Raising Malawi, the charity co-founded by Madonna, has announced it will begin construction, in collaboration with non-governmental organization buildOn, on 10 schools in the impoverished African nation of Malawi. The schools will not be managed by Madonna's charity, however, and will be run by the individual communities they serve.
"This remains a very big priority in my life and I am excited that with the help of buildOn we can maintain our ongoing commitment to move forward efficiently," Madonna said in a statement provided to The Associated Press (via Billboard).
Despite its good intentions, Raising Malawi has faced a variety of problems in the last several years. An audit by the Global Philanthropy Group in 2010 led to questions over salaries and benefits of officials running the organization, leading to the charity's executive director's resignation in October of that year. In January 2011, it was announced that Raising Malawi's flagship project, an all-girls school built and managed by the organization, was being abandoned. Two months later, the board of directors was removed and the charity was sued by former employees of the planned school for wrongful termination. The move to team with buildOn and leave control of the schools to the communities they serve appears to be the charity's first step in reorganizing and pushing through the turmoil to continue work toward the organization's mission to serve the nearly one million orphans in Malawi.
The newly announced plan calls for simple, more practical schools that will better serve their communities, according to Trevor Neilson, who is helping to direct the project alongside Global Philanthropy Group. In her statement, Madonna said the new approach will allow the program to serve twice as many children as before. Read More...
Reality TV terror Kim Kardashian is serious about this acting thing.
Not only did she hire three-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner Nicole Kidman's acting coach so she could give her all in director Tyler Perry's sure-thing awards contender "The Marriage Counselor,"
America's sweetheart Kardashian has signed up for a multi-episode arc on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." She will make her first appearance on this summer's season 4 premiere.
pop singer former Sketchers spokesmodel will play Nikki, the new love interest of Fred (Ben Feldman), who partners with his ex Stacy (April Bowlby) in a new business venture. Show creator and executive producer Josh Berman is excited about Kardashian's appearance, telling the Hollywood Reporter, "In discussing the role of Nikki with her, I'm blown away by her smarts, sense of humor and passion."
We bet. Probably has nothing to do with the amount of attention she'll bring the show.
The reality TV star, who gets Google alerts about herself (Hi, Kim!), is also set to appear on Tim Allen's ABC hit "Last Man Standing" in February.
Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, a favorite of Lady Gaga, is catching heat after presenting his Amy Winehouse-inspired spring/summer 2012 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Winehouse's family is a bit miffed that the over-the-top designer, perhaps best known as the man behind Madonna's famous cone bra bustier (which is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum), approximated Winehouse's signature style looks with a collection heavy on brightly-colored '60s style looks and beehive-sporting models wearing heavy black eyeliner. Gaultier admitted Winehouse directly inspired his collection, telling reporters, "Amy Winehouse was a true style icon. What she stands for above all, is uniqueness. Both in music and the way she dressed, she mixed a great many influences to create her style."
Well, Mitch Winehouse isn't feeling the love today and in a statement said the singer's family was upset when they saw images from the show, particularly because the look and presentation reflected the more troubled aspects of the "Back To Black" stars life and because Gaultier hadn't offered to make a donation to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, adding that the show was "purely about Gaultier making money."
Read Mitch Winehouse's strongly worded statement in full, after the jump. Read More...
It's been 13 years since their last album, 1999's The Autobiography of Reinhold Messner so it's time for your inner high school student to rejoice, twentysomethings – Ben Fold Five is reuniting!
Folds tweeted a photo of himself with his one-time (and we guess current) bandmates in the studio recording, saying, "It's happening fo sho - Day 1 in studio with Robert and Darren through March #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord."
Asked by a fan when the group expects to release their new record, Folds simply tweeted, "spring release."
Ben Folds, Twitter
Are you excited for a new Ben Folds Five record? Let us know in the comments below
The late Michael Jackson's children Prince, 14, Paris, 13, and Blanket, 9, celebrated their father today by helping stamp his famed sequined glove and a pair of his shoes in cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Justin Bieber and "Thriller" producer Quincy Jones hit the stage in front of the Hollywood landmark to speak about the King of Pop's influence. Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Katherine Jackson all attended the ceremony, which featured special performances by the cast of "Glee" and the Jackson-based Cirque Du Soleil show "Immortal." The ceremony was timed to coordinate with "Immortal's" first dates at Los Angeles' Staples Center. "Glee" will air its Michael Jackson tribute episode next week.
Jackson's children have been in the public eye far more in the years since his death, appearing at the Grammy Awards to accept an honor on behalf of their father and at the "Immortal" premiere in Canada. Paris Jackson appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in December to talk about her role in the film "Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys." She told the host that her father helped her prepare for the role. "We would do improv together," Jackson told DeGeneres. "He would give us little scenarios. He would (say), 'OK, in this scene you're going to cry' and I'd cry on the spot."
While the "S**t So and So Says" meme is a few weeks past its expiration date, we had to share this bit of goodness courtesy of the fine folks at "30 Rock."
NBC has assembled its own clip to add to the viral cannon, "S**t Liz Lemon Says." Anyone who's ever watched Tina Fey in action as Lemon knows she is a sound bite machine. (Tell me you don't know someone who says "I want to go to there" regularly?)
Check it out below. We promise to never contribute to the proliferation of this meme again. Unless, you know, a really funny one comes along in which case, yes, we totally will.
Much has been made about late night television being a boys club – from "The Daily Show" to "The Late Show with David Letterman," multiple shows have endured accusations of sexism – so it comes as something of a surprise that one late night host is now embroiled in a lawsuit charging the opposite.
A former staffer on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" is accusing the popular host of "gender bias" in a lawsuit filed in New York, saying he was fired from his job because Fallon "prefers to take direction from a woman" and that he was replaced by a "totally incompetent woman," according to papers obtained by TMZ. Paul Tarascio, the first stage manager on Fallon's NBC show, claims he isn't the only man to have lost his position because of Fallon's lady-preferring ways, alleging audio technicians and a prop-master were also replaced by women at the host's request.
NBC has not responded to the lawsuit at this time, but last year, when Tarascio filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York Division of Human Rights relating to the same issue, the network said, "Any claim of sexual discrimination is without merit."
The suit comes just weeks after David Letterman's comedy booker Eddie Brill was fired after making disparaging remarks about female comics in a New York Times profile. (For its part, "Late Show" execs say Brill was let go for "speaking to the press without authorization" and not his opinion.") Last summer, feminist blog Jezebel investigated what it referred to as "The 'Daily Show's' Woman Problem" and spoke with multiple former staffers, many of whom alleged the show was a "boys club" that cycled quickly through the few female employees it hired and created a "frustrating and alienating experience" for them while they were there.
Rihanna is a big fan of tattoos and it looks like she's added a bit more ink to her enviable bod.
The pop superstar paid a visit to famed tattoo artist Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club parlor in Hollywood, where she got a new tattoo honoring late rapper Tupac Shakur, reading "Thug Life" in pink ink. Check it out below:
Of her new tat, the "We Found Love" singer tweeted, "All these b**ches screaming that 2pac back #THUGLIFE."
One more shot of RiRi getting inked after the jump. Looks like she got a little something below the belt too! Read More...
It's been a big year for "How I Met Your Mother" star Jason Segel and it just got even bigger – Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals has named the actor-writer its Man of the Year.
Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest drama group, has bestowed its Man of the Year honor on a pretty esteemed bunch of entertainers, from directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese to actors including Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, but it really prizes Renaissance men. It's most recent honorees have included multi-hyphenate showmen like James Franco, Justin Timberlake, Tim Robbins and Robert Downey Jr.
Segel is certainly a move in that same direction, as the star is currently everywhere you look wearing a variety of caps, acting on TV's "How I Met Your Mother" and in hit films like "Bad Teacher" and the well-reviewed "Jeff Who Lives At Home" and writing flicks like "Forgetting Sarah Marshal." Sometimes he combines both, as he did for "The Muppets" starring in and writing the critically acclaimed box office hit.
Expect the nudity prone performer to put on quite a show when he's roasted in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 3.