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18 items from 2011


Review: Tepid But Harmless Dirty Girl Makes Special Plea for '80s Teen Misfits

6 October 2011 7:00 AM, PDT | Movieline | See recent Movieline news »

Every era has its misfits, people who feel out of step with their contemporaries and the world. As a plea for tolerance and understanding of oddballs, Dirty Girl, the debut feature from writer-director Abe Sylvia, hits every note so squarely on the beat that in the end, it's nothing but square. It doesn't matter that Sylvia has stocked the soundtrack with killer '80s pop from the likes of Bow Wow Wow, Teena Marie and Joan Jett. The movie's true poster girl is the drippy Melissa Manchester, urging us to sing from our souls, because she thinks we can make it. »

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Everyone likes a "Dirty Girl"

3 October 2011 11:29 AM, PDT | AfterEllen.com | See recent AfterEllen.com news »

The most common Lgbt duo in entertainment is the gay guy-straight girl relationship – Will and Grace, Carrie Bradshaw and Stanford Blatch, Kurt and Rachel, Liza Minnelli and most of her husbands – the list goes on and on.

The somewhat indie film, Dirty Girl, which has been making the festival rounds for more than year and officially opens on October 7, tells the story of yet another such pairing with funny and heartfelt results.

It's the mid '80s in Norman, Oklahoma. Danielle (Juno Temple) is the high school "dirty girl" whose unrepentant, scandalous ways have landed her in a remedial class full of other outcasts, including an overweight, awkward, obviously gay boy named Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), who hides under his sweatshirt hood like a turtle permanently retreated inside its shell.

He's as introverted as she is extroverted and they're both misfits. Danielle and Clarke are soon paired up and charged with »

- Dara Nai

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Smooth Hits of the '80s Make 'Dirty Girl' Soundtrack Memorable

2 October 2011 3:00 PM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

There are a few things you need to get right if you're going to make a movie set in the '80s: the fashion, the lingo and, without question, the music.

Every classic "Hey, weren't the '80s wacky?" film has leaned heavily on its soundtrack, and the folks behind the upcoming indie flick and Toronto Film Festival favorite "Dirty Girl" have apparently been taking notes. The soundtrack to the movie is stocked with pop cheese that will set off pastel-hued flashbacks in nostalgia buffs and entertain anyone who's into the whole yacht-rock revival that seems to be going on these days.

The first thing you'll notice about the "Dirty Girl" soundtrack, however, is how heavy it leans on a relatively obscure pop singer named Melissa Manchester. A favorite of one of the movie's central characters, Manchester lands five of the album's 14 tracks, including her best-known song, the 1982 No. 5 hit »

- Adam Swiderski

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Lenny Kravitz – Black & White America – CD Album Review

18 August 2011 3:18 PM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Lenny Kravitz seems to be one of these artists that never grow old. He’s been making a splash in the music world since 1989, with his debut album ‘Let Love Rule’, but his music and his appearance are always fresh, creative and modern. It takes something special to last in the music industry for as long as he has and Kravitz, indeed, is a special, talented artist.

He often plays all the instruments while recording – this is unbelievable in itself, but when you think that Kravitz has such a distinctive style that incorporates such diverse elements of music such as soul, reggae, psychedelia and hard rock, it makes this feat much more impressive and is just one example of many of his creativity and talent that oozes out of every release.

He won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance from 1999 to 2002, breaking the record in the process »

- Rhys Milsom

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Beyonce Party Leaks Online (with Andre 3000) from Forthcoming Album 4

7 June 2011 10:01 AM, PDT | National Ledger | See recent National Ledger news »

Beyonce leak - Party is the name of the song on the singer's upcoming album, 4, that leaked on Monday.  The tune also features a few verses from reclusive Outkast rapper Andre 3000. More on the new album... Beyoncé has revealed that her forthcoming album, 4, was inspired by Adele and Florence and the Machine. The singer said that she listened to the two British acts whilst penning tracks for the LP, along with some more unexpected artists. She told Billboard magazine, "I recorded over 60 songs for this album. "I have a lot of inspiration from '90s R&B. Also, Earth Wind & Fire. I listened to a lot of DeBarge, a lot of Lionel Richie and Teena Marie." She added that "Jackson 5, New Edition, Florence and the Machine, Adele and Prince," had also played a part in shaping the record. But the 29-year-old said that it has been hard to determine »

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Black Music Month: The Best Blue-Eyed Soul Singers

6 June 2011 10:00 AM, PDT | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Blue-Eyed Soul Singers We LoveBecause Music Has No Color...Music is the universal language of love, this we know, and artists like Adele remind us that music has no color. As we celebrate Black Music Month, we can't forget the White singers who have moved us over the years. From Adele and Teena Marie to Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke, here are the best blue-eyed soul singers we've ever heard.Teena MarieThe music industry held its heart and wept on December 26, 2010 when it learned that Teena Marie had passed away at age 54. The former protégé of Rick James has given us such timeless hits as "Square Biz" and "Ooh La La La." She will be dearly missed.Robin ThickeWe call Robin Thicke our honorary brother because we can't help but want to claim that smooth, sweet vibrato for ourselves. Plus the "Lost Without You" and "Sex Therapy" singer appreciates our »

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Beyoncé: 'New album 4 inspired by Adele, Prince'

2 June 2011 8:04 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Beyoncé has revealed that she listened to a lot of Adele and Florence and the Machine when making her new album 4. The 'Run The World (Girls)' star will release the record on June 27 in the UK and June 28 in the Us, and has explained that a range of different artists influenced her songwriting when making it. "I recorded over 60 songs for this album," she told Billboard magazine. "I have a lot of inspiration from '90s R&B. Also, Earth Wind & Fire. I listened to a lot of DeBarge, a lot of Lionel Richie and Teena Marie." The singer-songwriter continued to list "Jackson 5, New Edition, Florence and the Machine, Adele and Prince" as further inspirations. The 29-year-old also admitted (more) »

- By Lewis Corner

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The 8 Best 'Twilight' Parodies Ever Created by Mankind

7 April 2011 6:00 AM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

There are more "Twilight" spoofs online than amateur porn. That's hyperbole. I'm a guy. I know the amount of porn out there, it's as vast as the stars and the skies. Still, while searching through endless bad parody videos, I felt like someone with an extremely rare fetish looking for a fix.

My more savvy readers (that means you) may be wondering what criteria I used in selecting the best ever "Twilight" parodies. Obviously, taste plays a part in all of these list articles, but I did establish certain standards for judging beyond "Did it make me laugh?"

First, good production. I don't want to feel like I'm watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" (though groin shots will always earn bonus points). Second, originality. So many spoofs out there just do crappy exaggerations of the same three scenes from "Twilight." Third, cleverness. You can make fun of "Twilight," but be clever about it. »

- Ryan McKee

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American Idol: What Should the Top 11 Sing for (Another Installment of) Motown Week?

20 March 2011 3:26 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Insanity is watching American Idol season after season after season and expecting its producers to whip up new and interesting theme nights. Which is my roundabout way of reminding everyone that once again, Nigel Lythgoe & Co. are returning to the Motown Week well for Wednesday night’s Top 11 performance show. Then again, just because “Superstition” and “(Love Is Like a) Heatwave” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” have been done to death on Idol is no reason to assume the Season 10 finalists won’t take advantage of the brainstorming power of Google and iTunes to give »

- Michael Slezak

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Happy 55th Birthday, Teena Marie

4 March 2011 1:35 PM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Today would be legendary 'blue-eyed soul' singer Teena Marie's 55th birthday. This beloved California girl couldn't just sing, she could sang. Her impassioned performance style and love for soul music earned her a special spot in the hearts of Black music lovers. That silky voice can be found on such classic hits as "Lovergirl," "Fire and Desire," and "Ooo La La La." Essence.com celebrates the legacy of the beautiful Lady Tee. Happy birthday, we will always love you! »

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Celebrities Wearing Chic Glasses

1 March 2011 3:05 AM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Hot Celebrity GlassesNicole Ari Parker wears stylish shadesWhether protecting their eyes from the sun or helping them read the small print, glasses are another way for celebs to flaunt their style. From Nicole Ari Parker and Gabrielle Union's oversized shades, to Queen Latifah's signature aviators and Jay-z's Ray-Ban wayfarers, here are our favorite celebs rocking glasses.Jill ScottJill Scott sported a beautiful pair of shades to the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon.June AmbroseJune Ambrose wore her signature glasses during New York Fashion Week.CiaraCiara is easy breezy in her shades.Kanye WestKanye always keeps it rock star with his glasses.UsherUsher wears a cool pair of shades while running errands.Zoe SaldanaZoe wears a fierce pair of oversized sunglasses while running errands.Samuel L. JacksonSamuel L. Jackson wears a pair of John Lennon-inspired frames for his red carpet look at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards. »

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The 53rd Grammy Awards — The Live Blog!

13 February 2011 4:45 PM, PST | MTV Newsroom | See recent MTV Newsroom news »

Welcome to the 53rd Grammy Awards, which will be featuring appearances and performances from some of the biggest names in music. Those names include Eminem (who leads all nominees and who could make history this evening), Lady Gaga (fresh off the premiere of her new single "Born This Way"), Rihanna, Drake, Arcade Fire, Cee Lo Green, Justin Bieber (who is currently in a knock-down, drag-out box office battle with Adam Sandler's "Just Go With It" for the coveted first place spot), Muse, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson and Bob Dylan (just for good measure). It promises to be an eventful, historic night, and the MTV Newsroom Blog is going to be right on top of all the most outstanding performances, biggest awards upsets and most incredible Grammy moments. The show always features a number of surprises (both scheduled and not), so it should be a fantastically entertaining three-and-a-half hours.

(Click »

- Kyle Anderson

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Mick Jagger to take the Grammy stage for the first time

3 February 2011 1:07 PM, PST | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

Believe it or not, 2011 will mark the very first Grammy performance by the legendary Mick Jagger. Ever.

Better late than never, we guess.

The Rolling Stones' frontman has previously appeared on the telecast only once, and he wasn't even actually there. Jagger and the rest of his band accepted their 1986 Lifetime Achievement Award from Eric Clapton via satellite from London.

This year, Jagger will take the stage alongside Grammy award winner Raphael Saadiq during the annual 'In Memoriam' segment. The tribute will undoubtedly pay respects to the likes of Teena Marie, Jimmy Dean, Lena Horne and Solomon Burke.

Jagger joins an already impressive lineup of performers, including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Muse, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Essential Viewing: The Week in Pictures

14 January 2011 10:00 AM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Essential ViewingThe Week in PicturesEvery week we see countless celebs walk the red carpet, grace the stage with their powerhouse vocals and sit courtside at basketball games. This week was no exception. Check out photos of Kimberly Elise and Sanaa Lathan at the NAACP Image Award nominations, Ciara, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee and Rihanna and recent basketball games and President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama observing a moment of silence for the Arizona tragedy...NAACP Image Award NominationsKimberly Elise and Sanaa Lathan attend the 42nd NAACP Image Awards Nomination Press Conference this week. Over 100 of our favorite artists, actors and authors were nominated.Bonding TimeOut and about in West Hollywood, Halley Berry and Nahla were spotted heading to Sweet Lady Jane to buy to buy some tasty treats.Courtside BeautyRihanna found time to attend the Miami Heat and Clippers game in L.A.Red Carpet DivaZoe Saldana look beautiful »

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Stars turn out for Teena Marie memorial

11 January 2011 9:38 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Queen Latifah and Stevie Wonder were among the stars that attended a private memorial service for late singer Teena Marie on Monday. The Grammy-nominated star died last month at her California home at the age of 54. The AP reports that a Catholic mass was held at La's Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where Marie's daughter Alia Rose Brockert delivered a eulogy for (more) »

- By Justin Harp

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Coffee Talk: Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday' Goes Platinum

6 January 2011 6:20 AM, PST | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Here's what has our coffee pots boiling over this morning: T.I. and Tiny get frisky during an inmate visit, Jennifer Lopez is being investigated by the IRS, and Teena Marie's cause of death is still unknown. Also, a congratulations is order to Nicki Minaj! Her debut album "Pink Friday" has been certified platinum just weeks after being released... Here's what you had to say: Latoya commented via Facebook: "She's attractive and has talent and that's enough to make things happen, so not surprising. " Taylor wrote via Facebook: "She's a talented woman, she's beautiful, I have listened to some of her music in passing..." »

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Teena Marie Death Certificate -- Cause Still Unknown

5 January 2011 3:15 PM, PST | TMZ | See recent TMZ news »

Officials are still not sure what killed Teena Marie -- this according to the singer's death certificate ... obtained by TMZ. The coroner who signed the death certificate notes 54-year-old Teena died at 3:09 pm on December 26 -- but in the cause of death section, she checked the box, "Pending investigation." As we previously reported, officials believe Teena may have died as a result of a massive seizure. Read more »

- TMZ Staff

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Review Of The Year

31 December 2010 5:26 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

It's been an incredible year in the world of showbiz, with the usual headline-grabbing antics, scandal, sleaze, celebrity births, star weddings, and bitter break-ups. Here, WENN takes a look back at the final six months of 2010...

July

Love was in the air in July as a host of celebrities walked down the aisle - Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem tied the knot in the Bahamas, while Emily Blunt became Mrs. John Krasinski after marrying The Office star in romantic Como, Italy.

A pregnant Alicia Keys said 'I do' to Swizz Beatz, while Orlando Bloom and Australian model Miranda Kerr became husband and wife in a secret ceremony. Wedding bells also rang in Georgia as country sweetheart Carrie Underwood married her hockey hunk, Mike Fisher.

But there was also plenty of heartache in Hollywood - Kelly Osbourne called off her engagement to model Luke Worrall over allegations he had cheated on her, and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer's wife filed for divorce after almost 13 years of marriage. R&B singer Christina Milian picked July to announce she was splitting from her producer husband The-Dream - less than a year after the couple wed in Las Vegas.

Celebrations were in order for Christina Applegate after she revealed she was pregnant with her first child, while Vince Vaughn, Zac Hanson, Ugly Betty star Becki Newton and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor also announced they were expecting babies with their respective partners.

Director Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson became the proud parents of a baby girl - their first child together - while Australian pop star Dannii Minogue welcomed baby boy Ethan with her partner Kris Smith.

But July was not without scandal - Paris Hilton was questioned by authorities at the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa over allegations she was smoking pot. Just two weeks later, she was held by police in France after she was allegedly caught carrying cannabis in her handbag.

The heiress' former pal Lindsay Lohan also hit headlines for all the wrong reasons - just days after turning 24, she was ordered to spend 90 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation stemming from a 2007 DUI arrest.

Former Wham! star George Michael also had a run-in with the law - he was arrested after driving his car into a shop in London, and Foxy Brown was also taken into custody after allegedly violating a protective order.

Meanwhile, Rosemary's Baby director Roman Polanski was freed from house arrest after officials in Switzerland threw out a request to extradite him to the U.S. for sentencing on a child-sex charge.

Mel Gibson's marital woes continued into July - Los Angeles police launched an official investigation amid claims the Braveheart star punched his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva during a heated altercation. It came after the leaking of a series of audio recordings in which a man said to be Gibson unleashes a series of foul-mouthed rants at his ex.

There was a health scare for British singer Cheryl Cole as she was diagnosed with malaria after collapsing at a photoshoot, while movie legends Tony Curtis and Zsa Zsa Gabor were also hospitalised. Pink was rushed to the emergency room after a stage stunt went wrong, sending the pop punk flying into a metal barrier during a concert in Germany.

Courtroom battles loomed for bad boy actor David Boreanaz, who was slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former extra on his hit TV show Bones, and Casey Affleck, who was sued by a producer of his movie I'm Still Here over sexual harassment allegations.

August

There were festival dramas aplenty in August, with The Libertines and Guns N' Roses dominating headlines at Britain's Reading and Leeds weekenders. Pete Doherty's group reunited earlier this year and played sets at the festivals - but their performances were blighted when overeager fans got crushed and trampled during the frenetic gigs, forcing the rockers off the stage to allow the revellers chance to recover. Axl Rose sparked an ongoing war-of-words with event boss Melvin Benn after he decided to shut the sound off when the band overran its curfew.

Further drama occurred in August when Naomi Campbell took to the stand in The Hague, Netherlands to testify at the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, socialite Paris Hilton was arrested for cocaine possession in Las Vegas, and Charlie Sheen pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanour assault relating to a Christmas Day fight with now-estranged wife Brooke Mueller. The Two And A Half Men actor was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but served time in rehab instead.

Another star seeking help for her personal issues was Lindsay Lohan. The Mean Girls actress walked free from prison before the end of her sentence for violating her probation relating to a 2007 DUI arrest, and immediately entered rehab - only to leave the health centre early as well.

Lohan's woes weren't the only ones in Hollywood - Zsa Zsa Gabor was in and out of hospital due to complications stemming from her summer accident which resulted in several bone fractures, while Aretha Franklin broke her ribs in a freak fall, prompting her to cancel a string of shows.

However, the biggest health shock of the month was the revelation that Michael Douglas had been diagnosed with a throat tumour. The Wall Street legend began radiation and chemotherapy shortly before going public with his battle and helped raise awareness of the disease by appearing on America's Stand Up 2 Cancer TV special to urge fans to raise cash for research.

There was happier health news for many in the public eye in August - Miranda Kerr, Penny Lancaster and Alanis Morissette all announced their pregnancies, while British Prime Minister David Cameron became a father again when his wife Samantha gave birth to their fourth child, Florence, while they were holidaying in Cornwall, south-west England.

Wedding bells were also chiming, with Hilary Duff walking down the aisle to marry ice hockey star Mike Comrie, veteran singer Julio Iglesias exchanging vows with his longtime girlfriend, and James Van Der Beek cementing his union with his then-pregnant girlfriend Kimberly Brook - they've since welcomed baby Olivia.

September

Lady Gaga was the big winner and talking point at the MTV Video Music Awards this month - she picked up eight accolades and stunned everyone by taking to the stage in a meat dress. Meanwhile, Penelope Cruz confirmed the news she was pregnant with Javier Bardem's baby, and Angelina Jolie - who visited flood-ravaged Pakistan - was named Best Celebrity Role Model in an online poll.

George Michael began his eight-week prison sentence in London after being found guilty of cannabis possession and driving under the influence of drugs, and Guns N' Roses were booed and bottled offstage in Ireland after making fans wait for their performance.

Smashing Pumpkins star Billy Corgan confirmed reports he was dating Aussie pop star Jessica Origliasso, and the Charlatans axed U.S. shows after Jon Brookes collapsed onstage during a concert in Pennsylvania. He was later diagnosed with a brain tumour..

Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen welcomed their second child, John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman was denied parole for a sixth time, and Sofia Coppola picked up the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival amid a storm of controversy - her ex-boyfriend, Quentin Tarantino, led the jury!

Meanwhile, Take That bandmates Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow performed together for the first time in 15 years at a benefit for injured British soldiers, but Duff McKagan quit Jane's Addiction after five months and just three gigs.

The Troggs star Reg Presley suffered a stroke while holidaying in Spain and country music duo Brooks & Dunn split after an emotional night at a Nashville charity gig.

Elsewhere, T.I. and his wife were arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of drug possession, UB40 star Ali Campbell was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Syndrome, and Leonardo DiCaprio won a three-year restraining order against a woman claiming to be his wife.

Johnny Depp was named the highest paid actor by Forbes magazine, Britney Spears' one-time minder, Fernando Flores, filed suit against the pop star, claiming she had sexually harassed him and exposed herself in front of him, and The xx picked up Britain's prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

Eddie Vedder, Johnny Knoxville and David Essex wed - not to each other - and R&B star Lyfe Jennings was jailed for three and a half years over a violent altercation with his former girlfriend.

Meanwhile, James Gandolfini was caught driving on a suspended licence, Paris Hilton was refused entry to Japan; Kings of Leon star Caleb Followill and hot model Lily Aldridge announced their engagement, and actor Randy Quaid and his wife were arrested and charged with burglary amid allegations they had been illegally squatting in the house they once called home.

Actor Shelley Malil was convicted of attempted murder, Wyclef Jean announced he'd be running for presidential office in Haiti again in 2015 after his 2010 bid was dismissed, and comedian Greg Giraldo died in hospital after suffering an accidental drug overdose. Lindsay Lohan returned to rehab, David Beckham's lawyers served a writ to a hooker who claimed she'd slept with the soccer stud, and Heart rocker Nancy Wilson filed for divorce from moviemaker Cameron Crowe.

There was baby news for Mario Lopez, actresses Jodie Sweetin and Danica McKellar, actor James Van Der Beek, Rascal Flatts star Joe Don Rooney and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Elo star Mike Edwards was killed in a freak accident, while veteran actors Harold Gould, Gloria Stuart and Kevin McCarthy also passed away along with legendary French director Claude Chabrol and filmmakers Arthur Penn and Clive Donner.

Other deaths included that of former boy band star Rich Cronin, who passed away after a stroke, aged 35, and Hollywood lost true legends in Eddie Fisher and Tony Curtis.

October

Celebrity break-ups were big news in October with a number of high-profile couples calling time on their relationship. Courteney Cox and David Arquette stunned the world by announcing they were taking a break from their 11-year marriage, and just days later singer Christina Aguilera confirmed her split from husband Jordan Bratman. Ben Harper and Laura Dern also filed for divorce after 10 years together.

But October also saw an influx of celebrity weddings - Katy Perry and Russell Brand sealed their love in a lavish Indian ceremony, and both Paul Weller and David Schwimmer hit the news when it emerged they had married their girlfriends in secret earlier in the year.

There was also plenty of baby news - Mariah Carey confirmed she is expecting her first child with husband Nick Cannon after months of speculation, while Celine Dion put the heartache of fertility treatment behind her to become a mum to twin boys. Hip-hop supercouple Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz welcomed a baby boy named Egypt and Neil Patrick Harris became father to twins born via a surrogate.

Britain was in mourning following the loss of comedy legend Norman Wisdom, who passed away at the age of 95, while the world of music was rocked by the death of legendary soul singer Solomon Burke after he collapsed at an airport in Amsterdam, Holland. The death of soprano Joan Sutherland in Switzerland at the age of 83 prompted an outpouring of grief in her native Australia, and The Slits star Ari Up lost her battle with cancer at the age of 48.

The scandal of the month came courtesy of Charlie Sheen, who hit headlines when cops were called to his trashed suite at a New York City hotel during a night with a young model/actress. The star's reps blamed his meltdown on "an adverse reaction to medication". It was also a bad month for Mel Gibson - his personal problems with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva cost him a role in The Hangover sequel, while Taylor Swift was hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit from a former manager. But the country star made up for it by embarking on a new romance with Hollywood hunk Jake Gyllenhaal.

There were also plenty of stars keeping the prison service busy - rapper T.I. was sent back to jail for breaching his probation while Lindsay Lohan escaped her second potential prison sentence of 2010 when a judge ordered her to spend three months in rehab instead. Careless driver George Michael regained his freedom after completing 27 days of his eight-week jail sentence.

November

The royal news of the year was the talk of the month as Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement and plans to wed in 2011

Teen star Demi Lovato stunned young Hollywood when she quite the Jonas Brothers tour and checked into rehab to address personal and "emotional" issues, and Charlie Sheen and Lil Wayne officially became free men again - the actor's divorce from Brooke Mueller became official, while rapper Wayne was released from prison.

MGM, the studio behind the James Bond film franchise, filed for bankruptcy, actor Justin Long was injured in a car crash, and soul queen Aretha Franklin pulled out of a series of shows to undergo surgery.

Spice Girls star Emma Bunton and Pink announced they were pregnant, Lady Gaga was the big winner at the European Music Awards, and Rachel Weisz and moviemaker Darren Aronofsky split.

The Munsters child star Butch Patrick entered rehab to tackle substance abuse and alcohol issues, Wesley Snipes was ordered to jail after losing his bid for a retrial in his tax case, Audrina Patridge's stalker was jailed for two years when he failed to stay away from the star, and country singer Eddie Montgomery was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine, Eva Longoria split from her husband Tony Parker amid reports he had been cheating on her, Kate Winslet split from boyfriend Louis Dowler, and Hollywood was stunned when top publicist Ronni Chasen was shot dead while driving through Beverly Hills .

In music news, Take That's Progress became Britain's fastest selling album of the century so far, Radiohead's Thom Yorke helped mastermind a piece of human art that could be seen from space, Miley Cyrus celebrated her 18th birthday party with pals Demi Moore and Rumer Willis, and Justin Bieber stole the show at the American Music Awards, taking home four prizes.

Malin Akerman replaced Lindsay Lohan as Linda Lovelace in the much-hyped Inferno, Leonardo DiCaprio was caught up in a mid-air drama when a plane he was flying to Russia in was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine stalled, and there was drama backstage at hit U.S. TV show Dancing With The Stars as studio staff came across an envelope containing a mysterious white powder intended for contestant Bristol Palin - it turned out to be talc!

Emmy Rossum and Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz split, Jennifer Jason Leigh filed for divorce from filmmaker husband Noah Baumbach, and Ugly Betty actor Michael L. Brea was charged with murder after stabbing his mother with a Samurai sword. Willie Nelson was arrested and charged with drug possession, indie movie Winter's Bone became a big Oscars contender after claiming top prizes at the Stockholm and Gotham Film Festivals, and the Spider-Man musical opened on Broadway after a series of delays - the critics largely hated it.

Meanwhile, David Cassidy pleaded not guilty to DUI charges following his arrest in Florida, Uma Thurman's stalker was arrested after violating a restraining order, and AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was convicted of cannabis possession in New Zealand.

The baby news of the month came from the Travoltas as movie star John and his wife Kelly Preston welcomed Benjamin into the world and the proud new parents list for November also featured Stella McCartney, Ne-Yo, Vera Farmiga, Green Day star Mike Dirnt and actress Emilia Fox, while rocker Chris Daughtry became a dad to twins.

The music world mourned the loss of Australian rocker James Freud who died just days after his band Models were inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame.

And it was a sad month for Hollywood as movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis passed away alongside actresses Ingrid Pitt and Jill Clayburgh and Naked Gun star Leslie Nielsen.

The film world also bid farewell to The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner and revered Italian filmmaker Mario Monicelli.

December

December saw a series of scandals as the stars brought a touch of sex and drugs to the festive season - and wildchild Miley Cyrus led the way. The former Disney star ended 2010 by reminding us all she's a grown up now after she was caught on camera smoking legal hallucinogenic Salvia from a bong, and hit headlines again days later when she was pictured in a girl-on-girl clinch and exposing her bra while surrounded by hunky men.

Her pal Demi Lovato joined the Hannah Montana star in scandal when provocative photos which appeared to show her partly-exposing her breasts leaked on the internet, and Christina Aguilera's reps vowed to hunt down computer hackers who leaked nearly-nude photos of the Beautiful hitmaker.

Pink Floyd rocker David Gilmour told of his shame after his son was arrested for clambering over a war memorial during student riots in London, and Hulk Hogan's wedding to Jennifer McDaniel descended into chaos when cops were called to break up a clash between a bodyguard and a photographer.

Love was in the air for Reese Witherspoon, who got engaged to Hollywood agent Jim Toth, and also making wedding plans this month were Ginnifer Goodwin, Shania Twain, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, Poison rocker Bret Michaels, and Hugh Hefner. And it was double delight for Natalie Portman – the actress got engaged and announced she's pregnant by choreographer Benjamin Millepied. Meanwhile, Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams became Hollywood's hottest new couple.

Actor Vince Vaughn became a father for the first time, and there were also new arrivals for Alanis Morissette, Ali Larter, and Elton John, who became a father at 63 after he and boyfriend David Furnish welcomed a son via a surrogate mother.

Nicole Richie had her father Lionel dancing on the ceiling when she wed Joel Madden, but other stars weren't so lucky in love - Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens ended their romance, Elizabeth Hurley confirmed her marriage split from Arun Nayar after she was linked to cricketer Shane Warne, rocker John Mellencamp split from his wife of 18 years, and Ryan Reynolds filed for divorce from Scarlett Johansson.

In the courts, Kc and The Sunshine Band co-founder Richard R. Finch was jailed for seven years for sexually abusing young boys, Rip Torn was given a suspended jail term for his drunken bank break-in, and rapper Dmx was sent to prison for a year for violating his probation by using drugs. In Florida, officials posthumously pardoned Jim Morrison over his infamous arrest for indecent exposure at a 1969 The Doors concert.

Meanwhile, Heather Locklear was hospitalised for a bacterial infection, Eminem was celebrating after landing 10 Grammy nominations, rap mogul Suge Knight was arrested after missing a court hearing, and exiled moviemaker Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer was the big winner at the European Film Awards.

Lady Gaga was named Artist of the Year by Billboard magazine editors, veteran entertainers Dame Julie Andrews and Dolly Parton were announced as recipients of lifetime achievement Grammy awards at a special upcoming ceremony in 2011, and Natalie Portman's hopes of Oscar glory for her movie Black Swan received a major boost by landing a record 12 nominations for the 2011 Critics' Choice Movie Awards.

The showbiz world mourned the loss of jazz musicians Billy Taylor and James Moody, Pink Panther creator Blake Edwards, rocker Captain Beefheart, singer/songwriter Teena Marie, and Boney M star Bobby Farrell.

And it was a miserable end to 2010 for Taylor Momsen - the Gossip Girl star spent Christmas in Amsterdam, Holland - away from her family and friends in the U.S. - after she became stranded in Europe due to flights chaos following snowstorms across the continent. »

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18 items from 2011


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