The outgoing president hosted a farewell bash at the White House on Friday night.
Outgoing President Barack Obama hosted a farewell party at the White House on Friday night (Jan. 6) which featured a guest list packed with A-listers.
Celebs from actors to musicians flocked to the presidential soiree to honor the Obamas ahead of the transition to a Donald Trump administration on Jan. 20.
While cell phones were not allowed inside the party, that didn’t stop many stars from posting photos and comments to their social media accounts before entering. Nick Jonas posted a photo of himself alongside Kingdom costar Jonathan Tucker, both looking dapper in fitted suits, with the caption, “Straight off the plane to the White House…”
According to reports by ABC News, other celebs seen entering the White House included Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, George Lucas, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Jon Hamm, Stevie Wonder, Lena Dunham, and Jason Sudeikis.
Chance the Rapper also posted a tweet expressing his excitement for the event. “Obama Going Away Party. I’m charged up,” the rapper tweeted.
The party follows news of performers and celebs choosing not to attend Trump’s upcoming inauguration.
Nat Hentoff in 2009.CreditClyde Haberman Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
Nat Hentoff, the author, journalist, jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution, died on Saturday. He was 91.
His son, Nick Hentoff, announced the death on Twitter.
Mr. Hentoff wrote for The Village Voice for 50 years, and produced articles for The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Down Beat magazine and dozens of other publications. He wrote more than 35 books — novels, volumes for young adults and nonfiction works on civil liberties, education and other subjects.
The Hentoff bibliotheca reads almost like an anthology: works by a jazz aficionado, a mystery writer, an eyewitness to history, an educational reformer, a political agitator, a foe of censors, a social critic. He was, indeed, like the jazz he loved — given to improvisations and permutations, a composer-performer who lived comfortably with his contradictions, though adversaries called him shallow and unscrupulous, and even his admirers sometimes found him infuriating, unrealistic and stubborn.
In the 1950s, Mr. Hentoff was a jazz critic in Manhattan, frequenting crowded, smoky nightclubs where musicians played for low pay and audiences ran hot and cold and dreamy. “I knew their flaws as well as their strengths,” he recalled, “but I continued to admire the honesty and courage of their art.”
In the 1960s and ’70s, he wrote books for young adults, nonfiction on education, magazine profiles on political and religious leaders and essays on racial conflicts and the Vietnam War. He became an activist, too, befriending Malcolm X and joining peace protests and marches for racial equality.
In the 1980s and ’90s, he produced commentaries and books on censorship and other constitutional issues; murder mysteries; portraits of educators and judges; and an avalanche of articles on abortion, civil liberties and other issues. He also wrote a volume of memoirs, “Speaking Freely” (1997).
Critics called his writing passionate, even inspirational. Much of it was based on personal observations, but was not deeply researched or analyzed. His nonfiction took in the sweep of an era of war and social upheaval, while many of his novels caught the turbulence, if not the character, of politically astute young adults.
While his sympathies were usually libertarian, he often infuriated leftist friends with his opposition to abortion, his attacks on political correctness and his criticisms of gay groups, feminists, blacks and others he accused of trying to censor opponents. He relished the role of provocateur, indirectly defending racial slurs, apartheid and pornography.
He had a firebrand’s face: wreathed in a gray beard and a shock of unruly hair, with dark, uncompromising eyes. Once a student asked what made him tick. “Rage,” he replied. But he said it softly, and friends recalled that his invective, in print or in person, usually came wrapped in gentle good humor and respectful tones.
Nathan Irving Hentoff was born in Boston on June 10, 1925, the son of Simon and Lena Katzenberg Hentoff. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants, and he grew up in the tough Roxbury section in a vortex of political debate among socialists, anarchists, Communists, Trotskyites and other revolutionaries. He learned early how to rebel.
On Yom Kippur in 1937, the Day of Atonement and fasting, the 12-year-old Nat sat on his porch on a street leading to a synagogue and slowly ate a salami sandwich. It made him sick, and the action outraged his father. He had not done it to scandalize passing Jews who glared at him, he said in a memoir, “Boston Boy” (1986). “I wanted to know how it felt to be an outcast,” he wrote. “Except for my father’s reaction and for getting sick, it turned out to be quite enjoyable.”
He attended Boston Latin, the oldest public school in America, and read voraciously. He discovered Artie Shaw and fell passionately for Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and other jazz legends.
At Northeastern University, he became editor of a student newspaper and turned it into a muckraker. When it dug up a story about trustees backing anti-Semitic publications, the university shut it down. Mr. Hentoff and members of his staff resigned, but he graduated in 1946 with high honors and a lasting devotion to the First Amendment.
After several years with a Boston radio station, he moved to New York in 1953 and covered the jazz scene for Down Beat until 1957. He then began a freelance career that took him into the pages of Esquire, Harper’s, Commonweal, The Reporter, Playboy and The New York Herald Tribune.
In 1958, he began writing for The Village Voice, the counterculture weekly. It became a 50-year gig, despite changes of ownership and editorial direction. Veering from jazz, he wrote weekly columns on civil liberties, politics, education, capital punishment and other topics, all widely syndicated to newspapers. In January 2009, he was laid off by The Voice, but said he would continue to bang away on the electric typewriter in his cluttered Greenwich Village flat, producing articles for United Features and Jewish World Review and reflections on jazz for The Wall Street Journal.
He edited several books on jazz in the 1950s, and was a founding editor of Jazz Review in 1959-60. He wrote for The New Yorker from 1960 to 1986, and for The Washington Post from 1984 to 2000. He also wrote for The Washington Times and other publications. For years he lectured at schools and colleges and was on the faculties of New York University and the New School.
Mr. Hentoff’s first book, “The Jazz Life” (1961), examined social and psychological aspects of jazz. Later came “Peace Agitator: The Story of A. J. Muste” (1963), a biography of the pacifist, and “The New Equality” (1964), on the role of white guilt in racial reforms.
“Jazz Country” (1965) was the first of a series of novels for young adults. It explored the struggles of a young white musician breaking into the black jazz scene. Others included “This School Is Driving Me Crazy” (1976), “Does This School Have Capital Punishment?” (1981) and “The Day They Came to Arrest the Book” (1982). Critics called them polemics on the military draft, censorship and the generation gap in the mouths of characters formed of political clay.
Many of Mr. Hentoff’s later books dealt with the Constitution and those who interpreted and acted on it. In “Living the Bill of Rights” (1998), he profiled the Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, the educator Kenneth Clark and others as he explored capital punishment, prayer in schools, funding for education, race relations and other issues.
In “Free Speech for Me — But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other” (1992), he attacked not only school boards that banned books but also feminists who tried to silence abortion foes or close pornographic bookstores; gay rights groups that boycotted Florida orange juice because its spokeswoman, Anita Bryant, crusaded against gay people; and New York officials who tried to bar South Africa’s rugby team because it represented the land of apartheid.
Then, there’s this video of Fisher paying tribute to her mother for her Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG awards, from just last year. Go ahead and give it a watch as you try to process this monumental loss.
Celebrity Deaths in 2016: In Memoriam of the Famous Figures Who Died This Year
byNBC NEWSandTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The world lost superstar musicians, stars of stage and screen, some of the greatest athletes of all time and larger-than-life political figures in 2016.
Here’s a look at the long list of famous figures who passed away this year. Click through to read full obituaries.
Pat Harrington Jr.
Pat Harrington Jr., 86, the actor and comedian who in the 1950s got attention as a member of Steve Allen’s fabled TV comic troupe and decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the cocky handyman on the long-running sitcom “One Day at a Time,” died on Jan. 6.
David Bowie, 69, the other-worldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship that spanned six decades, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust, died on Jan. 10.
Rene Angelil, 73, Celine Dion’s husband and manager, who molded her from a French-speaking Canadian ingénue into one of the world’s most successful singers, died on Jan. 14.
Alan Rickman, 69, the classically-trained British stage star and sensual screen villain in the “Harry Potter” saga, “Die Hard” and other films, died on Jan. 14.
Dan Haggerty, 74, the rugged, bearded actor who starred in the film and TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” died on Jan. 15.
Glenn Frey, 67, the rock ‘n’ roll rebel who co-founded the Eagles and helped write such hits as “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” died on Jan. 18.
Abe Vigoda, 94, the character actor whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather,” died on Jan. 26.
Paul Kantner, 74, the founding member of Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship, died on Jan. 28.
Joe Alaskey, 63, a prolific voice actor best known for portraying Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other beloved “Looney Tunes” characters, died on Feb. 3.
Maurice White, 74, the Earth, Wind & Fire founder whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums, died on Feb. 3.
Dave Mirra, 41, a legend of BMX racing who held the record for the most career medals in the X Games for many years and hosted MTV’s “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” for two seasons, died on Feb 4.
Edgar Mitchell, 85, the Apollo 14 astronaut who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA recover from Apollo 13’s “successful failure,” died on Feb. 4.
Denise Katrina Matthews, 57, better known as Prince protege Vanity who sang in girl band Vanity 6 and appeared in the films “The Last Dragon” and “Action Jackson,” died on Feb. 15.
Antonin Scalia, 79, an influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court, died on Feb. 13.
George Gaynes, 89, who portrayed an irritable foster parent on the ’80s sitcom “Punky Brewster,” the bewildered commandant in seven “Police Academy” films and a soap opera star with a crush on Dustin Hoffman’s character in drag, in the hit feature comedy “Tootsie,” died on Feb. 15.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93, the veteran Egyptian diplomat who helped negotiate his country’s landmark peace deal with Israel but clashed with the U.S. when he served a single term as U.N. secretary-general, died on Feb. 16.
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, 55, the raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series “Mob Wives,” died on Feb. 18.
Harper Lee, 89, the elusive novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film, died on Feb. 19.
Umberto Eco, 84, the Italian author who intrigued, puzzled and delighted readers worldwide with his best-selling historical novel “The Name of the Rose,” died on Feb. 19.
Sonny James, 87, the country singer who recorded romantic ballads like “Young Love” and turned pop songs into country hits, died on Feb. 22.
Tony Burton, 78, who played Apollo Creed’s inspirational boxing trainer in the “Rocky” franchise after his own glory days as a young prizefighter, died on Feb. 25.
George Kennedy, 91, the hulking, tough-guy actor who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a savage chain-gang convict in the 1960s classic “Cool Hand Luke,” died on Feb. 28.
Lee Reherman, 49, the former Ivy League football star who shot to fame as the towering, muscular Hawk on the popular 1990s television show “American Gladiators,” died on March 1.
Joey Feek, 40, who with her husband, Rory, formed the award-winning country duo Joey + Rory, died on March 4.
Pat Conroy, 70, the author of “The Great Santini,” ”The Prince of Tides” and other best-sellers, whose novels drew upon his bruising childhood and the vistas of South Carolina, died on March 4.
Nancy Reagan, 94, an actress who became one of the most high-profile and influential first ladies of the 20th century as the wife of President Ronald Reagan, died on March 6.
George Martin, 90, the Beatles’ urbane producer who quietly guided the band’s swift, historic transformation from rowdy club act to musical and cultural revolutionaries, died on March 8.
Keith Emerson, 71, founder and keyboardist of the progressive-rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died on March 11.
Frank Sinatra Jr
Frank Sinatra Jr., 72, who carried on his father’s legacy with his own music career and whose kidnapping as a young man added a bizarre chapter to his father’s legendary life, died on March 16.
Bob Ebeling, 89, the booster rocket engineer who spent decades filled with guilt over not stopping the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, died on March 21.
Phife Dawg, 45, the lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, died on March 22.
Rob Ford, 46, the pugnacious, populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle, died on March 22.
Joe Garagiola, 90, the former former TODAY anchor and baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and New York Giants, died on March 23.
Garry Shandling, 66, the actor and comedian who masterminded a brand of phony docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show,” died on March 24.
Jim Harrison, 78, the fiction writer, poet, outdoorsman and reveler who enjoyed mainstream success in middle age with his historical saga “Legends of the Fall,” died on March 26.
Mother Mary Angelica
Mother Mary Angelica, 92, the folksy Roman Catholic nun who used a monastery garage to begin the Catholic TV powerhouse EWTN, died on March 27.
Patty Duke, 69, who won an Oscar as a teen for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” then maintained a long career while battling personal demons, died on March 29.
Erik Bauersfeld, 93, who turned three words from a minor acting role — “It’s a trap!” — into one of the most beloved lines of the “Star Wars” series, died on April 3.
Merle Haggard, 79, the country giant who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home,” died on April 6.
David Gest, 62, a music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli, died on April 12.
Doris Roberts, 90, who played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” died on April 17.
Les Waas, 94, the advertising legend behind the Mister Softee jingle heard in hundreds of ice cream trucks for more than half a century, died on April 19.
Chyna, 46, the tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rocketed to popularity in the 1990s and later made the rounds on reality TV, died on April 20.
Prince, 57, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” died on April 21.
Michelle McNamara, a crime writer and founder of the website True Crime Diary married to comedian Patton Oswalt, died on April 21.
Isabelle Dinoire, 49, the French woman who received the world’s first partial face transplant, died on April 22.
Papa Wemba, 66, known around the world as “the king of Congolese rumba,” died on April 24.
Billy Paul, 80, the jazz and soul singer best known for the hit ballad and “Philadelphia Soul” classic “Me and Mrs. Jones,” died on April 24.
Afeni Shakur Davis
Afeni Shakur Davis, 69, the former Black Panther who inspired the work of her son, rap icon Tupac Shakur, and fostered his legacy for decades after he was slain, died on May 2.
Jane Little, 87, who at under five feet tall played the double bass for 71 consecutive years which earned her the Guinness World Record as the world’s longest serving symphony player, died on May 15.
Emilio Navaira, 53, the Grammy award winner, who with Selena was known as the king of Tejano music to her queen, died on May 16.
Guy Clark, 74, the Texas singer-songwriter who helped mentor a generation of songwriters and wrote hits like “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” died on May 17.
Morley Safer, 84, the veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans’ view of the war, died on May 19.
Alan Young, 96, the actor-comedian who played the amiable straight man to a talking horse in the 1960s sitcom “Mister Ed,” died on May 19.
Nick Menza, 51, former drummer for the influential metal band Megadeth, died on May 21.
Muhammad Ali, 74, the silver-tongued boxer and civil rights champion who famously proclaimed himself “The Greatest” and then spent a lifetime living up to the billing, died on June 3.
Kimbo Slice, 42, the bearded street fighter who parlayed his Internet popularity into a mixed martial arts career, died on June 6.
Theresa Saldana, 61, the “Raging Bull” actress who survived a stalker’s brutal attack to become a crime victims’ advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with “The Commish” and other TV shows, died on June 6.
Gordie Howe, 88, known as “Mr. Hockey,” the rough-and-tumble Canadian farm boy whose blend of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s quintessential star, died on June 10.
Christina Grimmie, 22, the singer-songwriter and YouTuber who gained greater popularity on “The Voice,” died on June 10.
Ron Lester, 45, who played no. 69 — the oversized offensive guard Billy Bob — in the 1999 high school football flick “Varsity Blues,” died on June 17.
Anton Yelchin, 27, charismatic and rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films, died on June 19.
Ralph Stanley, 89, the godfather of traditional bluegrass music who found a new generation of fans late in life thanks to his Grammy-winning music for the 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” died on June 23.
Bernie Worrell, 72, the “Wizard of Woo” whose amazing array of keyboard sounds helped define the Parliament-Funkadelic musical empire and influenced performers of many genres, died on June 24.
Bill Cunningham, 87, the New York Times street-style photographer who for decades captured the fashions of everyday New Yorkers with the same zeal that he pursued celebrities and designers, died on June 25.
Alvin Toffler, 87, a guru of the post-industrial age whose “Future Shock” and other books anticipated the disruptions and transformations brought about by the rise of digital technology, died on June 27.
Scotty Moore, 84, a pioneering rock guitarist best known for backing Elvis Presley as a member of his original band and into superstardom, died on June 28.
Pat Summitt, 64, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who uplifted the women’s game from obscurity to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee, died on June 28.
Elie Wiesel, 87, the Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians, died on July 2.
Michael Cimino, 77, the Oscar-winning director whose film “The Deer Hunter” became one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday and whose disastrous “Heaven’s Gate” helped bring that era to a close, died on July 2.
Noel Neill, 95, the first actress to play Lois Lane — the intrepid journalist with a soft spot for Superman — in the 1948 movie serial “Superman,” alongside Kirk Alyn, died on July 3.
Abbas Kiarostami, 76, Iranian director whose 1997 film “Taste of Cherry” won the prestigious Palme d’Or and who kept working despite government resistance, died on July 4.
Garry Marshall, 81, the legendary writer and director who created the wildly popular television programs “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy,” died on July 19.
Mark Takai, 49, the U.S. representative, war veteran and long-time legislator known for his bright nature and deep commitment to service, died on July 20.
Rev. Tim LaHaye
Rev. Tim LaHaye, 90, the co-author of the “Left Behind” series, a multimillion-selling literary juggernaut that brought end-times prophecy into mainstream bookstores, died on July 25.
Youree Del Cleomill Harris, 53, an actress who became famous playing the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo, claiming to know callers’ futures in ubiquitous TV infomercials and commercials, died on July 26.
David Huddleston, 85, a character actor best known for portraying titular roles in “The Big Lebowski” and “Santa Claus: The Movie,” died on Aug. 2.
Pete Fountain, 86, a clarinetist whose Dixieland jazz virtuosity and wit endeared him to his native New Orleans and earned him national television fame, died on Aug. 6.
Barry Jenner, 75, the veteran character actor who rocketed into space as an admiral on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and made dozens of other TV appearances during a 40-plus year career, died on Aug. 8.
Kenny Baker, 81, who played the lovable droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, achieving cult status and fans’ adulation without showing his face or speaking any lines, died on Aug. 13.
Fyvush Finkel, 93, the Emmy Award-winning actor whose career in stage and screen started in Yiddish theater and led to memorable roles in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway and on TV in “Boston Public” and “Picket Fences,” died on Aug. 14.
John McLaughlin, 89, the conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics, died on Aug. 16.
Lou Pearlman, 62, the band boy mogul who launched the hit groups Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync but was later sentenced to prison for a $300 million Ponzi and bank fraud scheme, died on Aug. 19.
Matt Roberts, a guitarist and founding member of the rock band 3 Doors Down, died on Aug. 20.
Toots Thielemans, 94, the Belgian harmonica player whose career included playing with jazz greats like Miles Davis and whose solos have figured on numerous film scores, died on Aug. 22.
Steven Hill, 94, a versatile character actor in theater, films and television who achieved his greatest success late in life as grumpy District Attorney Adam Schiff on TV’s long-running “Law & Order,” died on Aug. 23.
Sonia Rykiel, 86, the French designer dubbed the “queen of knitwear” whose relaxed sweaters in berry-colored stripes and eye-popping motifs helped liberate women from stuffy suits, died on Aug. 25.
Juan Gabriel, 66, the Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon in the Latin music world, died on Aug. 28.
Gene Wilder, 83, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers,” the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein,” and the title character in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” died on Aug. 28.
Jon Polito, 65, the raspy-voiced actor whose 200-plus credits ranged from “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Modern Family” to the films “Barton Fink” and “The Big Lebowski,” died on Sept. 1.
Jerry Heller, 75, the recording impresario who helped N.W.A. bring West Coast rap acts to worldwide fame, died on Sept. 2.
Phyllis Schlafly, 92, an outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, died on Sept. 5.
Lady Chablis, 59, the transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died on Sept. 8.
Greta Zimmer Friedman
Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92, the woman in an iconic photo shown kissing an ecstatic sailor celebrating the end of World War II by smooching a nurse in Times Square, died on Sept. 8.
Alexis Arquette, 47, the pioneering transgender actress and member of the prominent Hollywood family, died on Sept. 11.
Edward Albee, 88, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “A Delicate Balance,” died on Sept. 16.
W.P. Kinsella, 81, the Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film “Field of Dreams,” died on Sept. 16.
Curtis Hanson, 71, who won a screenwriting Oscar for “L.A. Confidential” and directed the psychological thriller “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and Eminem’s tale of Detroit hip-hop “8 Mile,” died on Sept. 20.
Carlos Walker, 40, an Atlanta rapper known by the stage name Shawty Lo who was named MySpace Music Rookie of the Year at the 2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards, died on Sept. 21.
Bill Nunn, 62, a veteran character actor who broke through in movies in the late 1980s, first in Spike Lee’s “School Daze,” then as the ill-fated Radio Raheem in the Oscar-nominated “Do the Right Thing,” as well as appearing in the “Spider-Man” movie franchise, died on Sept. 24.
José Fernández, 24, the Miami Marlins pitcher who won the National League’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013, died on Sept. 25.
Arnold Palmer, 87, the golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch, died on Sept. 25.
Shimon Peres, 93, the former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace, died on Sept. 28.
Tommy Mykal Ford, 52, best known for his role as Tommy on the hit ’90s sitcom “Martin,” died on Oct. 12.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, the world’s longest reigning monarch who was revered in Thailand as an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval at home and abroad, died on Oct. 13.
Steve Dillon, 54, a celebrated comic book artist best known for co-creating the “Preacher” and illustrating the popular Marvel title “The Punisher,” died on Oct. 22.
Janet Reno, 78, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, died on Nov. 7.
Leonard Cohen, 82, the baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ”Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire,” died on Nov. 7.
Robert Vaughn, 83, the debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in television’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” died on Nov. 11.
Leon Russell, 74, a singer-songwriter who emerged in the ’70s as one of rock’n’roll’s most dynamic performers after playing anonymously on dozens of pop hits as an in-demand studio pianist and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, died on Nov. 13.
Gwen Ifill, 61, the co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates, died on Nov. 14.
Sharon Jones, 60, the powerhouse singer who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age, died on Nov. 18.
Florence Henderson, 82, the Broadway star who became one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch,” died on Nov. 24.
Fidel Castro, 90, the cigar-chomping Cuban revolutionary leader and dictator who defied U.S. efforts to topple him for five decades, died on Nov. 25.
Ron Glass, 71, the veteran television and film actor known for his Emmy-nominated role as NYPD Det. Ron Harris on the classic cop sitcom “Barney Miller,” and later the deeply religious preacher Derrial Brook on the cult sci-fi show “Firefly,” died on Nov. 25.
Grant Tinker, 90, the television broadcasting legend and former NBC chairman who brought new polish to the TV world with beloved shows including “Hill Street Blues,” died on Nov. 28.
John Glenn, 95, the all-American hero who was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth before being propelled into a long career in the U.S. Senate, died on Dec. 8.
Joseph Mascolo, 87, the actor who portrayed iconic “Days of Our Lives” villain Stefano DiMera, died on Dec. 7.
E.R. Braithwaite, 104, a Guyanese author, educator and diplomat whose years teaching in the slums of London’s East End inspired the international best-seller “To Sir, With Love” and the movie of the same name, died on Dec. 12.
Alan Thicke, 69, the versatile performer who gained his greatest fame as the beloved dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains,” died on Dec. 13.
China Machado, 87, a groundbreaking model and fashion editor who broke barriers in 1959 when she became the first non-white model to appear on the cover of a major fashion magazine, died on Dec. 18.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, the Hungarian beauty queen-turned-nine-times-married Hollywood icon who once served three days in jail for slapping a cop, died on Dec. 18.
George Michael, 53, the pop heartthrob whose career began with the hit duo Wham! in the 1980s and went on to have a hit solo career beginning with the chart-topping album “Faith,” died on Dec. 25.
Comedian Ricky Harris, who had a recurring role on Chris Rock’s “Everybody Hates Chris” sitcom and voiced several characters that appeared in hip-hop albums, died December 26.
British author Richard Adams, whose 1972 book “Watership Down” became a classic of children’s literature died on Dec. 27.
Carrie Fisher, 60, best known for her portrayal of the tough-talking Princess Leia who defies the Evil Empire in “Star Wars,” died on Dec. 27.
Debbie Reynolds, 84, the actress and singer who rose to fame opposite Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain,” died on Dec. 28, one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher.
Actress Debbie Reynolds has died, just one day after the death of her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, NPR has confirmed.
Hours before reports of her death, The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed to NPR that an elderly female was transported to Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Public records found by NPR show the address the woman was taken from is listed as belonging to Carrie Fisher.
Debbie Reynolds, 84, has had a long and celebrated career as a film actress — she was in the classic Singing’ in the Rain — a TV star — The Debbie Reynolds Show — and a Broadway and Las Vegas star.
She has been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy and a Golden Globe. In 2015, she won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She received the award on the Oscar telecast.
THIS WEEK #SONYMUSIC, BOB DYLAN WAS HACKED BY HACKS “OURMIND” WHO R TOTALLY IMMATURE!
#FakeNews is now a THING online so perhaps we should create stronger laws concerning Hackers, Hacks, Hactivists and other assorted immature uncourageous types by incarcerating them forever.
Because of hackers like #wikileaks we lost control of our own country’s elections; now a madman is accending into the White House. I will never again mention his name on this blog. We’re set to only write about music.
This week Bob Dylan’s and Sony Music twitter accounts were hacked because Twitter doesn’t give a shit about it’s platform and these small giants were able to tell the other twits that singer
Sony Music, Bob Dylan Accounts Hacked, Falsely Tweet Death of Britney Spears
The fake news appears to have been spread by hacker group OurMine
Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic
The official Twitter accounts of Sony Music Entertainment and Bob Dylan were hacked earlier today. The compromised accounts tweeted out false reports of Britney Spears’ death. View images of the tweets below. The first message came from the Sony Music Global Twitter account—“RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney”—and was quickly followed by a second, more dubious report (“britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon #RIPbritney”). A similar tweet was soon posted from Bob Dylan’s official Twitter account.
The news appears to have been spread by OurMine, a hacker group who were responsible for recent hacks of the Marvel and Netflix accounts, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Later tweets from both Sony and Dylan credited the organization.
MERCURY RETROGRADE & THE DISAPPEARENCE OF OUR MUSICIAL IDOLS IN 2016
MERCURY WAS IN RETROGRADE WHEN DAVID BOWIE PASSED AWAY IN JANUARY OF 2016 KICKING OFF ONE OF THE MOST HORRIBLE YEARS IN OUR HUMAN HISTORY FOR DEATHS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE INCLUDING MUSICIANS.
THE NAMES ARE MANY AND WITH 5 MORE DAYS LEFT IN THIS TERRIBLE YEAR (2016) AND WE ARE AGAIN IN THE MIDDLE OF A MERCURY RETROGRADE PERIOD WHICH ENDS ON JANUARY 8, 2017; WE ARE HOLDING OUR COLLECTIVE BREATH IN HOPES NO ONE ELSE IS TAKEN FROM OUR MIDST.
Mercury who has no compassion for holidays took the life of 1980’s pop singer GEORGE MICHAEL from us. Mind you I never listened to his music except when forced riding in cars not my own. That being said, I feel terrible that George passed away at young age; 53 on CHRISTMAS DAY – YESTERDAY.
MERCURY, I DISPISE YOU, THIS YEAR, 2016 YOU CAME 4 TIMES, WHICH IS UNUSUAL AND SOME OF THOSE TIMES WERE GOOD TIMES FOR ME BUT WHEN YOU COME YOU RARELY HURT HUMANS. THIS YEAR YOUR SAVAGERY WAS “OUTTER WORLDLY” AND I HOPE IN THE NEXT YEAR (I know we’ll see you another 2 times only) YOU WILL BE MORE MERCIFUL.
MUSICIANS, NO MATTER THE GENRE OF MUSIC THAT STIRS IN THEIR HEARTS, ARE A BREED UNTO THEMSELVES. WE WALK INTO A ROOM AND PICK UP AN INSTRUMENT; SOME OF US HAVE THE “VOICE” AS OUR INSTRUMENT; WHATEVER YOU PLAY WE GATHER TOGETHER AND IN
NOETIC PRAYER AND RAISE UP TO THE UNIVERSE ALL THAT WE HOPE AND DREAM SO THAT THE WORLD AND THAT OUR GODS HEAR US AND ANSWER US IN KIND.
LISTEN FOR THAT MESSAGE RESPONSE. IT IS COMING AND IT WILL SURPRISE YOU. RIP GEORGE MICHAEL. WE MOURN YOU & FOR THOSE OF US WHO UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY WE SHALL DANCE.
While countless shops, restaurants, public spaces, and private parties poured out the strains of Wham!’s famous holiday hit “Last Christmas” on the days preceding and right up to Dec. 25, none of us were in the slightest bit aware that George Michael — one-half of Wham! and a celebrated solo artist many times over — would leave us on Christmas Day 2016. The singer passed away in his home in England, with no certified cause of death noted as of yet.
It’s certain that many are mourning this great voice, but perhaps Michael’s partner in Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley, summed it up the best with a simple message of friendship and love:
While Michael often found himself in the tabloids in his later years due to various arrests and drug problems, what he should be most remembered for in his incredible body of work as a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and video visionary. Here is a rundown of his finest musical moments throughout the decades.
Wham!, “Last Christmas” (1984)
Michael was a pop traditionalist and a fierce competitor. He knew the importance of having a Christmas hit on the U.K. charts. He also knew that, if you came up with the correct mixture of sentimentality and catchiness, that song stood a chance of becoming immortal. He achieved everything he set out to do with “Last Christmas.” The biggest-selling single in U.K. chart history not to reach No. 1 , “Last Christmas” has been a British Top 40 fixture on 15 different occasions, and it’s racked up more than 200 million YouTube views. It has been covered countless times, most recently by Carly Rae Jepsen and previously by the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Hilary Duff, and Ariana Grande.
Wham!,”Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do!)” (1983)
The general consensus back in 1983 was that Wham! was a gimmick act. British rap was a joke of a genre, and white British rap was a target of derision. A song by white British rappers extolling the virtue of unemployment and a hedonistic lifestyle subsidized by a government check, featuring lines like “hey jerk, you work, this boy’s got better things to do,” didn’t bode well for Michael and Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley’s long-term career prospects. Except — “Wham Rap” just happened to be funny, hooky, brazen… and it totally caught the tenor of the times.
Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (1984)
Michael followed the blueprint he established with “Wham Rap” with increasing success. However, he wanted to be more than a composer of witty Brit-centric white rap — he wanted massive mainstream success with timeless pop music that cut across all demographics. “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” was derided by the elements of the British music press that had embraced Michael’s signature hits. They mocked the song’s unabashedly commercial appeal; they mocked his Princess Diana-like hair. But still, the hit elevated Wham! to a new level.
“Careless Whisper” (1984)
Michael’s first solo single (in the U.S., it was credited to “Wham! featuring George Michael”), “Careless Whisper” was a declaration of intent. This was the artist George Michael wanted to be: a writer capable of penning a nakedly emotional ballad. A singer committed enough to sell a line like “guilty feet have got no rhythm.” A man sure enough of his artistic vision that he rejected the original version of the song, recorded with Atlantic records supremo Jerry Weller — the man responsible for Aretha Franklin’s classic ’60s output — in favor of his own production. His instincts proved correct: “Careless Whisper” was a worldwide No. 1. Its success also signaled the end of Wham!.
As part of Wham!, Michael, no matter how strong his material, was always perceived as being one half of a double act. Unhitched from hard-drinking party boy Ridgeley, Michael was free to devote his talent and his considerable ambition to achieving the level of superstardom rivaling Madonna and Michael Jackson. Achieving Diamond status in the U.S., selling more than 25 million units worldwide, and winning a Grammy for Album of the Year, Faith was a genre-defying blockbuster. The cover and accompanying video of the title song made Michael’s leather jacket, low-slung guitar, and denim-clad rear iconic. The record was a hit machine, populating both pop and R&B charts with a steady stream of singles, including “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” and “Monkey.”
George Michael & Aretha Franklin: “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” (1987)
Let’s be clear, this was a business merger. Michael didn’t write “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” — fellow Brit Simon Climie did the honors — and he probably knew the duet was a far bigger boost to the Queen Of Soul’s profile than his. But for an R&B-obsessed British teenager, the idea of singing on the same record with someone he saw a deity was the ultimate expression of how far he’d come since rapping about the joys of unemployment.
“Freedom ’90” (1990)
Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was widely regarded as Michael’s anti-blockbuster, rather like Prince’s Around the World in a Day compared to his Purple Rain — a lower-key, more intimate and restrained piece. But that’s not taking into account its sexy, celebratory expression of autonomy. Despite the date at the end of the title, “Freedom ’90” is a timeless record with a supermodel lip-synched video that is arguably Michael’s second-most adored video — and in which he does not appear.
George Michael & Elton John: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (1991)
Much more than the Franklin pairing, this duet was the union of two complementary artists. Michael and Elton John were both gay British men raised on soul music who were never better than when belting out massive, impassioned, melancholy ballads. The love and respect both singers have for each other and they song they’re singing is evident and affecting.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” (1996)
After years receiving his due as one of pop music’s premier songwriters, Michael took a detour in the mid-’90s and began to devote more attention to interpreting the songs of others. He released an entire album of covers in the form of 1999’s Songs From the Last Century. Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin’s much-covered “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was most famously recorded by Bonnie Raitt, but Michael performs with it with delicacy and empathy.
In the latter part of his career, Michael became more notorious for his chaotic personal life than his music. The year 1998 saw him combine both with an arrest for exposing himself to an undercover cop in a Beverly Hills restroom … and a hit that sang the praises of such outdoor activity.
“Jesus to a Child” (1996)
Michael’s last big hit in the U.S was this tribute to the memory of his partner, Anselmo Feleppa.
This goes out to #MikeLove, leader of the current version of THE BEACH BOYS, who is a Republikkkan Albeit an old school one, if you do perform at Trump’s Inauguration you are not only UnAmerican but you are not a real Musician.
Everyone knows that even though Mike Love wrote some really “beautiful” words to Beach Boy songs; it’s almost 2017 – shouldn’t you distinguish yourself from the band you hated all thEse years and call yourself “THE BEACH MEN”?
We are not trying to take away the fact that Mike had problems with his uncle who stole all the money from him and the other boys in the band giving it to his son’s only. The least Brian could have done was shared it but the dude is a mental case. Hard to help your extended family when you’re constantly depressed and want to kill yourself.
EVERYONE IN THE MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS KNOWS – BRIAN WILSON “IS” THE BEACH BOYS. TO TOUR WITHOUT BRIAN, MIKE LOVE HAS BEEN SCORNED FOR MOST OF HIS YEARS WORKING HARD ON THE ROAD SINGING THESE SAME OLD TIRED SONGS.
WE FIND IT SAD BUT SADDER STILL IF HE ALLOWS THE TARNISHING OF “THE BEACH BOYS” TO SAY YES TO PLAYING TRUMP’S INAUGURATION. THAT IS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING.
EVEN REPUBLICAN ICON, GENE SIMMONS & KISS SAID “NO” TO TRUMP!
ODIOUS TRUMP & MIKE LOVE – TRAITORS
SOURCE: THE DAILY BEAST
Trump’s Inauguration Nightmare: All the Musicians Who Have Turned Down Invites
Donald Trump didn’t need Beyoncé’s help to become president, but he’s apparently desperate for some musical support at his inauguration. Sad!
12.22.16 7:42 PM ET
At Barack Obama’s first inaugural ball in 2009, he and Michelle Obama shared their first dance as president and first lady to Beyoncé’s live version of Etta James’ “At Last.” Also performing that night were supporters Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, and a host of others.
So far, Donald Trump has booked a 16-year-old former America’s Got Talent singer named Jackie Evancho. WE DON’T AGREE WITH DISPARAGING A YOUNG SINGER BECAUSE SHE CHOOSE TO SING FOR TRUMP’S INAUGURATION. THAT’S NOT FAIR TO JACKIE GOOD LUCK, JACKIE WITH YOUR CAREER.
America’s celebrity president-elect was a little too vocal during the campaign about his disdain for celebrities who endorse politicians, whining to a crowd just a few days before the election that he didn’t need Jay Z and Beyoncé to draw a crowd like his opponent did in Cleveland. “I’m here all by myself. Just me, no guitar, no piano, no nothing,” Trump said, defensively.
But now, Trump is reportedly so “unhappy” with his inauguration planning committee’s failure to attract top musical talent for his swearing-in that the team, led by The Celebrity Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, has brought on former American Idol and Dancing with the Stars booker Suzanne Bender to execute a “Hail Mary” with less than a month to go.
Besides the little-known Evancho, the biggest names that Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the inaugural committee—a job title only slightly more glamorous than Trump TV host—was able to announce on CNN Thursday were the Radio City Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, both of which have performed at previous inaugurations. An invite to the remaining members of the Beach Boys (sans Brian Wilson, who is the Beach Boys) is still under consideration by the band.
There is a much longer list of artists and groups to whom the Trump team has reached out, but have politely declined, opting to steer clear of an event that is shaping to draw less celebrity firepower than the Republican National Convention—which featured such luminaries as Scott Baio and Antonio Saboto Jr.
Below is a list of the major talent that has said no to Trump so far.
One of the first names to emerge as a possible inauguration performer for Trump was Elton John, who Anthony Scaramucci, a vice chairman of the presidential inaugural committee, said would be doing a “concert on the Mall” for the event, adding, misleadingly, “This will be the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay-rights stance.” But according to a spokesperson for the singer, “Elton will not be performing a Trump inauguration.”
Asked about Trump’s use of his song “Tiny Dancer” at his campaign rallies earlier in the year, John replied, “I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign. I’m British. I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years. Why not ask Ted fucking Nugent? Or one of those fucking country stars? They’ll do it for you.”
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, BRUNO MARS, and KATY PERRY
Last week, “insiders” to the process told The Wrap that the inauguration team had its “sights set on top-tier talents like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Aretha Franklin, and were willing to pay steep fees for the performers.” They even reported that some celebrity bookers were being offered ambassadorships if they could offer names of that caliber.
It remains unclear whether invites actually went out to those specific performers, but it is safe to say that Perry in particular will not be singing on behalf of Trump as she was one of Hillary Clinton’s top celebrity surrogates through the election. No one should expect to see Timberlake (who hosted a Hillary fundraiser at his home) or Mars either, but don’t count out Aretha Franklin, who, along with her meme-worthy hat, sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee” at Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Asked about the possibility of her attending this time, she said recently, “That’s a very good question. We’ll see.”
When the question of performing at Trump’s inauguration was first posed to him, country star Garth Brooks seemed open to it. “It’s always about serving. It’s what you do,” he told TMZ. But now The Wrap is reporting that Brooks has decided not to accept an offer to appear.
The Italian tenor was reportedly approached personally by Trump after one of his concerts at Madison Square Garden this month, and was apparently considering it. But after he started taking “too much heat” from fans on social media, complete with the #BoycottBocelli hashtag, he decided to back out.
Asked by TMZ if KISS would be performing at Trump’s inauguration, Gene Simmons and his wife Shannon Tweed said “no” before adding, “That’s not to say they didn’t ask.” Back in March, Simmons described Trump as “the truest political animal I’ve ever seen onstage.”
The president-elect’s fellow Las Vegas hotelier/pal Steve Wynn reportedly promised Trump that he could get Celine Dion to perform at the inauguration, but then failed to deliver. A spokesperson for Wynn denied the report, however, saying, “Mr. Wynn was not asked to book specific performers for the inauguration, nor did he ever a make a commitment to find specific performers. So the reports are false.” Still, don’t expect a heart-wrenching American anthem from the French-Canadian singer.
The producer of such hits as Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love”—and stepfather to Gigi and Bella Hadid—squashed rumors that he would play a “pivotal role” at the inauguration, posting on Instagram this past weekend, “For the record, I was asked to participate in the upcoming inauguration and I politely and respectfully declined.” TheWashington Post has reported that Foster feared angering Hillary Clinton supporters who also happen to be donors to his charitable foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-AREA HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BANDS
According to NBC News, “At least one D.C. public school marching band has participated in the past five inaugural parades, but none applied for consideration this year.” For some reason, America’s teenagers just can’t get excited about marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate President Trump.
Trump’s new best friend Kanye West has not personally ruled out the possibility of playing at the inauguration, but Tom Barrack, the chairman of the inaugural committee, told CNN that it’s not going to happen. “Donald is a great admirer of Kanye, as we are all, but he is not performing at inauguration,” he said last week.
But that was before the latest news about stars declining Trump’s invites began to break. With no one else of note on the books, Trump might need the rapper to keep his inauguration culturally relevant. And if West wants to officially cement his place as the most controversial figure in America, he will rush the stage and throw down an epic version of “Famous.” We can only hope that Trump will keep his clothes on this time.