She has a Tony and has starred in half-a-dozen network TV shows, but you may not recognize Laura Benanti. Yet. NBC’s ‘Sound of Music’ should turn her into a household name.
When Carrie Underwood does her iconic Maria von Trapp on the mountaintop twirl on Thursday night’s live NBC broadcast of The Sound of Music, Laura Benanti will do her best not to rush in from the wings and start belting about the hills being alive herself.
Laura Benanti as "Lauren" in an episode of NBC's "Go On." (Vivian Zink/NBC, via Getty)
“Could you imagine?” the actress tells me. “That would be hilarious: ‘Actress Goes Crazy in Live Telecast, Never Works Again.’”
Saying Kanye West is ‘crazy’ or ‘childish’ or ‘out of control’ follows the socially sanctioned belittlement and demonization of black men.
Kanye West has an estimated $100 million, the most beautiful woman in America as his wife-to-be, and an unparalleled career at the helm of pop music and culture. By most of our pedestrian standards, the man has not a thing to complain about. By his own admission, he’s found “heaven on earth.” But the past couple of months of Yeezus tour promo, during which he’s spoken more frequently and more sincerely than he has in years, have been thick with grievances. The headlines have accordingly singled out the zeitgeist-friendliest of soundbytes: Kanye West Thinks He Invented Leather Jogging Pants. Kanye West Encourages Fans to Boycott Louis Vuitton. Kanye West Says Sway ‘Ain’t Got The Answers.’
Rather than the media training-steeped platitudes and pre-approved anecdotes favored by other celebrities of comparable stature, Kanye has used this latest bout of media attention to lay out his criticisms of the global fashion industry, the awards industrial complex, America, and any person, place, or thing that has systemically or systematically obstructed his path to translating musical success to self-actualization in fashion, art, technology, and culture in general.
New Zealand songstress Lorde just released a new music video for her excellent ballad “Team.” It’s a beauteous, slightly melancholic series of striking images—and a must-see.
Lorde, the 17-year-old New Zealand chanteuse, can apparently do no wrong.
Her hit tune “Royals,” a witty ode (and send-up) to the monotony of bling-obsessed raps, has spent nine straight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s pop singles chart, fending off stiff competition from the likes of more seasoned divas Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The song has sold a stellar 3.7 million copies to date. If that weren’t enough, Rolling Stone recently named her debut LP, Pure Heroine, the seventh best album of 2013.
Now, the singer formerly known as Ella Yelich-O’Connor has just released her latest music video for one of the best tracks off her debut album, “Team.”
Other winners include 'Blue is the Warmest Color,' '12 Years a Slave,' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
Awards season is finally here! Today, the New York Film Critics Circle slowly drip-fed their “Best Of” list for 2013 on Twitter. Back in 2011, the group pushed up their voting so they could be the ones to kick off the buzz (previously the National Board of Review and Los Angeles Film Critics Association had come before). They have continued the trend since, and now they have the first word on the best films of 2013. (The Gotham Awards, which were announced last night, don’t really count due to their focus on independent films.)
It’s a shame that the biggest winner of the night (David O. Russel’s American Hustle) won’t hit theaters for another two weeks. One notable omission is Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street, which looks great but may not be the award season material some were expecting/hoping for.
Best Picture: American Hustle – David O. Russell
R. Kelly uses the word ‘p**sy’ 57 times in one song. He also accepts responsibility for every child born since the ‘90s. Really. Read more ridiculous lyrics from Black Panties.
There’s a beautiful song about love on R. Kelly’s new album Black Panties.
“I just want to marry Cheryl. I just want to marry Cheryl. I just want to marry Cheryl. Want to go down on my knees, and expect Cheryl to marry me.”
In the fall of 1965, all Bob Dylan wanted to do was check into the Chelsea Hotel with his girlfriend Sara Lownds and write his album, but he ended up trysting with Andy Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick—and then making the biggest decision of his life. An excerpt from ‘Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel.’
Bob Neuwirth, Bob Dylan’s closest friend and “supreme hip courtier” during this period, later recalled that it was on a snowy night sometime in the late fall of 1965 when he and Dylan first crossed paths with Edie Sedgwick. Dylan had finally returned east after a harrowing tour with his new band, the Hawks, and had more or less abandoned the house he had bought in Woodstock, not believing he could write something new in a place where he’d written before. “It’s just a hang up, a voodoo kind of thing,” he said. “I can’t stand the smell of birth. It just lingers.” Instead, he had returned with his girlfriend Sara Lownds to the Chelsea Hotel—the perfect environment for writing the city songs he had in mind.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
Dylan had made tons of money, but the pressure had been great. For the past year, at least, he had sustained himself with what he euphemistically called “a lot of medicine,” which had left him whipthin, sharp-tempered, and hardly able to sit still. At the same time, the Kennedy assassination, the splintering civil rights movement, and the escalating war in Vietnam were all pushing people toward a fin-de-siecle state of mind further nourished by the speed and acid now ubiquitous in New York. At the Chelsea, amphetamine addicts screamed insults in the lobby at three in the morning, and marijuana smoke lingered on the stairwell while the 24-year-old international sensation sat up nights scribbling notes about “the undertaker in his midnight suit” and “the rainman… with his magic wand” as he embarked on his “magician” phase.
Yes, twerk princess Miley Cyrus is leading the polling for TIME’s Person of the Year with two days to go.
Twerk may have been dealt a crushing blow when Oxford Dictionaries recently announced that the word of the year was “Selfie,” but the former Disney starlet who forever ingrained the regrettable term in the cultural zeitgeist could have the last laugh.
With only two days to go, pop princess Miley Cyrus is leading the polling for TIME’s Person of the Year. As of Monday, Cyrus had 20.2 percent of the vote, followed by Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with 18.6 percent, and Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan with 18.3 percent (no Edward Snowden?). Last year's victor was President Barack Obama.
In addition to voting through their website, TIME partnered with Twitter to open up the reader’s choice poll to social media, with users tweeting their choice(s) with #TIMEPOY—which the publication is then recording.
And Rita Ora joins ’50 Shades of Grey’
Britney Spears teased that ‘Britney Jean’ is her most personal album yet. It’s not. At all. And she may be the only person left who can get away with that.
The actress dishes about being an ‘N Sync fan, her go-to karaoke songs, and her turn as Jean Berkey, one half of a folk duo—opposite Justin Timberlake—in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’
Carey Mulligan is delightful. It’s the first word that comes to mind once you’re done chatting with the effortlessly cool actress who, at just 28 years of age, has emerged as one of the most exciting leading ladies in Tinseltown. Her unique mélange of old-school glamour and contempo wit has made her seem at home in period pieces like An Education (for which she received an Oscar nod) and The Great Gatsby, as well as gritty neo-noirs such as Drive and Shame.
Armando Gallo/Retna Ltd.
Her latest film is the drama Inside Llewyn Davis. Helmed by the legendary Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a melancholic tale about ornery, terribly stubborn, yet gifted singer-songwriter Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), who's struggling to navigate the folk scene in early 1960s Greenwich Village. Mulligan stars as Jean Berkey, a former paramour of Davis’s and one-half of a husband-wife folk duo with Jim (Justin Timberlake). The film also stars John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham, and Garrett Hedlund, and features an excellent soundtrack courtesy of producers T-Bone Burnett and Marcus Mumford, lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons (and Mulligan’s real-life husband).
Songs all about ‘me’ and how beautiful and strong ‘I’ am now dominate the charts. Why the music of the Millennial generation is so narcissistic—the sonic equivalent of an Instagram self-portrait.
The first time I heard “Roar,” the lead single from Katy Perry’s latest album, Prism, I thought it was a pretty good pop song. Scratch that. I thought it was a very good pop song. I liked the stomping beat and the growling guitar line. The verse was strong, the bridge was even better, and the chorus was absolutely irresistible, from the little break on “I got the eye of the tiger” to Perry’s rising, elongated “rooooaaar.” Halfway through I was already singing along.
But the more I listened to “Roar”—and, full disclosure, I listened to it a lot, at least for a 31-year-old married man with hipster tendencies—the more I began to realize that it wasn’t just a very good pop song. “Roar” is something bigger as well: the epitome of a new style of music that has come to dominate the charts in recent years. A style that says something interesting—and possibly unsettling—about what sort of listeners we are now.
Walt Disney paid $100,000 for the film rights to ‘Mary Poppins.’ Go behind the scenes of the beloved family classic in ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ the new film starring Tom Hanks as Disney.
When Paul Walker steps on the pedal in ‘The Fast and Furious,’ his boyish glee takes over. This is why people fall in love with speed. We rank all six films in the franchise.
As Paul Walker boasted in this joke video from last year, The Fast and the Furious was his franchise. The actor died Saturday in a fiery car crash following a fundraiser at Always Evolving, the high-end auto shop that he is part owner of. According to TMZ, the shop’s CEO Roger Rodas took Walker on a 20-minute ride because Walker had wanted to check out the Porsche Carrera GT, and the crash killed both of them on the way back just some 500 yards from the shop.
Walker was a passionate racer even before the Fast and Furious series began, and he was perhaps even the reason why the franchise exists, persuading director Roger Cohen to make a car-racing film when they worked together in 1999’s The Skulls.
That was the beginning of six Fast and Furious films. Fast and Furious 7, which had just about completed filming and was due out in July 2014, is reportedly being delayed but not scrapped, though Universal had signed up to extend the series even further, and the fate of those sequels are not yet known. Walker’s death puts the entire franchise in uncertainty—how will Fast and Furious survive after its star was killed under circumstances similar to what the films themselves glorified? As police officer turned street racer Brian O’Conner, who joins Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) crew, when Walker steps on the gas pedal, his boyish glee takes over the camera, and you can really understand why people fall in love with speed. We rank all six films in the franchise for the uninitiated, from worst to best.
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Former stockbroker Jordan Belfort once had sex on $3 million in cash. Check out more stats about the man behind Leo DiCaprio’s leading role in Martin Scorsese’s latest.