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January 30, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
One thing is clear about the revocation of a film's Oscar nomination: It almost never happens. The nullification Tuesday night of an original song nomination for the composer and lyricist of "Alone Yet Not Alone" - an arrangement sung by a quadriplegic pastor in a faith-based movie of the same name - is only the fourth instance of an Oscar nomination being rescinded in the awards' 86-year history. It is the first time an Oscar nomination has been rescinded from a full-length U.S. feature (the other instances involved shorts, docs or foreign films)
January 30, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik and Glenn Whipp
It was always a long shot. Now, an Oscar nominee for best original song has no shot at all. In a startling turn, the Motion Picture Academy has revoked the nomination of "Alone Yet Not Alone," the song from a faith-based movie of the same name, citing improper actions by one of the songwriters. Bruce Broughton, who penned the song's music, also serves on the executive committee of the academy's music branch, whose members vote on the song nominations. The academy said Broughton improperly emailed members of the branch during the voting period, urging them to listen to "Alone Yet Not Alone.
January 29, 2014 | By Martha Groves
Beverly Hills turned 100 on Tuesday and celebrated with a concert and sing-along featuring notable current and former residents. Betty White kicked off the evening at the historic Saban Theater by singing a spirited rendition of the Beverly Hills High School fight song. The veteran TV and film star, 92, was flanked by Beverly Hills High football players. A capacity crowd of 1,500 sang along as maestro Gary Greene led the L.A. Lawyers Philharmonic in performing classics written by Beverly Hills notables, including George and Ira Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band" and Cole Porter's "Anything Goes.
January 29, 2014 | By Susan Denley
Fashion blogger and designer Aimee Song of Song of Style and Soul Cycle are hosting a charity ride to benefit the Thompson-Mason Brain Cancer Foundation . The ride consists of a one-hour stationary bike class from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Soul Cycle West Hollywood, 8570 Sunset Blvd. in Sunset Plaza. The event is sponsored by Soffe Apparel . Tickets are $40 and may be purchased on eventbrite . All proceed are earmarked for the foundation, which aims to help low-income patients and their families.
January 29, 2014 | By Randall Roberts
Pete Seeger was best known as a folk singer, an archivist and writer, and the purveyor of such beamed-from-the-heavens standards as "We Shall Overcome," "If I Had a Hammer" and "Turn, Turn, Turn. " But among the musician's most important roles was one that's often overlooked: that of an American citizen who understood the power of song to serve as messenger, as Trojan horse, as lightning rod. It's hard to imagine a song steering and stirring more than "We Shall Overcome. " The work long ago became less the domain of Seeger, who helped popularize it when he published it in "People's Songs," than a sacred text owned by anyone longing for justice.
January 27, 2014 | By Claudia Luther, This article has been corrected, as indicated below.
Pete Seeger was a teenager in the 1930s when he heard an Appalachian balladeer perform on an old-fashioned, five-string banjo and fell in love with the instrument, the timeless melodies and, most of all, the words. "Compared to the trivialities of most popular songs," he said later, "the words of these songs had all the meat of human life in them.... They seemed frank, straightforward, honest. " In time, Seeger would arm himself with a banjo, a guitar and the transformative power of music to battle injustice in America and become the folk legend behind numbers such as "We Shall Overcome," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Turn!
January 26, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
"Royals," Lorde's deadpan indictment of pop-star consumption run amok, was named song of the year Sunday at the 56th Grammy Awards, extending the success of a tune that spent nine straight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. A songwriting prize, the Grammy went to Lorde (born Ella Yelich-O'Connor) and Joel Little, who also produced the track. In its recorded form, "Royals" was nominated as record of the year and in the pop solo performance category; Lorde's album "Pure Heroine" earned a nod as pop vocal album too. "Everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece / Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash," Lorde sings, "We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair.
January 23, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
PARK CITY, Utah--When we most recently saw Anne Hathaway in a movie with musical numbers it was the large, showy spectacle of “Les Miserables,” in which Hathaway, of course, played the tragic prostitute Fantine. At this year's Sundance Film Festival, however, the Oscar winner has been displaying a different kind of acting in a music-themed movie. In “Song One,” Hathaway plays Franny, a PhD student who, after her subway busking brother is hit by a car and falls into a coma, enters into a delicate relationship with a soulful musician whom her brother idolizes.
January 16, 2014 | By Todd Martens
U2, Pharrell Williams and Karen O -- names more befitting of Grammy nominations than the Oscars -- are among the contenders for the Academy Award for original song. Here, the heavy-hitters are all underdogs, as they will have to vie for Oscar gold on March 2 with "Let it Go," the scene-stealing statement of tuneful independence that serves as a turning point in Disney's animated phenom "Frozen. "  The tune was written by the  husband-and-wife songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, veterans of the stage who brought a Broadway-worthy moment to "Frozen.
January 4, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Taylor Swift energetically paced the room of her West Hollywood hotel on a recent visit to Los Angeles. "I'm trying to outrun the jet lag," she said with a smile, looking far from ragged in her matching purple sweater and skirt. Before landing in L.A., she'd flown from Australia to London, then on to Nashville on her way back from the latest leg of her "Red" tour. But Swift, 24, is nothing if not game to be front and center for every facet of her career, so she committed to the schlep to L.A. for a Directors Guild of America screening of "One Chance," the film that's earned her a second Golden Globe Award nomination for her original song, "Sweeter Than Fiction.
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