Breaking entertainment news on celebrities, TV shows, movies, music

'Music for Cats' makes it to Number 1 on Classical Music Chart

posted 18 Oct 2016, 11:26 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Oct 2016, 11:27 ]

'Music for Cats', released by Universal Music makes it to Number 1 on Classical Music Chart.

BETHNAL GREEN, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 18, 2016) (ITN) -  Universal Music have released 'Music for Cats', the first ever major label deal for music aimed at animals rather than humans. Comprising of five cat-friendly compositions, this unique collection of sounds and classical music was released on October 14.

Despite being allergic to cats, composer David Teie, a cellist with America's National Symphony Orchestra, went to a cat cafe in Bethnal Green London on Tuesday (October 18) to play some music.

Teie said that he started his theory by looking at how music composed for animals affected human emotions.

"The first test was for cotton-top tamarin monkeys 'cause if I was right about all this, the kind of recipe, I should be able to write some music effective for some other species. And that one turned out to be effective so then we decided to write for something that people had more of and cats, cats were the first choice," he said.

The science of 'Music for Cats' is based on Teie's theory that every species of mammal has an intuitive biological response to sounds present in their early development. For felines this may include suckling or purring and these sounds are recreated in Teie's music.

He hopes that this music can be used in the future to enrich the lives of animals in captivity.

"You know, well we have very many species and we stick them in a square cement room and you know. And they're... I would like to have enrichment for them but I couldn't ge that quite off the ground and so that's when I decided to do this. We tried to get the music out there into the animal world."

David Teie says is pleased with the reception of his music by cats and also by their human owners.

"Many of the cat owners have told me that they find it pleasing for themselves too and so there's a kind of a shared experience of the cats and their cat owners," he said.

It was the "human" response of purchasing the music that has moved the album to Number 1 on the iTunes Classical Music Chart.

Kurt Cobain's Death Gets Another Look

posted 21 Mar 2014, 12:22 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 12:23 ]

EVO - The death of Kurt Cobain continues to develop.

Seattle police detective has found several rolls of undeveloped film from the scene of the Nirvana singer's 1994 death.

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The film shows the scene of Cobain's death from angles previously not seen, and appear to be of better quality than some existing photos.

Officials say there are no new developments, no new twists and it is still ruled a suicide.

The grunge rock hero died at the age 27 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Jackie Chan’s K-Pop Band JJCC Debuts In Seoul

posted 21 Mar 2014, 08:46 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 08:46 ]

A new K-pop boyband JJCC who was cast and trained by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan makes their first appearance on a South Korean television show.

SEOULSOUTH KOREA (MARCH 20, 2014) (CJ E&M) - A new K-pop boyband JJCC (pronounced 'double J-C') who was cast and trained by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan made its debut in Seoul on Thursday (March 20).

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JJCC, which stands for Jackie Chan's Joint Culture, consists of four South Korean members, SimBa,E.co, Eddy and San-Cheong as well as one Chinese-Australian member, Prince Mak, all of whom are in their early 20s.

The boyband made their first appearance on a cable network music show M Countdown on Thursday and showed off the singing and dancing skills they had been working on for four years.

One member said he will try to live up to expectations of 'big brother' Jackie Chan.

"It's fifty-fifty. It raises expectations while increasing a burden. If we're not good, we would bring shame on our 'big brother''s reputation. Anyway, it's already started, so what can I do? I will do my best and make an effort," said member Eddy.

Even though all members have been trained by a Chinese agency, they are confident in succeeding as a Korean pop group.

"Our 'big brother' really likes South Korea, and he has lived here before. He is very familiar with the country. So I think South Korean people would feel neither a sense of distance nor feel offended by us," member E.co said.

Their manager said Jackie Chan's experience and name are bonuses.

"He is praised by Chinese people as a living legend. I think it is an advantage we have when we enter Chinese markets. There does not seem to us to be any great problem," said a marketing team manager of The Jackie Chan Group Korea, Shim Hyun-ki.

The boyband said Chan is like a father figure to them and has let them use his private jet.

Ahead of their debut, JJCC came out on the streets to met fans in Seoul on March 13.

Fans screamed and were enthusiastic about JJCC making appearance to the public.

"I think they will become very popular as soon as they debut. They are super cute, handsome and kind. They're really cool," said 17-year-old South Korean fan, Noh Eun-jung.

JJCC is planning to start attending media events in Hong Kong and Taiwan from next month.

Bieber Makes Surprise Appearance At South By Southwest

posted 12 Mar 2014, 06:22 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2014, 06:22 ]

Justin Bieber makes surprise appearance ahead of South by Southwest festival.

AUSTIN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (MARCH 09, 2014) (OP AND BUFFALO DAVID BITTON) -  Canadian singer Justin Bieber kicked off South by Southwest with a surprise appearance on Sunday night (March 09), ahead of the official opening of the 27th annual music and film festival.

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Fans in the small crowd at a sausage house and beer garden were surprised to see the heartthrob singer come out to sing a couple of his hits. He dedicated his song "As Long As You Love Me" to his "baby," which may be referring to his on and off again girlfriend, Selena Gomez. The event was held by Bieber's manager,Scooter Braun, and was sponsored by Op and Buffalo David Bitton.

It has been a rough year for the 20-year-old singer. A Miami judge has set a May 5 trial date for Bieber, who faces charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license after police say he was caught drag racing in Miami Beach.

Bieber initially resisted arrest, cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, according to police.

He was released from jail after a judge set bail at $2,500. If convicted, Bieber could face six months in jail, although experts say he will likely get off with a lighter sentence for his first offense.

Bieber was charged in February with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto late last year.

The South by Southwest festival runs from March 11-16th.

The Stars Of "Da Vinci's Demons" Call The New Season Expansive And Big

posted 12 Mar 2014, 06:18 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2014, 06:19 ]

The new season of "Da Vinci's Demons" promises to take fans on quest of discovery.

 (STARZ) - The stars of "Da Vinci's Demons" promise the second season of their show will be larger and broader.

"Everyone is on their own journeys. We go to the new world. Lucrezia has to get out of Florence. Everyone is either on a physical or emotional journey this season," said Laura Haddock who portrays Lucrezia Donati.

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"We felt like the first season was kind of a prequel and the second season just kind of kicks the doors off the story. It pays off all the investment that people had in season one. And it's bigger, it's just more expansive. Literally we've opened up a world, we're no longer just in Italy we're all over the place," added actor Tom Rileywho plays Leonardo Da Vinci.

Take a 15th century Italian genius, invent his mysterious youth, throw in some superhero action and you've have a TV series that portrays the man who painted the "Mona Lisa" like he's never been seen before.

Forget the artist seen in his own self-portrait as a wizened, bearded old man. The Leonardo of "Da Vinci's Demons" is a fearless, reckless, swashbuckling 20-something, who sports 21st century hair gel and an impressive six-pack.

Riley revealed how he plays the historical figure without much background to refer to.

"You try to find out as much stuff as you can that is based in truth. And then you try to find those elements that latch on to something that you can recognize from today. So you're own struggle with perfectionism or self-criticism or difficult relationships with your family. All those things that everyone's been through. And that's the stuff he had. He was illegitimate, he couldn't inherit wealth or land so it was incredible that he overcome such limitations and constraints," he explained.

In the show da Vinci is seen as a rising artist in 15th century Florence, already designing flying machines, military equipment, flirting with his models, bedding a mistress of the powerful Medici family and embarking on a quest for the mythical "Book of Leaves."

Riley and Haddock are riding high on the success of the U.S. cable network show.

"I mean it's something you never expect, that's for sure. When we went into it - you were saying that for awhile when you're doing a show down where we shoot it. It feels a little bit like you're just doing it for each other," said Riley.

"It's like a secret," said Haddock.

"And maybe you're going to put on a big play for your family. Your mom will come and watch it. And when you discover it's being sold to however many countries all around the world it's a giant success, it did so well for Starz," said Riley.

"127 moms," added Haddock.

"Yeah, it feels like 127 moms from different nationalities to impress. But it's been very different going back into the second season knowing that there are expectations has been exciting."

The series tells the fictional story of da Vinci's early life. The show, described as a historical fantasy, follows the "untold story" of the original Renaissance Man. His adventures are played out against intrigue and tension between the ruling Medicis in Florence and Pope Sixtus IV in Rome, with plenty of male and plotting, sword-fighting, murder, female nudity and sex.

When asked if they thought the show was too raunchy, both quickly said no.

"I think it's far less raunchy then some shows on TV," said Riley.

However Haddock did admit to being shy when it came to her family watching certain scenes.

"It is so funny because I remember being a kid and the telly being on and my parents saying to me, 'right, up to bed now, you're not watching this. This is, you know, your mom and dad's time to watch the telly because there might have been a scene in the show that they didn't want their kids to watch. Now I'm saying to them, 'right, up to bed, you don't want to watch this episode," she said with a laugh.

Throughout season two da Vinci's quest to find The Book of Leaves, which is a book on the other side of the world that may or may not exist, continues.

"It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And when trigonometry is a reality to him but to everyone else it's impossible. He just goes, 'no, you deal with that I've got the most ridiculous thing I've got to work out.' So it keeps driving him. And the question is if he every finds it or found it or if he finds it in season two what that would do to him," he told Reuters.

The TV series is co-produced with a unit of BBC Worldwide Productions and filmed mostly among the ancient castles of Wales and is also broadcasted in 125 countries.

The new season will premiere on Starz March 22 at 9pm ET/PT.

Taylor Swift Tops Billboard List Of Top Music Earners

posted 12 Mar 2014, 06:14 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2014, 06:15 ]

Taylor Swift earned nearly $40 million dollars in 2013, topping Billboard's list of music earners.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES  (UNRESTRICTED POOL) -  Billboard has released its list of top earners in music for 2013, with country crossover star Taylor Swift at the top with nearly $40 million dollars (USD) in revenue.

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The "Red" singer made a total of $39,699,575.60 last year, according to the music magazine known for its song charts, and earned her keep with a combination of album sales and concert touring revenue, as well as advertising sponsorships with Keds, Elizabeth Arden and Diet Coke.

Following Swift is another country star, Kenny Chesney, who made $33 million dollars in 2013, thanks to his chart-topping album "Life on a Rock," and his wildly popular tour, No Shoes Nation.

Justin Timberlake was close behind with a combined total of $31.5 million, thanks to his best-selling album "The 20/20 Experience," and the album's extensive world tour.

Jon Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones also raked it in on the tour circuit, earning $29.5 million and $26 million, respectively.

Reigning pop star Beyonce made 24.5 million in 2013, from a jam-packed year featuring her performing at both the inauguration of U.S. president Barack Obamaand the Super Bowl Halftime Show, a "secret" album release on iTunes, and the 132-date Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

The other earners in the top ten of the 40-artist list include Pop Band Maroon 5 and country star Luke Bryan, who both earned $22 million, Pink, who earned $20 million, and Fleetwood Mac, which earned $19 million with its 2013 world tour, and its first new studio material in a decade, "Extended Play."

Muppets And Stars Alike Hit The Red Carpet For "Muppets Most Wanted" Premiere

posted 12 Mar 2014, 06:11 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2014, 06:11 ]

Stars Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey hit the red carpet alongside their furry co-stars, the Muppets, at the Hollywood premiere for the "Muppets Most Wanted."

 HOLLYWOODCALIFORNIAUNITED STATES (MARCH 11, 2014) (REUTERS) - Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and more hit the red carpet on Tuesday (March 11), along with their timeless co-stars the Muppets at the Hollywood premiere of their latest movie, "Muppets Most Wanted."

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The Muppets were the first to arrive inside a pair of SUVs, leaning out the windows to talk to the press. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy shared one window, waving to fans, while newcomer Constantine - Kermit's villainous look-a-like - leaned out the back window.

Their human co-stars, Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais arrived a little later, both agreeing that the Muppets were incredible to work with.

"It's the best, everyone is a genius, I mean you spend everyday and shoot scenes with Kermit the Frog, it's the best," Fey said.

British comedian Ricky Gervais took it a step further, saying that for the film's main villain, Constantine, he would do absolutely anything.

"I'd do anything with a frog, anything you could, I'd go to war, I'd go 'okay you're going with a frog," I'd go, 'oh, not so bad.' If you've got an evil Russian frog next to you I could do anything," Gervais said.

Gervais himself plays a 'bad guy' in the film - "Badguy" being his character's last name - and said that he wasn't so much a villain as just a little morally slippery.

"I'm not like a super villain, Constantine is more evil than me, and off screen we bounded as well over our mutual dislike of the pig, she's a nightmare," Gervais said.

The film begins with the entire Muppets gang going on a world tour, selling out packed theaters for their show, but they quickly become embroiled in an international crime capper headed by Constantine, who happens to look exactly like Kermit the Frog.

"Muppets Most Wanted" will hit theaters in the U.S. on March 21.

Obama Takes Health Plan Pitch To Edgy Comedy Show

posted 12 Mar 2014, 06:03 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2014, 06:04 ]

President Barack Obama makes appearance on "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis.

 FUNNYORDIE.COM -  President Barack Obama took his quest to sign young people up for health insurance to a comedy website on Tuesday (March 11), where he traded insults with host Zach Galifianakis while plugging his signature Obamacare health program.

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Obama sat for an interview on "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," on the Funny or Die comedy website. The actor, who starred in "The Hangover" films, is known for his cringe-inducing banter on the program.

Obama got the chance to plug his signature health care program, but not until he'd been subjected to questions like "What is it like to be the last black president?" and "What should be done about North Ikea?"

The administration is stepping up efforts to increase youth participation in Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

Youth participation is crucial to the success of the program, but U.S. government data released in February showed the segment of adults aged 18-34 rose only slightly by the end of January to 25 percent of total enrollment in private Obamacare plans.

That is well below the 38 percent that administration officials have talked about achieving to give insurers a strong mix of healthier members, whose premium payments help offset the cost of older, sicker policy holders.

Obama's crusade to draw in young people has had help from singers Lady Gaga and John Legend, as well as sports celebrities including former basketball star Magic Johnson.

On "Between Two Ferns," host Galifianakis did not spare Obama from his trademark awkwardness, calling him a nerd and asking him if he's going to put his presidential library in his "home country" of Kenya.

When Obama was finally allowed to make his pitch about the benefits of signing up for health insurance, Galifianakis sighed, looked at his watch and said, "Is this what they mean by drones?"

Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa Celebrates 70th Birthday On Stage In London

posted 7 Mar 2014, 03:06 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Mar 2014, 03:06 ]

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (REUTERS) -  Soprano Kiri te Kanawa, one of the world's great prima donnas, celebrates her 70th birthday on stage at what she calls her "home house", singing at the Royal Opera in London in a production of Donizetti's comic opera "La Fille du Regiment".

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A Look At This Year's Oscar Winning Films, Performances

posted 3 Mar 2014, 06:14 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 3 Mar 2014, 06:15 ]

"12 Years a Slave" makes history with best picture Oscar.

(FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES) -  The slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday (March 02), making history as the first movie from a black director to win the film industry's highest honor in 86 years of the Oscars.

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British director Steve McQueen's unflinching portrayal of pre-Civil War American slavery won two other Oscars, including best supporting actress for newcomerLupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free man tricked and sold into slavery in Louisiana.

"12 Years a Slave," prevailed over space thriller "Gravity" from Mexican filmmakerAlfonso Cuaron, which nevertheless racked up the most Oscars of the night with seven, including the best director honor for Cuaron, a first for a Latin American director.

The film starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut lost in space swept the technical awards like visual effects and cinematography, a reward for its groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness.

It was a good night for the scrappy, low-budget film "Dallas Buyers Club," a biopic of an early AIDS activist two decades in the making that won three Oscars, including the two male acting awards.

Matthew McConaughey, in a validation of a remarkable career turnaround, won best actor for his portrayal of the homophobe turned AIDS victim turned treatment crusader Ron Woodroof, a role for which he lost 50 pounds (23 kg).

His co-star, Jared Leto, won best supporting actor for his role as Woodroof's unlikely business sidekick, the transgender woman Rayon, for which he also slimmed down drastically.

Australia's Cate Blanchett won the best actress Oscar for her acclaimed role as the socialite unhinged by her husband's financial crimes in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine."

The tale of Nordic princesses, "Frozen," won best animated film, a first for DisneyAnimation Studios since the category was introduced in 2002, and its girl-power anthem "Let It Go" won best original song.

For best foreign language film, Italy took its 11th Oscar in that category with "The Great Beauty," a visually stunning film about life in Rome and a writer in crisis.

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