Grammy Awards 2018: Carrie Fisher, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kendrick Lamar win early prizes

The Grammy Awards, which honor best in music from jazz to pop, will be handed out Sunday in New York.Various trophies are awarded starting in the afternoon, before the biggest names hit the red carpet and later, the stage for the 60th Grammy Awards. The main show, with host James Corden, starts at 7:30 ET/4:30 PT on CBS.Come back for updates and see how many prizes are awarded to Jay-Z, who leads this year's nominations pool with eight nods, including album of the year for 4:44.  MORE: Everything we know about the 2018 Grammy Awards RELATED:  4 things to look out for at Sunday's Grammy AwardsPaul Shaffer is hosting the "premiere" pre-ceremony and will serve as musical director with his World's Most Dangerous Band. The premiere Grammy ceremony begins at 3 ET/12 PT live-streamed at and will feature the first awards of the day in over 70 categories.Here's what's happening in New York City:5:13 Aimee Mann wins best folk album for Mental Illness. Mann is not present to accept the award.5:10 Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' win best contemporary blues album for TajMo. Mahal whoops excitedly into the mic. "We are trying to keep the culture moving forward, keep on greasin' the wheels," says Mahal.5:09 The Rolling Stones win best traditional blues album for Blue & Lonesome. The Stones are not present at the pre-show...obviously.5:07 A bluegrass tie! Between Laws of Gravity by The Infamous Stringdusters and All the Rage by Rhonda Vincent and The Rage.4:54 Reba McEntire wins best roots gospel album for Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope. McEntire accepts, explaining it is an odd to see a country artist up for the gospel award."But I have been singing these songs all my life," she say, "It’s so great to get those songs on the albumThe album is about healing hearts. "That’s what God put me on this Earth for. Music is so healing. I love my job. I’m so grateful to get to do it," says McEntire. "I’m going Continue Reading

The Campus Free Speech Wars Are Dramatically Changing What It Means To Be A College Republican

A new generation of Republicans is being raised on the terms of a debate set by Milo Yiannopoulos.Here’s how it’s happened the last few years: Some campus group, often a College Republican organization, will invite the right-wing provocateur — known by his first name and for his racist stunts and social media trolling — to campus. Offended classmates will plan protests. Wary administrators, citing security concerns, will roll out the red tape. And Milo will become a rallying cause for young conservatives eager to paint their liberal counterparts as free-speech hypocrites.The popularity of Milo and others like him in this regard is the manifestation of years of frustration uncorked by students almost always in the minority among their peers. Their rebellion coincides with a national GOP uprising led by President Donald Trump, and with a moment in US politics when even grown-up Republicans define winning by their ability to antagonize the other side.The fight against politically correct campus culture has energized College Republicans like never before, many activists told BuzzFeed News. But the energy is not always positive. Where Milo and other far-right figures go, the threat of dangerous confrontations is likely to follow. (One protester was shot earlier this year during the demonstrations surrounding Milo’s visit to the University of Washington.)There also are unavoidable questions about what happens when an emerging crop of Republican leaders is focused on the free speech issue above all else, and whether these organizations can end up, intentionally or not, harboring outright racists.Notably, some of the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, this summer turned out to be…College Republicans.One participant has since resigned his post as president of the Washington State University chapter. Another attendee, photographed among the torch-wielding mob, brought unwelcome publicity to the chapter at the Continue Reading

Jason Aldean named entertainer of the year at ACM Awards, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line walk away winners

Florida Georgia Line may have lost entertainer of the year to Jason Aldean, but the country duo owned the Academy of Country Music Awards, thanks to some help from the Backstreet Boys. The boy band brought the audience to its feet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday night, singing their anthemic classic "Everybody (Backstreets Back)," and getting fans such as Carrie Underwood, Nicole Kidman, Tim McGraw and others out of their seats to sing and dance along. The audience grew even louder as the Florida Georgia Line members danced some of the memorable choreography alongside the five Backstreet Boys. FGL, which performed three times during the three-hour show, also sang its duet with the Backstreet Boys — "God, Your Mama and Me" — before bringing up the high energy. They also won two awards: single record of the year for "H.O.L.Y." and music event of the year for "May We All" with McGraw. The duo helped kick off the ACM Awards, which started with separate performances full of energy, including a tribute to Chuck Berry featuring Joe Walsh, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. The trio performed "Johnny B. Goode" as audience members got out of their seats. "For the man that influenced every form of music, including country," said Bryan of Berry, who died last month. Before that, all of the nominees for entertainer of the year sang their recent hits. A good number of the performers sang more than once during the show on CBS, including Bryan, Underwood, Keith Urban, Bentley, Maren Morris and Aldean, who won entertainer of the year for a second straight year. "Man, one of the Eagles just gave me an award," he said, looking to Walsh. "I am so thankful. You guys don't know how much I love getting up and doing what I do every day." Urban, who had success with his genre-bending, Grammy-nominated album "Ripcord," was the top nominee with seven, though he walked away empty-handed. But he shined onstage when he Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton plucked her speech notes from these pop songs

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech struck a chord at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday— perhaps because popular lyrics popped up left and right. Music lovers were quick to recognize lines in her hour-long address that were plucked from hit songs that ranged from rap to punk to stage ballads. The nation’s first female major-party presidential nominee referenced her glass ceiling-shattering candidacy by stating, “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.” Hip-hop fans recognized Lil Wayne’s mixtape “No Ceilings,” as well as the self-proclaimed “greatest rapper alive’s” song “The Sky’s the Limit” in her inspiring words. Coincidence? Probably. The rapper told TMZ that he hadn’t watched her speech yet, but “I’m very cool with it.” He also tweeted, “Go Hillary! I hear ya out there,” on Friday. Next up, Clinton painted a picture of American resiliency by saying, “I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.” Pop/punk fans were immediately transported back to 1997, when Chumbawamba’s earworm “Tubthumping” wore itself out on the radio and MTV by repeating, “I get knocked down, but I get up again / You are never gonna keep me down,” over and over (and over) again. The Democratic nominee ended her night on a “Hamilton” high note. Titular character and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton sings, “What is a legacy?/ It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see?” toward the end of the show. So Clinton, who had a special fundraising performance of the Tony hit hosted just for her earlier this month, wrapped up with, “Though ‘we may not live to see the glory,’ as the song from the Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Queens state senator wants to simplify Miranda warning read to juveniles

ALBANY — A Queens state senator wants to simplify the Miranda warning read to juveniles to make sure they better understand their rights. Senate Deputy Minority Leader Michael Gianaris will unveil the legislation during a speech at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Thursday. Under the proposal, officers would be required to use the simplified wording for any suspects arrested who are under 18. Gianaris said national statistics show that many youths in custody have limited verbal comprehension. They end up waiving their rights to remain silent and for counsel only to wind up being coerced into giving false confessions, he said. A Harvard Law Review report found that younger juveniles misunderstand Miranda warnings at “alarming rates.” “They’re easily manipulated due to their lack of understanding of the process and a lack of good legal advice,” Gianaris said. “It’s not good for the person and it’s not good for the communities where the real perpetrators are still on the loose.” Under his bill, the more simple wording would read: “You have the right to remain silent. That means, you do not have to say anything.” It would also stipulate that a juvenile has a right “to get help from a lawyer” and that the court will provide one for free if the person can’t afford one. And it specifies that “you have the right to stop this interview at any time.” After reading the statement, cops would have to ask juvenile suspects two questions that must be answered separately — “do you want to talk to me?” and “do you want to have a lawyer?” The separate Miranda warning for juveniles is a top priority of the American Bar Association. A report by the ABA in 2010 showed that about a dozen states adopted rules that treat juvenile interrogations differently than those of adults. Continue Reading

Jessica Alba plugs any gaps about her company in speech at Adweek conference

Honest, honest, honest. And did she mention, honest? Attendees at Monday’s AdWeek conference are still chuckling about how special guest Jessica Alba used her stage time at the Liberty Theater to subtly promote her own product line, even after a minor hissy fit backstage. “She was huffing and puffing and stomping her little foot backstage because the discussion started 20 minutes late,” says our insider, who said that once Alba finally got on stage, the Honest Company founder continually thanked firms that were honest about the way they produced and marketed their products. The 33-year-old “Sin City” star and mother of two also urged honest governmental oversight of unspecified companies, a theme that she continued backstage, we’re told. “It was like Hillary Clinton,” says our perplexed source. “People were wondering if she’s going to run for office.” No doubt President Alba could help stimulate the economy. Her two-year-old environmentally conscious product line, including diapers and toxin-free cleaning supplies, is already worth an estimated $1 billion. JETE’S SHORT STOP IN CLUBLAND Derek Jeter started his post-baseball life with a Monday night celebration at Soho House. Fresh off winding down his 20-year career in Boston, the Captain was spotted at the Meatpacking District hotspot enjoying a nightcap around 11 p.m. Before heading to Beantown, Jeter told Confidential last week at a Hennessy-sponsored Midtown luncheon, “If I couldn’t finish my career here, it’s only fitting it’s in Boston.” MODEL FAMILY GETTING BIGGER Congrats to Molly Sims, who is pregnant with her second child. Sims and her husband, film producer Scott Stuber, are thrilled to have a sibling for 2-year-old son Brooks. “Molly is glowing. Her skin looks incredible and you can’t even tell that she’s pregnant,” a Continue Reading

Why Ruth Negga, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karlie Kloss are wearing blue ribbons at the Oscars

Forget naked-dresses, one of the biggest trends so far on the Oscars red carpet is a little more subtle: blue ribbons.They've popped up on the designer gowns and tuxes of stars in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to defend and protect individual rights and liberties.Who has already been seen sporting the political accessory? Loving's​ Ruth Negga“They're a huge part of our film. They helped Richard and Mildred change the Constitution of the United States and they fight for civil rights, and I’m for that,” she told USA TODAY on the red carpet. “I think that charities like that are important now and they're kind of like a watchdog of sorts, and that’s important in our society.” Lin-Manuel Miranda (and his mom) Model Karlie KlossThe model just so happens to be dating White House adviser Jared Kushner's brother, Josh.On Saturday night, Casey Affleck also wore a ribbon to the Spirit Awards and used his acceptance speech to comment on Trump’s administration.“The policies of this administration are abhorrent, and they will not last, and they are really un-American,” he said while accepting his award.Star support for the ACLU predates this weekend, however.Sarah Paulson used her SAG Awards speech to ask for ACLU donations in January. And back in October, Saturday Night Live star Sasheer Zamata parodied white privilege in a hilarious ACLU video. Continue Reading

Celebs react in shock to Trump’s defense of alt-right

President Trump stunned newsmakers, political analysts and celebrities alike on Tuesday when giving a press conference at Trump Tower during which he defended the alt-right in Charlottesville.Despite denouncing hate groups in scripted remarks the day prior, "I think there's blame on both sides," said Trump on Tuesday. "I don't have any doubt about it and you don't have any doubt it either."He continued: "What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? ...What about the fact that they came charging – they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs?"Trump added, “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.”On Twitter, celebrities reacted swiftly.  There was disbelief"I haven't seen anything that crazy since Tyson bit Holyfield," tweeted Jimmy Kimmel."I can NOT believe what I'm watching on television right now. How is this man our president? Honestly?" asked Mandy Moore."That press conference kinda just blew up my brain. Everyone should watch that entire thing from beginning to end. It's truly shocking," tweeted Chris Evans."Counter-protestors" is the wrong term. They're heroes. Each one of them is a hero. One of them gave their life for what is right," wrote Kumail Nanjiani. "I feel like... I don't know what I feel anymore. Shock. Been there. Disgust. Done that. Rage. Ongoing. This is bizarre and revolting," wrote Ava DuVernay."I need a drink. I don't drink," said Questlove. Several stars called for actionLady Gaga immediately ran a poll via Twitter.  "Impeach this bad man," wrote Lin-Manuel Miranda. "Sound the alarm. This country is on fire. And the arsonist is the President," wrote Josh Gad.Don Cheadle called the president "dangerous" and said he "needs to be removed." And a few offered quips"One good Continue Reading

The Guantanamo obsession: Obama is stuck on giving civilian criminal rights to terrorists

On Wednesday, Nigerian would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indicted by a Michigan grand jury for attempted murder and sundry other criminal charges. The previous day, the State Department announced that his visa had been revoked. The system worked. Well, it did for Abdulmutallab. What he lost in flying privileges he gained in Miranda rights. He was singing quite freely when seized after trying to bring down Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit. But the Obama administration decided to give him a lawyer and the right to remain silent. We are now forced to purchase information from this attempted terrorist in the coin of leniency. Absurdly, Abdulmutallab is now in control. And this is no ordinary information. He was trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, and just days after he lawyered up and shut up, the U.S. was forced to close its embassy in Yemen because of active threats from the same people who had trained and sent Abdulmutallab. This is nuts. Even if you wanted ultimately to try him as an ordinary criminal, he could have been detained in military custody - and thus subject to military interrogation - without prejudicing his ultimate disposition. After all, every Guantanamo detainee was first treated as an enemy combatant and presumably interrogated. But some (most notoriously Khalid Shaikh Mohammed) are going to civilian trial. That determination can be made later. John Brennan, President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, professes an inability to see any "downsides" to treating Abdulmutallab as an ordinary criminal - with a right to remain silent - a view with which 71% of likely voters sensibly disagree. The administration likes to defend itself by invoking a Bush precedent: Wasn't the shoe bomber treated the same way? Yes. And it was a mistake, but in the context of the time understandable. That context does not remotely exist today. Richard Reid struck three months after 9/11. The current anti-terror apparatus was not in place. Remember: This Continue Reading

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s working on a class show, for graduates at alma mater Wesleyan

All right, all right, all right. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the red-hot hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” will spend Sunday at Wesleyan, his alma mater in Connecticut, giving the commencement address. His theme? “I’m grappling with that,” he tells the Daily News. “My real takeaway from college is about finding your community. I may work with that.” Or not. His backup plan is to copy Matthew McConaughey’s bizarre-o University of Houston speech to grads last weekend. “He just did a great commencement address,” says Miranda. “McConaughey’s my role model.” FLORENCE’S JAY & BEY SHOW Hip hop’s royal couple are their own paparazzi in Florence, Italy. An understated Beyoncé, dressed in ripped H&M jeans and Converse All-Stars, brought her own camera while taking in the sights and sounds of the birthplace of the Renaissance. Jay Z used his cell phones to snap photos of Bey. STRAHAN, HARRY WILL SERVE SPECIAL HEROES NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Debbie Harry will team-up with Gov. Cuomo at Thursday’s Help USA Hero Awards Dinner at Cipriani’s on 42nd St. Harry, of Blondie fame, is slated to perform a few tunes at the fund-raiser to aid the homeless. Strahan will be put to work as a presenter. CHUNG TRIP’S A SHORE THING We wonder if reality star turned actress Jamie Chung might have been scouting honeymoon spots this week. The 32-year-old “Real World” alum Instagrammed a beachfront photo with the caption “Kicking off summer in paradise! Hope you guys are also having a great weekend.” Her fiancé, Brian Greenberg, recently told People magazine that he’s been too busy working with his Olevolos Project charity to do anything else. “I haven’t planned anything,” he told the mag. News of the pair’s Continue Reading