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- 06/15/13--09:04: _Ariana Grande perfo...
- 06/15/13--09:04: _Kim Deal quits the ...
- 06/15/13--09:05: _Ben McKenzie at Cha...
- 06/15/13--09:05: _20 Songs You Never ...
- 06/15/13--09:06: _Non Farrah Teen Mom...
- 06/15/13--09:06: _Natalie Portman wan...
- 06/15/13--09:06: _Friday Box Office: ...
- 06/15/13--09:17: _'Only God Forgives'...
- 06/15/13--09:17: _Gary Oldman Eyeing ...
- 06/15/13--10:57: _Baby Thor Made Her ...
- 06/15/13--10:58: _The Queen Cometh!
- 06/15/13--10:59: _Julie Delpy casuall...
- 06/15/13--11:00: _Kit Harington: "I ...
- 06/15/13--11:01: _People's Top Ten Ce...
- 06/15/13--11:40: _PODCAST: Kanye West...
- 06/15/13--11:41: _Kim Kardashian in l...
- 06/15/13--12:22: _Lucky Star: Madonna...
- 06/15/13--12:23: _Chris Evans portrai...
- 06/15/13--12:23: _Jennifer Salke on r...
- 06/15/13--12:24: _Uncle Jesse + Aunt ...
- 06/15/13--09:04: Ariana Grande performs on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
- 06/15/13--09:04: Kim Deal quits the Pixies, confirmed by band
- 06/15/13--09:05: Ben McKenzie at Chateau Marmont with a friend
- 06/15/13--09:06: Non Farrah Teen Mom Post
- 06/15/13--09:06: Natalie Portman wanted for high school drama 'Dare Me'
- 06/15/13--09:06: Friday Box Office: 'Man Of Steel' Grosses Super $56 Million
- 06/15/13--10:57: Baby Thor Made Her Mom Want To Save The Planet
- 06/15/13--10:58: The Queen Cometh!
- 06/15/13--11:00: Kit Harington: "I Enjoy the 'Game of Thrones' Books"!
- 06/15/13--11:01: People's Top Ten Celeb Quotes of the Week!
- 06/15/13--11:40: PODCAST: Kanye West & the Doctrine of Awesomeness.
- 06/15/13--11:41: Kim Kardashian in labour!
- 06/15/13--12:22: Lucky Star: Madonna's Debut Album, 30 Years On
- 06/15/13--12:23: Chris Evans portrait from The Avengers
- 06/15/13--12:24: Uncle Jesse + Aunt Becky = Almost Real-Life Couple
Pixies bassist Kim Deal has quit the band.
The remaining members Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering have released a statement on their official Facebook page confirming that Deal is no longer part of the band. It reads: "We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her on and off over the last 25 years. Despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best."
Deal, who is currently touring the 20th anniversary re-release of her other band, The Breeders' landmark album 'Last Splash', is yet to comment on her departure. She joined the band right from their inception in 1986. Despite splitting in 1993, the Pixies reformed in 2004 and toured their 1989 album 'Doolittle' between 2009 and 2011 with Deal. The band have not toured since. She recently collaborated with The National on their 'Long Count' project with her sister Kelley Deal.
Meanwhile, frontman Frank Black recently revealed details of his latest project; a supergroup named Thriftstore Masterpiece. Thriftstore Masterpiece are described as "an all-star music collective devoted to paying homage to the underdog records of years past". Joining Black in the collective are Pete Yorn, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Courtney Taylor-Taylor of Dandy Warhols and Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos, The group will release its first album, a revival of Lee Hazlewood’s 1963 debut 'Trouble Is A Lonesome Town', on July 8.
Pixies have released four albums during their career. The last LP they released was 1991 album 'Trompe le Monde' and the last single they brought out was 'Bam Thwok' in 2004. A new book, 'Pixies: A Visual History', is currently in the works after a successful Kickstarter project.
Ben McKenzie seen leaving Chateau Marmont with a male companion in West Hollywood.
CYNDI Lauper turned Girls Just Want to Have Fun into an anthem, but the original version was by a creepy bloke singing about getting no sleep due to randy ladies. Madonna's electro anthem Ray of Light started life as a 1971 folk hymn, someone turned down Achy Breaky Heart for being too cheesy and the M Jackson who wrote Blame it on the Boogie is still alive.
RAY OF LIGHT
Hit for: Madonna
Originally by: Curtiss Maldoon
WHO? Curtiss Maldoon were a folky UK duo - a bit like Mumford & Son's grandfathers. In 1971 they released an album that didn't trouble the chart. It contained the song Sepheryn. Clive Maldoon's niece Christine Leach re-recorded Sepheryn in 1997, and played it to a producer she had worked with, William Orbit. Orbit was in the midst of making an album with Madonna. Madonna loved Leach's remake and kept almost all the lyrics and some of the melodies. The lyrics also provided the title `Ray of Light'. Orbit totally de-folked Madonna's version, but there's a reason why Leach, Curtiss Maldoon got some very lucrative co-writing credits - the album they indirectly helped name has sold over 16 million copies and rebooted Madonna's then-ailing career.
Where are they now? Clive Maldoon passed away in 1978, Dave Curtiss is still making music and having his bills paid by Madge.
Hit for: The Pussycat Dolls
Originally by: Tori Alamaze
THIS song launched the Pussycat Dolls. But it was originally meant to launch singer Tori Alamaze. Just to show you how ruthless the music industry can be, Alamaze released Don't Cha as her debut single in March 2005. Within days she was dumped from her record label, who gave Don't Cha to the Pussycat Dolls who released it the very next month. Their version is virtually identical to Alamaze's - producer CeeLo just added Nicole Scherzinger's vocals, a rap from Busta Rhymes and took and made the lyrics more PG. It went on to sell six million copies. Good for CeeLo, not so much for Alamaze who didn't write the song.
Where is she now? Tori now runs a blog about music, life, lipstick and coffee.
IF I WERE A BOY
Hit for: beyonce
Originally by: BJ Jean
IF I Were a Boy was meant to be BJ Jean's big breakthrough as an upcoming singer/songwriter. However in 2008 her record label rejected the track, producer Toby Gad played it to beyonce who recorded it. Jean was initially angry, venting on MySpace (hey, it was 2008) but presumably the subsequent royalties eased her pain.
Where is she now? Poor BJ Jean has still yet to release an album, and was last seen in a TV show playing a musician who travels to LA looking to make it big. Ouch.
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS
Hit for: Kylie Minogue
Originally by: Pandora and Anna Vissi
POP music can be a cruel mistress. Swedish singer Pandora scored her only Australian Top 10 with A Little Bit in 1996. It would be Australian singer Kylie Minogue who had a massive global hit with On a Night Like This - a year after Pandora's version flopped. By 1999 Pandora was in Euro-jail, with albums only being released in Japan. On a Night Like This came from the team behind Cher's Believe. The track was not a single for Pandora, and when it disappeared in 1999, they simply dusted it off and gave it to Kylie for her Light Years album in 2000. The backing track is identical, just with Kylie's vocals instead of Pandora's. It's like celebrity karaoke. At exactly the same Kylie was having a hit with On a Night Like This, Greek singer Anna Vissi also recorded a version for her debut English-language album Everything I Am. She too was no match for our Kylie on the chart.
Where are they now? Pandora's last release was in 2011; Anna Vissi still records (mainly in Greek) and tours.
GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
Hit for: Cyndi Lauper
Originally by: Robert Hazard
MOST people think Cyndi Lauper's signature hit from 1983 was her own creation. No. It was written and recorded by Robert Hazard in 1979. His version is very new wave rock, with spiky guitars that would later be replaced by synths. Lauper also completely changed the context - Hazard's original lyrics were about his being hassled by his mother for being out late due to girls who just wanted to keep him out, er, partying. It's got a bit of a creepy tone with an extra verse Lauper omitted. She said in her autobiography ``He had a verse where a woman comes into his room at night because she wants to have fun and he's telling his dad `We're the fortunate ones'. So now that I'm singing it I'm supposed to get a lobotomy and just kick my legs up in the air and basically say girls just want to have sex?'. Lauper tweaked the lyrics and came up with the `girls … they want … want to have fun' chant. It went on to launch her career.
Where is he now? Hazard died of cancer in 2008 but made a pretty penny from Girls.
The rest of the list is at the source since ONTD's rules only allow to post 5
Chelsea made the announcement to her more than one million followers on Twitter earlier today. She first teased with “I have a big announcement coming in 5 minutes…drumroll pleeease….” and followed that up with “Launching my website today! http://www.chelseaschoices.com Aubree & I selected fashion/jewelry pieces that are affordable & look great! #affordable”
When you visit the website you will find this message from Chelsea and Aubree:
Hi! I’m so excited that you are all sharing this moment with me. I am starting Aubree’s and my new jewelry and accessory line! Yaaay! We both love nothing more than style and fashion and we want to spread the love. My team and I are scouring the globe to find the most exciting pieces and bring them to you directly, cutting out the middleman. A stunning way for you to get the greatest designs from Europe and Asia at great prices! These are all pieces I love. I called them the “iHeartu” collection, because I hope you’ll love them too. We made sure to find the highest quality jewelry, yet keep them affordable, so everyone can enjoy them. They make great gifts! Make sure you bookmark this page and check in often, as we will be adding items you’ll love frequently.
We “heart” you!
Chels and Aubs
iHeartu - Heart Ring Necklace
Silver Plated Heart Pendant with a Heart Ring
Outside of the ring inscribed with “LOVE LUCK HAPPY”
18" Long Chain
White Crystal Heart shaped LOVE stone on Clasp
Available in both Gold-tone and Silver-tone
- $25.00 + $7 shipping
iHeartu - Crystal In The Cube
Heart shaped Swarovski Crystal in A Silver Plated Cube
18" Long Chain
White Crystal Heart shaped LOVE stone on Clasp
Available in both Gold-tone and Silver-tone
- $25.00 + $7 shipping
OR YOU CAN GET THEM BOTH FOR $40!
iHearts Collection - Loveclasp
Every one of my pieces comes with the AubreeLOVE clasp on the back, with a Swarovski crystal , because LOVE holds everything together!
- $40.00 + $7 shipping
SOURCE 1SOURCE 2
Natalie Portman may not have been seen on the big screen since "Thor" in 2011, but she's got a slate of projects on the way. Of course, there's the double dose of Terrence Malick projects waiting in the wings, and later this year "Thor: The Dark World," while she's currently shooting the troubled western "Jane Got A Gun." It's a diverse array of stuff, so what's next? How about something described as "Heathers" meets "Fight Club"?
Deadline reports that Portman is being courted for an adaptation of Megan Abbott's novel "Dare Me." The film centers on the heirarchy of a high school cheerleading squad, led by the commanding Beth, who finds her influence usurped with the arrival of a new coach. It's a dark tale, and we're not sure quite sure what role Portman is being offered, but probably a safe bet that it's the new coach. But maybe those of you who have read the book can clue us in if there's another significant role? Here's the Amazon synopsis:
Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they're seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls -- until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach's golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as "top girl" -- both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death -- and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
"The Vow" director Michael Sucsy is attached to direct, but no word yet on where this might fall in his schedule, as he has a handful of developing projects.
Fearless box office prediction: I think Man Of Steel *may* gross over $100 million this weekend. In all seriousness, Exhibitor Relations is reporting that the Zack Snyder directed and Chris Nolan-produced Superman adventure Man Of Steel earned a massive $44 million over its first Friday along with $12 million via those Wal-Mart screenings on Thursday evening, giving the film a $56 million cume going into its second official day of play. Some pundits will count the Wal-Mart showings as separate Thursday grosses, but I have always merely tagged such advance-night screenings onto the Friday number (because up until somewhat recently, it was just a few million bucks to worry about, not these full-court events), hence the asterisk in the headline. If you’re talking just Friday, then yeah, it’s a mere $44 million. Either way, Man Of Steel now has the second-biggest opening day for a non-sequel, behind the $67 million Friday of The Hunger Games last year. It’s a bigger opening day than Iron Man ($38 million), Spider-Man ($39 million), and Alice In Wonderland ($41 million), although one can adjust for inflation and 3D/IMAX bumps accordingly.
It also has, including the Thursday figures an opening day bigger than all previous DC Comics opening weekends in history save the last two Batman pictures (The Dark Knight‘s $158 million debut and The Dark Knight Rises‘s $160 million debut). It bests the $52.5 million Fri-Sun debut of Superman Returns (which of course grossed $83 million over Wed-Sun in July 2006), and the opening weekends of Watchmen ($55 million in March 2009), Green Lantern ($53 million this weekend in 2011), Batman Forever ($52.8 million – a record 18 years ago this weekend), Batman Begins ($48m Fri-Sun/$72m Wed-Sun this weekend in 2005), Batman Returns ($47.7m – a record 21 years ago this weekend), and Batman & Robin ($43m this weekend in 1997). The only question now is playing around with multipliers to predict just how big the opening weekend will be, to the extent that it matters at this point. Multipliers, weekend-to-total multipliers, will surely matter over the long run, as next weekend will determine whether Man Of Steel is a quick-kill blockbuster or one for the record books beyond opening weekend. But for now, Warner Bros. has little to do other than celebrate and count their money.
Worst case scenario, a Harry Potter/Twilight/Dark Knight Rises multiplier of around 2.0x gives Man of Steel $116 million, or about what the opening five days of Superman Returns would be adjusted for inflation and 3D/IMAX bump. A 2.35x weekend multiplier, ala The Dark Knight, off that $58 million first “day” gives the film $136 million for its first 3.25 days. A 2.5x multiplier, ala the Marvel Comics films (and Green Lantern, natch), gives the picture $145 million for the weekend. Anything higher than that, which is frankly unlikely with that massive first day, starts to flirt with the record books for a non-sequel. Besting The Hunger Games‘s $153 million debut means a mere 2.66x weekend multiplier, which isn’t entirely impossible. Either way, the June opening weekend record ($110 million for Toy Story 3 on this weekend in 2010) is toast. Here’s a fun stat: If it can get to $135 million by Sunday, it will have out-grossed the first Superman (released in 1978 of course) and every single other DC Comics adaptation that isn’t a Batman film.
So yeah, Warner Bros. has a massive hit on its hands, with the $175-$225 million (depending on who you ask) likely matched by domestic grosses alone by the end of next weekend. I’ll go into more details tomorrow, including the overseas numbers (also huge) and the somewhat charmed nature of this mid-June weekend, which used to be the debut weekend of choice for Warner Bros’ big summer tent-poles when I was a kid. Of course, when I was a kid, a $40 million weekend was something earth-shattering, so these $50 million single days as a matter of habit are making me feel a bit old. Anyway, if you’ve seen Man Of Steel, feel free to share your thoughts below. Spoilers are fine, but spoiler comments without a ‘spoiler warning’ will be deleted or at least edited. See you tomorrow.
Julian, a respected figure in the criminal underworld of Bangkok, runs a Thai boxing club and smuggling ring with his brother Billy. Billy is suddenly murdered and their crime lord matriarch, Crystal arrives from London to bring back the body. When Jenna forces Julian to settle the score with his brother’s killers, Julian finds himself in the ultimate showdown.
Here’s a new theatrical trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn‘s second collaboration with Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives. The movie premiered at Cannes last month to decidedly mixed reactions. There were some of the famous Cannes boos (hey, some really great movies get booed at Cannes) and also some big fans of the movie’s extra-sylized action and nearly mute protagonist. (That would be Gosling.)
It has been seventeen years since Gary Oldman dropped his feature length directorial debut and cult fave "Nil By Mouth," but he hasn't yet followed it up with anything. Not that he's been short of ideas. Back in 2011, he said he wanted to team up Colin Firth for an unnamed remake, while in early 2012 he said he had a project about a sex addict he wanted to direct. Well, the good news is that Oldman does have a new directorial effort cooking, and the surprising part is that it's none of those.
Instead, it's a biopic of Eadweard Muybridge called "Flying Horse," and even more, he's seeking his "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" co-star Benedict Cumberbatch and his 'Harry Potter' pal Ralph Fiennes to star. Penned by Oldman, the movie would tell the story of the photographer instrumental in helping to develop motion pictures. But the movie will focus on the more tabloid part of his life, with Muybridge murdering a theater critic who had an affair with his wife and fathered a child in the process. Scandal!
If all goes to plan, Fiennes would take the role of Muybridge, Oldman the smaller role of his attorney and Cumberbatch as the adulterous Harry Larkyns. Scheduling and all that fun stuff needs to be worked out, but the aim is to start shooting in early 2014 (which is also when Cumberbatch is due on the set of Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak").
Elsa Pataky made a rare public appearance when she decided to attend the Oceana Beach House Party to celebrate World Oceans Day in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday, June 8. Thirteen months after giving birth to daughter India (with Chris Hemsworth, her husband of two years), the Fast & Furious 6 actress admitted she doesn't often leave home without her famous family.
"Every mom knows that being a mom is difficult," the Spanish star told Us Weekly. "This was really convenient because we live really close." Pataky added that her hubby, 29, was taking care of India so she could attend the event and support a cause that's near and dear to her heart.
In fact, becoming a mother amplified Pataky's passion for preserving the earth."You become more sensitive about a lot of things. With things like this, the ocean, you want to protect it for your kid to be able to see the world the way I saw it. That's important for them to not lose it," she explained."There are so many animals endangered now in the ocean; it'll be sad she won't enjoy all those things."
Like Hemsworth (an avid surfer who hails from Australia), India is happiest near the water."She loves being at the beach," Pataky, 36, told Us. "And she loves little dogs and all animals. I like having her around nature."
Pataky can't believe how quickly her mini-me is growing up. "She's almost walking, and she says, 'mama' and 'papa," she revealed. When asked if she's ready to give India a younger sibling, Pataky smiled and replied, "We'll see!"
Julie Delpy, 43, was raised in Paris, the daughter of avant-garde theatre actors. When she was 14, Jean-Luc Godard cast her in his movie Detective. In 1994, she starred in White, the second of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours trilogy. She wrote, directed and starred in 2 Days In Paris in 2007 and 2 Days In New York in 2012. She is best known for playing Céline in the Before series of movies, which she co-writes with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater. The latest, Before Midnight, is released on 21 June. She lives in Paris and Los Angeles.
D: Glad she's okay now. I wonder what it was an allergic reaction to.
Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage raised eyebrows when he admitted he does not even watch the hit HBO show.
So perhaps he will learn a lesson from co-star Kit Harington, who has confessed he is an avid reader of the fantasy books that spawned the programme.
The 26-year-old Cockney said he cannot get enough of George RR Martin's A Song Of Fire and Ice series, despite the fact it may give him a few spoilers about his character's journey.
He told the appropriately titled Wall Street Journal: ' I really like the books. I enjoy reading them. I find it useful.
'Some of the actors they want to take what they’re doing purely off the show because they do differ.
'But I like merging the two, so I like reading the books.'
However Kit, who plays Night's Watch member Jon Snow, may have earned a black mark from some diehard fans, as he confessed he still has some catching up to do.
He said: 'I still haven’t read the latest one, “A Dance with Dragons.” But I’ve read the others.'
And though he has become fast friends with the series' creator George RR Martin, he swears he has not used it as a way to pump him for details on how the series will end.
He said: 'What do I know about what happens in George’s head from the fifth book onward? I know absolutely nothing. And I would never ask.
'I’ve met George numerous times, and we’re friends, but I think he’s got so much pressure on his shoulders from fans about what’s going to happen I would never want to ask him what’s happening with my character.
'I would never ask him and I’d want it to be a surprise anyway. I don’t know who [Jon Snow's] mother is, I don’t know what is going to happen to him, I don’t know if he’s going to be in the sixth book. Not a clue.'
more candids at SOURCE
i hate his acting and love to make fun of him lol but he seems like such a sweet person and he always comes across as so endearing that I can't help but like him. I just love this entire cast tbh.
"I can't..... Umm... Care to explain @SimonCowell???"
– Demi Lovato, posting an old-school photo of her fellow X Factor judge, on Twitter
"Loose, like 'I just got out of bed, maybe had a romp' hair."
– Jennifer Aniston, on her planned hairdo for her upcoming nuptials, to Marie Claire
"I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus."
– Kanye West, to The New York Times
"Apparently, they needed a virgin to sacrifice to the football gods and Tebow fit the bill."
– Jimmy Kimmel, on the New England Patriots signing devout Christian Tim Tebow to their roster, in his monologue
"When I'm the nerd guy, I want to be the first black man with a comb-over."
– Jamie Foxx, on his hair inspiration for his Amazing Spider-Man 2 character Max Dillon, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno
"We practiced our kiss. It was a big deal! You want it to be just enough."
– Kristin Cavallari, who wed Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on June 8, to PEOPLE
"Who's your daddy?"
– Russell Crowe, whose Man of Steel persona, Superman's father Jor-El, was immortalized as a Lego figurine, on Twitter
"Does @Twitter have a family share plan? Great to be here with @HillaryClinton & @ChelseaClinton. Looking forward to #tweetsfromhillary."
– Former President Bill Clinton, welcoming wife Hillary to the social media site, on Twitter
"I'm like a bad-girl Martha. A Martha with a couple glasses of wine and a little bit of trouble."
– Newly minted cookbook author Ali Larter, comparing herself to lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, to E!
"Hey TMZ … bite me."
– Ian Ziering, taking a jab at the celebrity gossip site after they called him fat, during his Chippendales debut
Popcast: Kanye West and the Doctrine of Awesomeness
This week: The return of Kanye West.
Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff of the NYT discuss Kanye West — his state of mind, whats it like interviewing him, and his new album, “Yeezus.”
Recently Jon Caramanica flew out to Malibu for several sessions of interviews with Kanye West at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studios, where Mr. West was putting the finishing touches on his forthcoming album, “Yeezus,” days before it was to be mastered and sent to the pressing plant.
Mr. West hadn’t sat for a long interview in several years. In conversations about his past, present and future, Mr. West was proud, defiant and philosophical as he discussed ambition, love, inspiration (from Kim Kardashian and a Le Corbusier lamp) and the doctrine of awesomeness.
Mr. Caramanica talks to the Popcast host Ben Ratliff about the stark, throbbing feel of “Yeezus,” Mr. West’s current state of mind and the Shangri-La vibe.
25 minutes: Download the MP3 or subscribe in iTunes.
Could it be, the moment we've all been waiting for? Is Kim Kardashian really in labor?
Multiple media outlets, such as OK magazine, RadarOnline and Daily Mail, source anonymous sources that say Kim and Kanye checked into an L.A. hospital this morning, where they expect the birth of their first child together.
RadarOnline reports that West even skipped his listening party last night to be by his girlfriend's side, who might've felt the baby coming already.
Earlier this month, Kim confirmed rumors that Kimye baby is indeed a girl.
The Kardashian's rep did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
HuffPost will update this story as it develops ...
Kim Kardashian has given birth to a baby girl ... TMZ has learned. Sources close to KK tell TMZ the baby and Kim are both in good health. We're told the delivery comes one month earlier than expected.
It is the first child for Kim and BF Kanye West.
Story developing ...
thank you apeshit_x and wt_hell_fred for the info
Blane [Andrew McArthy]: "I dunno, Madonna's pretty deep..."
Andie [Molly Ringwald]: "I know but she has such great style"
(A Record store exchange in John Hughes' Pretty In Pink)
Disco didn't die with the mass record burning at Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1979. Its glitterball merely splintered into myriad directions. It was incorporated once more by soul/R&B (the Chic-produced Ross album Diana, Michael Jackson's Thriller). It rubbed shoulders with its supposed arch nemesis, punk (Blondie, Donna Summer-fans PiL). In the UK, its fingerprints were all over the synth pop boom (Mark II Human League went further than PiL, they wanted to be Donna Summer). In New York, a city so integral to disco's evolution, the emerging hip-hop scene adapted its grooves (the Chic-referencing Sugarhill Gang).
The decade's hyperactive mingling of styles even produced a Quasimodo variant, known as Mutant (Quango Quango, ESG, The Contortions). Larry Levan was one of New York's most committed disco descendants, both as a DJ at The Paradise Garage and as part of proto-house combo, The Peech Boys. Far from being merely the 4/4 'one stroke' caress George Clinton reduced it to, disco had, from its very inception, contained multitudes. But by the late 70s everything from weddings and soundtracks to Ethel Merman was getting discofied. Despite a possible racist/homophobic streak to the 'disco sucks' movement, it needed a reality check. Nobody revived disco and guaranteed its survival more than Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Her self-titled debut, released in the US in July 1983, distilled many of the genre's disparate strands into one, seamless, fizz-pop package.
Madonna came to New York in the late 70s from Rochester, Michigan. Initially she was to be a dancer, studying under the tutelage of Pearl Lang, "New York's Martha Graham". Her new instructor had got Madonna a coat check job at The Russian Tea Rooms (across the pond, fellow 80s icon-to-be Boy George was doing the same at Blitz). Dance provided Madonna with a sense of discipline and expression, and back in Michigan, her original teacher/mentor Christopher Flynn had taken her to her first gay club. It showed her "another side of life", and both the gay subculture and club-life would prove vital to her later success.
Music soon replaced dance and she quit Lang's classes. She met two brothers, Dan and Ed Gilroy, and became the drummer in their band, the Ska/Two Tone-influenced, The Breakfast Club. She moved into a disused synagogue in Queens with then boyfriend Dan, who showed her the open E tuning on a guitar. She began song-writing and grew increasingly eager to move away from the drum kit to head centre stage. During the next couple of years, she underwent a fitful pre-fame apprenticeship, a little like Bowie's 60s in London - indeed, Ziggy Stardust had been a favourite of the teenage Madonna. Any avenue was explored in pursuit of the big time.
Ciccone went to Paris as a back-up dancer for Patrick Hernandez. There were movie roles, among them the pseudo-arthouse skin flick A Certain Sacrifice and Artificial Light. The latter saw her 'rapping' a la Blondie's 'Rapture'. The dialogue laid her world-view bare: "I'll do anything for money", an early glimpse of the future Material Girl devoid of all vestige of irony.
Soon, Madonna became a permanent fixture at the city's Midtown Music Building, fronting the band, Emmy (her nickname), penning Pretenders-style songs ('Laugh To Keep Myself From Crying') with former Michigan beau, Steve Bray. Before long she caught the attention of Camille Barbone, of Gotham Management, who swiftly sacked her band (Bray was retained) and began grooming her for pop stardom. The results were a mish-mash of then popular female singers.
Her look was a Pat Benatar/Olivia Newton John clone, while songs like 'I Want You' were catchy but unremarkable. What Madonna did learn from this period was how to hone a hook from a variety of styles, a versatility that would serve her well. The lyrics from one Barbone-era song, 'Get Up' evidenced a relentless tenacity and a desire to win at all costs. Not the most gifted singer or musician, she nevertheless possessed astounding drive.
More exciting things were happening away from Barbone's manufactured vision. At the time, New York's fertile club scene thrived on cross-cultural exchange. The worlds of art, fashion & music all collided at places like Danceteria, The Roxy and The Mudd Club. Everything was up for grabs, as disco, punk & hip-hop all merged. Graffiti, the new street pop art, embodied the spirit of the age: DIY, breaking down the barriers between high and low. The downtown elite fraternised with young artists from Harlem and The Bronx. The city's credo, for a time, was a Warhol/Sly Stone amalgam: "Everybody is a star."
"You could wake up one day and say you wanted to be an artist or musician and be one," claimed Fab Five Freddy, the hip-hop polymath immortalized in Blondie's 'Rapture'. While the rest of the States burned under Reagan, New York, forever that island unto itself, merrily fiddled. To quote Tom Tom Club, it was a time of "fun, natural fun".
Disco and punk had made significant advances for women culturally too. Disco may have still been dominated by male master-minds such as Moroder, Cerrone and Tom Moulton but Donna Summer's 'Love To Love You Baby' had aestheticised female desire with its multiple, orgasmic moans (former porn star Andrea True Connection would do likewise with 'More, More, More'). Punk went further, with its surfeit of female-fronted bands and strong female voices.
Madonna was at the epicentre of this new scene, frequenting the clubs (she claimed people threw drinks at her as she danced to the Human League's 'Don't You Want Me' at Danceteria). Yet the arbiters of cool in this demi-monde usually found her a little too pushy, too transparently keen to get ahead, to embrace her fully. She briefly dated artist Basquiat and befriended artist Keith Haring. Soon she realised that this was the pulse where her finger should be. Behind Barbone's back and with Bray in tow, she began recording an alternative four-track demo, full of the sounds she was hearing in the clubs.
Armed with a Dr. Boss drum machine and banks of synthesizers, she started writing new songs. Many of the tracks were solo compositions, and all of them were aggressive, exuberant dance-pop. It wasn't just a musical makeover. While at The Roxy, she met designer Maripol, who was scouting for girls for a Fab Five Freddy show. Maripol specialised in accessories and with her help, Madonna began cultivating her eventually notorious bracelet n' crucifix image.
Unbeknown to her then manager, who claims she was securing Madonna a deal with Columbia, the singer was touting a cassette of her songs to DJs all over the city. Eventually her tape fell into the lap of Danceteria's Mark Kamins, who played it to a receptive crowd. Kamins was also an Island A&R man but Chris Blackwell's label passed. Undeterred, he made contact at Sire, the boutique imprint of Warner Bros. Through remixing David Byrne, Kamins had encountered the label's A&R man, Michael Rosenblatt. Seymour Stein, Sire's president, was particularly smitten with two songs, 'Everybody' and 'Ain't No Big Deal' and approved a single (allegedly from his hospital bed).
Bray was temporarily sidelined and Kamins took the production reins at Bob Blank's Blank Tape Studios. There was a false start as Madonna clashed with original arranger Barry Eastmond over 'Everybody'. She felt that his ideas were too slick, lacked the edge of the club-land grooves she was hankering after. Arthur Baker, a helping hand to Kamins, brought in synth maestro Fred Zarr to enliven the sessions.
It was the shot in the arm the song needed. Zarr's rapid-fire electronics chafe at the shuffling beat, creating a pulsating, uptight friction. Most spectacular of all is the song's breakdown, where a funky, Bernard Edwards-style bass comes to the fore as Zarr's synthesisers whir around it. The synth's descending 'bell' preset is a dead ringer for a sound on Freeez's 83 classic, 'IOU', an Arthur Baker production that Zarr played on.
On top of the R&B groove is Madonna herself, full of verve, exhorting the listener to lose their inhibitions on the dance floor. Immediately Madonna was likened to a "Minnie Mouse on helium" for her shrill, limited vocals. But as a pop voice, hers was the perfect instrument; infectious, accessible and untutored. She also knew how to maximise its potential in a studio setting. Just before 'Everybody' hits the chorus, a deft dab of reverb on her vocal sucks the listener into the nursery rhyme-like ode to clubbing. With its breathy spoken word passages and invitation to dance, Madonna's debut single was a template that would be revisited throughout her career. Hers was not a light touch, but at its peak it was one that was hard to resist.
Released in the US in October 1982, the record came with a Lou Beach-designed sleeve depicting a hip hop–style NYC street scene. It was, in retrospect, an ironic way to launch the career of the face of the 80s. But for a moment, like Culture Club's Boy George with the lover's rock of 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?', Madonna was widely believed to be a black artist. Michael Jackson's Thriller was about to break down certain racial boundaries, absorbing rock influences and crossing over into the previously white-only MTV with landmark videos - Prince was doing the same. Speaking in 1984, Madonna observed how white artists were breaking down divides too. Even Queen were going disco, releasing Hot Space in May 1982. It wasn't just racial lines that were being eroded either.
Madonna sounded like an R&B singer but her clothing was punk-inspired. It was all part of the new decade's pick and mix approach. It was so far from the purist dogmas of '76 that eventually a recurrent phrase of the era was that it was all "like punk never happened". In Dave Rimmer's book of that name, Culture Club's Mikey Craig observed that when he looked out at the band's early audiences he saw a motley bunch of looks. A few years previously such a diverse crowd would never have existed.
'Ain't No Big Deal', the other song mooted for the single, was shelved in favour of an extended dub version of the main event. A bright Michael Jackson/Donna Summer confection, the rejected song perhaps deserved a place on Madonna's first album.
Madonna heavily promoted the track, performing at Howie Montaug's No Entiendes with back-up dancers. A video of a modest budget ($1,500) was shot by Ed Steinberg at Larry Levan's Paradise Garage. Its pared down simplicity was no indicator of how she would subsequently grasp the medium (she later said that she and MTV "grew up together"). Image-wise, however, it placed her at the heart of club-land.
Danceteria acted effectively as a gateway to the US for many British bands, and this became her route to the UK. The Smiths played early American gigs there (supported by Madonna, according to Marr). New Order finally exorcised Curtis' ghost at the club, discovering Ecstasy, dance music and teaming up with Arthur Baker. Yet the relationship went two ways across the Atlantic - the Hacienda was an attempt to provide Manchester with a similar venue, and many acts from the US (ESG, for example) were brought over to Britain.
Madonna embarked on a disastrous UK mini tour, playing venues like London's Heaven and Camden Palace. Blitz Kid Rusty Egan remixed 'Everybody'. Unimpressed with his delay-heavy take on the song, she also informed a crowd of his deficiency as a DJ. Madonna's ability to be charming and charmless in equal measure would make her a polarising figure, personally and artistically. Kris Needs found her "gorgeously perky" while Peter Hook, recalling her brisk "fuck off" to Rob Gretton at The Hacienda in 1984, dubbed her "a black widow spider sucking the life out of everything".
For her debut album (original title: Lucky Star), Madonna enlisted Warners in-house producer Reggie Lucas. Lucas had been part of Miles Davis' 70s ensemble and in 1980, co-wrote the Grammy award winner, Stephanie Mills' devotional disco classic, 'I Never Knew Love Like This Before'. Again Madonna clashed with him, finding him unresponsive to her ideas and too "busy" with the arrangements. What he did provide Madonna's music with, however, was swing...
Lucas also came up with one of her most enduring songs, 'Borderline', which would go on to be her first US top ten hit. Very much a street smart, star-crossed update of the Mills smash, right down to its sad-sweet Fender Rhodes intro, 'Borderline' was genuinely soulful. And more nuanced than her other tracks (note the dual bass parts by Anthony Jackson/Dean Gant, one a synth, the other real). Throughout Madonna's career, a rogue sensuality/vulnerability would flicker intermittently, punctuating much of her best work but rarely sticking around for too long.
Madonna's first album was augmented by backing vocalists such as Chic chanteuse Norma Jean Wright and R&B soul diva Gwen Guthrie (of future 'Ain't Nothing Going On But The Rent'/'Padlock' fame). It sits happily alongside the post disco crème de la crème: the same year's Evelyn 'Champagne' King album Get Loose , Nona Hendryx''B-Boys' and Cheryl Lynn's 'Got To Be Real'. There's even an occasional tenor sax break (courtesy of Bobby Malach), that 80s trademark, recently revived by Lady Gaga/Katy Perry. Here and elsewhere, Zarr's electro-shock synths, full of zest and sparkle, a day-glo approximation of Soft Cell, fuse with these rootsy motifs to create sensuous nu-disco. It's at one with Shannon's 'Let The Music Play' and predicts of Nu Shooz's 1985 masterpiece, 'I Can't Wait'.
But Madonna was dissatisfied. Lucas, again, lacked the edge she was after. The tame proto Debbie Gibson of 'I Know It', the album's only real dud, partly justifies her misgivings. Ever the 'heat-seeking missile' she was looking elsewhere for more street-level collaborators. Funhouse DJ John 'Jellybean' Benitez would be her saving grace, producing and discovering Curtis Hudson/Lisa Steven's song 'Holiday'. He also remixed Lucas' productions, adding a febrile punch to her second single, 'Burning Up'. Another brazen manifesto, 'Burning Up' conflates sex with ambition. Fame is an elusive man to be seduced and conquered at all costs.
Like its flipside, 'Physical Attraction', it throws off the shackles of Catholic guilt: "I'm not the same, I have no shame." Where 'Burning Up' borders on feral, sharpening its claws with new wave guitar, 'Physical Attraction' was a soft-focus slow dance, quoting Olivia Newton John's 'Physical' and the sultry UK soul of Imagination's 'Body Talk' and 'Just An Illusion'). American critic Robert Christgau called the pair of them "electroporn", while 'Burning Up''s predatory prowl would briefly see her being compared to Grace Jones.
'Physical Attraction' was sufficiently fully formed to make it onto 1987's remix album You Can Dance without any tweaking. 'Burning Up', on the other hand, fared better in its 12" remix form, which turned the guitars down and the electro up. The two came housed in a sleeve by friend/de facto manager Martin Burgoyne, an 80s twist on Warhol/Liechtenstein cartoon pop art. Madonna's face was now being fully worked, repeated, like the Warhol silver screens of Marilyn Monroe, the star she would soon start to resemble. 'Burning Up' also featured a video that heralded the arrival of Madonna's brand of sexual table-turning. She writhes around in the middle of the street submissively, road-kill waiting to happen before a yuppie in a convertible runs her over. By the video's final twist, she is in the driving seat, in control. The erotic assertiveness, inextricably linking sex with power, was the epitome of 80s post-feminism (see also Janet Jackson's 'Control'). Like most things Madonna did, it split the jury.
At this point both her singles had scored high in the Billboard Dance charts. But it was third single 'Holiday' that was her crossover in to the mainstream charts. It got her on Dick Clark's American Bandstand for an epochal performance wherein she stated that she intended to "rule the world". 'Holiday' was an irresistible confection, bubbling with joie de vie, emphasised by its cascading synth strings, meaty Moog bass and Nile Rogers-style chicken scratch guitar, and a lyric that neatly paired it with Kool & the Gang's 'Celebration'. In the vocal department, limitation becomes virtue as Madonna imbues the song with nifty touches such as the snatch of ethereal cooing that blows through the song's second refrain.
Similarly her dancing seemed lunging and graceless compared to the eye-popping feats of Jackson (surprisingly so for such a gifted student). But like her music, it quickly proved magnetic, life-affirming. Each raised knee to the thwack of Holiday's snare, indicative of a mover as disciplined as a featherweight prize-fighter, utterly at one with their body. Like all the songs on her debut, 'Holiday' is best heard in the original album version rather than the Immaculate Collection edit. The later version omits the climactic release the song has been building towards, Zarr's elated piano break, a last minute addition at Sigma Sound, Manhattan. These originals are 'deep' cuts, full of breaks and space.
'Holiday' put her in the Billboard top twenty. 'Borderline' (No ten) and 'Lucky Star' (No four) would nudge her closer to mega-stardom, the latter beginning a record-breaking sequence of Top five American hits. Crucially, these two songs saw her mastering video. Mary Lambert's mini-movie for 'Borderline' squeezed Diana Ross's 'Mahogany' and John Hughes into a pop video, adding then taboo-busting interracial romance. She even dabbles in a bit of graffiti, a nod to the world she hailed from.
The 'Lucky Star' promo, featuring just two back-up dancers and a blank set, was a showcase for Madonna as auto-erotic magnet. It is full of belly button close-ups and narcissistic strutting, accentuated by the punchy editing. At one point, she appears to be cradled by the pure white backdrop, like Keith Haring's Radiant Baby, both wide-eyed innocent and shrewdly knowing. In the video's opening shot, she lowers her shades, coolly staring back at the viewer, alluring yet impassive. Even feminist film scholar Laura Mulvey would have to concede that the gaze of popular culture, was by now, no longer purely the province of the male spectator.
The album sold steadily, gathering momentum with each successive single and delaying the follow-up, Like A Virgin. The second album would team her with Nile Rogers, a man who had so inspired the grooves of her debut. Not only was she enamoured with his Chic/Sister Sledge work but also more recent pop-oriented triumphs such as Bowie's Lets Dance. Already eager to transcend dance music, she dismissed her first album's "lack of variety", deriding it as "music to do calisthenics to". Funnily enough an elderly Calisthenics class was exactly where original manager Camille Barbone first heard Madonna's new material. By now, Madonna had sought out a new manager, Freddy DeMann, who played her the as yet unreleased promo for 'Beat It' by his current charge, Michael Jackson. Mutually impressed (DeMann saw her perform at a Studio 54 show for Fiorucci), they began working together.
Her first album was both cutting edge and quaint by the time of its release, informed by NYC's club underground but also using technology already employed by MOR artists. Phil Collins was using similar instrumentation as was Stevie Nicks on the exquisite Prince-assisted, 'Little Red Corvette'-influenced 'Stand Back'. Madonna would continue to break ground in the mainstream just as she would always remain slightly one step behind the avant-garde, ever reliant on it for inspiration to take to the masses. Nevertheless, her first album remains one of her best works, the supposed 'lack of variety' actually giving it a consistency and focus that often eludes her later music. Madonna now possesses the crazy will of a late period Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford, all exertion bereft of inspiration. But like those two icons, her best work often transcends the cloying cage of camp. That first album, with its elastic grooves, its joyous calls to "dance and sing" remains free of such excesses. It is that great pop record: a simple soundtrack to complicated times. Hot-housed in a pre-Giulani/Carrie Bradshaw New York City, it is the last gasp of a night-life without AIDS where everyone is a star in the discotheque. Where going out itself was a work of art. Now, as much as back then, Madonna urges you to do just one thing: "Feel the beat and step inside..."
Somehow overlooked with his other collection for The Avengers, Award-winning photographer Marco Grob had also shared a stylized portrait of Chris Evans' Capt.America when his ears were exposed.
NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke held court Thursday at a Paley Center for Media breakfast where she stressed NBC's commitment to year-round original programming, quality showrunners and trumped new series from Michael J. Fox andBlair Underwood.
Here are a few of the highlights from the morning session:
On the year-round push:
Salke noted that with the increased push for year-round original scripted programming, there is no downtime anymore as the development cycle stars all over again almost immediately after the upfronts in May. "I think this is the most daunting time -- about a month from now -- where it settles in that you have this money to spend and this agenda to create hit television," she said. "To be in these jobs, you have to be a believer that it's possible … that if you build it, they will come."
On keeping the lights on during the summer:
Salke confessed NBC (and the rest of the broadcast networks) have traditionally given the summer away to cable. She cited Hannibal and America's Got Talent as NBC's efforts to increase its performance during the traditionally low-rated season. "I don't see why shows like Hannibal and America's Got Talent and some of these shows we're trying to launch that are high quality wouldn't do better than throwing on some cheap programming," she told the intimate Paley Center crowd of fare including dramedy Camp and faux-reality-series drama Siberia. "Cheap and good don't have to be mutually exclusive anymore."
On rebuilding NBC:
Following a season where the network finished third in the key adults 18-49 demo (down 4 percent) and fourth in total viewers (down 6 percent) and flatlined without The Voice, Salke said NBC can't afford be rigid about its brand. "We're going to do things that are creatively adventurous," she revealed, stressing that it places big swings in the hands of pedigreed showrunners. "We're open to anything -- we should hear everything and be open to hear any kind of inspiration that comes in the door," Salke said, using Glee and Modern Family -- which she helped develop during her tenure at 20th Television -- as examples of passionate showrunners with a clear vision and inspiration. "The primary focus for me is to get in there and turn that place around," she said of her position at studio Universal Television. "They won't wait five years; we've got to start seeing some success in the next two years. We need that pipeline at the studio because the spigot with [Universal TV's] House … has really shut off and we have to rebuild that."
On the appeal of Michael J. Fox:
NBC handed out a 22-episode straight-to-series order for The Michael J. Fox Show sight unseen, helping to lure the in-demand former Family Ties star with food. "When he came in, he was funny, talking about his family and life and said, 'My life is like mashed potatoes,' " Salke recalled. "He told a story of how he walks outside the door and how the world puts him on this pedestal. He'd been in a dark period, had been annoying [his family] and fighting with his kids and was just a regular dad. Everyone was wooing him and we found his favorite restaurant and sent him lobster mashed potatoes and he closed the deal." The appeal of the show, she said, was that it's a funny, accessible family show with a bit of an edge -- generated from his personal struggles. "His passion to commit the next seven years of his life on a TV show was really inspirational. He had us at hello."
On renewing Hannibal:
NBC renewed Bryan Fuller's critically acclaimed Hannibal for a second season despite its lackluster ratings on Thursdays thanks largely to its rabid fan base and pedigree. "Would it be a smart move to take a show that represents quality and chop it off at the knees? I didn't feel like that would be a great decision and it would also affect the kind of talent we attract to the network," Salke said of the series, which stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen.
On the appeals and woes of multiplatform:
Salke noted that NBC sent out screeners and began promoting its new shows five to six weeks earlier than last year -- almost immediately after the upfronts -- in a bid to get out in front and build buzz for its digital platform. "We're trying to create buzz about shows that are quality and take that into the whole 'How do you enhance an audience with a second screen?' [dilemma]." She again cited Hannibal and its big online push ahead of its premiere as a method to boost awareness and ultimately viewership. "It's a show with critical acclaim and … a rabid fan base, and we do a lot of online activity, and yet the ratings lie there like a cat on a rug," Salke said of the dual-screen dilemma. "If you have something great, people latch on to it, and it will naturally evolve into all those places -- and if you don't, it won't."
On remaking Ironside:
Salke called the Blair Underwood starrer -- a remake of NBC's Raymond Burr drama that ran for eight seasons in the late 1960s and early '70s -- "the little engine that could" and an example of wanting to be in the procedural business. Despite the near-immediate rejection of NBC's Prime Suspect remake -- aka the show with Maria Bello's hat -- Salke noted the network wanted to approach procedurals in a different way in a bid to stand out and hopefully compete with CBS. "In the world of prodceurals, even aging procedurals are doing better than some of the big things we were excited about -- so why can't this do well? There's no reason why it couldn't. We needed closed-ended shows and having some procedurals on the schedule is a strategy I really agree with," she said, sharing that Underwood was so committed to the role that he rode around in a wheelchair two months before filming the pilot.
Irving Oala for The Daily Mail writes:
Real-life romance for sitcom co-stars is nothing new, but for some reason it never quite materialized between Uncle Jessie and Aunt Becky on the long-running ABC comedy Full House.
However, in recent months, both stars have voiced their regret nothing more ever happened.
Most recently, the 49-year-old John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse for the run of the show, confessed that the 48-year-old Lori Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky, 'could be the one that got away.'
The question was spurned by an interview Loughlin did with Huffington Post Live back in March of this year, in which she stated that her and Stamos's 'timing was off.'
'I was actually married at the time that I was doing the show and then I got divorced,' the Full House star explained.
'And then when I got divorced, [John] met Rebecca Romijn and he got married, so our timing was just really off.'
'I don't think it ever entered our minds that it would be something more.'
Stamos revealed in his recent interview that they actually did go on one date together.
'[We] went on a date to Disneyland before, you know, before we were both married. In real life, when we were 18, 19-years-old,' he said.
However, both television stars claim to just be very close friends who adore each other.
'She's one of my dearest friends, and that's good enough,' the current star of Necessary Roughness continued. 'But I really do adore her. She has a great husband and he's got a lot of money so...'
Stamos married supermodel Rebecca Romijn in 1998 but the couple divorced in 2005.