Sunday, 10 August 2008

Bernie Mac Remembered By Ice Cube, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock And More

Bernie Mac's colleagues and co-stars were quick to pay tribute to the late comedian and actor after his death at age 50 from complications of pneumonia early Saturday.

"Today and tomorrow will never be as funny as yesterday, without Bernie Mac, a true original," Ice Cube, who directed Mac in his first significant movie role as Pastor Clever in 1995's "Friday," told MTV News.

Mac's "Ocean's Eleven," "Twelve" and "Thirteen" co-star George Clooney echoed Ice Cube's lament. "The world just got a little less funny," he said in a statement to "Entertainment Tonight." "He will be dearly missed."

Fellow "Ocean's" co-star Brad Pitt added in a statement to E! Online: "I lament the loss of a ferociously funny and hard-core family man. My thoughts are with [his wife], Rhonda, and their family. Bernie Mac, you are already missed."

Chris Rock, who worked with Mac in "Head of State," called him "one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live, but that was the second-best thing he did. Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have," he told E!. "Losing him is like losing 12 people, because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I'm gonna miss the Mac Man."

Later this fall, Mac will be seen in "Soul Men" opposite Samuel L. Jackson, but in a statement to People, Jackson emphasized the actor's personal qualities. "He was also an attentive husband, a great father and loving grandfather," Jackson said. "I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac, and I'm honored to have finally co-starred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement."

Cedric the Entertainer — who appeared with Mac on "The Original Kings of Comedy" tour, which was made into a movie and a Grammy-nominated album in 2001 — called Mac "a brother, a friend and one of the comic masters of our time. Sharing the marquee with him during the phenomenon of the 'Kings of Comedy' tour bonded us like family, and created a unique moment in comic history, marking some of the most meaningful, memorable and fun times of our lives," Cedric told E!. "His comedic approach was his own brand and will definitely stand the test of time. The level of his talent always inspired me, and other comedians, to 'bring their A-game.' I promise you that you never wanted to be the guy who had to follow Bernie's set!"

Niecy Nash, who played Mac's little sister on his Emmy-winning Fox sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show" from 2001-2006, told Us, "Bernie Mac was the personification of the word 'real.' He kept it real," she said. "That kind of genuine spirit that he carried all time cannot be easily duplicated, but I will do my very best to try."

Mac is survived by his wife, Rhonda McCullough, their daughter, Je'Niece, a son-in-law and a granddaughter. According to People, his funeral is scheduled for this Friday at an undisclosed location, and the family requests that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago, Illinois, 60605.

Miley Cyrus To Face Off Against Tokio Hotel For Best New Artist At VMAs

Each year, one of the most coveted trophies handed out at the MTV Video Music Awards is the Moonman for Best New Artist. Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Eminem, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne and 50 Cent are among the award's previous winners, while Gym Class Heroes walked away with the honor last year.

Britney Spears Tapes Commercial -- With LL Cool J, Pete Wentz, Russell Brand -- For MTV Video Music Awards

Britney Spears' performance at last year's MTV Video Music Awards was memorable in ways the singer would probably not prefer.

But Brit's joined forces with this year's VMA host, Russell Brand, along with LL Cool J and FNMTV host/ Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz for a comical improvised promo for this year's show.

In the promo, which was filmed this week, Spears riffs with Brand in an improvisational Q&A session, during which Brand suggests there's some sexual tension between them — "I didn't feel any tension," Brit quips. She also shows some of the comedic chops she employed during her two-episode stint this spring on CBS' "How I Met Your Mother,", joking that she has no idea who Brand is, at one point calling him, "Russell Brown"; LL Cool J calls him "Russell Bland."

While it remains unconfirmed whether Spears will appear at this year's show — which will be broadcast live from the legendary Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood on September 7 — the singer is nominated for two Moonmen: in the Best Female and Best Pop Video categories, for her track "Piece of Me."

Incredibly, despite 16 nominations in previous years, Spears has never won a Moonman, but is hoping to break that dry spell next month.

This year, she'll face off against Katy Perry, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks, and Mariah Carey — another artist with several VMAs nods under her belt but no statuette — for Best Female Video, and will contend with Danity Kane, the Jonas Brothers, Panic at the Disco and Tokio Hotel for the Best Pop Video prize.

The 25th VMAs will take place at the legendary Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood on September 7. The Jonas Brothers and Lil Wayne are confirmed to perform.

Rick Ross, DJ Khaled Kick Off <i>Ozone</i> Awards Festivities, In <i>You R Here</i>

As the parties surrounding Monday’s Ozone magazine award show began early Sunday morning, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled rocked the Warehouse in Houston with Miami Mayback Music mayhem.

Ross, whose named shined on the marquee outside, took the wheel with “I’m So Hood” (”Who da bessssss? Weeeeeeeeee!” Khaled yelled during the song) and “Out Here Grindin.” Khaled then introduced his artist Ace Hood on “Cash Flow.”

“I been in the game 10 years, walking around with white shoes on, and n—as ain’t stepped on my sh–s yet,” Ross told the crowd about his clout. He also acknowledged the influence on his career, and the rap game overall, of Rap-A-Lot CEO J. Prince, who was one of the spectators onstage.

Crooked I, Lil’ Flip and Chamillionaire were also onstage, getting an extra-close view of the show. Before he left, Ross also gave tribute to UGK.

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Bernie Mac Dead At 50

Bernie Mac, the actor and comedian who worked his way to stardom from humble beginnings on Chicago's tough South Side, died early Saturday at the age of 50, according to The Associated Press.

"Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement. She said no other details were available and requested that his family's privacy be respected. Earlier this week she had said reports of Mac's serious illness were overstated and that he was expected to make a full recovery.

In recent years, Mac (real name: Bernard Jeffery McCullough) had battled an inflammatory lung disease known as sarcoidosis, which causes inflammation in the lungs, lymph nodes and other organs. It had been in remission since 2005, and Smith had said Mac's pneumonia was not related to it.

In addition to his appearance in last year's hit "Transformers," Mac had recently been working on the TV series "Starting Under," as well as several films, including the Samuel L. Jackson flick "Soul Men" (slated for release later this year) and the John Travolta comedy "Old Dogs," which is scheduled for a 2009 release. The status of those films was unclear at press time.

Recently Mac made headlines when he attended a Barack Obama fundraiser and made a few lighthearted comments about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "I'm proud of him because politics is dirty, especially with Republicans," he said. "People like rumors. They are going to say things like, you know, 'You was in the club with Lil' Kim, and you and Kanye West got in a fistfight.' " The comments garnered a rebuke from Obama's campaign.

Mac (Bernard Jeffrey McCullough) was born on October 5, 1957, in Chicago, and grew up on the city's South Side, according to AP. His first standup performance was at a church dinner when he was 8, and he began doing standup at clubs in Chicago at 20. His film career began with a small role in "Mo' Money" in 1992. Mac went on to appear in the "Ocean's 11" films with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, "Guess Who" with Ashton Kutcher, "Bad Santa," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and other films.

Mac is perhaps best known for his Fox television series "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired from 2001 to 2006. The series, about a man's adventures raising his sister's three children, won a Peabody Award in 2002, and earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for Mac. He also was nominated for a Grammy award for best comedy album in 2001, with his "The Original Kings of Comedy" co-stars, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer.

Mac is survived by his wife, Rhonda McCullough, their daughter, Je'Niece, a son-in-law and a granddaughter.

Ludacris, T.I. 'Wish You Would' Believe There's No Beef Between Them

Forget the feuding, make history, get money. Jay-Z and Nas taught us that secret to success a couple of years ago, and now two of the other biggest names in hip-hop are following in their footsteps. Ludacris and T.I. seem to have kicked their storied rivalry to the side of the road. The two appear on Luda's new record "Wish You Would."

'Breaking Dawn' Exclusive: 'Twilight' Author Stephenie Meyer Reacts To Harsh Reader Complaints -- 'It Hurts'

Last Saturday afternoon, less than a day after "Breaking Dawn," the conclusion of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, hit shelves, the Internet grumblings began. Of course, many readers were still eagerly drinking up the saga of Edward and Bella. But one fast reader expressed her disappointment in the book by launching a discussion on urging fellow disgruntled fans, "Don't burn your copies of the book — RETURN THEM."

(SPOILER ALERT, though we'll try to keep them vague for all you slowpokes.) And judging by the heated back-and-forth that followed, there are plenty of other Twilighters complaining about what is or isn't in the book: the lack of more explicit sex scenes, the excessive amount of sex scenes, the implausibility of Bella's pregnancy, the pace of the story, the lack of a big battle scene, the whole Jacob section, and on and on. One blogger told Entertainment Weekly that the story "didn't seem to fit the world that I thought Stephenie Meyer created." So how does the author feel about this venomous reaction to the novel that sold 1.3 million copies in its first day?