Lady Gaga to perform at 2019 Grammys

Lady Gaga can’t be in two places at once, especially two awards shows at two different sides of the pond this Sunday: the Grammys in Los Angeles and the BAFTAs in London.


We hear that Gaga will be performing at the Grammys where she is nominated for five awards, four for “Shallow” from A “Star Is Born”: record of the year, song of the year, best pop duo/group (with Bradley Cooper) performance and best song written for visual media. Her fifth Grammy nom is in the best pop solo performance category for her piano version of “Joanne.”


It would come as no surprise if she sings “Shallow” this Sunday. When the song “Listen” from 2007’s Dreamgirls was up for an Oscar nom, Beyonce took the opportunity to perform that song at the Grammys (the track was written by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler with lyrics by Anne Preven).


Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper will head to London to support “A Star Is Born‘s” presence there, of which he has five of the pic’s seven BAFTA noms: best film (shared with Bill Gerber and Lynette Howell Taylor), best leading actor, best screenplay (shared with Eric Roth, Will Fetters), original music, and the David Lean Award for direction. The movie is also nominated for best sound as well as best actress for Gaga (she’s also sharing original music credits).


Overall, “A Star Is Born” counts eight Oscar noms, including best song (“Shallow” which Gaga is co-credited on), best actress Gaga, best picture, lead actor Cooper, supporting actor Sam Elliott, adapted screenplay, cinematography and sound mixing. To date, “A Star Is Born” has racked up $ 417.4M at the global box office.

The Grammys will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in LA at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m..

Adam Levine opens up about decision to perform during Super Bowl: ‘Nobody thought about it more than I did’

Adam Levine says he definitely didn’t take the decision to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show lightly.

ET’s Kevin Frazier exclusively sat down with the 39-year-old singer on Thursday in Atlanta for the singer’s only interview before the big game, where he addressed Maroon 5’s decision to headline the halftime show in light of the current controversy surrounding how the NFL has handled Colin Kaepernick and other players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

“No one thought about it more than I did,” he says. “No one put more thought and love into this than I did. … I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt.”

Everything We Know About the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show

He adds he “absolutely 100 percent” took a hard look inside of himself.

“I will never sit here and deny that,” he says. “I think that to have not done that would have been deeply irresponsible.”

And for those who feel like their voices aren’t being heard, Levine has a reassuring message.

“They will be [heard] — that’s all I want to say because I don’t want to spoil anything,” he shares. “And once again, I like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades doing this. I’m not a speaker. I’m not a public speaker. I do speak, but it’s through the music. My life’s work and what I put out into the universe has been positive and hopefully inspiring … So, what I would say is, you know, we are going to do what we keep on doing, hopefully without becoming politicians and continuing to use the one voice we know how to use properly.”

“To make people understand, we got you,” he says succinctly. “We got you.”

2019 Super Bowl Ads: Watch All the Commercials (Thus Far)!

Levine also acknowledges that he did take the controversy into consideration when approaching the performance.

“I think we wanted to make sure we were able to speak once again through the music, so yes, absolutely, once we processed these things, it took a lot of looking inward and introspection and I thought to myself, ‘What is my greatest tool, you know, what is the thing that I can use to express myself … the best way for the band to express themselves, and how are we going to do it this year? What do we owe ourselves, what do we owe the people?'” he explains. “And that is what we did, and I am beyond proud of the finished product, and literally never, never been more excited in my entire life to present this to the people because I believe that it’s truly a reflection of all of us.”

Levine notes that he’s not alone when it comes to controversy about a halftime show and being a performer, he has to be able to handle criticism.

Maroon 5 and NFL Donating $ 500,000 to Charity Ahead of Super Bowl LIII

“You know, I think when you look back on every Super Bowl halftime show, it is this insatiable urge to hate a little bit,” he says. “I am not in the right profession if I can’t handle a bit of controversy. It is what it is. We would like to move on from it and speak through the music.”

Indeed, Levine appears to be letting his actions speak for him. During the interview, the singer chose to wear an Off-White hoodie by Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s first black artistic director in the luxury brand’s history. On Tuesday, Maroon 5 also announced that along with their label, Interscope Records, as well as the NFL, they’ll be donating $ 500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America ahead of Super Bowl LIII. As part of the NFL’s #InspireChange social justice initiative, the contribution will help to create positive social changes for youth in communities across the country.

In addition to Maroon 5, Outkast’s Big Boi — who hails from Atlanta — and Travis Scott will also be playing the big show. Earlier this month, Scott revealed that he, along with the NFL, will be making a donation to Dream Corps, an organization that is at the forefront of social justice issues like reducing jail populations and creating career opportunities for communities.

The Super Bowl airs Feb. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Harry Connick Jr. reveals surprising new gig, says talent to perform ‘was given by God’

Harry Connick Jr. believes his passion for performing is heaven-sent.

“I was always naturally inclined to play,” the 51-year-old singer and pianist told Fox News. “That was something that I was given by God I think, a talent to play the piano. Not everybody has that but everybody has the ability to play the piano and to improve, to enjoy it and have it be a special occasion with friends and family or just by yourself. I don’t think there’s any reason [you can’t learn], be it thinking you’re tone-deaf or you can’t read music or you’re not naturally musically gifted.”


Connick has always found a way to expand his creativity, whether it be writing music, acting or guiding other aspiring artists as a judge on “American Idol.” Most recently, he attempted to pursue the role of daytime TV host for his talk show “Harry.” The show launched in 2016 and aimed to be a family-friendly blend of celebrity interviews, games and inspirational segments. But “Harry” was canceled in 2018 after two seasons.

These days, Connick is going back to his musical roots. But this time, he wants to encourage others to take on the piano. The Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician recently partnered with Quincy Jones’ equation tech company, Playground Sessions, a piano learning software and app.

Connick himself offers online piano lessons through Playground Sessions. USA Today previously reported the app, which costs $ 9.99 a month, uses “gamification techniques” to entice users into learning to play the piano. For example, Connick teaches users how to play the classic New Orleans standard “When the Saints Go Marching In” by assigning numbers to each musical note, encouraging viewers to get through the song. The publication added that along the way, users get bonuses for making it through.


Connick hopes to demystify the process of learning to play the piano through the power of technology.

Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr. (Reuters)

“I’ve been the beneficiary of music education my whole life and I think it’s important to pay it forward,” he explained. “Anything I can do to get people interested in music and to beat the drum literally and figuratively for music education. It’s infinitely beneficial to people of all ages to learn about music and have music be a part of their lives.”

“There’s no reason that you can’t learn how to play and learn how to play very quickly,” he added.

And one person who doesn’t mind hearing the New Orleans native tickle the ivories is his wife, former Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre. The couple has been married since 1994 and shares three daughters.

“I don’t normally just kind of play around the house,” admitted Connick. “I do practice a lot around the house and Jill, she tells me all the time she likes to hear me practice. Sometimes I wonder if it gets annoying because I might be working on technical things, but she doesn’t seem to mind and that’s nice. That goes for my kids too. They like to hear me play and I like having music in the house.”

Singer Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife Jill Goodacre in a 2014 file photo.

Singer Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife Jill Goodacre in a 2014 file photo. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)


Connick said that his daughters are even considering pursuing the arts in their own way.

“All three of my daughters are completely different human beings and they all love music in a different way,” said Connick. “I don’t think any of them is going to be a pianist like I am, but one of them might end up a singer and one of them might end up in entertainment. And the other one is interested in a different type of art, which is more visual art. Photography, editing and directing. But it’s interesting. My being able to give them music sort of vicariously in the house and through my life, I think, has changed them for the better.”

Now Connick wants to show others how music can enhance their lives, whether it be personally or professionally.

“I am not an authority to talk [on] what is or isn’t being done in terms of music education,” said Connick. “I’m on a slightly different path than that. And I know about what I know about, which is performing, making albums and trying to educate people myself through things like Playground Sessions.

“But… on a global scale in terms of the general level, I think, I hear that a lot of music programs are being cut and not enough money’s being spent and that’s a problem. I think hopefully with things like Playground Sessions, people will start to realize how important music is to people of all ages and we’ll be able to get back at the forefront of music education.”

Connick can’t help but reflect on learning to play from James Booker, “the piano prince of New Orleans.”

New Orleans lore claims his father, District Attorney Harry Connick Sr. made a deal with Booker, making a prison sentence for drug possession disappear in exchange for piano lessons for his son.

True or not, said Connick’s website, Connick did receive a no-nonsense education from Booker, a story he recounted on the 2013 documentary “Bayou Maharajah,” which explored the troubled life of the jazz artist.

Booker, who influenced New Orleans R&B in the ‘50s and ‘60s, passed away in 1983 at age 43 from a heart attack.

Connick never forgot his time with Booker. Now Connick hopes he can inspire others, just as he became captivated by music as a child.

“James Booker, who was a dear friend of mine, didn’t really give too much advice,” reflected Connick. “He sort of showed me by example what he did and I paid very close attention. James wasn’t a communicator in the sense of a traditional music teacher but he was an incredible leader by example and was very kind [to] me in showing me things one on one.”


“To me, music has a different purpose,” he continued. “Music for me is as common as breathing so I never thought of it as an escape because there was something much more challenging inherently in music for me that I had to overcome to become a professional musician. So I never thought of it as a way to sort of [getting] out of whatever circumstances I was in. But most people don’t think like that.”

Nearly 300 federal workers recalled from furlough to perform different jobs

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen at the new ICE Cyber Crimes Center expanded facilities in Fairfax, Virginia July 22, 2015. The forensic lab combats cybercrime cases involving underground online marketplaces, child exploitation, intellectual property theft and other computer and online crimes.  AFP HOTO/Paul J. Richards        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen at the new ICE Cyber Crimes Center expanded facilities in Fairfax, Virginia July 22, 2015. The forensic lab combats cybercrime cases involving underground online marketplaces, child exploitation, intellectual property theft and other computer and online crimes.  AFP HOTO/Paul J. Richards        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN)Nearly 300 furloughed Department of Homeland Security employees are being called back to work amid the longest government shutdown in history.

Those federal workers — all from the E-Verify division of US Citizenship and Immigration Services — will be back on the job and the payroll starting Tuesday morning until a deal is reached to fund the parts of the government that are closed.
However, the E-Verify employees won’t be going back to their pre-shutdown jobs for now. Instead they will be required to take on other responsibilities within Citizenship and Immigration Services. Employees will be assigned to jobs that are fee-funded, according to Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Michael Bars.
Employees will receive the same pay rate they did before the shutdown.
    Citizenship and Immigration Services and a portion of the Federal Emergency Management Agency make up the majority of the DHS workforce that continued to report to work and to be paid during the shutdown from other than annual appropriations, according to a DHS official.
    The E-Verify staff was an exception. It has been in furlough status since the shutdown began on Dec. 22.
    “As you can imagine we are thrilled to have them back in our ranks, however, we continue to support all government employees who are working without pay and those who are not working,” said Danielle Spooner, the president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 119, which represents Citizenship and Immigration Services employees.
    Notices were sent to the some 300 E-Verify staff stationed around the country informing them they had to report to work this week and would be reassigned to other jobs until the end of the shutdown.
    According to a notice obtained by CNN, employees went back on the payroll on Sunday and are required to report to the office after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
    The measures were proposed by Citizenship and Immigration Services and approved by DHS to help mitigate the impact of the partial government shutdown, according to Bars.
    “USCIS is fortunate that our highly trained and experienced E-Verify staff are returning to help support the agency’s mission in other capacities until their program is fully functional. We’re thankful for their patience and flexibility during this time,” Bars said.
    Employees will receive training for their new job functions and will return to their E-Verify jobs when a deal is reached to fund the government, according to USCIS.
    Although E-Verify employees will be back at work, the program itself, which allows businesses to electronically confirm the employment eligibility of their workers, will remain dormant.
    Due to “the continued lapse in appropriations, you are still prohibited from performing work in support of the E-Verify program. As such, you will perform exempt (fee-funded) activities in support of the USCIS mission,” read a notification sent to employees.
    Participating in the E-Verify program is voluntary for employers, except for some state requirements and some federal hiring, according to a union official who works for the program.
    “E-Verify is shut down right now, so employers cannot verify eligibility of employees,” said the official.
    However, Citizenship and Immigration Services took a “number of steps to minimize the burden on both employees and employers,” such as suspending the “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases, said Bars.
    “Fidelity to a lawful workforce doesn’t stop with the suspension of the E-Verify program,” said Bars in a statement to CNN. “USCIS is committed to protecting U.S. workers, the integrity of our immigration system, and our laws.”
    Although it wasn’t immediately clear what jobs the E-Verify staff would be doing, the work would likely be immigration-related, which is fee-funded at the agency, according to the union official.
    At least one reassignment was to the Field Operations Directorate to help process Notices to Appear — a document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge, according to an employee notification obtained by CNN.
    E-Verify employees had mixed reactions to the news that they would be called back to work.
    “I am most upset about being recalled for a job I wasn’t hired for and having to pay back the furlough assistance loan immediately without back pay from the two missed checks,” an E-Verify employee told CNN.
    The employee, who said they had faced financial hardship during the past month, was concerned that previously agreed-upon telework options may not be available in the new role.
    “I won’t know if we’ll be allowed to telework, however, I believe our pay stays the same,” the employee said.
    Spooner told CNN she had heard concerns about telework and requiring staff to work different jobs, but that she also had heard about people glad to be going back to work and making a living.
    “I would like to think that most are happy to get back to work and these are small issues in comparison to being forced to work and not getting paid. That causes a financial hardship,” said Spooner.
    The union official, who had to take on outside work during the furlough, said, “I don’t ever look a gift horse in the mouth.”
      “I need to go back to work because I need to pay my bills. There are some questions that employees have. What are we going to be doing? Were we hired for that?” said the union official, who works for E-Verify outside of Washington.
      When asked if most people were happy to go back to work, the official said, “Absolutely.”

      John Wetteland, former World Series MVP, allegedly forced young relative to perform sex act on him, police say

      Former MLB closer and 1996 World Series MVP, John Wetteland, allegedly sexually assaulted a young relative three times over a two-year period, police said.

      Wetteland, 52, was arrested Monday on a child sex abuse charge, authorities said. He posted a $ 25,000 bond and was released from jail the same day he was arrested, according to the Dallas Morning-News.


      He is accused of forcing a relative to perform a sex act on him beginning in 2004 when the child was 4 years old, the Morning News reported, citing an arrest affidavit. The accuser told police the abuse happened two more times over a two year period.

      The victim claimed Wetteland would assault him when he would return from work trips, according to the New York Post. Each of the acts reportedly occurred in Wetteland’s master bedroom.

      John Wetteland posted bail the same day he was arrested.

      John Wetteland posted bail the same day he was arrested. (Denton County Sheriff’s Office)

      “[The victim] stated that his [attacker] was gone most of the year for work responsibilities and would return for about a month at a time,” the affidavit said.

      The abuse allegedly occurred in Wetteland’s former home in Bartonville. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted the Bartonville Police Department last week, officials said. An arrest warrant was issued for Wetteland, who lives in the Dallas-area suburb of Trophy Club, following an investigation.

      One of Wetteland’s children denied the accusations in a Facebook post, according to the Dallas Morning News.

      Wetteland, who was the 1996 World Series MVP for the New York Yankees and remains the Texas Rangers’ all-time leader in saves, retired after the 2000 season and was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2005, according to the Dallas Morning News. In 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Yankees and Rangers, he racked up 330 saves with a 2.93 ERA.

      He later served as bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals and the Seattle Mariners. He was fired from the Nationals job in 2006, allegedly for playing too many practical jokes, and was briefly hospitalized in 2009 while with the Mariners over what was originally thought was a “mental health” issue. The Mariners later said the issue was related to his heart and blood pressure.

      Wetteland has been inducted into the Texas Rangers’ Hall of Fame. In a statement, the Rangers said they “have been made aware of this situation and have no further comment.”


      Wetteland has also coached baseball and led Bible studies at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas. He reportedly had no connection to the school at the time of his arrest.

      Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

      Taekwondo instructor allegedly forced girl, 10, to perform sex act on him: report

      A 22-year-old taekwondo instructor from Florida was arrested Tuesday after a 13-year-old girl told authorities he forced her to perform a sex act on him when she was 10 years old, The Miami Herald reported.

      Sebastian Choi was the girl’s instructor at “Team Taekwondo” in 2015 when the alleged sexual abuse occurred, the report said. The martial arts school is located in Doral, Fla., which is about 20 miles northwest of Miami. Police were alerted after the alleged victim told her mother.

      Choi appeared in bond court Wednesday where he faced two counts of sexual battery on a minor by an adult and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child by an adult.


      Miami-Dade Police Detective Angel Rodriguez called the charges “concerning” because Choi “was the victim’s taekwondo and P.E. instructor with access to many children.”

      A spokesman for the martial arts school said Choi was suspended after the allegations were reported and “is now ineligible for any USA Taekwondo-related activity until such time as he is cleared of any and all allegations,” WPLG reported.

      Choi is being held without bail.

      Cardi B won’t perform at Super Bowl halftime show with Maroon 5 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick

      Cardi B’s rep set the record straight on why the rapper refused to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show with Maroon 5, with whom she collaborated on No. 1 hit “Girls Like You.”

      Sources told Page Six that Cardi, 26, demanded $ 1 million and “the red carpet treatment” to perform at football’s biggest night, but her publicist shot down the claims.

      “The rumor circulating that she wants a million dollars and she wants her own set is false,” Cardi’s rep told Page Six. “There was never a firm offer to begin with for a performance. There [were] talks about it, but she was not particularly interested in participating because of how she feels about Colin Kaepernick and the whole movement … But again, there was never a solid offer for her to say yes or no to regarding the Super Bowl. She is already confirmed to do a set with Bruno Mars that weekend.”


      Maroon 5 reportedly had issues finding guests who’d participate in the performance before signing on rapper Travis Scott, as many artists planned to boycott the Super Bowl to show support for Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who knee during the national anthem to police brutality against people of color.

      Rihanna, who collaborated with Maroon 5 on “If I Never See Your Face Again,” was reported to have previously turned down a spot on the halftime show in support of Kaepernick.

      Rapper Jay-Z, who said he turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, is rumored to be trying to talk Scott out of performing at the 2019 game.

      How America’s VetDogs trains service dogs like Sully to perform long lists of commands

      Bush's service dog will travel to funeral


        Bush’s service dog will travel to funeral


      Bush’s service dog will travel to funeral 00:53

      (CNN)These puppers are cute and cuddly, and — despite a recent crazy report questioning dogs’ intelligence — they’re actually very smart. So smart, in fact, that they can perform a very long list of commands.

      As the 41st President of the United States is being laid to rest, his service dog, Sully, is among those mourning George H. W. Bush’s death.
      Sully captured the hearts of many when he was photographed keeping watch over his master’s casket. It turns out, he’s not your average 4-legged pet.
      These pups are so smart, they get to host congressional meetings at the US Capitol to advocate funding for service dog programs for disabled vets.

      These pups are so smart, they get to host congressional meetings at the US Capitol to advocate funding for service dog programs for disabled vets.

      This yellow Labrador can perform a wide range of tasks, including answering the phone, turning lights on or off, fetching items, and opening doors.
        After former first lady Barbara Bush passed away this year, America’s VetDogs, a nonprofit that provides service dogs at no cost to veterans, active-duty service members and first responders with disabilities, received a request on behalf of the former commander in chief.
        “When we received the request for President Bush, we knew we needed to find a dog that was super adaptable, because the President did a lot of traveling, and got a lot of visitors,” Brad Hibbard, chief program officer at Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind/America’s VetDogs, told CNN.
        “We immediately thought of Sully, we knew he was the right dog for the job specially with Mr. Bush being older and in a wheelchair, he needed a dog that would also help him with daily tasks.”
        Sully went to work with the former President this summer, and the organization was able to provide Bush with training to allow the two to adapt, Hibbard said.

        The training

        Since America’s VetDogs began training service animals in 2003, these good boys and girls have not only provided support with daily activities, but they also bring motivation to tackle any new challenge their masters may face.
        “Our dogs have also served in Iraq and Afghanistan with combat operational stress control teams, part of the US Army’s initiative to safeguard soldiers’ behavioral health while deployed,” the nonprofit said on its website. They also train physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with the recently returned wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which is where Sully will go next.
        This is Wrigley, he proudly serves the Massachusetts National Guard. He's the Nation's First as a Combat Stress Control Dog. -- What can your dog do?

        This is Wrigley, he proudly serves the Massachusetts National Guard. He's the Nation's First as a Combat Stress Control Dog. -- What can your dog do?

        Specialized skills

        America’s VetDogs trains its animals to be able to serve different types of disabilities. Though they are all broadly described as “service dogs,” they are trained to fulfill specialized roles:
        • Guide Dogs: Trained to enhance a person’s mobility, mainly of those individuals who are blind or have low vision.
        • Hearing Dogs: Trained to help the hearing-impaired, they will alert their person when the door bell rings, or the fire alarm is going off.
        • Service Dogs: Trained for those who have a significant challenges, like missing limbs or in a wheelchair. They fetch things, they open doors and help their humans get up or reposition if they fall.
        • Therapy Dogs: They are trained in physical and occupational therapy in order to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
        Sully in particular has been trained to be a therapy dog, a guide dog and a service dog, according to Hibbard.
        “Not only is he good at retrieving things, he helped the President by opening doors, knew when to get assistance from someone else, and knew when Bush needed comfort, so he would place his head on his lap,” Hibbard said.

        Multi-talented creatures

        Among many other tasks, these little angels can:
        • Open and hold doors by hitting a button or pulling on a leash.
        • Push a button to turn on and turn off lights.
        • Get help if their owner has a seizure, by hitting an alarm system button to alert first responders or anyone available to help.
        • Reposition their owner if they fall down, and eventually help them sit back up.
        • Retrieve items as small as a credit card or as large as a dropped support cane.
        • Wake up their human from a horrible nightmare.
        • Brace and support their owner when standing or walking up and down the stairs.
        • Answer a ringing phone by pushing a button.

        America’s VetDogs is the country’s second assistance dog school, after the Guide Dog Foundation, to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International, the highest accreditation in the world, Hibbard says.
        The nonprofit provides service dogs at no cost to those in need, and says it spends about $ 50,000 per dog to breed, raise, train and place the dogs.
        Once a dog is paired with a human, both go to a personalized training class to learn how to work together as a team.
        “One of the hallmarks of America’s VetDogs is its meticulous matching program to ensure that each student is matched with the dog that best suits that person’s mobility, personality, lifestyle, and physical needs,” their website says.
        The nonprofit houses 80 dogs, and usually graduates about 130 dogs per year.
        The dogs start off being trained in prisons — 13 facilities have programs around the nation — where inmates teach the 10-week-old pups basic commands.
          After initial training, the pups travel to a 10-acre facility in Smithtown, New York, where the training continues. They are kept freshly groomed at all times, and fed delicious meals made with special dietary supplements by a trained chef.
          Just like Sully, these wonderful doggos are there to provide any assistance their new human requires to once again be self-reliant. If any handler ever has an issue with the dog once they are home, someone from America’s VetDogs will travel to assist them — at no cost to the veteran, says Hibbard.