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Celebrity Tributes Pour in for Etta James

Beyoncé, rap mogul Russell Simmons, rocker Nathan Followill, actress Jessica Alba and hip-hop star ?uestlove are among the celebrities who have paid tribute to soul icon Etta James following her death last Friday. The music veteran passed away at a hospital in Riverside, Calif., after suffering complications from leukemia. She was 73.

As news of her tragic death broke, a host of stars turned to the Internet in remembrance of the legendary singer. Followill, who was among the first to tweet about James, wrote, “RIP Etta James. One of the greatest voices of all time. Thanks for the many romantic moments your music created.”

Beyoncé, who played James in the movie “Cadillac Records” and sang James’ famous hit “At Last” at President Obama’s inaugural ball, posted a message on her website: “This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.”

Simmons simply posted, “RIP Etta James,” while ?uestlove wrote, “rip to Etta James. i will hold the torch high for The Roots name in your honor.”

Motley Crue rocker Nikki Sixx wrote, “RIP Etta James. Your music soothed and ignited passion in so many of us,” and rapper MC Hammer wrote, “When she sang she had the Gift to become ‘The Song’, the pain, the love, the Glory. RIP Etta James.”

Alba tweeted, “RIP EttaJames u r a legend and 1 of my all time favs -thank you for giving us all the gift of song -what a voice!” R&B star Kelly Rowland wrote, “CLASSIC. ONE OF A KIND. PURE SOUL. ETTA JAMES! Thank You for gracing us with your incredible talent & presence!”

British pop star Jessie J posted, “Just been told the legend that is Etta James has passed. Thank you for your voice your dedication to us and your gift. Your voice is timeless and will forever live on. I will always look to you for inspiration. R.I.P”

Meanwhile, former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley remembered James by tweeting lyrics from her classic song “At Last” as other tributes poured in from actors Mia Farrow, Jamie Bell, Denise Richards and Emmy Rossum, singer Estelle, country star Chely Wright and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.



Steven Tyler Screeches the National Anthem

Here’s the big question, of course: Would “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler have gotten through to the next round? Judging by the audience reaction that could be heard during his performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s AFC Championship game — were those really boos for the Aerosmith legend? — maybe not…

Tyler’s rendition was off-key in places, screechy in most others and he messed up a lyric — it’s “the bombs bursting in air,” not “as bomb bursting in air.” Though he does get rock star fashion points for the festive scarf he was sporting to support his team (the AFC champion New England Patriots).


Golden Globes 2012 Winners’ List

The 2012 Golden Globe Awards took over Hollywood on Sunday evening (January 15) with Ricky Gervais once again at the helm and all of Tinseltown in his joke-slinging sights. A much more staid affair than last year’s show – save for some of the host’s zingers and Seth Rogen’s reference to his “male appendage” — the ceremony capped a long week of statuette-accepting and speech-giving ahead of next month’s Oscars.

“The Artist” further solidified its spot at the front of the awards-season pack with three wins (including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical) and “The Descendants” (Best Motion Picture — Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama) showed that it could play the spoiler come Oscar night. The TV side was a more mixed affair, with no show dominating and high-profile wins going to newcomer “Homeland” (Best Television Series – Drama) and “Modern Family” (Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical).

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Madonna Addresses Gaga Copycat Controversy

 Madonna has finally weighed in on claims that Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way” ripped off her song “Express Yourself,” saying she thought the similarities were “interesting.”

In early 2011, Gaga came under fire following the release of “Born This Way” when critics and fans pointed out the melody was almost identical to the Material Girl’s 1989 classic. Gaga claimed she had received Madonna’s “complete support” for “Born This Way,” and now Madonna has finally voiced her opinion on the tune in several interviews while out promoting the release of her movie, “W.E.”

“I thought, ‘What a wonderful way to redo my song,'” she told Newsweek for a profile set to run on Jan. 30. “I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was … interesting.” And in an interview with ABC News’ Cynthia McFadden on “Nightline” last Thursday night, the singer was asked if she thought Gaga was “copying” her. Madonna said she thought Gaga was “a very talented artist” and said she admired her songwriting.” I certainly think she references me a lot in her work. And sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done,” she told McFadden. “There’s a lot of ways to look at it. I can’t really be annoyed by it … because, obviously, I’ve influenced her.”

Madonna also discussed Gaga in an interview for “The Graham Norton Show” which aired on BBC Friday. “When I first saw her [Gaga] I was really impressed by her and she was cool. She did remind me of me back in the day,” she said. “I do think she is very talented.”


Is Ricky Gervais Getting A Golden Globe Makeover?

Ricky Gervais is ready for his close-up all right—just as soon as he gets a little nip/tuck.Prepping for his return stint as host of the Golden Globes, the funnyman took to Twitter yesterday to joke about the makeover he’s supposedly giving himself after last year’s uproar when he took heat for skewering nominees with a slew of harsh zingers. While he’ll presumably have less wrinkles, one thing’s for sure—he hasn’t lost his bite!

Gervais tweeted a picture of himself holding up a wad of cash in front of a plastic surgery center with the caption, “Some last minute preparation so I don’t look out of place at the Golden Globes.” So much for a kinder, mellow Ricky. The British comedian also promises fans he’ll be tweeting from backstage “so you don’t miss me when I’m not on the air.”

“Might be even more fun as I have no TV censorship,” he tweete.

The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards is set to air live on NBC next Sunday beginning at 8 p.m.


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Ex-Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Weston Dies at 64

Bob Weston, a British guitarist who played with Fleetwood Mac, has died aged 64. Police say Weston’s body was found in his north London home last Tuesday after neighbors raised the alarm.

Police said Friday that his death was not being treated as suspicious. An autopsy revealed the causes of death as gastric intestinal hemorrhage, cirrhosis of the liver and throat problems.

Weston joined Fleetwood Mac in 1972 as replacement for Danny Kirwan, and played on the band’s albums “Penguin” and “Mystery to Me.” But during an American tour the next year, Mick Fleetwood discovered Weston was having an affair with his wife, Jenny Boyd. Weston was fired.

He released several solo albums and recorded with musicians including Long John Baldry, Murray Head and Steve Marriott.



Cee Lo Apologizes (Sort of) For Changing ‘Imagine’ Lyrics

Cee Lo Green certainly tried to kick off the new year with class, performing a rendition of John Lennon’s iconic “Imagine” on NBC’s Carson Daly-hosted New Year’s Eve telecast. But the hard-working “Voice” judge wound up causing a stir for altering the lyrics from “Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too” to “Nothing to kill or do for / And all religion’s true.”

Lennon fans responded angrily, and now Cee Lo has apologized. Kind of. Cee Lo tweeted “Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world where u could believe what u wanted that’s all.” (This tweet seems to have been deleted, but we tracked it down anyway).

Instead, Cee Lo replaced his tweet with a simple “Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!” That may be his way of saying he’d just prefer to move on. (So don’t expect him to perform this rendition when you catch “Loberace” in Las Vegas). Will Lennon’s fans let it be?


Doctor: “George Michael is Doing Well.”

A doctor treating George Michael says the British pop star is “doing well” as he recovers from pneumonia, but cannot say if he will be able to spend Christmas at home. Christoph Zielinski said “we know that he is doing well and we are generally optimistic” about his recovery.

Zielinski told state broadcaster ORF Tuesday that whether Michael can go home for Christmas “is something that we are not in the position to decide.” He said “that is something that must be decided in consultation with the patient.”

The ex-front man for the pop group “Wham” was admitted to Vienna’s AKH hospital late last month after canceling a performance in the Austrian capital.