Star Wars fans will get new trilogy of films

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‘Fight Club’ Fans Will Love What Chuck Palahniuk Hid In His Old House

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Should owners seek fans’ advice on players? (Yahoo Sports)

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Fans Finally Noticed This Longtime ‘Game Of Thrones’ Character

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Congrats, Game of Thrones Fans: You Stopped Watching Porn for an Hour

Well, some of you.

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‘The Simpsons’ Predicted A Female Doctor Who And Knew Some Fans Would Freak

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Fans out in force for Manchester tribute gig

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Preds fans let Murray hear it after 4-goal night (Yahoo Sports)

Matt Murray

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Ariana Grande Surprises Young Fans Injured In Manchester Attack

Ariana Grande brought a much-needed smile on Friday to the faces of some of her young fans who were injured in the Manchester terror attack.

The pop star paid a surprise visit to youngsters at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, who continue to be treated following the May 22 suicide bombing following her concert at the Manchester Arena.

Grande spoke with and hugged the children, and posed for photographs. 

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

The singer spent some time talking to nurses:

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

She left some gifts:

And she also penned a heartfelt note to one of her fans:

She surprised those she couldn’t visit with video chats:

Adam Harrison, whose daughter Lily sustained spinal injuries in the attack, said she was “on cloud nine” following Grande’s visit.

This means more to us than all the amazing things people have done this week,” said Peter Mann, whose daughter Jaden was also injured in the blast.

“So happy she came I could burst. Never seen Jaden so happy; even cried again myself,” Mann told the BBC.

Grande made the hospital visit soon after returning to Manchester for the first time since the May 22 attack, which killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

It came ahead of her all-star “One Love Manchester” benefit concert at the Emirates Old Trafford stadium in Greater Manchester on Sunday. 

Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and Pharrell Williams are all set to perform. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross’ “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.”

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Manchester attack: Ariana Grande visits injured fans

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Grande’s surprise visit delights injured fans

Ariana Grande has hugged fans and posed for photos as she made a surprise hospital visit to children recovering from the Manchester terror attack.
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Mayim Bialik Warns Fans To ‘Grab A Tissue’ For ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 10 Finale

Last week’s penultimate Season 10 episode of “The Big Bang Theory” may have left viewers with a few lingering questions. Mainly, what will become of Amy and Sheldon’s relationship? In a big plot twist, Mayim Bialik’s character, Amy, decides to accept a research fellowship at Princeton University, far away from the West Coast, where she and her beau, Sheldon (Jim Parsons), reside.

So, now what? 

Consider yourself warned: The show’s season finale, slated to air Thursday, might leave you feeling a little sentimental.

“The season finale is very final. Our writers took a very big risk that honestly I was even surprised that they took,” Bialik told HuffPost at Build Series, adding, “It’s emotional. Grab a tissue.”

But there’s good news for fans of the CBS series, which is consistently one of the most popular comedies on television. It just got renewed for two additional seasons. 

“For us, this is job security … There’s also this sense like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ll be doing for the next two years of my life.’ Actors play different parts all the time and so this feels like a very long-running play … This is the longest I’ve played dress-up as one person,” the former “Blossom” star said.

“The Big Bang Theory” is among primetime TV’s highest-rated shows and also ranks high in syndication for Warner Bros. A spinoff show, dubbed “Young Sheldon,” is also in the works.

“We’re not curing cancer, but we are providing entertainment for people in a way that millions of people seem to like. And there’s always those haters,” Bialik said. “I don’t know why ‘The Big Bang Theory’ haters always comment on things and I always read it. Like, ‘This writing is horrible! I hate this show!’ It hurts me deeply. And there’s enough people who like it. I just get to go in and do my job, and haters can hate.”

As for future seasons of “The Big Bang Theory”? 

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, and that’s the truth. I won’t know until literally the night before we start rehearsing the first episode of Season 11,” she said. 

“The Big Bang Theory” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Bialik released a new book this week called Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular. Find out more about the book in the Build interview below. 

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Nicki Minaj Offers To Pay Fans’ College Bills On Twitter

In one hour, Nicki Minaj committed to paying thousands of dollars to help more than a dozen students pay their bills.

After one fan asked the star for some assistance, Minaj launched an impromptu tuition-savings contest on Twitter late Saturday night.

Minaj was in the midst of tweeting about a contest in which she would fly the winner to hang out with her at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, when she got a response she likely didn’t expect.

The star was interested.

Within minutes, requests flooded her feed. Minaj responded to fans’ who asked for money to pay off loans and funds to afford books, housing and tuition. Minaj asked for proof that she could verify with various schools, so fans started tweeting copies of transcripts and bill statements.

Minaj ended the night about an hour later, saying she may make the same offer sometime in the future.

TMZ reported that as of Sunday, three fans confirmed they had received funds from Minaj.

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Ryan Reynolds Has A Very Normal Reaction To Fan’s Butt Tattoo

If Ryan Reynolds didn’t know who his most devoted fan was before, he sure does now.

On Thursday, the actor happened upon a tweet that a die-hard “Deadpool” fan posted in March. But it wasn’t any old fanboy tweet.

The Twitter post included a picture of the name “RYAN REYNOLDS” tattooed on the fan’s bare butt, printed in black and red ink with Comic Sans font.

That butt belongs to 18-year-old Dustin, who spoke with The Huffington Post on the condition that his last name be censored ― unlike his rear end.

“As someone who’s interested in pursuing acting as a career, Ryan Reynolds happens to be quite the inspiration of mine,” Dustin told HuffPost. “I think he’s an incredibly versatile and well-rounded actor and I hope I can get to that point one day as well. Not to mention, he’s just a great dude; he’s selfless, passionate, and hilarious.”

When Reynolds’ saw Dustin’s bootyful tribute on Thursday, he reacted the way any mature person would ― with horror.

Dustin first proposed his idea in early March when he wrote in reply to one of Reynolds’ tweets, “if you like this i’ll tattoo your name on my butt.”

True to his Wade Wilson character, Reynolds read the tweet and tapped the “like” button.

“I honestly wasn’t too surprised that he liked my original tweet because I’ve noticed that he likes fan’s tweets sometimes,” Dustin told HuffPost.

The reception Dustin got on Twitter after getting the actor’s blessing made him determined to go through with his idea.

“After he liked my tweet, people were tweeting me ― not believing that I would actually do it,” Dustin said. “So naturally, I had to.”

Dustin even reached out to his followers to choose what type of font should forever mark his body. They chose Comic Sans because “it’s the only way you can truly capture [Ryan Reynolds’] essence.” 

Then Dustin took his request to tattoo artist Chris Bath at Cherry Hill Tattoo in Naples, Florida, and followed through with his pledge.

Dustin appropriately captioned the Twitter picture of his tattoo, “your wish is my command.” 

And if you’re curious if Dustin regrets his decision to permanently mark his derrière with Reynolds’ name, rest assured he’s convinced he made the right decision.

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Richard Simmons Has Spoken Directly to His Fans for the First Time in Years

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Carrie Underwood Surprises Fans With National Anthem At Husband’s Game

On top of being a country superstar and an adoring mother, Carrie Underwood is one seriously supportive wife.

On Monday, Underwood ― who’s married to Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher ― surprised hockey fans with a beautiful rendition of the national anthem before game three of the NHL playoffs when Fisher’s team played the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

For the powerhouse performance (watch a video above), the seven-time Grammy winner sported her husband’s No. 12 jersey and painted her nails to match the team’s blue and gold colors. 

Underwood may have been a good luck charm for Fisher because the Predators won the game 3 to 2. 

The couple tied the knot in July 2010 and welcomed a baby boy named Isaiah in February 2015. 

“Time sure does fly when you’re having fun and you marry up,” Fisher wrote to his wife in an anniversary Instagram post in July 2016. “I’m very grateful to have an amazing wife and mother by my side!”

Underwood shared a similar sentiment, writing, “Six years ago today, I said ‘I do,’ to this handsome fella. I meant it then and I mean it now. God put us together and continues to bless our marriage. I couldn’t imagine this life without you.”

Below, more photos of the sweet couple. 

Very blessed to have these 2 strong, beautiful and Godly Moms in my life! #happymothersday

A post shared by Mike Fisher (@mfisher1212) on

This guy… #duckface #lame #vacation

A post shared by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

A dinner date with my Valentine @mfisher1212 . ❤️️

A post shared by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

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Bake Off fans give mixed response to official team photo

One fan says the new show will be “super awkward” while another says “I’m sold” after seeing the first official photo.
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Fans bid farewell to music legend Chuck Berry

Family, friends and fans have paid their final respects to rock and roll legend Chuck Berry at his funeral service in his home town of St Louis.
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Miranda Lambert Thanks Fans For Sharing In Her ‘Heartbreak’ After ACMs Win

Miranda Lambert’s “The Weight of These Wings” took home the award for Album of the Year at the 2017 Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night, beating out “Black” by Dierks Bentley, “Dig Your Roots” by Florida Georgia Line, “Hero” by Maren Morris and “Ripcord” by Keith Urban. 

In her touching acceptance speech, Lambert thanked fans “for letting me use my heartbreak and sharing it with me.” The album, of course, was directly inspired by her personal life, namely her divorce from her husband of four years, Blake Shelton. 

Producers Frank Liddell, Eric Masse and Glenn Worf joined Lambert onstage and praised the singer for letting her soul shine through her music. 

“In the day and age of sound bites, I just want to thank Miranda for being willing to look deep in her soul and bringing her life into her heart,” Liddell said. 

Lambert, who also won Female Vocalist of the Year, was very open about the process of writing her new album, telling Billboard last year, “Every record I’ve ever made has been a reflection of where I am right then in my life, however old I am. And I’ve never held back at all. But this time, with what I happened to be going through in my life, being honest was never really a choice. Everybody knew anyway. So I just said, I’m gonna journal it, and ― good days and bad days ― use it for my art.”

The 33-year-old is now happily dating fellow musician Anderson East. Shelton is in a relationship with his “Voice” co-star Gwen Stefani. 

 

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This Is Us Cast Has Plenty to Say to Fans After the Season 1 Finale

This Is UsIf you found yourself sort of disappointed by This Is Us’ first season finale, you weren’t alone.
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Fans, Music Greats Mourn Loss Of Mr. Rock ‘N’ Roll Chuck Berry

Fans and musicians around the globe mourned the death of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s wild founding father Chuck Berry at the age of 90.

Instead of a wish for Berry to rest in peace, the estate of famed guitarist Bo Diddley tweeted a message to the music legend to “rock in power.” The estate of John Lennon — whose own music was inspired by the rhythm pioneer — posted a quote from the late Beatle hailing Berry as “another name” for rock ‘n’ roll. 

Berry’s rock anthems like “Johnny B.Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Maybelline” set the stage for future generations of fans and countless budding musicians pinning their hopes on playing the guitar like Berry could.

Rocker Huey Lewis honored Berry as “maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll. His music and his influence will last forever.”

Keith Urban thanked Berry for his “poetry, passion and potency.”

The Jacksons tweeted: “Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock ‘n’ roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You, Chuck.”

Writer Stephen King said Berry’s death “breaks my heart.”

The Rolling Stones have said they are “deeply saddened” by the death of Chuck Berry, describing him as a “true pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll and a massive influence on us.”

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Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect that Diddley’s Twitter account is not the guitarist himself (he died in 2008), but that of his estate.

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Coolio to ‘take off jewellery’ around UK fans

Coolio says he will take off his shoes and jewellery before mixing with fans at his upcoming UK shows after having items stolen during a previous visit.
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Zach Braff, Fans Call On Alec Baldwin To Be Trump At Correspondents Dinner

Here’s an idea: Since Donald Trump has announced he’s ditching the annual White House Correspondents Dinner in April, maybe a substitute could take his place. Who better than Alec Baldwin, whose impersonations of Trump on “Saturday Night Live” are growing ever-more eerily close to the real thing?

Actor Zach Braff came up with the brainstorm. After Trump tweeted that he wouldn’t be attending the dinner, Braff quickly tweeted to Baldwin that it was time to “suit up.” Other Baldwin fans chimed in.

No word yet from Baldwin. Someone who would be extremely unpleased about the substitution would be Trump, who absolutely loathes Baldwin’s impersonations of him and just doesn’t think they’re … well … funny.

Trump has become the first president in over three decades to duck out of the event which features a comedian roast of the chief executive.

It’s not a huge surprise Trump is dodging the event, given his repeated attacks on the media that reached a kind of defcon-5 calling the press the “enemy of the people.” After his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, several media outlets, including the Huffington Post, were barred from a press briefing.

The president’s attacks had the media rethinking the whole dinner affair. The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Bloomberg had canceled their famous event parties, and CNN was considering skipping the sit-down. Comedian Samantha Bee announced early this year that she was planning an alternative event on the same night with the tentative title: “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

The event by the White House Correspondents Association, which hosts D.C. journalists, celebrities and Beltway newsmakers, first began in 1921. The last president to skip out was Ronald Reagan in 1981 because he was still rattled by an assassination attempt — but he managed to phone in his comments.

Trump has attended the dinner before — and was ribbed from the podium by former president Obama in 2011 for peddling the “birther” tall-tale that Obama had not been born in America.

Who knows? If Baldwin decides to pick up the gauntlet perhaps there would also be an open invitation for “SNL” pal Beck Bennett to stand in for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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BroadwayCon Creates a Bubble for Theater Fans

2017-02-09-1486671811-3024957-BroadwayConBoothcopy.jpg

By Megan Wrappe, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, February 13, 2017

When BroadwayCon, the theatre community’s version of Comic Con, began as an idea to bring theatre fans together for one weekend, no one could have imagined just how big it would become. While last year’s premiere BroadwayCon was a success, an unfortunate blizzard deterred some fans from the festivities. This year though, there was no keeping the fans away!

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The convention floor at BroadwayCon

The second edition of BroadwayCon kicked off bright and early at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 27 at New York City’s Javits Center and ran until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 29. In between the opening and closing ceremonies, thousands of theatre fans were treated to a plethora of workshops, panel discussions, sing-alongs, fan meetups, and autograph sessions with their favorite stars. And with so much activity, fans unknowingly created their own bubble where the events of the outside world couldn’t touch them.

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An ‘unidentified Ariel’ and Sierra Boggess, the original Ariel, together at BroadwayCon

The amazing thing about BroadwayCon is its ability to bring so many people together under the same roof. Fans certainly made up the majority of attendees, but for the number of well known actors, such as Anthony Rapp, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, and the cast of Hamilton in the room, they were just as excited to be there as everyone else. Veteran actors and fans alike mingled together all weekend and happily shared their own theatre nerdiness with each other.

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Playbill’s booth at BroadwayCon

“I did BroadwayCon last year and I’ve also done a GleeCon in London which was my first taste of something like this, and it was super fun” said actor Telly Leung who is currently starring in Broadway’s In Transit. “I never hesitate to say that Rent is my favorite show that I’ve done. It made me love theatre and to do that show is a theatre nerd’s dream come true, It’s like if you’re dressed up as Elphaba and then you get to meet Elphaba, it’s amazing.”

In addition to fans having access to be up close and personal with their favorite stars, BroadwayCon is also a fantastic opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of theatre and where it’s heading in the future. There were panels on everything from stage management, to women playwrights, being ‘out’ on Brodway, marketing a show correctly, preserving theatre on film, and so many others. There wasn’t a single topic in the theatre world that wasn’t discussed, and many walked away from the weekend feeling they had found a home in the theatre community.

BroadwayCon is something that has needed to exist for a long time,” said J. Quinton Johnson, Jordan Fisher and Michael Luwoye from Hamilton. “Everyone here, including those of us in the Hamilton cast, are huge fans of this community so it’s awesome to be in a room full of that energy.”

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(l. to r.) Michael Cerveris and a StubHub host in a ‘Green Room’ discussion

During a weekend when there was so much political upheaval around the world, BroadwayCon became a safe space for expression, acceptance, and communication, no matter who you are. The majority of attendees didn’t want the weekend to end and were sad to leave their new friends they had made within the little bubble of theatre bliss they had created.

BroadwayCon‘s co-founder Melissa Anelli gave voice to the sentiments many of the participants had felt and experienced over the course of the weekend:

“We recognize that this weekend has been a welcomed escape from the all too harsh reality of the world outside it. We cannot restrict the empowerment we feel after a weekend like this to only those who are privileged enough to be a part of it. The theatre community is not one event, one moment, or one weekend–its spirit is ever-growing. We here onstage are asking you as one to take what you felt this weekend with you. If you leave here and are met with hatred, intolerance, oppression, and bigotry from people who want to build walls, take away rights and tear down spirits, please remember what it was like this weekend–the times that you felt impassioned, enlightened, welcomed, informed, safe, included, happy, encouraged, accepted, and loved.”

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BroadwayCon MainStage during a sound check

All photos courtesy of ZEALnyc.
____________________________

Megan Wrappe, a Contributing Writer for ZEALnyc, writes on theater and other cultural events.

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For all the news on New York City arts and culture, visit ZEALnyc Front Page.

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Britney Fans Are Not Happy With Lifetime Biopic Trailer

The unauthorized Britney Spears movie is coming — and people are not happy about it.

Lifetime announced the biopic “Britney Ever After” in August of last year, much to the chagrin of Britney herself. Spears went so far as to say that she wouldn’t be involved “in any way, shape or form … nor does it have her blessing.”  

All that said, the first trailer for the the film dropped on Monday, and from the looks of it, it’s definitely going to take us up and down the Britney rollercoaster. We get glimpses of Britney-esque performances, paparazzi snapping photos of the star and reenactments of her wedding and the infamous 2007 head-shaving incident.

Fans were not pleased with this taste of the TV movie:

Oooof. “Britney Ever After” premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. ET.

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Attention The Office Fans: Please Tell Your Friends What B.J. Novak Said About Steve Carell’s Revival Tweet

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Jeremy Scott Meets Fans during Milan Fashion Week

“What should I ask him?” and “my hands are shaking” were only two of the reactions overheard at the So-Milano concept store on Sunday night at a meet-and-greet  for shoppers with designer Jeremy Scott. The Scott-effect ranged from selfies and Instagram videos to more traditional proofs of affection, such as little chats with the designer and even hugs.
“The reaction has been phenomenal, everyone has been so supportive,” said Scott, who had shown his men’s and women’s pre-fall collections a day earlier.
Welcomed more as a rock star than a designer, Scott greeted his fans one by one during the cocktail at the venue, which showcased his namesake collection for spring 2017. Pin-up legs printed over shirts and pants, Barbie-pink dresses, fluo-colored accessories and pumps bearing his first name on the side were among some of the pieces presented in So-Milano’s signature spherical cases.
“Why here? It’s the newest, hottest store in Milan, so what better place to be and share my work with the people that love it so much?” explained the designer.

Jeremy Scott with DJ Sita Abellan at So-Milano. 
Courtesy Photo

Opened in September, the 3,230-square-foot shopping destination was founded by retailers Giordano Ollari and Aldo Carpentieri, who conceived a new formula of presenting one brand at a time, for a total of

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Lady Gaga Tweeted Something Nice To Madonna And Fans Are Freaking Out

On this day, Lady Gaga said let there be peace, and so there was. 

After years of being pitted against each other in a music industry that seems to only have room for one unapologetic pop diva at a time, Gaga has finally extended an olive branch to Madonna.

Last week, Madge was rightfully honored at the annual Billboard Women in Music ceremony as Woman of the Year. She delivered perhaps the most important speech of her career about the rampant misogyny and sexism she’s faced since becoming famous. She also opened up being raped as a teenager on a rooftop in New York City. 

On Monday, Gaga, who has bravely shared her own story of sexual assault, publicly thanked Madonna for her inspiring words on social media with a tweet that cut straight through their rumored feud. 

“Your speech at the Billboard Music Awards was inspiring,” she wrote. “You’re so brave & strong. Thanks for being that for us girls we need that.”

Earlier this year, Gaga gave the warring fandoms some fodder by drawing a stark contrast between herself and Madonna when it comes to musicality. She also called her a “nice lady,” which is essentially the shadiest thing you could ever dream of saying to Madonna. 

“I don’t mean to disrespect Madonna … she’s a nice lady,” Gaga said on Apple Music’s “Beats 1” radio show in October. “And she’s had a fantastic, huge career. She’s the biggest pop star of all time. But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours and hours a day in the studio. I’m a producer. I’m a writer. What I do is different.” 

But it seems like the shared experience of enduring an endless tirade of abuse and objectification as female artists has allowed the two to put aside their differences and hopefully unite once and for all.

“I stand before you as a doormat. Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer,” Madonna said during her speech, according to Billboard. “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.”

Fans of both Gaga and Madonna appropriately lost their minds on social media, expressing their sincere relief that the great diva wars have finally come to a close.

Now go forth, be free and listen to “Born This Way” and “Express Yourself” without feeling the need to comment on how similar the choruses sound. 

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Kanye angers fans with support for Trump

Kanye West was booed by fans after telling them he didn’t vote in the US election – but if he had, he “would have voted on Trump”.
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Alyssa Milano’s Look-Alike Kids Are Too Cute for Words While Wishing Fans a Merry Christmas

Alyssa Milano, InstagramAlyssa Milano has a special message to all of her many, many fans.
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Doctor Who ‘Weeping Angel’ Lights Are Only For The Biggest Fans

If you or a special someone in your life is a big “Doctor Who” fan, we’ve found the perfect, Whovian monster-themed gift: a set of slightly terrifying “Weeping Angel” lights that are sure to add a little horror to any setting.

For the price of $ 24.99, you can add a string of 10 ancient Lonely Assassins to your home, courtesy of ThinkGeek. Five of the angels are front-facing, ready to attack, while the other five have their eyes covered. 

If you’re into these lights, check out these Doctor Who items below to take your home to a totally Tardis level: 

H/T CNET 

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Classical Live: A Gift to New Music Fans

It’s a great thing when major orchestras release new recordings of contemporary art music. It’s an even better sign of the vibrancy of the classical music business for that to happen under the auspices of a new major international initiative that brings together commercial and non-profit entities. Classical Live — a collaboration between Google Play Music, 21C Media Group, and five of the world’s most beloved orchestras — is a new platform for digital classical music recordings. Available for streaming and download through Google Play Music, these recordings offer a glimpse at the artistic vitality of some of the hottest conductors and orchestras on the music scene today.

The first phase of Classical Live launched in June 2015, with the release of three albums from the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons, Music Director), two from the New York Philharmonic (Alan Gilbert, Music Director), two from the Cleveland Orchestra (Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director), two from the London Symphony Orchestra (Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor), and three from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Mariss Jansons, Conductor Emeritus).

Besides offering music fans an opportunity to hear their favorite orchestras and repertoire through a new platform, Classical Live also stands to enrich the existing contemporary music discography. This specific contribution to the annals of recording history is likely to outweigh the addition of standard repertoire recordings to the marketplace.

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One Classical Live recording — Selections from the NY Phil Biennial 2014 — merits praise in the first phase launch of the project. This album is the only contemporary music recording included in the launch of Classical Live, and represents a bold statement by the orchestra: that new music and contemporary composers have a place in the heart of the organization’s profile. The recording showcases the work of ten diverse contemporary composers (HK Gruber, Vito Žuraj, Jay Schwartz, Nina Šenk, Michael Hersch, Julia Adolphe, Max Grafe, Andrew McManus, Matthias Pintscher, and Oscar Bettison). Matthias Pintscher, a regular artistic partner with the New York Philharmonic, is also featured prominently in his role as a conductor on the recording. Click here for the complete track list.

The New York Philharmonic, which has admirably cranked-up its performance and recording of contemporary works under Music Director Alan Gilbert, stands out from the pack of orchestras on Classical Live. Gilbert’s tenure at the Philharmonic, which is set to conclude in 2017 as a result of his recent resignation announcement, has seen the launch of the New York Philharmonic Biennial, numerous new commissions, and the founding of the orchestra’s CONTACT! series of new music concerts.

While recording contemporary music is not likely to offer significant income to Google Play or the New York Philharmonic, their inclusion of highlights from the 2014 Biennial in the launch of Classical Live is laudable and hopefully a sign of more good things to come in the future. It is certain that significant artistic merit exists in the endeavor of recording music by contemporary composers. Offering these recordings through the digital space and avoiding the production costs of creating physical CDs will surely help the New York Philharmonic’s bottom-line. The orchestra’s 2015-2016 line-up for CONTACT! and the Biennial is chock-full of new works that should be recorded and made available to the international listening public.

Classical Live recordings are available for download ($ 4.99 for full albums; $ 0.69 for individual tracks) or streaming ($ 9.99 per month). All selections are formatted as MP3s and can be accessed through play.google.com, the Google Play Music app for Android and iOS, or by directly downloading the files to your computer or device.

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David Guetta hits 2bn plays and 15m Spotify fans

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Taylor Swift Crashed The Wedding Of Two Of Her Biggest Fans

How big of a Taylor Swift fan are you? Are you so enamored that you would plan your wedding around her tour? No? Then, sorry, the title of world’s biggest Taylor Swift fan goes to Katy Harris and her prize is this magnificent wedding portrait with her idol.

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Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics

Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics


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The Grateful Dead: Never Has a Band Had Such Contempt for Their Fans

The massive phenomenon that was the Grateful Dead has never been objectively reported on, an historical anomaly that boils down to what might as well be a Buddhist koan: Pretty much anyone who was there must be immediately eliminated as a reliable witness.

First, there were the drugs, and if nothing else, Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s memoir, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, is full of them. Sure there is plenty of LSD — clearly the key to understanding the Dead, in fact without it, they’d probably never have graduated from their local bar (never mind acing, and then becoming proctors, of Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests) — and marijuana, which is like mother’s milk to this set.

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There is also far too much heroin, though it could be argued that any amount is too much, especially when your guitar player is nodding off in front of stadiums full of paying fans. But the real knock out, at least for the author, comes in the slightly more prosaic combination of coke and booze, which led him in and out of rehab more times than I could keep track of (ditto his marriages – which apparently he couldn’t keep track of either, at one point basically giving up altogether: “I don’t remember when Shelley and I got married, exactly. I’m thinking it was sometime before Egypt. So 1978. But maybe 1977…”), and then finally a heavy reliance on Xanax, which leads straight back to rehab, followed by some of the worst concerts of their dazzlingly inconsistent career, only to find him in the next chapter swilling more booze, smoking more dope, philandering without remorse, remarrying, band members dying, and all of this with almost zero trace elements of the self-awareness that one hopes to find in a rock’n’roll memoir.

Which maybe isn’t such a grand surprise, given that what made this band one of the biggest in history was a singular lack of same by their adoring fans, the Dead Heads who constitute the least critical, most accepting mass audiences in the history of entertainment. If unconditional love is a virtue, then surely they are all going to heaven.

The Sex Pistols notwithstanding, never has a band had such contempt for their fans.

What other band could get by putting on so many admittedly bad shows? Kreutzmann tends to soft-pedal it, but every once in a while the truth eeks out.

Eighty-thousand people come out to see a band, that Ornette Coleman notes after sitting in with them, doesn’t even “listen to each other when they play,” and it’s just another day at the office.

Eventually their biggest fan, Dead Head-turned-Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby, ups and quits for the same reason. It’s all just part of the trip. At least unlike the other keyboardists who took the gig, he got out alive. “The Grateful Dead had a way of going through keyboardists… their residency in the band had a tendency to terminate in early death,” Kreutzmann quips, matter-of-factly. Later he adds, “there are a lot of deaths in this story, darn it.”

Kreutzmann’s lack of sentimentality is one thing, the lack of introspection another.

Certainly as rock bands go, the Dead has a mystique about them that could rival the Stones or Zeppelin or the Doors. The Dead somehow found a sweet spot in the LSD experience — they never had the swagger or sweat or sex appeal of Jagger and Richards or Morrison or the cats in Led Zeppelin to ever become a convincing rock’n’roll band (it may not have helped that they were one of the few groups to ever dress worse than their fans) — but no group has ever been better at playing sloooow. No one could project as much cosmic vulnerability and spiritual gravitas as Jerry Garcia — he was a vastly underrated singer who could inhabit a song with as much emotional grit and authenticity as Bob Dylan — and on a good night he set a pulse with his guitar that vibrated in perfect harmony with an audience calibrated with Owsley’s finest. Sadly, you never knew what you were going to get. At one point Kreutzmann spells it out: “I want to make it clear that we were not a cult… Jerry Garcia was not the messiah. We weren’t gods.”

In Deal, the mystique quickly crumbles into the mundane.

Kreutzmann has plenty of opportunities to linger and try to decipher what it all means, and certainly the story is ripe with great personalities and the ripples of the American counterculture exploded across thirty-years — the Dead may not have been gods, but they were the de facto leaders of a genuine subculture — but it all starts to read like a tick-tock of Kreutzmann’s life. I am only so interested in his love for scuba diving, or his new house on Hawaii. After reading this book, whatever magic that was left of the band for me is pretty much gone. We’ve heard it all before, and better, notably in bassist Phil Lesh’s book Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead, and Dennis McNally’s A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead, not to mention Tom Wolfe’s essential primer on Kesey and the acid tests.

I should mention that I have been to a dozen or so Dead shows (some of them quite good, some which never seemed to get off the ground, at least one which was perfectly dismal, and one which was the soundtrack to the finest acid trip I have ever experienced), which is an awful lot if you are on the side of the fence where most of my punk rock friends live (appalled by the lassitude of a band so thwacked out of their heads and so unprofessional by normal standards that they consider repeatedly turning in musically grueling, completely under-baked marathon shows part of the experience), but nothing if you are a real Dead Head who measures one’s bona fides by how many shows you have seen. If ever there was a business built on repeat customers, it’s the Grateful Dead.

And yet there is hardly any true appreciation of the Dead fans in this book, certainly no attempt to get into the group-mind and tribe mentality that made a Grateful Dead concert unlike any other rock concert, except to acknowledge that at one point in the ’80s the folks in the front row were looking as wasted as the guitar player, whose heroin addiction had begun to dominate their stage presence.

But worse than that is the palpable disrespect the band shows for the very people who have kept them on the road lo these many years — “If the operation fails and the wheel doesn’t turn, then you have just disappointed 25,000 fans — or more — in one evening…. Some of whom quit or willingly got fired from their shit jobs just to be able to go to the show… Some of my band members thought this was ok.”

And that’s why the most tragic part of Kreutzmann’s book may be the acknowledgements, where there is no mention of the Dead Heads, no thank you to the family who has truly made this the longest, most inexplicable trip ever, and presumably precisely the ones for whom this book was written. Kreutzmann takes lots of time to explain why marijuana should be legalized, but for a musician, this kind of oversight should be a crime.

A slightly different version of this review previously appeared on
The New York Journal of Books.

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Great News for Serial Fans: Seasons 2 and 3 Are Happening! Get All the Details Here

Missing the addictive, award-winning podcast Serial? We get it. Rabia Choudry's new podcast Undisclosed is filling the void perfectly for the time-being (especially when it comes to Adnan Syed's case), but even better news is…




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This Owl Ring Bearer Is A ‘Harry Potter’ Fan’s Dream Come True

This dashing ring bearer was a real hoot.

Groom Shaun Palmer surprised his bride Adele and all of their guests by having an owl named Bilbo carry the rings down the aisle at their July 2014 wedding in Roker, Sunderland, United Kingdom. But it wasn’t until the video was posted to YouTube on Friday that it began making the rounds online.

Internet folks have pointed out that this bird bears a striking resemblance to the late Hedwig of Harry Potter fame.

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Credit: Kevin De-Roche

Palmer told The Huffington Post that he first came up with the idea to have an owl ring bearer after seeing it advertised at a wedding show a couple years before their nuptials and thought it would be an awesome way to surprise his bride. He said, though, that his best man Chris — who was tasked with intercepting Bilbo at the altar — wasn’t totally on-board with the plan at first.

“I actually booked the owl before I’d even spoke to Chris, my best man,” he said. “When I did phone him, I said, ‘How do you feel about an owl landing on your arm to bring our wedding rings down the aisle?’ He said something along the lines of ‘no chance’ to which I replied, ‘Well, it’s a bit late now — I’ve booked it!'”

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Credit: Kevin De-Roche

The groom told HuffPost that the owl was both “brilliant” and “so well-behaved.”

After the ceremony, the handler stayed with Bilbo so the guests could meet him and take pictures.

“It gave a great bit of extra theater to the day,” Palmer said.

Watch the video above to see the bride’s sweet reaction.

H/T BuzzFeed

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Juicy J Rushed To Hospital Before Show, Tweets Apology To Fans

Rapper Juicy J was rushed to the hospital Saturday night before his scheduled show at The Fillmore in San Francisco.

The “Low” rapper tweeted an apology to his fans later that night, explaining he went to the hospital for shortness of breath.


A few hours later, Juicy J shared a photo of himself in Saint Francis Memorial Hospital on Instagram. He wrote that he hadn’t been getting enough rest, but that it wouldn’t put an end to his The Hustle Continues Tour.


I wanna say thank you to everyone that took care me at the hospital I’m San Fran

A photo posted by juicyj (@juicyj) on


Hot New Hip Hop reports Juicy J is now doing well. The Huffington Post has reached out to his reps for comment and will update this post if one is received.

The Memphis rapper, who previously had surgery on an injured ankle, announced some big news the day before his visit to the hospital. During his show at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles Friday, Juicy J revealed that a Three 6 Mafia reunion is on the way.

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Apple Fans Queue at Colette for Smartwatch

PASSING THE TIME: Around 70 people queued outside Paris concept store Colette on Friday morning hoping to snag one of the first Apple watches.
The first in line had been waiting since 3 p.m. the previous day, while others had joined the queue on Thursday evening, spending a chilly spring night outdoors without any certainty that the product would be available once the store opened its doors.
“We read a lot of things on the Internet, approximately 1,000 watches, but with the preorders, it’s impossible to say actually how many watches they have. I’m crossing my fingers, of course,” said Lucas Dufossez, 26, a sales manager for a communications company in Belgium.
Dufossez was determined to lay his hands on a stainless steel model with a Milanese Loop bracelet costing 799 euros in Europe and $ 699 in the United States. He decided to wait in line after being told by Apple that the product would not be available for several weeks if he ordered it online.
“To be the first, that’s the most important. Personally, my order is scheduled for May 12 and I can’t wait until May 12,” he explained, adding that he had spotted the watch on celebrities in magazines. “Of course

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Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Wolves fans

Kevin Garnett has purchased 1,000 tickets to Minnesota’s next game in appreciation of Timberwolves fans for their welcome of his return to the team.
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Rice issues apology letter to Ravens fans

Ray Rice, who was suspended last season by the NFL for domestic violence, issued an apology to the city of Balitmore and to Ravens fans on Friday morning.
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A Bunch Seahawk Fans Gave Up On Their Team And Then Got What They Deserved

It looked pretty bleak for the Seattle Seahawks with around four minutes to go in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. The team was down 19-7 to the Green Bay Packers, and the team’s quarterback, Russell Wilson, was playing terribly.

So a bunch of Seahawk fans decided all hope was lost and left early, despite paying who knows what for the privilege of watching a bunch of men run around for a couple hours. Unluckily for the fans, the Seahawks ripped off an improbable comeback and they were stuck on the outside looking in, and not in a metaphorical way:


And you thought only Miami Heat fans knew how to give up on their team at the most important moment of the season?

(h/t Deadspin)
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Oregon Fans Get Married In Rose Bowl Parking Lot Because They’re ‘Big Football Fans’

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Steven Twomey and Lisa DeFluri were set to have a beach wedding in Oregon in July. But when their beloved Oregon Ducks got a berth to the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl, they changed their plans.

Twomey and DeFluri were married Thursday at the tailgate party in Pasadena about 100 yards from the entrance to the stadium.

DeFluri said it just felt right. “We’re big football fans.”

The two 25-year-old teachers from Eugene were married by Twomey’s stepdad, who registered online to perform the ceremony. DeFluri’s parents couldn’t make it but they were able to watch via Skype.

There were plenty of Oregon fans stopping to congratulate the happy couple when they saw the green and gold arch and ‘just got hitched’ sign.

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Wade: LeBron deserves Heat fans’ gratitude

Dwyane Wade believes LeBron James should be met with gratitude by Heat fans when he returns Thursday with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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Primus Goes All ‘Willy Wonka’ To Give Fans A Chance To Win Tickets For Life

Primus is bringing all your “Willy Wonka” dreams to life.

The band, which is known for their insane cover of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and creating the original “South Park” theme, has a new LP dropping Tuesday, Oct. 21, and to celebrate they’re giving fans a chance to win tickets for life, according to Rolling Stone.

Instead of golden tickets, fans will be given the chance to find golden vinyl records mixed in with the “Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble” albums. You can see the chocolate-colored records being made in the band’s “Willy Wonka”-style video above.

The album marks the first time since 1995 that the band’s original lineup has put out an LP together. For those who can’t wait for Tuesday, The New York Times has a streamable version available now.

The chance to win free tickets for life is pretty incredible, but to keep things in perspective Primus fans should really do their best to remember the words of Willy Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted. He lived happily ever after.”

H/T Rolling Stone
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Wedding Inspiration Fit For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Super Fans

By Stefania Sainato for Bridal Guide

At long last, the wait is over: Game of Thrones Season 4 premiered on Sunday, April 6! Based on the bestselling series by George R.R. Martin, this fantasy epic follows the leaders of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in their quest for realm domination. 

In anticipation of Joffrey and Margaery’s impending Purple Wedding — we still haven’t recovered from the Red Wedding — we’ve pulled together some of our favorite details inspired by the spellbinding visuals on the show.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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DIY Designer Wedding Program Fans Kit (Set of 50)

DIY Designer Wedding Program Fans Kit (Set of 50)


Keep your guests cool during your Mr. and Mrs. ceremonial debut with our DIY Designer Fan Program Paper Kits. As one of the wedding industry’s leading invitation and stationery items, these program fans work amazingly at every ceremony from an outdoor wedding in the spring to a destination celebration on the beach. Not only will your program papers look good, but they will keep your friends and family feeling good, too! It’s a win / win for all involved! Features and facts:Easy-to-assemble fan programs that can be printed yourselfProgram Paper Kit Includes: 50 Program Paper Fans, 50 Wooden Sticks, 108 Adhesive Glue Dots, Complimentary CD with pre-designed and blank Templates, Test Printing Sheets and Instructions for useFans measure 6 1/2″ by 9″ tallMaterials: 80 Cardstock, wood, self-adhesive glue dots and CD with templates
List Price: $ 50.00
Price: $ 50.00

Beyonce Surprises Fans With New Album Featuring Jay Z, Blue Ivy, Drake

Beyonce knows her way around a holiday surprise. The singer end-capped 2013 with an “exclusive visual album” that hit iTunes as Thursday ticked into Friday morning. Her fifth LP is entitled “Beyoncé” and features tracks with Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and the singer’s daughter, Blue Ivy.

Every song on the album also comes with its own music video, a mammoth investment for a singer at Bey’s level. The project comes amid whispers that Beyonce — who let the Presidential Inauguration and Super Bowl pass without a new single — wouldn’t let 2013 go without a new album. Whispers turned into a reality that played out on Twitter, where fans excitedly shared the news, mostly in all-caps messages that included the letters “OMG.”

Previously teased tracks “Standing in the Sun” and “Grown Woman” (which apparently has a video on the way, too) — did not make the album. “I see music,” Beyoncé said in a press release provided shortly after the album hit iTunes. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she continued. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

This is a joyous and developing story. Please check back for more information.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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EXCLUSIVE: Lady Gaga Thanks Fans and Macy’s

Lady Gaga thanks her fans and Macy’s for their help donating to the Born this Way Foundation.
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