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263 posts
  • Birthdays
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

I think hip-hop is the only music that integrates rock, pop, jazz, blues and R&B, but radio has become very sectioned. I just came back from doing a tour in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, and it's amazing how you can hear all this on one radio station -- not just in a mix but regularly played.

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  • Birthdays
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The whole tendency now is to improvise everything. ... And maybe 30, 40 years ago this naturalistic approach, where you looked beyond the text for the character, was considered a necessary antidote to some of the excesses of the past. But now it's gone the other way. It's become lazy and indulgent, and I think it's got to go back to what was told to us when we first learned Shakespeare. That if you speak the verse, you don't have to amble around looking for subtext. You know? Just say the lines.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Speaking Freely of 'Amistad'

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  • Birthdays
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

My goal was just stir things up. It was the same when I started doing poetry in 1971. I thought the format of reading poetry was getting really dead, and I still believed it could be a viable force, a great communication outlet. My motivation was to try to put the blood back into the form — to get it away from being so boring. It was the same thing later with rock 'n' roll.

Jay-Z's "Family Feud" video, directed by Ava DuVernay
Jay-Z's "Family Feud" video, directed by Ava DuVernay

Just as a tumultuous 2017 approaches its end, Jay-Z and filmmaker Ava DuVernay have teamed up to put a hopeful spin on the future in the music video for “Family Feud” — and to help they have a powerhouse lineup of cameos by Michael B. Jordan, Thandie Newton, “Moonlight” actor Trevante Rhodes, Jessica Chastain, Omari Hardwick and more — including Queen B herself, Beyoncé.

“Family Feud,” a track from Jay-Z’s introspective “4:44,” would generate plenty of buzz without the extra dash of star power thanks to the raw accusations of infidelity Beyoncé sang about on “Lemonade.”  And indeed, in one “Family Feud” sequence, the rapper performs his verses walking hand in hand into church with daughter Blue Ivy before confessing his marital sins to Beyoncé herself. 

But the refrain “Nobody wins when the family feuds” doesn’t apply only to the Carters. What precedes Jay-Z’s own meta-family moment gives “Family Feud” breathtakingly expansive new life, delivered in a time-hopping cinematic prelude with pointedness and purpose by “Selma” and “The 13th” director DuVernay (whose Disney sci-fi fantasy epic “A Wrinkle in Time” opens March 9). 

  • TV
  • Celebrity
Luann de Lesseps' Christmas weekend booking photo.
Luann de Lesseps' Christmas weekend booking photo. (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office via Associated Press)

“Real Housewives of New York” star Luann de Lesseps says she’s checking herself into rehab for treatment after a drunken arrest Christmas weekend in Palm Beach, Fla.

“After the events of last Saturday night in Palm Beach, I am truly embarrassed,” she wrote Friday in a statement on Instagram, apologizing for her behavior. “I have decided to seek professional guidance and will be voluntarily checking into an alcohol treatment center. I intend to turn this unfortunate incident into a positive life changing event.”

Police were called to the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach on Saturday night and told an intoxicated woman was trespassing in another person’s room and refused to leave, WPTV reported Sunday.

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U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum
U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)

Rock and roll may not appear to be so relevant on the pop charts these days, but it’s still a dominant force on live stages.

The concert-industry trade publication Pollstar released its list of the top-grossing tours of 2017, and rock-leaning acts took many of the top slots. 

U2 claimed the peak spot with its leviathan Joshua Tree Tour, which sold 2.71 million tickets for a gross of $316 million. Right on the act’s heels was a reunited Guns N’ Roses,  which grossed $292.5 million on 2.68 million tickets. (U2, on average, charged $40 more per ticket than Guns N’ Roses).

  • Birthdays
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

I didn't like that feeling of being a starlet. I felt used, not in a good way.

  • Celebrity
Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013.
Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013. (Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

Former Miss Americas Mallory Hagan, Gretchen Carlson and Kate Shindle are standing together and demanding that the entire board of the Miss America Organization step down in the wake of insulting internal emails that were recently made public. 

The board announced a plan Wednesday night to form a committee that would seek “a new leadership structure and respective names” after the resignations of three top executives on Saturday.

The committee will include two current board members and five people chosen from nominations made by select former Miss Americas and state-level pageant executives, the board said in a statement. 

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  • Music
(Evan Agostini / Invision)

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are taking us to church in a new teaser for Jay’s track “Family Feud.”

The Brooklyn-bred rapper shared the clip via Tidal’s Twitter account on Thursday, announcing the visual’s full drop on Friday.

In the clip, Jay-Z walks his 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, down a church aisle while a fiercely pontiff-like Bey supervises from the altar. The couple also appears to sit down in a confessional booth. Those visuals are spliced together with a hot and heavy love-making session that ends with a woman stabbing her lover in the back.

  • Movies
  • Awards
Halle Berry.
Halle Berry. (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)

The stars are coming out for the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards next month.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which recognizes achievements in film and television at the boozy awards show, announced the first batch of presenters on Thursday. 

Among them are past winners and nominees. Naturally, several hail from this year’s crop of contenders.