Blues singer Etta James remembered in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hundreds of mourners gathered at a Los Angeles-area church on Saturday to remember rhythm-and-blues singer Etta James, saying she overcame great personal and professional hurdles to sing "the times that she lived." During a two-hour service that featured performances by pop stars Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera, the Rev. Al Sharpton eulogized James as a woman who rose from a tough childhood and poured her pain into her music.
"Beasts," "The House I Live In" win top awards at Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "The House I Live in" won the top awards at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, making them likely favorites for independent movie audiences in 2012. Directed by Benh Zeitlin and set in impoverished Louisiana, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" picked up the jury prize for best drama with its tale of the bond between a father and a daughter.
Demi Moore "smoked something" before convulsions: 911 tape
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Demi Moore suffered convulsions and seemed only semi-conscious after smoking an undisclosed substance before being rushed to hospital earlier this week, according to the tape of a medical emergency call released on Friday. "She smoked something, it's not marijuana but it is similar to incense. She seems to be having convulsions of some sort," a female friend of Moore told emergency services when calling for an ambulance on Monday.
Jesse Jackson adds voice to Grammy protest
(Reuters) - Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Friday urged Grammy organizers to reinstate 31 ethnic and minority musical categories that have been cut from the music industry's top awards. In a letter to Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, sent three weeks before the February 12 Grammy Awards show, Jackson said the elimination of awards for Native American and Hawaiian musicians, and cuts in Latin Jazz, R&B and other categories were ill-considered and unfair.
Convicted Jackson doctor seeks freedom pending appeal
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson asked on Friday to be released from jail, pending an appeal that could take a year to be heard. Dr. Conrad Murray said in court papers filed in Los Angeles that he would agree to electronic monitoring or other conditions. But he asked to be set free while he appeals his conviction for involuntary manslaughter in the "Thriller" singer's 2009 death.
Jay-Z, Beyonce make Billboard industry power list
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce joined a list of top music executives, led by Live Nation Entertainment chairman Irving Azoff, on Billboard magazine's first Power 100 chart on Friday. Only a handful of artists broke onto the list that sought to name the recording industry's most influential people and was dominated by businessmen and women. The selection was determined by a combination of money, market share, Billboard chart data and other information, and a team of 15 magazine editors analyzed the results to produce the list.
Country music star Merle Haggard home from hospital
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Country music singer Merle Haggard was resting at home in Northern California on Friday after a long stint in a Georgia hospital, his publicist said. Haggard, 74, was hospitalized on January 17 for treatment of double-pneumonia. While in the hospital in Macon, Georgia, doctors discovered a number of other conditions for which Haggard needed treatment.
HBO places a bet on horseracing drama "Luck"
(Reuters) - David Milch first visited a horse racing track when he was six years-old. Sixty years later he is bringing his passion for the behind-the-scenes world of jockeys, gamblers, horses and trainers to television with the HBO series "Luck". Milch, 66, the creator of Emmy-winning TV western "Deadwood", says there is no better setting for storytelling than a horse track whether you are a racing fan or not.
Michael Jackson's legacy cemented by children
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Late pop star Michael Jackson was immortalized in cement on Thursday when his three children stamped the "Thriller" singer's glove and shoe prints in the hallowed concrete courtyard of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Well over a hundred fans of the King of Pop and celebrities including Justin Bieber and Jackson family members watched the song and dance spectacle and listened to the three children talk about the legacy of their father.
British film "Shadow Dancer" lifts crowd at Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - A tense British thriller about a mother deeply entrenched in the IRA and forced to choose between the organization and the family she loves has earned high praise among the foreign films at this week's Sundance Film festival. "Shadow Dancer," set against a backdrop of a Northen Ireland in transition, gave the festival a lift after it premiered earlier this week following some of the higher-profile U.S. fiction films that have failed to live up to pre-festival hype.