George W. Bush Promotes New Memoir At Miami Book Fair. Former U.S. president George W. Bush appeared at the Miami International Book Fair on Monday to promote his newly-released memoir, “Decision Points.” Bush explained the content of his memoir, particularly the controversial decisions he made on several issues during his term and his personal decision to quit drinking, to a capacity crowd at the Conference Chapman Center of Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus.The book tackles the disputed 2000 presidential election, the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the controversial torture technique called waterboarding, the surge of American troops in Iraq and his response to Hurricane Katrina. Among those who attended the book event were Republican dignitaries as Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – and Florida International University basketball coach Isaiah Thomas. Decision Points was released last Tuesday and sold more than 220,000 copies opening day. The figure makes the $35 book the second best-selling non-fiction title of publisher Crown after former President Bill Clinton’s 2004 memoir entitled “My Life.” Some 400,000 copies of My Life were sold during its launch.
Justin Bieber, Bill Clinton To Receive World Leadership Awards. Along with the four Teen Choice Awards Justin Bieber managed to pick up recently, the 16-year-old singer is also receiving honors for youth leadership. Usher’s own New Look Foundation is holding its first World Leadership Awards, which will honor individuals and organizations who have shown leadership in youth services. Bieber is among the recipients of the Global Youth Leadership Award. President Bill Clinton will receive the Service Legacy Award at the event, which is set to be held in Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Usher, Ciara, and Bieber are all set to perform. “Over the course of my life in public service, and now through my Foundation, I have tried to give young people the tools and opportunities to make a difference in their communities and around the world,” said Bill Clinton. “Usher’s New Look Foundation has excelled in its efforts to inspire the next generation of leaders, and I am pleased the World Leadership Awards will shine a light on those who have given so much to others.” “I am honored to share the stage with the individuals and organizations we are acknowledging for their recognition of youth as leaders,” said Usher, who founded the New Look Foundation and will host the awards. “They share New Look’s understanding that youth are not merely leaders in waiting; they are ready to achieve greatness today.” The World Leadership Awards will take place on Friday, August 6th, at 8pm.
Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry and Dave Brubeck are extolled at gala. The Boss, a GoodFella and the king of irreverent comedy were among five performing artists to receive lifetime achievement awards Sunday in a glittery event that’s as close as Washington comes to the Oscars. This year’s recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual black-tie gala that recognizes performers who transformed the arts in Continue reading →
A Friday piece in The New York Times exposes what we all sort of knew already: some of those celebrity Twitter accounts are actually ghostwritten. Other ones are fake. That guy twittering as Christopher Walken is not actually Christopher Walken. It’s not terribly surprising. Nobody actually thought, for example, that the official Britney Spears Twitter account was actually written by the pop singer herself. But some others, like rapper 50 Cent’s, come across as fairly authentic to the degree that some fans could be miffed to find that it’s actually the head of his digital-media team doing the twittering. And it does seem a little bit unnerving that “ghost-Twittering” is now an actual job skill for some freelance writers. See, here’s where the dissonance lies. Twitter has become one of the hallmarks of the Web 2.0 “transparency” movement, recommended by new-media consultants left and right as a way for businesses and brands (not to mention celebrities) to put their real faces forward. It’s been effective image repair for tarnished brands such as that of cable giant Comcast, which runs an account called “Comcast Cares” to conduct customer service; then there’s former White House strategist Karl Rove, whose shadowy, man-behind-the-curtain persona from the Bush administration is a far cry from the Twitter account with which he converses with followers, hosts trivia contests, and debates which third-party Twitter apps are the most efficient. If that’s your opinion of what Twitter is or should be, ghostwriting just doesn’t seem like it’s playing by the rules. Basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, whose @THE_REAL_SHAQ Twitter account has become one of the service’s most popular, seemed to disapprove of Twitter accounts that aren’t actually written by the people whose names they bear. “It’s 140 characters. It’s so few characters,” he told the Times. “If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.”
The real and the real fakes on Twitter
1. Britney Spears Britney Spears is a celebrity of the first order. But if you read through her profile, you quickly realize that she’s only tweeting a portion of the time. When she’s not, other people in her entourage are. Britney signs all her tweets with “~Britney.” Seems possible.
Verdict: @BritneySpears is the real Britney Spears.
2. Jimmy Fallon Jimmy Fallon tweets on the @JimmyFallon Twitter account. There’s no doubt about it. He talks about things only Jimmy could shed light on. And most importantly, he talks about his tweeting on his show, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” No worries here: it’s the real guy.
Verdict: @JimmyFallon is really JimmyFallon.
3. Shaquille O’Neal Dubbed @THE_REAL_SHAQ, Shaquille O’Neal’s Twitter account is one of the most entertaining in this roundup. Shaq posts pictures of himself, sends brief messages out to followers, and unleashes one-liners that will make you chuckle. I don’t think there’s any debating that @THE_REAL_SHAQ is the real Shaq.
Verdict: @THE_REAL_SHAQ is really him.
4. Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong is definitely tweeting on the @LanceArmstrong account. He tweets about his travel around the U.S. He talks about where he’s riding today and most importantly, he uploads personal pictures to his TwitPic account.
Verdict: @LanceArmstrong is the real deal.
5. Ellen DeGeneres Ellen DeGeneres is tweeting on her show’s Twitter profile, @TheEllenShow. On multiple occasions she has said on her show that she tweets and a recent update provided a TwitPic link to an image of her mother. She also tends to make references to events in her life that others might not know.
Verdict:@TheEllenShow is the real Ellen DeGeneres
6. Perez Hilton @PerezHilton is updated by gossip blogger Perez Hilton. There’s no doubt about it. He tweets about blog posts he’s writing and discusses celebrities with his followers. Plus, the awkward clip-by-clip image on his profile of him dancing could only come from the source.
Verdict: @PerezHilton is the real gossip blogger.
7. Ryan Seacrest Though his Twitter profile says it’s the official Ryan Seacrest profile, I’m not convinced that he’s really tweeting. Many of the tweets in Seacrest’s stream come from “Team Seacrest” (whatever that is) and others come from his radio show producers. Ostensibly, those that don’t have a signature are Seacrest. But even that is up for debate.
Verdict: @RyanSeacrest is the celebrity’s real account, but he might not be tweeting.
8. Demi Moore If you want to read what Demi Moore is up to on Twitter, the only way to find out is to follow @mrskutcher. She updates her stream with information about her life that only she would know. She even posts pictures that prove it’s her.
Verdict: @mrskutcher is the real Demi Moore.
9. Stephen Fry After reading through English actor and comedian Stephen Fry’s tweets, there’s little doubt that he’s the person behind @StephenFry. Whether it’s updates about recording radio spots or tweets about filming scenes, Fry delivers insider information that proves it’s him.
Verdict: @StephenFry is the real deal.
10. Wil Wheaton Best known for his portrayal of Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Wil Wheaton has quickly become a favorite among Twitter users for his love of tech. And that shines through in all his authentic tweets. Whether it’s a discussion about Atari or the iPhone, Wil always has something interesting to say.
Verdict: @Wilw is operated by Wil Wheaton.
The real fakes
The most-followed celebrities are really tweeting. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some fakes. Here’s a quick list of some fake celebrity profiles you’ll need to watch out for.
Christopher Walken Christopher Walken’s Twitter profile is easily one of the funniest on Twitter. But it’s also a fake. At least it’s good for a laugh.
George W. Bush The George W. Bush Twitter account is rife with veiled insults of our former president and some “misquotes” that he doesn’t like. Yeah, it’s a fake.
Megan Fox Dubbed @The_Megan_Fox, the fake Megan Fox Twitter account is, at times, sexual in nature. But when the person updating the profile is done discussing her body, it can be quite funny.
Stephen Colbert There are dozens of fake Stephen Colbert profiles on Twitter. But the @StephenColbert account is the most popular and, arguably, the best of the bunch. The user cracks quite a few jokes, sounds like Colbert, and unleashes some one-liners that would make Ronald Reagan proud. If you want to follow the real Stephen Colbert, click here.
Tina Fey Tina Fey’s Twitter profile is about as fake as they come. The person impersonating her makes off-hand remarks about Tina and her life, but most of the updates are strange discussions on candy and food.
“Billy Elliot The Musical” swept the top U.S. theater honors on Sunday, winning 10 Tony Awards for a Broadway season that defied a recession with record ticket sales. “Billy Elliot” is based on Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry’s 2000 film about a ballet dancing schoolboy in a mining town in northern England. Elton John, who suggested the film be adapted for theater, wrote the music for the production. “We came here at a hard time economically, you opened your wallets and your hearts to us and we love you for it,” said John, one of Britain’s best-known musicians whose hit songs include “Candle in the Wind” and “Rocket Man.” “Billy Elliot” was named best musical and the three teenage actors who play the title role — David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish — were all named best actor in a musical, the first time three actors have shared the award. “We want to say to all the kids out there who might want to dance, never give up,” Kulish said. Daldry, who won best musical director, said the boys were “three great gifts of Broadway” and that he was “blessed in the past 10 years of my life to be working on ‘Billy Elliot.’” The show has also played in Britain and Australia.
Gregory Jbara won best featured actor in a musical for his role as Billy’s father and the show also won best book of a musical and scenic, lighting, sound and choreography awards. It tied with “Next to Normal” for best orchestration.
Alice Ripley was named best actress in a musical for her role as a bipolar suburban housewife in “Next to Normal,” which also picked up best original score, beating nominees including Elton John and Lee Hall for “Billy Elliot” and Dolly Parton for “9 to 5: The Musical.”
“Billy Elliot” had matched the record number of Tony Award nominations set by “The Producers” in 2001, picking up 15 nods. “The Producers” went on to win a record 12 awards.
“Hair,” the new production of the groundbreaking 1960s musical, won the Tony for best revival of a musical.
LIZA AND LANSBURY AMONG WINNERS
“God of Carnage” — with an all-star cast of “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels — picked up the most awards for a play, winning best play, director of a play, and best actress for Harden.
“God of Carnage” director Matthew Warchus beat himself — he was also nominated for best director for “The Norman Conquests,” a trilogy of comedies that came to Broadway from a sold-out run in London, which won the Tony best play revival.
Liza Minnelli won the best special theatrical event Tony for “Liza’s at the Palace,” which featured a musical tribute to the 1940′s nightclub act of her godmother, Kay Thompson.
“This is exquisite,” a breathless Minnelli said. “I thought my beautiful man over there was going to win,” she added, referring to comedian Will Ferrell, who was nominated for “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush.”
Veteran British actress Angela Lansbury, 83, won her fifth Tony Award — best featured actress in a play for her performance in “Blithe Spirit” — tying the record for the most Tony Awards won by an actress set by Julie Harris.
“I never believed in my wildest dreams I would have an opportunity to get another Tony,” Lansbury, best known for her long-running role in TV series “Murder, She Wrote.”
Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, a veteran of the stage in his native Australia, won best actor in a play for his Broadway debut in “Exit the King.” “I’m a slow learner,” Rush, 57, joked with reporters of his late bow on the Great White Way.
The Tony Awards were established in 1947 and are named for Antoinette Perry, whose nickname was Toni. Perry, who died in 1946, was an actress, stage director and philanthropist who was a founder of the American Theater Wing.
Around 750 people from the theater industry — from actors, to directors to journalists — vote for the Tony Awards.
The Broadway League says the 39 theaters in the famous district contribute $5.1 billion per year to the economy of New York, on top of ticket sales, and support 44,000 jobs.
Broadway’s paid attendance was 12.15 million tickets, down from 12.27 million the previous season, but gross takings rose $6 million, or 0.6 percent, to $943.3 million, beating the previous record set in the 2006/07 season of $938.5 million.
Britpop staged a comeback at the NME Awards last night. School friends and band-mates Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn reunited on stage for the first time since 2000 to play Blur classic ‘This Is A Low’. Their former sparring partners Oasis also scooped Best British Band at the award ceremony which took place at the O2 Brixton Academy in London last night.
The Cure won the ‘Godlike Genius’ award which pleased Robert Smith enormously. Speaking to Xfm he said:
“All the bands backstage like us, so it’s not one of those fake things where people are going ‘Why have they got that award?’. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the bands playing and there’s a really nice atmosphere. Although we don’t do this much anymore, it’s good fun. It reminds me of what we used to do”.
Other big winners included The Killers who won Best International Band, MGMT won Best New Band, Pete Doherty won Best Solo Artist and Muse won Best Live Band.
The full list of winners are as follows:
Best British Band – Oasis
Best International Band – The Killers
Best Solo Artist – Pete Doherty
Best New Band – MGMT
Best Live Band – Muse
Best Album – Kings of Leon ‘Only By The Night’
Best Track – MGMT ‘Time To Pretend’
Best Video – The Last Shadow Puppets ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You’
Best Live Event – Glastonbury
Best TV – The Mighty Boosh
Best Dancefloor Filler – Dizzee Rascal ‘Dance Wiv Me’
Best DVD – Arctic Monkeys ‘At The Apollo’
Best Band Blog – Noel Gallagher/Oasis
Best Venue – London Astoria
Best Album Artwork – Muse ‘HAARP’
Hero of the Year – Barack Obama
Villain of the Year – George W Bush
Best Dressed – Alexa Chung
Worst Dressed – Amy Winehouse
Worst Album – Jonas Brothers ‘A Little Bit Longer’
Worst Band – Jonas Brothers
Sexiest Male – Matt Bellamy
Sexiest Female – Hayley Williams
Best Website – YouTube