Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lady Gaga Drops the Ball, Rocks Times Square

Receiving the honor of being selected to ring in the New Year in Times Square, Lady Gaga joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in dropping the ball in New York City on Saturday night (December 31).

The famous moment saw the "Edge of Glory" singer decked out in a fabulous Versace creation as she and the Big Apple leader ushered in 2012 by counting down the final seconds as the ball comprised of 22,000 LED lights embedded in Waterford Crystal descended from above.

Along with her joint effort with Mayor Bloomberg, Gaga also took the stage for a spectacular performance for the people lining the NYC streets, along with the millions of viewers watching the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012 show at home.

During her time in the spotlight, the 25-year-old offered up a medley of hits comprised of the trio of tunes "Heavy Metal Lover," "Marry the Night" and "Born This Way" - with the showcase available to be viewed in the player found above.


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Rooney Mara, As Lisbeth Salander, Does ?Entertainment Weekly? Magazine

Actress Rooney Mara can currently be seen in movie theaters here in the US (and around the world) as the anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander in the David Fincher-directed film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This week, she can also be seen on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine. The Salander character [...]


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'War Horse' Director Steven Spielberg Captures 'Beauty Of The Accident'

Actor Tom Hiddleston says, 'Every day, there is magic that will happen.'
By Kevin P. Sullivan

Tom Hiddleston in "War Horse"
Photo: DreamWorks

"He is the master." At the premiere of "War Horse," praise like this for the movie's director wasn't hard to come by.

For Tom Hiddleston, working with a director as talented as Steven Spielberg meant more than just acting under a guy who has made dozens of timeless films. Hiddleston told MTV News on the red carpet premiere of "War Horse" that working with Spielberg was more like a crash course in classic movie magic.

Spielberg recently directed the "Thor" star in "War Horse," a World War I-era drama about the connection between a boy and his horse. Hiddleston shared a few of the lessons he learned from the legendary director.

"He's a master craftsman," he said. "And what I learned from him, really, is that he's so impeccably prepared."

Hiddleston recalled Spielberg's habit of storyboarding many of the film's scenes, but that never stopped the director from making changes on the fly and running with them. "He turns up on set every day with an open mind and an open heart, because he still doesn't know where the magic is. And every day, there is magic that will happen."

But for Spielberg to find that magic, he has to keep both this cast and crew on their toes. For Hiddleston, this often meant changing direction on a moment's notice. "He just has to be sharp enough and on point enough that he's there to catch it and to keep his crew nimble and fleet of foot," Hiddleston explained. "So that if he suddenly sees something like the sun's in a particular place or something's happening between two actors, or in this case, an actor and a horse, that he can capture that, the beauty of the accident, and it lasts forever on film."

Check out everything we've got on "War Horse."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit


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Photos | Justin Bieber Takes Over New York City

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Britney Spears, Jason Trawick: A Timeline Of Their Love1676167

The couple started dating in 2009 while Trawick was still Britney's agent.
By Jocelyn Vena

Jason Trawick and Britney Spears
Photo: WireImage

Months ago, rumors began circulating that Britney Spears and longtime boyfriend Jason Trawick were going to tie the knot. And on Friday (December 16), sources close to the pair and a mysterious tweet from the star herself confirmed that the couple is engaged.

Trawick had already been working with the star as her agent at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment when they began dating in 2009. They went public with their romance when they showed up hand-in-hand to the 2010 Grammy Awards. That May, the two decided to separate their business and personal relationships, and it was confirmed that Trawick would no longer be representing Spears. The pair have always been pretty low-key. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest this March, the pop star opened up about their life together. "We're really normal," she said. "We just like to watch movies; we work out a lot; we take walks." In May, Spears told Harper's Bazaar, "I've thought about both [marriage and kids]," saying that tying the knot with Trawick could happen "if the timing was right." And in an interview with Us Weekly in April, Spears gushed about life with Trawick. "We have such a great time together! He makes me laugh, and we are so comfortable being ourselves," she said. "Maybe [I'll marry again]. Never say never!"

In August, Spears and Trawick walked the red carpet at the 2011 MTV VMAs, and Britney later thanked Trawick when she took the stage to accept her Moonman for Best Pop Video for "Till the World Ends." While the two have remained relatively private, they gave fans a peek at their personal life when they played the lead roles in Britney's "Criminal" video. The video focuses on a fictional love affair between their characters, who go on a crime spree that leads to a steamy encounter. Director Chris Marrs Piliero said Trawick "killed it." This will be Britney's third marriage. She was married to Jason Alexander for 55 hours in 2004. Later that year, she married back-up dancer Kevin Federline; the two divorced in 2006. Federline and Spears have two sons, Jayden James and Sean Preston. A rep for the singer has yet to confirm the news of this latest engagement to MTV News. Send your well-wishes to Britney and Jason in the comments.

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Katy Perry & Russell Brand Are Getting Divorced!

After one year of marriage, the couple is calling it quits. See more celeb pairs who are back to going solo


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U2, Taylor Swift Top List Of 2011's Highest-Grossing Tours

U2's 360 Tour is the year's most profitable in the U.S. and worldwide.
By James Montgomery

U2's Bono
Photo: Harry Herd/ Getty Images

U2 didn't even release an album in 2011, but that didn't stop them from raking in plenty of cash.

The iconic Irish quartet topped Pollstar's list of the year's most profitable tours, as their massive 360 Tour moved an impressive 2.4 million tickets worldwide, grossing more than $230 million globally. Their North American dates — which were postponed (and subsequently rescheduled) last year as Bono recovered from back surgery — made $156 million, good enough to give them the highest-grossing tour on this continent, too.

Taylor Swift had 2011's second most-profitable North American tour, as her expansive Speak Now jaunt racked up $97.7 million at the box office. Swift's country contemporary Kenny Chesney came in at #3, bringing in nearly $85 million in ticket sales, followed by Lady Gaga, who, despite wrapping up the North American leg of her Monster Ball Tour in April, still managed to bring in $63.7 million at the box office. Bon Jovi rounds out Pollstar's top five, grossing more than $57 million.

Kanye West and Jay-Z's Throne tour ($48 million), Lil Wayne's "I Am Still Music" trek ($44 million), Britney Spears ($38 million) and Katy Perry ($28 million) also made the Top 25 in North America.

British boy band Take That's reunion tour came in second to U2's 360 trek based on worldwide receipts, making $224 million. Bon Jovi grossed nearly $150 million worldwide, good enough for third, with tours by Swift ($104 million worldwide) and Roger Waters ($103 million) rounding out the top five.

Also making Pollstar's worldwide list were Rihanna, the Foo Fighters, Justin Bieber, Usher and the Kings of Leon.

Did you attend any of the highest-grossing tours in 2011? Let us know in the comments!

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The iVillage Woman of the Year... Revealed!

They've inspired us in 2011 but only one can be the Woman of the Year! Find out who gets top honors.


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The Beckham Family Rings in 2012 in London

All dressed up as they readied to ring in 2012, David and Victoria Beckham were spotted departing the Claridge's hotel in London on Saturday (December 31).

The former Spice Girl and her soccer star hubby made separate exits as Posh tended to children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and baby Harper while David scooped up their ride from valet.

Having had a wonderful past year in which the family welcomed Harper into the world, the past twelve months also saw David's LA Galaxy squad win the league's championship.

As for his on-field future, the 36-year-old footballer just saw his 5-year Galaxy contract expire - with reports telling that he's contemplating staying with the Tinseltown squad while also pondering a move to join France's Paris Saint-Germain team.


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Marcia Cross & Family: Park N' Ride

Marcia Cross had a relaxing day with husband Tom Mahoney and twin daughters Eden and Savannah, 4, on Thursday (December 29).

The family picnicked in a Santa Monica, Calif. park and then rode bicycles ? at one point Marcia took a spin on one of the girls' bikes. I tried that once, but I ended up turning my daughter's little Schwinn into a unicycle.

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Giuliana Rancic Makes Her First Post Cancer Surgery In Person Appearance

Yesterday we got to see video of Giuliana Rancic’s first day back at work on E! News after her successful double mastectomy surgery only two weeks ago. Today we get to see new photos of Giuliana doing MORE work … as if she never had cancer surgery at all. Click below to see happy photos [...]


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Britney Spears - Break the Ice

Break the Ice


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Heavy D's Death Hits Nicki Minaj, Usher, More Celebs1674014

'Truly gone too soon,' Usher tweets Tuesday.
By James Dinh

Heavy D arrives at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California
Photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images

Hip-hop lost a rap icon when Heavy D died Tuesday afternoon (November 8) at age 44, and the music industry is clearly mourning the loss. A string of stars, including Usher, Timbaland and Nicki Minaj, have shared their memories of the late MC on Twitter.

Usher offered his sympathy to the family of the Jamaican-born rap heavyweight, tweeting, "This is too heavy, I can't believe it. HEAVY D was just here. Truly gone too soon. My heart and support goes out to his family. R.I.P HEAVY." Mega-producer Timbaland couldn't even process the announcement, writing, "I'm at a loss for words rip heavy d." After re-tweeting the late-MC's last message ("BE INSPIRED"), hip-hop's Harajuku Barbie also weighed in on the news. "We'll never forget you babe! #hiphopelite #RIPHeavyD," Nicki wrote. From one raptress to the next, Missy Elliott shared her thoughts: "U will be missed Heavy D so many laughs we've shared but your Music is Timeless and will Always be Around 4ever Love u Heav..." Ciara described the MC as "a really nice man. Sending my condolences to him and his family!" DJ Drama and Nick Cannon reflected on the icon's impact. "Heavy D 'Who's The Man' was one of my 1st pieces of vinyl when I first started djayin," DJ Drama wrote. "Def 1 of the first 5 records I spent $ on. RIP." Cannon said he had "just talked" to Heavy D, adding, "He was just encouraging me about life." "RIP TO A REAL HIP HOP LEGEND HEAVY D!" Nas chimed in. Juelz Santana recalled the rapper/actor's recent BET Hip Hop Awards performance. "RIP Heavy D. He was a Hip Hop Legend," he shared. "Crazy how sh-- happens. I was late 2 da BET Awards & Heavy D's Performance was 1 of da only 2 I got 2 see. Blessed 4 dat opportunity. RIP." Boyz II Men, who shared the '90s spotlight with the MC, sent condolences to his family, writing, "UGH...heavy d..always cool as hell with us..just a sick feeling....praying for his little daughter and family." Share your memories of Heavy D on Facebook.

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Jessica Alba's Mexican Beach Playdate with Haven & Honor

Having made the trip down south earlier in the week, Jessica Alba enjoyed the day at the beach with her two precious daughters in Cabo San Lucas on Friday (December 30).

The "Spy Kids" actress donned a grey fedora and a multi colored beach dress as she watched Honor and Haven play in the sand in front of her luxury Mexican resort.

Joined on the south of the border getaway by husband Cash Warren and a few friends, Miss Alba tweeted during the course of the day, "Gd times in Cabo w @kellysawyer"

The brunette beauty later posted a pic of herself, Cash and Miss Sawyer engaging in a pillow fight while writing a simple yet insightful message reading, "It's the simple things in life that make us happy"


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Rebecca Gayheart & Eric Dane Welcome Daughter No. 2: Georgia Geraldine!

Congratulations to 90210 alum Rebecca Gayheart and hubby Eric Dane.

A rep for the actress confirms to People that the couple welcomed their second daughter - Georgia Geraldine - on Wednesday, December 28th!

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Britney Spears' Engagement Ring: How Does It Stack Up?1676248

From Kim and Kris' monster-size rock to Beyoncé and Jay-Z's 18-carat mega-sparkler, we dish on the diamonds.
By Jocelyn Vena

Jason Trawick and Britney Spears in Las Vegas. Inset: her Neil Lane enagement ring.
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage

After Britney Spears confirmed her engagement to longtime beau Jason Trawick last Friday, fans wanted to know everything about the ring, a four-carat diamond designed by Neil Lane. Trawick — Brit's former agent — popped the question after working with famed jeweler Lane on the design, according to The site also reported that Trawick wanted a crown-like band. In addition to the mega-sparkler at the center of the tiara-style setting, the hubby-to-be also had 90 small round diamonds added around the band. Spears debuted the ring during a trip to Las Vegas over the weekend to celebrate her fiancé's birthday.

"Jason is a romantic and when I asked him to tell me about Britney and what the ring would represent to them so I could find inspiration, his response was always the same — she is his princess!" Lane told the website. "Jason didn't want an over-the-top ring with a giant stone." Minya Oh, the author of "Bling Bling: Hip Hop's Crown Jewels," told MTV News she was pleasantly surprised by how understated the rock is. "The ring is so damn classy! It's [four] carats, which by Hollywood standards these days is practically microscopic," Oh said. "The setting is a tiny crown but both that and the thin diamond-studded band are done so delicately, from afar the focus is still on that bright white center stone. Nothing about the ring overwhelms her hand, and nothing screams, 'Please believe my relationship is real!' " She added, "This is the kind of ring a pop icon has when they're ready for something that means more than just the ring." This is hardly Spears' first engagement ring, however. When her ex Kevin Federline popped the question back in 2004, the former back-up dancer gave the pop princess a five-carat diamond ring. All this talk about rocks got us thinking about some other celebrity proposals, so we decided to spotlight a few memorable engagement rings. Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries
When it comes to size, Spears' ring from Trawick is small compared to Kim Kardashian's monster-size rock. When Kris Humphries popped the question earlier this year, he gave her a 20.5-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond. Of course, the size of the ring didn't guarantee lasting marital bliss: the couple split after 72 days of marriage. Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Like Humpdash, Jay-Z, who is expecting his first child with wife Beyoncé, also went the Lorraine Schwartz route. He gave his pop-star lady love an 18-carat ring back in 2007. The couple kept their wedding ceremony under wraps. Kristin Cavallari & Jay Cutler
While it has been a bumpy engagement for former "Hills" star Kristin Cavallari and her football player fiancé Jay Cutler, the couple announced they were engaged again last month. Cutler opted to use the same 5.2-carat ring he'd given the MTV reality star back in April when he first decided to put a ring on it. Hilary Duff & Mike Comrie
Before Mike Comrie asked mama-to-be Hilary Duff to be his blushing bride last year, he reportedly spent $1 million for the sparkler, said to be about 12 to 13 carats. Katy Perry & Russell Brand
Russell Brand also gifted Katy Perry with a ring of about 12 to 13 carats when he proposed last year to MTV's 2011 Artist of the Year. The comedian asked the pop star to marry him while the two were in India. The couple would later re-create that magic when they also married in the country in October 2010. Share your well-wishes for Britney and Jason in the comments!

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Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel

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Dolly Parton?s No Diva!

The 65-year-old, who is ?definitely no diva,? says she has no plans to retire. ?I?ll just be the very best at the age I am, whatever those numbers are,? she says. You can catch Dolly in the new movie Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah, in theaters Jan. 13. Did the two bond? ?We come from [...]


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Gone But Not Forgotten: Celebrities We Lost in 2011

From Amy Winehouse to Elizabeth Taylor, see the stars who passed away this year -- but left their mark on the world


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Ke$ha - We R Who We R

We R Who We R

  • Artist: Ke$ha
  • Label: RCA
  • Director: Hype Williams


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LMFAO's Redfoo Opens Up About Honduras Concert Fire

DJ set cut short after venue's electrical system caught fire and at least 15 fans suffered smoke inhalation.
By James Montgomery

LMFAO's Redfoo (file)
Photo: Getty Images

LMFAO's Red Foo was forced to cut short a Wednesday night DJ set in Honduras after a fire broke out, filling the venue with smoke and sending fans scrambling for the exits.

According to TMZ, Red Foo was nearing the end of his performance at the Coliseo Nacional de Ingenieros in the capital city of Tegucigalpa when the venue's electrical system reportedly caught fire, filling the venue with smoke. According to reports, no one was seriously injured, though at least 15 fans were treated for smoke inhalation. Local television reports showed fans being escorted from the venue and receiving oxygen. Honduran authorities suggested the fire was intentionally set, though at press time, it was not clear if anyone had been arrested in connection with the blaze.

Immediately following the abrupt end to the show, LMFAO's Redfoo took to his Twitter account, joking, "Epic concert tonight!!!! Everybody in Honduras, we set the place on fire!!!! #sorryforpartyrocking." He then responded to a fan about the fire, writing, "They told us there was a fire when we were on stage. Then we went to the dressing rooms and there was smoke in the halls."

He then changed his tone, writing, "On a serious note, hope everybody is safe from the fire tonight! Love you Honduras!"

Through LMFAO's label, Interscope, Redfoo gave this account to MTV News: "All of a sudden, right in the middle of 'Beatockin,' my manager Ian Fletcher shouted, 'There's a fire under the stage. We have to go!'

"I didn't want to go!" he continued. "I didn't realize how serious it was. The security escorted us out the venue. We were forced to leave a few items behind, nothing irreplaceable.

"I hope everybody is safe," he added. "Honduras fans are true party rockers! This will go down in history as one if craziest Redfoo DJ sets ever."

Less than 24 hours removed from the fire, the hard-partying duo were pressing on, celebrating the ascension of their hit "Sexy and I Know It" to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (knocking off Rihanna's "We Found Love") and prepping for a New Year's Eve gig at the Haze nightclub in Las Vegas, where, hopefully, nothing will catch fire.

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Mariah Carey Strikes a Pose in Snowy Aspen

Still situated in the snowy wonderland of Colorado, Mariah Carey was in her usual photo-friendly form in Aspen on Friday night (December 30).

The Grammy-winning singer with all smiles as she struck a few poses outside of her mother's jewelry store, Joan Boyce.

The pop diva let her natural curls show with a cute ponytail while making sure her adoring fans got a chance to snap a photo before heading inside.

In related news, Ms. Carey finds herself on the wrong end of the year-closing poll by, which ranked her son in a tie for the worst name for a boy in 2011.

In the tally of little one's names, Moroccan Scott tied Alicia Silverstone's Bear Blu as the most unsavory moniker while Zuzu Audrey Peterson, daughter of Tania Peterson, was selected as the worst name of any celebrity girl.


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Friday, December 30, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio: Moving On with Erin Heatherton?

It?s no secret he has a love of top-notch beauties, and it is being reported that Leonardo DiCaprio is now dating Erin Heatherton.

According to new reports, the ?Inception? star has been hanging out with the Victoria?s Secret model as of late.

The good-looking twosome was spotted out for a cozy dinner in Sydney, Australia before Christmas and since then have been seen spending time together in Los Angeles.

The new hookup comes after it was confirmed that Leo (who dated supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Bar Refaeli in the past) called it quits on a brief romance with actress Blake Lively back in October.


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Conrad Murray Not Expected To Serve Full Four Years1675080

Legal expert Mike Cavalluzzi tells MTV News he isn't surprised by sentence but doesn't think it's justified.
By Gil Kaufman

Dr. Conrad Murray sits in court after he was sentenced for the involuntary manslaughter of singer Michael Jackson at the Los Angeles Superior Court on November 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Judge Michael E. Pastor sentenced Murray to four years in the Los Angeles County Jail for the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for January 23, 2012 to determine the amount of restitution to be paid to the Jackson family.
Photo: Mario Anzuoni-Pool/ Getty Images

Though he dodged a potential four-year prison term, former Michael Jackson physician Conrad Murray was sentenced to an equal amount of time in Los Angeles County Jail on Tuesday (November 29) in the death of the pop singer.

But the same overcrowding problems that spared the cardiologist from doing time in a federal pen might also save him from serving his entire sentence in county as well. Shortly after the sentence was handed down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, Los Angeles Sheriff spokesman Steve Whitmore told E! News that Murray would likely end up serving "a little less than two years." Due to overcrowding, most county jail sentences are immediately cut in half, and given the 46 days credit Murray has already been given, he is looking at even less than that. Do you think Conrad Murray deserved the maximum sentence? Let us know on Facebook. Murray's lawyers said afterward that they believed the sentence was unnecessarily long. "Yes, of course [Judge Pastor] was harsh. He gave the stiffest penalty he was entitled to give under the law," Murray's attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, told reporters. "He was openly hostile. ... [Murray has] led 56 years of exemplary life. He was really dreading [sentencing]. I think anybody would dread going into it. He's an honorable man, and he'll get through this. The family is suffering more than Dr. Murray is. ... Dr. Murray is the provider in that family." Pastor had leeway in the sentencing, with options ranging from probation to the full sentence, but in a lengthy ruling from the bench, he said Murray's lack of remorse and negligent behavior called for the highest possible penalty. "He is and remains dangerous ... the request of probation is denied, the court imposes the high term of four years imprisonment in this case," Pastor said during the 90-plus-minute hearing. Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Mike Cavalluzzi told MTV News that he wasn't surprised by the sentencing but that he didn't believe it was justified. Cavalluzzi said Pastor had incentive to give the full sentence because of the prominence of Jackson and his family and to create the perception that he is tough on crime. "He gets that perception by sentencing him to the max while not having to surrender the defendant to the full sentence," said Cavalluzzi, who was not involved in the case. "He gets the self-satisfaction of being perceived as being tough on crime and making the Jackson family happy, but I don't think it was a fair sentence." Cavalluzzi said when deciding prison versus probation, judges have to look at someone's criminal history and whether a person is likely to complete the terms of their probation, which he believes Murray would. "I'm not seeing aggravating factors here, and I think it was just a chapter in [Murray's] life and he does not have a history of being a mercenary doctor always after money, but of being a good, responsible doctor who was seduced by the celebrity and money that Jackson offered," he said.

As to why Pastor gave such a dramatic, lengthy explanation for why he was sentencing Murray to the max, Cavalluzzi said the judge has to have a justification for his actions in the public record. "Because he doesn't have the discretion to give a high prison term, [Pastor] has to justify his sentence in the record and have very specific reasons for it. I don't think there's any way that anyone truly believes that from this day forward Dr. Murray truly represents a threat to society. That's just ludicrous." And while he doesn't agree with the four-year term, Cavalluzzi said the high-profile nature of the case and the glare of the media could have played into the sentence. "It probably gives [Jackson's family] great comfort to have someone to blame," he said. " 'If not for this awful man, my son, brother, father would be alive.' But it's not fair to do that and it feels like a capitulating judgment in favor of feeding the emotional needs of the family." Upon leaving the courthouse, Michael's brother Jermaine, when asked if the four-year sentence was enough, shook his head and said, "No." Mother Katherine Jackson told local TV station KTLA, "Four years is not enough for someone's life. It won't bring him back. But at least he got the maximum, and I thought the judge was very, very fair." The prosecution, however, was satisfied with the ruling. "We're pleased. That's what we thought was appropriate. The judge obviously agreed with us," deputy district attorney David Walgren said. "It was our position that it was not a simple, one-time mistake; it was a series of mistakes culminating in the abandonment of Michael Jackson when he died ... the judge agreed with that sentiment. A brother and a son and a family member was killed, and whatever the sentence may be, the family of the victim deserves justice. And we did everything to bring them that justice." As for how much time Murray will spend locked up, Cavalluzzi said it is likely to be less than two years and, frankly, he predicted, the doctor could be out even sooner than that. "He might be eligible for house arrest very quickly," he said.

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Robert Plant And Alison Krauss Win Grammy Album Of The Year1604582

Raising Sand, from Led Zeppelin vet and bluegrass superstar, wins five Grammys on Sunday night.
By James Montgomery with MTV News staff

Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

"I'm bewildered," Robert Plant said onstage as he accepted the Grammy Album of the Year award with Alison Krauss on Sunday night. "In the old days we would have called this selling out, but it's a good way to spend a Sunday." He was probably one of the few who were surprised, because Raising Sand, which won five trophies at Sunday night's show, is in many ways the perfect Grammy album. It features two respected veterans, a critically lauded producer, some sandpaper-and-velvet vocals and a baker's dozen of time-tested standards.

You're probably familiar with Robert Plant from his Led Zeppelin days, and you might be aware of producer T-Bone Burnett's work on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack (it won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2002). And if you don't know who Alison Krauss is, she possesses a haunting set of pipes and is one of the meanest fiddle players in the world. Oh, and she's won 21 Grammys, more than any other female artist and the seventh-most in history. Really, she's the key to Sand's success, and not just because of her voice (or her fiddle playing). She and Plant first met in 2004, at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to legendary bluesman Leadbelly, and the former Zeppelin man was amazed by her knowledge of American Roots music — so much so that they began kicking around the idea of recording an album together. Three years later, Sand was released. And while Plant possesses the more famous voice, the album's finest moments radiate from Krauss. Whether she's getting bluesy on Little Milton's "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson" or entwining with Plant's husky voice on songs like "Please Read the Letter" and Roly Salley's winsome "Killing the Blues," she more than carries her end of the bargain. And perhaps that's also due to producer Burnett, who handpicked the 13 songs the duo cover on Sand. His arrangements are sparse — giving the two voices ample room to breathe — yet dense, warm and crackling at the same time. It's a testament to his work that he's often given just as much billing as Plant and Krauss on the project ... and it's certainly justified. To date, Sand has sold more than 1 million copies, heaped tons of acclaim and actually earned a Grammy last year — "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" took home the award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. One expert was surprised not by the album's success, but by the fact that it's actually quite a good album. "At first, the album seemed like a vanity project. ... Two names, clearly a one-off record, didn't have to be any good, you know?" New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica said. "Led Zeppelin fans would buy it because of Robert Plant, Alison Krauss would get a check. But it actually turned out to be a really thoughtful, really good record. So when you combine all that with the fact that the Grammys love to lionize one of their own, I could really see it taking home some awards."

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'Hunger Games' Suspense Kicked Into High Gear In 2011

The film might not hit theaters until next year, but casting announcements and exclusive interviews got fans worked up for March release.
By Kara Warner

Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games"
Photo: Murray Close

For the millions of fans who have been eagerly awaiting a film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-seller "The Hunger Games," 2011 gave them even more to be eager about as details trickled out about the movie, which is due in March.

We at MTV News have been as caught up in the frenzy as everyone else. And along the way, we've been able to speak with the major players involved in the "Games," gleaning the juiciest details from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson.

Back in January, before casting was solidified, Hemsworth told MTV News he'd read the script and that he could actually see himself in the role of Peeta. After Hemsworth won the role of Gale instead, we chatted up his older brother and fellow actor Chris Hemsworth, who revealed that he helped Liam prep for his big audition by reading the role of Katniss. "I did. Swear to God," he said. "I read that. Put my girly American accent on."

In May, we had our first "Hunger Games"-centricchat with Jennifer Lawrence. She discussed fans' initial protests over her blond hair, which quieted after she dyed it, along with the intense hours of archery training she went through to become as convincingly handy with a bow and arrow as Katniss is.

"It's lots of training, but the training is actually really fun," she said. "I've done archery for about six weeks, rock climbing, tree climbing and combat and running and vaulting," she said. "Also yoga and things like that to stay cat-like."

We also caught up with some of the film's supporting actors. Lenny Kravitz, who is ready to further prove his acting chops in the role of sympathetic District 12 stylist Cinna, said he's doing his homework by immersing himself in all Collins' books. Elizabeth Banks was a bit more cagey in revealing any details about her transformation into pink-haired, type-A Effie Trinket, but she did admit that she and co-star Woody Harrelson have chemistry.

Harrelson, who plays alcoholic Hunger Games survivor Haymitch Abernathy, praised Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss and revealed that his character's hairstyle was inspired by his own brother. "I was like, 'OK, let's get a wig. Let's do the Brett Harrelson hair,' " he said of the long and slightly shaggy style. "It's kind of cool. I really liked the look. It's a fun character, and I think it's going to be a good movie."

Fellow supporting player Stanley Tucci, a.k.a. the blue-haired Caesar Flickerman, echoed Harrelson's sentiments about Lawrence's performance. "She was amazing," he said. "They were all amazing. She's just so good and so mature at such a young age. It was really fun. Really fun. And [director] Gary Ross, he's great."

We didn't have to take Tucci's word for it, as we also sat down with Ross for an exclusive interview surrounding our debut of the "Games" teaser trailer back in August. The "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville" helmer took us through his detailed plans for the film and the challenges of filming.

And we finally stole a few moments with Peeta Mellark himself, Josh Hutcherson, who took us through his grueling audition process and the anxious wait for the news of his casting, why he was "so right" for Peeta and his excitement for the fans to see the finished product.

"It's exciting to hear people are that interested in something you're doing, so it's a little nerve-racking, but I'm onboard," he said. "The fans for 'The Hunger Games,' they're die-hard. They're the best fans in the world, so I'm really excited for them to see the movie."

Check out everything we've got on "The Hunger Games."

For young Hollywood news, fashion and "Twilight" updates around the clock, visit

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Justin Bieber's Snake To Lady Gaga's Egg: 2011 Red-Carpet Highlights1676575

Beyonce's baby bump was one of the year's most-memorable moments.
By Jocelyn Vena

Justin Bieber at the 2011 VMAs
Photo: Christopher Polk/ Getty Images

Anything can happen on the red carpet at any given awards show, and in 2011, it felt like anything that could happen did. As MTV News reflects on some of the biggest moments of the year, we decided to remember some of the most-memorable things A-listers did live right in front of us all.

Lady Gaga's Egg
In February, Gaga had everyone guessing how she would arrive to the Grammys. Given her penchant for crazy looks, no one would have guessed she would have showed up in an egg. Designed by Hussein Chalayan, Gaga later emerged from the structure to proclaim that she was "Born This Way." What was your favorite red-carpet moment of 2011? Vote in our Newsroom poll! Snooki
Speaking of the Grammys, the reality star joined MTV News' own Sway Calloway to talk to all the stars at the show. After helping us out on the 2010 red carpet, we learned that anything is possible with Snooki, and 2011 solidified that she's the fieriest "meatball" to grace the "Jersey Shore." We wonder if she and Bruno Mars ever ended up dating. Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed
"Twilight" star Nikki Reed surprised everyone when she hit up the MTV Movie Awards in June. No, she hadn't borrowed Gaga's egg: She was rocking an engagement rock from her beau and "American Idol" alum Paul McDonald. The couple used the red carpet as the platform to announce their engagement, and married in October. Beyoncé's Baby Bump
She might have rubbed that burgeoning baby bump onstage at the Video Music Awards in August, but hours before she took the stage, donning a bright orange gown, Beyoncé let the paparazzi know she was expecting her first child with hubby Jay-Z by flaunting her pregnancy glow. Justin Bieber's Snake
While Beyoncé shared with the world her baby news, Bieber not only planted a kiss on VMA pre-show host and real-life lady love Selena Gomez, but also introduced her to his pet snake. His name? Johnson. She seemed less interested in the snake than perhaps he would have liked. What was your favorite red-carpet moment in 2011? Share your pick below!

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Selena Gomez: So Long, La-La Land

Getting out of Tinseltown just ahead of the New Year's Eve celebrations, Selena Gomez was all prepped for an outbound flight in Los Angeles, CA on Friday (December 30).

The "Monte Carlo" cutie toted a red jacket in her arms as she was shielded by a staffer upon entering the LAX Airport terminal alongside a few loved ones.

While 2011 ended on a somber note following the loss of her unborn sister, Gomez said she was "humbled" by the successful past twelve months during an interview with MTV.

The 19-year-old told, "I feel like this approach of this year, I wasn't expecting any of the things that happened. And so I just kind of want to go into the end of this year and the beginning of next year just excited and in a good place and not planning anything."


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Earlier this month we got to check out a clever new promo poster for next Summer’s reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man. Today we get to check out a few new promo images from the film that, I must say, continue to impress me and continue to get me more and more excited for the film’s [...]


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Happy Friday

Here's a photo of my niece Lila eating a nectarine:

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No hay más Led Zeppelin1602369



A pesar de lo dicho ayer, Peter Mensch, manager del guitarrista Jimmy Page, se retractó totalmente en eso que la banda buscaría un reemplazo al ultragenial Robert Plant para seguir rockeando y toureándola por el mundo tras su show de 2007 en el O2 Arena de Londres por el poder de la música más sexual de la historia. No habrá más Led Zeppelin, no hay planes de que lo haya. Mensch comentó: "Led Zeppelin se acabó. Si no los vieron en el 2007, se los perdieron. Probaron reemplazantes a Robert Plant, pero nada funcionó. Se acabó. No hay planes para continuar. Francamente, ojalá todos dejaran de hablar al respecto." Los fans no están nada contentos, especialmente los británicos, considerando los precios delirantes de las entradas del show reunión. ¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te parece todo esto?

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Baby girl can DANCE! THESE celebs were the biggest Do-Gooders of 2011. Calvin and Hobbes all growed up. Alessandra Ambrosio is a SUPER supermodel. Drunk Internet Shopping is a thing. The Worst Album Covers of 2011. Meet the cast of Spartacus: Vengence Crazy people are crazy. ArjanWrites ranks the 40 Best Singles of 2011. THIS [...]


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Michael Jackson's Family Not Out For 'Revenge'1675068

'There is nothing you can do here today that will bring Michael back,' Joe and Katherine Jackson say in a statement read at Conrad Murray hearing.
By Andrea Duncan-Mao, with reporting by Gil Kaufman

Katherine Jackson arrives for the sentencing of Dr. Conrad Murray at the Los Angeles Superior Court on November 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Murray was convicted on November 7 for the 2009 death of Jackson from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and faces up to four years in state prison. (Photo by )
Photo: Toby Canham/ Getty Images

At Tuesday's (November 29) sentencing hearing for Dr. Conrad Murray — where Michael Jackson's former personal physician received four years in jail for involuntary manslaughter — a statement from Jackson's parents was read in court.

"We still look at each other in disbelief: Is it really possible he is gone? It is simply against the natural order of things," Joe and Katherine Jackson said in the statement, read by Jackson family attorney Brian Panish. "We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do here today that will bring Michael back." Do you think Conrad Murray deserved the maximum sentence? Let us know on Facebook. Along with Katherine, Michael's siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie were also reportedly in attendance at the hearing. In regards to the sentence, the family said in the statement: "We respectfully request you impose a sentence that reminds physicians they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder." The judge agreed, lamenting that due to a new California law to address overcrowding in prisons, he was unable to sentence Murray to state prison. Stating that Murray practiced "horrible medicine" and had "absolutely no remorse," Judge Michael Pastor declined the defense's motion for probation and handed down the stiffest sentence possible — four years — which Murray will most likely serve in a Los Angeles county jail or on home confinement. Upon leaving the courthouse, Michael's brother Jermaine, when asked if the four-year sentence was enough, shook his head and said, "No." Katherine told local TV station KTLA, "Four years is not enough for someone's life. It won't bring him back. But at least he got the maximum, and I thought the judge was very, very fair."

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