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UPDATE: ‘Frozen’s Best Song Winner “Let It Go” Gets Jimmy Fallon Treatment After Oscar Win (Video)

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 4:33pm PST

UPDATE, 4:33 PM: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has done its part to contribute to the wild viral video run of Frozen‘s Best Song Oscar winner “Let It Go”. YouTube is hosting countless versions that are getting millions and millions of hits, and now there’s this one from last night that has Idina Menzel contributing to Fallon’s take featuring kids instruments like the kazoo and toy blocks courtesy of house band The Roots. Check it out:

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OSCARS: Academy Hears The Sound Of Music At History-Making Nominees Concert

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 9:30am PST
Pete Hammond

You have to hand it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Just as it is in the heat of putting on South Bay Cities-20140228-00232a little TV awards show over at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night, the group still found time to stage the first-ever “Oscar Concert” on Thursday night at UCLA’s Royce Hall — and turn out in force. This ambitious show, which featured suites conducted by all the nominated composers for Best Original Music Score as well as performances of the four Oscar-nominated songs, was put into the works and approved by the Board of Governors last year, according to former president Hawk Koch, one of last night’s attendees. But as Academy Music Branch governors Arthur Hamilton and Charles Fox put it, most of this was cobbled together in the six weeks since the nominees were named. All the top Academy brass were there humming along, including president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson along with numerous members, particularly from the music branch.

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It was quite a logistical challenge pulling the event off, which I am told by reliable sources cost in the neighborhood of half a million dollars to produce. And it may be sparking a trend: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plans to do its own concert at Royce Hall on May 21st featuring composers of new and classic TV scores. But I’m afraid Oscar has set this bar pretty high with a program that ranks as one of the highlights of the entire awards season, a classy event that saw tickets going to the general public for up to $100 each and discounted tickets for Academy members at $75 for orchestra seats. Box office was sweet as the place was packed. Read More »

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Oscars: Mandela Family Coming To The Academy Awards For U2 Performance

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 6:21pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: The Mandelas will be coming to the Oscars.

mandela-long-walkThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have invited Nelson and Winnie Mandela‘s daughters Zindzi and Zenani to attend the Oscars where U2 will be performing the Academy  Award-nominated song, “Ordinary Love” from the film  Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Bono and U2 were personal friends of their father, and have been working in the Anti-Apartheid movement through their music since the late 1970s when the girls were only in their teens. In a statement the girls said, “This is especially meaningful to us because of how much our father loved watching movies. This song was inspired by the beautiful letters that my father and mother exchanged while he was imprisoned at Robben Island.”

In addition to the U2 performance the Academy has previously announced all the other nominated songs will also be performed live (by Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Idina Menzel) along with musical performances from Bette Midler and Pink. The Oscars will be held on Sunday March 2nd and aired live on ABC.

mandelaMeanwhile, the 45th annual NAACP Image Awards held tonight in Pasadena added a surprise tribute to the late South African leader with Oprah Winfrey leading the honors. Mandela star Idris Elba is set to join Winfrey in the tribute which will also … Read More »

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OSCARS: U2 Set To Perform ‘Ordinary Love’ At Academy Awards

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:16pm PST

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press RoomIt’s no great shock, but it’s cool nonetheless. Bono and the boys will perform their Oscar-nominated song “Ordinary Love” at the Academy Awards on March 2. U2 recorded the song for the biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and it’s a very personal one: The band, and particularly Bono, had a long friendship with Nelson Mandela — who died December 5 — and their work in the anti-apartheid movement goes back to their beginnings as a band in the 1970s. This is U2′s second Oscar nomination; the Irish band was up for Best Original Song for “The Hands That Built America,” from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, but lost to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” from 8 Mile. But “Ordinary Love” did snag a Golden Globe last month. Here’s the Academy’s release:

Related: OSCARS: U2 Writes One From The Heart For Nelson Mandela; Interview With Bono And The Edge
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TCA: Jimmy Fallon Announces First ‘Tonight Show’ Guests, Talks Jay Leno Transition

Nellie Andreeva

The Tonight Show with Jay LenoWhen The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon premieres on Feb. 17, it will feature Will Smith as first guest and U2 as musical guests. Smith has been on Fallon’s current show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but this will be U2′s first visit with Fallon, who had pursued the Irish band for a long time.

Related: Year-End Late-Night TV: ‘Tonight’s Move To NY May Give NBC More Clout With Talent, But Digital May Make Booking War Obsolete

Fallon addressed his relationship with his predecessor, Jay Leno, and the Tonight Show host transition, going back to the time immediately following the Leno-Conan O’Brien debacle when Leno was moved to 10 PM and then reinstated at 11:30 PM, with O’Brien pushed out. “After the whole Conan‑Jay thing went down, I called up Jay, and I said, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know that I’m not gunning for your position at all.  I’m very happy at 12:30AM… I’m in New York.  I’m trying to have a baby.  I’m very happy at my job.’  So he goes, ‘I appreciate that.’  I said, ‘And when eventually you decide to step down, let’s do it the right way.’  And he said, ‘Yeah, of course.’… Read More »

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Oscars: U2 Writes One From The Heart For Nelson Mandela; Interview With Bono And The Edge

Pete Hammond

Although there was plenty of star wattage at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival Saturday nightCN8A9095 there was even more electricity than usual because some genuine rock royalty was in attendance. U2′s Bono and The Edge were on hand to accept the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, which acknowledged their major humanitarian work as well as their iconic musical contributions to the world.  The award was well-timed as, like the rest of the honorees, they also have a song that is making waves this awards season. And it’s a very personal one. The band, and particularly Bono, had a long friendship with Nelson Mandela — who died December 5 — and their work in the anti-apartheid movement goes back to their beginnings as a band in the 1970s. And now they have written a song, “Ordinary Love”  for the film of his life story, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. The Weinstein Company is hoping it will get the Oscar recognition that has eluded U2 before. They currently have a Golden Globe nomination for it, their sixth, with one win for 2002′s “The Hands That Built America” from Gangs Of New York. 

Related: Oscar Contenders Hit The Desert As Hollywood’s Awards Season Moves to Palm Springs

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Palm Springs Film Fest To Honor U2

By | Monday December 30, 2013 @ 6:00am PST

U2The band U2 will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival next month, where previously announced fellow honorees include Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Steve McQueen, Thomas Newman, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and the cast of American Hustle. The Sonny Bono honors typically go to directors, but this year will be presented to the rock musicians for their “humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice”. U2 (AKA Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.) contributes the song “Ordinary Love” to The Weinstein Co.’s 2014 Oscar contender Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which has already notched a Golden Globes nomination for Best Original Song. U2 was previously Oscar-nominated for the song “The Hands That Built America,” written for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

Related: Was Rushing ‘Mandela’ To Make Toronto A Misstep? (Video)

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Showtime Acquires Davis Guggenheim’s ‘From The Sky Down’ U2 Documentary

By | Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 9:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has acquired Davis Guggenheim’s upcoming music documentary From The Sky Down, about the creation of U2′s acclaimed 1991 album Achtung Baby. The docu, which will premiere Thursday at the opening-night gala for the Toronto International Film Festival, will make its Showtime debut Oct. 29 to tie in with the 20th anniversary of the album’s release.

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Is ‘Spider-Man’ Biggest Broadway Debacle?

By | Wednesday June 15, 2011 @ 6:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally opened on Broadway on Tuesday night. There was a star-studded crowd that included Bill Clinton, a 10-minute standing ovation, and even deposed director Julie Taymor got up to take a bow. And, thank goodness, no actors fell from the rafters. A press release from the show’s reps reports that “critics and audiences cheer[ed] the opening,” and offered a few effusive blurbs from USA Today, MTV and NY1 News. Well, first of all, they weren’t reading the reviews I saw. In The New York Times (generally the review that helps a show fly or die), Ben Brantley compared its earlier incarnation to now as an “ascent from jaw-dropping badness to mere mediocrity,” but that isn’t a rave since he likened that earlier version to “watching the Hindenburg crash and burn.” The Wall Street Journal called the book “flabby and witless” and, as for the plot, “everything that happens is utterly familiar and utterly predictable.” To sum up, the WSJ offers that “$70 million and nearly nine years of effort, all squandered on a damp squib. … Never in the history of Broadway has so much been spent to so little effect.” The other Gotham papers basically said it was better than it was when Taymor was calling the shots, but essentially that its edge (not to be confused with U2′s The Edge) had been varnished away, leaving blandness and U2 songs that aren’t the catchiest that Bono and The Edge ever came up with. Read More »

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