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dame vera lynn

Dame Vera Lynn, the Forces’ Sweetheart, Dies at 103

It was announced today that Dame Vera Lynn, the singer known as the Forces’ Sweetheart whose songs helped build morale in the Second World War, has died at the age of 103.

Dame Vera, whose best-known song We’ll Meet Again was referred to by The Queen in her speech about the coronavirus crisis in April, was best known for entertaining frontline troops in far-flung places such as India and Egypt during the war. Her family confirmed that she died surrounded by her relatives on Thursday 18th June, saying they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

Information on a memorial service will be announced at a later date. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, paid tribute to Dame Vera Lynn saying her “charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours…her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Her songs still speak to the nation in 2020 just as they did in 1940.”

The Very Best

In 2009, at the age of 92, Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart with the compilation album We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn, and a few weeks ago Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest artist to get a Top 40 album in the UK when her Greatest Hits collection re-entered the charts at number 30. She spoke on the 75th anniversary of VE Day and at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that simple acts of bravery and sacrifice still define our nation.

Among Dame Vera Lynn’s best-known songs were The White Cliffs Of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings. Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter, Virginia Lewis-Jones, said she was proud of the difference her mother made through work for charities including the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, which her mother founded to help young children with cerebral palsy, and which “always held a very special place in her heart”. Dame Vera Lynn visiting a UK munitions factory in 1942

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Dame Vera Lynn was born in East Ham, London in 1917, and by the age of 11 she was a full-time singer and dancer.

In a Daily Express poll in 1939 she was voted the favourite entertain among the forces, and earned her nickname ‘The Forces’ Sweetheart’. She broadcast from the Criterion Theatre, London in the heart of the Blitz, and had sold a million records by the age of 22. Her popularity never waned despite the feeling in government circles that her songs were slushy and sentimental when what was needed was something more stirring.

dame vera lynn

Greatest Ever

Lyricist Sir Tim Rice described Dame Vera Lynn as “one of the greatest ever British popular singers, not just because of her immaculate voice, warm, sincere, instantly recognisable and musically flawless. She will be remembered just as affectionately for her vital work in the Second World War and for her own charitable foundations in the 75 years since.”

READ more on Dame Vera Lynn: Dame Vera Lynn, the Forces’ Sweetheart

Actress Miriam Margolyes said: “Dame Vera never lost her reality. The voice like a bell was a gift, which she shared so generously and bravely. But the magic was that her personality was genuine, open, warm. Meeting her was one of the high points of my life. She looked at you and saw you. And connected. There is no one in our lives, except the Queen, who had the power to connect a nation. For that, she will be remembered and always with love.” Tenor Alfie Boe, who recently sang with Dame Vera Lynn on We’ll Meet Again, tweeted “Rest in peace Dame Vera Lynn. Truly a national treasure, and this is such sad news to hear, especially at this time when her iconic song and spirit touched the nation. It was a real pleasure to sing with her – an honour I will treasure forever.”

See also: The latest on the George Floyd case and protests

Theatre director Roger Redfarn, who had been a friend of Dame Vera Lynn since the 1970s and was a neighbour in the village of Ditchling in East Sussex, said: “The world knows of her great voice that through the good and bad times has thrilled millions. My own father firmly believed that the Second World War was won by Sir Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn.

“As a friend she was the warmest and kindest of people. I never saw her angry or say a bad word of anyone, people would stop her in the street and she always found time for them. “She cared particularly about our armed forces, ‘her boys’ as she called them. Her work for charity, especially young people with cerebral palsy was tireless and inspiring. “There will never be anyone like her again.”

See also: The Sweet Bassist Steve Priest Dies Aged 72

Broadcast tribute

Charity fundraiser Sir Tom Moore, singer Katherine Jenkins and the British Legion also posted tributes to Dame Vera Lynn, and the BBC confirmed that it will broadcast a tribute programme at 7:30pm on Thursday. The programme will detail the life and career of Dame Very Lynn, the singer known as the Forces’ Sweetheart, who it was announced today has died at the age of 103.

sweet

The Sweet Bassist Steve Priest Dies Aged 72

Steve Priest, co-founder and bassist of the glam rock band The Sweet, has died at the age of 72. The news was confirmed via Twitter after the band tweeted a statement from Priest’s family. Andy Scott, the last surviving member of the Sweet, has also shared a statement on The Sweet’s Facebook page. In the statement, he calls Priest the “best bass player [he has] ever played with.”
“Then there was one! I am in pieces right now. Steve Priest has passed away. His wife Maureen and I have kept in contact and though his health was failing I never envisaged this moment. Never. My thoughts are with his family x. He was the best bass player I ever played with. The noise we made as a band was so powerful. From that moment in the summer of 1970 when set off on our Musical Odyssey the world opened up and the rollercoaster ride started! He eventually followed his heart and moved to the USA. First New York then LA. Rest in Peace brother. All my love. Andy” via The Sweet Official on Facebook
  The Sweet were arguably one of the biggest bands to emerge from the glam-rock era of the early 1970s. Some of their hit songs include The Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, and Love is Like Oxygen. Although another music industry legend has left us, his legacy lives on. The band has tour dates set for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Starting in July, they will be visiting eight countries including Belgium, Slovakia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, UK, and Austria. Visit the Sweet’s website for more info.   See also: 88rising Announces Livestream Festival, ASIA RISING Forever ‘One World: Together At Home’ Raises $127.9 million for COVID-19 Crisis Rapper Pop Smoke Killed By Four Masked People

Whoopi Goldberg’s Response to Bella Thorne’s Leaked Nudes Sparks New Debate

Actress and singer Bella Thorne was forced to leak her own nudes, after being threatened by a hacker on Sunday, hours after promoting her book, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul. In an open letter that she shared on Twitter, she declared to her hacker, “I can sleep tonight better knowing that I took my power back. U can’t control my life, you never will.”

Although, initial responses congratulated Bella for not giving into the hacker and applauded her strength in sharing the photos online, Whoopi Goldberg suggested Bella was partly to blame.  On Monday’s episode of The View, where Whoopi is a host, she stated: “If you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are. You don’t take nude photos of yourself.” Whoopi added, “If you don’t know this in 2019, that this is an issue, I’m sorry… You cannot be surprised if someone’s hacked you, especially if you have stuff on your phone.”

Many have taken Whoopi Goldberg’s statements as pure “victim blaming”; however, others have highlighted that Whoopi merely stated the cold, hard truth in her brutally honest fashion.

Thorne promptly responded to the comments in a series of Instagram videos and posts. In a letter penned to Whoopi, that she shared onto her Instagram story, Bella wrote, “ Dear Whoopi, I have loved you for so long but honestly I’m so displeased and saddened by your response to my le[a]k. Blaming girls for taking the photo in the first place? Is sick and honestly disgusting…I’m offended for anyone out there who has ever taken a sexy photo.”

KISS FM’s morning show host, Angie Taylor, also told Goldberg to “stand down” and came to the singer’s defence.

Nonetheless, this does open the issue of whether people, particularly celebrities, should be more careful about sharing and storing extremely personal photos of themselves on apps and storage databases. The incident invites another question of whether any lessons were learnt following the countless iCloud hacks in 2014, where celebrity nudes were shared onto an event title, Fappening. The scandal’s famous victims included Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande and Brie Larson. In the public sphere, nudes have also been the subject of “revenge porn”, following relationships taking a sour turn.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jennifer Lawrence labelled the iCloud hacks a “sex crime.” The man behind the iCloud hacks was Ryan Collins from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison.  Lawrence highlighted in the interview the need for new legislation to be enforced to ensure hackers think twice, before publicly posting photos.

Ultimately, should more young people be willing to take responsibility for posting nudes online or is it only natural with growing digitalisation, that we create new legislation to protect personal photos from being stolen by hackers?

See also: Teen Actress Thalia Tran on Preparing for “Little” 
Kylie Jenner Throws “Handmaid’s Tale” Themed Party, Incenses Everybody

Kanye West Opens Up About Being Bipolar and His Mental Health

A recently released sneak peak of David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction reveals Kanye West opening up about his mental health struggles. In the interview, the rapper candidly narrates his personal experiences being bipolar and coping with the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Speaking about how bipolar has affected him, he tells Letterman, “You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone…When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything, everyone.

“This is my experience, other people have different experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things.”

Kanye West’s mental health journey

Concerns regarding Kanye West’s mental health first came to light in 2016, after the rapper was hospitalized at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center following, what was classified at the time, a psychiatric emergency. The hospitalisation was believed to the result of chronic sleep deprivation and subsequent mental exhaustion and occurred just hours after Kanye cancelled his remaining performances on his Saint Pablo Tour.

Two years after his November hospitalisation, Kanye discussed his bi-polar diagnosis through his album, Ye,which was released in June 2018. Debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200, the album featured artists such as Ty Dolla Sign, Caroline Shaw, Benny Blanco, Irv Gotti and Che Pop.

The album’s name originates from the word “ye” in the Bible and touches upon the last two letters of Kanye’s name that also appear in his Twitter handle.

Bipolar is my ‘superpower’

In a video interview with Big Boy TV, Kanye gave during his picturesque listening party for the album in Wyoming, he discussed the origins of the album’s name in greater detail, “Ye” means “you”… It went from Kanye, which means “the only one,” to just Ye —just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”

The lyrics forming the album’s lead single, “Yikes,” directly confront his symptoms of bipolar disorder and expresses to the audience the importance of prioritizing getting help. Kanye wraps up the single’s chorus, “Yikes, shit can get menacin’, frightenin’, find help” and “Sometimes I scare myself, myself,” by titling his bipolar his ‘superpower’. “Yikes” seeks to absolve the stigma placed onto individuals with bipolar and mental illnesses, and Kanye emphasizes this by asserting that his bipolar disorder has turned him into a superhero.

Fighting the stigma around mental illness

The stigma of crazy attached to mental illness is a subject Kanye describes to David Lettermanas another way of society being able to “write you off.”

He tells Letterman, “They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much. Sometimes, for me, I think it’s a form of protection for me, because if I’m peeping something that people don’t want me to think about or know as a celebrity, ‘Oh, he’s just crazy,’ and then I go home. If they didn’t think I was crazy, it may be a problem.”

The full interview is set to be aired on May 31 on Netflix.

See also: What is Camp, Anyway? Our Fave Met Gala Looks

Dr. Sherry Benton on Mental Health Support at College

Mads Mikkelsen Open Up About Polar, Gymnastics and Playing the Bad Guy

Mads Mikkelsen has starred in everything from Hannibal to Casino Royale, The Hunt and Doctor Strange, and he’s here to talk to College News about his latest movie on Netflix: Polar.

One of Denmark’s biggest actors, Mads Mikkelsen commands the screen as Duncan Vizla, a recently retired assassin better known to his colleagues as Black Kaiser. It’s graphic, it’s intense and it’s a journey about grief, friendship and redemption.

COLLEGE NEWS: First things first, can you tell our readers a bit about your upcoming film, Polar?

MADS MIKKELSEN: Polar is based on a graphic novel—it’s about a hit man who is supposed to retire and, in his effort of doing so, he tries to go out into the real world and see if he fits in there. But he’s quite socially awkward and bumps into another person who’s equally socially awkward, and it becomes a funny little meeting between these two characters. On the other side, we have a simultaneously running story where a high-paced film is taking place—crazy action characters who are chasing and hunting down this character. So these two different entities will eventually collide in the film and that’s part of the journey.

CN: How did you first become involved with the project and its director?

MM: The graphic novel came my way a few years ago and I loved every thing about it. Then it came again with Jonas [Åkerlund] attached to it and then we started discussing and coming up with ideas and polished the script more and more together with writers. Jonas was just a fantastic match, he’s a completely insane person, and I think that really was a good match for this film.

CN: So, you’re playing a retired assassin who shows younger killers a thing or two–how would you say your approach towards acting has developed as you’ve grown older?

MM: I don’t know really. I mean, it’s one of those questions that’s really difficult to answer as an actor. I think if you asked someone who’s 90—what are their techniques, what have they learned—they would always say “can you just wait one year, I don’t know.” One of the things I have learned, years ago, is that the better everyone is in a scene, the better the scene is, the better you are. If anyone feels uncomfortable in a scene, it’s everybody’s job to make this person not uncomfortable and to do their best. So we need each other to make a good scene.

CN: Do you have any favourite or most challenging scenes to shoot from Polar?

MM: Well the most difficult ones were obviously some of the long stunt sequences which, in the nature of themselves, are quite difficult. It doesn’t make it easier that I’m not wearing any clothes and it’s taking place in a concrete hallway, you know.

And it’s very cold, so that was by far the most difficult. Some of my favorites were the ones I had with Vanessa [Hudgens]. These two awkward people who are trying to have a normal conversation and it turns out to be quite awkward… and I love those scenes—they’re sweet and comedic in a subtle way.

CN: Can you tell our readers about how you first got into acting?

MM: It was kind of strange; there were some detours in my life. I was a gymnast. After that I discovered dancing, because I wanted to do some flips in the background of a musical. And then the choreographer of that musical asked me if I wanted to learn that craft and that was a Billy Elliot kinda thing.

I was a working class kid learning how to dance. So, I did that for ten years and through the dancing thing I discovered acting. I was very pleased about that; I thought I might have been a little more in love with the drama of dancing than the aesthetics of dance, so I applied for a drama school and I went in and then from there on I’ve been an actor and so far, I love it.

CN: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

MM: There are obvious highlights that people would point out, and of course, you would have to mention winning at Cannes with The Hunt. Being part of the Bond franchise was a highlight. But there are many highlights in the sense of personal highlights, you know? Certain things you discover, certain things you’re very proud of, and I try to make my next project the highlight every time. I just try to make this the most important thing, so it doesn’t become a stepping-stone in my career but it becomes the most important thing. I think that’s the best approach I can have.

CN: What does your future career look like at the moment?

MM: I’ve got a couple of months off. Then I will hopefully start up something this coming year with Thomas Vinterberg that I’m looking very much forward to.

See also: Everything There is to Know About Psalm West

Our Favourite Films Directed by Women This Year

Rampage Jackson in Conversation: Wrestling, Acting and Family

When I speak to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the professional fighter turned actor, it turns out he’s remarkably kind and funny—something, which, if I’m honest with myself, I hadn’t expected from a man called “Rampage.”

Rampage Jackson’s career is impressive and diverse. His first big break in the wrestling world came in 2001 in Japan in the country’s Pride Fighting Championships.

A few years after that in 2006, he started fighting in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships). Coinciding with his rising success in the professional fighting world was the world’s growing interest in professional fighting, and it was this media attention that helped him launch his acting career.

His jump into acting came during time off he had to take to nurse an injury. He was cast in a movie, and after watching Jackson act, the director told him he was a natural.

“He said I should pursue acting, and so I did—that was that,” Jackson says.

When Jackson started wrestling in high school, he took it up as a hobby to stay fit. He never would have predicted that after school activity would lead him on to a legendary wrestling career and starring roles in major films. “Not in a million years!” Jackson exclaims.

On his acting break

Arguably, Jackson’s biggest break came when he landed the role of B.A. Baracus in The A-Team (2010). Until then, he had been firmly in the wrestling world—when he wasn’t fighting for UFC, he was working on small films about fighting. The A-Team brought him a much broader audience on a much larger screen, alongside Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel.

Working on the film was great, Jackson tells me. He had been a fan of the television show The A-Team when he was a kid. “I loved Mr. T!” he says. But acting on that level was a learning experience. “You know, I had to bring my A-game, because those guys are great actors. I had the least experience out of everybody,” he says, but then adds:

“But you know, my role was perfect for me because all I had to say was ‘Shut up, fool!’”

Jackson still remembers how lucky he felt just to be working on The A-Team.

During the audition, he forgot one of his lines, he admits. “But in that moment, I remembered my acting coach told me, ‘If you mess up, don’t break character, just pause and remember your lines, and then go from there.’ So that’s exactly what happened when I forgot my lines—I took a nice deep pause, and then I remembered my line.

“And right when I said it, the director was like, ‘Cut! Cut!’ And I thought I messed up, but he was like ‘Excellent!’

And we walked away, and he said, ‘You got the part.’ He told me later actually that test is what got me that part.”

Ramnpage Jackosn On fame

“It was real strange,” Jackson says, when I ask him how his life changed when he suddenly found himself in the public eye.

Particularly because the UFC and MMA weren’t as popular when his career started as they are now, Jackson never anticipated the attention.

“At the beginning of my career, I was fighting in Japan. And that was nice, being famous in Japan,” Jackson says. “Not gonna lie, I loved it. I loved the attention in Japan, ‘cause then I could come home, and nobody knew who I was. I could be a regular guy.

“I was a big guy, and people could tell I was an athlete but no one knew that I was a professional athlete really, only the hardcore MMA fans. But it was around 2007, when I won the belt in America, and it changed my life overnight.

Suddenly my neighbors knew who I was, and you know, there was less privacy. The more popular you get, the less privacy you get.”

On family

Jackson made headlines last year when he said in an interview with ESPN that he regretted how much time he was away from his family owing to his demanding career. The fighter moved away from his hometown of Memphis when his little sister was only eight. He tells me that on a recent visit back to Tennessee, he realized all of his cousins had grown up and had kids—kids he hasn’t gotten to meet.

“If you’re gonna follow your dreams, make sure you’re okay with leaving your loved ones behind sometimes,” Jackson says, when I ask him what advice he would give to young wrestlers who are just starting out. “Me? My dreams brought me out to California, and I had to leave my hometown. Sometimes your dreams take you places, and there are consequences you won’t realize in the moment. I can’t really tell people, ‘oh don’t follow your dreams because you’re gonna leave your family behind.’ Just make sure and make time to still go and be with your family, because family is everything.”

On the physical toll

At age 40, Jackson’s reflections on his fighting career, including the toll it’s taken on his body, are thoughtful.

“You know, I’ve been doing sports since I was 17, so I got a lot of bumps and bruises along the way,” he tells me.

These days, Jackson works with cbdMD, a company that sells hemp-derived CBD oil products as a natural alternative to chronic pain— products that have helped him a great deal.

“Thank God for cbdMD,” he says. “The products have really changed my life. I’ve been complaining less in the gym. My coaches are happier with me, because now I’m performing better. They took a lot of pain away and some of my smaller injuries have healed up.”

It’s not just him—it’s also his dog that’s benefitted from cbdMD. “I didn’t even know they offered dog treats!” Jackson exclaims about his discovery. “I’ve got an older dog that had a bum leg, and CBD helped him out a lot. You know, he’s 12 years old. That’s 70-something in dog years—maybe even 80. So, he’s really old, and he’s doing a bit better now.”

Rampage Jackson on how cbdMD has benefitted him. Image courtesy of Rampage Jackson.

On social media

Because today, social media is a large part of the work of being a celebrity, I’m curious if Jackson has any rules for himself in how he approaches it. Jackson has 500,000 Instagram followers and has managed to avoid controversy enough to stay out of the headlines. But he says no— he’s just himself online.

“I like to have fun with it. I try to be as sociable as I can. You know, it’s a fun tool to connect with fans that you would never see. Honestly, I don’t do anything different,” Jackson says.

Well… “The only thing,” Jackson says, “is that sometimes you get annoying people on social media, they just slide into your DMs and be like “sup?” I don’t know what to do with that.”

I ask him if he ever answers. “Hell no! I used to talk to a lot of fans in my DMs, until I found out that once you accept their DM, then they can DM anytime. They be out, living in your DMs. They just move right in—they’re like those friends that sleep on your couch for a few days, and next thing you know it’s been two years, and they’re eating all your leftovers in your refrigerator.”

What’s next for Rampage Jackson?

Rampage Jackson has two new movies coming out soon. A Psycho’s Path, due to be released in fall 2019, is about a sadistic killer roaming the streets of a sleepy desert town. This is his first time working on a horror film.

The other movie is an action film. Boss Level, with Rashad Evans, Mel Gibson and Ken Jeong, is about a retired special forces officer trapped in a never-ending time loop on the day of his death. It’s due to come out in summer 2019.

“They’ve got me looking funny in it though,” Jackson says. “I’m playing a German guy—that’s all I’m gonna say about that!”

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of College News. 

See also: Lamont Smith Resigns as San Diego Coach after Arrest

Los Angeles Angels Player Shohei Ohtani Hits First Home Run

Selma Blair’s Incredible Moment at the Oscars

Selma Blair’s Incredible Moment at the Oscars

Actress Selma Blair made headlines this week when she attended a post-Oscars party with an unusual accessory. To go with her Ralph & Russo mint green, powder blue and pink block gown, the Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde star turned heads as she walked with a monogrammed black cane which included a real pink diamond.

Blair suffers from multiple sclerosis, or MS, an incurable condition that affects the brain and spinal cord, creating problems such as double vision, partial blindness, muscle weakness, trouble with sensation and trouble with coordination.

She was diagnosed with MS in August 2018, and the Oscars were her first public event since announcing her diagnosis. Blair revealed that she had the condition in an Instagram post last October, writing, “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”

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I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. I have #multiplesclerosis . I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix , I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member… thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me , dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know. And share. 🖤 my instagram family… you know who you are.

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on

“If I can help anyone be more comfortable in their skin, it’s more than I’ve ever done before,” Blair said to Vanity Fair magazine.

Blair has received widespread support and encouragement for being so vocal about her condition. Among celebrities who have reached out to Blair to offer their support are Marc Jacobs, who has a handbag named after the actress; Amy Schumer, whose father suffers from MS; and Kris Jenner, who sent Blair an extravagant flower arrangement.

Figures suggest that nearly one million people are living with MS in the United States. Many MS sufferers and family members of MS sufferers have taken to social media to voice their appreciation for the actress bringing such a debilitating condition to light.

On Sunday at the Vanity Fair Oscars party, she told the magazine: “I really feel like people with disabilities are invisible to a lot of people.”

Looking ahead, Blair is interested in working with a fashion designer to create a line of clothes that are chic, yet also comfortable and able to be worn by those suffering from MS or other similar debilitating conditions.

She told Vanity Fair that one of her main complaints about MS is the lack of stylish clothing available to disabled people. It might sound frivolous, but to Blair, who has always used clothes as a form of self-expression, it is a matter of identity.

“I would like to partner with someone like Christian Siriano on a line for everyone—not just people who necessarily need adaptive clothing, but for those who want comfort, too. It can still be chic. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Like, let’s get elastic waistbands to look a little bit better.”

College News is all for it.

See also: Highlights from the 2019 Oscars

Highlights-from-the-2019-Oscars-

Highlights from the 2019 Oscars

On Sunday February 24, everyone who is anyone in Hollywood attended the entertainment industry’s biggest and most dazzling night of the year: The Oscars.

For some, the dream of winning an iconic golden Academy Awards statuette came true. For everyone else, the 2019 Oscars would surely be remembered as a night of powerful speeches, captivating performances, overdue breakthroughs and multiple backlashes (we’re looking at you Kevin Hart).

Here are the night’s highlights.

The talk of the town

If you’re not familiar with Hollywood’s latest imaginary love triangle, it involves the undeniably compatible stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Are the pair just friendship goals? Did Gaga leave fiancé Christian Carino because she’s secretly in love with Cooper? Why did Cooper’s girlfriend, model Irina Shayk, sit in-between the two at the awards ceremony? And, most importantly, did you see that steamy performance of Shallow?

Whatever fan-fic A Star Is Born enthusiasts are living, we’ve been team Gaga since her Just Dance days and we’re thrilled that she won Best Original Song on Sunday. 

Tweeted about by the President

 Spike Lee leapt into the arms of Samuel L Jackson as he was finally presented with his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. But it wasn’t the endearing bromance or the fact that Lee’s outfit paid tribute to his friend Prince that got viewers, and the President, talking.

“Do not turn the motherfucking clock on,” Lee said about the organizer’s 90-second time limit before using his acceptance speech to talk about how it is 400 years since “our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved”.

“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there,” he urged.

On Monday, President Trump struck back at the film director, accusing him of delivering a “racist hit” on Twitter.

“Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other Pres!” Trump wrote.

Defying fashion norms

While there were certainly some magical outfits at this year’s Oscars, none were as unapologetically magnificent as Billy Porter’s. The Pose star worked the red carpet in a custom creation by designer Christian Siriano, which included a tailored tuxedo jacket overtop a velvet gown.

“This industry masquerades itself as inclusive, but actors are afraid to play, because if they show up as something outside of the status quo, they might be received as feminine, and, as a result, they won’t get that masculine job, that superhero job,” the star told Vogue about his outfit-choice.

Captioning a snap of the ensemble for Instagram, Porter added: “When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up.”

Making history

This year’s Oscars saw African Americans who work behind the scenes picking up awards for the first time in decades.

“Wow, this has been a long time coming,” said Ruth E Carter when she became the first African American woman to win for costume design for Black Panther.

Marvel may have made the first black superhero, but through costume design we turned him into an African king.”

Her colleague, Hannah Beachler also made history as the first African American woman to win for production design.

A film about periods

Period. End of Sentence covers the deep-rooted stigma attached to menstruation in a rural village in India, and it won the award for Best Short Documentary despite an anonymous male member of the Academy recently feeling the need to share his thoughts about the film.

“[I’m not going to vote for] Period. End of Sentence—it’s well done, but it’s about women getting their period, and I don’t think any man is voting for this film because it’s just icky for men,” he wrote in his ballot outlining his selections for the year’s awards ceremony. Boy bye.

The film’s director, Rayka Zehtabchi’s summed up our feelings pretty accurately in her acceptance speech.

“I’m not crying because I’m on my period, or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!” She said.

Olivia Colman keeps it real

While she may not have been the favorite to take home the 2019 Best Actress award, British actress Olivia Colman reminded us all why she deserved the win with her down-to-earth acceptance speech.

“It’s genuinely quite stressful,” The Favourite star began, before adding: “This is hilarious. An Oscar. OK. I’d like to thank a lot of people, but if I forget people I’m going to find you later and give you a massive snog.”

The star told her children watching at home that “this is never going to happen again” before apologizing to fellow nominee Glenn Close.

“You’ve been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be,” she admitted.

Colman, who made her name in TV comedy prior to landing her award-winning role, had begun talking about how she had been a cleaner when she was told to wrap up her speech, leading her to promptly blow a raspberry at The Academy.

Lacking a host 

Without a single host (we’re still looking at you Kevin Hart), plenty of people who had something important to say were allotted time on stage during this year’s ceremony.

Immigration was a recurring theme, with Best Actor winner Rami Malek stating that he was a first-generation American. Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón thanked the academy for “recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman, one of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without work rights. A character who has historically been relegated to the background in cinema.

“As artists, our job is to look where others don’t. This responsibility becomes much more important in times where we are being encouraged to look away,” he said.

There was also many a Trump reference on Sunday night, with Keegan-Michael Key descending from the ceiling with a Mary Poppins-style umbrella only to discard it in apparent mockery of the President.

Barbra Streisand praised BlacKkKlansman “because it was based on the truth, and truth is especially precious these days” and 79-year-old congressman John Lewis spoke of his experiences in the civil rights movement before introducing the nomination of Green Book for best picture.

Speaking of Streisand, we’ll just leave Richard E Grant’s precious reaction to the legend gracing the stage at the ceremony, here. The actor recently shared his “lifelong fandom” for the star, along with the sweet letter that he had penned for her at the age of 14.

Further reading: Why Beyoncé’s Shout Out to Meghan Matters

See Also:
The Met Gala’s Best and Worst Dressed Highlights 

 

The-Biggest-Highlights-from-the-2019-Grammy-Awards

The Biggest Highlights from the 2019 Grammy Awards

The biggest night in the music industry came and went with minimal controversy. This year’s Grammy Awards were packed with touching speeches, well-deserved wins and stellar performances. We’re talking musical legends like Diana Ross and Dolly Parton, and a surprise appearance by the former First Lady herself.

Like any awards show however, Sunday’s 61st annual ceremony didn’t go off without a hitch. In case you missed any of the four-hour long action, we’ve rounded up the highlights, the gossip and a healthy amount of social media drama.

When they cut Drake’s speech off 

Perhaps in the biggest plot-twist of the night, Drake—who has notoriously boycotted previous Grammy ceremonies—actually showed up to collect his trophy for best rap song.

Celebrating the hit single God’s Plan from his 2018 album Scorpion, the rapper took the opportunity to remind his fellow artists that the Grammy’s do not a winner make.

“The point is you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown,” he said.

“Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and snow, spending money to buy tickets to your shows, you don’t need this right here. You already won. But—”

Drake was then cut off as the telecast went to a commercial, leaving viewers furious at the interruption.

Cardi B makes history

Cardi B won the best rap album award for her debut Invasion of Privacy, beating out Nipsey Hussle, Pusha T, Travis Scott, and the late Mac Miller, and becoming the first solo woman to take home the trophy.

The rapper gave an emotional speech that touched on her pregnancy and daughter, who was born in July.

“I want to thank my daughter,” she said. “I’m not just saying thank you because she’s my daughter. It’s because, you know, when I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete, like three songs that I was for sure having. And then you know, you know how it was, we was like, we have to get this album done so I could still do videos while I’m still not showing. And it was very long nights.”

Ariana Grande tweeted and then deleted a series of insults as Cardi B took the stage, beating Grande’s late ex-boyfriend Mac Miller to the trophy. The singer called Miller’s snub “trash” and “literal bullshit,” before writing “sry” and deleting the posts.

Grande clarified afterwards that her tweets had “nothing to do w [Cardi]. Good for her. I promise. I’m sorry,” and called someone out for calling Cardi “trash”: “she’s not at all and that’s not what I meant and u know that,” she wrote in another, now-deleted tweet.

In a video recorded backstage at the ceremony and posted to Instagram, Cardi B dedicated her win to Miller, promising that she was “sharing this Grammy” with the late rapper.

Ariana drama 

The night also saw Grande win her first Grammy award for best pop vocal album with her record Sweetener. After a public spat with the show’s producer however, the star took to Instagram to confirm that she would not be attending the ceremony.

“I know I’m not there tonight (trust, I tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and I know I said I try not to put too much weight into these things…this is wild and beautiful. Thank you so much. I love u,” she wrote on Sunday. 

Last week, the singer accused the organizer of the Grammys of lying about her reasons for withdrawing from a performance at the ceremony.

Grande still managed to steal the spotlight during the show however, dropping a series of photos that revealed her wearing her custom Zac Posen gown, which had been made for the event, around her house.

Women take center stage

This year, 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys led the show, stepping up as the first female host since Queen Latifah took on the role in 2005. Keeping the focus of the show on her love for music, she also enforced its female inclusivity. Last year’s ceremony was criticized for side-lining women, something that Keys was keen to address.

The star’s “sisters,” Lady Gaga, Jada Pinket-Smith and Jennifer Lopez, were invited onto the stage to each tell a personal story of how music changed their life and were joined by a certain former First Lady.

In a surprise appearance, Michelle Obama was forced to restart her speech, after her initial attempts were drowned out by applause.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side, to the Who Run The World songs that fueled me through the last decade, music helps me tell my story,” she said.

“Music helps us share ourselves, our dignities and our sorrows. Music shows us all of it matters, every story with every voice, every note in every song.”

Captioning a photo of the group that she posted to Twitter, the former First Lady said she showed up for her close friend Alicia Keys—“one of the most genuine and thoughtful people [she knows].” 

Powerful performances

Our favorite performances of the night included Alicia Keys’ piano medley on two pianos (at the same time), Dua Lipa and St. Vincent’s seriously cool collaboration with Masseduction/One Kiss, Lady Gaga’s theatrical performance of Shallow and Kacey Musgraves serene version of Rainbow.

In answer to the question: “Was Jennifer Lopez the right person to choose to do a Motown tribute?” We think not.

Big winners 

Childish Gambino took three of the night’s biggest awards—record of the year, song of the year and video of the year—for his track This Is America. The song became the first hip-hop track to win song of the year, with Alicia Keys and John Mayer accepting the award when the rapper and actor didn’t turn up to the ceremony.

Lady Gaga also won big, accepting two awards for the soundtrack for the movie A Star Is Born. Gaga used her speech to discuss the importance of opening up about mental health, revealing that she was “so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues” and adding: “We gotta take care of each other. So if you see somebody that’s hurting, don’t look away.”

While her co-star Bradley Cooper represented the film at the BAFTAs, Gaga bagged a further trophy for best vocal performance for Joanne.

Kacey Musgraves triumphed by winning album of the year and Dua Lipa was the only British artist to take home a trophy in a major category. Accepting her two trophies, Lipa made a small dig at the Recording Academy, thanking “all the incredible female artists” and saying “I guess we’ve really stepped up.” 

You can find a complete list of winners here.

Further reading: Kevin Hart Steps Down As Oscars Host

See Also:
The Met Gala’s Best and Worst Dressed Highlights 

Everything-you-want-to-know-about-Jennifer-Lawrence's-Engagement

Everything You Want to Know about Jennifer Lawrence’s Engagement

Jennifer Lawrence isn’t the kind of gal to rush onto Instagram and show off her flashy new diamond ring—one of the many reasons why we love her. However, this makes an in-depth Internet search for every single detail of her engagement an absolute necessity.

For those at the back: J. Law has a fiancé.

If you’re late to the search party, here’s what you need to know.

Who, why, how, when?

Following speculation on Tuesday night, after Lawrence was reportedly spotted out at Raoul’s in New York “rocking a massive ring on her finger”; her reps confirmed that she and Cooke Maroney are officially engaged.

In classic whirlwind romance fashion, the low-key couple started dating last summer and moved in together after just two months. Eight months in and it’s apparently official. Don’t worry, you can find snaps of the Oscar-winning actress’ mystery engagement ring here.

Spoiler: it’s stunningly modest, not “massive”.

Commit this name to memory

If you’re struggling to recall where you’ve heard the name Cooke Maroney before, that may be because you haven’t. Unlike Lawrence’s previous boyfriends—Chris Martin, Nicholas Hoult and Darren Aronofsky spring to mind—her latest and very much official beau isn’t famous.

Maroney, 34, studied art history at New York University and is now a director at Gladstone 64—the Gladstone Gallery’s Upper East Side Location. The gallery represents a number of high-profile artists, including Lena Dunham’s dad, Carroll Dunham.

Apparently, Maroney is a respected player in the industry, and a source told The Cut that he’s pretty chill but “goes to a lot of art-world parties.” Basically, you have permission to re-watch every episode of Gossip Girl in celebration.

Asking for a friend

Yes, he’s on Instagram, and yes, his account is private.

How did they meet? 

According to several reports, Lawrence’s non-celebrity best friend Laura Simpson introduced them last spring.

While we’re happy for the happy couple, we’re betting that their low-key relationship is indicative of a quiet wedding to come.

Further reading: Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas Are Married