Tag Archives: LL Cool J

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Grammy Swag Curator: Who was his favorite musical artist over his 20 years?

Hollywood Reporter
The Curator Behind 20 Years’ Worth of $30,000 Grammys Gift Lounge Swag Bags
By Nick Williams

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Founder of Distinctive Assets, Lash Fary (L) and Hip-hop artist LL Cool J attend the GRAMMY Gift Lounge during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Founder of Distinctive Assets, Lash Fary (L) and Hip-hop artist LL Cool J attend the GRAMMY Gift Lounge during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)

Mister D:  Grammy’s Celebrity Swag:Not trying to provoke or anything, but celebs seem to have enough money, so I don’t understand why they get bags of what I’m sure are wonderful things, but why? I mean they already have so much stuff. Why not use the money to help out charities? But then I guess Mr. Fary, then, wouldn’t have a job, so we don’t want that either. Priorities! Priorities!

Lash Fary, the co-founder of Distinctive Assets, talks about two decades of gifting everything from custom pet portraits and psychic readings to family circus training and 24-karat gold lollipops on music’s biggest night.
Lash Fary basically invented awards show swag bags. The A-list L.A. gifting guru’s marketing firm Distinctive Assets launched in 1999 as a private showroom servicing costume designers of top television series and has since bloomed into a full-service entertainment marketing agency. Its tentacles span the industry’s wide swath of glitzy red carpets — the Tony Awards, the American Music Awards, the Kids’ Choice Awards, the BET Awards, The Country Music Awards and the Grammy Awards — including the 61st show on Feb. 10. ...  Read More

Posted in Bette Midler, Grammys, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Monday, December 5, 2016

Bette Midler reveals which ‘Divine Miss M’ song she wasn’t ‘crazy about’, roadblocks, and Manilow feud

Sunday Today Bette Midler reveals which ‘Divine Miss M’ song she wasn’t ‘crazy about’ By Shane Lou December 4, 2016 After all these years, Bette Midler is still divine. Want proof? She recently re-released her 1972 debut studio album, “The Divine Miss M,” which included hits like “Do You Want To Dance,” “Friends” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”   Why did she decide to re-release it? “It’s some of my best work because it’s the work that I worked on the longest,” she told Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist. It also represents the “roadblocks” Midler said were put in her way at the time — roadblocks like people telling her, “Oh, you don’t look right, you’re too short, you’re too fat, you’re too tall, too lean, too small.” Bette Midler calls “The Divine Miss M” some of her best work. Midler said she’s proud of every track on “The Divine Miss M.” Well, maybe there’s one possible exception: “Daytime Hustler,” which she said she initially wasn’t “crazy about.” “I liked it but I wasn’t exactly sure about it. I just put it in there just to see … it was kind of an experiment of vocal qualities,” she revealed. Of course, Midler isn’t just a singer: She’s a multitalented Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner who’s starred in classic movies like “Beaches.” Her favorite film of hers, though, is “Hocus Pocus.” “I have to say I’m flawless in that movie. I do, I have to say that,” she explained. “First of all, it’s the only time I’ve ever actually disappeared behind a real mask, and it was so liberating, it was so much fun.” Midler should have fun appearing on Broadway next year in a production of “Hello, Dolly!” But for now, she’s feeling a range of emotions as she gets ready to hit the stage. “I’m excited, I’m unnerved, I’m utterly game. I love the character … I feel like I’m prepared. What I’m not prepared for is the size of the stage. I’ve been a solo act for 40 years,” she said. We have no doubts she’ll put on a divine performance.
Posted in Articles/Essays, Hello Dolly! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bette Midler Fast Facts

KCCI Bette Midler Fast Facts Jan 26, 2016 1388898_212041042309759_1191595683_n (CNN) —Here is a look at the life of award winning singer, actress, comedienne and activist Bette Midler. Personal: Birth date: December 1, 1945 Birth place: Honolulu, Hawaii Birth name: Bette Davis Midler Father: Fred Midler, house painter Mother: Ruth (Schindel) Midler, seamstress Marriage: Martin von Haselberg (1984-present) Children: Sophie, 1986. Education: Attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa Other Facts: Named after actress Bette Davis. Nominated for 13 Grammy Awards and has won three. Nominated for eight Emmy Awards and has won three. Nominated for two Academy Awards and has not won. She was the valedictorian of her high school class. Timeline: 1965 – Moves to New York City after winning a small part in the movie, “Hawaii.” 1966 – Makes her Broadway debut in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Early 1970s – Performs at the Continental Baths, a bathhouse in New York, with Barry Manilow as her pianist, arranger and musical director. 1970 – Midler appears on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson for the first time. April 28-May 16, 1971 – Midler stars as the “Acid Queen” in the first professional production of the rock opera, “Tommy.” March 4, 1972 – Midler appears on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson for the first time. November 1972 – Releases her first album on Atlantic Records, “The Divine Miss M.” March 2, 1974 – Wins the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. April 1974 – Receives a special Tony Award for “adding lustre to the Broadway season.” September 17, 1978 – Wins the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special in a Comedy-Variety or Musical for “Ol’ Red Hair is Back.” November 7, 1979 – Her first film, “The Rose,” is released. It is loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin. 1980 – Simon & Schuster publishes her first book, “A View from a Broad.” February 25, 1981 – Wins the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Performance, for “The Rose.” January 28, 1985 – Midler joins 45 other stars to record “We Are the World,” USA for Africa’s fund-raising single. 1985 – Forms All Girl Productions, with partner Bonnie Bruckheimer. November 22, 1988 – Releases the soundtrack to “Beaches.” The album goes triple platinum, and the title track, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” goes to number one. February 21, 1990 – Wins the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for “Wind Beneath My Wings,” with producer Arif Mardin. September 15, 1991 – Is presented with the Commitment to Life Award from AIDS Project Los Angeles for her work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. August 30, 1992 – Wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program for her May 21, 1992, appearance as one of the two final guests of “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. December 12, 1993 – Stars as “Mama Rose” in the television version of the famed Broadway play, “Gypsy.” July 7, 1995 – Midler begins The New York Restoration Project, a non-profit focusing on beautifying the open spaces in under-resourced communities in New York. September 14, 1997 – Accepts the Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program for her HBO special “Diva Las Vegas.” 2003 – Joins forces with Barry Manilow for the first time since the 1970s to record “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook.” February 20, 2008 – “Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On” debuts at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The show includes the Harlettes, the Caesar Salad Girls, and a 13-piece band. The show ends its run in January 2010. March 20, 2011 – “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert,” opens on Broadway. Midler is on the production team of the show which runs through June 2012. June 14, 2012 – Receives the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. April 24, 2013 – “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers” opens on Broadway with Midler’s portrayal of the famous Hollywood agent. The show runs through June 2013. November 4, 2014 – Releases her 14th studio album “It’s the Girls,” a tribute to the music of famous girl-groups over the years.
Posted in Articles/Essays, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 25 Richest Female Musicians (Part 1 & 2) Part 3 Coming Soon!

Top 25 Richest Female Musicians PPCorn.com December 28, 2015 Female musicians have been having a moment lately, but you might not believe how much money the richest female musicians make and how much they are worth. Get ready for your jaw to drop, because these ladies have hustled so hard that their net worth is almost unimaginable. Stay tuned for parts two and three, coming soon! Number Twenty-Five: Katy Perry. With a net worth of $110 million, Katy Perry kicks off our list as the 25th richest female musician in the world. There’s nothing “Hot and Cold” about that kind of money. mitrofm.com Number Twenty-Four: Rihanna. Rihanna has a net worth of $120 million, which isn’t surprising given how many project she’s involved in. Her latest endeavor is a line of shoes.
Number Twenty-Two: Christina Aguilera. Like Britney, Christina Aguilera has become relevant again thanks to her stint as a Judge on The Voice. The sugary sweet star has a net worth of $130 million.
Number Twenty-One: Miley Cyrus. Avant-garde star and hipster exhibitionist Miley Cyrus has a net worth of $150 million, which is no surprise given what a sensation she’s become. The young singer is more of a brand than a person at this point.
Number Twenty: Jessica Simpson. With a net worth of $150 million, wholesome pop star and brief television personality Jessica Simpson lands at twentieth on our list. The 35-year-old continues to push her brand of lifestyle clothing and products with clear success.
Number Nineteen: Vanessa Paradis. Though not as well-known as some other ladies on our list, wife of Johnny Depp Vanessa Paradis has a net worth of $150 million. Paradis experienced success from the tender age of 14 with her hit single “Joe le taxi.”
Number Eighteen: Janet Jackson. Superstar Janet Jackson rounds out the first part of our list with a respectable net worth of $175 million. Though she has gone a little under the radar since her near-nip slip at 2004’s Superbowl, she recently released an album and continues to do well.
We already brought you part one of our list of the world’s 25 richest female musicians, and now we’re back with part two! Check out even more staggeringly rich female musicians below, and stay tuned for part three, coming soon! Number Seventeen: Taylor Swift. Kicking off the second part of our list is pop icon Taylor Swift, with a net worth of $200 million. The release of her latest album, 1989 brought her even more wild success than before, and we can truly say she doesn’t have a drop of “Bad Blood” in her body.
Number Sixteen: Tina Turner. Don’t you forget about Tina Turner! The 76-year-old may have hit her peak in the ’60s and ’70s, but she continues to work and has had a career spanning an impressive 50 years. She currently has a net worth of $200 million.
Number Fifteen: Bette Midler. With a net worth of $200 million, Bette Midler is nothing to balk at. The jack-of-all-trades sings, performs comedy, acts, and turned 70 this year!
Number Fourteen: Shakira. Pop diva Shakira has a net worth of $220 million. She has experienced a full decade and then some of wild success, with one of her biggest hits being “Hips Don’t Lie.”
Number Thirteen: Lady Gaga. Super LGBTQ-supporter Lady Gaga is worth $220 million. The star may have recently come under fire for her alleged weight gain, but she is still experiencing wild success and continues to thrive.
Number Twelve: Diana Ross. With a net worth of $250 million, 71-year-old Diana Ross has been around the block a time or two. Not only has she experienced wild success, but her children are also talented, and her daughter is also a musician.

Number Eleven: Nana Mouskouri. ...  Read More

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New on Video: Manic Midler in The Rose (Criterion Collection) – If this was the only film she ever made, her legacy would have been secure

SF Weekly New on Video: Manic Midler in The Rose Posted By Sherilyn Connelly on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM SC_19_NewOnVideo-TheRose I’ve never been quite sure what “melodrama” is, particularly compared to drama-drama. I’ve noticed that it’s mostly used as a pejorative, a way to insult a person or piece of art which shows genuine feelings, to dismiss them as melodramatic. Big emotions are scary, and as a whole, we’d rather not deal with them, preferring instead to shame them into submission. There are some pretty damn big emotions in Bette Midler‘s first starring role, Mark Rydell’s 1979 The Rose, which the Criterion Collection is releasing on Blu-ray May 19. And they don’t shy away from the m-word, calling it “a sensitively drawn and emotionally overwhelming melodrama.” Ms. Midler is Mary Rose Foster (The Rose for short), a rock and rhythm ‘n’ blues singer who achieved the fame she always wanted, but is also spiraling down hard as a result. She finds fame to be empty and lonely — and the drugs aren’t helping, nor is the fact that her manager (Alan Bates) won’t give her the year off from touring that she so desperately needs. Ms. Midler was rightfully nominated for Best Actress, and though she lost out to Sally Field in Norma Rae — an entirely worthy performance as well, it must be said — The Rose remains Ms. Midler’s towering achievement. If this was the only film she ever made, her legacy would have been secure. It’s also gorgeously shot by the Vilmos Zsigmond, hot after Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter, and right before Heaven’s Gate — which is a pretty legendary run. (Oh, there’s a lot wrong with Heaven’s Gate, and there’s no question that the original theatrical version was a bit of an eyesore — Criterion’s recent rejiggering of the color scheme makes it much more watchable — but it also couldn’t have been shot by someone who didn’t know exactly what he was doing, if that makes any sense.) The Rose was shot in 1.85:1, so unlike Zsigmond’s other pictures from around that time, it didn’t have to be pan-and-scanned for video, but it was also designed to be seen on a big screen the way most modern movies are not. I watched The Rose on VHS in the early 1990s and it just didn’t look good at all, but Criterion’s restoration — supervised by Mr. Zsigmond — makes it look the way it was supposed to, even on a non-giant screen. Every grain on the film is where it’s supposed to be, and the stage lights look more like the Mothership from Close Encounters than ever. SC_19_NewOnVideo-TheRose_Mothership Highlights from the extras include a Today Show segment from a little over a week into the principal photography. It’s remarkable how much precious network time is devoted to the simple rigors of filming a scene, without it being edited down or sped up for the perceived short attention span of the viewer at home. The best is a 2015 interview with Ms. Midler in which she reflects candidly on the making of The Rose. It was a very positive experience for her (with the exception of working with Harry Dean Stanton, who was apparently a bit of a dick). She confirms that the original script was explicitly based on the life of Janis Joplin, even going so far as to be called Pearl, but that she requested it be fictionalized further. Having already been on the road herself, she says she used her own experiences to inform the character, plus her intimate knowledge of the stresses that female entertainers have to put up with compared to men. From her own upbringing, Ms. Midler says she understood what it means to be different from one’s ostensible community, to be marginalized and made to feel less-than; that was already inside her, and didn’t have to be made up. Notably, the interview cuts to a scene from the movie in which she argues with her all-male band about the set list; she’s the star, but the boys are giving her grief about cutting certain songs, even though it’s her decision, not theirs. SC_19_NewOnVideo-TheRose_Setlist Though Ms. Midler never uses the word “authenticity” in the interview, it reminds me of some episodes of PBS Idea Channel in which host Mike Rugnetta discusses the public perception of Taylor Swift as someone not truly in control of her work or her image. Also required viewing is the end of the follow-up episode, in which Rugnetta expresses frustration with certain commenters who refuse to believe that there’s any kind of gender bias at all regarding the perception of female pop stars writing (or not writing) their own music, in spite of the fact that Taylor Swift herself says she’s encountered it. The relevant part begins at 9:57. The most touching tidbit from Ms. Midler’s interview concerns Rose’s famously bleary walk to the stage for the climactic concert. It’s a ginormous production, with a huge crowd and fireworks and a spectacle that is all unfolding before front of the camera f’reals. (Other famed cinematographers who shot footage for the concert scenes include Conrad Hall, László Kovács, and Haskell Wexler.) Seeing it all, especially a big light-up rose in the background, Ms. Midler says she improvised the line to her manager, “Did you do that for me?” It’s so subtle (and unscripted) that it doesn’t even get picked up in the subtitles, and even if the viewer doesn’t pick up on the words, they’ll pick up on the emotion between Ms. Midler and Bates in that moment. SC_19_NewOnVideo-TheRose_TheWalk And if that’s melodrama, then regular drama is overrated.
Posted in the Rose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Photography Book: You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen (Ecstatic Peace Library; November 2010)

NEW YORK, NY.- Newly established publisher/editor Thurston Moore (founding member of Sonic Youth) is ecstatic to present as lead title in his first fall season: a luxury format, hardcover volume of the sumptuous photography taken by his favorite American music photojournalist, James Hamilton, entitled: You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen (Ecstatic Peace Library; November 2010) James Hamilton’s portraits of music world luminaries, reveal a previously unearthed master photographer, with compelling and rarely seen images of visionaries and artists from Madonna and Nico to Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. This very first book devoted to James Hamilton’s music photography unveils a treasure trove of arresting images, previously unpublished, or available until now only fleetingly in print periodicals. James Hamilton served as staff photographer for the seminal music magazine Crawdaddy! in the1960s, before later serving on staff at The Herald, Harper’s Bazaar, the Village Voice, and The New York Observer in turn. During his tenure at these iconic publications he recorded the rock, punk, disco and hip-hop eras as they simmered in Manhattan . His images capture such emerging artists Suzanne Vega, and Run DMC posing with a young Russell Simmons to relaxed visions of Joan Jett, and poet/songstress Patti Smith with Television’s Tom Verlaine. James Hamilton’s work moves beyond the label of “photojournalism” and into the realm of art, bringing a rarely seen soulfulness to the oversaturated world of celebrity photography. Enter the world of James Hamilton, and gain access to a secret stash of rarely seen and previously unpublished celebrity images, predating the age of the internet, and existing for years only in print archives. Peter Tosh, LL Cool J, John Zorn, James Brown, Yoko Ono, Jerry Garcia, Joey Ramone, Rick Rubin, Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan are all captured with stunning sensitivity and clarity—in 300 delicate duotone images—granting the viewer unprecedented contact to subtleties of his subjects’ personalities. Hamilton visually embraces his subjects, capturing them in all of their glorious humanity, and presenting portraits of celebrity in a light that is more personality than persona. Featuring rare and previously unpublished photographs of: Patti Smith * Count Basie * Debbie Harry * Iggy Pop * Sonic Youth * Nico * Glenn Branca * Carole King * Ronnie Spector * Yoko Ono * Tom Verlaine * James Brown * Rick Rubin * Beastie Boys * Run DMC & Russell Simmons * Pussy Galore * John Fogarty * Ray Davies * BB King * Joni Mitchell * Dolly Parton * Jerry Lee Lewis * Paul Weller * John Zorn * Joey Ramone * Liberace * Laurie Anderson * Madonna * Jerry Garcia * John Lurie * Stevie Wonder * Roberta Flack * Dusty Springfield * Dizzy Gillespie * David Johansen * Danny Fields * Joan Jett * Jimi Hendrix * Bono * Phillip Glass * Rod Stewart * Prince * Bing Crosby * Captain Beefheart * Frank Zappa * Bette Midler * Van Morrison * The Feelies * Sun Ra * Suzanne Vega * Sarah Vaughn * Sean Cassidy * Bob Marley * Bobby Womack * Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young… and more Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment