2017 Soul Train Awards: Solange is the top nominee

October 17, 2017

Soul Train Awards

The following is a press release from BET:

BET has announced the nominees for the BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards across 12 different categories. The annual celebration will recognize the best in Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop from legends to the next generation. Filmed on November 5th at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards will air on BET and BET HER on November 26, 2017 at 8PM ET.

Solange leads the bunch with seven total nominations including Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, and the highly coveted Video of the Year and Song of the Year for hit single “Cranes in the Sky.” Bruno Mars follows with six total nominations including two nominations for Song of the Year for his hit single “That’s What I Like,” and Album/Mixtape of the Year for “24K Magic.” DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller also received multiple nominations this year including Video of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. The next generation of soul is also being recognized, including Khalid and SZA, who are multi-nominees across categories including Best New Artist, Best R&B/Soul Male Artist, Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Best Collaboration and the Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award.

Multi-platinum and seven-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, artist, actress and producer Toni Braxton is set to receive the coveted Don Cornelius Legend Award. Braxton became an immediate R&B superstar after the release of her self-titled debut album in 1993. Her debut album received multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards (for Best New Artist and two consecutive awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1994 and 1995). Her second album, “Secrets” was certified 8x platinum and included her greatest hit titled, “Un-Break My Heart,” the Diane Warren-penned ballad which spent 11-weeks at number one. Over the span of her career, Braxton has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums, worldwide. Toni’s current single, “Deadwood,” was released by Def Jam Recordings in September and her new album, “Sex & Cigarettes,” her first in seven years, will be out in early 2018. 

The third annual Lady of Soul Award will be presented to Grammy Award-Nominated, multi-platinum, female R&B trio SWV. SWV became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 1990s. They had a series of hits, including “Weak,” “Right Here/Human Nature,” “I’m So into You,” and “You’re the One.” They have sold more than 25 million records, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. Last year’s Lady of Soul Award went to R&B icon Brandy. Both Toni and SWV are being recognized for their longstanding presence in the music industry and influence on the world of soul and R&B music past and present.

BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards will feature an exciting lineup of unforgettable performances and viewers can expect special appearances by some of the brightest stars in entertainment. The event annually showcases Soul Train’s impact on the history of music and dance from the 70s to today.

BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards is produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment. Executive Producers of the network telecast are as follows: Debra Lee and Connie Orlando from BET, and Jesse Collins from Jesse Collins Entertainment.

For show information, please visit BET.com/SoulTrain, the official site for BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards.

The complete list of nominees for BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards are:

Best New Artist
6LACK
H.E.R.
KEVIN ROSS
KHALID
SZA


Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
BRUNO MARS
BRYSON TILLER
CHRIS BROWN
KHALID
THE WEEKND


Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
KEHLANI
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MARY J. BLIGE
SOLANGE
SZA


Soul Train Certified Award
BELL BIV DEVOE
JOHNNY GILL
LALAH HATHAWAY
LEDISI
MACK WILDS


Video of the Year
BEYONCÉ – ALL NIGHT
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY


Best Gospel/ Inspirational Award
CHANCE THE RAPPER
CHARLIE WILSON
KIRK FRANKLIN
LECRAE
TAMELA MANN


Album/ Mixtape of the Year
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
MARY J. BLIGE – STRENGTH OF A WOMAN
SOLANGE – A SEAT AT THE TABLE
SZA – CTRL
THE WEEKND – STARBOY


Rhythm & Bars Award (Formerly Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year)
CARDI B – BODAK YELLOW
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
FRENCH MONTANA FT. SWAE LEE – UNFORGETTABLE
KENDRICK LAMAR – HUMBLE.
YO GOTTI FT. NICKI MINAJ – RAKE IT UP


Song of the Year
BRUNO MARS – THAT’S WHAT I LIKE
CHILDISH GAMBINO – REDBONE
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
KHALID – LOCATION
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY


The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award
CRANES IN THE SKY – WRITTEN BY: TROY L. JOHN, SOLANGE KNOWLES, RAPHAEL SAADIQ (SOLANGE)
LOCATION
– WRITTEN BY: ALFREDO EMMANUEL GONZALEZ, OLATUNJI OLUTOMIWA, SAMUEL DAVID JIMENEZ, KHALID ROBINSON, JOSHUA SCRUGGS (KHALID)
LOVE ME NOW – WRITTEN BY: BLAKE MATTHEW SIMON MILLS, JOHN HENRY RYAN, JOHN ROGER STEPHENS (JOHN LEGEND)
REDBONE – WRITTEN BY: GEORGE CLINTON, WILLIAM EARL COLLINS, GARY LEE COOER, DONALD MCKINLEY GLOVER II, LUDWIG EMIL TOMAS GORANSSON (CHILDISH GAMBINO)
VERSACE ON THE FLOOR
– WRITTEN BY: CHRISTOPHER STEVEN BROWN, JAMES EDWARD FAUNTLEROY, BRUNO MARS, PHILIP MARTIN LAWRENCE (BRUNO MARS)


Best Dance Performance
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
CHRIS BROWN FT. USHER & GUCCI MANE – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
WIZKID FT. DRAKE – COME CLOSER


Best Collaboration
DJ KHALED FT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER – WILD THOUGHTS
JAZMINE SULLIVAN & BRYSON TILLER – INSECURE
MARY J. BLIGE FT. KANYE WEST – LOVE YOURSELF
SOLANGE FT. SAMPHA – DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR
SZA FT. TRAVIS SCOTT – LOVE GALORE

 

 

Harvey Weinstein scandal: How it has changed award shows in the entertainment industry

October 16, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Harvey Weinstein and Nicole Kidman
Harvey Weinstein and “Lion” star Nicole Kidman at the Weinstein Company’s Pre-Academy Awards Dinner at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 25, 2017. (Photo by Hagop Kalaidjian/BFA)

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has made this year’s award-show season a turning point in the entertainment industry that has largely shunned and condemned Weinstein, one of the most powerful award-show campaigners of the past 30 years. Since October 5, 2017, dozens of stories about 65-year-old Weinstein have been made public (most notably in articles published by the New York Times and the New Yorker), accusing the former movie mogul of sexual misconduct, including verbal harassment, indecent exposure, groping, rape and other forms of non-consensual assault spanning nearly 30 years. The reported victims (all women) include actresses, assistants, producers and executives, who all claim to either have been personally harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, or know those who have been victims of Weinstein’s misconduct but were pressured to stay silent about it.

Actresses who have claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed them include Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette, Kate Beckinsale, Angie Everhart, Minka Kelly and Cara Delevingne, while actresses Rose McGowan and Asia Argento have accused Weinstein of rape. Weinstein has denied that he had non-consensual sexual contact with any of his accusers. According to the New York Times, Weinstein settled at least eight sexual harassment cases out of court, most recently in 2015. Police in New York, California and London are reportedly investigating claims of sexual misconduct by Weinstein, and are urging anyone with information to contact the proper authorities.

Weinstein co-founded Miramax Films in 1979, and left the company in 2005 to co-found The Weinstein Company (TWC). He has since been ousted from TWC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the organization behind the Oscars) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (the organization behind the BAFTA Awards). Weinstein is the second person to ever be expelled from AMPAS. (The other person, actor Carmine Caridi, was expelled in 2004 for leaking Academy movie screeners.) Although he has been expelled from AMPAS and BAFTA, Weinstein can still keep any awards that he has won from those organizations. (He won an Oscar for being one of the producers of 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.”) TWC, which has publicly condemned Weinstein, has announced that it is changing the company name, and the company will probably be put up for sale.

The End of an Era

“Shakespeare in Love” producers David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman at the 71st Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 21, 1999. (Photo courtesy of AMPAS)

Miramax first made a big impact at the Oscars with 1989’s “My Left Foot,” which was nominated for five Oscars (including Best Picture), and won two Oscars: Best Actor (for Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Supporting Actress (for Brenda Fricker). Miramax’s Oscar-winning streak continued with numerous movies, including 1994’s “Pulp Fiction,” 1996’s “The English Patient,” 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2003’s “Cold Mountain,” 2004’s “The Aviator,” 2007’s “No Country for Old Men” and 2007’s “There Will Be Blood.”

TWC also has many films that won Oscars. It can be said that TWC’s power peaked from 2010 to 2012. The company had back-to-back wins for Best Picture with 2010’s “The King’s Speech” and 2011’s “The Artist,” two movies that won Oscars in several other major categories, including Best Director and Best Actor. In 2012, TWC had Oscar-winning box-office hits with “Silver Linings Playbook”(for which Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress) and “Django Unchained,” which won Oscars for Quentin Tarantino (Best Original Screenplay) and Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor). Waltz also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds,” a Tarantino film distributed by TWC. Tarantino (who has worked with Miramax or TWC for all the movies that Tarantino has directed) has since released a statement condemning Weinstein, as have former Weinstein colleagues such as Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Ben Affleck and Judi Dench.

In recent years, TWC’s clout during awards season has significantly decreased. The 2013 African-American drama “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which was once predicted to be a dominate force at the Oscars, was famously snubbed by not getting any Oscar nominations. The 2015 Western crime drama “The Hateful Eight” (directed by Tarantino) was a box-office disappointment, failed to win in major categories at several award shows, and ultimately won only one Oscar:  for Best Original Score. The 2015 lesbian drama “Carol” didn’t win any Oscars, despite getting six nominations. The 2016 adoption drama “Lion” was also nominated for six Oscars, but didn’t win any.  Although nominated at several other award shows, “Lion” was also shut out of winning prizes at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“Wind River” actress Julia Jones and Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company party in celebration of “Wind River” at Nikki Beach in Cannes, France, on May 20, 2017. (Photo by Dave Benett)

TWC had a sleeper hit and critical acclaim with the 2017 crime mystery “Wind River,” but the movie didn’t get much Oscar buzz after it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Now, TWC movies have virtually no chance of getting any nominations at the Oscars or other major award shows for the forseeable future, which is why the company is changing its name and will likely be sold in order to reinvent itself.

In addition to being a powerful awards campaigner, Weinstein (and TWC and Miramax) developed a reputation for throwing lavish, star-studded parties during awards season. That Weinstein party era is effectively over. It’s likely that Netflix and Amazon will take over the reigns as the companies outside the major studio system that will throw the most lavish parties during awards season, while older major studios such as Fox and Warner Bros. will still have considerable influence in the party circuit. In addition, A24 (which won big at the Oscars this year with “Moonlight”) is poised to become the independent movie studio with the most clout during awards season—a reputation that TWC had back in the early 2010s. One thing is for certain: Weinstein will not be invited to the most important industry parties for the forseeable future, although it’s probable that he will eventually be invited to less influential events several years after the scandal.

Weinstein’s second (and future ex) wife, Georgina Chapman, has also had her career ruined by the scandal. Chapman, who married Weinstein in 2007, co-founded the luxury fashion label Marchesa in 2004, around the time that she started dating Weinstein. Numerous stories have since come out that Weinstein told many famous actresses to wear Marchesa outfits at important events, and he allegedly threatened to hurt their careers if they didn’t wear the outfits. Marchesa’s rapid rise to success has been so interwined with Weinstein’s influence that people have found it difficult to separate Marchesa’s identity from Weinstein, even though Chapman announced on October 10, 2017, that she was leaving Weinstein. She hasn’t officially filed for divorce yet, but it’s only a matter of time until she does. Marchesa has already lost important business deals because of the scandal, and the label is unlikely to be worn by any star at major events this awards season.

As heinous as the crimes are that Weinstein has been accused of committing, AMPAS’s decision to expel Weinstein might strike many people as hypocritical, considering that convicted rapist Roman Polanski won an Oscar for Best Director for 2002’s “The Pianist,” even though he has famously avoided serving his sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977. Polanski (who pled guilty to the crime) fled to France in 1978, and his status as a fugitive from the law means that since 1978, he has not been in the United States or countries that could extradite him back to the U.S., because he knows he would be sent immediately to prison.

[May 3, 2018 UPDATE: Convicted rapists Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby have been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy released this statement: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors met on Tuesday night (May 1) and has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct. The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”]

Amazon Studios and the Effects of the Weinstein Scandal

“Manchester by the Sea” Oscar winners Kenneth Lonergan and Casey Affleck at Amazon Studios’ Oscar Celebration at Delilah in West Hollywood, California, on February 26, 2017 . (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon)

But now it’s 2017, and AMPAS is clearly sending a message that any Academy member or potential Oscar nominee who is publicly accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct will no longer be as tolerated as they once were. That’s why Amazon Studios’ “Manchester by the Sea” dodged several bullets, but the company could still feel the effects of the Weinstein scandal. Casey Affleck, who settled two sexual-harassment lawsuits in 2010, won an Oscar and several other major awards for Best Actor for 2016’s “Manchester by the Sea.” Casey Affleck’s sexual-harassment scandal was reported many times in media coverage of “Manchester by the Sea” and during the movie’s awards campaign. However, in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, it’s doubtful that Casey Affleck (the younger brother of Oscar winner/former Weinstein colleague Ben Affleck) would have much of a chance of being nominated if he were eligible for the same awards today.

In fact, considering how much the award-show campaigning will be affected by the Weinstein scandal, “Manchester by the Sea” (which was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture) is an example of the type of movie that probably wouldn’t have been nominated for as many Oscars or other major awards in this post-Weinstein-scandal era. If “Manchester by the Sea” (which also garnered writer/director Kenneth Lonergan an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay) had been released in 2017, not 2016, the movie might have been passed over for any Oscar nominations altogether if there had been enough boycott pressure around the movie. And it wouldn’t have just been because of Casey Affleck. Matt Damon, one of the producers of “Manchester by the Sea,” has been tainted by the Weinstein scandal because Damon was accused of pressuring the Los Angeles Times to kill a story in 2004 that would have exposed Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. Damon, who won a screenwriting Oscar with Ben Affleck for Miramax’s “Good Will Hunting,” has vehemently denied that he knew about or tried to cover up for Weinstein’s misdeeds, and Damon has publicly condemned Weinstein since the scandal broke.

Amazon Studios, the distributor for “Manchester by the Sea,” is also caught up in the Weinstein fallout in other ways. On October 12, 2017, the company suspended Amazon Studios head Roy Price after “The Man in the High Castle” producer Isa Hackett accused him of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, McGowan (who has accused Weinstein of raping her in 1997) claims that she told Price about the rape, and urged him not to work with Weinstein, but he did nothing about it because Price allegedly told McGowan that there wasn’t enough proof. In the wake of the scandal, Amazon has announced that it is reviewing its relationship with TWC.

[October 17, 2017 UPDATE: Price has officially exited Amazon Studios. Although he resigned, his resignation was reportedly forced. In other words, he was fired.]

Amazon also has a contract with Woody Allen, who has had his own sex scandals that have negatively affected his reputation, including accusations that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan in the 1980s. Allen has vehemently denied the allegations, and was cleared in a police investigation. Allen has also commented on the Weinstein scandal by condemning sexual harassment but also cautioning against the dangers of false accusations and having a “witch hunt” mentality. But given Amazon Studios’ association with Weinstein and two other high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct, it remains to be seen if Amazon will be a major contender for movies during this awards season. Amazon’s comedy film “The Big Sick” has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews, but will acclaim from movie critics be enough for the movie to get Oscar nominations?

For TV awards, it remains to be seen how Amazon Studios (which has award-winning shows such as “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle” and “The Man in the High Castle”) will fare at the 2018 Emmy Awards, since the Weinstein scandal broke after the 2017 Emmy Awards took place.

TWC TV Fallout

TWC’s TV series include “Project Runway,” “Spy Kids: Mission Critical,” a still-untitled show from former NBC News host Tamron Hall and a still-untitled show from “Silver Linings Playbook” director David O. Russell. Of those series, “Project Runway” is the only one likely to survive long past the Weinstein scandal and possibly win awards.

“Project Runway” host/executive producer Heidi Klum (who won an Emmy for hosting the show in 2013) is one of numerous people in the entertainment industry who have issued statements condemning Weinstein and sexual misconduct. “Project Runway” debuted in 2004, and has been renewed through 2019. The series spinoffs “Project Runway All-Stars” and “Project Runway: Junior” also are renewed. Even before the Weinstein scandal, “Project Runway” has won just two Emmy Awards out of 44 Emmy nominations. But in the wake of the scandal, the show’s chances of winning an Emmy again have significantly diminished.

Weinstein Broadway Backlash

Weinstein’s recent Broadway credits include “Finding Neverland,” “The Elephant Man” and the Tony-winning “All the Way.” His biggest Broadway success was 2002’s “The Producers,” which holds the record for the most Tony Awards (12 Tonys) won by a production in a single year. However, in light of the scandal, Weinstein will likely be shunned from working on Broadway productions for the next several years.

Golden Globes Litmus Test

The first major award show to feel the effects of the Weinstein scandal will be the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards, which will take place on January 7, 2018. Nominations for the show will be announced on December 11, 2017. The Golden Globes, which are voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, give prizes to movies and TV shows. Considering that Weinstein will be virtually shut out of major award shows for many years to come, any project associated with him is unlikely to end up being a winner.

2017 American Music Awards: Bruno Mars is the top nominee

October 12, 2017

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions:

The 2017 American Music Awards will mark the 45th anniversary of the legendary music awards show that has brought fans the biggest musical superstars and most compelling live performances over the last four decades.  As the kick-off to this year’s highly anticipated show, international music sensation Ciara today announced six categories from the 2017 American Music Awards nominees live on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” followed by a full reveal of all nominees via Facebook Live on the American Music Awards and Billboard pages.

The 2017 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 8:00pm ET on ABC. The American Music Awards, the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, is where music enthusiasts watch their favorite artists and pop culture icons come together to honor idols, newcomers and record-breakers in the contemporary music scene.  From Pop and Rock, to Country, Hip Hop and beyond, this year’s show will celebrate 45 years of the best moments in music with appearances by today’s brightest stars and live performances from the biggest names in music.

Bruno Mars leads with eight nominations, including Artist of the Year, Video of the Year, and Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock. The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd tied with five nominations each. Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi received four nominations each. Additionally, Keith Urban earned three nominations.

The Artist of the Year nominees are Bruno Mars, The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran. Voting for Artist of the Year opened today and will close on Thursday, November 16 at 8:59:59pm PT. Voting for all other editorial categories closes on Monday, November 13 at 8:59:59am PT.

American Music Awards nominees are based on key fan interactions as reflected in Billboard Magazine and on Billboard.com, including album and digital song sales, radio airplay, streaming, social activity and touring. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound.

The American Music Awards winners are voted entirely by fans. Voting opened today in all categories except New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile and Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity, which will both open on Wednesday, November 1.
For New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile and Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity, fans can vote for each award 100 times per day, per voting platform in one or both of the ways below. Fans can vote for all other awards once per day, per voting platform.

2017 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TOP NOMINATED ARTISTS CHART FACTS:
  • Celebrated musician Bruno Mars’ third full-length studio album, 24K Magic, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, granting the performer his third top 10 effort. The album spun off a trio of top 40-charting hits on the Billboard Hot 100, so far: “24K Magic,” “That’s What I Like” and “Versace On the Floor.” In 2017, “That’s What I Like” became Mars’ seventh No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, following his previous leaders “Uptown Funk!” (Mark Ronson featuring Mars), “When I Was Your Man,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Grenade,” “Just the Way You Are” and “Nothin’ On You” (B.o.B featuring Mars).
  • Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in December of 2016, The Weeknd’s Starboy album marked his second straight No. 1, following 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness. Starboy yielded a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit with its title track, as well as a No. 4 smash with “I Feel It Coming.” Both tracks feature Daft Punk. All 18 songs from Starboy charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • R&B singer Drake’s More Life was his seventh straight album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. More Life became the first album to earn over 375 million on-demand U.S. audio streams of its tracks in a single week, according to Nielsen Music. The album set the record in the week ending March 24. Drake wrapped a record 431 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in August, which dates back to his first appearance in 2009. The streak is the longest among all artists in Hot 100 history. Drake placed a record 24 titles on the Hot 100 at once, on the chart dated April 8, 2017. Drake linked 51 straight weeks in the Hot 100’s top 10, the longest streak by a male act. His run began on Oct. 3, 2015 with “Hotline Bling” and ended on Sept. 24, 2016, when “One Dance” fell from the tier. Drake has placed a record 157 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in his career.
  • Rapper and song-writer Kendrick Lamar earned his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit as a lead act with “Humble.” in 2017. He scored his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with DAMN., which had the best first-sales week of his career (353,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen Music). Lamar was the first artist of 2017 to post two concurrent titles in the Hot 100’s top five with “Humble.” and “DNA.” on May 6.
  • Ed Sheeran scored his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 in 2017 with “Shape of You,” which debuted at No. 1 and reigned for 12 weeks. “Shape of You” broke the record for the most time spent in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10: 33 weeks. Sheeran became the first artist to debut two titles in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 simultaneously, with “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.” Sheeran earned his second Billboard 200 No. 1 album with ÷ (Divide). Upon its No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200, ÷ (Divide) generated 13 simultaneous entries on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.
  • Music duo of Drew Taggart and Andrew Pall, The Chainsmokers, charted three songs in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 in the past year, including the chart-topping “Closer,” featuring Halsey. “Closer” became just the 17th song in the Hot 100’s history to spend at least 12 weeks at No. 1. “Closer” spent 27 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, breaking the 26-week record previously held by Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” The Chainsmokers earned three No. 1 hits on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart over the past year: “Closer,” “Paris” and “Something Just Like This,” with Coldplay. Their debut full-length set Memories…Do Not Open opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It was the first No. 1 for a dance/electronic album in three-and-a-half years.
  • Pop superstar Justin Bieber joined Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee on the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Despacito.” It tied the record for the longest run at No. 1 — 16 weeks. With “Despacito,” Bieber jumped to his first No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart. Bieber banked his first No. 1 on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts as featured on DJ Khaled’s all-star “I’m the One.” Bieber became the first artist ever to tally new No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100 in back-to-back weeks, with “I’m the One” and “Despacito” (on charts May 20 and 27). Bieber has spent more than three years cumulatively at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Social 50 chart, easily the most among all acts since the list’s inception at the start of the decade.
  • Daddy Yankee claimed his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Despacito” (Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber), which tied the record for most weeks spent at No. 1: 16 weeks. “Despacito” spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – tying the record for the longest run at No. 1 in the chart’s history. He has tallied more than 50 hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including top 40-charting singles in the past year like “Hula Hoop” and “La Rompe Corazones,” with Ozuna.
  • Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito,” with Daddy Yankee and featuring Justin Bieber, spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – tying the record for the longest run at No. 1 in the chart’s history. “Despacito” marked Fonsi’s third hit on the Hot 100, but he’s been charting hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart since 1998, where he’s notched 30 hits. Overall, on Hot Latin Songs, Fonsi has collected 11 top 10 hits, seven of which reached No. 1 (including “Despacito”).
  • Premier country musician Keith Urban’s “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood, marked the former’s 38th straight top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Urban’s hit “Blue Ain’t Your Color” topped Hot Country Songs for 12 weeks from Nov. 19, 2016 – Feb. 4, 2017. His latest album, 2016’s Ripcord, became his fifth Top Country Albums No. 1 and sixth top 10 on the Billboard 200. “The Fighter” reached No. 40 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs airplay chart, his first hit on the chart since 2009’s “Kiss a Girl.” Further, the crossover track climbed to No. 15 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
  • Pop superstar Rihanna notched her 60th hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Wild Thoughts” (DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller). “Wild Thoughts” became the diva’s 31st top 10 hit on the Hot 100 and seventh No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. She added three new No. 1s on the Rhythmic Songs airplay chart in the past year: “Too Good” (Drake featuring Rihanna), “Loyalty.” (Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna) and “Wild Thoughts.”

Sponsors for the 2017 American Music Awards include Comcast’s Xfinity and T-Mobile. Media partners include Cumulus Media/ Westwood One and Music Choice.

The “2017 American Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan are Executive Producers. Larry Klein, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are Producers.

Below please find the full list of nominations for the 2017 American Music Awards®:

2017 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS® NOMINEES

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Bruno Mars
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Drake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Ed Sheeran
  • James Arthur
  • Niall Horan
  • Julia Michaels
  • Post Malone
  • Rae Sremmurd
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey “Closer”
  • DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne “I’m the One”
  • Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber “Despacito”
  • Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar “Don’t Wanna Know”
  • The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk “Starboy”
  • Garth Brooks
  • Coldplay
  • U2
  • Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like”
  • Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee “Despacito”
  • Ed Sheeran “Shape of You”
  • Bruno Mars
  • Drake
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Alessia Cara
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Coldplay
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Bruno Mars “24K Magic”
  • Drake “More Life”
  • The Weeknd “Starboy”
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey “Closer”
  • Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber “Despacito”
  • Ed Sheeran “Shape of You”
  • Sam Hunt
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Keith Urban
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Little Big Town
  • Old Dominion
  • Jason Aldean “They Don’t Know”
  • Chris Stapleton “From A Room: Volume 1”
  • Keith Urban “Ripcord”
  • Sam Hunt “Body Like A Back Road”
  • Jon Pardi “Dirt On My Boots”
  • Keith Urban “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
  • Drake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Migos
  • Drake “More Life”
  • Kendrick Lamar “DAMN.”
  • Migos “Culture”
  • DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne “I’m the One”
  • Kendrick Lamar “HUMBLE.”
  • Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane “Black Beatles”
  • Bruno Mars
  • Childish Gambino
  • The Weeknd
  • Beyoncé
  • Kehlani
  • Rihanna
  • Bruno Mars “24K Magic”
  • Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!”
  • The Weeknd “Starboy”
  • Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like”
  • Khalid “Location”
  • The Weeknd “Starboy”
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Linkin Park
  • twenty one pilots
  • Bruno Mars
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Daddy Yankee
  • Luis Fonsi
  • Shakira
  • Lauren Daigle
  • MercyMe
  • Chris Tomlin
  • The Chainsmokers
  • DJ Snake
  • Calvin Harris
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2
  • Moana
  • Trolls

Harvey Weinstein scandal: Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet and more celebrities speak out against sexual harassment

October 10, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company party in celebration of “Wind River” at Nikki Beach in Cannes, Frances, on May 20, 2017. (Photo by Dave Benett)

Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Mira Sorvino and Judi Dench—five actresses who have won Oscars for their roles in movies distributed by Harvey Weinstein-founded The Weinstein Company (TWC)  and Miramax Films—have joined the growing list of celebrities who are speaking out against the sexual harassment and sexual assault that TWC co-founder Weinstein is accused of committing for more than 30 years.

Streep has publicly praised Weinstein over the years, but on October 9, 2017, she issued a statement saying, in part: “The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.  One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew … Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.” Other stars—such as Glenn Close, Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Mark Ruffalo—have also made public statements condemning Weinstein. (Click here to read many of their statements.)

On October 7, 2017, Weinstein issued an apology that read, in part: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” He also said he was in therapy for his admitted anger issues and “demons.” Through his representatives, Weinstein has denied the most serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Weinstein was fired from TWC on October 8, 2017—three days after a New York Times article gave detailed accounts of these accusations, which included allegations made by actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan that Weinstein sexually harassed them in the 1990s. The New York Times investigation reported that over the past several years, Weinstein had least eight sexual-harassment cases against him that were settled out of court; the most recently known case was in 2015.

Allegations published by the New York Times and the New Yorker on October 10, 2017,  give first-hand accounts by numerous women with various jobs in the entertainment industry (including assistants, producers, executives and actresses) who talk about being the targets of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. Angelina Jolie, Paltrow, Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette are among the other actresses who claim that they have been sexually harassed by Weinstein early in the actresses’ careers. Meanwhile, actress/filmmaker Asia Argento told the New Yorker that Weinstein raped her in 1997, and she felt pressured to have other sexual encounters with him over the next five years.

According to the reports, Weinstein’s main tactic would be to lure a woman to be alone with him in a hotel room or other private area, with Weinstein leading the woman to believe that it was a business meeting to help her career. The allegations often included salacious details such as Weinstein getting naked and asking the woman he was alone with to give him a nude massage, watch him take a shower and/or have sex with him. In some cases, Weinstein would allegedly masturbate in front of the woman or force the woman to touch his penis.

Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress, told the New Yorker of a disturbing encounter with Weinstein in which she claims he forced her to perform oral sex on him during what she thought would be a business meeting with him in 2004.

Weinstein, who is 65, has been married to fashion mogul Georgina Chapman (co-founder of the Marchesa brand) since 2007, but she announced on October 10, 2017, that they have separated. Weinstein was married to his first wife, Eve Chilton, from 1987 to 2004. His has three daughters with Chilton: Remy (previously Lily), born  in 1995; Emma, born 1998; and Ruth, born in 2002. Weinstein has two children with Chapman: daughter India Pearl (born in 2010) and son Dashiell (born in 2013).

In 2015, Weinstein was investigated by the New York Police Department for groping actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez during a private business meeting at TWC headquarters in New York City, but the Manhattan District Attorney declined to file charges. On October 10, 2017, New Yorker released a NYPD sting audio tape made at a hotel a few days after the incident that has Weinstein admitting to groping her breast and trying to convince Gutierrez to come into his hotel room.

Weinstein was a major donor to several progressive causes and Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Since the scandal broke, Obama and Clinton have issued statements condemning Weinstein. Some of the politicians, such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, have stated that they would take the amount of money that Weinstein donated to them and give it to charitable causes.

Over the years, Weinstein  earned a reputation for being a vengeful bully to many people in the industry, but he earned just as much praise and admiration from those who benefited from his help. He was considered one of the movie industry’s most powerful campaigners for prestigious awards. TWC’s Oscar-winning movies include “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” Streep won an Oscar for her role as Margaret Thatcher in TWC’s “The Iron Lady,” while Winslet won an Oscar for TWC’s “The Reader.” Among the other celebrities who have won Oscars for TWC films include Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”),  Penélope Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”).

Weinstein co-founded TWC in 2005 with his brother Bob Weinstein. The Weinstein brothers co-founded Miramax Films in 1979, and headed the company until 2005. Miramax, which was bought by Disney in 1993, is the movie studio behind such Oscar-winning films as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Chicago.” Paltrow and Dench won Oscars for “Shakespeare in Love,” while Sorvino won an Oscar for Miramax’s “Mighty Aphrodite.”

In recent years, TWC’s power has been waning. The company, which also has departments for television and books, has not had a big movie hit since 2012’s “Django Unchained.” And although 2016’s “Lion” received six Oscar nominations, the movie did not win any Oscars.

2018 ACE Comic Con Arizona: ‘Captain America’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ stars confirmed to attend

October 5, 2017

"Captain America" star Chris Evans and "Spider-Man: Homecoming" star Tom Holland
“Captain America” star Chris Evans and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland (Image courtesy of ACE Universe)

The following is a press release from ACE Universe:

Chris Evans, star of the worldwide hit “Captain America” movie franchise, and Tom Holland, who portrays Spider-Man in the Marvel hits “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Captain America: Civil War” are headlining the new ACE Comic Con Arizona at Gila River Arena, Jan. 13-15, 2018.

ACE Comic Con Arizona is a division of ACE Universe, a newly launched experiential events company created by brothers Gareb and Stephen Shamus.  With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows under their belts, the brothers are creating a new immersive experience that looks to redefine the industry and break the mold of the linear Comic Con business.

Along with Evans and Holland, other confirmed guests include Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier – “Captain America”), Anthony Mackie (The Falcon – “Captain America”), Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter – “Captain America”), Laura Harrier (Liz – “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), and Jacob Batalon (Ned – “Spider-Man: Homecoming”).  More guests will be announced soon, including superstars from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

VIP Admissions, Photo Ops and Autographs are on sale now at www.aceuniverse.com.  General Admission Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) starting at 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Additional ticketing information also can be found at www.aceuniverse.com.

“When we first went to Gila River Arena, we knew we had found the right home for our next big event,” said Gareb Shamus, ACE Universe Chairman and CEO.  “We believe the fans will fall in love with this new style of Comic Con and we can’t wait for everyone to enjoy everything the weekend will have to offer, which includes the opportunity to watch all of the can’t-miss programming on the arena Jumbotron.”  ACE Universe has secured an exclusive Marvel Comic variant cover to Captain America #495, drawn by Good Charlotte lead guitarist and illustrator Billy Martin.  This book is exclusive to box office buyers and VIPs.  Martin will be on hand all three days to sign the books, which feature Captain America and Spider-Man, in an homage piece of art to the great Todd McFarlane. 

ACE Universe also has partnerships across key sectors including technology, media, entertainment, gaming, publishers, manufacturers, licensors and retailers to help create a robust experience for fans.

Additionally, ACE Universe will be the first to provide FREE global live streaming to fans with wall-to-wall coverage of the entire Comic Con.  Now, all fans can enjoy access to top-tier talent, breaking news and on-site programming as every aspect of the show will be fully streamed, social media friendly, and available on mobile devices.

Chris Evans, Tom Holland and the casts of both films are global box office stars that provide fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and greet with their favorite super heroes,” said Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe.  “When you listen to the fans, these are the stars that are most requested, so securing the main cast members from both Marvel franchises makes this a can’t miss weekend.  We also haven’t forgotten the WWE fans, some of the most excitable fans in the world.”

ACE Comic Con Arizona is the second of the new ACE Comic Cons, with the debut event set to take place at NYCB Live:  Home of the Veterans Memorial Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY, Dec. 8-10.  In addition to these two shows, ACE Universe will announce more 2018 dates, cities and ticket information at www.aceuniverse.com and on the ACE Comic Con social channels at Facebook.com/acecomicon or @acecomiccon on Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT ACE UNIVERSE
ACE Universe (www.aceuniverse.com) is a New York-based media and experiential events company founded by Gareb and Stephen Shamus, who are the world’s most experienced producers of Comic Con conventions.  Stephen has personally produced over 175 Comic Con events, booked thousands of celebrity guests, and played host to millions of happy fans.  Gareb is a leading pop-culture expert, founder of the largest Comic Con tour in the world, an original producer of national Comic Cons, and publisher of multiple award-winning magazines published in 75 countries worldwide.  ACE Universe produces premium events in world-class venues that feature the best of Film, TV, Gaming, Virtual Reality, Collectibles, Comics, Original Art, Toys, Action Figures, Graphic Novels, Illustrators, Writers, Creators, and Entertainment Programming.  Fans can live stream all ACE Universe events at www.aceuniverse.com and engage with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

November 3, 2017 UPDATE:

(“Captain America” star Chris Evans, Stan Lee and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland Image courtesy of ACE Universe)

The following is a press release from ACE Universe:

Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, world-renowned comic book writer and former publisher of Marvel Comics, has been added to the star-studded lineup for ACE Comic Con Arizona, which will take place Jan. 13-15 at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

Lee is known as the creative force behind Marvel Comics and was a co-creator for numerous popular Marvel characters, including Spider-Man.  He also is credited with re-launching Marvel’s Captain America in the 1960s.

“We are committed to bringing fans the best of the best guests, and today’s announcement reinforces this commitment,” said Stephen Shamus, President of ACE Universe. “Stan Lee is an iconic figure, and having the opportunity to take a Photo Op with his superhero creations come to life – Captain America & Spider-Man (Chris Evans & Tom Holland), will create a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Taking a Photo Op with all three will be a truly historic moment.”

Lee will be available for dual photo opportunities with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), as well as a triple photo opportunity with both characters together.  Additionally, Lee will be doing solo photo opportunities and autograph sessions, and take part in a panel discussion which will be live streamed to fans around the world.

Lee also will participate in “Comic Con” night at the Arizona Coyotes – Edmonton Oilers game on Friday, Jan. 12, the night before the kickoff of ACE Comic Con Arizona.  Lee will be on hand to drop the puck to start the game, and a variety of other ACE Comic Con Arizona artists and vendors will be available on the concourse for autographs signings and merchandise sales.

ACE Comic Con Arizona officials announced one additional change to the weekend lineup.  Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter – “Captain America”), who was scheduled to appear both Saturday and Sunday, will now only appear on Sunday as she booked a role in a play. All Saturday ticket holders with VIP packages, photo ops or autographs including Hayley will be notified via email with instructions on how to exchange tickets for Sunday, or to get a refund.

ACE Comic Con Arizona is a division of ACE Universe, a newly launched experiential events company created by brothers Gareb and Stephen Shamus.  With 20 years of experience and 175 Comic Con shows under their belts, the brothers are creating a new immersive experience that looks to redefine the industry and break the mold of the linear Comic Con business.

 

2017 New York Comic Con: What to expect at this year’s event

October 5, 2017

by Carla Hay

New York Comic Con

The 12th annual New York Comic Con takes place October 5 to October 8 in New York City. The event is expected to draw at least 180,000 people, according to ReedPOP, company that produces the event. New York Comic Con’s main hub is at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, but there are also numerous activities taking place at several other locations in the city, including Hammerstein Ballroom, Hudson Mercantile, the New York Public Library and the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

TV shows dominate the most high-profile panels and activities. There are some movies due to be released in theaters that will be showcased at the event. And, of course, there will be plenty of panels, exhibits and previews for comic books, video games, fantasy novels and other pop-culture attractions.

This year, New York Comic Con has joined forces with Keanu Reeves, Hollywood and Puerto Rico Filmmakers and CINE to raise money for he Puerto Rico Film Friends Relief Fund, which will help victims and survivors of Hurricane Maria. Click here to donate or for more information. Reeves will be at New York Comic Con on October 5 to promote his movie “Replicas.”

Here is a list of the TV and movie panels that are expected to draw the largest crowds*:

TELEVISION

BBC America Presents: Peter Capaldi Spotlight

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Peter Capaldi, star of BBC America’s “Doctor Who,” will head the list of top talent set to attend NYCC. Capaldi, the 12th Doctor, is a Spotlight guest and will join fans for a panel on Friday, October 6. The fan Q&A marks his return to NYCC and is a very special moment leading up to the highly-anticipated Doctor Who Christmas Special, Twice Upon a Time, which is Peter Capaldi’s final episode in the iconic hit series. As previously revealed in the closing moments of the season finale, the special will feature Capaldi’s current Doctor team up with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley.

Rooster Teeth’s “RWBY”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Rooster Teeth’s global hit western anime series “RWBY” returns to New York Comic Con, and the cast and crew are here with an exclusive sneak peek at Volume 5. Join Lindsay Jones (Ruby), Barbara Dunkelman (Yang), Miles Luna, Kerry Shawcross, and Gray G. Haddock for exciting “RWBY” news, hilarious behind-the-scenes stories, an audience Q&A and more!

Freeform’s Super Sci-Fi Q&A Panel with “Shadowhunters” and “Beyond”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Fans of Freeform’s hit series “Shadowhunters” and “Beyond” get a glimpse into the upcoming seasons from cast and executive producers. “Will it be smooth sailing for the reunited Malec?,” “Will Holden return to a normal life?,” plus much more will be revealed during this epic panel. Cast and EP participants to be announced at a later date.

Marvel Television Presents: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Join Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television, in celebrating Season Five of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” with the entire cast and executive producers as they come together at Madison Square Garden, for the very first time, with an action-packed panel, Q&A and never-before-seen footage. This is the one you’ve been waiting for!

“Star Trek: Discovery”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

This fall on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, while learning that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The iconic television franchise, which first launched over 50 years ago, continues to remain true to its roots, and Starfleet’s steadfast ideals of adventure, an earnest pursuit for exploration, and the hope that we can all come together for a better tomorrow.  Join members of the cast, alongside the creative minds behind the new series for a panel conversation on Star Trek: Discovery.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 7, 2017, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Join “The Walking Dead” cast and executive producers for a panel where they will discuss the season 7 finale and share a sneak peek into season 8, premiering October 22nd 9/8c.

In addition, these TV shows will be showcased with panels at New York Comic Con this year:

  • “American Gods”
  • “Archer: Danger Island”
  • “Ash vs. Evil Dead”
  • “Black Mirror”
  • “Blindspot”
  • “Castle Rock”
  • “Comic Book Men”
  • “Deception”
  • “The Defenders”
  • “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”
  • “Drunk History”
  • “Electric Dreams”
  • “The Exorcist”
  • “Explosion Jones”
  • “Family Guy”
  • “Final Space”
  • “Future Man”
  • “The Gifted”
  • “Gotham”
  • “Happy!”
  • “Hey Arnold!”
  • “Jack Ryan”
  • “Lore”
  • “The Magicians”
  • “The Man in the High Castle”
  • “Once Upon a Time”
  • “The Orville”
  • “Power Rangers Ninja Steel”
  • “Psych Reunion Movie”
  • “The President Show”
  • “Reverie”
  • “Robot Chicken”
  • “Runaways”
  • “The Shannara Chronicles”
  • “Shut Eye”
  • “Siren”
  • “Stan Against Evil”
  • “SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween”
  • “The Tick”
  • “Voltron: Legendary Defender”
  • “The X-Files”

MOVIES

“Pacific Rim Uprising”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

October 6, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

“Pacific Rim Uprising” director Steven S. DeKnight will be joined by stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Burn Gorman and Cailee Spaeny—as well as moderator Aaron Sagers, SYFY WIRE’s editor-at-large—to discuss the upcoming action-adventure from Legendary and introduce the world premiere of the new trailer.  The follow-up to 2013’s cinematic epic of monsters and mechs, the film will inspire a new generation to become the biggest heroes to ever walk the earth.  Also starring Jing Tian, Rinko Kikuchi, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day, “Pacific Rim Uprising” hits theaters March 2018.

“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”

Hammerstein Ballroom

October 8, 2017, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

By now every fan knows the origin of Wonder Woman, but very few know about the real-life women who inspired the iconic super-heroine and their unique relationship with the man who created her. “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” tells that fascinating and extraordinary story. Please join us for a preview panel about this acclaimed film with its stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and director Angela Robinson. Everyone attending will receive a “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” poster and pencil. Moderated by Fandango’s Tiffany Smith.

“Replicas”

Javits Center, Room 1A06

October 5, 2017, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Join Keanu Reeves and the team behind “Replicas,” for an exclusive first look and conversation about the film. Reeves developed and produced the “Replicas” with his producing partner, Stephen Hamel, and Transformers-franchise producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura.  The film is written by Chad St. John (“London Has Fallen:) from a story by Hamel, and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (writer of “The Day After Tomorrow”). “Replicas” is the story of a scientist (Reeves) who loses his family in a horrific accident, but is determined save his wife and children by bringing them back to life with cutting-edge cloning technology.

*All panel descriptions are courtesy of New York Comic Con.

Michael Bay’s 451 Media Group to debut nine graphic novels from top Hollywood writers at New York Comic Con

October 4, 2017

Michael Bay
Michael Bay (Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

The following is a press release from 451 Media Group:

451 Media Group, a multi-platform entertainment company, today announced it will exclusively premiere nine graphic novels, previously released only in single issue series, created by some of the most sought-after TV and movie writers at this year’s New York Comic Con (NYCC). Co-founded by acclaimed director and producer Michael Bay, 451 delivers an immersive entertainment experience combining cutting edge digital technology with content from some of the Hollywood’s top creative minds.

451 Media Group has produced trade paperback editions of all its properties for the first time, nine titles of which will be making their debut at NYCC. Created by marquee Hollywood talent, the titles include:

S6X – From master author/screenwriter George Pelecanos (HBO’s “The Deuce,” “The Wire” and “The Pacific”) comes an explosive tale of war and the lives of six soldiers altered forever, who reunite for one last mission to bring down those who threaten one of their own in a full fury showdown risking everything they have.

“S6X is very visual and character driven,” says Pelecanos. “These are very young men and women. And they look like everyday people. That’s something that I wanted to write about because I think it’s very real and also very important. To me, the graphic novel was the perfect vehicle to take the plunge and dive into the world of sequential art. And it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.”

“What I love about the world George created is it’s both heightened and populated by real human beings. The characters are flawed, wounded and emotionally tangible souls who just happen to be caught up in this operatic but deeply personal war story. S6X is more than just a shoot ‘em up — it’s about the things people are capable of at their very worst and their very best.”says Ashley Miller, the screenwriter of “X-Men: First Class” and ‘Thor,” who is adapting the book for the big screens.

Red Dog – From Rob Cohen (writer of “The Fast and the Furious,” “xXx” and upcoming film “Hurricane Heist”). Comes an all new sci-fi adventure that follows Kyle, the only child on a distant planet, and his robot dog Red. When Red goes missing in the savage alien landscape, Kyle goes in search of his friend facing dangers beyond imagination and proves no matter how far in space you go, there’s no greater bond than one between a boy and his dog.

“’Red Dog’ is my passion project and if I can make it into a movie someday, I will die a happy man,” says Cohen.” But more important than that, it has found its form as a graphic novel thanks to the brilliant folks at 451 and a day does not start that I don’t look at a copy of to the first issue framed on my wall and smile”.

NVRLND – From the creative minds of the writing team, Stephanie Salyers and Dylan Mulik comes “NVRLND,” a dark and magical re-imagining of “Peter Pan” set in present-day Hollywood. Wallflower turned wild-child Wendy Darling befriends the fiery Tiger Lily and enters the rave scene of the underground club “NVRLND.” Intoxicated by music and pixie dust, Wendy falls for the enigmatic Peter, lead singer of The Lost Boys. You think you may know the truth about “NVRLND” but the truth is you know nothing.

Stained – Meet Emma London: recovery artist and bounty hunter for hire. She is strong, possibly indomitable, and did we mention…part machine. Emma enters dark places that no one else will go to track down the subhuman criminals lurking in the underbelly of society and bring them to justice. From David Baron, 2016 Harvey Nominee and top comic professional spanning over 20-plus years with highlights including GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE, PLANETARY, THE AUTHORITY, JLA, DETECTIVE COMICS (THE BLACK MIRROR), GREEN LANTERN, DIVINITY and BLOODSHOT: REBORN.

“With Issue one selling out, I couldn’t be happier how well ‘Stained’ has been received by fans and professionals. I don’t think I have ever been more excited for a Con in my 20 year career to premiere ‘Stained’ at NYCC 2017,” says Baron.

Additional graphic novels premiering from 451:

Self Storage – A Zom-rom-com from Clay McLeod Chapman, the writer of “The Boy,””Henley,” “Edge of Spider-Verse” and “Marvel’s Universe Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Humbug – A masterly plotted merry and manic mash-up of “Sherlock Holmes” and “Ghostbusters” from A.J. Gentile, the writers and creators of “Micronauts” and VISIONARIES.

Sunflower – A psychological thriller from writer Mark Mallouk, writer of “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp.

ExMortis – An epic WWII action adventure from the minds of Paul + Pete Williams, VFX gurus behind “Avatar,” Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Chronicles of Narnia.

Bad Moon Rising – A wild smash up of “The Wolfman” and “Sons of Anarchy” from writer/producer Scott Rosenberg (“Con Air,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Jumanji 2,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and the CBS series “Zoo”).

Learn more about these and other original story titles at 4five1.com. Order copies through 451’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/451official/.

 

Tom Petty dead at 66; iconic rocker was a Grammy winner and a member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

October 3, 2017

by Carla Hay

Tom Petty
Tom Petty at the Mountain Jam Festival in Hunter Mountain, New York, on June 17, 2017 (Photo by Patrick Tewey/Mountain Jam)

After his death was prematurely reported by CBS News, rock singer/songwriter Tom Petty died on the night of October 2, 2017, at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. His death came a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, according to what his spokesperson Carla Sacks told the Associated Press. CBS News reported and later retracted Petty’s obituary several hours before he actually died.

Petty began his music career in his hometown of Gainesville, Florida, before relocating to Los Angeles with his band Mudcrutch.  He was best known for his work with his band the Heartbreakers, who had a long string of popular songs dating back to the band’s debut in 1976, including “Refugee,” “American Girl,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “The Waiting” and “Learning to Fly.” Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2017, Petty and the Heartbreakers were on their 40th anniversary tour, which Petty told the media would probably be the band’s last tour.

Petty was also a member of the short-lived rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, whose other members were Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.  Petty also had a successful solo career, which began with his 1989 multiplatinum album “Full Moon Fever,” whose hits included “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

Petty won three Grammys in his career:  First, with the Traveling Wilburys (for the 1988 album “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1”); then as a solo artist (for the 1994 song “You Don’t Know How It Feels”); and finally with the Heartbreakers (for the 2007 documentary “Runnin’ Down a Dream”).  In 2017, Petty was named MusiCares Person of the Year.

Petty was married twice: to Jane Benyo (from 1974 to 1996) and to his widow, Dana York, whom he married in 2001. He had two daughters (Adria and AnnaKim Violette) from his marriage to Benyo, as well as a stepson named Dylan from his marriage to York.

January 18, 2018 UPDATE: According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, Petty did not die of cardiac arrest, as had originally reported. His cause of death was an accidental overdose of multiple drugs.

Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and other celebrities react to mass murder at Route 91 Harvest festival

October 2, 2017

by John Larson

Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean (Photo by Natasha Moustache/CMA)

As details are still emerging about the mass murder shooting at the Route 91 Harvest outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, festival performer Jason Aldean and other celebrities have been making statements about the tragedy, in which at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 people injured on October 1, 2017. It is the worst mass-murder shooting in U.S. history. Stephen Craig Paddock, the 64-year-old suspected shooter, fired automatic weapons from his hotel suite at nearby Mandalay Bay, and reportedly committed suicide before he could be apprehended by police. Paddock is believed to be the only shooter in this crime.

Aldean was performing at the concert when the shooting happened. He issued this statement on his official Twitter account: “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Aldean was the last performer at the three-day festival, whose other headliners were Eric Church (on September 29) and Sam Hunt (on September 30). The sold-out event was attended by about 22,000 people on the Las Vegas Strip when the gun attack began at 10:05 p.m. Pacific Time.

Jake Owen, who performed on stage before Aldean at the festival,  tweeted these comments on October 1: “Praying for everyone here in Vegas. I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight. We are okay. Others aren’t. Please pray.”

Owen later tweeted, “Gun shots were ringing off of the stage rigging and road cases. No one knew where to go..thank you LVPD and responders for keeping us safe.”

John Rich of Big & Rich, who also performed at the festival on  October 1 , tweeted after the tragedy: “We are ok. But our fans and friends are not. This is the worst of humanity at work. Praying for the victims in Vegas tonight.”

Route 91 festival performer Maren Morris tweeted on October 2: “Played Route 91 in Vegas the night before last. We were all singing. I’m in shock over this. Heartbroken for all those lives taken too soon.”

Live Nation, the promotion company behind Route 91 Harvest, issued this statement on October 2: “We are heartbroken over the tragedy that took place at the Route 91 Harvest festival. To think that anyone would want to inflict harm on a gathering of music lovers is beyond our comprehension. And while we are stunned and grieving over this incomprehensible act of violence, we know that this is a moment when we must come together to prevent more tragedies like this from occurring.

“Live Nation will do everything in our power to support the victims and their families through the aftermath of this horrendous event and extends our deepest gratitude to the heroic first responders who helped save as many lives as possible. To our Live Nation on-site employees, we cannot thank you enough for your bravery and perseverance over the past 24 hours and will ensure you have the resources and support necessary to heal from this.”

According to the Associated Press, dead gunman Paddock was a retired multimillionaire who did not have a known history of committing violence or having mental illness. However, his estranged father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock (who went by several aliases and died in 1998), had a long criminal history, including arrests for bank robbery in 1960, escaping from prison in 1968 (which put him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list) and racketeering in 1987.

October 3, 2017 UPDATE:

Aldean has cancelled his California concerts that were scheduled to take place on October 6 in Los Angeles, October 7 in San Diego and October 8 in Anaheim. In a statement posted on his official website, Aldean said: “I feel like out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans, it is the right thing to do. It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends.”

In addition, Aldean posted this message on his Instagram account:  “Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Fear, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont [sic] understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we arent [sic] Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate!
#stopthehate #prayforlasvegas”

Meanwhile, Route 91 Harvest issued this statement:

“On behalf of the entire Route 91 Harvest Family, we are completely devastated by the event that occurred Sunday night.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the injured and the deceased and their loved ones, senseless violence has claimed the souls of our fans and we have little in the way of answers.

“Our eternal gratitude goes out to the LVPD, Emergency services, security guards, and fans for their selfless acts of bravery while trying to help those in need.

“While we will try and move forward, we will never forget this day.

“We will NOT let hate win over LOVE.

“We will NOT be defeated by senseless violence.

“We WILL persevere, and honor the souls that were lost.
Because it matters.”

Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie join ‘American Idol’ as judges

September 29, 2017

Luke Bryan (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)
Lionel Richie (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)

The following is a press release from ABC:

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have signed on as judges for the beloved music competition series “American Idol” for its first season on ABC. They round out the panel of judges, alongside judge Katy Perry. Ryan Seacrest will return to host the series. The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, October 4.

“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” said Bryan. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor. It’s gonna be a blast!”

“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on ‘American Idol,’” said Richie. “As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It’s going to be so much fun!”

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”

Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of “American Idol,” said, “We have taken our time to get the right mix of amazing talent for the new Idol judging panel. Our viewers expect musical credibility, passion and a true concern for the contestants; and with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie joining the brilliant Katy Perry, we have two more world-class musical powerhouses eager to get to work and identify the next generation of superstars.”

Peter Hurwitz, CEO and president of 19 Entertainment-parent Core Media Group, said, “This extraordinary panel of judges speaks volumes about the continued power of the iconic ‘American Idol’ brand. We are thrilled to have Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan join Katy Perry and, ultimately, millions of viewers as we begin this new era on ABC.”

Yesterday, Bryan kicked off his ninth annual Farm Tour performing in six cities through October 7. Since the tour’s inception in 2009, Bryan has awarded 50 scholarships to a local student from a farming family within the communities the tour has played. Bryan will also continue his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour through October.

Bryan is a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, a five-time host of the ACM Awards and the 2017 Super Bowl LI national anthem performer. Luke has placed 18 singles at No.1, sold over 10 million albums and more than 40 million tracks with three billion music streams, and has performed for millions of fans on tour. He recently debuted a new single, “Light It Up,” which is the first song off a new album due out later this year.

Singer-songwriter, record producer and international superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having No. 1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama, native is a true music icon.

Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” written with Michael Jackson for USA for Africa. His song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”

Richie launched his Las Vegas headlining residency show, Lionel Richie – All the Hits, at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in April 2016. In an unforgettable evening featuring his brightest and best anthems which have defined the music icon’s unparalleled career, Richie takes his fans on a spectacular musical journey, performing a variety of his seminal hits. With his most recent All the Hits, All Night Long Tour, Richie sold out arenas worldwide with a set list of his brightest and best anthems. In recent years, he also headlined festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, drawing the festival’s biggest crowd ever with more than 200,000 attendees.

When “American Idol” debuted in the U.S., the series revolutionized television, pioneering the reality-competition genre and holding an unmatched record for being the highest-rated series for nearly a decade. The series also ushered in second-screen audience participation, being the first to introduce text-based and mobile voting. The “Idol” format has taken on original versions in 55 countries around the world, and “American Idol” itself has played to a worldwide audience of over 460 million across 53 countries. At its new home on ABC, “American Idol” will continue to be a force in the television landscape, reaching every corner of the country in its search for the next great music sensation.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

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