Los Angeles, Feb 11 (AP/UNB) — The Grammy Awards kicked off Sunday with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives — a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.
"Music has always helped me tell my story," Obama said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. "Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another."
Gaga told the crowd: "They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn't work. But music told me not to listen to them."
Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidary with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who is hosting the show airing on CBS.
"Yes, ladies," Keys said. "There's nothing better than this."
The opening contrasted with last year's Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn't get a chance to perform onstage.
But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won multiple Grammys.
Carlile won three honors in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song and record of the year.
Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.
"Thank you so much. I got to thank God, thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for my family," she said. "I wish Bradley was here with my right now."
Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for "Joanne," while hit "Shallow," from "A Star is Born," was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.
Women have a strong presence in the top categories. Five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees are women, including Carlile's "By the Way, I Forgive You," Janelle Monae's "Dirty Computer," Cardi B's "Invasion of Privacy," Musgraves' "Golden Hour," and H.E.R.'s self-titled album are also in contention.
Six of the best-new-artist nominees are women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.
When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to "step up." He later acknowledged that it was a "poor choice of words," and his much-criticized remarks forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.
Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.
"I know i'm not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things .... but (expletive) ....... this is wild and beautiful. thank you so much," she tweeted after learning about her win.
Childish Gambino, Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle won two awards each. Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ella Mai, H.E.R., Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman, Stingy, Shaggy, Dave Chappelle, "Weird Al" Yankovic, the late Chris Cornell, Greta Van Fleet and even former President Jimmy Carter also picked up early awards ahead of the live show.
There was a tie for best rap performance, and Drake was surprisingly not one of the winners. Drake's "Nice for What" lost to Anderson Paak's "Bubblin'" and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake's "King's Dead," from the "Black Panther" soundtrack.
Beck was a double winner during the pre-telecast, taking home best alternative music album and best engineered album (non-classical) for "Colors." Emily Lazar, one of the engineers who worked on the album and won alongside Beck, said onstage that she was the first female mastering engineer to win in the latter category.
Several big stars are not attending the Grammys, including Grande, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards.
Drama has surrounded the Grammys around its Motown Records tribute: Some people complained when a promo aired on CBS showing Jennifer Lopez as the act set to honor the legendary record label, which launched the careers of the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more.
Some complained that a black artist should be involved in the tribute, while others said stronger vocalists should perform over Lopez. A representative for the Grammys didn't return an email seeking clarification about the tribute.
Camila Cabello kicked off the show with a performance featuring J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.
Others set to perform Sunday included Cardi B, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Little Big Town, Post Malone and Chloe x Halle. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day will honor the late Aretha Franklin with a performance.
New York (AP/UNB) — "No," was his response when asked Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Hart says it's too late to prepare.
Hart added it's "hard to predict what can happen." But he doesn't want "people to think there's a thing about me and the Academy."
The motion picture academy has not named a replacement host for its Feb. 24 awards show since Hart backed away days after being named host last month when some anti-gay tweets he posted a decade ago resurfaced.
Earlier this week on his Sirius XM show "Straight from the Hart" program, he again apologized to the LGBTQ community.
He told "GMA" he's not giving any more explanations. Hart says, "I'm just done."
New York, Jan 7 (AP/UNB) — Lady Gaga won for the song "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born," ''The Americans" won best drama series for its sixth and final season and co-host Sandra Oh spoke passionately about "faces of change" at a Golden Globes that shrugged off the seriousness of last year's black-draped ceremony for a more lighthearted show.
Oh and Andy Samberg opened the 76th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on a note of congeniality, including a mock roast of attendees and a string of jokes that playfully commented on critiques of Hollywood. Oh performed an impression of a sexist caveman film executive who casts like the title of Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong drama: "First ... man!" Noting the success of "Crazy Rich Asians," Oh alluded to films with white stars in Asian roles like "Ghost in the Shell" and "Aloha," the latter of which prompted Emma Stone, who starred in "Aloha," to shout out "I'm sorry!" from the crowd.
But Oh, who later also won for her performance on the BBC America drama series "Killing Eve," closed their opening monologue on a serious note explaining why she was hosting with Samberg.
"I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out at this audience and witness this moment of change," said Oh, tearing up and gazing at minority nominees in attendance. "Right now, this moment is real. Trust me, this is real. Because I see you. And I see you. All of these faces of change. And now, so will everyone else."
Soon thereafter, the stars of "Black Panther" took the stage to introduce the best picture-nominated film by pronouncing, in unison: "Wakanda forever!" They, along with the casts of "Crazy Rich Asians," ''BlacKkKlansman," ''Roma" and others made for a diverse array of nominees.
As expected, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt won best song for the signature tune from "A Star Is Born," the film most expected to dominate the Globes.
"Can I just say that as a woman in music, it's really hard to be taken seriously as a musician and as songwriter and these three incredible men, they lifted me up. They supported me."
Best supporting actress in a motion picture went to the Oscar frontrunner Regina King for her matriarch of Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation "If Beale Street Could Talk." King spoke about the Time's Up movement and vowed that the crews of everything she produces in the next two years will be half women. She challenged others to do likewise.
"Stand with us in solidarity and do the same," said King, who was also nominated for the TV series "Seven Seconds."
A year after the Globes were awash in a sea of black and #MeToo discussion replaced fashion chatter, the red carpet largely returned to more typical colors and conversation. Some attendees wore ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organized the Globes black-clad demonstration.
Alyssa Milano, the actress who was integral in making #MeToo go viral, said on the red carpet that in the past year a "really wonderful sisterhood has formed" and that they're "really finding our voice through our pain and our collective pain." But she added that she's more concerned with women in underseen industries — farmworkers, those in the military, hotel employees — than those walking the red carpet alongside her.
The night's first win went to Michael Douglas for the Netflix series "The Kominsky Method," besting Douglas dedicated the honor to his 102-year-old father. The second award went to the acclaimed "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" for best animated film.
For its sixth and final season, FX's "The Americans" took best drama series over shows like Amazon's conspiracy thriller "Homecoming" and Oh's own "Killing Eve." Richard Madden, the breakout star of the terrorism suspense series "Bodyguard," won best actor in a drama series. Ben Wishaw took best supporting actor in a limited series for "A Very English Scandal."
The press association typically likes to have first crack at series that weren't eligible for the 2018 Emmys. They did this year in not just "The Kominsky Method" and "Bodyguard" but also the Showtime prison drama "Escape at Dannemora." Its star, Patricia Arquette, won for best actress in a limited series.
The 2018 Globes were the first major televised awards in Hollywood following the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent push for greater gender equality in the film industry. Usually the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's ceremony is known for its freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps.
Last year's show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-percent decline in viewership. This year, NBC has one thing in its favor: an NFL lead in. Ahead of the Globes, NBC broadcast the late afternoon wild card game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, which proved to be a nail-bitingly close game — likely delivering the network a huge audience.
Nominees that have been in sizable box office hits may also potentially help the Globes, none more than Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther," up for best picture (drama) and score. "A Star is Born," which is expected to dominate the drama side of the movie awards, recently passed $200 million in domestic ticket sales.
Adam McKay's highly critical Dick Cheney portrait "Vice," starring Christian Bale, came in with a leading six nominations. While music-heavy films "A Star Is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" opted to contend in the Globes' drama categories, "Vice" tops the comedy-musical nominees, though it's closely trailed by multiple nominees, including "The Favourite" and "Green Book," Peter Farrelly's interracial road trip tale starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
At stake are not just Golden Globes awards but Oscar momentum. Voting for the Academy Awards nominations begins Monday.
Jeff Bridges was to receive the Globes' honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. A similar television achievement award is also being launched, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree is Burnett, herself.
Los Angeles, Jan 4 (AP/UNB) — Actress Sandra Oh wants to bring a lighter tone to the Golden Globes after last year's awards show took a much more serious approach centered on the #MeToo movement.
Oh said Thursday that she and fellow host Andy Samberg will provide a "moment of joy" at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Sunday night. She and Samberg were first paired as award presenters during a comical set at the Emmys last year when Oh ripped up the winner's envelope, referencing the 2017 Oscars "La La Land" slip-up before the duo pieced together the card and announced the actual winner.
"I know when Andy and I were talking about the feeling that I really want to bring, and really focus on, is just to have a moment of joy," said Oh, who is favored to win a Golden Globe award for best actress for her "Killing Eve" role. "Honestly, with who is going to be in that audience, the nominees this year, it excites me so tremendously ... mostly because of the diversity in that room."
Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Meher Tatna called last year's ceremony an important moment in the television and film industry as many dressed in black in solidarity with the victims of sexual harassment. But she said Sunday's awards won't be as politically charged.
Tatna said she hopes the Golden Globes can return to its roots as the "party of the year" by giving attendees an opportunity to "escape reality." The awards show is known for being a place of celebration, serving a bevy of champagne.
"I think everybody is tired of politics and maybe for one night we can have fun and not worry about the state of the world," Tatna said.
She added that the show will use its platform to honor Carol Burnett and Jeff Bridges with lifetime achievement awards.
Burnett, 85, a five-time Globes winner, will receive the inaugural Carol Burnett Award, which focuses on television. Bridges, 69, who won a Globe in 2010, will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, an accolade for film.
London, Nov 25 (AP/UNB) — Nicolas Roeg, a director of provocative and otherworldly films who gave Mick Jagger and David Bowie enduring screen roles, has died. He was 90.
The British director of "Don't Look Now" and many other films died Friday night, his son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., told Britain's Press Association.
"He was a genuine dad," Roeg Jr. said Saturday. "He just had his 90th birthday in August."
He didn't provide details about his father's death during a brief telephone call with the association.
During the 1970s, Roeg sent Jenny Agutter and his son Luc Roeg on the Australian Outback odyssey "Walkabout;" gave Jagger a big-screen role in the thriller "Performance," which was co-directed with Donald Cammell; and plunged Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland into psychological horror in the Venice-set "Don't Look Now."
"Don't Look Now" became famous for its realistic depiction of sex. Roeg said later that rumors the sex had been real were "very flattering" because that meant people felt the film was authentic.
Sutherland said Roeg was "a fearless visionary."
"He was a liberating joy to work for," Sutherland said in a statement. "I fell in love with him then and will love him forever."
In "The Man Who Fell to Earth," Roeg directed Bowie — perfectly cast and sublimely strange — as an alien who crashes on Earth looking for a way to save his own planet.
Bowie's son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, wrote on Twitter: "Just heard another great storyteller, the inimitable Nicolas Roeg left us today. What an incredible body of work he's left us with!"
Roeg's later films include the intellectually playful "Insignificance," in which Albert Einstein matched wits with Marilyn Monroe. His last major film was "The Witches," in 1990, a Roald Dahl adaptation which starred Anjelica Huston.
The British Film Institute has named "Don't Look Now" and "Performance" as two of the greatest films in Britain's Top 100 film poll.
The institute paid tribute to Roeg in a tweet: "RIP to Nicolas Roeg, a pioneering force of cinema who created some of the most affecting moments of beauty, terror and sadness ever seen. A true great if ever there was one."
Born in London in 1928, Roeg worked his way into directing after winning acclaim as a cinematographer. He began his career as an editing apprentice in 1947 — among his duties was serving tea.
Roeg worked on major films including "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Fahrenheit 451" before he entered the directing ranks in 1970.
He said he couldn't understand how someone could become a director without first working in cinematography.
Roeg didn't believe in meticulous planning when it came to scripts and shooting schedules, preferring to give himself room to maneuver and improvise as needed. He was fond of saying that God laughed at people who made too many elaborate plans.
"I shoot a lot of stuff," he once said in an interview for the book "Talking Movies." ''I think that's probably come from not having gone to film school. Things work themselves out. You've lost the showmanship thing, the fairground barker, come-see-what's-inside aspect of filmmaking when you try to plan everything for the audience."
Roeg was married three times and had six children.