Sunday, August 24, 2008

Madonna Kicks Off World Tour in Knee-High Boots

Photo by: Kevin Mazur / WireImage
Madonna Kicks Off World Tour in Knee-High Boots

Sitting on a diamante "M" throne in a fringed black leotard and over-the-knee leather boots, Madonna kicked off her Sticky and Sweet tour Saturday night at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in Wales, opening with "Candy Shop."

The 40,000-strong audience was in for a night of treats, including onscreen appearances by Kanye West, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, who dueted on "4 Minutes."

The image of rapper West encircled the stage for "Beat Goes On" as fans screamed and Madonna cruised through on a white vintage convertible car.

Spears made her virtual guest spot during "Human Nature," writhing while trapped in an elevator as Madonna played the guitar. The popster departed with her trademark line "It's Britney B–!"

Madonna sưitched themes multiple times, going sporty for "Into the Groove" in diamante-encrusted shorts and a hoodie, and invoking the Far East for a segment that had her in a cage with computer-generated water gushing around it. "La Isla Bonita" turned the stage into a Mediterranean street party with Greek dancing and a flamenco solo performance.

While fans went wild, husband Guy Ritchie was lending support backstage, according to the singer's rep, who also said Madonna had spent the day rehearsing. "She's been putting the finishing touches to some of the dance routines today, in a good way, she's a perfectionist!"

The 50-year-old singer pulled out all the stops, even using a video interlude to send a political message with images of peace campaigners, Al Gore, Bono and Barack Obama mixed with scenes of war-torn continents and poverty.

Religious messages flashed on the screens behind her for a remixed house version of "Like a Prayer," which was met with mass cheers.

At one point the singer shouted to the crowd, "This is the bit where I take requests," and started singing "Express Yourself" – then changed her mind. "F– that s–. I choose the songs."

After two hours, Madonna left the stage as the screen flashed "Game Over."

The singer heads back to London before traveling to France to continue the tour around Europe before arriving in New Jersey on Oct. 4.
by People.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Matt Damon and His Wife Welcome a Girl

Matt and Luciana Damon Photo by: Jeff Christensen / AP
Matt Damon and His Wife Welcome a Girl

It's another girl for Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana, his rep tells PEOPLE.

"Matt and Lucy Damon had a baby girl named Gia Zavala on Wednesday, Aug. 20th. Everyone's doing great," Damon's rep, Jennifer Allen, tells PEOPLE. "She is a healthy baby girl."

The newest addition is the third little girl in the Damon household, joining big sisters Isabella, 2, and Alexia, 10.

Damon recently joked about living with so many females, telling USA Today from his home in Miami, "I'm so outnumbered down here, it's crazy."

Damon, 37, and Luciana, 32, met in Miami Beach in 2003 while he was filming the comedy Stuck on You. They married in December 2005 at City Hall in Manhattan.

Damon is a "phenomenal" father, his close pal George Clooney told PEOPLE in 2007. "He absolutely adores those kids. He's doing it really well."

Damon, PEOPLE's reigning Sexiest Man Alive, is currently preparing for re-shoots on his thriller Green Zone. But after that, the actor will enjoy some down time with his growing brood.

"[I'm] taking the rest of the year off," he told USA Today. "I'm just hanging out with my family."

by People.

Ricky Martin Welcomes Twin Boys

Photo by: Seth Browarnik / WireImage
Ricky Martin Welcomes Twin Boys | Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin is a father to twin boys born via a surrogate, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

"In recent weeks, Ricky Martin became a proud father by the birth of twin sons," his rep tells PEOPLE.

"The children, delivered via gestational surrogacy, are healthy and already under Ricky's full-time care," the rep said in a statement. "Ricky is elated to begin this new chapter in his life as a parent and will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children."

The boys' names and the location of their birth have not been released.

The "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer, 36, is a longtime supporter of children's causes around the globe through his Ricky Martin Foundation.

by People.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Malaysia asks Avril Lavigne to postpone concert

Avril Lavigne of Canada performs on stage during her concert ...
by Reuteurs

Malaysia's government has told promoters of a concert by Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne to postpone the show because it could mar the country's independence day celebrations, an official said on Wednesday.

The decision came after the opposition Islamic party, Parti se-Islam Malaysia, objected to the August 29 concert in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, saying that Malaysia, which is predominantly Muslim, should not ape Western values and cultures.

Although Malaysia is a moderate Muslim country with sizable non-Muslim minorities, conservative groups often frown upon departures from strict interpretations of the Koran.

A culture ministry official said the show's promoters must find another slot for Lavigne.

"We did not reject the concert. We asked them to find another date as the original date is so close to the independence day," the official said. "That's the only reason."

A spokesman for the concert's organizers said that more than half the tickets had already been sold. "As far as we are concerned, the show is still on," he said.

Malaysia marks its 51st year of independence from Britain on August 31.

In October, U.S. R&B star Beyonce Knowles axed her debut concert in Malaysia in protest of the country's ultra-strict dress code and over fears of a Muslim outcry over her show.

But a year ago, U.S. singer Gwen Stefani performed in Malaysia despite calls from Muslim students to cancel the concert because they deemed it too obscene.

by Reuters/Nielsen

Monday, August 18, 2008

Interview: Chelsie Hightower of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Latin ballroom dancer Chelsie Hightower basically did as well as anybody could expect to on So You Think You Can Dance - except for the fact that she didn't win. However, she never landed in the bottom groups and she never had to dance for her life. She formed a strong fan base early on, who voted for her and took her all the way to Top 6. On last night's live elimination episode, she was sent packing, along with her original partner, Mark Kanemura. They didn't head home, though. The two got right to work, rehearsing for next week's finale and soon, she'll start rehearsing for the tour.

Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV, and today I'm talking to Chelsie from So You Think You Can Dance. So it must have been pretty crazy last night to get eliminated, because you never really had to dance for your life. Were you surprised how well you did this season?

Oh yeah, definitely. You go into this competition expecting to have numerous bad nights and numerous times you have to dance for your life, so I was really very, very blessed and excited that I didn't have to, because I think I'd freak out.

What was the hardest style of dance for you to learn as a ballroom dancer?

I think it was hip-hop, just because it was so different than ballroom. I felt actually more grounded and more stable in my ballroom stuff than I did trying to do hip-hop. It was kind of [blank] and it was opposite, but just the way it felt totally different and the opposite of what ballroom is. I think that was the hardest for me.

When you and Twitch danced the mambo, they talked a lot about the counting during the number. Was that very difficult for him to pick up?

Yeah, it was difficult for both of us. We were probably sitting in the rehearsal room for half an hour just trying to figure out the counts for that dance. I'm a ballroom dancer, and I couldn't pick up those counts. It was really difficult. Twitch did a really, really good job in finding that.

Do you have a favorite routine that you got to perform this season?

I think my favorite dance was the jazz, because it was really no stress, and it was really just being ourselves and just having fun. I think that was our favorite to perform, and then I really liked "Bleeding Love" also.

Mark also said that the jazz routine was his favorite. How was he to work with as a partner? You two seemed to get along really well.

Mark was great. He kind of put up with me. Sometimes I can get kind of [blank], and he put up with me really well. We really bonded, we really clicked really well, and yeah, we had fun together.

Did any of the judges have a chance to talk to you after you were eliminated last night?

No, we didn't get to talk to any of them.

Has it been difficult to be separated from your friends and your family for this long?

The first couple weeks it's a little bit difficult, but once you get into the groove of things and you're so focused on what you're doing, you really don't have a lot of time to think about how much you miss other people and whatnot. It got a lot easier after a while.

Are you excited to get out on tour and travel the country?

I am for sure, yeah.

I know you have a lot of fans. Is there anything that you want to say to them?

Thanks for all the support, and always being there to vote and whatnot.

Is there anything that you're going to miss the most about being on So You Think You Can Dance?

I'll miss all the people, definitely. I'll miss seeing all the people, and I'll miss performing on the stage, and just learning new things, learning new dances, and just pretty much the whole [blank] for sure.

Do you have any ideas about what you want to do once the tour is over and you can do your own thing?

I kind of want to perform, so wherever that takes me. I want to perform on stage.

Thanks a lot, Chelsie. I really appreciate it.

No problem.

by BuddyTV.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Interview: Mark Kanemura of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

He may not necessarily think so but Mark Kanemura was quite the underestimated dancer this season on So You Think You Can Dance. He didn't have a built in fan base from last season the way Twitch did. He didn't have a big name choreographer backing him the way Will did. He didn't start off this season with memorable routines the way Josh did. Yet, Mark brought something to the table that kept him alive through much of this competition: he was unique. His individuality was a quality his fans appreciated and they catapulted him all the way to Top 6 before he was eliminated on last night's episode. Today, he spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview about the tour, his partner, and living in a bubble for the last few months.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and today I’m talking to Mark from So You Think You Can Dance. Can you tell me a little bit about your dance background and how you ended up where you are today?

I started in musical theater actually. My voice started to change so I got really uncomfortable singing, so I got more into dancing. I went to this performing arts school and I studied modern and ballet and jazz and tap and hip-hop there. From then I’ve just been training and whatnot. One of my teachers actually gave me the opportunity to start choreographing and whatnot, and I think when I started choreographing I started to experiment more. I think that’s kind of how I got into my weird self.

Was this your first time trying out for So You Think You Can Dance?

It was, yeah, it was.

What was the experience like for you from the beginning through Vegas? Was it very stressful?

Yeah, it was stressful. From the very beginning it was a lot harder mentally than it was physically, just because there’s so much going on as far as there’s so much -- like, from the beginning there was so many people at the audition. You have to constantly be telling yourself that you can do this and not hyping yourself self or anything, or stressing yourself out.

Is there a particular style of dance that was the hardest for you to master this season?

All of the ballroom stuff was really, really hard for me. All of it is such a foreign language. You think it would be really simple or anything, but was all really, really, really difficult. I know particularly the country two-step was probably the worst and the hardest dance style that I had to do.

You got to work a lot with Chelsie this season, how was she as a partner?

It was awesome, Chelsie was super, super, super awesome. The cool thing about working with her was that I think she was like the last person that I would have guessed that I would have ended up with, but I think we really, really found a groove as far as working with each other and I think we also developed a very brother sister type relationship, which is awesome.

Is there a dance that the two of you did that you hope ends up on the tour this year?

I really, really enjoyed the jazz number that we did with Mandy Moore, I think we both had a lot of fun on that one. Just because there wasn’t a lot character-wise, there wasn’t a lot to it, so we could just have fun with it and really dance and whatnot. That was really, really fun for me to be with her.

Last week when you were safe you looked so surprised -- you did, it was such a good reaction! Do you think that people underestimated you this season?

I’m not sure, I’m not sure if people underestimated me or not. Yeah, I’m not too sure -- how do I explain it. I didn’t know a lot that was going on outside of the little bubble that we’re in, just because we’re so busy and whatnot. It was more of a personal thing that I really wanted to overcome the obstacles that they were putting in my way and whatnot.

Are you satisfied with the experience that you had on So You Think You Can Dance?

I am more than satisfied, way, way, way more than satisfied. Just with everything that we’ve had to overcome and the challenges that we’ve been through, I kind of feel like in my own sense like I won, so it’s all good.

What are you most looking forward to about going out on tour, because it’s coming up pretty soon?

Oh my gosh, I know. I think I’m excited about visiting all these placed and I’m also really, really exciting about meeting all the people that supported this show and supported me on this journey and everything, I’m really, really excited about that.

Well, I’m buying my tickets tomorrow, so I hope that when the tour comes through my town we’re going to get to meet up and say hi.

Fun, that would be awesome, that would be awesome.

Good luck Mark, thanks so much for your time, I appreciate it.

Of course, of course, you’re welcome.

by BuddyTV

Thousands Join Family, Friends at Bernie Mac Memorial

Bernie Mac Getty

Family, friends and thousands of fans gathered at Chicago's House of Hope church on Saturday to attend the public memorial for actor-comedian Bernei Mac, who died one week ago due to complications from pneumonia. He was 50.

The star-studded tribute featured emotional speeches from comedian Chris Rock, Rev. Jesse Jackson and actor Samuel Jackson, Mac's costar in the upcoming flick Soul Men.

Mac's fellow Original Kings of Comedy—Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey and DL Hughley—sat next to each other, breaking down in tears during the service. When they took the stage, however, they mixed their tears of sadness with laughter as they remembered the Mac Man.

"This dude is a very popular guy," said Cedric, according to the Chicago Tribune. "You know y'all were like, 'Let me get four tickets to the funeral!' He's still the hottest ticket in town."

Hughley joked about Mac's well-known taste in clothes. "Bernie would wear colors that crayon hadn't even invented," he said.

Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Barack Obama and actor Andy Garcia (Mac's Ocean's 11 costar) sent written condolences, while the Chicago White Sox, Mac's home team, sent his wife of 30 years, Rhonda, a jersey with his name on it.

Also honored at the memorial was another of Mac's Soul Men costars, Isaac Hayes, who died one day after Bernie, at the age of 65. A montage of photos and sound clips from Mac's life and career were set to some of Hayes' best-known songs.

Loyal fans arrived by caravans or chartered buses, waiting hours in line for a spot in the 10,000-seat church; some even camped out overnight. Inside the church, the city's mayor, Richard Daley, addressed the large crowd, hailing Mac as a man devoted to making Chicago a safer place.

"He wanted to do something personally to get children away from the life of violence," said Daley. "He had a heart and passion...That's why as the king of comedy, he never lost his soul in Chicago."

by E!

John on Breakup with Jen: There Was No Lying, No Cheating

Photo by: Tzirel Kaminetzky; Lester Cohen / WireImage

John on Breakup with Jen: There Was No Lying, No Cheating
Though John Mayer and Jen Aniston were decidedly mum about their romance, the singer is opening up about their breakup.

"There's no lying, there's no cheating, there's no nothing," Mayer told reporters about his split with Aniston after working out at an Equinox Gym in New York's SoHo neighborhood.

If anything Mayer had only praise for his ex, saying: "Jennifer Aniston is the smartest, most sophisticated person I think I have ever met."

So what went wrong? "People are different, people have different chemistry," said Mayer, who appeared emotional, nervous and sad. "I ended a relationship to be alone, because I don't want to waste somebody's time if something's not right."

Sources confirmed that the duo, whose whirlwind romance began in April, mutually decided to split earlier this week.

Since the breakup, Aniston and Mayer have settled into their separate lives on different sides of the country.
by People.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Britney, Jonas Brothers, PCD Up for VMA Video of the Year

Photo by: Maury Phillips / WireImage, Scott Gries / Getty
Britney, Jonas Brothers Up for VMA Video of the Year | Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers

Britney Spears may have had a tough time at last year's Video Music Awards, but she'll have a chance to redeem herself this year.

She is up for the show's top honor – video of the year – for "Piece of Me." The video was also nominated by the singer's fans for best pop video and best female video.

Other nominees in the category include the Jonas Brothers for "Burnin Up," Chris Brown's "Forever," the Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up," and the Ting Tings' "Shut Up and Let Me Go."

The nominees for best rock video were also announced: Fall Out Boys' "Beat It," Paramore's "Crush, Crush, Crush," Slipknot's "Psychosocial," Lincoln Park's "Shadow of the Day," and Foo Fighters' "The Pretender."

Should Spears win, this will be her first Moonman; the pop star has been nominated 16 times, but has never walked away with an award.

Since Spears filmed a promo for the awards with host Russell Brand, MTV has confirmed there is a possibility she will appear at the awards, in one way or another – but not whether she will perform. Last year, Spears delivered a universally panned performance of her song "Gimme More" at the VMAs.

The VMAs air live from Los Angeles on Sept. 7. on MTV.
by People

Bernie Mac's Wife: 'I Knew This Could Be It'

Photo by: Ed Geller / Globe
Bernie Mac's Wife: 'I Knew This Could Be It' | Bernie Mac

When Bernie Mac was admitted last month into a Chicago hospital with a fever and trouble breathing, his wife, Rhonda, thought he'd get treatment and would be home in a week. But after no signs of improvement, she faced her biggest fear.

"He didn't look good to me and I knew this could be it," Rhonda, his wife of 30 years, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

The 50-year-old comedian – who suffered from sarcoidosis, an immune system disorder that can affect the lungs – died Aug. 9 of complications due to pneumonia.

The couple had their last exchange a day before his death, as Rhonda stood vigil by his bedside. "I said, 'Hey Bernard. How are you?' and I kissed his forehead," she recalls. "He shrugged his shoulders, like 'I'm tired' and I said, 'I know you're tired.' Later on that night, it took a turn for the worse."

Rhonda and the couple's daughter, Je'Niece, 30, were ushered into a waiting room, where they received the grim news. "[The doctor] came in and I said, 'He's gone, isn't he?' and she said 'yes,' " Rhonda recalls.

The family now prepares for Mac's memorial service, to be held at noon Saturday, Aug. 16 at the 10,000-seat House of Hope in Chicago. His wife says she's comforted by the support of her family and memories of the man she met when she was a 16-year-old junior and he was a 17-year-old senior at Chicago Vocational High School. She was immediately charmed by his humor.

Memories of Courtship

"He said, 'You never seen a black man as pretty as me.' And I said, 'No, I sure haven't.' And he said, 'Girl, you know I'm so beautiful,'" she remembers.

A few months later, on Valentine's Day, he asked her to come to his shop class so he could give her something. When she got there, "I said, 'What do you have for me?' And he kissed me. That was our first kiss." The couple wed in 1977 when both were 19-years-old. Daughter Je'Niece was born the following year.

Now facing her life without Mac, Rhonda says her devastation "comes in waves," adding she still feels her husband's presence. The day after his death, she listened to the song "Thoughts and Wishes" by Hamilton Bohannon, a tune the couple considered "our song," Rhonda says.

"I was singing it and a chill just came over me and I knew it was him," she said. "I get through because I know he's in a better place now."

by People.

Monday, August 11, 2008

VIDEO: Britney's VMAs Promotional Spot

You can believe your eyes – that's really Britney Spears joking with MTV's Video Music Awards host Russell Brand in new ads for the upcoming show.

"You are Britney Spears, right? I'm not dreaming this am I," asks the British comedian in the ad, which also includes a 9,000-lb. elephant in the background.

"No, this is real," Spears assures the show's host – and pinches him to prove it.

In the second spot, Brand, who is well known in the U.K. but not in the U.S., presses Spears to remember his full name – which she doesn't.

"You will remember that name because I think pretty soon it's going to be your surname," he quips. "Britney Brand."

While MTV cannot confirm whether Spears will appear on the show airing on Sept. 7, Spears's promo appearance is a promising sign. The singer, who has been nominated 17 times, has yet to walk away with a win and is nominated for two this year. She is up for best female video and best pop video.
by People

The Force Is With Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Beware, Lord Vader.

The Dark Knight brought its overall domestic gross to $441.5 million today, per Exhibitor Relations estimates, moving the film to third among the all-time box office champs, and leaving it perhaps only a week away from trumping Star Wars for second place.

The Batman movie's Friday-Sunday take of $26 million gave the blockbuster its fourth-straight weekend box office win—a feat not accomplished since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ruled in 2003-04.

Assuming the studio estimates hold, the weekend gross moved Dark Knight up four spots on the all-time list, as the film bypassed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($423 million), Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace ($431 million), E.T. ($435 million) and Shrek 2 ($441.2 million).

If The Dark Knight maintains its current pace, the movie should have enough momentum to overtake the original Star Wars ($461 million, including rereleases) by the end of next weekend.

After Star Wars, the next box office challenge for The Dark Knight will be to break $500 million.

After that, the next box office challenge will be to break Titanic ($601 million).

And after that, it can rest.

Drilling down through the box office standings:

  • Pineapple Express ($22.4 million) bowed in second. After five days, the Seth Rogen-James Franco action-comedy, which opened Wednesday, has taken in $40.5 million against a reported $27 million budget. True, the Rogen-penned Superbad got off to an even faster start ($43.3 million in its first five days last August). But, also true, the Superbad guys didn't have to tangle with the Batman.
  • In one of the sadder tales of the summer, The X-Files: I Want to Believe ($1.2 million, per Box Office Mojo) disappeared from the Top 10 after just a two-weekend stay. To date, the $35 million movie has failed to gross even $20 million overall, and managed to sell fewer tickets than Space Chimps ($1.7 million; $25.4 million).
  • Like the new X-Files movie, Space Chimps fell out of the Top 10. Unlike the new X-Files movie, Space Chimps lasted there three weekends.
  • In its second weekend, business for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (third place, $16.1 million; $70.7 million overall) plunged 60 percent.
  • Now in its fourth weekend, Mamma Mia! (sixth place, $8.1 million; $104 million overall) hasn't seen weekend-to-weekend business dip even 40 percent.
  • Will Farren's and John C. Reilly's Step Brothers (fifth place, $8.9 million; $80.9 million) is also sticking around.
  • Let it be noted: The generally liked The Incredible Hulk ($287,000; $133.8 million overall, per Box Office Mojo) has made more money than the widely scorned Hulk ($132.2 million). Until you add in the foreign grosses.
  • The Philip Roth-spawned drama Elegy, starring Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz, was, screen for screen, the biggest hit of the weekend, taking in $102,441 at six theaters.

Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. The Dark Knight, $26 million
  2. Pineapple Express, $22.4 million
  3. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, $16.1 million
  4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, $10.8 million
  5. Step Brothers, $8.9 million
  6. Mamma Mia!, $8.1 million
  7. Journey to the Center of the Earth, $4.9 million
  8. Hancock, $3.3 million
  9. Swing Vote, $3.1 million
  10. WALL-E, $3 million
by E!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bernie Mac's Death: What Happened?

Photo by: Robert Pitts / Landov
Bernie Mac's Death: What Happened?

Bernie Mac’s wife and daughter were with him until the very end, says the late comic's sister-in-law in a personal and touching interview with PEOPLE that took place Saturday.

Speaking of a heartbreaking moment between her younger sister, Rhonda, and the 50-year-old actor-comedian – who succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Chicago hospital at 2 a.m. Saturday – Mary Ann Grossett says that the night before Mac died, "He struggled for his life. He couldn't breathe.

"He opened his eyes on his own and looked at Rhonda. She called his name, and he opened his eyes and nodded to her. She smiled at him and told him, 'Don't leave me … 'I'm waiting for you to come back.' He shrugged his shoulders, and she said that's when she knew he was tired. He signaled to her that his body was tired."

Rhonda, Mac’s wife since 1977, and their 30-year-old daughter, Je'Niece, 30, were with him when he died. "[The doctors] were working on him," says Grossett. "They tried to resuscitate him two times. One time he came back for about an hour. Then he went into cardiac arrest the second time."

Prior to that, the couple had last communicated on July 31. "He told his wife [non-verbally] that he could breathe on his own, and he wanted the ventilator out. He motioned that he wanted it out," says Grossett.

Lung Disease Contributed

The sister-in-law says Mac's inflammatory lung disease contributed to his death. "He had sarcoidosis, but it was in remission," she says. "But because he had it, his immune system was compromised. He had an infection ... He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that's where the pneumonia came from."

She reveals that Mac – having trouble breathing and running a fever – was actually hospitalized on July 24, eight days before the date given for his admittance. The actor was diagnosed with pneumonia and immediately placed on a ventilator.

"He was critically ill when he was in the hospital," says Gossett. "He was in intensive care the whole time."

She adds that doctors kept the star sedated, although he was conscious at times and he contracted a second strain of pneumonia while in the hospital.

His Wife's Reaction

Of her widowed sibling (like Mac, Rhonda is 50), Grossett says, "She’s devastated. However, she's at peace about his transition because of her faith in God. Her faith is what is sustaining her."

She says of the couple's enduring union, "They had 30 years of marriage. That's unprecedented in today's time, particularly for celebrities. That brings joy to her. They loved each other and respected each other on a daily basis. She was by his side to the very end."

Recalling the couple's early years, when they were still in their teens, Grossett says, "When they started dating, he said, 'Girl, you better come on board this train, because I'm going to be rich.' And her response was, 'Okay,' and they were married. That's how he charmed her, with his sense of humor."

She adds, "When they got married they were kids. He was 20 and she was 19. They both grew up together, and they both matured in this marriage.

'She's Going to Miss Him Dearly'

"What she will treasure the most is the fact that she was his wife for 30 years – and not only was she his wife, but she was his best friend. She's going to miss him dearly."

Mac’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15, at an undisclosed location. The family requests that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.

by People.

Friends and Costars Remember Bernie Mac

Photo by: Daniele Venturelli / WireImage; Scott Gries / Getty; Brian Zak / Sipa Press

Friends and Costars Remember Bernie Mac | Bernie Mac, Brad Pitt, George Clooney
In the wake of the untimely death of Bernie Mac Saturday morning at age 50, fellow entertainers fondly remember the standup comic and actor as a quintessential funnyman – and a warm guy.

George Clooney, who starred with Mac in 2001's casino caper Ocean's Eleven and its two sequels, says, "The world just got a little less funny. He will be missed dearly."

Said fellow Ocean's colleague Brad Pitt, "I lament the loss of a ferociously funny and hardcore family man. My thoughts are with Rhonda and their family. Bernie Mac, you are already missed."

Mac, who died at Chicago hospital of complications from pneumonia, will be seen this fall in the comedy feature Soul Men opposite pal Samuel L. Jackson, who says, "It goes without saying that Bernie was one of the preeminent comedians of our generation."

The actor added, "He was also an attentive husband, a great father and loving grandfather. I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac, and I'm honored to have finally co-starred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement.

"My sincere prayer is that his family will be comforted by the warmth of love from all of us who knew and respected this man."

George Lopez, Luke Wilson Remember

To fellow comedian George Lopez, "He was one of those comics that was unique because of his approach, his look, his voice [and] the content of his material."

Admitting that at times Mac's material might have sounded a little rough, especially to the ears of younger people, Lopez, during the press junket for Henry Poole Is Here, told PEOPLE, "Bernie fell into that category of people who were inherently different like when you saw them, you knew they were different and when they spoke, you knew they were different ."

Admiring Mac's gifts, Lopez also said, "As comics, we're all brothers. and I’ll miss him a lot. He was a good friend of mine."

Henry Poole star Luke Wilson, Mac's costar in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, told PEOPLE, "He couldn't have been a nicer guy. He just seemed like a real family man and just a nice guy on the set, just very kind of normal guy."

Actress-comedienne Niecy Nash, who played Mac's sister on The Bernie Mac Show, recalls his knack for making fellow actors feel at home on the set.

"When I showed up to work, he said something to me that had never been said to me on a set before," she says. "He said, 'Baby girl, the script here is not the Bible. Do you, and I'll follow. I got mine, you get yours.' When he said that, I knew everything was going to be all right. I was happy to have the freedom to make up some funny with him. It was simply delicious."

Adds Nash, "My working experiences with Bernie were so amazing, that from that point on, I wouldn't have cared if he called me in the middle of the night to come and be in a scene where I didn't have anything to do but sit in the background and eat cereal. I would've just done it because I loved him like that."

by People

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So Joshua Can Dance

Joshua Allen Photos

He had the build of a football player and began with the skills of a street dancer.

But in the end it was untrained teenager Joshua Allen, 19, who won the fourth season finale of "So You Think You Can Dance" Thursday. He's the first from a hip-hop background to win the show, though he proved to have kind the kind of versitility and athleticism that recalled Gene Kelly.

After "nearly 60 million votes," according to host Kat Deeley, the Ft. Worth, Texas, native edged out another untrained dancer in Twitch Boss, 24, of Montgomery, Ala. for the $100,000 prize, the title of "America's favorite dancer" and a part in the upcoming film, "Step It Up 3-D."

A nearly speechless Allen, whose most recent dance partner, Katee Shean, was also in the top four, finally said amid the confetti drop: "Never let anybody tell you can't do anything. No matter what you do, you can always go far. the sky is the limit. Don't let amybody tell you can't do anything. Because God is the control. And with God you can do anything."

The two 20-year-old women finalists in the final four were picked off first: Spitfire Courtney Galiano of New York first and then Shean of San Jose, who was surprised with a first time prize of $50,000 as last remaining woman .

It capped a fairly entertaining two-hour finale for a fairly entertaining summer series.

Along with marquee performances form the Jonas Brothers and Cirque So-leil Think You Can Dance, it brought back the Top 20 together and apart, and a series of favorite dances from the season as named by the expanded panel of choreographers sitting on the judges' panel.

Judges got to hoof it as well, with Mary Murphy managing not to scream during her routine and toothy producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe out among the young Debbie Allen Dance Academy of tap dancers in the show's most superfluous dance.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

David Archuleta Wants the "Miley Touch"

David Archuleta, American Idol: Season 7

David Archuleta's camp knows what works.

E! News has exclusively learned that the 17-year-old crooner is working on songs for his debut album with Rock Mafia Records, the Santa Monica-based tune factory behind the Miley Cyrus hits "7 Things" and "See You Again."

A source tells us that Jeff Archuleta, the little one's infamous father-manager (dadager, perhaps?), recently met with Rock Mafia producers Antonia Armato and Tim James, who cowrote and coproduced eight of the tracks on Cyrus' latest album, Breakout. They have also worked with Mariah Carey, Vanessa Hudgens and Aly & AJ.

Father and son came away from the powwow convinced that they should proceed "in that direction," our insider said. "They want a Miley touch to the album."

Well, Archuleta will certainly need a wealth of infectious pop to equal his Disney-driven forebear, especially now that his label has orchestrated a plan to have his freshman effort drop the same day as American Idol winner David Cook's debut, sometime in November.

Over the next two weeks, David A. will record at least two Rock Mafia-sanctioned songs that 19 Recordings and RCA Records are hoping could turn into hit singles, the source said.

"David knows he needs to have a big radio hit, and Miley's producers are the closest thing he can get to a guarantee."

Robert Downey Jr. Checks His Ego for Iron Man 2

Iron Man

Before Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. was a punch line for any celebrity rehab story. Now he's considered the mastermind of the greatest comic-book movie ever. Well, for a couple months until The Dark Knight opened.

Going into Iron Man 2, Downey is playing the humble card. "I also have to let go, because there's an aspect, particularly after the success of things, I noticed my narcissism got dialed up," said Downey while promoting his latest film, Tropic Thunder.

"Suddenly, for a minute, I felt like everyone needed to take a knee and listen to what I had to say, because I f--kin' made it, and my way works and all this stuff. Then I go home and I go, 'Oh my God, what's happening to me? I gotta get grounded here.' "

Downey got Tropic cowriter and actor Justin Theroux the gig writing Iron Man 2. Theroux is just crawling out from under the pile of Iron Man comics as we speak.

"I've just stopped marinating in all the Iron Man lore that I didn't know, and I'm sort of firing up the chainsaw and ready to attack it," said Theroux. "You're writing for Robert Downey Jr., so, at the end of the day, that's an enormous amount of fun."

The new collaboration has Downey all fired up to slip into the gold suit again. "I'm stoked," he said. "I'm into it. I'm excited to do another Iron Man right."

by E!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brangelina Births a Humongous Photo Spread

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Vivienne, Knox People

After the reported $14 million charity payout to parents Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, maybe their little one Knox will become known as Fort Knox. He and his twin sister, Vivienne, sure look cute and a half on the cover of People magazine. The issue hits newsstands tomorrow, but you can catch a tease of the 19-page spread here. Internationally, Hello! magazine secured the rights and has a 17-page spread coming tomorrow as well.

"It is chaos, but we are managing it and having a wonderful time," Jolie tells People and Hello!

We think People's cover may be the best celebrity-baby magazine cover ever. Let us know if you agree in the comments section. And compare how they stack up in our Best of the Celeb-Baby Mag Covers gallery.

by E!, People.

Reese and Jake: We Are Not Engaged

Photo by: Flynet
Reese and Jake: We Are Not Engaged | Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon
Reps for Resse Witherspoon and Jake Gyllehaal are denying tabloid reports that the couple are engaged.

"They are not engaged, getting married or any of the reports," the reps tell PEOPLE exclusively, calling the reports "lies."

Witherspoon, 32 and Gyllenhaal, 27, began quietly dating in April 2007. They recently were seen together in Paris with Witherspoon's kids.

by People

Friday, August 1, 2008

Studio Concocting Venomous Spider-Man Spinoff

Spider-Man 3

Could Venom be the antidote to Spider-Man withdrawal?

Inspired by The Dark Knight's Joker-driven success and without another Spidey film on its slate until 2011, Sony is setting the ball rolling on a spinoff centered on the web-slinger's parasitic nemesis Venom.

Topher Grace played the unhinged shutterbug-turned-symbiotic monster in 2007's Spider-Man 3.

Not sure that the 30-year-old actor can carry his own franchise, however—like Hugh Jackman, who will be going it alone in next year's X-Men Origins: Wolverine—Sony is supposedly open to the idea of pinning Venom's sticky-tipped appendages on another leading man.

In the film, the photo-fixing Eddie Brock becomes Venom after the alien symbiote that turned Spider-Man's suit black finds an even more welcoming host in Eddie, who when the symbiote smushes its way into him happens to be in church praying for Peter Parker's death. Just desserts, indeed.

And there's oh-so-much-more back story to Brock in the Marvel comic books, which theoretically would make for a more fulfilling ride for purists.

While neither Marvel nor Sony would comment, the Reporter was told that Sony commissioned Joseph Estes to pen the first draft and is also looking to other writers to perhaps take the story in a different direction.

In the film, the photo-fixing Eddie Brock becomes Venom after the alien symbiote that turned Spider-Man's suit black finds an even more welcoming host in Eddie, who when the symbiote smushes its way into him happens to be in church praying for Peter Parker's death. Just desserts, indeed.

And there's oh-so-much-more back story to Brock in the Marvel comic books, which theoretically would make for a more fulfilling ride for purists.

While neither Marvel nor Sony would comment, the Reporter was told that Sony commissioned Joseph Estes to pen the first draft and is also looking to other writers to perhaps take the story in a different direction.

by E!

David Archuleta's New Single Debuts

Photo by: courtesy Jive Records

David Archuleta's New Single Debuts
David Archuleta's first single, "Crush," debuted on the syndicated radio program Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on Friday.

The singer was reportedly shaking when it first aired, but whether it was nerves or excitement, his fans have nothing but praise for the track.

Carol, 65, from Colorado, called in to the radio show to say: "Wow. I tell you. How many of us have ever felt the song you just sang. There are so many girls saying, 'Wow. He wrote that because he knows how I feel.' I hate it when they call you little because you're the biggest man in town."

Chloe from Canada also "loved it" and caller Alexandria said, "I am, like, in tears. You are absolutely amazing. You have no idea. You're so talented. You're going to have an amazing career."

The full album from the former American Idol favorite is due out in November.

The Dark Knight's Road to $600 Million…or Not

The Dark Knight, Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Warner Brothers, Disney

It posted the biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history. It scored the biggest opening week in Hollywood history.

It didn't come close to toppling Titanic.

The box-office tale of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest might help explain why reaching $600 million, even in the age of the $15 IMAX ticket, is the tallest of orders.

No one ever said making history was easy, Dark Knight.

Among the other five fastest starters in movie history, of which, by the way, Titanic isn't one, The Dark Knight is most closely following the path taken by Dead Man's Chest, the second Pirates movie released in 2006.

After its record-setting opening weekend, The Dark Knight neither plunged, à la Spider-Man 3, which saw ticket sales nosedive 62 percent in its second weekend, nor held up like Cher, à la the original Spider-Man, which dipped only 38 percent.

Instead, its rather standard 53-percent drop put the movie in line with Shrek the Third (56 percent) but even closer to Dead Man's Chest (54 percent).

Like Dark Knight, Dead Man's Chest was a July opener, with no Memorial Day holiday weekend handy to boost admissions. Like Dark Knight, the movie did just fine on its own, grossing at least $10 million a day (and often much more) for its first 10 days. (The Dark Knight went 11 straight days, before "falling" to $9.6 million on Tuesday.)

And like Dark Knight, Dead Man's Chest sped to $200 million and then $300 million in record time.

Then, as it neared $400 million, Dead Man's Chest reached its tipping point.

On day 39, per the stats at, the movie failed for the first time to gross at least $1 million in a single day.

From there on, Dead Man's Chest, which had made $393 million-ish through its first six weekends, made just $30 million more through its next 16.

By the end of its run, Dead Man's Chest had accumulated $423 million, a spectacular amount, currently good for sixth place on the all-time list.

But Titanic's even more spectacular haul hadn't been seriously challenged.

As it turned out, Dead Man's Chest went about things all wrong. The way to gross $601 million is:

  • Opener smaller than The Flintstones. (Titanic's $28.6 million debut is the 238th "biggest" of all time, per Box Office Mojo.)
  • Play at fewer theaters, at your peak, than Lost in Space.
  • Never, ever make more than $13.6 million in a single day.

But mostly:

  • Post your second-biggest day ($13.1 million) on your 58th day in release. (Note: It's easier to do this if, a few days prior, you nab a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations.)
  • Instead of falling by 50 percent in your second weekend, go up by 24 percent.
  • Go up by 25 percent in your fifth weekend.
  • Don't sell fewer than $1 million worth of tickets until…day 102.

In short, make money consistently, constantly and, above all, crazily. And do it all with movie ticket prices going for about $4.69, instead of today's $7.08 average.

Like Dead Man's Chest, The Dark Knight is going about things all wrong. But getting off to the biggest and fastest start ever can make things right.

If Dark Knight stays on the Dead Man's Chest course of gradual midweek declines and modest weekend falloffs—no small task, despite the Batman movie's much stronger reviews—it would pass $400 million sometime next week, and set yet another record. By its ninth weekend, it would cross $500 million, a benchmark that so far only Titanic has passed.

But before that, sometime around Labor Day, near the 45-day mark, The Dark Knight would reach its own tipping point, and fall to under $1 million for midweek daily grosses.

The resilient Titanic managed to gross another $85 million after it posted its first sub-$1 million day. If The Dark Knight did that—and, again, Dead Man's Chest couldn't make even half that much from that point forward—it would get closer to $600 million than any movie this decade. And still fall short.

No, no one ever said making history was easy.

by E!