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Jay Z makes history

Hip-hop icon Jay Z has become the first rapper in history to land a nomination for the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Empire State of Mind star, real name Shawn Carter, was named to the longlist for the Class of 2017 in his first year of eligibility.

Nominees are considered for induction if they have been writing hits for at least 20 years. Jay Z released his classic debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996.

He joins the likes of Madonna, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Bryan Adams, Chicago, Kool & the Gang, Cat Stevens, Sly Stone, and Vince Gill as performing nominees, while producers Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Max Martin are among the non-performing songwriters up for possible induction next year (17), according to The Associated Press.

The official announcement will be made by organization bosses on Friday (21Oct16).

Hall of Fame members will have until 16 December (16) to cast their votes, and the top five picks will be announced in the New Year (17).

The 48th annual Induction and Awards Dinner will take place in New York City on 5 June, 2017.

The Class of 2016 was made up of Nile Rodgers, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello, while Chip Taylor and Rodgers' late Chic bandmate, Bernard Edwards, were also celebrated at the June (16) ceremony.

Previous inductees include Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie, David Bowie, James Brown, and Dolly Parton.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame, which honors the masters behind the music industry's biggest hits, was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond.


Phil Collins' alcohol battle

Veteran rocker Phil Collins knew he had to sober up and kick his alcohol addiction after a doctor asked him if his will was in order.

The Genesis legend went public with his secret booze battle in 2014, 18 months after overcoming his drinking problem, and in his new autobiography, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, Phil blames the boredom and loneliness of retirement as a three-time divorcee drove him to seek solace in the bottle at his Swiss home.

"Night after night I find myself lying on the bed, staring out of a skylight at grey Swiss skies, rueing my life," writes Collins, who announced he had quit music in 2011 due to ill-health. "I'm all alone, save for my good friends Johnnie Walker (whiskey) and Grey Goose (vodka). 'You've got everything,' I think, 'but you've really got f**k all.'"

His turning point came in early 2013, when he contracted a near-fatal bout of pancreatitis and ended up in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Switzerland, where he heard a doctor whisper to his family, "Is Monsieur Collins' will in order?".

Reflecting on his personal struggle, he continues, "It took me until the age of 55 to become an alcoholic. I got through the heady Sixties, the trippy Seventies, the imperial Eighties, the busy Nineties. I was retired, content - then I fell. Because suddenly, I had too much time on my hands.

"The huge hole, the void, I had to fill somehow. I filled it with booze. And it nearly killed me."

However, Collins - who has officially ended his retirement by announcing his first tour in 10 years - will forever be ashamed of his behavior during one boozy incident with his sons Nicholas, 15, and Matthew, 11, who had to call on their nanny, Lindsey, to help their desperate dad.

"I got up to give them a hug. Bang. My teeth went into the tiles in the living-room floor," he recalls. "The bloody lip's long healed but what hasn't healed is the memory of Matthew shouting, 'Lindsey! LaLa! LaLa! Daddy's fallen over!'"

Nicholas and Matthew are Collins' kids from his marriage to third wife Orianne, who he divorced in a record-breaking settlement in 2008. The couple has since reconciled, and Phil, 65, has finally accepted he may have been the cause of the problem in each of his failed marriages.

In a pre-taped interview for news show CBS Sunday Morning, which airs this weekend (23Oct16), he confesses, "I mean, when you've been married three times and you've got five kids, you don't live with them, and you've been divorced three times, you start to wonder whether it's you, you know? It can't always be someone else's fault."

Lady Gaga hurt by criticism

Lady Gaga was "hurt" when David Bowie's son criticized her tribute to the late singer at this year's Grammy Awards.

The 30-year-old singer took to the stage in front of a star-studded audience at the annual ceremony in February to honor Bowie, who died in January aged 69 after a short battle with cancer.

Joined by Nile Rodgers, Gaga performed a selection of Bowie's greatest hits including Heroes, Rebel, Rebel and Space Oddity. However, following her rendition at the awards, Bowie's son Duncan Jones took to Twitter to make a thinly-veiled reference to the tribute, writing: "Overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused." Damn it! What IS that word!?"

Fans were quick to point out that his message was the dictionary definition of the word "Gaga".

Now Gaga has spoken about how she felt when she read the criticism, explaining to Britain's NME magazine: "It did hurt. But what are you going to do? I can't, it's his father, you know. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt.

"I still have to trust and believe in myself as a Bowie fan. I'm not his family, and the thing is, that's his father. His father is not David Bowie, his father is David Jones. I'm sure that was difficult to watch and of course, I called many people on David's team before I even begun doing that project and it's unfortunate, what can I say? But God bless him, you know?"

The Grammys were held just a month after Bowie's tragic and shocking passing. And it was the timing of the ceremony that first raised alarms with Gaga, with the singer admitting: "I really did not want to do it when they first called me because it was so soon after and I felt very uncomfortable.

"I did my very best to put together something that I hoped would be the showstopper of the night. All I wanted was for when the Grammys were over, for people to talk of nothing but David Bowie, and I think I achieved that."

Gaga has long drawn comparisons to Bowie, from the very beginning of her career. However, she admits in the interview that she doesn't think of herself in the same league as the legendary star.

"I don't know why people compare me to David Bowie, because there will never be another David Bowie and I don't think anyone is comparable to him," she said.

"Maybe because I stole his lightning bolt for my first video, but it was an homage to my greatest inspiration. I don't know, it makes me uncomfortable, I should say " I just want to be me."


Reynolds second daughter

Ryan Reynolds appears to have revealed he and wife Blake Lively have had a second daughter.

The 39-year-old actor and his former Gossip Girl star spouse welcomed the baby at a hospital in Manhattan, New York, in September (16).

Since then, Blake and Ryan have remained quiet on details about their new arrival, but the Deadpool actor seemed to have slipped up in a message posted on his Twitter page on Friday (21Oct16).

"The mobile above my daughter's crib is just a whole bunch of NuvaRings (birth control method). So she remembers how lucky she is," Ryan tweeted.

Fans were quick to respond, with many taking the tweet as a confirmation of the baby's gender.

It's not the first time a Hollywood star has appeared to accidentally reveal their child's sex. During an appearance on the Today show earlier this month (Oct16), Ashton Kutcher dropped the news that wife Mila Kunis is expecting a baby boy.

"She points to Mila and she's like, 'baby brother' when she points to the belly, and then she points to dad and she goes, 'beer'," he said. "So I think she gets there's something in the belly, but I don't quite think that she knows that it's not going to be a plastic doll yet."

Ryan and Blake are also parents to daughter James, who will turn two in December (16).

The news of Blake's pregnancy first surfaced in April (16), and she debuted her growing baby bump at the world premiere of her Woody Allen film Cafe Society at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May (16).

Blake and Ryan have made no secret of their desire to have a big family.

"I'm one of five kids; my husband's one of four," Blake explained during an interview on U.S. breakfast show Today in June, before joking, "We're officially breeders! You can go on our website and we will give you some of our children."

The couple wed in 2012.

Cumberbatch expecting

Benedict Cumberbatch's wife is said to be expecting her second child.

The 40-year-old actor was joined by his spouse Sophie Hunter as he attended the premiere of his new movie Doctor Strange in Los Angeles on Thursday night (20Oct16).

At the event, Benedict shared with journalists that he and Sophie are expecting another baby, U.S. news outlet Just Jared report. This comes after E! News reported earlier in the evening that the couple are set to become parents for the second time.

Benedict and Sophie are already parents to 16-month-old son Christopher.

Announcing the arrival of the tot in June, 2015, the pair said in a statement: "Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are delighted to announce the arrival of their beautiful son. We would kindly ask everyone to respect the family's privacy during these next few precious weeks."

British actor Benedict looked dapper in a dark velvet suit and tie for Thursday night's premiere, while Sophie concealed her figure in a strapless, draped dress.

The pregnancy news comes after Benedict opened up about wanting more children during an interview on U.K. television programme The Graham Norton Show last year.

"I've become a father and a husband, and in the right order " just! I might go for a Cumber-batch of boys!" he said, before adding of parenthood: "It's everything. I have a new life form that needs his father's help in the world and his mother needs a little help once in a while.

"It's what being a parent is about so it's not an excuse to get away from what I am doing, it's what I ought to be doing and after three and half hours of Hamlet I think that's okay."

Ingrid Mapson concert

British Columbian, light-pop singer, Ingrid Mapson, will offer a concert at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Kelowna at 7 PM on Saturday, 29 October 2016. She will sing songs from her latest album, Rhythms of Your Heart. Ingrid sings in various styles including pop, jazz, and musical theatre. She will collaborate with pianist, Dennis Enns.

Reserved tickets are $35 and tickets at the door are $40.

Tickets are available through the Cathedral Office (608 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna) during office hours, Tuesday through Friday 9–12 and 1–4 or are available online at www.ccsmaa.ca/mapsonconcert.

Gaga's feud with Madonna

Lady Gaga's ongoing feud with Madonna has stirred up again after the Poker Face singer accused the veteran of not writing her own tunes or playing her instruments.

The divas first fell out when critics compared Gaga's Born This Way to Madonna's Express Yourself and the pop icon accused the younger star of ripping off her tune.

Last year (15), Madonna said, "The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs. It's got nothing to do with 'she's taking my crown' or 'she's in some space of mine'. She has her thing. I do think she's a very talented singer and songwriter. It was just that one issue."

Although the feud simmered down for a while, the war of words appears to have been reignited by Lady Gaga after the pop sensation took a subtle swipe at Madonna in a new Beats 1 Radio chat with Zane Lowe.

"Madonna and I are very different," the 30-year-old told Lowe on Thursday (20Oct16) when asked about links between the two singers. "I wouldn't make that comparison at all and I don't mean to disrespect Madonna; she's a nice lady and she's had a fantastic huge career, biggest pop star of all time.

"But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours and hours a day in the studio. I'm a producer. I'm a writer. What I do is different.

"I'm not just rehearsing over and over again to put on a show there is a spontaneity in my work. I allow myself to fail. I allow myself to break. I'm not afraid of my flaws... There are major differences between me and her and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. I just will not be compared to anyone anymore. I am who the f**k I am and this is me."

Kardashian's 'still shaken'

Kourtney Kardashian and her entire family are "still really shaken up" after Kim was targeted in an armed robbery earlier this month (Oct16).

The 35-year-old reality TV star was staying at the Hotel de Pourtales in the French capital during Paris Fashion Week when she was tied up and robbed by a group of five masked men. Jewelry valued at an estimated $10 million (£8.1 million) was taken in the violent raid.

Kim has been keeping a low profile since the incident, and has been holed up in her Los Angeles mansion. Her relatives have been speaking about how the mother-of-two is coping in the wake of the robbery, with Kourtney the latest to open up during an interview on Australian TV show Today Extra.

"You know, she's not doing great. I think we're all really still shaken up," Kourtney said. "I think she has a big supportive family and I know that, like, all of the traumatic things that we've been through, you know, we get through them together as a family and that's what family is about."

Once again saying she is "still shaken" after her sister was attacked, Kourtney added that the incident is "definitely" a wake-up call for her family, who previously shared virtually every aspect of their lives on social media and their television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

It was previously claimed that Kim blamed herself for the robbery after flaunting her giant diamond ring on Snapchat the night before she was targeted, and has decided to lessen her social media presence following the robbery.

Mother-of-three Kourtney also told the programme that she hasn't had time to "digest" what happened to her sister.

"I feel like in our family especially, (when) we go through traumatic things just like our lives move so quickly at times we don't have a chance to digest them," she added.

"But I felt, like, you know I have personally been taking time to just digest everything and - you know, I'm still shaken up."

Radiohead at Glastonbury

A symbol associated with band Radiohead has appeared at the site of Britain's Glastonbury music festival.

Sharp eyed fans spotted people painting the band's 'angry bear' logo onto the grass in front of the festival's half constructed main 'Pyramid' stage on Wednesday (19Oct16) on a BBC webcam. The angry bear symbol first appeared in the artwork for the group's acclaimed 2000 album Kid A.

Radiohead, who are fronted by Thom Yorke, have been heavily tipped to headline the 2017 festival since they released their ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool in June.

The group last headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2003, although they played a secret gig at the festival's Park Stage in 2011.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1 earlier this month (Oct16) Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien said, "To be asked to play at Glastonbury again would be magic. I also think Glastonbury is like our spiritual home. It is the mother of all festivals... there's nothing like that one... it would be great to play there."

Since emerging in the early 1990s, Radiohead have become one of Britain's most critically acclaimed rock acts, with a headline performance at Glastonbury in 1997 confirming their superstar status.

Representatives for the band and Glastonbury festival organizers had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.

Other acts tipped for a headline slot at the world famous festival include French dance stars Daft Punk and Manchester indie rockers The Stone Roses.

Underwood more kids?

Carrie Underwood has come to the conclusion she isn't "in control" when it comes to expanding her family.

The 33-year-old singer has son Isaiah, 19 months, with husband Mike Fisher. But while the tot is fast approaching his second birthday next February, Carrie isn't worrying too much about falling pregnant again.

Despite admitting she would like another child, the Church Bells star told Entertainment Tonight that she's realized a higher power will determine whether or not she can procreate again.

"It's all on God's timing and we just kind of realize we're not in control and just take things as they come," she smiled.

Until that day comes, Carrie is keeping herself busy with work, and is currently on her Storyteller Tour. Isaiah has been with his mother on the road, and sharing the experience with her little boy is something the former American Idol star will treasure.

"The Storyteller Tour has been absolutely amazing," she added. "Isaiah's been there the whole way so (my professional life and personal life are) all colliding. Every day he does something new, so every day is wonderful with him."

Once Carrie's tour comes to an end on 28 November in Utah, the country superstar will start thinking about her new album. The record will be her sixth offering, but the multi-talented star is going to wait until she's off the road to begin thinking about the direction she will go in.

"I haven't started writing or anything for it, but I would imagine as soon as the tour wraps up, that will be the next thing on my mind," she said.

Carrie was just one of the stars honored at the CMT Artists of the Year show on Wednesday night (19Oct16).

She also performed at the occasion, belting out Like I'll Never Love You Again alongside songwriters Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna.

Ellen & Portia not splitting

Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres has put rumblings of an impending divorce to rest by insisting she "can't imagine" life without her wife Portia de Rossi.

The Finding Dory star, 58, wed actress Portia, 43, in 2008 after four years of dating, and despite repeatedly dismissing rumours of trouble in the relationship, the couple is forever dogged by speculation of a looming split.

In a new interview with People magazine, Ellen insists their bond is stronger than ever.

"There's no best part (about being married). It's everything," she gushed. "I can't imagine not being married. I have my best friend, the person I want to spend time with more than anybody else in the world."

The funnywoman and talk show host reveals the couple is well aware that many Hollywood marriages end in divorce, so the stars always take a moment to express their gratitude to one another.

"Portia and I constantly say to each other, 'We are so lucky'," Ellen explained. "Sometimes it's lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there."

"Our priorities are each other too," she added. "If we had kids, then I'm sure they would be, but we are. And that's important."

And Ellen claims taking the time to make each other feel special, particularly when they are both busy with work, is another key to their happy marriage.

She continued, "I think the word 'love' is thrown around, like, 'I love you' is great to hear, but you want to feel it. You want to feel that you're understood, and they know exactly who you are, and they know how to take care of you...

"I've gotten to a place where I really am just settled. Really. I know that I'm not going anywhere. She's not going anywhere."

Ciara pregnant?

Newlywed singer Ciara has sparked rumors she is pregnant with her second child after stepping out in an unusually loose-fitting outfit.

The Goodies star is well known for showing off her toned figure in tight clothing, so when she attended a party at New York City's Refinery Hotel on Tuesday (18Oct16), to celebrate her new role as brand ambassador for Revlon cosmetics, fans began questioning her baggy wardrobe choice.

The all-white satin ensemble featured a tuxedo jacket and pants, which completely hid her waistline. She also chose to pin the top button hole in her jacket, instead of properly fastening it, allowing the piece to hang loosely around her midsection.

The 30-year-old opted for a slightly more fitted outfit on Wednesday (19Oct16), when she served as a guest co-host on morning show Live! With Kelly. For the TV appearance, she teamed black wide-leg pants with a matching one-shouldered Peplum top, which again covered her stomach area.

Ciara, who wed football player Russell Wilson in July, has yet to comment on the speculation, but E! News sources suggest the rumors are true.

"Ciara is pregnant and is so excited to be a mom (again)," says one insider. "Russell would like to have two to three children. They both would like a big family."

The singer employed similar fashion tactics three years ago, when she fell pregnant with her son Future Zahir with her ex-fiance, rapper Future. She only confirmed her baby news three months later, in January, 2014.

At the time, she admitted, "I kind of want to take the theme that 'baggy is the new sexy'. I don't know, I just want to be comfortable. When I can't wear heels anymore, I won't wear heels. I'll be putting on my Jordans (sneakers). My Jordans and my Uggs (sheepskin boots) will be my best friends, but it's all about being comfortable."

The unconfirmed news emerges three months after Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell insisted he and his new wife, who had famously abstained from sex before marriage, were not in a rush to expand their family.

"Down the road, I would obviously (want kids)," he told E! News in July. "She does too and hopefully, God willing, as long as they're healthy, that's what we pray for and whether it's a boy or girl, who knows but we've got some time for that... She's making her music right now and I'm playing my sports and hosting shows so we're pretty busy."

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