.co/P0C3rbeHYk

“‘Good on you Ma’am!’: Britons back the Queen after she orders Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to drop the ‘Royal’ from their lucrative Sussex Royal brand – while others joke that alternative ‘H&M is already taken,’” tweeted “@tweetaboutit.”

‘Good on you Ma’am!’: Britons back the Queen after she orders Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to drop the ‘Royal’ from their lucrative Sussex Royal brand – while others joke that alternative ‘H&M is already taken’ https://t.co/o1H73ILIzB via @MailOnline

“How’d ya like them apples?? Our Queen rocks,” tweeted “Bumble.”

How dya like them apples??🍎

Our Queen rocks. 👊

EXCLUSIVE: Queen BANS Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from using ‘Sussex Royal’ brand
via https://t.co/XjplgiYj1N https://t.co/vgG7gutyPM

Meghan’s cadre of devotees is livid. Some are going as far as to say the Queen is racist. 

That’s the typical leftwing response to anything that does not go their way. Meghan feels entitled to destroy the brand of a 1,000-year Monarchy, and if you don’t see it her way, well, then you must be a racist.

Shame on anyone making these ridiculous accusations of racism. And shame on Prince Harry for going along with Meghan’s scheme that must be devastating to his elderly grandparents. Harry will rue the day he allowed a viper in the royal family, and with his grandparents both in their 90s, we can only hope he comes to his senses before it’s too late to make amends.

This content was originally published here.

Alejandro Fernández Announces United States, Canada and Europe Dates of His ‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ WORLD TOUR

 Multi-Latin GRAMMY award winner, Alejandro Fernández has announced the United States, Canada and Europe concert dates for his ‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ WORLD TOUR. Produced by Live Nation, the United States and Canada tour kicks off May 22 in Fresno, California at the Save Mart Center and will wrap up on September 20 in San Antonio, Texas at the AT&T Center and includes Fernández’s first show in Toronto, Canada, at Meridian Hall. The European tour is produced by Planet Events @ Live Nation and includes his first ever shows in London and Paris. Full tour details below.

Live_Nation_Entertainment_Alejandro_Fernandez
Live_Nation_Entertainment_Alejandro_Fernandez

Alejandro Fernández recently announced the release of his long-awaited new album, ‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ (MADE IN MEXICO), available HERE for pre-order and on all digital platforms starting February 14. ‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ marks his return to the mariachi ranchera format popularized by his father, and living-legend, Vicente Fernández. The album tells stories of love and heartbreak, with “El Potrillo” (as he is lovingly called) demonstrating his once-in-a-generation vocal talent while paying tribute to a genre whose spirit is deeply ingrained in the hearts and souls of Latinos everywhere.

Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, February 14 at 9AM local time at Ticketmaster.com. Every online ticket purchased for the United States and Canada ‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ tour includes one physical CD copy of the new album. Tickets for the European dates will be available at www.ticketmaster.es, www.ticketmaster.fr, and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’includes hit single “Caballero,” which quickly became a fan-favorite in Latin America and the United States, leading digital and radio charts in Mexico and the United States. It also includes Fernández’s most recent single, Te Olvidé (I Forgot You), among other great songs, and features collaborations with composers such as Christian Nodal, Luis Carlos Monroy, Jorge Massias and Chico Elizalde, and it was recorded between Barcelona, Los Angeles and New York, and produced by renowned producer Áureo Baqueiro.

‘HECHO EN MÉXICO’ Tour Dates:

Friday, May 22, 2020 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
Saturday, May 23, 2020 Oakland, CA Oakland Arena
Sunday, May 24, 2020 Los Angeles, CA “Fabulous” Forum
Saturday, May 30, 2020 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena
Sunday, May 31, 2020 Phoenix, AZ Arizona Federal Theatre
Friday, June 5, 2020 Hidalgo, TX Payne Arena
Saturday, June 6, 2020 Houston, TX Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Sunday, June 7, 2020 Laredo, TX Sames Auto Arena
Friday, June 12, 2020 Dallas, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Sunday, June 14, 2020 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 Toronto, ON Meridian Hall
Friday, June 19, 2020 Fairfax, VA EagleBank Arena
Saturday, June 20, 2020 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Sunday, June 21, 2020 Raleigh, NC PNC Arena
Friday, June 26, 2020 Miami, FL AmericanAirlines Arena
Sunday, June 28, 2020 Atlanta, GA Infinite Energy Center
Friday, September 11, 2020 Temecula, CA Pechanga Resort & Casino
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
Saturday, September 19, 2020 El Paso, TX Don Haskins Center
Sunday, September 20, 2020 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
Friday, November 27, 2020 Málaga, Spain Martín Carpena
Saturday, November 28, 2020 Tenerife, Spain Recinto Ferial
Monday, November 30, 2020 London, England Eventim Apollo
Thursday, December 3, 2020 Paris, France Olympia
Saturday, December 5, 2020 Bilbao, Spain Miribilla 
Sunday, December 6, 2020 La Coruña, Spain Coliseum
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 Madrid, Spain Wizink Center 
Thursday, December 10, 2020 Barcelona, Spain Palau St Jordi

Alejandro Fernández (“El Potrillo”) has sold more than 35 million records worldwide and won countless awards and nominations. He has achieved numerous #1 hits on the Mexico, U.S., Spain, and Latin America charts, including his latest single, “Caballero.” Throughout his career, Alejandro has collaborated with many musical powerhouses including Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Rod Stewart, Plácido Domingo, Morat, Sebastián Yatra, and more. Throughout his prolific musical career, he has been proud and stayed true to his roots, taking Mexican music to the world stage, and continuing his father’s legacy.

About Live Nation Entertainment:
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1088819/Live_Nation_Entertainment_Alejandro_Fernandez.jpg

SOURCE Live Nation Entertainment

Feature-Length Ronnie James Dio Documentary Is Being Made

A fully authorized feature-length documentary about the late Ronnie James Dio is in the works. BMG is producing the film, which will span the career of the legendary metal singer.

The documentary is being directed by Don Argot and Demian Fenton, who previously worked on Last Days Here, the film about Pentagram’s Bobby Leibling. The Dio doc will be the latest music-related film venture for BMG following David Crosby: Remember My Name and the Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation.

“I am very excited to be working with BMG on Ronnie’s long-awaited documenter,” Dio’s widow, Wendy, told Variety. “Ronnie loved his fans and I hope they will enjoy this trip through Ronnie’s life.”

Following the thread laid out in Dio’s unfinished autobiography, the film promises “rare archival footage and photos from his personal archives” and “intimate scenes with Dio’s closest peers, friends, and family.”

It will span his entire career, from his origins as a ’60s pop singer before his time fronting Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and finally his own illustrious heavy metal outfit, Dio.

 

“Dio, a larger than life rock hero, whose music means so much to millions of fans worldwide, deserves nothing less,” BMG Executive Producer Kathy Rivkin Daum said. “The story behind his passion, ambition, and the highs and lows of success, in the rock and metal worlds, is something audiences have never seen before and won’t soon forget. We are honored to partner with Wendy on this incredible journey celebrating Ronnie’s life and work.”

Prior to the documentary’s eventual release, BMG is reissuing Dio’s final studio albums from 1996-2004, most of which have gone out print on vinyl and CD.

Feature-Length Ronnie James Dio Documentary Is Being Made
Jon Hadusek

This content was originally published here.

‘Namaste Wahala’ Is the Nollywood Meets Bollywood Crossover We’ve All Been Waiting For


 

It’s no secret that Nigerians and Indians have one major thing in common: over the top weddings. The two cultures are basically neck-in-neck when it comes to beautiful, extravagant (emphasis on the ‘extra’) weddings, which is why many of us have often fantasized about attending a joint Nigerian-Indian wedding. The good news is that an upcoming romantic comedy, starring some of Nollywood and Hollywood’s best, is here to indulge us.

Namaste Wahala is the film debut of Indian businesswoman turned filmmaker Hamisha Daryani Ahuja. She released the first poster for the movie on Tuesday, showing a young couple in elaborate wedding regalia, and it’s been met with humor and excitement from people online.


The film stars Nigerian actor Ini Dima-Okoji and India’s Ruslaan Mumtaz in the lead roles. Dima-Okoji took to Instagram to excitedly share the news, writing “Namaste Wahala is a love story that cuts across the cultures of two countries: India & Nigeria. The movie touches various genres: romance, comedy, drama, and is directed by @hamishadaryaniahuja. It was such a pleasure working with these amazing, fun professional cast.”

It’s not the first time the two film industries have joined forces. The 2017 film J.U.D.E. is credited as being the first Nollywood-Bollywood co-production, according to Shadow & Act. It only makes sense that two of the world’s biggest film industries would unite once again, to give us an exciting cross-cultural production.

Though full plot details are yet to emerge, according to the poster, the film is due out on April 24. From what we can tell, it looks like it’ll bring all of our Nollywood-Bollywood dreams to life. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

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Dreamgirls and Transformers Actress Esther Scott Dies at 66 After Heart Attack

Actress Esther Scott died after suffering a heart attack, PEOPLE confirms. She was 66.

Scott, who starred in Boyz n the Hood, Dreamgirls, Pursuit of Happyness and Transformers, had a heart attack at her Santa Monica home on Feb. 11 and remained in the hospital until she died on Friday surrounded by loved ones. TMZ was the first outlet to report on her death.

Along with movie roles in Encino Man, Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Craft, Scott played next-door neighbor Delma Warner on four seasons of The CW’s Hart of Dixie and Gladys on the short-lived series The Geena Davis Show. She also appeared in The Help, Melrose Place and Sister, Sister.

“She loved the work she did,” a family representative tells PEOPLE. “She loved her fans. She was always humbled and honored when her fans acknowledged and recognized her. She’ll be missed.”

RELATED VIDEO: ‘Ugly Betty’ Creator Silvio Horta Found Dead at 45

The late actress got her start in Hollywood in the mid-1980s when she lent her voice to the Star Wars: Ewoks series and made one of her last onscreen appearances in 2016’s The Birth of a Nation, in which she played the grandmother of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner.

RELATED: Star-Turned-Director Nate Parker on How His Bold Movie About Slavery Birth of a Nation Became a ‘Miracle’ Success

“I prayed to Nana Bridget that I presented her in a way that would honor who she was,” Scott said of her Birth of a Nation role. “Bridget encouraged his spirituality, his faith.”

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‘Kung Fu Hustle 2’ Confirmed On The Way

Steven Chow has confirmed that Kung Fu Hustle 2 is coming. This Tuesday at an audience Q&A in Guangzhou, Hong Kong for his movie The King of Comedy he let it be known that they are working on the film. It may be fifteen years after the first movie has come out, but that doesn’t make us any less excited. The first film was an instant cult classic. It grossed $102 million globally and if he was to do a follow up to it now it would no doubt make much more than that.

During the Q & A session he was asked directly by a fan if there would be a Kung Fu Hustle 2. His answer was perfect, saying that it wouldn’t be a sequel, but a modern day kung fu movie.

“Yes, Actually it wont be so much a Kung Fu Hustle 2; it would be a modern-day kung fu story set in a foreign country and have its own standalone story.”

“But it will have a similar direction and concept as Kung Fu Hustle.”

In this culture that we have now of reboots and sequels it’s nice to know that Steven Chow will be taking this movie and treating it as an individual property. It will be like the first in themes and the over all feel that we got from Kung Fu Hustle, but will be completely original as far as plot.

Chow also said that he would be open to being in the film as someone who got beat up.

So when can we expect this to happen?

Probably not for another couple of years. Chow is currently focused on The Mermaid 2 which is set to come out sometime in 2020. So if he starts immediately on the follow up to Kung Fu Hustle after that, then we can probably assume it will hit theaters sometime in 2022, 2023.

What do you think of this? Ready for more Kung Fu Hustle? Tell us in the comments.

The post ‘Kung Fu Hustle 2’ Confirmed On The Way appeared first on NERDBOT.

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Ben Affleck calls divorce from Jennifer Garner the ‘biggest regret of my life’

Ben Affleck has revealed in a new interview that he considers his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner to be the biggest regret of his life.

Affleck, 47, opened up to The New York Times about how his crumbling marriage prompted his relapse into alcohol abuse and the rehab stint that followed.

“I drank relatively normally for a long time,” Affleck shared. “What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.”

In 2018, Affleck and Garner divorced after 13 years of marriage. They share children Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11 and Sam, 7.

“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” he continued. “Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”

While Affleck acknowledges the role he played in the deterioration of their union — and his own life — he’s trying not to “obsess” over it.

“It’s not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures — the relapses — and beat myself up,” he said. “I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you’ve got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward.”

“People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away,” he explained. “You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.”

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Ja’net Dubois, ‘Good Times’ Star, Dies at 74

“Good Times” star Ja’net Dubois has died at the age of 74.

Dubois was found dead at her home in Glendale on Tuesday morning, Glendale police told USA Today. Her representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

The actress starred on the CBS sitcom “Good Times” for five years from 1974 to 1979 as Willona Woods, the gossipy divorcee and next-door neighbor of the Evans family. She went on to appear in a number of film and TV projects, including voicing one of the main characters on the stop-motion animated series “The PJs.”

Dubois’s work on “The PJs” earned her two Emmys for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1999 and 2001. She also earned a NAACP Image Award nomination in 1998 for a guest appearance on “Touched by an Angel.”

Her other credits include “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” Moesha,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Facts of Life,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “A Different World” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

In addition to acting, Dubois also co-wrote and sang the “Jeffersons” theme song, “Movin’ on Up.”

Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2020 (Photos)

David Stern,

The former longtime commissioner of the NBA died Jan. 1 following a brain hemorrhage, according to a statement from current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He was 77.

Andrew Burkle  

Andrew Burkle, an aspiring film producer and the son of billionaire Ron Burkle, died Jan. 6 in his Beverly Hills home, according to People Magazine. He was 27.

Elizabeth Wurtzel 

Silvio Horta 

Silvio Horta, creator of ABC comedy series “Ugly Betty,” was found dead in a Miami motel room Jan. 7. He was 45.

Neil Peart 

The drummer and lyricist for the ’70s and ’80s Canadian progressive rock band Rush  died on Jan. 7, according to the band’s Twitter account. He was 67.

Harry Hains 

Harry Hains, an actor and producer who had appeared on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “The OA,” “Sneaky Pete” and “The Surface,” died on Jan. 7. He was 27.

Buck Henry 

The actor-screenwriter-director who co-created “Get Smart,” co-wrote “The Graduate” and co-directed the hit 1978 Warren Beatty film “Heaven Can Wait” died on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles. He was 89.

Edd Byrnes

The actor, who played Vince Fontaine in “Grease” and also starred on the series “77 Sunset Strip” as the teen idol “Kookie,” died on Jan. 8. He was 87.

Ivan Passer 

Ivan Passer, a pioneering filmmaker in the Czech New Wave, a frequent collaborator with the late Milos Forman and the director of the 1981 film “Cutter’s Way,” died on Jan. 9. He was 86.

Stan Kirch 

Stan Kirsch, one of the stars of the syndicated ’90s fantasy drama “Highlander: The Series,” died on Jan. 11. He was 51.

Rocky Johnson 

Rocky Johnson, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died on Jan. 15 at the age of 75.

Terry Jones 

Terry Jones, a beloved member of the Monty Python comedy troupe who directed many of its classic films, died Jan. 21. He was 77.

Tyler Gwozdz 

Former “Bachelorette” contestant Tyler Gwozdz, who appeared on the 2019 season of the reality series, died Jan. 22 of a suspected drug overdose at age 29.

Kobe Bryant 

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant was killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on that killed four others. He was 41

Kirk Douglas 

Kirk Douglas, the prolific actor and producer whose “Spartacus” is credited with helping to end the Hollywood blacklist, patriarch of a successful entertainment dynasty and one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age, died Feb. 5 at age 103.

F.X. Feeney 

F.X. Feeney, a longtime film critic for LA Weekly, a film historian and a screenwriter, died on Feb. 5 after suffering several strokes over the previous few days. He was 66.

Kevin Conway 

Kevin Conway, known for his roles in films like “Gettysburg” and ‘Thirteen Days,” died on Feb. 5 of a heart attack. He was 77.

Veteran character actor Orson Bean, a regular on shows like “To Tell the Truth” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and star of “Being John Malkovich,” died the night of Feb. 7 at age 91 after he was struck and killed by a car in Los Angeles.

Robert Conrad 

Robert Conrad, who was the star of the 1960s TV series “Wild Wild West,” died from heart failure on Feb. 8 at the age of 84.

Raphael Coleman 

Raphael Coleman, who starred as Eric in the 2005 Emma Thompson movie “Nanny McPhee” and went on to devote himself to environmental activism, died suddenly on Feb. 7 at the age of 25.

Paula Kelly 

Paula Kelly, an Emmy-nominated actress known for TV series like “Night Court” and films like “Sweet Charity” and “The Andromeda Strain,” died on Feb. 8 in Whittier, California. She was 77.

Joseph Vilsmaier 

Joseph Vilsmaier, a German director and cinematographer behind the acclaimed 1993 World War II drama “Stalingrad” died “peacefully” at his home in Bavaria. He was 81.

Caroline Flack 

Caroline Flack, former host of “Love Island,” died at the age of 40 on Feb. 15. A lawyer for the family told BBC that Flack died by suicide. 

Daniel Lee Martin 

Daniel Lee Martin, country singer and host of “Brotherhood Outdoors,” was found dead in his Pasco County, Florida, home on Feb. 14 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 54.

Nikita Pearl Waligwa 

Nikita Pearl Waligwa, the young actress seen in the 2016 Disney film “Queen of Katwe,” died on Feb. 15, according to the Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor. Waligwa, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, was 15.

Jason Davis 

Jason Davis, best known as the voice of Mikey Blumberg on Disney Channel’s “Recess,” died on Feb. 16. He was 35.

1 of 27

A look at the stars in movies, TV, music, sports and media we lost this year

 

A look at the stars in movies, TV, music, sports and media we lost this year

This content was originally published here.

Wendy Williams appears to mock death of Drew Carey’s ex-fiancee with ‘Price is Right’ joke

Fox News Flash top entertainment and celebrity headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking today in entertainment.

Wendy Williams is facing backlash after she seemingly mocked the death of Dr. Amie Harwick during the “Hot Topics” segment of her talk show.

Harwick, a Los Angeles family therapist, was previously engaged to “Price is Right” host Drew Carey. Harwick, 38, was found dead in a Hollywood Hills neighborhood, and a different ex-boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of murder, police confirmed to Fox News.

Speaking on her talk show Monday, Williams brought up the sad story of Harwick’s death and angered some viewers when she tried to make light of the situation.

“She was killed, not by Drew, but by the ex,” she began.

Williams then used the “Price is Right” catchphrase, “Come on down,” before turning her head as though to follow someone falling out of a building. The crowd stayed noticeably silent for a beat before Williams awkwardly tried to move things along.

The uncomfortable moment may have passed quickly during the broadcast, but several viewers took to Twitter shortly after to voice their distaste at the 55-year-old talk show host’s jab.

“She was pushed. It was a domestic violence incident. Wendy Williams is mocking femicide. She needs to be fired ASAP,” one user wrote.

“That’s not even a joke. There’s no structure to it whatsoever. It’s just sick. If she still has a show after this, it’s a disgrace,” another commented.

“I KNOW #WendyWilliams did NOT just make a ‘come on down’ joke about Drew Carey’s ex-fiancee getting killed by being thrown off of a third floor balcony !!!! Somebody tell me i heard that wrong, please..but the audience is stone-cold quiet,” a third user wrote.

Several other users took to the social media site to express how upset they were at the segment.

Representatives for Williams did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Later in the day, Carey broke his silence on his ex-fiancee’s death in a statement provided to Fox News. Harwick and Carey started dating in 2017 and announced their engagement in 2018, but called it off less than a year later.

“Amie and I had a love that people are lucky to have once in a lifetime,” Carey said. “She was a positive force in the world, a tireless and unapologetic champion for women, and passionate about her work as a therapist. I am overcome with grief. I would like to thank you in advance for giving myself and everyone who loved Amie privacy while we try to work through this tragic situation.”

Carey also took to social media to share an emotional tribute to Harwick.

“I hope you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life that loves as much as she did,” Carey captioned a two-second holiday clip of the pair. In the post, Carey is seen wrapping his arm around Harwick’s waist as she grabs a polar bear’s paw.

Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report.

This content was originally published here.

Ne-Yo Confirms He And Crystal Smith Are Getting A Divorce – The Shade Room

TSR Breakups: After rumors had been circulating that the pair had split up, Ne-Yo finally confirmed that he and his wife Crystal Smith are getting a divorce.

“It’s slowly but surely becoming public knowledge that myself and my wife have decided to go ahead and get a divorce,” Ne-Yo said on Private Talk Podcast. Ne-Yo and Crystal got engaged in 2015 and tied the knot in 2016. The couple shares two children together.

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“It’s not a sad thing, it’s more of a us realizing…long story short, I’m never gonna talk bad about her. I’m not that person,” Ne-Yo said. There’s nothing bad to say about her. She’s a fantastic woman. She’s the mother of my children and she’s always gonna be that.”

Despite the breakup, Ne-Yo spoke pretty highly of his estranged wife, giving off the impression that the split is amicable even though the two posted a few subliminals within the last two weeks. Things took a more interesting turn when Crystal was recently spotted partying with Black Inc Crew Chicago’s Ryan Henry.

“Long story short, she’s got demons just like everyone else, just like me and we realize our demons don’t mesh and until the both of get ahold of our personal demons, it’s gonna be just difficult for us to stay married,” said Ne-Yo about Crystal.”That’s the end of that chapter, not the end of that book. Like I said, that’s the mother of my kids and I love her to death. We’re gonna be family forever.”

We hope that these two stay on good terms through this time.

This content was originally published here.

Jason Davis troubled oil heir who voiced gentle giant Michael ‘Mikey’ Blumberg on Recess dies age 35 | Daily Mail Online

Troubled oil heir Jason Davis, who voiced the character of Michael ‘Mikey’ Blumberg on the Disney animated series Recess, died Sunday at age 35 in Los Angeles.

‘I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles. Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest for life,’ his mother Nancy Davis said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

‘He was such a caring soul to everybody who ever knew him. He loved his friends and his family above all else. We ask for privacy as we take time to grieve this most devastating loss,’ the statement added.

Recess star: Jason Davis, shown in January 2015 in Beverly Hills, California, died on Sunday at age 35 in Los Angeles

The cause of death was unknown.

Jason was the grandson of late studio chief Marvin Davis and philanthropist Barbara Davis. 

Marvin Davis bought 20th Century Fox in 1981 and sold it four years later to Rupert Murdoch for a profit reported to be more than $300 million.

The tycoon also owned the Beverly Hills Hotel and world famous Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterrey, California around the same time. 

Gentle giant: The grandson of late studio chief Marvin Davis and philanthropist Barbara Davis played gentle giant Mikey on the animated Disney series Recess

Jason is also the brother of Brandon Davis who famously hung out with Paris Hilton and made a derogatory remark about Lindsay Lohan (branding her a ‘fire crotch’) while leaving the Hyde Nightclub on Sunset Boulevard back in 2006.

He voiced the character of ‘gentle giant’ Mikey in Recess from its series premiere in August 1997 until its conclusion in November 2001, as well as in films based on the Disney series.

Jason was the son of Nancy and wine grower Nebil Zarif. 

Family tree: Jason was the grandson of late studio chief Marvin Davis and philanthropist Barbara Davis as they are pictured in 1984

Legend: Marvin Davis (seen in April 2000) bought 20th Century Fox in 1981 and sold it four years later to Rupert Murdoch for a profit reported to be more than $300 million

Back in the day: Jason is also the brother of Brandon Davis -pictured together in December 2005 – who famously hung out with Paris Hilton and made a derogatory remark about Lindsay Lohan (branding her a ‘fire crotch’) while leaving the Hyde Nightclub on Sunset Boulevard back in 2006

He had been committed recently to the Cure Addiction Now charity that he co-founded.

Jason appeared on the fourth season of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010 to deal with an addiction to heroin, OxyContin and Xanax.

During the reunion show, Jason claimed he relapsed twice, but was currently sober. He was arrested in January 2011 in Newport Beach, California, however, for drug possession and was later charged with felony possession and being under the influence of narcotics. 

Family portrait: Barbara Davis, Jason and Nancy Davis are shown in March 2006 in Beverly Hills, California 

Jason was survived by brothers Brandon Davis and Alexander Davis and two half-sisters, Isabella and Mariella Rickel from his mother’s second marriage to Ken Rickel.

His acting credits include bit parts on Roseanne and 7th Heaven and the films Rush Hour and Beverly Hills Ninja.

Jason at the time of his death was working on a TV show titled The Two Jasons. 

Studio chief: Late studio chief Marvin Davis and wife Barbara are shown in November 2002

Jason Davis troubled oil heir who voiced gentle giant Michael ‘Mikey’ Blumberg on Recess dies age 35

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Disney voice actor on Recess and socialite who struggled with addiction Jason Davis dead at 35

DISNEY voice actor and famous socialite Jason Davis died Sunday February 16 at the age of 35.

The cause of death for the troubled star is unknown though he had been open about his struggles with substance addiction in the past.

Jason passed away on February 16 at the age of 35
Getty Images – Getty
The troubled star was candid about his past drug abuse battles
Rex Features
Jason voiced Mikey on the show recess from 1997-2001
Disney

Jason was the grandson of former 20th Century Fox owner Marvin Davis and philanthropist Barbara Davis.

The Recess voice actor’s mother – winemaker Nancy Davis Rickel – confirmed the tragic news to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles,” the grieving mom said in a statement.

“Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest for life. He was such a caring soul to everybody who ever knew him. He loved his friends and his family above all else.

The popular Disney animated kid’s series ran for six seasons
AP:Associated Press

“We ask for privacy as we take time to grieve this most devastating loss,” Nancy concluded.

Many fans publicly knew the Hollywood star by his well-known nickname “Gummi Bear.”

Jason voiced Recess character Mikey Blumberg from 1997-2001 during the popular show’s six-season run.

In addition to his voiceover career, he made appearances as a child actor in Dave’s World and Roseanne.

Jason and his brother Brandon had close ties to Paris Hilton and her family
Rex Features
The brothers were pals of Mischa Barton during the mid 2000’s
Getty Images

His IMDB credits also list a string of films including Rush Hour, Mafia! and Beverly Hills Ninja.

The socialite appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Draw in 2010 and candidly opened up about his abuse battle with heroin.

He recently co-founded the charity Cure Addiction Now, which helps fund research for people who suffer from substance abuse to help them detox and stay in permanent recovery.

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Jason had committed his time to the organization for nearly two years.

At the time of his death, he also appeared to be involved on a TV show titled The Two Jasons.

Jason is survived by two brothers, Brandon and Alexander along with two half-sisters, Isabella and Mariella Rickel.

His brother Brandon has been linked to Paris Hilton, Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan in the past.


Do you have a story for The US Sun team?

Email us at exclusive@the-sun.com or call 212 416 4552.


This content was originally published here.

Tonto Dikeh sued by ex-husband Churchill Olakunle, demands N500M compensation

Churchill Olakunle wants Tonto Dikeh to pay him the sum of N500M for ruining his political career with her 2019 YouTube video.

Tonto Dikeh has been sued by her ex-husband, Churchill Olakunle to the tune of N500M over malicious statements made against him in her famous YouTube video in 2019.

Churchill Olakunle is suing Tonto Dikeh over the videos she released in 2019 via her YouTube channel where she called him out. In the video, she had accused the businessman of being an internet fraudster and ritualist.

In the lawsuit notice which has him as the 1st claimant and Big Church Foundation as the second claimant, Churchill stated that the allegations are baseless and sponsored to tarnish and damage his image and political ambition.

Tonto Dikeh has been sued by her ex-husband, Churchill Olakunle to the tune of N500M over malicious statements made against him in her famous YouTube video in 2019. [LindaIkeji]
Tonto Dikeh has been sued by her ex-husband, Churchill Olakunle to the tune of N500M over malicious statements made against him in her famous YouTube video in 2019. [LindaIkeji]
Tonto Dikeh has been sued by her ex-husband, Churchill Olakunle to the tune of N500M over malicious statements made against him in her famous YouTube video in 2019. [LindaIkeji]
Tonto Dikeh has been sued by her ex-husband, Churchill Olakunle to the tune of N500M over malicious statements made against him in her famous YouTube video in 2019. [LindaIkeji]

According to Churchill, Tonto Dikeh was aware of his political decision and decided to ruin them with the YouTube video. He then went on to say that the actress should pay the sum of N500M for the general damages incurred by him over the malicious and false publications.

According to Churchill, Tonto Dikeh was aware of his political decision and decided to ruin them with the YouTube video. He then went on to say that the actress should pay the sum of N500M for the general damages incurred by him over the malicious and false publications. [LindaIkeji]
According to Churchill, Tonto Dikeh was aware of his political decision and decided to ruin them with the YouTube video. He then went on to say that the actress should pay the sum of N500M for the general damages incurred by him over the malicious and false publications. [LindaIkeji]
According to Churchill, Tonto Dikeh was aware of his political decision and decided to ruin them with the YouTube video. He then went on to say that the actress should pay the sum of N500M for the general damages incurred by him over the malicious and false publications. [LindaIkeji]
According to Churchill, Tonto Dikeh was aware of his political decision and decided to ruin them with the YouTube video. He then went on to say that the actress should pay the sum of N500M for the general damages incurred by him over the malicious and false publications. [LindaIkeji]

It would be recalled that in 2019, Tonto Dikeh sent the entire social media into a frenzy when she released a series of videos on her failed marriage. In a tell it all video, the actress dragged her former husband, Churchill Olakunle over his infidelity and involvement in Internet fraud.

It would be recalled that in 2019, Tonto Dikeh sent the entire social media into a frenzy when she released a series of videos on her failed marriage. In a tell it all video, the actress dragged her former husband, Churchill Olakunle over his infidelity and involvement in fraud.
It would be recalled that in 2019, Tonto Dikeh sent the entire social media into a frenzy when she released a series of videos on her failed marriage. In a tell it all video, the actress dragged her former husband, Churchill Olakunle over his infidelity and involvement in fraud.

The movie star made this known in her two-part video, where she spoke on everything about her marriage and how it went from good to bad. She also revealed untold details of how she lived with her ex-husband before and after the birth of their son, King.

This content was originally published here.

Ronan Keating and wife Storm reveal they’re having a baby girl

RONAN and Storm Keating have revealed they’re having a baby girl.

The Boyzone star, 42, revealed in November that he and his 38-year-old wife were expecting their second child – and his fifth.

 

Splash News

Ronan Keating announced today he is having a baby girl[/caption]

 

Speaking to OK!, Ronan explained: “Yes, we’re having a baby girl! It’s super exciting. We are very lucky and I am so happy for Storm.”

She added: “I’ve always wanted at least one of each sex so I’m feeling very blessed. That’s five kids in total now, so that’s enough, we’re going to have to get Ro to have the snip.”

Ronan is already a dad to Jack, 20, Missy, 18, and Ali, 14 from his first marriage, while he and Storm’s son Cooper was born in 2017.

He said: “People say that girls can be trickier. With Cooper being such a dream we’re scared we can’t get that lucky twice.”

 

Rex Features

Storm said she was feeling ‘very blessed’ to have a child of each gender[/caption]

 

 

Splash News

Ronan with Storm and the family in Dublin back in 2018[/caption]

 

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But Storm added: “Even if she is a little terror, I’m so chuffed it’s a girl.”

The Australian fashion designer, who married Ronan in 2015 after they met on the Australian version of The X Factor, is eight months’ pregnant.

He announced the news on his Magic Breakfast radio show, saying: “We’re pregnant, we’re having a baby.

“Storm’s pregnant, but some mornings I get up and feel I am. It’s like phantom pregnancy. It’s very exciting. But I think that’s it now, no more.”

This content was originally published here.

Stephen Sondheim on a 21st century “West Side Story” – 60 Minutes – CBS News

“West Side Story” returns to Broadway this week in a drastic new incarnation of the classic musical by Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim.

“Although the material is horrifying, the workmanship is admirable,” wrote Brooks Atkinson in his 1957 New York Times review of the original musical.

Sixty-two years ago, “West Side Story” performed for 732 Broadway audiences and introduced the world to Stephen Sondheim. Then a 27-year-old composer and lyricist, Sondheim says he was trying to mimic the success of his mentor Oscar Hammerstein.

“The lyrics, by Stephen Sondheim, have simple grace, and there is a lovely tribute by the sidewalk Romeo to his dusky girl, Maria,” wrote John Chapman, in his 1957 review for the New York Daily News.

Sondheim is again involved in the Broadway production collaborating with a pair of Tony Award winners in director Ivo van Hove and producer Scott Rudin.

This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Bill Whitaker peeled back the curtain to reveal what van Hove describes as “West Side Story” for 21st Century.

“‘West Side Story’ was huge when we were young,” van Hove told 60 Minutes. “So we respect at an enormous level what has been done before us, but it’s 60 years later now and– perhaps it’s also good to have another take on it with all this respect that we have for the work and for the people that have made it before us. And that they leave us with this fabulous material to work with.”

The 2020 revival is radically different from any other production of “West Side Story.” Robbins’ original choreography is gone and so is the classic set, replaced by modern moves and a 25-camera video production projected behind the actors on stage.

The changes were approved by Sondheim and the estates of the play’s other creators.

“What keeps the theater alive is reinterpretation,” said Sondheim. “The thing that essentially is different between let’s say theater and movies or television is that it’s changeable. Each generation brings new ways of looking at a play.”

 

What remains virtually untouched is the music originally written and composed by Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein. Music that was immortalized in the 1961 Hollywood production, which Sondheim credits for its longevity.

“It’s endured I think because the movie made it popular.” Sondheim said. “The movie was a huge hit and suddenly everybody thought the tunes were hummable.”

“West Side Story” is slated for a double-revival in 2020. The musical is scheduled to open Thursday at The Broadway Theatre in New York. It is expected to return to the Silver Screen in December under the direction of Steven Spielberg

This content was originally published here.

‘The Breakfast Club’ Movie Facts | Mental Floss

On February 15, 1985, John Hughes made his first foray into more adult territory when he gathered together a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal to spend an entire day together and realize that, despite their labels, they weren’t so different from each other. On the 35th anniversary of The Breakfast Club‘s debut, we’re looking back at some surprising facts about the film.

1. One of The Breakfast Club‘s key scenes was improvised.

The film’s gut-wrenching heart-to-heart, where all five kids spill deep, dark secrets, was ad-libbed.

2. The Breakfast Club was supposed to be the first movie in a new film series.

The movie was initially conceived of as a franchise-starter, with subsequent entries “checking in” on the characters.

3. The Breakfast Club originally included a dream sequence.

A dream sequence, in which Allison (Ally Sheedy) imagines Andrew as a gluttonous Viking, Bender as a prisoner, Claire as a bride, Brian as an astronaut, and herself as a vampire, was cut from the final version.

4. The Breakfast Club originally featured a scene between two of the school’s teachers.

Another scene, that featured a pair of high school teachers—Dr. Lange, a social studies teacher, and gym teacher Robin—was also chopped from the final version.

5. The Breakfast Club‘s janitor, Carl, had once been a star student at Shermer High School.

Universal Home Pictures Entertainment

As a student, Carl the janitor was Shermer High’s ‘Man of the Year.’

6. Rick Moranis was originally cast as one of The Breakfast Club‘s key characters.

Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor in The Breakfast Club, but was eventually replaced due to “creative differences” (he wanted to play the part as an over-the-top Russian stereotype). The role was ultimately played by John Kapelos.

7. The Breakfast Club‘s actors took a Broadway-like approach to rehearsals.

The film was rehearsed in a manner more similar to that of stage plays.

8. Emilio Estevez was originally going to play The Breakfast Club‘s bully.

Emilio Estevez was originally slated to play Bender, but Hughes couldn’t find anyone else who was right for the Andrew role, so Estevez ultimately switched and the Bender gig went to Judd Nelson.

9. Molly Ringwald was originally asked to play Ally Sheedy’s role.

Similarly, Molly Ringwald was first asked to play Allison, but she wanted the Claire (named “Cathy” in the first draft of the script) role. Hughes eventually let her have it.

10. A lot of now-A-listers auditioned for The Breakfast Club.

Other actresses that could have played Claire? Robin Wright, Jodie Foster, and Laura Dern, who all auditioned for the part. Meanwhile, John Cusack was considered for the role of Bender, as was Nicolas Cage.

11. The Breakfast Club was a family affair for Anthony Michael Hall.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Anthony Michael Hall’s mother and sister appear as his character’s mother and sister in the beginning of the film.

12. John Hughes made a cameo in The Breakfast Club.

Another parent to look out for? Hughes, who had a cameo role as Brian’s father at the end of the film.

13. Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy played high school students in The Breakfast Club and college graduates in St. Elmo’s Fire in the same year.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Brat Pack members Sheedy, Estevez, and Nelson starred (as college graduates) in St. Elmo’s Fire the same year that The Breakfast Club hit theaters.

14. Cheese stood in for the “snow” in Ally Sheedy’s hair in The Breakfast Club.

Allison’s dandruff, which she sprinkles to “make it snow,” was made of Parmesan cheese.

15. The Breakfast Club‘s location is a familiar one to John Hughes fans.

Like a number of other Hughes films, including Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and National Lampoon’s Vacation, the film is set in the fictional Chicago suburb of Shermer, Illinois.

16. Not all of The Breakfast Club‘s cast members were quite high school-aged.

Judd Nelson was the oldest cast member at the time of filming; he was 26.

17. Ally Sheedy didn’t speak until a third of the way through The Breakfast Club.

Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club (1985).
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Ally Sheedy doesn’t speak for the first 33 minutes of the film, which has a 97-minute runtime.

18. The Breakfast Club cast members each took a piece of the library home with them.

As an end-of-filming present, Hughes gave each actor a piece of the “library’s” banister.

19. John Hughes had wanted The Breakfast Club to be his directorial debut.

Hughes had planned for The Breakfast Club to be his directorial debut, but the studio went for Sixteen Candles first.

20. Though The Breakfast Club takes place in Illinois, Brian must have been born in Connecticut.

Brian’s social security number, as filched by Allison, indicates that he was born in Connecticut.

21. Oregano stood in for an illegal substance in The Breakfast Club.

Anthony Michael Hall stars in The Breakfast Club (1985).
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

The marijuana the kids smoke in the film was actually oregano.

This content was originally published here.

Disney’s Upcoming PLANET OF THE APES Film Will Reboot the Franchise

disneys-upcoming-planet-of-the-apes-film-will-reboot-the-franchise-social.jpg

A couple of months ago we learned that Disney and Fox Studios were moving forward with plans to develop a new Planet of the Apes film. Maze Runner director Wes Ball was hiredto write and helm the Apes project, but we didn’t know at the time if it would continue the past franchise or report the franchise again.

According to Discussing Film, the film will be developed as a reboot and will not continue the story that was developed over the course of the past three films. I was actually kinda hoping that this new film would continue that story, but Disney obviously has different plans.

The report goes on to speculate that this film might just act as a reboot to the original 1968 film. The film is targeting to begin filming later this year, which likely will mean a 2022 release date.

The original 1968 Planet of the Apes was based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, the story of which centers on an astronaut who lands on a planet and discovers an advanced civilization of apes ruling over primitive humans. In the big twist of the story, the astronaut learns he is actually on Earth, which had suffered an apocalyptic nuclear war. That was quite a mind-blowing ending!

It was also reported that Daniel Dorrance has been hired as the film’s production designer. He previously worked with Ball on films such as Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Maze Runner: The Death Cure, he was also a part of the production design team for Wes Ball’s Mouse Guard film that was canceled following Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

What do you think about this new Planet of the Apes movie possibly being a reboot?

This content was originally published here.

Where to begin with Alejandro Jodorowsky

El Topo (1970)

Why this might not seem so easy

The Alejandro Jodorowsky Collection is available on Limited Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video on 30 March

He’s the self-described “Cecil B. DeMille of the underground,” the silver screen’s preeminent mystic of the phantasmagorical; a writer, director, actor, composer, novelist, comic book author, guru, psychomagician and inspiration to Kanye West.

He has strong opinions on other filmmakers – “Spielberg is the son from when Walt Disney fucked Minnie Mouse” – and other filmmakers have strong opinions on him (“a commercial surrealist,” according to Luis Buñuel). He only has eight fiction features, a pair of shorts and, most recently, a documentary to his name; and yet the cinema of Alejandro Jodorowsky contains multitudes.

Jodorowsky is a cult figure whose critical reputation is just about catching up with the subcultural mystique that surrounded his work for decades, largely fuelled by its unavailability. Back in the 1980s, bootleg VHS copies of his most famous film, El Topo (1970), would exchange hands for a small fortune.

A brief history of his work prior to filmmaking is useful for orientation, given the reputation for impenetrability that Jodorowsky’s cinema has acquired over the years. He was born in the northern Chilean town of Iquique in 1929, with his family moving to the capital Santiago when he was a young boy. Here, jobs as an actor and circus clown led to his setting up a theatre company with a particular interest in puppetry and mime.

By 1953 he was in Paris, writing for Marcel Marceau’s mime troupe and directing Maurice Chevalier’s music hall return, before relocating to Mexico where he’d make his name directing over a hundred avant-garde and surrealist plays by the likes of Ionesco and Beckett. Co-founding what he would call the ‘Panic Movement,’ Jodorowsky staged a series of ‘happenings,’ unscripted events that emphasised the immediate, rebellious and absurd. ‘Sacramental Melodrama,’ a four-hour event staged at the 1965 Festival of Free Expression in Paris, is the most famous example of his Panic art, an 18-minute excerpt of which formed the basis of his 1965 short Teatro sin fin.

From the chaotic, free-associative textures of these theatrical beginnings, it’s not hard to draw a through-line to the visionary epics that would follow on the big screen.

Where to start – Santa Sangre

Santa Sangre (1989)

This 1989 masterwork is more conventionally organised than his more famous earlier pictures, making it the best entry point for newcomers looking to dip their toe in the filmmaker’s singular cinematic universe. Which isn’t to say that you’ll be sacrificing anything when it comes to gonzo, Jodorowskian purity. The circus workers, religious and oedipal fixations, mutilation, sexual deviancy and ripe symbolism are all present and correct. But here it’s all couched within a relatively linear narrative structure.

Drawing on the filmmaker’s own memories of the circus, Santa Sangre is, at least superficially, a reworking of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), with its protagonist driven to kill by a possessive mother. He provides her with his own knife-wielding arms after hers are sliced off by the boy’s father.

So it’s certainly a horror film, or at least a Jodorowsky film inflected with the tropes of the horror genre. Its circle of influence ranges from James Whale’s The Invisible Man (1933) via the zombie pictures of George A. Romero to the expressionistic ecstasy of Dario Argento (whose brother Claudio co-wrote and produced).

Taking your next step, it’s worth noting that the water gets deep pretty quickly. If you found Santa Sangre’s genre crutch useful, then Jodorowsky’s second feature, El Topo, is probably your best bet. Described by critic Pauline Kael as an “acid western”, the film effectively sired the notion of the midnight movie, playing for more than six months to packed-out houses at New York’s Elgin Theater.

As the director himself rides onto screen, clad all in black, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in for another Euro-style western, but it’s not long until things start getting weird. A hyper-violent, mystical fable, pregnant with religious and occult symbolism, El Topo’s bifurcated structure tells of a gunslinger’s path to enlightenment; an odyssey informed by zen philosophy, surrealism and psychedelia. John Lennon (along with George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper) was one of the film’s biggest fans, convincing Beatles manager Allen Klein to buy the rights and put up $1m for Jodorowsky’s next feature.

The Holy Mountain (1973)

The Holy Mountain (1973)

That would be The Holy Mountain (1973), a film that would substitute zen for Sufism, and move even further into the realms of the spiritual. It’s the stronger of the two pictures on which Jodorowsky’s cult reputation largely rests, more formalised in its thematic structure and home to some of the most ravishing images its director ever put on film. Even if you can’t tune in to its philosophical enquiries, or feel the teeth of its satire, the image-making alone is enough to keep your mind from wandering too far.

When The Holy Mountain flopped, it effectively disappeared for 30 years. Newly restored, it looks better than it ever has and is readily available to be puzzled over anew. Which is more than can be said for Jodorowsky’s next project. In 1975, he acquired the rights for Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune and began work on what he called “the coming of a god; an artistic, cinematographic god”. The list of talent attached was incredible: Moebius and H.R. Giger on storyboard duties; Dan O’Bannon for VFX (having turned down Douglas Trumbull: “I cannot use him, he is not a spiritual warrior”); Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí among the cast. The film fell at the last hurdle, but the recent documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013) is testament to what might have been.

Endless Poetry (2016)

If you’re turned on to the more surreal elements of El Topo and The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky’s debut Fando y Lis (1968), a slice of post-apocalyptic absurdism, is the place to go next. Otherwise, the director’s return to quality filmmaking some 24 years after Santa Sangre – having made up with Dune producer Michel Seydoux – took the form of an autobiographical diptych in The Dance of Reality (2013) and Endless Poetry (2016). The former charts the rise of fascism and the tyranny of an abusive father, while the latter takes on the artistic circles of the filmmaker’s teenage years in 1940s Santiago. Jodo being Jodo, suffice to say we’re a long way from the likes of Hope and Glory (1987) as far as cinematic memoirs go.

Where not to start

Jodorowsky has effectively disowned two of his features, the ‘Panic fable’ Tusk (1980), about a little girl and her elephant, and the 1990 reunion of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) stars Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif in The Rainbow Thief (1990). The latter was the director’s biggest production to date, a whimsical yarn about a pair of vagrants living in the sewers discovering the true value of life. The production design impresses, and it features a small role for Christopher Lee riding a mechanical cow around his living room while clashing a pair of cymbals to ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’, but otherwise its weirdness feels the product of expectation and the film was a major flop. Both were taken out of Jodorowsky’s hands, and Tusk is all but unavailable.

This content was originally published here.

‘Boycott Filmfare!’ Furious at Filmfare awards, netizens have a massive meltdown on social media

The 65th Filmfare Awards held last week in Guwahati has again reignited the age-old debate whether the modern-day commercial award shows have any credibility left or not. Gully Boy which was India’s official entry into the 92nd Academy awards or colloquially known as Oscars was royally snubbed by the jury but here back home the Filmfare awards showered all the possible awards that were in the cabinet on the Zoya Akhtar directed movie.

“Gully Boy” swept almost every other award there was for the taking but in the process, Filmfare lost its face as some of the real and deserving talent was left hanging by the film magazine. Overall, the Ranveer Singh starrer movie bagged 13 awards including all the major awards such as the Best Film, best director, best actor, best actress and various others.

Social media was quick to pick the pattern and since then the Filmfare awards have been subjected to trolls, tweets, and memes with some going as far as saying that the award shows like Filmfare are rigged where money and lobbying is the only criteria for winning. To express their anger and disappointment, netizens trended the hashtag #BoycottFilmfare on Twitter.

Shame…… #BoycottFilmFare pic.twitter.com/e13HaunTO0

— Lokesh Mangla (@lokeshmangla) February 17, 2020

gully boy paid😂🤣#BoycottFilmFare pic.twitter.com/blWAS65ndl

— Ayush chaturvedi (@AyushSharma7272) February 17, 2020

Filmfare sucks big time #BoycottFilmFare pic.twitter.com/BgeybwSHWK

— John Wick (@Bhakt_Slayer_) February 16, 2020

I am sorry i was not strong enough to speak up before or rather i had hoped things would change. But now it feels wrong to keep accepting.#FilmfareAwards2020 #BoycottFilmFare pic.twitter.com/hhKdw001GY

— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) February 17, 2020

Sack full of #FilmfareAwards to that NANGA Gutter boy ..
This sold out #Bollywood is responsible for the downfall of our new generation..
Govt must look into this..#BoycottFilmfareAwards pic.twitter.com/3ylR1QI6Be

— जया ✨🚩 (@Modified_Jaya07) February 17, 2020

13 awards for gully boy and one for best debut that to for SOTY2 I mean what is happening these films down below were totally ignored plus they were not even nominated, and also Alia bhatt winning best female in lead role instead of Vidya balan wow #BoycottFilmfareAwards https://t.co/zqY88EekYS

— Akash bhowmick (@bhowmick_akash) February 17, 2020

#BoycottFilmFare i hope bollywood will learn after seeing that #BoycottFilmFare is trending

— garikipatirajeevkumar (@garikipatirajee) February 17, 2020

A plethora of genuine talent went ignored as the awards yet again succumbed to please the powerful in Bollywood. While the likes of Shahid Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Nitesh Tiwari have every right to feel hard done by, it was Manoj Muntashir who was left reeling in what can be called as the utmost insult to talent and hard work and took to Twitter to share his disappointment which resonated with the audience. In an emotional post on Twitter, the lyricist of the hit song ‘Teri Mitti’ from the film ‘Kesari’, Muntashir wrote that even if he tries all his life, he won’t be able to write a better line than ‘TuKahti Thee ChaandHoon Main Our ChaandHumeshaRahta Hai’.

Good bye Awards..!!! pic.twitter.com/iaZm0za40u

— Manoj Muntashir (@manojmuntashir) February 15, 2020

A tweeter user also pointed out how terrible the idea of giving out the “Best Debutant” award is and that Filmfare should just do away with it.

For Filmfare being the Top Bollywood award for the last 65 years, I hardly see any movie trailers where the cast is introduced as a ‘Filmfare award winner’ of a ‘Filmfare award nominee’. It has itself to blame for slowly eroding its brand equity. Still has a “Best debut award” 🤦

— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) February 15, 2020

Interestingly, the trend of Boycott Filmfare also made an old video of Salman Khan viral once again. In this, Salman Khan is shown to have said, “I will not go and pick up a Filmfare or any other such stupid award. I didn’t even respond to three or four such awards. If I get a National Award, that’s prestigious, that I’ll go and pick it up. I won’t go to a magazine that’s running on our strength. A magazine that is running on our interviews, and they call you up and say that you come to perform and you will win an award. Are we idiots that we sit in our own suits and collect such awards? Tomorrow, my driver and my supporting staff join together and say ‘Baba, we give you this award.’ Will I accept that too? This is stupid.” –

OMG Salman speaking the TRUTH YAS 🙌🙌 #FilmfareAwards2020 #FilmfareAwards #BoycottFilmFare #BoycottFilmfareAwards pic.twitter.com/lVaCuZafzn

— Akanksha ☕ (@akankshabhatt3) February 17, 2020

Though not bagging a Filmfare award is not a deal-breaker for any artist but the audience which these award shows take for granted is betrayed badly. The social media has had its say in what it felt deserved to win the accolades but as they say, Bollywood is a very vile world and the award shows are the epitome of it, so expecting a quick turnaround in the way these award shows run or operate would be a sham to say the least. The adulation that songs like “Teri Mitti” receive from the audience is far greater than any award that can bestow upon it. If nothing it is the loss of Filmfare when it rejects the real talent so brazenly.

The post ‘Boycott Filmfare!’ Furious at Filmfare awards, netizens have a massive meltdown on social media appeared first on TFIPOST.

This content was originally published here.

The Fire Fight Australia concert was full of memorable moments — here’s five of the best – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Updated February 17, 2020 14:33:46

It was an incredible feat to pull off — 10 hours, 22 acts, and almost $10 million raised for bushfire relief.

More than 75,000 people packed the stadium in Sydney and over 1 million watched from home as the Fire Fight Australia concert added an exclamation point to devastating summer of deadly blazes.

Here are five moments that made the day unforgettable.

In 1985, rock royalty Queen gave what is widely considered as one of the greatest live performances of all time to a sold out Wembley Stadium in London for Live Aid.

Thirty-five years later, Queen and Adam Lambert played that signature set to 75,000 people at Fire Fight Australia.

The iconic transition from opening number Bohemian Rhapsody, which was cut short to make way for Radio Ga Ga, was met with excited shrieks from the crowd when people realised the band was about to recreate the moment for the first time ever.

The late Freddie Mercury even made an appearance when his famous “ay-oh” recall sequence was beamed on to screens.

After the concert, guitarist Brian May told his fans on social media: “I don’t think I’ve felt quite like that since Live Aid.”

Cooper’s high-octane set

Alice Cooper injected some serious energy into the show when he strode onto the stage just before sundown.

The veteran rocker’s blistering performance, which included the iconic tracks Poison and School’s Out, brought the crowd to life and set the tone for the second half of the concert.

Cooper’s trademark theatrics, which included several props and costume changes, as well as guitarist Nita Strauss’s soaring solos, were a major highlight.

The crowd was in full voice when 72-year-old Cooper went off the script to belt out lines from Pink Floyd’s 1979 hit Another Brick In the Wall as part of a show-stopping finish.

A truly Australian finale

It was no surprise when John Farnham closed the night with You’re the Voice, but two special guests gave it new significance.

Birri Gubba man Mitch Tambo sang the second half of the power ballad in Gamilaraay while mimicking the movements of a bird through traditional dance.

And there was no denying the crowd’s delight when Queen guitarist Brian May returned to the stage, embracing Farnham as the sounds of a didgeridoo filled the stadium.

Olivia Newton-John got one of the biggest cheers of the night when she joined her old friend on stage to perform the 1998 hit Two Strong Hearts.

After pumping performances from the likes of Hilltop Hoods and 5 Seconds of Summer, Canadian singer k.d. lang took the audience’s breath away.

The stadium fell silent as the names of those who lost their lives in the bushfire crisis were flashed across the screens.

The Canadian singer, dressed all in white, then took to the stage to perform The Valley and her moving cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Somehow, an already emotion-charged event got even more touching when the crowd paid tribute to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers in attendance with a standing ovation.

There were about 1,000 RFS volunteers and their families in the stands at Stadium Australia — the group attended the event free of charge and were easy to identify in special red T-shirts.

Fire Fight Australia’s comedian host Celeste Barber got serious for a moment to ask the massive crowd to stand up and show their appreciation for the firies.

What happened next was spine-tingling.

This content was originally published here.

Rockland Road finds harmony, first single thanks to Oak Ridge Boys

Rockland Road finds harmony on road to discovery, first single thanks to Oak Ridge Boys

Cindy Watts The Tennessean
Published 6:01 AM EST Feb 13, 2020

Rockland Road split into two groups — the three girls on one mic and the three boys on the other. The country pop group stood in front of a crowd of 60,000 sports fans — its largest audience to date — at the Music City Bowl. Texas Martin, 14, noted that in a crowd that big, she couldn’t pick out individual faces in the stands. 

Twelve-year-old Tallant Martin hit the first note of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Texas took over lead vocals at the third line, and her brothers March Martin, 21, and Kell Martin, 18, along with their parents, Paul and Jamie Martin, chimed in behind the girls.

Known for its rich, intricately layered family harmonies, Rockland Road has become an instant go-to when event organizers need national anthem performers. They’ve belted it at the NBA playoffs, for the Nashville Sounds and do so frequently for Vanderbilt University when the sports teams anchor down. For the Music City Bowl — which pitted the Louisville Cardinals against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium — the family went out and did its job just like it was any other crowd. The difference struck them when they walked on the field. Despite the size of the audience, their nerves faded.

“You don’t see them looking at you,” Texas explained. “You can’t see their eyes.”

Added her spunky younger sister: “It’s just a bunch of heads.”

Rockland Road works in the studio in Hendersonville on Jan. 6, 2020. Rockland Road is Jamie and Paul Martin and their children, from front left, Kell, Texas, March and Tallant.
Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean

But the Martin family does more than sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Over the last decade, Rockland Road has cultivated an impressive list of tricky, harmony-rich covers and has performed them everywhere from the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry to the White House. But now the group is taking it a step further. Rockland Road released its debut single, “Caroline,” at the end of last year. And, it promises, more original music is right around the corner. 

“We just feel like the songs that we started with are really who we are, and we keep adding to it,” Jamie said. “I think we’d just like to see it get to the point where we’ve got songs out there that mean something to people. Music is a healing thing, and it’s fun. So, we would love to have that kind of music that people think, ‘Oh man, now crank it up.’ ”

Rockland Road started as Martin Family Circus — almost by accident. Paul Martin, who has played with Marty Stuart and the Oak Ridge Boys and was lead singer for Exile, and Jamie Martin, whose father is Oak Ridge Boys singer Duane Allen, sang together around their home constantly. About a decade ago, the two were singing together when their oldest walked by and absentmindedly added the third harmony part. They summoned a then-12-year-old March back into the room and had him chime in again. Then the couple asked Kell if he could sing the harmony part, too. And, he did.

The girls were barely more than toddlers then, but as they grew, their voices grew with them. The band’s original name was born from a quip Vince Gill made backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, where Jamie’s mother is a member of the Opry Staff Backup Singers. Jamie was there with her four children in tow, and Gill said, “It’s a regular Martin Family Circus around your house.” When it came time to name the act, Gill’s moniker stuck.

Rockland Road sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 30.
Terry Wyatt

As the band grew over the years, Jamie left her corporate job and dedicated more time to her family. Paul stepped down from his position in Marty Stuart’s band. Together, the parents turned their attention to their children and fostered the next generation’s love of music. The kids learned to play multiple instruments, worked up several songs and put together a set list. They got an RV and the group started playing fairs and festivals.

Over the years, however, the Martins realized that because of the band’s name, they were often mistaken for a circus act or people thought they played only children’s music.

The name Rockland Road came from the address of the Oak Ridge Boys’ old recording studio. Ricky Skaggs owns the Hendersonville building now, but the facility played a significant role in Jamie Martin’s childhood. Rockland Road is meaningful.

With a new name, the band was ready to tackle new music — its own music. While the Martin kids wrote many of the songs they recorded, the family was relentless in its search for its first single. It wanted something up-tempo and age appropriate, a song that aligned with its values and catered to strengths as a family band — which includes its distinct wall of soaring harmonies.

Everyone went to pitch meetings with song pluggers. They took notes, liked some of what they heard and kept listening. The Oak Ridge Boys were also preparing for a new album. To get ready, Duane Allen listened to almost 1,000 songs and then culled them down to a manageable amount. The Oak Ridge Boys went a different direction with their music, and Duane Allen passed along his CD of favorites to his grandchildren. He told them to listen to all the songs, but he thought one of the cuts was particularly suited to them. His directions were to listen and guess.

“We listened to the whole thing and … the demo for ‘Caroline’ played,” March recalled. “We were like, ‘Oh my gosh, what an amazing song. That’s gotta be it.’ It was the one he was hoping we would hear. We’re like, ‘Oh, we love that.’ ”

One week later, the group’s producer Greg Bieck called and said he was digging through some hard drives and found a song Greg Barnhill, Reed Waddle and Stan Karcz had written he thought fit the group. When he sent it over, it was “Caroline,” the same demo the family fell in love with the week before. A few days later, a publisher sent them “Caroline,” too. 

It’s complicated for Rockland Road to find songs that work for the tight, six-part family harmony. They want songs to be edgy but believable, upbeat but not bubblegum. And every player has an opinion. This time, they all agreed — but for different reasons. The infectious melody, Paul thinks, is their new single’s strongest point. Kell thinks it might be the way “Caroline” showcases the family’s vocal blend. Jamie cites the song’s fresh feel.

“We were like, ‘I think we’ve got to cut this now,’ ” March said. “It just felt like all of Nashville was wanting us to record this song.”

The children are home-schooled, which allows Jamie to structure their learning schedule around music, shows and last-minute performances. Every person in the band plays an instrument, so when the band is on stage there’s no help from extra players. Texas is behind the drums, and her mother proudly states she plays with the confidence of a grown man. Kell is on keyboards. Tallant can play acoustic and electric guitar, percussion and keyboards. March, who sings lead on “Caroline,” also plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums and cajon. Paul plays guitar, bass and keyboards for the band, and Jamie covers synth and percussion.

Rockland Road applys those skills to more than country music. When it was taking song pitches, it asked for a variety of genres so it could make each song its own. The result is a forthcoming project with an eclectic mix of new music that ranges from R&B to contemporary country.

“I’ve always seen this as a platform for them,” Paul said of Rockland Road. “They seem to all want to do this. They’re constantly creating, and we’re here doing what we need to do for support.”

Jamie adds: “When the harmonies lock in like puzzle pieces, it becomes part of you, like breathing. We want to create go-to music that tells real stories and lift hearts.”

Reach Cindy Watts on Twitter @CindyNWatts. She wrote and reported this story before she left The Tennessean in January.

This content was originally published here.