Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees The Doobie Brothers are reuniting with singer and songwriter Michael McDonald for a 50th anniversary tour next year.
McDonald, who sang with the band starting in 1975 before starting his own solo career, surprised fans at The Doobie Brothers concert with a performance of “Takin’ it to the Streets” on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Ryman Auditorium.
Formed in Northern California, the group featured harmonies backed by the finger-picking style of guitarist Patrick Simmons paired with the R&B guitar playing by Tom Johnston, singing lead. They had hits with “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “China Grove.”
They earned two Grammys with McDonald for “What a Fool Believes” and “Minute By Minute.” The tour will begin June 9 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
British photographer Terry O’Neill, whose images captured London’s Swinging ‘60s and who created iconic portraits of Elton John, Brigitte Bardot and Winston Churchill, has died at age 81.
O’Neill died Saturday at his home in London following a long battle with cancer, according to Iconic Images, the agency that represented O’Neill.
“Terry was a class act, quick witted and filled with charm,” the agency said in a statement posted to its website. “Anyone who was lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty. As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.”
Born in London in 1938, O’Neill was working as a photographer for an airline at Heathrow Airport when he snapped a picture of a well-dressed man sleeping on a bench. The man turned out to be the British home secretary, and O’Neill was hired by a London newspaper.
In the early 1960s he photographed the Beatles during the recording of their first hit single, and he captured the image of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill clutching a cigar as he was carried to an ambulance after a 1962 hospital stay.
O’Neill later said that when photographing the Beatles he placed John Lennon in the foreground because he thought that “it was obvious John was the one with the personality.”
Soon O’Neill was photographing the hottest stars of the mid and late ‘60s: Bardot, Raquel Welch, Michael Caine, Steve McQueen, Diana Ross and Audrey Hepburn.
He photographed many other big names over the course of a career that spanned decades, including model Kate Moss, Queen Elizabeth II, singers David Bowie and Amy Winehouse and former first lady Laura Bush.
O’Neill’s photos of Elton John remain among his most recognizable. One shows the singer, exuberant and sparkling in a sequined baseball uniform, with an audience of thousands in the background.
“He was brilliant, funny and I absolutely loved his company,” John tweeted Sunday.
Another iconic O’Neill photo, this one from 1977, depicted actress Faye Dunaway lounging poolside the morning after winning a best actress Oscar for her performance in “Network,” the statuette sitting on a table and newspapers strewn on the ground.
O’Neill was married to Dunaway for three years in the 1980s. According to British newspaper The Guardian, the couple had a son. O’Neill later married Laraine Ashton, a modelling industry executive.
In an interview with the Guardian last year, O’Neill discussed how he viewed his past photos.
“The perfectionist in me always left me thinking I could have taken a better shot. But now when I look at photos of all the icons I’ve shot – like Mandela, Sir Winston Churchill and Sinatra – the memories come flooding back and I think: ‘Yeah, I did all right.’”
British media on Sunday slammed Prince Andrew’s effort to rebut claims that he had sex with a teenager who says she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, branding his televised interview a complete public relations disaster.
In a rare interview with BBC Newsnight that was broadcast late Saturday, Andrew categorically denied having sex with the woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. But Britain’s newspapers and social media commentators criticized him for defending his friendship with Epstein and for failing to show empathy for the convicted sex-offender’s victims.
"I expected a train wreck,’’ said Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, which covers the British monarchy. “That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.”
Giuffre has said Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew in 2001, when she was 17. She says Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with powerful men, and that she had sexual encounters with Andrew in London, New York and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The BBC’s Emily Maitlis grilled Andrew on the details of an alleged encounter in March of that year, when Giuffre says she dined with the prince in London, danced with him at the Tramp nightclub, then had sex with him at a house in the tony London neighborhood of Belgravia.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said.
The 59-year-old prince said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre, adding that there are “a number of things that are wrong” with her account. He also suggested that a picture showing him with his arm around the teenage Giuffre may have been faked.
There was no immediate comment from Giuffre’s representative about the prince’s interview.
Giuffre had recently challenged the British royal to speak out, telling reporters in New York “he knows exactly what he’s done.”
“And the answer is nothing,” Andrew told the BBC.
The New York medical examiner ruled Epstein's death a suicide last summer. He had been in prison awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, which he had denied. Years earlier, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor.
While Andrew defended his friendship with Epstein prior to the Florida case, he said he regretted staying at the financier’s home in Manhattan after Epstein’s conviction.
“That’s the bit, that ... I kick myself for, on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family. And we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that,” he said.
He claimed an alleged encounter with Giuffre in London couldn’t have occurred on the date reported because he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to a party at a Pizza Express restaurant in the London suburb of Woking that day.
Andrew also disputed the details of Giuffre’s account, including her statement that he sweated heavily when they danced at the London nightclub. He said that was factually impossible because he had a medical condition at the time that meant he didn’t sweat. The prince said the condition stemmed from an “overdose of adrenaline’’ during his time as a helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War.
Those statements attracted ridicule on social media, with one commenter adding a giant slice of pizza to a photo of the prince and Epstein walking through New York’s Central Park. Others shared a photo of the prince sweating profusely.
One Twitter user captured the reaction of many by posting a video of a man pouring gasoline on a fire under the headline, “#Prince Andrew.”
But it was his failure to show compassion for Epstein’s victims that earned Andrew the most scorn.
“Astonished nation watches prince squirm,’’ the Mail on Sunday said in a front-page headline. “Many viewers shocked by ‘total lack of empathy.’”
Andrew’s decision to grant an interview that went into forensic detail about his well-documented ties to a sex offender was a high-stakes gamble in a country where royals traditionally don’t submit to such questioning. When royals speak at all, they usually offer carefully considered comments about charitable works.
But if Andrew thought the gamble would draw a line under the affair, he is mistaken, said Kate Williams, a specialist in royal history at Reading University. Williams said that no amount of charity work is going to address the harm done in the interview.
“The Royal Household today will be in damage-control mode, trying to work out how to minimize the damage that has come from this,’’ she said. “He has to go. Simply, last night was really a burning of the bridges, I think, for Prince Andrew.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, who is eighth in line to the throne, did have some defenders.
His ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, said before the BBC interview that it “is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth.”
"Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness," she said.
The prince didn’t rule out cooperating with the ongoing U.S. investigation into Epstein’s associates, saying he would follow his lawyers’ advice. Giuffre’s lawyers have said they also want to depose Andrew.
“If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so,” Andrew said.
That concession may not be enough to counter the damage done by the interview.
"I have never seen anything so disastrous. For any students of PR, that is how not to do it,” crisis consultant Mark Borkowski told Britain’s Press Association. “It was like watching a man in quicksand and, unfortunately, I don't think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out."
Chinese romantic drama "Somewhere Winter" continued to lead the Chinese mainland box office on Saturday, according to the China Movie Data Information Network Sunday.
"Somewhere Winter," which tells a love story about two generations and three cities, generated about 34.69 million yuan (about 4.95 million U.S. dollars) in its second day of screening.
It was followed by the 4K version of the critically acclaimed Italian drama film "The Legend of 1900," which grossed nearly 27.03 million yuan.
The film follows a boy who was discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.
"Better Days," a Chinese film that focuses on campus bullying, took the third place with a box office revenue of nearly 24.76 million yuan.
Roles for older actors can fall into some predictable tropes, but Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen say their new film, “The Good Liar,” let them brush aside cliches and even their characters’ mortality for a good cat-and-mouse thriller.
“Elderly characters are sort of there to be the lovely old grandfather or granddad that the kids go and visit,” Mirren said. “As you get older and you realize, 'You know what? I still have agency in my life. Things are still happening in my life. It doesn't all stop when you're 50.”
The film, which opens in theaters Friday, brings Mirren, 74, and McKellen, 80, together on the big screen for the first time.
McKellen plays Roy, a man who has spent his life swindling others and sets his sights on Mirren's character, a lonely widow named Betty. Roy is hoping to cash in on Betty's life savings.
While Betty’s grandson, played by Russell Tovey, senses danger in the new suitor, the film’s focus stays squarely on Betty and Roy.
“This film could not happen unless these people were the age they were at,” McKellen said.
McKellen is keenly aware that audiences may balk at seeing a film with two older leads in it, but there are advantages.
“Although my heart sinks when I go, 'Oh, do I have to go see a film with two old actors in it.' What you do get ... on the whole is pretty good acting because they've been at it and they know what they're up to,” he said.
"There is nothing about mortality in this movie and that I love," director Bill Condon said. "Putting them into a very contemporary thriller, it's a good reminder of the fact that people should get to do everything."
Condon said he’d seen Mirren and McKellen act together on Broadway, so he knew what to expect.
“I knew they were great together, but it is — well, it's like what we always complain about, right? The paucity of parts for people of a certain age,” Condon said. “They should go on and do four movies now, and I hope they do because they have an incredible kind of rapport."
Both Mirren and McKellen have some blockbuster projects on the horizon. McKellen appears in Tom Hooper’s “Cats” adaptation, and Mirren is set to appear in the ninth installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise in 2020.