Salma Hayek isn't like most actresses in Hollywood -- or women worldwide, for that matter -- who evaluates every morsel she puts in her mouth. In fact, the Mexican-born mom happily indulges, boasting that she pushes "the limit of chubbiness at all times."
"I'm not a skinny girl," the "Savages" star, 46, admits in the October issue of More magazine, on newsstands now. "Everybody has a weakness -- mine is food. If you love food and you love red wine and they put you in France, you're in a good place and you’re in a bad place at the same time."
To allow herself to indulge guilt-free, Hayek, married to 4-year-old daughter Valentina's dad Francois-Henri Pinault, steps on the scale daily. "You have to weigh yourself every day, and you have to have an alarm number. When you get to that number, you have to start putting it in reverse," said Hayek, who keeps her figure in check by dieting more so than exercise. "I don't have stamina in exercise ... but I have it in life."
Hayek told More her husband Pinault -- the French CEO of luxury-brands firm PPR, which handles Gucci and Balenciaga -- keeps her motivated to keep an eye on the scale. "I think if I was not in love, I would probably let myself go faster. Love gives me the vanity to continue. I'm not necessarily vain, but when I gained 50-something pounds in the pregnancy, it did something to me. Since then, at least I make an effort," the actress admits.
Together for three years, Hayek and Pinault, 50, keep their marriage spicy by -- yes -- sexting. "Of course, I can show you a text that would surprise you," Hayek told More's interviewer during their chat. "I can show you a thousand things. But I'm not going to."
Lynyrd Skynyrd members, from left, Johnny Van Zant, Mark "Sparky" Matejka, Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington perform during a "FOX & Friends" concert in New York in August.
By Randee Dawn, TODAY contributor
To many above the Mason-Dixon line, the Confederate flag is a symbol of a divided country and an empathy with slavery and racism. To many below it, however, the "Rebel" flag is a symbol of unity, heritage and standing up for state's rights. To Lynyrd Skynyrd, it's all part of the band's brand -- good-time Southern rock ("Sweet Home Alabama") made by men with flowing locks and cranked-up guitars -- and it's made an appearance at virtually every one of their shows since they formed in the 1960s.
But as band members learned recently, it's not so easy to lower the flag.
It all started on Sept. 9, when three members of the band (Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant) appeared on CNN to discuss their new album, "Last of a Dyin' Breed." Toward the end of the discussion, interviewer Fredricka Whitfield asked about the band appearing to disassociate themselves from the flag.
"It became such an issue about race and stuff where we just had it in the beginning because we were Southern, and that was our image back in the'70s and late '60s ... but I think through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads and people kind of kidnapped the Dixie or Rebel flag from the Southern and the heritage of the soldiers," explained guitarist and sole original band member Rossington. "We didn’t want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things.”
That didn't go well with some fans; messages left on the CNN board indicated they felt that leaving the flag out of the routine was a slap in the face and kowtowing to political correctness. "By ignoring and denying the flag that is part of their history, they are leaving a large segment of their fan base behind," wrote G.D. Smith on the boards. "It's a shame that money is now more important than honor or heritage."
"We hope you never come back to 'Sweet Home Alabama,'" wrote another fan, L.E. Thompson.
Well, never let it be said that Skynyrd isn't responsive to its fans; last Friday, Rossington posted a message on the band's website to "clarify the discussion of the Confederate Flag" in the interview, writing:
"Myself, the past members and the present members (that are from the South), are all extremely proud of our heritage and being from the South. We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights.
"We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost. We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag as well, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans. I only stated my opinion that the confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate…"
And based on the comments left on the website following that post, this is an issue that remains still unresolved -- but many are backing up his decision to try and find a balance.
"I think all of us do well to let our conscience be our guide, and Mr. Rossington has given an example," wrote Walk In My Shadow.
And, added Toolbox, "Lynyrd Skynyrd is a true American band and are proud of their Southern heritage. Do you think for one minute that they would denounce their Southern roots?? Your wrong. Just listen to their music."
King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke to "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart Tuesday night.
If you think we’re paying close attention to issues like Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon and the effect that YouTube videos can have in the streets of the Middle East, that’s nothing compared to what’s going on in the mind of the rulers in the regions.
Jon Stewart got to hear about Arab Spring from King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday’s “Daily Show.” King Abdullah, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, offered his take on the region in an extended interview.
Though, as Stewart noted at the beginning of the show, neither King Abdullah nor anyone else will be getting a private session with President Obama (in his defense, “The View” is a much cheerier setting than the U.N. Building), the Jordanian monarch gave him a taste of what he would say about the Iran situation if he were able to tear his way away from Barbara Walters and company.
“The way I put it to those who will listen is that the reason we have a nuclear program is because what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, and the future of Jerusalem,” he said. “So my argument is that if Israel and Palestinians solve their problems, that allows the Israelis and the Arabs to come together and have a peace treaty, then there’s no longer a raison d’être for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
The king also discussed Arab Spring and its effects, noting that while Jordan is surrounded by volatility (“we’ve seen better days,” he said), it got ahead of the game by making changes to its political system in advance.
“The difference between Jordan and other countries is that we changed the constitution. They ran elections and now have to change the constitution,” he said.
He also noted that some of the results that may not make some in the United States very happy right now are the inevitable results of the transition to Democracy.
“Arab Spring started because of the economy, and then it went from economic frustration to politics. What happened in a lot of countries was, as young men and women aspired to political form, those who were more organized like the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the movement. …But in a way, that’s Democracy,” he said.
And President Obama doesn’t need to worry about hurt feelings. As far as King Abdullah is concerned, choosing “The View” over world leaders isn’t bothering anyone.
“Not that I have heard, no. I think everyone is there preparing for their speeches.”
The decision to meet with “The View” audience as opposed to world leaders did bother Stewart, who began the show questioning the decision. But, as he noted, it doesn’t seem to be affecting his election chances.
“Whatever his missteps are as a candidate Obama is still surging in the polls because the closer we get to the election the dumber Mitt Romney seems to be getting,” he said.
The audience cheered, but Stewart shook his head.
“Really? Is that how you wanna win this thing? The other guy just tears his ACL -- that’s how you want to win?”
Up in the air
Over on the "Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert took a moment to chat about one of those "injuries" Romney recently suffered -- his airplane window gaffe.
On Saturday, an electrical fire caused the candidate's wife's plane to make an emergency landing. The event left Romney publically musing about airplane windows.
"You can't fine any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft because the windows don't open -- I don't know why they don’t… It's a real problem." he said after the incident.
"It is a real problem," Colbert agreed. "For one thing, it explains why Burger King doesn't have a fly-through window. … Just as Kennedy challenged us to put a man on the moon, now Mitt Romney is challenging us to add power windows to the Delta shuttle -- not because it is easy, but because it is impossible."
Meanwhile Ann Romney sat down with Jay Leno Wednesday night to talk about a wide range of things on the "Tonight Show" -- from flying in a smoke-filled plane, to the fact that the Romney family (they have five sons) loves Costco, and about her battle with multiple sclerosis -- oh, and also about the Republican candidate’s abilities as a hoofer.
“You know, Jay,” she said to Leno, “he’s gotten to be a better dancer.”
Cut to a doctored clip of Romney mixing it up “Gangnam Style.”
She was a game guest, but admitted that campaigning is stressful – and she didn’t expect to be doing it yet again. “It’s a hard thing to do this … especially being a wife and having to listen to (attacks in the media) all the time,” she told Leno, then ‘fessed up: Four years ago, she made her husband a very special videotape. “I looked in the camera, and I said, ‘Mitt, this is for you, sweetheart. I’m never doing this again.’ And I showed it to him. And he looked at it and then he said, ‘You know, Ann, you say that after every pregnancy.’ Which is true.”
By Bob Thomas and Jim Salter, The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS -- Andy Williams, the silky-voiced, clean-cut crooner, whose hit recording "Moon River" and years of popular Christmas TV shows brought him fans the world over has died, his publicist said. He was 84.
Larry Busacca / Getty Images file
Andy Williams performs during the 40th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 18, 2009.
Williams died Tuesday night at his home in Branson following a yearlong battle with bladder cancer, his Los Angeles-based publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday.
With an easy style and a mellow voice that President Ronald Reagan once termed "a national treasure," Williams proved ideal for television. "The Andy Williams Show," which lasted in various formats from 1957 to 1971, featured Williams alternately performing his stable of easy-listening ballads and bantering casually with his guest stars. He received 18 gold and three platinum albums over his long career and was nominated for five Grammy awards. He released an autobiography in 2009, "Moon River and Me: A Memoir."
It was on that show that Williams — who launched his own career as part of an all-brother quartet — introduced the world to the original four singing Osmond Brothers of Utah. Their younger sibling Donny also made his debut on Williams' show, in 1963 when he was 6 years old.
Check out a sampling of Williams' music in this Spotify playlist:
Four decades later, the Osmonds and Williams would find themselves in close proximity again, sharing Williams' theater in Branson, Mo., during the 2003 season.
The singer's unflappable manner on television and in concert mirrored his offstage demeanor.
"I guess I've never really been aggressive, although almost everybody else in show business fights and gouges and knees to get where they want to be," he once said. "My trouble is, I'm not constructed temperamentally along those lines."
Williams' clean-cut persona, which made him a popular act in conservative Branson, also carried over into his personal life. He was connected with scandal only once — indirectly — when his ex-wife, former Las Vegas showgirl Claudine Longet, shot her lover, skiing champion Spider Sabich, to death in 1976. The Rolling Stones mocked the tragedy in the song "Claudine."
Longet, who said it was an accident, spent only a week in jail, and Williams provided support for her and their children, Noelle, Christian and Robert.
Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, on Dec. 3, 1927, Howard Andrew Williams began performing with his older brothers Dick, Bob and Don in the local Presbyterian church choir when he was 8. Their father, a postal worker, was the choirmaster.
Soon after, the Williams Brothers Quartet landed a regular spot on Des Moines radio station WHO's Iowa Barn Dance. The show quickly brought attention from Chicago, Cincinnati and Hollywood.
They joined Bing Crosby in recording the hit "Swinging on a Star" in 1944 for Crosby's film "Going My Way," and Andy, barely a teenager, was picked to dub Lauren Bacall's voice on a song for the film "To Have and Have Not." His voice stayed in the film until the preview, when it was cut because it didn't sound like Bacall's.
Later the brothers worked with Kay Thompson, a singer who had taken a position as vocal coach at MGM studios, working with Judy Garland, June Allyson and others.
After three months of training, Thompson and the Williams Brothers broke in their show at the El Rancho Room in Las Vegas to a huge ovation. They drew rave reviews in New York, Los Angeles and across the nation, earning a peak of $25,000 a week.
Williams, analyzing their success, once said: "Somehow we managed to work up and sustain an almost unbearable pitch of speed and rhythm."
After five years, the three older brothers, who were starting their own families, had tired of the constant travel and left to pursue other careers.
Williams initially struggled as a solo act and was so broke at one point that he resorted to eating food intended for his two dogs.
"I had no money for food, so I ate it," he recalled in 2001, "and it actually was damned good."
A two-year TV stint on Steve Allen's "Tonight Show" and a contract with Cadence Records turned things around.
"The Andy Williams Show" followed, along with a host of gold albums and records. Among his hit records: "Canadian Sunset," "The Hawaiian Wedding Song," "Dear Heart," "Days of Wine and Roses," the theme from the movie "Love Story" and "Charade."
After leaving TV, Williams headed back on the road, where his many Christmas shows and albums made him a huge draw during the holidays. One year in Des Moines, however, a snowstorm kept the customers away, and the band's equipment failed to reach Chicago in time for the next night's show, forcing the musicians to borrow instruments from a high school band.
"No more tours," Williams decreed.
He decided to settle in Branson, the self-proclaimed "live entertainment capital of the country," with its dozens of theaters featuring live music, comedy and magic acts.
When he arrived in 1992, the town was dominated by country music performers, but Williams changed that, building the classy, $13 million Andy Williams Moon River Theater in the heart of the city's entertainment district and performing two shows a night, six days a week, nine months of the year. Only in recent years did he begin to cut back to one show a night.
Not surprisingly, his most popular time of the year was Christmas, although he acknowledged that not everyone in Hollywood accepted his move to the Midwest.
"The fact is most of my friends in L.A. still think I'm nuts for coming here," he told The Associated Press in 1998.
He and his second wife, the former Debbie Haas, divided their time between homes in Branson and Palm Springs, where he spent his leisure hours on the golf course when Branson's theaters were dark during the winter months following Christmas.
Retirement was not on his schedule. As he told the AP in 2001: "I'll keep going until I get to the point where I can't get out on stage."
He continued to perform even after announcing his bladder cancer diagnosis in 2011.
Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie, and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
Pamela Anderson and pro partner Tristan MacManus were the first pair to get the ballroom boot on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars."
By Michael Maloney, TODAY contributor
Somebody had to go first on the all-star season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and even though Pamela Anderson has a legion of fans from her ‘Baywatch’ days, the blond bombshell got her walking papers after her premiere performance on the show.
The axed star passed on doing a good portion of the post-show press line as a few others (including Shannen Doherty, Toni Braxton) have done in the past on "Dancing."
"Pam is with her family," Tristan MacManus, Anderson’s pro partner, explained to reporters after the Tuesday night's results show. "They flew in to see her dance (on Monday.) She hasn’t seen then in a while and she’s spending time with them before they fly home."
How was she feeling? "Obviously, she’s disappointed," MacManus responded. "We both are. Nobody wants to go first, but at the same time, somebody needs to go so the others can move on."
The couple’s cha-cha-cha on Monday met with bad reviews. The judges certainly didn’t care for it as evidenced by their low score (the couple earned a 17), and the audience didn’t seem to respond to it too positively either.
"It’s a story that Pam wanted to tell in the dance," MacManus explained to reporters. "Granted, it didn’t go as well (as we would have liked.) We didn’t get a lot of rehearsal time, but we can’t use that as an excuse. Other people have injuries and commitments."
What’s next? Anderson has expressed an interest in doing Broadway, but her partner was unable to shed light on any specific plans she has. As for MacManus himself, he hopes to appear on results shows throughout the rest of the season.
"It’s hard to feel like you’re a part of the competition when you go so early, but if they want me to dance on Tuesdays I will," he said. "I think of it this way -- I still have 12 (pairs of) friends in the competition."
Michael Maloney is the author of "The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell, creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful."
You've seen this episode of "Seinfeld" approximately eleventy billion times, and yet you're still glued to the TV. You (and your housemates) may think you're just being lazy, but a new study suggests that you're doing something useful: watching reruns of our favorite TV shows actually replenishes our self-control.
Jaye Derrick, research scientist at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions, had a hunch that watching TV is doing something more for our brains than turning them to mush. Specifically, she wanted to see whether the restorative powers of watching a familiar TV show might have any effect on our reserves of self-control.
Because self-control comes in limited quantities. It takes a lot of mental energy to refrain from calling your partner a jerk or eating a second slice of chocolate cake -- and as you exert yourself, self-control depletes, past research has suggested.
People restock their reserves in many ways and Derrick believed that watching TV or a movie or reading a book might re-establish self-control because it stands in as a social surrogate. Chatting and sharing some laughs with friends provides a positive social event that boosts moods and restores diminished self-control. Derrick suspected that retreating to a familiar fictional world could provide the same benefits as those real life experiences.
Derrick asked subjects to take a daily survey for two weeks, where they answered questions about stress, effortful self-control, fictional world use, and mood. They also noted if they retreated to a familiar fictional world, such as a rerun or a re-read of a book. The results revealed that people escaped to a fictional world to find relief from stressful situations and when they encountered a favorite repeat of a TV show, movie, or book it built up their self-control.
“Part of it is sitting there watching these social characters we enjoy and kind of living in the moment a bit,” explains Derrick. And watching these familiar faces feels as reinvigorating as hanging out with a loved one.
She suspects that people enjoy re-watching or re-reading because they feel comfortable with the plot and characters—and they don’t have to exert any extra effort. When people see a new episode of a much-loved show they invest mental energy into following the plot, wondering about twists and turns.
“We have to do all this extra effort when [watching or reading] a new TV show, new movie, or new book. If we have seen it before we can just enjoy it,” Derrick explains. “A positive mood is energizing.”
As someone who found herself in front of the tube re-watching some of her favorite shows, Derrick feels happy that TV viewing has a positive side.
“I am hesitant to make this into a prescription [because] we don’t know what the potential long term effects are, but what the research suggests is that [watching] favorite episodes can be beneficial.”
Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) questions Capt. Don Cragen (Dann Florek) as her boss finds himself on the wrong side of the law in the season premiere of "SVU."
By Ree Hines, TODAY contributor
We all hope we'll never be involved in the sort of crimes the fine folks from the various incarnations of "Law & Order" have found themselves in time and time again over the years. But in the off chance we do end up sitting at a police precinct desperately trying to remember our alibies (or desperately trying to pry the truth from the perp du jour -- depending on which side of the thin blue line we find ourselves on), there's a lot we can learn from the TV legal system.
And with "Special Victims Unit" kicking off its 14th season on Sept. 26, what better time than now to review the lessons we've learned from the popular procedural and others like it?
Lessons for regular folks:
Never trust your landlord. Your landlord isn't just the person collecting your rent each month and ignoring your complaints about the air conditioning. He's also the guy who's going to completely sell you out once the cops stop by. In the land of the "Law & Order" franchises, landlords are only too happy to reveal every relevant and irrelevant tale about your life. And in more than a couple episodes, they were the ones who took their tenants' lives.
Drink nothing! Eat nothing! Once you're at the precinct, if detectives offers you a stick of gum, then dollars to doughnuts, they're going to dig through the trash can later (or scrape it from the underside of the table you stick it to) and send that gooey sample to the lab for some DNA-retrieving magic. Just tough out the hunger pangs for a few more hours. But if you must drink, take that aluminum can or paper cup with you! (Watch out if they offer you a beverage in a mug. It might be tough to walk out of the precinct, mug in hand, without getting slapped with a theft charge on top of whatever it is you're already facing.)
Don't touch the detective. Maybe you're feeling particularly punchy. Maybe you think, "I could take that detective in a fair fight." No, just no. No matter how frustrated (or even overly friendly) you may be, it's never OK to lay a hand on the officer standing before you. It only leads to regret and arrest.
Keep your mouth shut. Yes, the police can be intimidating and mean (Hellooooo, dearly missed Det. Stabler!), but remember you have the right to remain silent no matter how much they badger you. (Side note: Remember whether the arresting officer read you your Miranda rights. It may come in handy if they don't.) Keep those lips sealed beyond asking for legal representation. Anything you say can and will be used against you later in the episode ... er, in the court of law.
Listen to your lawyer. If you were clever enough to ask for a lawyer in the first place, then listen to said lawyer -- even if the lawyer's advice seems like little more than the aforementioned "keep your mouth shut." Nothing doomed more suspects on any prime-time police procedural that the words they uttered after their lawyers said, "Don't answer that."
Lessons for law enforcement:
Respect the crime scene! Didn't they teach this in police academy or day one on the force? Crime scenes are special places chock-full of prints, hair, fibers and tiny, random deposits of DNA, so it's best to tread lightly and not add your own DNA to the mix. We've lost count of the number of times detectives have put their ungloved hands all over evidence.
They're called partners for a reason. Bad things happen to good partners when they hit the pavement solo, so don't let them do it. Oh, sure, it's fine if they want to do a little research or visit the lab. But if they're actually meeting up with perps or faithfully following killers' footsteps, follow the advice ever kindergartener already knows -- stick close to your buddy.
If you want a suspect to talk, get up close and personal. Yes, thanks to the intimate interrogations stylings of "Law & Order: SVU's" Det. Stabler and "L & O: Criminal Intent's" Det. Goren, it's clear that when someone doesn't want to spill the murderous beans, all you have to do is get your face near the suspect's face. Criminals have no defense for that classic maneuver.
But don't get too personal. This is one of those lessons best learned by watching what not to do. Whenever a good cop gets a little too involved with a sympathetic victim, things go bad fast. When a case hits too close to home, procedure flies out the window, and rookie mistakes are the order of the day.
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" returns with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.
As fans of the PBS series already know, Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) is American and her mom lives in Philadelphia.
"I think we need to encourage (show creator Julian Fellowes) to write an episode in New York or something like that," Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, told us at the Emmys. "Let's hope, because I'd love that."
Cora's mother actually appears in season three when she comes to visit the family. She's played by Shirley MacLaine.
She goes head-to-head with Dowager Countess (Emmy winner Maggie Smith).
"Shirley MacLaine was fantastic," Hugh Bonneville, who plays family patriarch Robert Crawley, told us at the BAFTA L.A. Tea. "She was a hoot and she just brought class and Hollywood glamour to the whole proceedings."
Most people who have occasion to use a hole punch just discard the little paper dots that fall out of the tool, but artist Nikki Douthwaite saw something more in the colorful little circles.
Courtesy Nikki Douthwaite
Nikki Douthwaite made this image of Marilyn Monroe with 99,000 hole-punch dots in 2010. She used colored dots in such a way as to make the resulting image look black-and-white. Says the artist, "It was the first piece that I have made where I didn't think I could do any better."
For the past three years, Douthwaite has been collecting paper dots, painstakingly sorting them by color, and crafting them into images of some of the world’s most celebrated icons, including Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Muhammad Ali. The work of the Manchester, England-based artist has been featured in galleries around the U.K., and recently, photos of her pieces wowed the Internet. (You can see more of Douthwaite's art on her site -- note that she's a big fan of Formula 1 racecar drivers.)
“The idea to use hole-punch dots came from studying pointalist artist (Georges) Seurat for my degree,” Douthwaite tells NBCNews.com. “I don't really have a trick, just hard work and an obsession. Tweezering one dot on at a time and making sure the color mix is right before I start. I will often stick my hand in a bucket of 30,000 hole-punch dots and say, ‘That needs more light purple.’"
Courtesy Nikki Douthwaite
Douthwaite used 150,000 dots to make this image of Jimi Hendrix.
Each picture is inspired by a magazine photograph and takes anywhere from six to 15 weeks to create. For Monroe’s image, she used approximately 100,000 dots, and for Hendrix, 140,000.
“The younger and prettier someone is the harder I seem to find it, as there tends to be less distinguishing features,” says Douthwaite. “I find facial features really easy. I spent the most time on their hair, and making John Lennon’s glasses look real. Marilyn's eyelashes were tricky, trying to make them visible without being over the top.”
Courtesy Nikki Douthwaite
Douthwaite made this image of John Lennon as a birthday gift for a friend in Los Angeles. It was only the third dot portrait she had made, and she had to learn how to do hair and glasses.
Many pieces of her work have been sold; some, like the portrait of Monroe, were commissioned. Hendrix’s portrait went to a private collector, and Lennon’s image has been shown in galleries worldwide, including at The Beatles museum in Liverpool. In the U.S., a portrait by Douthwaite is owned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not in San Francisco.
Courtesy Nikki Douthwaite
It took 189,000 dots to create this portrait of TV judge and personality Simon Cowell. Douthwaite says she loves how "you never know what is going to come out of his mouth."
Of course, all artists have critics, and in a medium as unique as Douthwaite’s, the commentary can be equally bizarre.
“People sometimes accuse me of blowing up huge photographs and pixelating them, then sticking dots over the top by matching the colors,” the artist says. “Seriously, can you imagine how long that would take? I use the dots like paint. I do different colors for the feel of the picture, and there are thousands of colors in each piece.”
She adds, “My house has constantly got dots spilled everywhere. My friends call me up and say, ‘I have a blue dot on my shoe, do you need me to bring it back?’”
There's no funny business between these clowns. The American hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse is saying "In Yo Face" to the Federal Bureau Investigation by slapping the government agency with a lawsuit after they labeled the group's fans a "loosely-organized hybrid gang," according to band's website.
On Aug. 24, the group's legal team filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the FBI release whatever information led the organization to label their fans (aka Juggalos) a gang.
Since there was no response, the band's reps filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan "for its failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI's classification of the groups' fan base."
Last October, the FBI's annual National Gang Threat Assessment report classified Juggalos as "a criminal organization formed on the street," and even put them up there with the MS-13, Crips and Bloods. It also revealed that Juggalos have infiltrated the U.S. military and use social networking "to communicate and expand."
"You're trying to grow love in your country and s---," ICP rapper Shaggy 2 Dope told Village Voice. "Then the head of your country -- the FBI -- just turns around and f------ kicks you in the nuts. How are you supposed to respond to that?"
After turning in a subpar cha-cha-cha Monday night, Pam Anderson and pro Tristan MacManus were eliminated Tuesday.
By Anna Chan, TODAY
No sympathy for the all-stars. After only a single dance, one returning celeb hoofer has already gotten the ballroom boot on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars."
Granted, that hopeful’s one and only dance of the season was the poorest of premiere night, and even Pam Anderson herself knew it. “I screwed up so many things,” she told pro partner Tristan MacManus after their strangely drowsy 17-point cha-cha-cha Monday. “I did terrible.”
The judges praised her for getting into the character of the dance, but dinged her on technique and content. “There wasn’t enough work there for me to praise you,” complained judge Bruno Tonioli. “You need to work harder!”
The actress admitted that the criticism of her performance was correct. “I’ve been traveling a lot, and they’re right, I need to rehearse more,” she said earlier on elimination night.
When it was revealed Pam had the lowest combination of judges’ scores and viewer votes, she was teary eyed but prepared to accept being the first all-star contestant to be shooed from the ballroom. “I was ready for it for sure. We got the lowest score,” the actress said. “We’re going to dance together again. It doesn’t end here.”
Though her elimination was far from unexpected, there was a bit of drama courtesy of Emmy-award winning host Tom Bergeron. In what might be the only minor “oopsy!” moment in his otherwise nearly perfect time on “DWTS” (really, it’s about time the Emmys recognized him!) , he sort of, kind of accidentally informed Emmitt Smith, Gilles Marini and Sabrina Bryan that they were “all safe” when he meant only the two men were moving on into week two.
As the three contestants and their pros celebrated with a big group hug, Tom broke in to say, “I should clarify: All of the names that I mentioned are safe.”
LOS ANGELES — Pop star Katy Perry was named Billboard's Woman of the Year on Tuesday, after a whirlwind 12 months in which she split up with her husband and turned their breakup into a hit single and film.
Perry, 27, channeled her split with British comedian Russell Brand in late 2011 into the chart-topping hit "Part Of Me" and a 3-D behind-the-scenes film "Katy Perry: Part Of Me" that documented her personal and professional ups and downs.
The singer has won over a legion of fans, known as 'katycats,' on Twitter and Facebook with her quirky costumes and catchy bubble gum pop songs.
Forbes placed Perry at No. 3 on their highest-earning female musicians list in December 2011, estimating her pre-tax earnings at $44 million.
She has sold 48 million tracks in the United States alone, according to Billboard, including the hits "Firework," "California Gurls," "E.T." and "Hot N Cold" from her major-label 2008 debut "One Of The Boys" and 2010 album "Teenage Dream."
Perry has become a branding machine, lending her name to her own fragrance, nail polish and false eyelash lines. She is also the face of skin care line Proactiv and Popchips snacks.
Billboard's editorial director Bill Werde said in a statement that Perry was chosen for her achievements, calling her "one of the most exciting and inspiring artists in the industry."
"Katy Perry broke into the industry not even five years ago, and has already accomplished more than most artists can hope for in an entire career," Werde said.
The Billboard Woman of the Year award selects a female artist with trailblazing achievements. Previous recipients include Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.
Perry will receive the award at the 2012 Billboard Women in Music event in New York on Nov. 30.
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel in Hollywood on Sept. 10.
"Dancing With the Stars" fans are used to seeing great moves, feuds, battles with the judges, injuries, wardrobe malfunctions, fainting, “showmances” and other assorted dramas throughout the course of the season.
But perhaps because everyone on “All-Stars” has already been through the competition before, viewers haven’t seen much drama yet in week one, though there have been some digs.
Take for example the barbs exchanged between former boy banders Drew Lachey (of 98 Degrees) and Joey Fatone ('N Sync). As Fatone noted on the premiere, rival Lachey is known as “Lackey” to him. “I’ll bust his chops,” Fatone joked to reporters after the premiere show.
But it’s all in fun, Lackey ... er ... Lachey said, adding, “Joey and I have a great relationship. We go back 15 years and we’ve both been around the block a few times.”
Though viewers may have expected trouble when actress Pamela Anderson griped in her clip that season 11 finalist Bristol Palin had the whole Tea Party behind her when it comes to viewer votes, not even that seems to have stirred up any drama between the two ladies.
“It’s all in good fun,” Palin told reporters of the comment after the show. “It’s a friendly competition.”
“I love Bristol,” Anderson said. “But it’s true – she does have the Tea Party (vote). That’s a lot of people!”
Lady Gaga is starting her own "body revolution." On Sept. 25, the "Born This Way" singer, 26, shared a somber photo of herself wearing yellow lingerie via her Little Monsters website. "[I've battled] bulimia and anorexia since I was 15," Gaga wrote in the caption.
The revelation comes on the heels of the singer's recent radio interview with Elvis Duran, in which she admitted to being on a diet "because I gained, liked, 25 pounds" during her five weeks off between tour dates.
At the time, the Grammy Award winner insisted she didn't "feel bad about" putting on a few extra pounds. "Not even for a second."
"I have to be on such a strict diet constantly," Gaga explained. "It's hard because it's a quite vigorous show, so I tend to bulk up, get muscular, and I really don't like that. So I'm trying to find a new balance."
Proving she's more than just a number on a scale, Gaga shared some words of wisdom from Marilyn Monroe via Twitter Sept. 22: "To all the girls who think you're ugly because you're not a size 0, you're the beautiful ones. It's society who's ugly," the singer quoted the late blonde bombshell as saying. Gaga then added, "Thank you to my fans who love me no matter what and know the meaning of real beauty and compassion. I really love you."
Months earlier, legendary musician Elton John, 65, said he was concerned about his pop star pal's tiny frame. "She is frail, and she doesn't eat when she should," John said of Gaga. "I know how tiny she is and I do worry about her, yes."
"Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" contestant Bristol Palin.
By Us Weekly
Bristol Palin's back on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" -- with a hot new bod! Returning to the ballroom alongside her season 11 pro partner Mark Ballas, Palin wowed "DWTS" judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli with her cha cha, but also impressed with her slimmer waistline.
"I'm definitely in better shape than I was last time, definitely. I'm just more active and I cut all the crap out of my diet! It's that simple," Palin, 21, told Us Weekly backstage Monday after earning a score of 19 points out of 30 from the judges, including Inaba, who declared Palin the "most improved" returning contestant. "And my kid's a lot more rowdy, a lot more active. I'm running after him a lot! He's huge! He thinks he's a teenager already."
Palin's mom, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and father, Todd, joined her son Tripp, 3, in the audience to watch the DWTS premiere, and the returning celeb dancer told Us her family remains a huge motivating factor in her ballroom success. "If I ever hear anything bad that's being said about me or my family, it just gives me motivation to do better, and that's what I do!" reasoned the reality TV veteran, who starred in Lifetime's "Life's a Tripp" after her first "DWTS" stint in 2010.
As they face off against "DWTS: All-Stars" competition Kirstie Alley, Pamela Anderson and others this season, Palin and Ballas look forward to using her newfound confidence to their advantage in the rehearsal studio.
So you think you have an idea of what the best pop songs of all time are?
If so, you might want to check out a new list the music blog Consequence of Sound unveiled last week in celebration of its fifth anniversary. It’s a rundown of what blog editor-in-chief Michael Roffman and his cohorts consider the 100 Greatest Songs Ever, and the eclectic list represents six decades of music.
Featured artists run the gamut from Madonna to Otis Redding to Metallica to the tried-and-true Beatles and Beach Boys. Spoiler alert: it’s a Beach Boys song, "God Only Knows," that tops the list. The Fab Four make their first appearance at No. 5 with "A Day in the Life."
The question is whether this list represents anything the average listener can relate to, since it’s steeped in older sounds: of the top 10, only one artist, Radiohead, is represented with a song released after 1999. There’s no "Just Dance" or "Hollaback Girl." And don’t look for Maroon 5 or Ke$ha anywhere. Are the best days of pop music in its past? An essay by senior editor Adam Kivel addresses this question and offers several answers to why this list and others like it are steeped in past musical glories.
For a quick rundown of the list, go here. Or you can check out the full list with song write-ups starting from number 100 here, or beginning at No. 1 here.
Updated at 8:50 p.m. PT Tuesday: Pop star Madonna said on Tuesday she was being deliberately "ironic on stage" when she erroneously referred to President Barack Obama during her concert in the nation's capital as a "black Muslim."
A video clip posted on YouTube by audience members at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington captured the 54-year-old singer delivering a rousing, profanity-laced political speech about freedom during her show on Monday.
"Now, it's so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House ... we have a black Muslim in the White House ... it means there is hope in this country, and Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man," Madonna said.
Obama, campaigning to be re-elected on November 6, is widely known to be a practicing Christian.
Responding to a media furor unleashed by the YouTube video, Madonna issued a statement on Tuesday through her spokeswoman saying her reference to Obama's religion was facetious.
"I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim - though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were?
"The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don't care what religion Obama is - nor should anyone else in America," she said.
Since Obama's first presidential run in 2008, fringe groups and a smattering of opponents have espoused rumors that he is secretly a Muslim, similar to persistent but unfounded assertions by some political foes that he was born outside the United States.
Madonna has been outspoken in her support of the president, going so far as to rip off her shirt during recent concerts to reveal the word "OBAMA" inked across her lower back.
On the North American leg of a concert tour in support of her latest studio album, "MDNA," the singer has been grabbing headlines with a recent series of onstage antics.
During one of her Paris concerts in July, Madonna landed in hot water with France's far right National Front party after screening footage of party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her face. The National Front said it would sue the star.
In August, Madonna spoke out at concerts in Russia in support of gay rights and the jailed members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot.
If you thought things were headed in a bad direction for Melissa Gorga and her frequently feuding sister-in-law Teresa Giudice on the season finale of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," well, that was just the start of it.
But according to Melissa, Teresa wasn't so welcoming, even though she sent out the invitation.
"I don't think she was happy that I came," Melissa explained. "I think she was looking for a press opportunity to say that I wasn't going to come. And at the very end, she -- you know -- roughed me up a little bit and got in my face."
In fact, Melissa said it was actually worse than that. The alleged roughing-up happened while Melissa held her son.
"I had baby Joey in my arms, and she took my arm and twisted it," she claimed.
As for how she feels about Teresa now, between that incident and the stripper rumors (which Melissa denies), the reality star isn't quite ready to forgive and forget.
"I can't say that I fully have forgiven her yet," she said. "I still have issues with it and I can't get past it. … I can't look at her in the eyes yet. … The reunion -- you will see that. It was crazy and very hard."
Part one of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion special airs Sunday at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
For one Toby Keith fan in Houston, the singer's Sept. 8 concert wasn't just a night out, it was a huge homecoming surprise.
A video just now making the rounds shows Keith pulling a woman onstage (she's managed to keep her name out of the press). Keith tells her he'll play his hit "American Soldier" as a tribute to her husband, Major Pete Cruz, who was stationed in Afghanistan.
Dez Duron had the judges fighting over him on "The Voice."
By Tierney Bricker, E! Online
An easy way to start a friendly fight between "The Voice" coaches? Put a hot guy on stage! That's exactly what happened on Monday night's episode of the NBC hit reality show, when Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera duked it out for a very cute contestant, one that actually auditioned last season. So who ended up snagging the guy?
Plus, another contestant inspired Cee Lo Green to take the stage, one of Adam Levine's gets makes him so happy that he brushes some dirt off his shoulder and former Disney starlet Jordan Pruitt sings for her second chance at stardom during week three of the blind auditions...
Michelle Brooks-Thompson is a 28-year-old juggling her singing career, working full-time at a bank and being a wife and mother. Her husband was an aspiring NFL star who made it on the St. Louis Rams' roster only to be dropped before the season even started. Bummer! Michelle performs "Proud Mary," a reality singing competition staple, which gets Adam, Cee Lo and Christina to turn around. "I would be very blessed and very honored to work with you," Adam gushes and Cee Lo says, "That's a song that's been sung a million times. You made it new, you made it fresh." Blake calls himself an "idiot" for not pushing his button. In the end, Michelle chooses Adam, who proceeds to brush that imaginary dirt off his shoulders.
Twenty-five-year-old Diego Val is originally from Peru and suffered through a horrible disease that disintegrates your hip bones until you can't walk anymore when he was 8. When his grandmother gave him a guitar, he discovered his love of music and now performs at children's hospitals. "Music is something that can make anybody smile," he says. His half English-half Spanish version of "Animal" sounded pretty great to us, but only Cee Lo turns his chair. "What's wrong with y'all?!" he asks his fellow coaches. "I was OK with that," Adam explains of Diego being on Team Cee Lo, while Christina hints that she might "snatch" the singer from her fellow coach later on in the season.
Thirty-two-year-old music teacher Suzanna Choffel wants to be on the show as tribute to her students. "It's time for me to shine," she says. "Landslide" is Suzanna's song of choice and we have to admit, this is one of our favorite auditions of season three (so far). Adam and Blake agree with us, pushing their buttons. "You bastard!" Blake says when Adam stresses that he turned first. "That's how friends talk to one another." Gotta love their bromance! While Suzanna calls the decision "a toss-up," she chooses Blake as her coach. "I'm so mad," Adam says. "She's so good, it's crazy."
Blake also adds demo singer Ryan Jirovec and 16-year-old Internet radio host Michaela Paige to his team. "I'm feeling really good about the situation," the country star says of his three pickups.
Season two auditioner Dez Duron, a cutie who used to be on the Yale football team, decided to try out for the show again. "I don't regret the decision of leaving school to come out," he says of pursuing a singing career. "I'm definitely back here with something to prove." He sings "Sara Smile" and serenades Blake, Christina and Cee Lo into pushing their buttons. (Yes, all of them remember him from last season.) Christina pushes hard for Dez to pick her and Blake says, "This dude is good looking! I'm secure enough to say that to you. Man to man, you're hot." Christina pleads, "Don't break my heart!" Thankfully for her, Dez chooses to join her team. "(Expletive)," is Blake's only response to the news.
VJ, 25, is a music teacher who is basically Cee Lo's biggest fan and decides to take a risk by singing the coach's hit song "Forget You." VJ puts a jazz spin on the song, but fails to inspire any of the judges to turn their chairs. "I can't think of an odder song for your voice," Blake says, while Christina says VJ didn't "spank" the lyrics the same way Cee Lo does. Cee Lo's opinion? "You have great, great taste in music!" He then joins VJ on stage to sing the song with him, coaching him to sing it with "sarcasm." It was a sweet moment between artist and fan, one that highlights why The Voice is so special. "I just sang with Cee Lo Green!" VJ gushes. "He probably forgot he didn't even get picked," Cee Lo hilariously says.
Alexis Marceaux is a singer-songwriter from New Orleans, who was evacuated from the city a day before Hurricane Katrina "It's been seven years, it was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced," she recalls. "Everything was torn apart. It was chaos." Alexis' family lost their house and everything they owned, but she says, "I'm lucky to have [my family]." Alexis dedicates her performance of "Go Your Own Way" to her community. Cee Lo turns his chair, snagging Alexis for his team.
Adam added rocker Sam James to his team, Christina snagged Laura Vivas, a Latin pop singer and Blake picked up a fourth team member in this episode, Lelia Broussard.
Next up is Brandon Mahone, 17, who describes himself "a classical young guy." He proves this by singing a seriously smooth version of The Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain." Adam immediately pushes his button, followed by Cee Lo and Christina. "You are a real soul singer," Adam gushes right before landing the soulful youngster on his team.
Jeffrey James is a valet at some restaurants in Nashville who is known to shamelessly leave his CDs in people's cars, just in case they are a record producer. Jeffrey sings Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" and we're shocked that no one turned around. Blake and Adam explain that Jeffrey hit his stride too late, but say he's great. Still, Jeffrey is pissed and we can't say we blame him.
Former teen pop star Jordan Pruitt, 21, once had a recording contract with Disney and has toured with Vanessa Hudgens, The Cheetah Girls and was once romantically linked to Nick Jonas. Jordan left Disney last year because she wanted to make "more mature" music and believes one of the coaches can help build her as an artist. Her rendition of "The One That Got Away" gets Jordan's hero Christina to turn, with the coach saying, "I have been waiting for you!"
Last up is Terisa Griffin, 42, who has a whole lot of personality and experience. "I think you should never, ever stop dreaming," she explains of trying out for "The Voice." Terisa tackles Adele's hit song "Someone Like You" and while hesitant at first, Christina eventually pushes her button, as does Blake. After asking several questions, including "What will you, as a coach, do for me?" (eye roll alert!), she chooses Blake. Christina is cool with it.
Most people would walk by a lone penny on the sidewalk. Why bother? But to Jacqueline Lou Skaggs, it's a canvas -- and an inspiration.
Jacqueline Lou Skaggs
"The Still Life, 1976"
The New York-based artist has been working on meticulous mini-masterworks on the common one-cent coin since the 1990s.
"Of all coins, it is the penny that is so neglected and blatantly discarded," she said in an email interview. "It was only this intrinsic 'valuelessness' that interested me. I wasn't interested in painting miniatures -- I was interested in painting on pennies."
She has created 12 of the small works (all viewable here) and has sold two so far, both last year. They are an extension of her other art interests; Skaggs has been working with found objects -- "mainly banal, utilitarian things," she says, for years. As a penny-from-the-street collector, she was fascinated by discarded coins and recognized that by painting on them, she'd skirt the edge of kitsch.
"I knew when I conceived of the work that it would border (on) 'novelty,' but classical realism and miniature works tend to as well -- styles throughout art history often take on a language of their own.... I knew that I would be embracing those ideas, too," she said. "I was so interested in the discourse between the images and the coins that the novelty simply became part of the language."
She places emphasis on each work's title, noting that each work has a particular meaning. "Kisses and Ghosts" comes from a portrait of her mother as a child and reflects a report she once read asking what children were most afraid of -- the top answers being "kisses" and "ghosts." "The Still Life" is "too still," and "Venus Dreams" is simply a dreaming Venus. "Give me wings for arms any day," said Skaggs.
She's received a lot of attention since the penny art went viral recently, but has mixed emotions about how that's come about. For one thing, she does not do commissions and feels the set of 12 pennies is complete. But most troubling, she said, is that her images have been distributed around the Internet without the titles attached.
"People are predictably and generally wooed by the scale and skill," she writes. "It's the risk an artist takes with their craft. Which is quite ironic, annoying and fulfilling at the same time to me, because this work has so much, if not everything, to do with that kind of carelessness and oversight."
Amber Portwood, seen her in a Madison County Sherrif's Department booking photo, will soon appear in her own MTV special.
By Courtney Hazlett, TODAY
Fans of MTV's "Teen Mom" who recently tuned in to the season-four finale special noticed a significant absence: Amber Portwood was not in attendance. Instead of joining fellow cast mates Maci Bookout, Farrah Abraham and Catelynn Lowell in New York for an interview with host Dr. Drew Pinsky, Portwood was continuing to serve out her 5-year jail term inside the Rockville Correctional Facility in her home state of Indiana.
That doesn't mean we won't get to hear from Portwood -- MTV on Monday announced that it will premiere "Amber Behind Bars: An MTV Special" on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The special will consist of a half-hour interview with Pinsky and Portwood from the correctional facility where the two discuss what life has been like behind bars, her relationship with daughter Leah and ex-boyfriend Gary Shirley, and her hopes for the future. A press release from the network described it as an "honest look inside the intense ups and downs she's faced during this journey.
At the earlier reunion special, Pinsky read a statement from Portwood that read in part, "Right now I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. I guess I just got lost. I went to jail because I had an addiction to opiates. You live and you learn, and that's real. It's time for me to stop partying and realize that even though I'm 21, I'm not a normal 21-year-old -- I'm a mother. Which means I have to grow up quicker and start acting like a mother…. Right now my number one priority in life is dedicating my life to being sober, to being a sober person … I want to show everybody that I can do it, I can start living a straight life and getting my family back in order."
Portwood, 22, voluntarily chose in May to serve out her five-year jail sentence instead of complying with the terms of her court-ordered drug program after violating her probation stemming from a December 2011 arrest for drug possession.
Do you think getting her side of the story out while she's serving out her prison sentence is a good idea for Amber, or should she just quietly complete her term, staying out of the public eye completely? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Chase, the boy who probably hasn't washed his mouth since this happened, made a sign asking Underwood, "Will you be my first kiss?" The singer spotted the sign and asked the boy to come up on stage. The whole thing was caught on camera and posted on YouTube.
Underwood asks Chase how old he is and admits that she didn't have her first kiss until she was 14. She then tells the boy that her husband is somewhere in the building. "He might be looking for ya later," she says.
"How we gonna do this?" Underwood asks Chase, and in the best answer ever for a pre-teen that didn't involve Batman or pizza, he says, "Lip to lip." Underwood and the crowd laugh with appreciation. "This is the smartest kid EVER!"
"The Princess Bride" came out 25 years ago, and people have been quoting it ever since.
By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, NBC News
There are movies with great lines, and then there are movies with so many great lines that fans walk around quoting the entire screenplay. Think anything by Monty Python, "A Christmas Story," "The Big Lebowski," "Diner." And one of the most quotable films around turns 25 today. "The Princess Bride" was released into theaters on Sept. 25, 1987.
The film wasn't an enormous box-office smash -- "Three Men and a Baby" and "Fatal Attraction" were that year's top films. But how many lines from "Three Men and a Baby" can the average person recite?
Here are seven of our favorite "Princess Bride" quotes. If you've seen the movie even once, we're betting you can fill in the context for each.
And if you want to see how the cast looks today, tune in to TODAY on Oct. 2 for the reunion. Sadly, some cast members, including Peter Falk and Andre the Giant, have passed away.
1. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
3. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
4. "Have fun storming the castle!"
5. "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!'"
6. "As you wish."
7. "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning. "
“After 18 years of breakups, makeups, beautiful twins, and unwavering love that provided some pretty d--- good song lyrics, we are happy to announce we are finally married!" the singer, 44, and his wife 39 told People.