Nelson Mandela, a South African revolutionary turned prisoner turned international civil rights icon, passed away today at the age of 95, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday. Unjustly jailed for nearly 30 years during the height of the apartheid movement in his native country of South Africa, he stands alongside pioneer figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi as someone whose positive impact on the human race’s ability to acknowledge basic human freedoms and the central concepts of equality and democracy cannot possibly be underestimated.
Just when our mourning over Tom and Katie’s divorce subsided, TMZ reports after 11 years of marriage the legendary Stevie Wonder has filed for divorce from his wife Kai Millard Morris for irreconcilable differences. In the divorce documents obtained by TMZ, Wonder asks for joint custody of their two sons ages seven and 10. In 2001 the couple tied the knot, separating eight years later in October 2009. Despite his feelings toward his soon to be ex-wife, Mr. Wonder agrees to pay both child and spousal support. Such a stand up guy. Our inquiring minds want to know if Mr. Wonder sang “I Just Called to Say I Love You” to his ex-wife in an attempt to reconcile. Sad to see the couple divorce after over a decade, but let’s all hope this doesn’t get nasty. And for our poor little hearts, no more celeb divorces this year. Please!
[Photo: Getty Images]
The official Hope for Haiti Now telethon lineup has just been announced, and this show is going to be even bigger than we had imagined. Rarely, if ever, have so many of the world’s biggest musicians mobilized so quickly with Hollywood elite (plus President Clinton and Oprah) to lend a helping hand in a time of tragedy. If only George Clooney, the mastermind behind the telethon, had been responsible for the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina!
We already reported that the Hope for Haiti Now lineup will include Robert Pattinson, Bono, Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and Shakira. Now we can provide the full, official lineup. Of particular interest will be headliners Jay-Z and Bono (a rock/rap collaboration for the ages) and Justin Timberlake.
Performing in Los Angeles:
- Alicia Keys
- Christina Aguilera
- Dave Matthews
- Emeline Michel
- John Legend
- Justin Timberlake
- Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban and Kid Rock (Group performance)
- Stevie Wonder
- Taylor Swift
Performing in New York:
- Bruce Springsteen
- Jennifer Hudson
- Mary J Blige
- Wyclef Jean
Performing in London:
- Jay-Z, Bono and The Edge (collaboration)
Presenters and speakers in Los Angeles (except where noted differently) include:
- Anderson Cooper (from Haiti)
- Ben Stiller
- Brad Pitt
- Chris Rock
- Clint Eastwood
- Denzel Washington
- Drew Barrymore
- George Clooney
- Halle Berry
- Jon Stewart (from New York)
- Julia Roberts
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Matt Damon
- Meryl Streep
- Morgan Freeman
- Nicole Kidman
- Oprah Winfrey
- President Clinton (from New York)
- Robert Pattinson (from London)
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Tom Hanks
- Will Smith with Muhammad Ali
Turn on your television at 8PM EST to witness history in the making. Hope for Haiti Now will be on just about every channel, including VH1 and MTV. Donations will go to Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation. Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help drive donations.
Exciting new details have emerged about VH1 Divas, which airs this Thursday at 9/8c. Joining the already star-studded lineup are two musical legends: Stevie Wonder and Cyndi Lauper. Stevie and Cyndi, along with Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Martina McBride, will be perform duets with the younger divas. The pairings are:
- Kelly Clarkson and Melissa Etheridge
- Miley Cyrus and Sheryl Crow
- Jordin Sparks and Martina McBride
- Leona Lewis and Cyndi Lauper
- Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder
British crooner Adele is also set to sing with a surprise guest whose identity is still under wraps. We can’t wait! Be sure to tune in to VH1 Divas, airing live on Sept. 17 at 9/8c, hosted by Paula Abdul. We’ll be reporting from Divas and live-blogging the show, you can set a reminder to join our live chat below. Until then, check out the official Divas site, follow the VH1 Divas Twitter and watch videos by the artists in the lineup. Plus, leave a testimonial for one of the divas at divastories.vh1.com.
VH1 Divas premieres Thursday, Sept. 17 at 9/8c.
VH1 Divas show site
VH1 Divas 2009: Music Videos
Divas Vault: Classic Divas Performances
Vote On Your All-Time Favorite Divas Moment For Our Divas Vault Countdown!
Our headline may sound a little over the top, but is it really? A crowd of around 17,000 Michael Jackson fans who were packed into L.A.’s Staples Center — plus an estimated billion people watching worldwide on live television — were given the show of a lifetime today. The event is already being billed as the first worldwide memorial service. Some highlights:
- We watched Michael Jackson’s casket, gold-plated and covered in red flowers, being carried into the Staples Center and placed in front of the stage. (Watch the clip above and the whole M.J. memorial at VH1.)
- We listened to Queen Latifah read a touching poem by Maya Angelou.
- We listened to basketball great Magic Johnson talk about the “greatest moment” of his life: Eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with Michael Jackson. (We never knew the Gloved One was so, um, average.)
- We watched Brooke Shields, who struggled to speak through tears, say that Michael Jackson was “pure, non-jaded and a lover of life.” Rumored to have dated Jackson in the 80s, Brooke described becoming friends with the King of Pop when she was 13 years old and how the two bonded over being child stars.
- We listened to Smokey Robinson, who wrote several songs made famous by Michael, read condolences from both Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela.
- We watched Motown founder Berry Gordy say that Michael Jackson was “the greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
- We watched a heartfelt, soulful rendition of “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder, who proclaimed that he wished he “hadn’t lived to see this day.” We watched riveting performances by Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and Jennifer Hudson.
- We also watched Usher‘s performance of “Gone Too Soon” (co-written by M.J. himself) start off shaky with a gasp for air and end in tears.
- We listened as the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed Michael’s kids directly, saying: “Wasn’t nothing strange about your dad, it was strange with what your daddy had to deal with.” We’re not sure about that one, but we’ll let it pass.
- We watched a stage full of celebrities and children sing “We Are the World,” the song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985 and used to help fight famine in Africa.
- We watched Michael Jackson’s weeping little daughter, Paris, say that that “daddy has been the best father that you can ever imagine and I just want to say that I love him so much” — easily the saddest moment of the day. Ugh. (Watch Paris Jackson speak here).
- And we watched Michael’s big brother, Jermaine Jackson, sing and cry at the same time, which looked like a difficult feat to us.
Then again, we shed a tear or two while blogging — and that’s not easy to do, either.
TheFABlife has scored tickets to Michael Jackson‘s memorial in Los Angeles, and we’re teaming up with PopEater to live blog the event. Our blogger, Libby Keatinge, will be twittering from the front row of the Staples Center. Participate in our live blog now while watching the live stream above.
The memorial includes performances by Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer and Smokey Robinson. Plus, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III will eulogizing the King of Pop.
Related Content: Full Michael Jackson coverage from PopEater.
Some things just boggle the mind. Like for instance, how that Nicolas Cage movie beat that Julia Roberts/Clive Owen movie AND Watchmen AND I Love You, Man at the box office last weekend. Sometimes we just don’t get people’s taste. Right now, we are questioning how America could put Matt Giraud in the bottom two last night and didn’t automatically eliminate Megan Joy or Scott MacIntyre. Enough is enough, people! We’re stunned. Luckily, Matt was safe and the Texas oil-rigger with a hard candy shell but a soft center, Michael Sarver, went home. (But we don’t have to cry about it, all these people are going on tour this summer, let’s not forget that.) Here are our favorite moments from the show:
5. Smokey Robinson’s Anti-Aging Miracles
Yesterday a friend asked us where Smokey Robinson gets his youth serum and after last night, we’re starting to wonder too, the man is just not aging. Plus he acts like he’s one of the kids — the way he performed with Joss Stone made it look like the two were besties who were going to get a beer after the show. He was a great mentor this week who seemed genuinely interested in each contestant and we love him even more now than we did before.