TIME Music

Former Smiths Singer Morrissey Reveals His Battle With Cancer

Singer Morrissey performs on stage during the 20th annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert at the Oslo Spektrum on Dec. 11, 2013 in Oslo.
Singer Morrissey performs on stage during the 20th annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert at the Oslo Spektrum on Dec. 11, 2013 in Oslo. Chris Jackson—Getty Images

"If I die, I die. If I don't, then I don't"

British rocker Morrissey revealed Tuesday that he has undergone four cancer treatments, an announcement that followed several recent tour cancellations due to his poor health.

In what almost sounded like song lyrics, the former Smiths singer told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in an e-mail interview that “I have had four cancer-scrapings, but so what. If I die, I die. If I don’t, then I don’t. As I sit here today, I feel very well.”

Morrissey, who kicked off his latest European tour in Portugal Monday, added that while he has been affected by his illness, he promises to work hard nonetheless.

“I know I look quite bad on recent photographs,” Morrissey wrote to El Mundo, “but I am afraid this is what illness does to the overall countenance. I will save relaxation for when I’m dead.”

Morrissey has not identified the form of his cancer, but his poor health has been widely known after he cancelled several U.S. concerts last year and was hospitalized for a respiratory infection in June, according to BBC. He has previously struggled with pneumonia, anemia and a throat condition called Barrett’s esophagus.

TIME celebrities

Amanda Bynes Reveals Plans to Move to New York to Study Psychology

Actress Amanda Bynes is seen in New York City on Oct. 6, 2014.
Actress Amanda Bynes is seen in New York City on Oct. 6, 2014. Raymond Hall—GC Images/Getty Images

The former child star has been focused on regaining her health after being released from psychiatric hold

Troubled former child star Amanda Bynes returned to Twitter Tuesday after an almost six month hiatus to announce future study plans in New York.

Bynes will transfer to NYU or Columbia from San Diego’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM), she said.

The sometime-actress has most often been the subject of tabloids in recent years, while the public tried to decipher her cryptic tweets or understand her unpredictable IRL behavior. The actress was released from a treatment center in December last year after four months of an involuntary psychiatric hold, after which she enrolled at FIDM.

After outlining her plans, Bynes also seemed to address her critics:

Presumably these are in response to media outlets like TMZ, which reported last week that Bynes was expelled from FIDM, a situation that would likely complicate Bynes’ plans to transfer to NYU or Columbia.

TIME celebrities

North West Looks Just as Stylish as Her Mom

Baby North West has her own stylist, apparently

This toddler has her own stylist, apparently, who doubles as a tailor. Which is fitting, because North West often dresses like mom, Kim Kardashian. From matching black lace outfits at the Givenchy show in Paris to coordinated grey tops for an overnight flight, Nori tends to sport miniature versions of her mom’s wardrobe, whether it be dresses, handbags or shoes. The tot’s outfits are a reportedly planned months in advance so that she and mom can look alike for most public appearances.

TIME celebrities

Geoffrey Holder, Director and Actor, Dies at 84

Geoffrey Holder
Geoffrey Holder on Broadway in New York City, April 25, 2010. Andrew H. Walker—Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Geoffrey Holder, a Tony Award-winning director, actor, painter, dancer and choreographer who during an eclectic show business career led the groundbreaking show “The Wiz” to Broadway, pitched 7-Up on TV and played a scary villain in a James Bond film, has died. He was 84.

Holder died Sunday of complications of pneumonia at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, according to Anna Glass, a producer and family friend.

The 6-foot-6, Trinidad-born Holder won Tonys in 1975 for directing and designing the costumes for his all-black retelling of “The Wizard of Oz.” In 1978, he directed and choreographed the lavish Broadway musical “Timbuktu!” starring Eartha Kitt and earned another Tony nomination for best costumes.

On TV, Holder played roles on TV’s “Tarzan,” voiced the leader on the PBS Kids animated show “Cyberchase” and pitched 7-Up as “the un-cola” in a commercial in which he wore a white suit and hat, purring “maaarvelous” as he drank the soda.

During 1955 and 1956, Holder was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York. He also appeared with his troupe, Geoffrey Holder and Company and worked with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

His film roles include playing Punjab in the 1982 film version of “Annie,” a role in 1967’s “Doctor Dolittle” with Rex Harrison, opposite Eddie Murphy in “Boomerang,” narrating Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and playing the top-hatted voodoo villain Baron Samedi in “Live and Let Die” — the first of the 007 movies to star Roger Moore.

Holder co-authored and illustrated a collection of Caribbean folklore, “Black Gods, Green Islands” in 1959, and had a book of recipes, “Geoffrey Holder’s Caribbean Cookbook” in 1973. He painted throughout his life and received a Guggenheim fellowship in fine arts in 1956.

He is survived by his wife, the dancer Carmen de Lavallade and their son, Leo.

TIME celebrities

Raven-Symoné’s No-Labels Approach to Sexuality Isn’t Anything New

Raven-Symone
Raven-Symoné. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer) Peter Kramer—ASSOCIATED PRESS

The actress tells Oprah she's dating a woman, but doesn't like "labels"

Last night, former child star Raven-Symoné sat down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss what had seemed to be her coming out last summer in a tweet.

But on Winfrey’s couch, the That’s So Raven and Cosby Show actress seemed to fall into a very common rhetorical pattern among celebrities, saying that her sexuality is something that cannot be labeled — that, indeed, she’s post-gay. While conceding to Winfrey that she’s in a relationship with a woman, Raven-Symoné said, “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.'”

“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American,” the actress continued. “I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”

While the extent to which Raven-Symoné rejects labels is fairly new, she’s hardly the first celebrity to push back against categorization as “gay” — even while acknowledging a same-sex relationship. Neil Patrick Harris, in 2009, told an interviewer he was inspired by a Real World cast member who “was seemingly so confident in their own skin that they didn’t need to wear their sexuality [...] Or to flaunt their sexuality?” Though Harris is one of the most successful openly gay celebrities, even he has made it clear that it’s much easier to back away from being identified, first, as gay. To be open about one’s relationship is one thing; to be “labeled” is to become far less hireable.

Just about every major gay star of the recent past has come out with a caveat — that they don’t want this to be the only thing we know about them. Olympic diver Tom Daley told a magazine that “I don’t think it matters who you choose to be in a relationship with”; Jodie Foster acknowledged the woman with whom she’d raised her children at the Golden Globes within the context of a speech about how stars’ personal lives ought to be private. Anderson Cooper came out in a letter in which he hectored his reader: “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.”

It’s easy to understand why this happens: for many celebrities, being gay means dating entirely in private, and shying away from identifying as a member of a community. Because their work takes place in public, some trepidation is an understandable response. And yet, even if their visibility is conditional, it still moves the needle. Tempting as it is to want Raven-Symoné to grow out of her obvious discomfort with labels, as Harris and Cooper have, she’s sending a message by the sheer fact of acknowledging her relationship in public — even if the squeamishness and fear embedded in that message makes it frustratingly ambiguous. Her speaking about her relationship is a good first step. Here’s hoping it’s the first of several.

TIME Music

B.B. King Cancels Tour Dates Due to Exhaustion and Dehydration

B.B. King Performs At Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay
Blues legend B.B. King performs on stage at Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay on Aug. 27, 2014 in San Diego. Daniel Knighton—Getty Images

The 89-year-old fell ill on Friday

Celebrities have made “dehydration” and “exhaustion” a cause for suspicion, not concern, in the past several years, but when the icon suffering is blues legend B.B. King, the news is more sobering.

The 89-year-old guitarist has canceled the remaining eight dates on his tour after becoming ill during a Friday evening performance at the House of Blues in Chicago, King’s official website announced Saturday. After the performance, a doctor evaluated King and quickly diagnosed him.

TIME Television

Watch Ben Affleck and Bill Maher Argue About Islam

Maher: Islam is "the only religion that acts like the mafia"

Gone Girl star Ben Affleck and Real Time host Bill Maher got into a heated argument about Islam on Maher’s HBO talk show Friday.

Maher and author Sam Harris argued that liberals were backing away from criticizing Islam’s stance on women’s and LGBT rights because people “have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism gets confused with bigotry toward Muslims as people.” Harris called Islam “the motherlode of bad ideas”; Maher called Islam “the only religion that acts like the mafia — that will f-cking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

Affleck, however, called these characterizations “gross and racist” and argued that Maher and Harris were just conflating the minority views of radical jihadists with the beliefs of the rest of the world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof also jumped in on the conversation at points. Watch the full debate above.

TIME Hong Kong

Global Support for Hong Kong Student Protest Intensifies

HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-DEMOCRACY
Support messages from citizens of various countries are seen near a gathering point of pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on Oct. 2, 2014 Philippe Lopez—AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood celebrities, political figures and international support groups are standing behind the city's Occupy movement

The world has been watching Hong Kong.

As tens of thousands of protesters convened in Hong Kong’s Central district on Saturday night, hoisting up umbrellas and lifting illuminated cellphones into a nebula of white light, projected messages of support from around the world floated bright and high on a wall above them.

“Even though we are 13 hours away, I am following you every second,” read one message, from a supporter in Panama. That note flickered above yet another wall plastered in thousands of multilingual Post-it notes from well-wishers.

“You are not alone,” read one note, in English. “Democracy is universal. No democracy, no freedom,” read another, from “a French girl in Hong Kong” who squeezed in her country’s national motto at the bottom: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.”

The beamed-up messages and Post-it notes appeared emblematic of accumulating international support for Hong Kong’s protesters, as the sit-ins in this hub of global commerce extend into a second week and as worldwide fascination with the protesters sleeping in the streets widens.

Hong Kong protesters are well aware they are in the spotlight. At Saturday night’s huge rally, in Admiralty, one speaker turned to the international press pack and addressed them in English, saying that their presence gave protection to the students, who have now been issued an ultimatum to leave the streets by Monday. “Thank you for coming,” he said to the assembled journalists. “And for those of you who haven’t been here before — welcome to Hong Kong!” The crowd, blinking with camera flashes, roared.

The rally on Saturday night seemed to be the largest so far — but it was also perhaps the most emotional. Reactionary mobs had spent the previous day and night attacking smaller student encampments at Mong Kok, across Victoria Harbor, and in Causeway Bay. There were also rumors that the Admiralty occupation was to be forcibly suppressed that night.

Reassurance came from global support groups, who have staged rallies around the world on behalf of the protesters. Over the weekend, they reaffirmed their support for the demonstrators on Facebook and Twitter.

“We are dismayed by and furious with the intimidation of people who support the cause for Democracy in Hong Kong,” wrote United for Democracy: Global Solidarity With Hong Kong on its Facebook page Saturday, referring to the violence in Mong Kok, as well as to what it said were reports of violence on some of the global marches. The group last week organized support rallies in 26 cities worldwide.

Global celebrities, including Mia Farrow and George Takei, have also made high-profile appeals of support for the protesters on social media, the Los Angeles Times reports

Several major local actors, including Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat, of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, have also weighed in on behalf of Hong Kong’s young demonstrators.

“I’ve met the residents, the students — they are very brave and it’s touching to see that they’re fighting for what they want,” Chow told Apple Daily, a local newspaper, on Wednesday.

Anthony Wong, a top-billing Hong Kong actor, also told protesters over a broadcast phone conversation on Saturday night that “what we are fighting for is not just democracy but also to protect our values.”

Meanwhile, global leaders and officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have toughened their tone on China, calling on Beijing to ensure democratic freedoms and end the unrest. Merkel is due to take part in a German-Chinese government summit in Berlin in just a week.

Several former U.S. consuls general to Hong Kong on Saturday night wrote an open letter to the city’s embattled leader Leung Chun-ying, calling on him to “work out a road map with the Hong Kong people that shows clear progress toward the goals enunciated in the Basic Law: universal suffrage, a broadly representative nomination and democratic procedures.”

“We are writing to you based on decades of inestimable interest and admiration for Hong Kong,” wrote the former officials. “We have loved the city, admired its citizens and promoted its vital role for business, culture and commerce for Asia and for China.”

Still, the White House, which answered a petition supporting the protesters with an unambiguous endorsement of their calls for fair elections, has been criticized for not leaning hard enough on Beijing over the lack of democracy in both Hong Kong and China.

David Shambaugh, director of the China policy program at the George Washington University, told the New York Times that China was going through its most repressive period in 25 years. “The administration isn’t speaking out about that,” he said.

TIME Television

Taylor Swift Joins NBC’s The Voice

2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Press Room
Taylor Swift poses at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Press Room at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Granitz—WireImage

She'll be joining Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys

Taylor Swift will join NBC’s The Voice as an advisor this fall, taking over the role that Coldplay’s Chris Martin left last season.

The Grammy Award-winning singer will serve as the sole mentor for all of the artists on each of the four teams, reports EntertainThis!, and will be joining the veteran coaches Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.

The lineup Swift will be joining is packed with singing stars old and new: Little Big Town, Stevie Wonder, Gavin Rossdale and Alicia Keys are also advisers, People reports.

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) starting at the end of this month.

[People]

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