A 39-year-old Missouri man currently serving time in federal prison has requested a DNA test to prove that he's the biological son of late singer Prince, ABC News reports. Carlin Q. Williams filed a paternity claim against Prince's estate, alleging that he is the star's "sole surviving heir," according to ABC News. Prince had no will in place when he died at his Paisley Park compound on April 21, and left behind an estate reportedly worth about $250 million - with posthumous earnings that could total $100 million or more. Williams filed an affidavit on Monday, and in it alleged that his mother, »
- Lindsay Kimble, @lekimble
Dave Grohl discusses the influence and aura of Austin City Limits in two exclusive outtakes from A Song for You, an upcoming documentary about the storied PBS concert series. For Grohl, watching Acl as a kid in Virginia gave him a chance to see bands performing full concerts onstage.
"It was more than just one song at the end of The Tonight Show," Grohl remembers. "It was an ensemble performance that went on for more than six minutes, and I really liked that a lot. It was that kind of »
Born in South Korea, the star DreamWorks Animation director moved to California when she was 4 years old. Raised by a family of artists, Yuh Nelson and her sisters sketched constantly, telling stories with pictures and holding competitive “draw-offs” around the coffee table. A quick learner, she picked up English — and a lifelong appetite for kung fu — in three months by watching TV, mostly cartoons and action movies.
“I’ve been watching things like ‘Master of the Flying Guillotine’ since I was 5,” says Yuh Nelson, referring to the bloody wuxia classic — not at all suitable for young viewers — in which an assassin roams the countryside decapitating his victims with a boomerang-style blade.
Now, nearly four decades later, Yuh Nelson is the custodian of the most »
- Peter Debruge
“Today, the only reminder that this stretch of (Manhattan’s) SoHo was once a forest of filling stations known as Gasoline Alley is a coffee shop of the same name that sells single-origin coffee beans from Burundi.” • Sarah Maslin Nir, “With Gas Station’s Closing, A Fuel Desert Expands in Manhattan,” The New York Times, April 22, 2016
“On a block where a kebab could once be had at 2 a.m. from Bereket, the 24-hour Turkish restaurant that was forced to close in 2014, there will now be a 30,000-square-foot Equinox gym and spa with a lounge and juice bar; condo residents will be able to access the two-story gym through a private entrance. Gone too, are places like Ray’s Pizza and Empanada Mama. While such spots and the unmemorable single-story buildings that once housed them could not claim any historic significance, they were popular haunts that gave the area its character… »
- Mindy Newell
The Australian Directors Guild awards will be handed out in Melbourne next Friday, and Adg executive director Kingston Anderson is feeling bullish about the work under the spotlight.
"If you look at the nominations this year, you'll notice in some categories there are five nominations", Anderson said.
"That's unusual, and that's because a lot of the judging panels said the quality of the entries was so high. They noted that over the last three years they've seen the quality go up, across television and short film particularly."
Anderson calls the trend "really exciting, and gratifying. It's clear that we're producing good people, and we're continuing to produce good people."
He sees the Adg's annual awards, presented across eighteen categories, as vital..
"You've got the opportunity to see the best of the best in directing, in anything from short films through to feature films to online content to documentary to animation. »
- Harry Windsor
Showtime revealed the full cast list for its upcoming "Twin Peaks" revival, and it's nothing short of insane -- and insanely long.
The ensemble includes a whopping 217 actors -- yes, you read that right -- and amid all the returning faces, there are also a bunch of surprising, big-name newbies along for the ride this time around. (We've embedded the entire list at the end of this post.)
Original cast members that will be back include many previously-announced people, and the ensemble will feature the likes of Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn, Madchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, David Duchovny, Miguel Ferrer, Grace Zabriskie, Peggy Lipton, Ray Wise, Wendy Robie, Russ Tamblyn, and Catherine E. Coulson, among many others.
As for the newcomers, some of the bold names that stand out include Monica Bellucci, Jim Belushi, Michael Cera, Laura Dern, Jay R. Ferguson (a.k.a. Stan from "Mad Men"), Ernie Hudson ("Ghostbusters"), Ashley Judd, »
- Katie Roberts
On the Spot Broadway Comedy Club, NYC Monday nights, 8:00 Pm
In the olden days ("Tell us great-grandfather") there was vaudeville, where young performers could cut their teeth, playing on the various circuits all around the country. So where do emerging singers and comedians get their time before an audience in this strangest of all eras? Of course there's the web, but tweeting responses or comments below a YouTube video do not in my opinion constitute a flesh and blood audience--those hearty folk who make an effort to move their bodies into a performance space, and let a singer or comedian know in no uncertain terms if they've "got it."
Handsomely patrician actor, Nathan Armstrong took it upon himself to create a venue in which the energy and exuberance of those on the quest for stardom can indeed show what they go -- in abundance. On the Spot is a »
- Jay Reisberg
Hollywood stars don’t shy away from being 420-friendly. Here are the biggest names in entertainment who like to roll up a blunt or hit a bong — no matter what the date is. From Snoop Dogg to Dawn Wells — if you’re commemorating the marijuana enthusiast’s national holiday for 420, you have friends in high places. Robert Mitchum: The O.G. of celebrity stoners was arrested on marijuana charges in 1948 and spent two months behind bars. Willie Nelson The Red-Headed Stranger is notoriously no stranger to the green and announced that he was launching his own strain of premium weed last year. »
- Tim Kenneally
Like Christina Aguilera executing a run during a contestant’s rehearsal package, or Blake Shelton spiking the comedic volleyball in Adam Levine’s face (over and over again), The Voice‘s Alisan Porter is pretty much perfect.
And Monday night, as she detonated a vocal bomb shaped like Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold,” she seemingly left a barren wasteland (think Mad Max: Fury Road, without any cast members) where the Season 10 competition used to be.
Still, as Blake Shelton begged Alisan to make some mistakes, »
From the Beatles to Pink Floyd to Ozzy Osbourne Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Cash, many of our greatest artists have written about cash — and paying taxes. This Tax Day, drown your sorrows with some tunes about shelling out. Willie Nelson knows the situation best — his “IRS Tapes” in 1992 went directly to paying off his massive tax bills. Also Read: Bill Maher Calls Out Religious Institutions as Tax 'Deadbeats' (Video) And we all know the line about “one for you/19 for me” from the Beatles “Tax Man,” reportedly written by George Harrison after he realized he, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr »
- Jeremy Fuster
A pleasantly discursive guide to the longest-running music program in TV history, “A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story” is the latest in a thriving subgenre of documentaries dedicated to the proposition that Austin is the live music capital of the world, if not the entire galaxy. Director Keith Maitland’s obvious labor of love could be classified as the cinematic equivalent of an authorized biography — after all, it’s co-produced by Klru-tv, the public television station that produces “Austin City Limits,” and Terry Lickona, that show’s longtime producer, is one of this doc’s executive producers. But the movie generates too much good will to smack of crass self-promotion, which should extend its shelf life as home-video product, streaming fare and audience magnet during PBS fund-raising weeks.
Drawing on the collective memories of performers and behind-the-scenes personnel who have been associated with “Austin City Limits” during its 40-plus-year run, »
- Joe Leydon
Throw a dart at a map of the U.S. and it’s fairly certain you’ll land on a city that hosts a film festival. And if less-established festivals can’t take credit for introducing critically acclaimed works into the marketplace a la Telluride, Sundance and SXSW, many of them can be credited for being well-attended, attracting top-shelf talent and being a regional platform for smaller films that might not otherwise see the light of day. One such event is the Nashville Film Festival, originally established in 1969 and running April 14-23 this year.
The city has always been known as the world capital of country music — a genre with a more conspicuous presence than ever in the pop charts, not to mention Grammy’s top categories. But its role as a cultural hub has extended beyond country to pop, the fine arts and cuisine. Celebs such as Nicole Kidman, »
- Dana Feldman
Their teams performed on Night 1 of The Voice‘s Season 10 Live Playoffs on Monday night — and while voting for officially closed at noon Et, there are still tough decisions ahead during Wednesday night’s live eliminations (8/7c on NBC).
RelatedThe Voice Live Playoffs (Pt. 1) Recap: We Want Them to Stay-ay-ay (Well, a Few of ‘Em, Anyhow)
Indeed, after the top two vote-getters from both teams advance, Blake and Xtina will each need to throw lifelines to one of their remaining four artists. Will they base their decisions on iTunes sales alone? »
In addition, 60 finalists have been set by the awards’ board of jurors. From that field, 30 winners — the Peabody 30 — will be selected. Those winners will be revealed beginning next week and honored at the Peabody Awards ceremony in New York May 21.
Among the finalists are ABC’s “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” FX’s “Fargo,” Amazon’s “Transparent” and “Catastrophe,” HBO’s “The Leftovers” and “Veep,” Showtime’s “Listen to Me Marlon,” Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” and “Master of None,” USA’s “Mr. Robot” and Lifetime’s “UnReal.”
The first group of winners will be announced April 19 on Facebook Live. Subsequent rounds of winners will be revealed April 21 on NBC’s “Today” and April 26 on Facebook Live.
Letterman and documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson »
- Daniel Holloway
Shhhhhhh. Be very, very quiet. If you listen closely enough, you’ll hear the subtle shade dripping from the tongues of The Voice‘s shiny, happy coaching panel.
RelatedFarewell for Now, American Idol, and Thanks for All the Memories
“You’re still in the process of really improving a lot,” Adam said cheerily to Team Xtina’s Nick Hagelin, which, translated into Real Talk, would go something like, “Dude, you’ve got a long way to go.”
Merle Haggard, the country music legend who died Wednesday on his 79th birthday, passed away on his own schedule, according to his son. Ben Haggard, who also played lead guitar for his father, revealed on Facebook that his father predicted the date of his death last week. “A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn’t wrong. An hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends,” Ben Haggard wrote. Also Read: Merle Haggard Remembered by Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr The singer’s health had taken a downturn recently. »
- Tim Kenneally
The tributes to country music legend Merle Haggard, who died Wednesday on his 79th birthday, have been flooding in, with colleagues such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker and Hank Williams Jr. offering their thoughts, remembrances and condolences. Nelson posted a photo of himself with Haggard on Twitter, accompanied by the caption, “He was my brother, my friend. I will miss him.” Echoing the sentiments of many, Parton called Haggard “one of the greatest writers and singers of all time.” Also Read: How Merle Haggard Once Saved Willie Nelson From a Pot-Free Bus “We’ve lost one of the greatest writers and singers. »
- Tim Kenneally
Merle Haggard had one of his first big hits with the song “Okie From Muskogee,” with its memorable opening line, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee.” But in real life Haggard, who died Wednesday on his 79th birthday, was a lot more complex, contradictory and all-encompassing than that. I remember him, after all, as the guy who saved the day when Willie Nelson was running out of marijuana on his tour bus one humid Florida night around 1996. Back then, I spent a few days on Nelson’s tour bus as he traveled through the state on a tour of outdoor festivals and minor league. »
- Steve Pond
Country music legend Merle Haggard has died after battling double pneunomia ... according to his manager. Haggard was diagnosed with pneumonia last year and spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Riverside early this year. He died at home near Redding, CA on Wednesday morning. He'd been battling back from the illness and even scheduled a string of concert dates with his pal Willie Nelson. They released an album, "Django and Jimmie" last year. But »
- TMZ Staff
Documentarians Brenda Greene Mitchell and Sam Wainwright Douglas share their unbridled affection for a decades-old Texas dance hall in “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke.” This storied mecca for boot-scooters and two-steppers may not be much to look at it — truth to tell, it might require major renovation to qualify as ramshackle — but it has survived and thrived since 1964 on Austin’s South Lamar Boulevard, even as condo high-rises have, quite literally, sprung up all around it. Owner-operators James and Annetta White have plenty of stories to tell, as do frequent Broken Spoke performers like Willie Nelson and Dale Watson, adding to a tasty mix of music and memories that doubtless will make the playlist of many PBS stations, and should wind up a top-selling DVD/Blu-ray souvenir in what passes for a gift shop at the Austin honky-tonk.
James White freely admits that, back in the day, »
- Joe Leydon
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