10 June 2004
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Legendary Musician Ray Charles Dies at 73
Legendary Grammy-winning singer Ray Charles
, whose gospel and blues-tinged music touched generations of music lovers and pervaded a number of films, died Thursday at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with liver disease; he was 73. Blind by the age of 7, Charles's musical gifts transcended genres, as he went from country to jazz to blues to gospel with agility and left his mark on each. Ballads like "Georgia on My Mind," R&B hits like "Hit the Road Jack" and his iconic interpretation of "America the Beautiful" were just a few of the hits that won him 12 Grammy Awards, nine of which he received between 1960 and 1966. Appearing on innumerable TV specials (which earned him three Emmy nominations), Charles's best-known screen appearance was his show-stopping turn in The Blues Brothers
. A biopic about Charles, entitled Ray
, is slated for release later this year starring Jamie Foxx
and Regina King
. --Prepared by IMDb staff
Arrest Warrant Out for Troubled Courtney
Troubled singer Courtney Love
is facing yet another court case after authorities issued a warrant for her arrest last week in connection with an assault. The star - who recently pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and agreed to enter rehab - stands accused of assaulting a female on April 25 using a bottle and a metal flashlight. The woman - who remains anonymous - is said to be a close friend of Love's ex- manager and former boyfriend Jim Barber. Love's whereabouts are not yet known but District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told reporters the widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain
was not in custody. Courtney, 39, is due to appear at the Beverly Hills Superior Court later this month to answer felony charges of illegally possessing prescription pain killers. She has also been arraigned by a New York City court charged with assault and reckless endangerment after an incident onstage in March. Her accuser says she hit him with a microphone stand while performing in a club. Love lost custody of her daughter Frances Bean Cobain, 12, last year following her arrest outside Barber's LA home.
Britney Undergoes Knee Surgery After Fall
has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery after falling badly while shooting her new music video in New York. The pop princess now fears the injury will jeopardize the start of the North American leg of her Onyx Hotel tour - which kicks off in just two weeks time. Britney took a tumble on Tuesday just after finishing a scene with rapper Snoop Dogg
on the Manhattan set of her new single "Outrageous." An insider says, "She said she couldn't get up. Her bodyguard scooped her up in his arms and took her to hospital. She is in agony and scared she's done lasting damage to her knee." A source at her record company Jive confirms, "She obviously took a wrong step and blew out her knee. It was an old dance injury," but could offer no information on the outcome of the operation. Britney was immediately rushed to a local hospital where doctors performed an scan and discovered floating cartilage in her knee. It is the third time Britney has injured her knee. Four years ago she underwent surgery after twisting her knee during a dance rehearsal and she had to cancel some concert dates earlier this year after injuring herself while performing in Illinois. Having wrapped up the European dates of her tour, Britney is due to take to the stage in Hartford Connecticut on June 22.
J.Lo Marriage Doubts
Doubts have been raised about the validity of Jennifer Lopez
's marriage to Marc Anthony
, because his divorce from ex-wife Dayanara Torres
could be invalid in America. The pair married in secret at Lopez's Los Angeles home on Saturday. But sources have told British newspaper the Daily Express
Anthony's quickie divorce from Torres, which he obtained in the Dominican Republic last week in just three days, should have taken at least two months. A document from the US embassy in the Dominican Republic claims a 60 day 'buffer' is enforced to allow either party to appeal. A source tells the newspaper, "This is very worrying for the couple. They thought the procedure was the best way of getting married quickly but now there is a huge question mark over whether the wedding was legal. If the divorce was not complete then Marc is effectively a bigamist." But leading American lawyer Neal Hirsh insists the divorce is legal. Hirsh - who is currently representing Halle Berry
in her divorce from Eric Benet
- says, "I've never known there to be a lengthy waiting period. The object of getting a Dominican divorce is to do it quickly. If Anthony wanted to have a 60 day waiting period, he most likely could have done that within his own state." The US State Department have yet to confirm if Anthony's divorce was legal.
Affleck Back in Hospital
Ailing Hollywood hunk Ben Affleck
returned to hospital on Monday to receive treatment for severe bronchitis. The Jersey Girl
heart-throb has been relaxing with new love Enza Sambatoro and mother Chris in his native Massachusetts, as he attempts to fend off his bad chest. Affleck was originally hospitalized at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center last month. On Saturday, Affleck made a second trip to the medical center, and again returned on Monday night, after his coughing continued. He stayed several hours for treatment, before being released.
'Stepford Wives' Invite Clinton and Rice's Fury
The producers of remake The Stepford Wives
are risking incurring the wrath of Hillary Clinton
and Condoleeza Rice
, by misusing their images in ads for the Nicole Kidman
movie. A trailer for the forthcoming film features former First Lady Clinton holding a tray like an obedient housewife and National Security Advisor Rice, whose image has been changed to make her appear topless with her arms crossed to protect her modesty. It's not clear whether film company Paramount gained Clinton and Rice's permission to mock them in the promo for The Stepford Wives
- which is released in America on June 11 - but bosses at the firm insist they've received no complaints. The movie - based on the original 1975 thriller by director Bryan Forbes
- is about a small town in Connecticut where it emerges the wives of the wealthy men who live there are "perfect" because they have been replaced by robots.
Lohan's Police Emergency
star Lindsay Lohan
sparked an emergency in Los Angeles earlier this week when she pulled into a police station to avoid a paparazzi chase. The teenage actress was keen to shake off the photographers who were chasing her around Hollywood but she ended up giving them exactly what they wanted. She explains, "I jumped to the police station. I didn't realize that the spot that I pulled into was this emergency spot. So I pulled into this spot and sirens started going off in the police station. All of these like voices start saying you've to push the button to say what the emergency is; they probably thought that somebody was dying and like bleeding to death. So I run out of the car and what do the paparazzi do? They stop and start taking pictures of me talking to a cop in front of a police station... it's so retarded."
MTV To Edit Sandler Too
Comic star Adam Sandler
is the latest celebrity whose MTV Movie Awards appearance is being threatened with the axe, after he thanked Hawaiians for providing him with drugs on the set of 50 First Dates
. It's already emerged rapper Eminem
's bare bottom flash at Hollywood beauties including Uma Thurman
, Lucy Liu
, Carmen Electra
, Queen Latifah
and Halle Berry
at the star-studded bash at Culver City, California on Saturday has been cut from the televised broadcast of the event tomorrow. And now MTV bosses are poised to drop Sandler's drug comment, which he made after his 50 First Dates
co-star Drew Barrymore
suggested they praise Hawaii during their acceptance speech for the Best Onscreen Team award. Instead, Sandler sparked laughter when he hailed the locals for supplying him with "weed" during the shoot.
Kidman Slams Eating Disorder Rumors
Australian beauty Nicole Kidman
has furiously slammed the media for accusing her of suffering from a dangerous eating disorder. The Cold Mountain
star insists she has always been slender and gorges on pies and chocolate unless a role needs her to modify her diet. The Hollywood legend explains, "I've always had this long, lean body type and I haven't changed since I was 15. In The Hours
I had to look gaunt so I had to alter my diet. I wear sunscreen and moisturize my skin and I eat healthily, but I also love pies and chocolate, and smoke the odd cigarette. Life could be worse, right?"
Elizabeth Taylor Settles Case of Gardener and Butler
Veteran actress Elizabeth Taylor
has reached an out of court settlement with her former gardener, who claimed he had been fired for refusing the sexual advances of her butler. Willem Van Muyden had claimed breach of contract and sexual discrimination in a lawsuit filed a year ago, along with unspecified damages for being fired by Taylor without being paid $294,000 he said he was owed for 10 years of gardening work. A Los Angles Superior Court clerk says lawyers for both sides told the judge before a trial-setting conference yesterday that they had reached a settlement and would be filing papers to dismiss the case. Details of the settlement have not been made available. Van Muyden, who said he created a Disney-style jungle at Taylor's Bel Air, California, mansion, claimed he was fired at the request of the actress's French butler after he rejected the butler's sexual advances. Last year, Taylor's lawyer described the lawsuit as "complete fiction".
Jolie Builds "Rainbow Family"
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star Angelina Jolie
is desperate to fulfill her dream of creating a multi-cultural family of adopted children. The busty actress recently went on a goodwill mission to Russia - where she met with adoption officials and visited orphaned Chechen refugees - to improve her chances of obtaining a Russian child. The gorgeous 29-year-old already has one adopted tot - Cambodian orphan Maddox, who became a member of her family in March 2002. A family friend tells website Pagesix.Com, "By the end of the year, if everything goes well, she will have a new baby. The adoption process is already under way. Angelina has always wanted a rainbow family, children from all countries."