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Ringo Starr, Barry Gibb to receive knighthood honor from Queen Elizabeth

Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 3:45 PM

Musicians Ringo Starr (L) and Barry Gibb are being honored with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images, John Phillips/Getty Images
Musicians Ringo Starr (L) and Barry Gibb are being honored with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.(Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images, John Phillips/Getty Images)

Musicians Barry Gibb and Ringo Starr are being honored as knights by Queen Elizabeth II just before New Year’s Eve.

The Associated Press reported that Britain’s Cabinet Office made the New Year’s Honors List public late Friday, and the former Beatle and Bee Gee made the list. 

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“It's great! It's an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love,” Starr said in a statement on the honor. The Beatles drummer will receive knighthood for services to music.

Paul McCartney, his former bandmate who was knighted in 1997, lobbied for Starr to be honored with knighthood and expressed congrats on Twitter.

“Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal!” McCartney tweeted.

The Bee Gees singer-songwriter Barry Gibb is being knighted for services to music and charity. The AP reported that Gibb said he would be dedicating his knighthood to late bandmates, twin brothers Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb.

“I am deeply honored, humbled, and very proud. This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten,” Gibb said in a statement, according to BBC.

"I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honor. It is as much theirs as it is mine. The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life,” he said.

Robin Gibb died in 2012 and Maurice Gibb died in 2003. BBC reported that Barry Gibb was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or CBE, with his brothers in 2002.

Others receiving the 2018 honors include musician Wiley, ballerina and “Strictly Come Dancing” judge Darcey Bussell, chemist and astronaut  Helen Sharman and actor Hugh Laurie.

The Queen’s honors come out twice a year -- once just before  New Year’s and in June. The newest honorees join musicians Elton John and Mick Jagger and actors Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley.

Dolly Parton earns two Guinness World Records

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

What You Need To Know: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has yet another accomplishment to add to her already legendary list: two world records.

Billboard reported the singer and songwriter holds Guinness World Records for the most decades with a Top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with six decades, and most hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist, with 107 hits.

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Parton has Top 20 Billboard hits across six consecutive decades, starting with 1967’s “Something Fishy” and ending with a 2016 version of her 1974 song, “Jolene” with Pentatonix. That same 2016 song set the record for her 107th Hot Country Songs chart entry. Her first was “Dumb Blonde” in 1967.

“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great,” Parton said in a statement. Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honoured this way feels so special to me. You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”

Parton’s six-decade run puts her in the company of George Jones, the only other country artist who spent more than five decades on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Speaking to Guinness World Records about her songwriting process, Parton said it comes from her own experiences.

“I’ve always just written from my heart,” she said. “I try not to dwell on just trying to be commercial and what's a radio hit or whatever. Usually when an idea hits me, it comes from my heart, but I still try to be alert and to be aware and to try to be as up-to-date as I can be, and evidently I’m doing alright after all these decades.”

Ellen Pompeo returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for two more seasons, earning $20 million

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:35 PM

What You Need to Know About Ellen Pompeo

Meredith Grey is here to stay at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — for at least two more seasons.

Deadline reported that the star of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Ellen Pompeo, has signed on to continue her role for another two years. She’ll also be permanently adding the title of “producer” to her credits on the series, while also being bumped to executive producer on the forthcoming firefighter spinoff series.

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In addition to growing her resume, Pompeo stands to rake in $575,000 per episode, which comes to $20 million a year, making her the highest-paid actress on a primetime TV drama. The show already holds the title of ABC’s highest-rated series.

Pompeo’s pay wasn’t a given, however. Like many women, she had to fight to be paid adequately, particularly compared to her male counterparts.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, the actress said she’s now comfortable asking to be paid what she’s worth.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” Pompeo said.

“For me, Patrick (Dempsey) leaving the show (in 2015) was a defining moment, deal-wise. They could always use him as leverage against me: ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick,’ which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and I'm Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the No. 1. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: ‘Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy?’You feel conflicted but then you figure, ‘I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.’”

Pompeo said that once series creator Shonda Rhimes became more successful and had more control, it brushed off on her and allowed her to have more say in her own career.

“ (Shonda) got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power. Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spinoff and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”

While Pompeo is excited to keep the show going, she makes no promises about when it will eventually end.

“I’ve been saying since season one, ‘We have two more years.’ This show, it’s taking on a life of its own, and who knows? We take it season by season,really,” she told Deadline.

Pompeo added, “You never think TV shows are going to go this long. Of course not, never, and especially me, I don’t ever assume things like that. I assume tomorrow everyone’s going to hate us. You got to try. You got to stay humble.”

“I’m extremely proud of the show and everyone that has worked on it in the past, everybody who’s here now,” she said, sharing that she’ll definitely let her children — Stella, 8; Sienna, 3; and Eli, 1, with husband Chris Ivery — watch when they’re old enough.

“It’s the beginning of a movement, and it’s so special to me for so many reasons. So I certainly hope they watch every episode twice,”  Pompeo said.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashes into tree after helping car stuck in snow

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

What You Need To Know: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It could be said that former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has some of the best driving skills ever, having made a living out of going more than 200 miles an hour on some of our country’s toughest racetracks.

Yet, with snow involved, Earnhardt got into some trouble while trying to help other people stuck in the weather.

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“(North Carolina) stay off the roads today/tonight. Five minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree,” Dale shared on his Twitter page on Wednesday shortly after stopping to help some stranded travelers on the road. “All good. Probably just needs a new alignment,” he added.

Fans were were thankful Earnhardt was OK, but the tweet didn’t come without some NASCAR jokes. 

“Jr. did you attempt to turn right? Gets ya every time,” one Twitter user said.

Earnhardt’s accident comes a day after the former NASCAR driver, voted the sport’s most popular driver for 15 consecutive years, announced the day before that he would be covering the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl in the coming weeks as part of his new deal as a contributor to NBC Sports.

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 29: Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks on stage during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on November 29, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)(David Becker/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Dale Jr. was not the only driver to find himself in harm’s way thanks to the snow, as NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez found himself stuck in the snow on the side of the road in his sports car Wednesday.

Michael Waltrip decided to drive in snowy conditions in North Carolina, and appeared to do so safely in his Ford and later in his Toyota Tundra.

Headed out. I don’t have snow worries in my @toyotausa #Tundra.

A post shared by Michael Waltrip (@mwr55) on

Driver Kevin Harvick thought better of it, making the decision to stay in and enjoy the snow off the main roads.

How we celebrate a snow day!! #burnemdown

A post shared by Kevin Harvick (@kevinharvick) on

Ann Curry speaks out about Matt Lauer sexual harassment allegations in new interview

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 30:  Executive producer/reporter Ann Curry of 'We'll Meet Again' speaks onstage during the PBS portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 30, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 30: Executive producer/reporter Ann Curry of 'We'll Meet Again' speaks onstage during the PBS portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 30, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Ann Curry has remained tight-lipped since the news broke of Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct, but she spoke about the scandal on “CBS This Morning.”

The 61-year-old journalist and producer appeared on the program Wednesday to discuss her new PBS docuseries “We’ll Meet Again” and she was asked to speak on the scandal surrounding her disgraced former co-anchor. Curry admitted that she was “not surprised” by the scandal.

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“Do you believe that Matt Lauer abused his power?” asked Norah O’Donnell.

“You know, I’m trying to do no harm in these conversations. I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations,” Curry responded. When asked to explain further, Curry struggled to articulate her response.

“That means that … see, now, I’m walking down that road. I’m trying not to hurt people, and I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated, and I don’t want to cause that kind of pain to somebody else,” Curry said. “But I can say that, because you’re asking me a very direct question, I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said that they didn’t see that.”

She continued, “It was verbal sexual harassment,” before being cut off.

When Curry left NBC’s “Today” in June 2012, it was widely speculated that Lauer was the catalyst for her exit. A fan favorite, it came as a surprise to audiences when Curry broke the news of her exit amid tears, as she was considered one of the top stars at NBC and could have been poised to take over a bigger role on the show. The unexpected departure is likely the public humiliation she was referring to.

Related: Matt Lauer fired over allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior

The Emmy award winner also spoke with People as part of her press tour for her upcoming show. She discussed the aftermath of being pushed off “Today.”

“It hurt like hell,” she told the publication. “It hurt so much, but I learned a lot about myself. I can say I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been honest and true. I’ve tried to stay pure. I’ve tried to not respond in a knee-jerk manner, and I’ve stayed very close to who I am. So it hurt, but I’m also proud of myself.”

“CBS This Morning” dealt with its own scandal when co-anchor Charlie Rose was fired in November for allegedly making “unwanted sexual advances” towards several women, including, “lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”

Related: Charlie Rose fired from CBS amid sexual harassment allegations; PBS cuts ties with newsman

Anchors Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell denounced their former co-anchor over the accusations.

“It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forward, and I think that they should continue to do so,” O’Donnell said on the broadcast following the news. “This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive, and I’ve been doing a lot of listening, and I’m going to continue to do that.”

Prominent Men Accused Of Sexual Misconduct In 2017