TIME Music

Hear Britney Spears and Giorgio Moroder Update ‘Tom’s Diner’

Britney Spears performs at her "Britney: Piece Of Me" show at Planet Hollywood Casino Resort on March 4, 2015 in Las Vegas.
Denise Truscello—BSLV/Getty Images Britney Spears performs at her "Britney: Piece Of Me" show at Planet Hollywood Casino Resort on March 4, 2015 in Las Vegas.

The pop star covers Suzanne Vega for the disco legend's new album

Suzanne Vega’s 1980s classic “Tom’s Diner” — named after the real-life restaurant used in Seinfeld—had a pop-culture resurgence last year when Fall Out Boy sampled it in their song “Centuries.” Now, it’s having another moment thanks to Britney Spears and Giorgio Moroder, the dance-music pioneer who’s recruited pop stars like Sia, Kylie Minogue and Charli XCX for his new album Déjà Vu. Spears’ contributions sound downright robotic thanks to copious auto-tune, but before you wonder why any singer would need digital processing to sing the track’s simple and iconic doo-doo-doo hook, consider this: all that studio magic does, in a way, amplify the themes of voyeurism and alienation that reportedly inspired Vega’s original track.

Check out the song here.

TIME

Read Bruce Jenner’s Inspiring Father’s Day Message to Kendall and Kylie

(Courtesy of Bruce Jenner)

In a 2013 letter for Time, the Olympic gold medalist advised his daughters to embrace change, no matter what form it takes.

One of the biggest questions surrounding Bruce Jenner’s rumored gender transition is how it might affect his relationship with his family. “Those are the only ones I’m concerned with,” the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star says in a promo for his sit-down interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, which is expected to address months of speculation about Jenner’s personal life when it airs Friday night. “I can’t let myself hurt them.”

In a 2013 Father’s Day letter published on TIME, Jenner advised his children—namely daughters Kendall and Kylie—to embrace change, no matter what form it takes. “That’s the thing I’ve learned to value most: be true to yourself, be your own person,” Jenner wrote. “Trying things outside of your comfort zone is essential, because your ability to grow as a person is directly related to the amount of insecurity you can handle. So be strong and fearless on this journey we call life.”

Read Jenner’s complete letter, below:

To my two precious little girls, Kendall and Kylie:

I have learned so much about raising kids over the last 34 years. You guys are my ninth and tenth children, and my fifth and sixth girls to raise. Every girl has been totally different, both in personality and lifestyle. And that’s the thing I’ve learned to value most: be true to yourself, be your own person—and be caring to others, as well.

You should also develop a passion. I don’t care what that passion is. You just have to find something that makes you excited to wake up in the morning and start your day. That is true success. Brandon with his music, Kimberly with her business and Kourtney with her dedication to her family—these are all great examples to follow.

Another key to life is picking the right partner to share it with. I certainly have learned that is really difficult to find, because people change. Your mom and I have been together for 23 years, and our relationship has constantly changed and evolved. But we have been able to make it through those adjustments because of a deep love and caring for each other. We are still as committed as ever. Go out and find that person who makes you a better person, and vice versa.

I’m so proud of the two of you. I see you both have a caring and enthusiasm for life. But in the future, you will face obstacles. Don’t let them scare you. Fear is part of the game. Trying things outside of your comfort zone is essential, because your ability to grow as a person is directly related to the amount of insecurity you can handle. So be strong and fearless on this journey we call life.

Dad

TIME National Security

Widow of American Captive Killed in Strike Criticizes U.S. Hostage Support

The wife of Warren Weinstein joins a number of families calling for more centralized support and communication

The wife of an American captive of al-Qaeda who after more than three years was killed during a counterterrorism operation in January, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday, called on the government to improve the “inconsistent and disappointing” help it offers the families of hostages.

“We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” Elaine Weinstein, now the widow of Warren Weinstein, said in a statement, according to McClatchyDC. Her husband, who was held alongside Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto, also killed in the operation, was working as a development adviser in Pakistan when he was captured in 2011.

Weinstein’s comments echo calls from a number of families of U.S. captives for more frequent communication from the government, more centralized negotiation efforts—no single person is in charge of trying to free hostages—as well as a more case-by-case approach to freeing captives. Some families, including those of journalist James Foley and aid worker Kayla Mueller, have also criticized the U.S. ban on paying ransoms, which State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said would remain in place.

The Obama administration began an internal review of its hostage policies last summer, she told reporters, and has reached out to 82 families involved in hostage situations as far back as 2001.

“These families have gone through the worst thing they will ever have to go through, and I think you hear a lot of different statements from them. We’ve heard people talk about how supportive the U.S. government has been,” Harf said. “But we know this is an incredibly challenging issue. That’s why we’re doing a review of how we deal with all of these issues.”

[McClatchyDC]

TIME celebrities

Cobie Smulders Opens Up About Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis at Age 25

Cobie Smulders attends the Chanel Dinner during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at Balthazar on April 20, 2015 in New York City.
Jamie McCarth—Getty Images Cobie Smulders attends the Chanel Dinner during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at Balthazar on April 20, 2015 in New York City.

"I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm cancer-free"

How I Met Your Mother actress Cobie Smulders revealed publicly for the first time that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25. in the May issue of Women’s Health.

“I had tumors on both ovaries and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues,” the actress, who can be seen in The Avengers: Age of Ultron next month, says in an interview with Women’s Health.

Diagnosed during the third season of the hit CBS sitcom, Smulders, 33, says she had multiple surgeries across two years instead of chemotherapy and radiation because of the location of the cancerous tissue on her body. And even though doctors said she wouldn’t be able to naturally conceive, Smulders did become pregnant with daughter Shaelyn, now 5, and welcomed another son with husband and Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam earlier this year.

“I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free,” Smulders says. “Now that I’m five years out, I’m trying to think of it as a positive thing and what can I learn from it. And if I can create more awareness, I’ll do it.”

[Women’s Health]

TIME police

Maryland Governor Sends State Troopers to Baltimore Protests

Hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody, Baltimore on April 22, 2015.
Samuel Corum—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody, Baltimore on April 22, 2015.

"The last thing we need is more violence in Baltimore City"

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday he sent state police troopers to Baltimore as protests over a man’s death following an injury in police custody heat up.

“People legitimately have concerns, and the community is out in force protesting,” Hogan said, The Baltimore Sun reports. “I want to thank the folks involved in that. So far it has been peaceful. We want to try to keep things under control. The last thing we need is more violence in Baltimore City.”

Protests have popped up in Baltimore in the past few days as investigations continue into Gray’s case. The 25-year-old died Sunday after suffering an injury during an arrest on April 12, but exactly how he sustained the fatal injury—his spine was 80% “severed at the neck,” a family attorney said earlier—remains a mystery.

Thirty-two troopers reached Baltimore on Thursday afternoon to support and assist police, who Hogan said will continue to be at the protests, after the city requested state help.

While speaking to reporters in Annapolis, Hogan also expressed support for a recently passed police body-camera bill. “Having the real evidence of of exactly what happened, having everything videotaped, is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Several videos of the arrest have emerged in the wake of Gray’s death. One witness said he saw officers have Gray “folded up like a crab.”

 

[Baltimore Sun]

TIME

Fifty Shades Sequels Will Keep Arriving in Time for Valentine’s Day

The two films now have release dates set for 2017 and 2018

Whether Fifty Shades of Grey‘s Valentine’s Day release drew you to theaters or sent you running from them, expect it to become an almost-annual tradition.

The film’s sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, now have release dates set for Feb. 19, 2017, and Feb. 9, 2018, respectively. Variety reports Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley said Thursday at CinemaCon: “We’re making this a Valentine’s Day event.”

That doesn’t come as a huge surprise given the first movie’s record-breaking February opening. Universal has yet to announce a replacement for director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who won’t be returning to the series, but Niall Leonard—the husband of Fifty Shades author E.L. James—will be writing the screenplay.

[Variety]

TIME movies

Johnny Depp Is Nearly Unrecognizable in the Black Mass Trailer

The actor plays Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger

Johnny Depp is famous for taking on roles that require some serious transformations, but decades into his career, it’s still a shock to see him as Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger in the trailer for Black Mass. The actor is nearly unrecognizable in the somewhat unconventional trailer, which mostly consists of one derailed dinner party scene to convey just how creepy and threatening Bulger, a convicted murder currently in prison, could be.

Black Mass, which also stars Kevin Bacon and Benedict Cumberbatch, hits theaters Sept. 18.

TIME movies

Native American Actors Leave Adam Sandler Movie Set After Complaints

The actors complained about the portrayals of Native Americans in the script

A group of Native American actors say they walked off the set of a new Adam Sandler movie for Netflix on Wednesday after taking issue with the script they deemed as offensive.

The actors, who were reportedly joined by the movie’s Native American cultural advisor, left after complaining about The Ridiculous Six costumes, which they say were stereotypical and inaccurate, and character names, which they say included “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra.” The movie is a spoof of the 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven.

“There were about a dozen of us who walked off the set,” Loren Anthony, one of the actors, told Indian Country Today Media Network. “I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this, and I wasn’t down for it. Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist. So I agreed to it but on Monday things started getting weird on the set.”

Both Anthony and another actress, Alison Young, say that when they complained, producers told them the disrespect was unintentional but that the film was a comedy and the actors could leave if they were upset.

David Hill, one of the actors who left, said producers called back the actors and the consultant afterwards. “I hope they will listen to us,” Hill said. “We understand this is a comedy, we understand this is humor, but we won’t tolerate disrespect.”

In a statement to Vulture, a Netflix spokesperson said: “The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous. It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of—but in on—the joke.”

[ICTMN]

TIME Music

New Sia Video Trades Maddie Ziegler’s Dancing for Heidi Klum

Watch a clip for "Fire Meet Gasoline"

Auf wiedersehen, Maddie Ziegler. Just when you think you know what to expect from a Sia video—like 12-old Ziegler executing unsettling dance moves in a blonde wig—the “Chandelier” singer switches it up for her new video.

“Fire Meet Gasoline,” the latest single from last year’s 1000 Forms of Fear, trades creepy choreography for German fashion star Heidi Klum, who acts out a passionate relationship with Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) that’s as heated as the arson she commits. Looks like in Sia videos, just like fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.

Update: According to a publicist for Sia’s record label RCA, the “Fire Meet Gasoline” video is an not an official video for the artist but a Heidi Klum video set to Sia’s song.

TIME TIME 100 Gala

How Twitter Brought the Frozen Songwriters and John Green Together

The three met up at the annual TIME 100 gala

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband-and-wife songwriting team behind Frozen, attended the TIME 100 Gala last year as honorees, but they still felt a little out of place this year’s event.

“If you are at the Time 100 event and don’t know anyone, come find us in the corner and we will sing showtunes,” Anderson-Lopez tweeted early in the evening. “We are at the #time100 party awkwardly taking selfies in the corner,” her husband posted a few minutes later.

But after the two told TIME that a Twitter follower suggested they seek out The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, an introduction was quickly made—though it turned out this wasn’t the first time the three had met.

“I know what you guys did!” Green laughed after the couple told him who they were. “I talked to you last year but you don’t remember!” Green then introduced the pair to his wife, who, as the mother of small children, is extremely familiar with “Let It Go” and other songs from the movie. “You guys have changed her life, maybe not for the better,” Green said.

Lopez and Anderson-Lopez are still deep in the Frozen universe, writing additional songs for the Broadway musical adaptation of the Disney animated hit, but with last month’s news that a sequel was officially on its way, the two say they haven’t yet come up with a “Let It Go” follow-up—not that they’re sweating it.

“Definitely not!” Anderson-Lopez said. “We’re waiting till it comes [to us],” Lopez added.

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