August 21, 2014


Associated Press




Jennifer Aniston, Jon Hamm, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland want to connect with you about cancer.


They are among the stars slated to appear on “Stand Up to Cancer,” the hour-long telethon set to air Sept. 5 on 31 broadcast and cable networks simultaneously.


Other celebrity participants announced Wednesday include Pierce Brosnan, Rob Lowe, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Eric Stonestreet and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


Rather than the stars staffing phone banks as they have on past “Stand Up to Cancer” telethons, they’ll be contacting with viewers by phone and online through Facebook and other platforms from a “digital lounge” hosted by Katie Couric. Fans can sign up for the “We’re Calling You” initiative beginning Wednesday at


“We’ll have plenty of stars reaching out to donors via social media, thanking them through Facebook messages, digital shout outs, Instagrams and tweets,” Couric said. “In other words, this year, we are so 2014!”


“Instead of people calling in with the hope of talking to a celebrity, stars will be calling and sending social shout-outs to viewers at home,” Couric said.


The “Stand Up to Cancer” special will also feature performances by Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, The Who, Common & Lupe Fiasco and Dave Matthews.


For the first time, the telethon will include a Canadian co-broadcast, with funds raised benefiting research and awareness programs in Canada.


Funds raised by the telethon support international, inter-disciplinary scientific research aimed at discovering new treatments for various types of cancer. Since its first broadcast in 2008, Stand Up to Cancer has pledged more than $260 million.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 14, 2014



Associated Press

Pharrell is teaming up with the world's best-selling basketball video game franchise as a music curator.


2K Sports announced on August 12 that the Grammy-winning performer chose 27 tracks for the soundtrack of the upcoming “NBA 2K15.” He’s the second music performer to select songs for the popular video game, following Jay Z who served as executive producer in 2012.


LeBron James picked out songs for last year’s installment that sold 7 million copies.


Pharrell said in a statement to The Associated Press that he wanted to create an “eclectic mix” of songs. Three of his songs are featured on the soundtrack including “Hunter,” “Can I Have It Like That” and “How Does It Feel?”


Another song Pharrell will be featured on is Major Lazer’s “Aerosol Can.” The soundtrack will also include songs from Lauryn Hill, One Republic, Snoop Dogg, Lorde, A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott, Junior, Basement Jaxx, Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, Clipse, Death from Above 1979, No Doubt, Public Enemy, Ratatat, Santigold, The Black Keys, The Rapture, The Strokes, Strafe, Depeche Mode and Red Hot Chili Peppers.


“It was fun to include songs that I have always loved, like Strafe’s ‘Set it Off’ or Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Scenario,’” he said. “The eclectic mix makes for a really cool vibe.”


It’s not the first time Pharrell has shown his talents within the NBA realm. He performed at this year’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, bringing out Nelly, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Snoop Dogg.


That performance was one of the reasons 2K selected Pharrell as curator.


“Pharrell’s creative energy and background with the NBA — his performance at the All-Star game for example — was part of our decision in partnering with him to shape a new entertainment experience in this year’s title,” said Alfie Brody, vice president of marketing for the video game.


The game is expected to go on sale Oct. 7.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 14, 2014


LAWT News Service


Koffeehouse Music and Vitello’s restaurant are teaming up to present a weekly music series and competition starting Wednes­day, September 3, officials recently announced   The competition is now accepting online submissions from all singer/songwriters at, they said.


“Koffeehouse Music is known for showcasing Los Angeles’ most talented singer/songwriters and new bands, and over the years, has worked with nearly 1,000 musicians,” said a spokesperson for the event. 


The upcoming music series and competition, titled “A Showcase of Talent: L.A.’s Best Singer/Songwriters Compete,” will feature 25-40 singer/songwriters during the 12 week competition.  Cash prizes and in-kind products will be awarded to the winners. 


“With so much talent in the greater Los Angeles area, we wanted to create a competition where anyone could hear great music live in a competition format, outside of television,” states Koffeehouse’s founder Jeremy Koff.  “Vitello’s has always been one of my favorite restaurants and places to listen to music.”


“We’re very excited to partner with Koffeehouse Music and to bring to the Valley this great community of musicians,” says Brad Roen, VP/General Manager of Vitello’s Restaurant.


The competition is open to the public.  Initial submissions will be submitted online to  A panel of music experts will select the top choices for the live competition from the many hundreds of entries expected.  The selected artists will be featured in a 3 month competition, leading to a grand finale on the last night.  Additional information and contest rules can be found at

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 14, 2014


Aries March 21 – April 19


As Venus sashays into Leo, your hopes increase for finding the love of your life. In fact, you may be tempted to take a gamble on love or business. If you're the entrepreneurial type, this could be an excellent time to explore ideas that have the potential to give a good return on your investment. However, you're no pushover. You have a real determination to conquer problems that may have held you back recently. Sunday is supremely perfect for a special celebration or romantic evening out.




Taurus April 20 – May 20


Home, sweet home is where you belong this week as the focus on domestic matters becomes even more creative, positive, and upbeat. If you've been thinking about enhancing your property, the influence of Venus might encourage you to go ahead. In addition, a very powerful transit on Friday might coincide with a decision that could change your life for the better. As Mercury eases into Virgo, your arts-and-crafts side may come out into the open, encouraging you to get busy. The weekend bodes well for a small windfall.




Gemini May 21 – June 21


You have bold, creative, inspiring, and impulsive ideas that can spur you on to greater success. The pleasures of romance, play, and creativity flow effortlessly your way, bringing congenial relationships and fun opportunities for you to enjoy. Mercury's move into Virgo puts the spotlight on home and family matters, enticing you to come to grips with household projects, removing clutter, and redecorating. You'll find it easier to think when you have more space around you. Sunday should be reserved for pure indulgence.




Cancer June 22 – July 22


An upbeat, positive frame of mind regarding finances gives you an advantage, as it allows you to see solutions that are beyond the grasp of others. An inventive and creative approach to money matters and accounting could give you more to spend on shopping and generally enjoying life. In addition, a budding relationship could heat up, showing signs of fiery passion and intense feeling. If tempted, you'll need to listen to your gut, as making the wrong decision could cost you dearly.




Leo July 23 – August 22


You may have an impulsive urge to express your opinions. If your ideas are challenged, agree to disagree in order to avoid upset. Plus, as Venus moves into your sign, you're at a peak regarding creativity, expression, and opportunities for growth and expansion. Dive in! Times like these don't come around very often. Later, as Mercury glides into Virgo, this is your chance to get down to the nitty-gritty regarding your accounts and finances. A practical approach to budgeting could save you money in the long run.




Virgo August 23 – September 22


Creative ideas have moneymaking potential, but you may find that you're at your most brilliant when you're meditating, relaxing, and reflecting on life. Take time out this week to harness your imagination for fun, pleasure, and profit. Guided meditation or visualization may help you to connect with feelings of abundance, success, motivation, and enjoyment. Your inner world could be a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Mercury edges into your sign on Friday to encourage you to get on with projects that have been on the backburner.




Libra September 23 – October 22


As Venus, your personal planet, dances into Leo and your social sector, you'll be even more popular than you already are. There could be some fantastic opportunities waiting for you when you accept invitations, attend events, and generally make yourself available. A deeper motivation might incline you to sort out a financial bugaboo once and for all. Nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it. The weekend is promising for romance and fun, encouraging you to indulge to your heart's content.




Scorpio October 23 – November 21


If a problem has been eating away at you for some time, you'll find the resolve and determination to overcome it once and for all. At the same time, a focus on your career sector reveals that success may not be too far away. In order to enjoy it you'll need to showcase your abilities on a regular basis. In addition, mixing with the right people will put you in touch with folks who can use your skills and pay you well for them, too..




Sagittarius November 22 – December 21


You'll feel revitalized on all levels, so take the initiative to get what you want, and use the power of Mars in Scorpio to release old problems. The more willing you can be to drop hurt and resentment, the more you can focus on all the dynamic opportunities awaiting you just ahead. This week's alignment in Leo and your adventure sector may motivate you to explore the many sizzling options available. In addition, you'll want to prioritize your goals and make a plan that can help you achieve them.




Capricorn December 22 – January 19


You may want to indulge yourself, as this week's lineup entices you to dive in and have fun. When it comes to mixing and mingling, the presence of Mars in Scorpio linked with Pluto in your sign urges you to connect with people who have the same desires and ambitions as you. On the subject of money, the urge to enjoy an extravagant shopping spree may be too much to resist. However, Sunday is the day when you'll want to splurge even if it isn't justified.




Aquarius January 20 – February 18


You have everything going for you, making this week a particularly enjoyable one. The focus on Leo suggests that your social life and love life positively sizzle. There's so much going on for you that you could be spoiled for choice. Whether you're looking for love or in a long-term relationship, laughter and companionship will light up your days. In addition, you're forging ahead in your career with goals and ambitions, and you may be passionate in the extreme when it comes to finding success.




Pisces February 19 – March 20

The focus on lifestyle, health, and work amps up still further as Venus moves into Leo. Regarding diet and exercise, although you might have an eye on your figure, you'll likely find it hard to keep on the straight and narrow. Parties, get-togethers, and office lunches can all take their toll, and you may be hard-pressed to refuse a tasty treat. However, as Mercury edges into Virgo, a friend or sweetheart may attempt to reason with you so you don't undo all your hard work.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 07, 2014


ATLANTA (AP) — Steve Harvey thought moving his annual Neighborhood Awards from Las Vegas to Atlanta would be more economically feasible for his loyal radio listeners to attend.


“Probably 90 percent of my radio listeners are east of the Mississippi River,” the actor and comedian said. “Vegas was great to us. But I thought if we moved this to a hot city like Atlanta, economically we could save people a lot of money.”


Harvey is hosting the 12th annual national convention in Atlanta for the first time. The four-day event will be held at Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center, kicking off on August 7.


The Neighborhood Awards, which recognizes small-town business people, is expected to draw about 150,000 attendees.


Harvey called the cross-country move logical, because 2.1 million listeners of his “Steve Harvey Morning Show” are within a seven-hour drive radius from Atlanta.


Along with a shorter commute, ticket prices are being reduced by half compared to last year's cost of admission.


“We gave the award show back to the people,” said Rushion McDonald, who created the awards with Harvey. The event originated in Los Angeles under the name Hoodie Awards in 2001 and spent nine years in Las Vegas, bringing out celebs including Tyler Perry, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson.


But the primary initiative behind the awards is to honor people and businesses that uplift their neighborhoods. The fan-nominated awards offer 12 categories including best church, beauty salon, barbecue restaurant, community leader, high school, barbershop and church choir.


This year’s performers include Robin Thicke, Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michele, Tamela Mann, India.Arie, Johnny Gill and The Ray Chew Band. The convention will also have several seminars featuring Rev. Al Sharpton, Kandi Burress and Stephen A. Smith.


“This is like an unpretentious Grammy Awards,” Hamilton said. “I’m proud to be a part of an awards that uplifts every day, hardworking people. I love coming here to perform and see others do the same.”


Harvey, who started from humble beginnings and launched a successful career in entertainment, also wants regular folks to experience the limelight of the red carpet prior to the awards, which takes place Saturday night.


“This is to give the common man and business owner a round of applause,” Harvey said. “I’ve been walking down red carpets for so many years, getting awards. I’ve been very fortunate. I think recognizing the common man for their hard work is a great thing.”


Moving forward, Harvey and McDonald want to expand the brand of the awards. That’s why they changed the name from Hoodie to Neighborhood Awards for last year’s event.


“It’s just so hard to explain Hoodie,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to explain Neighborhood Awards. We’re still dealing with general marketing dollars. We had to make it more understandable.”


About 30 radio stations from across the country will broadcast the show live starting Thursday. For the first time, the show will be streamed on Harvey’s website or Neighbor­hood Awards free app.


Ultimately, the hope is to have the awards televised in the near future.


“This move is to educate what the Neighborhood Awards is about,” McDonald said. “We want to show how the awards is impacting everyday people.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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