U2 frontman Bono has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela by writing an essay on the late anti-apartheid revolutionary.
The 53-year-old singer, who along with his bandmates contributed the song "Ordinary Love" to the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - based on the former South African President's autobiography of the same name - penned an extended piece on the anti-apartheid leader, who died last night aged 95, after hearing of his passing.
In 1051-word essay for Time magazine entitled "The Man Who Could Not Cry," Bono - who has helped try to end global poverty for a number of years - described Mandela as a "forceful presence" in his life since 1979. "As an activist I have pretty much been doing what Nelson Mandela tells me since I was a teenager. He has been a forceful presence in my life going back to 1979, when U2 made its first anti-apartheid effort. Over the years we became friends. I, like everyone else, was mesmerized by his deft maneuvering as leader of South Africa. It certainly fell to Mandela to be great. His role in the movement against extreme poverty was critical. He worked for a deeper debt cancellation, for a doubling of international assistance across sub-Saharan Africa, for trade and private investment and transparency to fight corruption. Without his leadership, would the world over the past decade have increased the number of people on AIDS medication to 9.7 million and decreased child deaths by 2.7 million a year? Without Mandela, would Africa be experiencing its best decade of growth and poverty reduction? His indispensability can't be proved with math and metrics, but I know what I believe..." he wrote.
Amy Winehouse's father would never allow a biopic to be made.
Mitch Winehouse has shot down ideas of a movie to be made about his late daughter - who died of alcohol poisoning in 2007 - but he would like a concert to be arranged in memory of the "Valerie" singer.
"I don't really want to do a biopic. A concert would be amazing, but it's actually getting it together with the [record label]. It sounds great in theory, but in practice it's not so easy. We are talking about it though," he said.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has vowed not to follow in the footsteps of the "Body And Soul" hitmaker - who died at the age of 27 - and is determined to curb her drug use and wild behaviour so she doesn't die young. "I want to live and I want my fans to live. I don't want them to torture themselves in the way I have. I want to show people that I will last past 27 and I will last longer, and so will you," she previously said.
Lou Reed died of liver disease.
The legendary Velvet Underground frontman and pioneer of modern rock passed away on Sunday aged 71, and it has now been confirmed he died of complications with his liver, which he had been suffering with for a year.
The "Perfect Day" star had undergone a liver transplant in April and also had to cancel his Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California due to his illness. The transplant initially appeared to be a success and Lou was looking forward to the future and to returning to performing. "I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than ever," he wrote on Facebook in June.
However, more recently the singer and guitarist had taken a turn for the worse and when it was confirmed the disease had entered its final stages he refused further treatment and returned home. "We all agreed that we did everything we could," his doctor, Charles Miller, told the New York Times.
The Who "feel the ghosts" of Keith Moon and John Entwistle. The group's guitarist Pete Townshend admits he and bandmate Roger Daltrey find it difficult to capture the essence of the band without the late members, and it has been particularly hard since bassist John died in 2002.
"We feel the ghosts of Keith and John. The second phase of the Who in a sense was really when we started to tour again around the year 2000, 2001. We were still able to evoke the sound, particularly with [drummer] Zak Starkey. Now it's much more difficult even though Zak's there.
Nas pays tribute to the late Amy Winehouse in his new music video.
The tragic singer - who died last July aged 27 - appears from beyond the grave by singing in the rapper's latest song "Cherry Wine," with her image projected onto a brick wall. The tribute ends with a black and white image of Amy with the words, "In memory, Amy Winehouse (1983 - 2011)," and Nas believes the track came directly from "God and Amy."
"It was chilling. A feeling of bitter sweetness, wishing that she was here. The director was genius. My main concern was being able to put her in the video in a respectful way," Nas told The Daily Star.
Nas has hit back at critics who claim he was cashing in on Amy's death by using her image: "I'm gonna write for my sister, that's what we do. If what had happened to her happened to me I would have expected the same from my friends."
An exhibition paying homage to Whitney Houston was opened in Los Angeles yesterday. The event, entitled "Whitney! Celebrating The Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston," was launched at the Grammy Museum so fans can pay their respects to the late singer as well as seeing how talented she was.
Pat Houston - Whitney's manager and sister-in-law - attended the press preview yesterday as did her other sister-in-law Donna Houston and her brother Gary. "We have picked the things that people will find the most interesting and, in many cases, bring back fun memories. We are really very overjoyed that we are here today to represent and be a part of such a wonderful and splendid career of such a beautiful and talented woman," Pat said.
Robin Gibb has died. The Bee Gees singer has passed away after a battle with cancer aged 62. His family, including wife, Dwina, brother, Barry, daughter Melissa, 37, and sons Spencer, 39, and Robin-John, 29, had been keeping a vigil at his bedside at a hospital in London in recent weeks.
"The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time," said a statement released by relatives.
Robin had surgery on his bowel last year for an unrelated condition, but a tumor was discovered and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and then liver. He was recently thought to be in remission, but his condition worsened when he was diagnosed with pneumonia last month.
In February Robin told how he felt "fantastic" and had made spectacular progress in his cancer battle, and even returned to the stage, receiving a standing ovation when he appeared at a London Palladium charity concert supporting injured servicemen and women with The Soldiers, performing Bee Gees tracks "How Deep Is Your Love" and "I've Gotta Get A Message To You."
Donna Summer has died at the age of 63. The "Last Dance" singer passed away this morning in Florida after a battle with cancer. According to gossip website TMZ, the Queen of Disco had attempted to keep the extent of her illness from fans and was recently trying to finish up her latest album.
Donna was a five-time Grammy Award winner and the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the Billboard chart. She also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a thirteen-month period.
Donna, who was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in 1948, married actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 before giving birth to the couple's daughter Mimi later that year. Although the marriage crumbled in 1975, she kept an altered version of her ex's surname to use as her stage name. She married Brooklyn Dreams musician Bruce Sudano in 1980 and the couple went on to have two daughters, Brooklyn, born in 1981 and Amanda the following year. In 1994, the family moved from Los Angeles to Nashville where Donna took time out from showbusiness to focus on painting but had recently returned to the recording studio.
Tom Jones wanted to work with Whitney Houston.
The "What's New P***y Cat" singer - who has worked with the likes of Elvis Presley and the Stereophonics in the past - thinks Amy Winehouse's death at 27 last July was particularly tragic as she hadn't left a substantial body of work, unlike the "I Will Always Love You" hitmaker, who passed away in February aged 48.
"Poor Amy Winehouse. At least someone like Whitney Houston left a legacy of great stuff but Amy, she was only just getting into gear. I would love to have worked with Whitney, but I never got to," he said.
Tom is disparaging about many modern day singers, believing they are too focused on "vocal acrobatics."
"Don't get me wrong, I think there are some great voices around. But record companies hear something and they want more of it. So now if you don't put a lot of runs in, a lot of vocal acrobatics, they think you're not being modern enough. Jackie Wilson did it years ago, but when he did it, it fitted to what it was. Nowadays, because they feel it is in fashion, they do it anyway."
Beastie Boys musician Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz has paid tribute to his late bandmate Adam Yauch following his death.
The 45-year-old star praised the hip-hop group's fans, family and friends for all the "love and support" they have shown to the 47-year-old rapper, also known as MCA, since he passed away on Friday after battling cancer in his parotid gland and a lymph node since 2009.
"as you can imagine, s**t is just fkd up right now. but i wanna say thank you to all our friends and family (which are kinda one in the same) for all the love and support. i'm glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him. thank you. (sic)" Ad-Rock wrote in a post on the band's blog last night.
A number of stars have paid tribute to MCA - who founded the group with Kate Schellenbach, John Berry, and Michael Diamond (Mike D) in 1979 with Berry leaving in 1983 to be replaced by Ad-Rock - including Madonna, who took to her Facebook page to express her sadness about his passing: "The Beastie Boys were one of a kind! And so was Adam! They were all an important part of my musical history and integral to the musical revolution that was happening at the time. I'm very sad to hear about Adam's passing. God bless him and his family."
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