Sofia Villani Scicolone , Sophia Loren , est une actrice italienne née le 20 septembre 1934 à Rome.
Actrice parmi les plus importantes du cinéma italien, mondialement reconnue, elle a tourné dans de nombreux films depuis le début des années 1950.
Elle obtient ses plus grands rôles dans les années 1960 avec notamment le personnage dramatique de La ciociara ; son jeu est couronné par le prix d’interprétation féminine au Festival de Cannes, un Ours d’or d’honneur à la Berlinale, un BAFTA, un Oscar de la meilleure actrice, onze David di Donatello et quatre Rubans d’argent.
Dans Hier, aujourd’hui et demain, son striptease devant Marcello Mastroianni est une des plus célèbres scènes du genre dans l’histoire du cinéma.
Sofia Scicolone est la fille illégitime de l’ingénieur en bâtiment et homme d’affaires, Riccardo Scicolone et de Romilda Villani, professeur de piano et sosie de l’actrice Greta Garbo. Elle passe une enfance et une jeunesse difficiles à Pouzzoles, à une quinzaine de kilomètres de Naples, avec sa mère, sa grand-mère Luisa et sa sœur Anna Maria, née quatre ans après elle.
Scicolone refuse en effet d’épouser la mère de Sofia et d’Anna Maria et n’apporte aucun soutien financier à sa famille illégitime. Sofia n’a ensuite rencontré son père que trois fois dans sa vie : à l’âge de 5 ans, de 17 ans et de 42 ans alors qu’il était mourant.
Elle déclare qu’elle lui a pardonné mais n’a jamais oublié l’abandon de sa mère, restée seule avec ses deux filles. Sofia a par son père deux demi-frères, Giuliano et Giuseppe, plus jeunes qu’elle également.
Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le port de Pouzzoles et son usine de munitions sont souvent bombardés par les Alliés. Pendant un raid, alors qu’elle court vers un abri, la petite Sofia est blessée au menton par un éclat de bombe.
Après cela, la famille décide de déménager à Naples et est hébergée par des parents. La guerre finie, elle retourne à Pouzzoles. Luisa, la grand-mère, ouvre alors un bar dans leur salle de séjour où elle sert de la liqueur faite maison : Romilda, la mère, joue du piano, la sœur Anna Maria chante et Sofia s’occupe des tables et fait la vaisselle. L’endroit devient fréquenté par les G.I. dont le casernement est proche
Enfant, Sofia n’est pas attirée par le monde du spectacle, et se destine au métier de professeur d’anglais. Néanmoins fortement encouragée par sa mère, à l’âge de 16 ans, elle est l’une des quatre représentantes de la région du Latium au concours de beauté Miss Italie, à l’époque appelé Mille lire per un sorriso (Mille lires pour un sourire) ; elle s’y classe deuxième, mais le jury, impressionné par la beauté, la grâce et la sensualité que dégage l’adolescente, crée pour elle le prix de Miss Élégance, prix que, depuis, toutes les aspirantes au titre de Miss Italie convoitent également.
Elle gagne une certaine réputation en figurant dans des romans-photos (genre populaire à l’époque) sous le pseudonyme de Sofia Lazzaro et obtient de petits rôles dans des films, où elle apparaît parfois seins nus comme dans Quelles drôles de nuits en 1951 ou dans Deux nuits avec Cléopâtre en 1953, alors qu’elle n’a que 16 ans pour le premier et 18 pour le second.
Ces apparitions sont remarquées en France mais pas en Italie où la censure, toujours vigilante, les a supprimées.
Ces films sont depuis extrêmement recherchés par les fans de la star, en raison de leur rareté. Une photo de Sophia Loren seins nus, tirée de Quelles drôles de nuits, est reproduite en 1957 dans le magazine américain Playboy alors que l’actrice est déjà connue. Elle ne s’est jamais remontrée partiellement nue ensuite, arguant du fait qu’elle ne se sentait pas à l’aise dans ces conditions et que « Sophia Loren nue, ça représente beaucoup de nudité
En 1952, sur le tournage de Sous les mers d’Afrique de Giovanni Roccardi, Sofia Scicolone, alias Sofia Lazzaro, est rebaptisée « Sophia Loren » par le producteur Goffredo Lombardo. Le producteur Carlo Ponti, qu’elle va épouser plus tard bien qu’il soit son aîné de vingt-deux ans, lui fait alors signer un contrat d’une durée de sept ans.
Rapidement, sa provocante et explosive beauté, sa grâce et ses qualités de comédienne donnent à Sophia Loren une renommée internationale. En 1955, elle fait la couverture de Life alors que Carlo Ponti envisage pour elle une carrière internationale.
Le succès de La ciociara la ramène devant les caméras italiennes et plus précisément celles de Vittorio De Sica. Elle tourne sous sa direction Boccace 70 (Boccaccio ’70) et Les Séquestrés d’Altona (I Sequestrati di Altona) en 1962, Hier, aujourd’hui et demain (Ieri, oggi, domani) en 1963 où son porte-jarretelles noir fait tourner les têtes, Mariage à l’italienne (Matrimonio all’italiana) en 1964. Un peu plus tard, ce sont Les Fleurs du soleil (I Girasoli) en 1970 et Le Voyage (Il Viaggio) en 1974. Il la dirige dans huit films en tout, dont six où il apparaît en tant qu’acteur à ses côtés.
En 1977, Une journée particulière (Una Giornata particolare) d’Ettore Scola, est le dernier grand rôle de sa carrière. Elle revient en 1984 dans Aurora (Qualcosa di biondo) de Maurizio Ponzi, avec son jeune fils Edoardo Ponti.
À partir de 1984, les récompenses qu’elle reçoit sont des prix en hommage à sa carrière : oscar d’honneur, David di Donatello spécial, et autres Golden Globes de remerciement. En 1991, la République française la fait chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.
En juillet 2006, elle pose pour la 33e édition du calendrier Pirelli et devient, à 71 ans, le modèle le plus âgé qui figure dans ce célèbre calendrier.
En 2010, elle interprète le rôle de sa propre mère, Romilda Villani, dans La mia casa è piena di specchi, une mini-série de la chaîne italienne Rai Uno, inspirée du livre écrit par sa sœur Anna Maria Scicolone.
L’histoire retrace la propre vie de Sophia Loren, de ses débuts difficiles dans le cinéma jusqu’à la gloire. La série enregistre des records d’audience.
En 2020, à 86 ans, elle tient le rôle de Mme Rosa dans La Vie devant soi, film inspiré du roman de Romain Gary, réalisé par son fils Edoardo Ponti durant la pandémie de Covid-19, dans la région des Pouilles au sud de l’Italie.
Sophia Loren est l’égérie de la compagnie MSC Croisières et baptise tous leurs nouveaux paquebots, dont le dernier en date le MSC Meraviglia en juin 2017 au Havre, alors qu’elle est âgée de près de 83 ans.
Sophia Loren est catholique. Elle habite principalement à Genève en Suisse depuis fin 2006. Elle possède aussi une maison à Naples et à Rome.
Sophia Loren et Cary Grant partagent la vedette du film La Péniche du bonheur. L’épouse d’alors de Grant, Betsy Drake, en a écrit le scénario original et Grant souhaitait initialement que son épouse partage l’affiche avec lui. Mais, au cours du tournage du film précédent en 1957, Orgueil et Passion, une liaison était née entre Loren et Grant, et ce dernier s’était alors arrangé pour que Loren prenne la place de Drake dans le film suivant (La Péniche du bonheur), avec un scénario réécrit ne faisant plus référence à celui de Betsy Drake, son épouse. Néanmoins, la liaison entre Grant et Loren s’est terminée avant la fin du tournage d’Orgueil et Passion, créant des problèmes sur le plateau du film suivant. Grant espèrait pouvoir reprendre sa liaison avec Loren mais celle-ci a préfèré accepter la demande en mariage de Carlo Ponti.
Sofia Villani Scicolone rencontre pour la première fois le producteur de cinéma italien Carlo Ponti (1912-2007) en 1950, alors qu’elle n’a que 16 ans et lui 37 : il est occasionnellement dans des jurys de concours de beauté ; il n’a ensuite cessé de guider le début de carrière de l’adolescente, puis de jeune femme, qui devient actrice.
Elle apparaît dans près d’une vingtaine de films au début des années 1950. L’ami de Ponti, Goffredo Lombardo, qui dirige la société de production Titanus, engage en 1952 la jeune Sofia dans Sous les mers d’Afrique et lui trouve le pseudonyme de « Sophia Loren ».
Carlo Ponti, qui est marié à Giuliana, et Sophia Loren finissent par se fréquenter dans le plus grand secret.
Elle devient une vedette internationale. Sept ans après sa première rencontre avec Loren, Ponti obtient un divorce au Mexique , séparé ainsi de sa première épouse, il se marie avec Loren par procuration, toujours au Mexique le 17 septembre 1957 : deux avocats les représentent.
Mais ce mariage est annulé en Italie en raison du non-enregistrement du divorce de Carlo Ponti d’avec Giuliana. Ponti et Loren continuent à vivre ensemble, mais ils sont dans l’illégalité dans leur propre pays, l’Italie, où les lois sont encore largement dictées par la tradition catholique : ils demandent la nationalité française, ce qui leur est accordé par le Premier ministre français de l’époque, Georges Pompidou. En 1965, Ponti régularise son divorce en France et peut cette fois épouser Loren dans les formes, le 9 avril 1966, soit près de neuf ans après le premier mariage annulé.
Le couple aura deux fils : Carlo Jr. né en 1968, et Edoardo né en 1973.
Sophia Loren restera mariée à Carlo Ponti jusqu’à sa mort, 10 janvier 2007, d’une infection pulmonaire
Sources : Wikipedia / Pinterest / YouTube / Divers
Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941)is an American singer-songwriter. He has sold more than 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
He has had ten No. 1 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts: “Cracklin’ Rosie”, “Song Sung Blue“, “Longfellow Serenade”, “I’ve Been This Way Before”, “If You Know What I Mean”, “Desirée“, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “America“, “Yesterday’s Songs”, and “Heartlight”. Thirty-eight songs by Diamond have reached the top 10 on the BillboardAdult Contemporary charts, including “Sweet Caroline“. He has also acted in films, making his screen debut in the 1980 musical drama film The Jazz Singer.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 2011, he was an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018
Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York City, . All four of his grandparents were immigrants, from Poland on his father’s side and Russia on his mother’s. His parents were Rose (née Rapoport; 1918–2019) and Akeeba “Kieve” Diamond (1917–1985), a dry-goods merchant. He grew up in several homes in Brooklyn, having also spent four years in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where his father was stationed in the army.
In Brooklyn, he attended Erasmus Hall High School and was a member of the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club, along with classmate Barbra Streisand; Diamond recalled they were not close friends at the time: “We were two poor kids in Brooklyn. We hung out in the front of Erasmus High and smoked cigarettes.” Also in their class was chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer. After his family moved to Brighton Beach, he attended Abraham Lincoln High Schooland was a member of the fencing team. Also on the team was his best friend, future Olympic fencer Herb Cohen.
For his 16th birthday, he received his first guitar. When he was 16 and still in high school, Diamond spent a number of weeks at Surprise Lake Camp, a camp for Jewish children in upstate New York, when folk singer Pete Seeger performed a small concert.
Seeing the widely recognized singer perform, and watching other children singing songs for Seeger that they wrote themselves, had an immediate effect on Diamond, who then became aware of the possibility of writing his own songs. “And the next thing, I got a guitar when we got back to Brooklyn, started to take lessons and almost immediately began to write songs”, he said. He added that his attraction to songwriting was the “first real interest” he had growing up, while also helping him release his youthful “frustrations”.
Diamond also used his newly developed skill to write poetry. By writing poems for girls he was attracted to in school, he soon learned it often won their hearts. His male classmates took note and began asking him to write poems for them, which they would sing and use with equal success. He spent the summer after graduation working as a waiter in the Catskills resort area. There he first met Jaye Posner, who would years later become his wife.
Diamond next attended New York University as a pre-med major on a fencing scholarship, again on the fencing team with Herb Cohen.He was a member of the 1960 NCAA men’s championship fencing team. Often bored in class, he found writing song lyrics more to his liking.
He began cutting classes and taking the train up to Tin Pan Alley, where he tried to get some of his songs heard by local music publishers. In his senior year, when he was just 10 units short of graduation, Sunbeam Music Publishing offered him a 16-week job writing songs for $50 a week (equivalent to about $460 per week, in 2021), and he dropped out of college to accept it.
Diamond was not rehired after his 16 weeks with Sunbeam, and he began writing and singing his own songs for demos. “I never really chose songwriting”, he says. “It just absorbed me and became more and more important in my life.” His first recording contract was billed as “Neil and Jack”, an Everly Brothers-type duet with high school friend Jack Packer.They recorded the unsuccessful singles “You Are My Love at Last” with “What Will I Do”, and “I’m Afraid” with “Till You’ve Tried Love”, both records released in 1962.
Cashbox and Billboard magazines gave all four sides positive reviews, and Diamond signed with Columbia Records as a solo performer later in 1962. In July 1963, Columbia released the single “At Night” with “Clown Town”; Billboard gave a laudatory review to “Clown Town”, and Cashbox was complimentary to both sides, but it still failed to make the charts. Columbia dropped him from their label and he went back to writing songs in and out of publishing houses for the next seven years.
He wrote wherever he could, including on buses, and used an upright piano above the Birdland Club in New York City. One of the causes of this early nomadic life as a songwriter was his songs’ wordiness: “I’d spent a lot of time on lyrics, and they were looking for hooks, and I didn’t really understand the nature of that”, he says; He was able to sell only about one song a week during those years, barely enough to survive.
He found himself only earning enough to spend 35 cents a day on food (equivalent to $3 in 2021).But the privacy that he had above the Birdland Club allowed him to focus on writing without distractions. “Something new began to happen. I wasn’t under the gun, and suddenly interesting songs began to happen, songs that had things none of the others did.”
Among them were “Cherry, Cherry” and “Solitary Man“. “Solitary Man” was the first record that Diamond recorded under his own name which made the charts. It remains one of his personal favorites, as it was about his early years as a songwriter, even though he failed to realize it at the time. He describes the song as “an outgrowth of my despair”.
Diamond spent his early career in the Brill Building. His first success as a songwriter came in November 1965 with “Sunday and Me”, a Top 20 hit for Jay and the Americans. Greater success followed with “I’m a Believer“, “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You“, “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)”, and “Love to Love”, all performed by the Monkees. He wrote and recorded the songs for himself, but the cover versions were released before his own. The unintended consequence was that Diamond began to gain fame as a songwriter. “I’m a Believer” became a gold record within two days of its release and stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks, making it the Popular Music Song of the Year in 1966.
In 1966, Diamond signed a deal with Bert Berns‘s Bang Records, then a subsidiary of Atlantic. His first release on that label was “Solitary Man”, which was his first true hit as a solo artist.[e] Diamond followed with “Cherry, Cherry” and “Kentucky Woman“. His early concerts featured him opening for bands such as Herman’s Hermits and the Who. As a guest performer with The Who, he was shocked to see Pete Townshend swinging his guitar like a club and then throwing it against walls and off the stage until the instrument’s neck broke.
Diamond began to feel restricted by Bang Records because he wanted to record more ambitious, introspective music, such as “Brooklyn Roads” from 1968. Berns wanted to release “Kentucky Woman” as a single, but Diamond was no longer satisfied writing simple pop songs, so he proposed “Shilo”, which was not about the Civil War but rather an imaginary childhood friend. Bang believed that the song was not commercial enough, so it was relegated to being an LP track on Just for You.
Diamond was also dissatisfied with his royalties and tried to sign with another record label after discovering a loophole in his contract that did not bind him exclusively to either WEB IV or Tallyrand, but the result was a series of lawsuits that coincided with a slump in his record sales and professional success. A magistrate refused WEB IV’s request for a temporary injunction to prevent Diamond from joining another record company while his contract dispute continued in court, but the lawsuits persisted until February 1977, when he triumphed in court and purchased the rights to his Bang-era master tapes.
In March 1968, Diamond signed a deal with Uni Records; the label was named after Universal Pictures, the owner of which, MCA Inc., later consolidated its labels into MCA Records (now called Universal Music after merging with PolyGram ( Mix of POLYDOR (germany) and PHONOGRAM ( Philips music Netherlands) in 1999). His debut album for Uni/MCA was in late 1968 with Velvet Gloves and Spit, produced by Tom Catalano, which did not chart, and he recorded the early 1969 follow-up Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show at American Sound Studios in Memphis with Tommy Cogbill and Chips Moman producing.
In mid 1969, Diamond moved to Los Angeles. His sound mellowed with such songs as “Sweet Caroline” (1969), “Holly Holy” (1969), “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970) and “Song Sung Blue” (1972), the last two reaching No. 1 on the Hot 100. “Sweet Caroline” was Diamond’s first major hit after his slump. In 2007, Diamond said he had written “Sweet Caroline” for Caroline Kennedy after seeing her on the cover of Life in an equestrian riding outfit, but in 2014 he said in an interview on the Today show that it was written for his then wife, Marcia. He could not find a good rhyme with the name “Marcia” and so used the name Caroline.It took him just one hour in a Memphis hotel to write and compose it. The 1971 release “I Am…I Said” was a Top 5 hit in both the US and UK and was his most intensely personal effort to date, taking over four months to complete.
In 1971, Diamond played seven sold-out concerts at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. The outdoor theater, which was noted for showcasing the best of current entertainers, added a stereo sound system for the first time. Diamond was also backed by a 35-piece string orchestra and six backing singers. After the first night, one leading newspaper called it “the finest concert in Greek Theater history.”
In August 1972, he played again at the Greek, this time doing ten shows. When the show was first announced, tickets at the 5000-seat theater sold out rapidly. He added a quadraphonic sound system for his performance to create full surround sound. The performance of August 24, 1972, was recorded and released as the live double album Hot August Night. Diamond recalled: “Hot August Night captures a very special show for me.
We went all out to really knock ’em dead in LA.” Many consider it his best work; critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Hot August Night “the ultimate Neil Diamond record… [showing] Diamond the icon in full glory.” The album became a classic, and was remastered in 2000 with additional selections. In Australia, which at the time was said to have the most Neil Diamond fans per capita of any country, the album ranked No. 1 for 29 weeks and stayed in their top 20 bestsellers for two years.
In the fall of 1972, Diamond performed for 20 consecutive nights at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. That theater had not staged a one-man show since Al Jolson in the 1930s. The approximately 1,600-seat Broadway venue provided an intimate concert setting not common at the time, with every performance reportedly sold out. It also made Diamond the first rock-era star to headline on Broadway. The review in The New York Times stated:
Neil Diamond’s one-man show seemed, on the face of it, to be a brash idea. One-man shows have traditionally been associated with talents like Judy Garland and Danny Kaye. But Mr. Diamond is clearly a brash young man and one with both the musical track record and the performance macho to bring it off…He needn’t worry about comparisons with the likes of Garland and Kaye.
After the Winter Garden shows, Diamond announced that he needed a break, and he engaged in no live performances until 1976. He used those four years to work on the score for Hall Bartlett’s film version of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull and to record two albums, Serenade and Beautiful Noise. He said years later, “I knew I’d come back, but I wasn’t sure when. I spent one year on each of those albums…I’d been on the road six years. I had a son 2½ and I felt he needed me more than the audience did. So for four years I devoted myself to my son Jesse.” He also said he needed to get back to having a private life, one where he could be anonymous.
In 1973, Diamond switched labels again, returning to Columbia Records for a million-dollar-advance-per-album contract (about $6.1 million per album in 2021).
His first project, released as a solo album, was the soundtrack to Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The film received hostile reviews and did poorly at the box office, and the album grossed more than the film did. Richard Bach, author of the best-selling source story, disowned the film, and he and Diamond sued Bartlett, though for differing reasons; in Bach’s case, it was because he felt the film omitted too much from the original novella, whereas in Diamond’s case, it was because he felt the film had butchered his score.
“After ‘Jonathan,'” Diamond declared, “I vowed never to get involved in a movie again unless I had complete control.” Bartlett angrily responded to Diamond’s lawsuit by criticizing his music as having become “too slick…and it’s not as much from his heart as it used to be.” Bartlett also added, “Neil is extraordinarily talented. Often his arrogance is just a cover for the lonely and insecure person underneath.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the film, the soundtrack was a success, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart. Diamond also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture. Thereafter, Diamond often included a Jonathan Livingston Seagull suite in his live performances, as he did in his 1976 Love at the Greek concert and for his show in Las Vegas that same year.
Diamond returned to live shows in 1976 with an Australian tour, “The ‘Thank You Australia’ Concert”, which was broadcast to 36 television outlets nationwide. He also again appeared at the Greek Theater in a 1976 concert, Love at the Greek. An album and accompanying video/DVD of the show includes a version of “Song Sung Blue” with duets with Helen Reddy and Henry Winkler, a.k.a. Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli of Happy Days.
He began wearing colorful beaded shirts in concert, originally so that everyone in the audience could see him without binoculars. Bill Whitten designed and made the shirts for Diamond from the 1970s until approximately 2007.
In 1974, Diamond released the album Serenade, from which “Longfellow Serenade” and “I’ve Been This Way Before” were issued as singles. The latter had been intended for the Jonathan Livingston Seagull score, but Diamond had completed it too late for inclusion. That same year he appeared on a TV special for Shirley Bassey and sang a duet with her.
In 1976, he released Beautiful Noise, produced by Robbie Robertson of The Band. On Thanksgiving 1976, Diamond made an appearance at The Band’s farewell concert, The Last Waltz, performing “Dry Your Eyes”, which he wrote jointly with Robertson, and which had appeared on Beautiful Noise. He also joined the rest of the performers onstage at the end in a rendition of Bob Dylan‘s “I Shall Be Released”.
Diamond was paid $650,000 (about $3.1 million in 2021) by the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, to open its new $10 million Theater For the Performing Arts on July 2, 1976.
The show played through July 5 and drew sold-out crowds at the 7,500-seat theater. A “who’s who” of Hollywood attended opening night, ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Chevy Chase, and Diamond walked out on stage to a standing ovation. He opened the show with a story about an ex-girlfriend who dumped him before he became successful.
His lead-in line to the first song of the evening was, “You may have dumped me a bit too soon, baby, because look who’s standing here tonight.”
He performed at Woburn Abbey on July 2, 1977, to an audience of 55,000 British fans. The concert and interviews were taped by film director William Friedkin, who used six cameras to capture the performance.
That version hit No. 1 in 1978, his third song to top the Hot 100. They appeared unannounced at the 1980 Grammy awards ceremony, where they performed the song to a surprised and rapturous audience.
His last 1970s album was September Morn, which included a new version of “I’m a Believer“. It and “Red Red Wine” are his best-known original songs made more famous by other artists. In February 1979, the uptempo “Forever in Blue Jeans”, co-written and jointly composed with his guitarist, Richard Bennett, was released as a single from You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Diamond’s album from the previous year.
In 1979, Diamond collapsed on stage in San Francisco and was taken to the hospital, where he endured a 12-hour operation to remove what turned out to be a tumor on his spine.He said he had been losing feeling in his right leg “for a number of years but ignored it”. When he collapsed, he had no strength in either leg. He underwent a long rehabilitation process just before starting principal photography on his film The Jazz Singer (1980).
He was so convinced he was going to die that he wrote farewell letters to his friends.
A planned film version of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” to star Diamond and Streisand fell through when Diamond instead starred in a 1980 remake of the Al Jolson classic The Jazz Singer alongside Laurence Olivier and Lucie Arnaz. Though the movie received poor reviews, the soundtrack spawned three top-10 singles, “Love on the Rocks”, “Hello Again”, and “America“, the last of which had emotional significance for Diamond. “‘America’ was the story of my grandparents,” he told an interviewer. “It’s my gift to them, and it’s very real for me … In a way, it speaks to the immigrant in all of us.” The song was performed in full by Diamond during the film’s finale. An abbreviated version played over the film’s opening titles.
The song was also the one he was most proud of, partly because of when it was later used: national news shows played it when the hostages were shown returning home after the Iran hostage crisis ended; it was played on the air during the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty; and at a tribute to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the Vietnam Vets Welcome Home concert, he was asked to perform it live. At the time, a national poll found the song to be the number-one most recognized song about America, more than “God Bless America”. It also became the anthem of his world tour two weeks after the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, when he changed the lyric at the end from; “They’re coming to America”, to “Stand up for America!” Earlier that year he performed it after a request from former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.
The film’s failure was due in part to Diamond never having acted professionally before. “I didn’t think I could handle it,” he said later, seeing himself as “a fish out of water”. For his performance, Diamond became the first-ever winner of a Worst Actor Razzie Award, even though he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the same role. Critic David Wild noted that the film showed that Diamond was open about his religion: “Who else but this Jewish Elvis could go multi-platinum with an album that featured a version of ‘the Kol Nidre?'” Diamond later told the Los Angeles Times, “For me, this was the ultimate bar mitzvah.”
Another Top 10 selection, “Heartlight“, was inspired by the blockbuster 1982 movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Though the film’s title character is never mentioned in the lyrics, Universal Pictures, which had released E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and was the parent company of the Uni Records label (by then called MCA Records), for which Diamond had recorded for years, briefly threatened legal action against both Diamond and Columbia Records.
Diamond’s record sales slumped somewhat in the 1980s and 1990s, his last single to make the Billboard Pop Singles chart coming in 1986, but his concert tours continued to be big draws. Billboard magazine ranked Diamond as the most profitable solo performer of 1986. He released his 17th studio album in 1986, Headed for the Future, which reached number 20 on the Billboard 200. Three weeks later he starred in Hello Again, his first television special in nine years, performing comedy sketches and a duo medley with Carol Burnett.
In January 1987, Diamond sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl. His “America” became the theme song for the Michael Dukakis 1988 presidential campaign. That same year, British band UB40‘s reggae interpretation of Diamond’s ballad “Red Red Wine” topped the Billboard Pop Singles chart and, like the Monkees’ version of “I’m a Believer”, became better known than Diamond’s original version.
During the 1990s, Diamond produced six studio albums. He covered many classic songs from the movies and from famous Brill Building-era songwriters. He also released two Christmas albums, the first of which peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Album chart. Diamond also recorded two albums of mostly new material during this period. In 1992, he performed for President George H. W. Bush‘s final Christmas in WashingtonNBC special. In 1993, Diamond opened the Mark of the Quad Cities (now the iWireless Center) with two shows on May 27 and 28 to a crowd of 27,000-plus.
The 1990s saw a resurgence in Diamond’s popularity. “Sweet Caroline” became a popular sing-along at sporting events. It was used at Boston Collegefootball and basketball games. College sporting events in other states also played it, and it was even played at sports events in other countries, such as a Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament or a soccer match in Northern Ireland. It is played at every home game of the Sydney Swans of the Australian Football League. It became the theme song of Red Sox Nation, the fans of the Boston Red Sox.
The New York Rangers also adapted it as their own and played it whenever they were winning at the end of the third period of their games. The Pittsburgh Panthers football team also played it after the third quarter of all home games, with the crowd cheering, “Let’s go Pitt”. The Carolina Panthers played it at the end of every home game they won. The Davidson College pep band likewise played it in the second half of every Davidson Wildcats men’s basketball home game.
A more severely stripped-down-to-basics album, 12 Songs, produced by Rick Rubin, was released on November 8, 2005, in two editions: a standard 12-song release, and a special edition with two bonus tracks, including one featuring backing vocals by Brian Wilson.
The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard chart, and received generally positive reviews; Earliwine describes the album as “inarguably Neil Diamond’s best set of songs in a long, long time.”12 Songs also became noteworthy as one of the last albums to be pressed and released by Sony BMG with the Extended Copy Protection software embedded in the disc. (See the 2005 Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal.)
On March 19, 2008, it was announced on the television show American Idol that Diamond would be a guest mentor to the remaining Idol contestants, who would sing Diamond songs for the broadcasts of April 29 and 30, 2008. On the April 30 broadcast, Diamond premiered a new song, “Pretty Amazing Grace”, from his then recently released album Home Before Dark. On May 2, 2008, Sirius Satellite Radio started Neil Diamond Radio.
On April 8, 2008, Diamond made a surprise announcement in a big-screen broadcast at Fenway Park that he would be appearing there “live in concert” on August 23, 2008, as part of his world tour. The announcement, which marked the first official confirmation of any 2008 concert dates in the US, came during the traditional eighth-inning singalong of “Sweet Caroline”, which had by that time become an anthem for Boston fans.
On April 28, 2008, Diamond appeared on the roof of the Jimmy Kimmel building to sing “Sweet Caroline” after Kimmel was jokingly arrested for singing the song dressed as a Diamond impersonator.
Home Before Dark was released May 6, 2008, and topped the album charts in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On June 29, 2008, Diamond played to an estimated 108,000 fans at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England on the Concert of a Lifetime Tour; technical problems marred the concert.
In August, Diamond allowed cameras to record his entire four-night run at New York’s Madison Square Garden; he released the resulting DVD in the US in 2009, one year to the day of the first concert. Hot August Night/NYC debuted at No. 2 on the charts. On the same day the DVD was released, CBS aired an edited version, which won the ratings hour with 13 million viewers. The next day, the sales of the DVD surged, prompting Sony to order more copies to meet the high demand.
On August 25, 2008, Diamond performed at The Ohio State University while suffering from laryngitis. The result disappointed him as well as his fans, and on August 26, he offered refunds to anyone who applied by September 5.
Diamond was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year on February 6, 2009, two nights before the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.
Long loved in Boston, Diamond was invited to sing at the July 4, 2009, Independence Day celebration.
On November 2, 2010, Diamond released the album Dreams, a collection of 14 interpretations of his favorite songs by artists from the rock era. The album also included a new slow-tempo arrangement of his “I’m a Believer“. In December, he performed a track from the album, “Ain’t No Sunshine“, on NBC‘s The Sing-Off with Committed and Street Corner Symphony, two a cappella groups featured on the show. The Very Best of Neil Diamond, a compilation CD of Diamond’s 23 studio recordings from the Bang, UNI/MCA, & Columbia catalogs, was released on December 6, 2011, on the Sony Legacy label.
The years 2011 and 2012 were marked by several milestones in Diamond’s career. On March 14, 2011, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. In December, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Kennedy Center at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.
On April 20, 2013, Diamond made an unannounced appearance at Fenway Park to sing “Sweet Caroline” during the 8th inning. It was the first game at Fenway since the Boston Marathon bombing.
On July 2, he released the single “Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down)”, with 100% of the purchase price benefiting One Fund Boston and the Wounded Warrior Project.Sporting a beard, Diamond performed live on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol as part of A Capitol Fourth, which was broadcast nationally by PBS on July 4, 2013.
In January 2014, it was confirmed that Diamond had signed with the Capitol Music Group unit of Universal Music Group, which also owned Diamond’s Uni/MCA catalog. UMG also took over Diamond’s Columbia and Bang catalogues, which meant that all of his recorded output would be consolidated for the first time.
On July 8, 2014, Capitol Records announced, via a flyer included with Diamond’s latest greatest hits compilations, All-Time Greatest Hits, which charted at 15 in the Billboard 200, that his next album, Melody Road, which was to be produced by Don Was and Jacknife Lee, would be released on September 30, 2014. In August, the release date was moved to October 21.
In September 2014, Diamond performed a surprise concert at his alma mater, Erasmus High School in Brooklyn. The show was announced via Twitter that afternoon. On the same day, he announced a 2015 “Melody Road” World Tour.
The North American leg of the World Tour 2015 launched with a concert in Allentown, PA at the PPL Center on February 27 and ended at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on May 31, 2015.
Diamond used new media platforms and social media extensively throughout the tour, streaming several shows live on Periscope and showing tweets from fans who used the hashtag #tweetcaroline on two large screens. The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote: “This, my friends, wasn’t your grandfather’s Neil Diamond concert. It was a multimedia extravaganza. Twitter. Periscope…It was a social media blitzkrieg that, by all accounts, proved to be an innovative way to widen his fan base.”
In October 2016, Diamond released Acoustic Christmas, a folk-inspired Christmas album of original songs as well as acoustic versions of holiday classics. Produced by Was and Lee, who had produced Melody Road, the idea for the album began to take shape as the Melody Road sessions ended. To “channel the intimate atmosphere of ’60s folk, Diamond recorded Acoustic Christmas with a handful of musicians, sitting around a circle of microphones, wires and, of course, Christmas lights.”
In 2019, his 1969 signature song “Sweet Caroline” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
On March 7, 2020, despite his retirement due to Parkinson’s disease, Diamond gave a rare performance at the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love Gala at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where he was being honored.
On March 22, 2020, Diamond posted a video to YouTube playing “Sweet Caroline” with slightly modified lyrics (“…washing hands, don’t touch me, I won’t touch you…”) in response to the widespread social distancing measures implemented due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2021, The New York Times reported that A Beautiful Noise, a musical based on Diamond’s life and featuring his songs, would open at the Emerson Colonial Theater in Boston in the summer of 2022. The musical was scheduled to open on Broadway following the month-long run in Boston.
Universal Music Group acquired Diamond’s songwriting catalog and the rights to his Bang Records, Columbia Records, and Capitol recordings in February 2022. The acquisition also included 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival videos.
On June 18, 2022, Diamond sang “Sweet Caroline” during the 8th-inning stretch of a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. In a surprise appearance, he was joined by Will Swenson, who portrays Diamond in the musical A Beautiful Noise.
Retirement from touring
In January 2018, Diamond announced that he would stop touring after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.Tour dates on the final leg of Diamond’s “50 Year Anniversary World Tour” in Australia and New Zealand were cancelled. An announcement on his official website said he was not retiring from music and that the cancellation of the live performances would allow him to “continue his writing, recording and development of new projects.”
On July 28, 2018, Diamond and his wife Katie McNeil made a surprise visit to the Incident Command post in Basalt, Colorado—near where Diamond lives—to thank the firefighters and families with a solo acoustic guitar concert for efforts in containing the Lake Christine Fire, which began on July 3 and had scorched 12,000 acres (4,900 ha; 49 km2) of land.
In popular culture
In 1967, Diamond was featured on the fourth episode of the detective drama Mannix as the ‘featured’ artist in a small underground club called ‘The Bad Scene’ and was interrupted during his singing by one of many fights that took place weekly on the show.
In 2000, Neil Diamond appeared onstage with a Diamond tribute band, Super Diamond, surprising them before their show at House of Blues in Los Angeles.
In the 2001 comedy film Saving Silverman, the main characters play in a Diamond cover band, and Diamond made an extended cameo appearance as himself. Diamond even wrote and composed a new song, “I Believe in Happy Endings”, for the film. He sat in with the tribute band Super Diamond at the film’s premiere party.
Diamond has been married three times. In 1963, he married his high-school sweetheart, Jaye Posner, who had become a schoolteacher. They had two daughters. They separated in 1967 and divorced in 1969.
On December 5, 1969, Diamond married production assistant Marcia Murphey.They had two sons.The marriage lasted 25 years, ending in 1994 / 1995.
In 1996, Diamond began a relationship with Australian Rae Farley after the two met in Brisbane, Australia. The songs on Home Before Dark were written and composed during her struggle with chronic back pain.
On September 7, 2011, in a message on Twitter, the 70-year-old Diamond announced his engagement to the 41-year-old Katie McNeil. Diamond said that his 2014 album Melody Road was fueled by their relationship, explaining:
There’s no better inspiration or motivation for work than being in love. It’s what you dream of as a creative person. I was able to complete this album—start it, write it and complete it—under the spell of love, and I think it shows somehow.
The couple married in front of family and close friends in Los Angeles in 2012.In addition to serving as Diamond’s manager, McNeil produced the documentary Neil Diamond: Hot August Nights NYC.
Neil Diamond, né le 24 janvier 1941 à Brooklyn (New York), est un auteur-compositeur-interprète et acteur américain.
Sa musique couvre une pluralité de genres (pop, rock, folk, country, soft rock, easy listening). Très connu dans son pays, il est l’un des artistes ayant vendu le plus de disques avec des ventes estimées à 100 millions à travers le monde.
Il naît le 24 janvier 1941 à Brooklyn, de Rose (née Rapoport) et Akeeba « Kieve » Diamond, couple de descendants d’immigrés russes et polonais.
En 1966 et 1967, il connaît le succès avec Solitary Man (repris par Johnny Cash en 2000) Cherry, Cherry, Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, (repris par Urge Overkill dans la B.O. du film Pulp Fiction), Kentucky Woman (repris par Deep Purple), I’m a Believer écrite pour The Monkees (B.O. du film Shrek, titre également repris par Robert Wyatt) et Red Red Wine (repris par Tony Tribe et surtout UB40).
À partir de 1968, il signe pour MCA de nombreux tubes en quelques années : Sweet Caroline, Holly Holy, Cracklin’ Rosie, I Am…I’Said, Song Sung Blue, Play Me, titres repris entre autres par Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, U2, Serge Lama ou Joe Dassin. Au Québec, en 1970, la chanson Holly Holy a été reprise par Donald Lautrec sous le titre Hosannah alors que l’année précédente Pierre Lalonde adapta en française Sweet Caroline sous le titre Caroline.
Il y a aussi trois chansons de Neil Diamond, Crunchy Granola Suite, I Am…I Said (celle-ci en deux parties) ou encore la pièce-titre, une de ses plus belles chansons. Les chefs d’orchestre et arrangeurs étaient Lee Holdridge, Marty Paich et Larry Muhoberac. La photo de couverture a été prise à Luxford House, Crowborough, East Sussex. La maison était occupée à l’époque par le manager de musique rock Tony Stratton-Smith (qui a l’époque travaillait avec Genesis entre autres).
Les premiers exemplaires de l’album vinyle comportaient une étiquette illustrée de la photo de la jaquette et une version unique de la couverture avec une fermeture de style œillet à l’arrière. La couverture elle-même était conçue comme une enveloppe qui s’ouvrait par le haut.
Cela a ensuite été abandonné et remplacé par une jaquette standard à ouverture latérale. Inspiré par l’expérience d’un test d’écran raté pour un film sur le comique rebelle Lenny Bruce, la chanson I Am… I Said s’est finalement avéré être la chanson la plus difficile et la plus longue que Neil ait jamais écrite.
Et même si “ça a pris quatre mois à chaque jour, toute la journée… C’était une bataille quotidienne pour mettre cette chanson sur papier… mais quand ça a été fait, ça s’est avéré être l’une des chansons les plus satisfaisantes que j’aie jamais écrites.”
En 1972, son double album Hot August Night reprend ses titres les plus marquants dans des versions live.
En 1973, Columbia Records, sa nouvelle maison de disques (avec laquelle il signe le plus important contrat discographique jamais conclu à cette époque) réalise la B.O du film Jonathan Livingston Seagull, inspiré du livre de Richard Bach, (l’album éponyme, Jonathan Livingston Seagull) dont Neil Diamond est l’auteur-compositeur-interprète et qui lui permettra d’obtenir un nouveau succès mondial ainsi qu’un Grammy Award.
L’album concept Beautiful Noise, sorti en 1976, est produit par Robbie Robertson. Neil Diamond repart en tournée aux États-Unis mais aussi en Europe et Australie. Dès lors, il entreprendra des tournées mondiales tous les deux ou trois ans.
Ses disques rencontrent toujours le même succès grâce à des titres tels que Désirée, You Don’t Bring me Flowers en duo avec Barbra Streisand et particulièrement avec Love on the Rocks, America et Hello Again, trois chansons extraites de la B.O du film The Jazz Singer (sorti en 1980) dans lequel il joue le rôle principal.
Ce film n’obtiendra pas le succès attendu et lui vaudra le Razzie Award du pire Acteur en 1981. Pourtant l’album du même nom se placera au top des meilleures ventes aux États-Unis et dans le monde.
De 1983 à 2000, il enchaîne les disques (tous au moins disque d’or) les tournées et les shows télévisés. Il sort l’album Tennessee Moon (1996) réalisé avec des vedettes de la country dont Waylon Jennings. Pendant cette période, ses disques se vendent moins, pourtant ses concerts attirent de plus en plus de spectateurs.
En 2005, la critique est unanime pour louer son nouvel album 12 Songs réalisé par le producteur Rick Rubin. Ce disque acoustique est considéré comme sa meilleure production depuis les années 1970.
En 2008, son album Home Before Dark se place no 1 du billboard Américain et no 1 en Grande-Bretagne. Ce nouvel opus est suivi par une tournée mondiale de mai 2008 à janvier 2009. En juillet, sort le DVD Neil Diamond – The Thank You Australia Concert 1976. Un mois après, sort le DVD et double-disque Hot August Night/ NYC, enregistré en public au Madison Square Garden en 2008 lors de sa dernière tournée.
En novembre 2010, il sort un album de reprises intitulé Dreams et effectue une tournée dans plusieurs pays de mars à juillet 2011.
Le 6 décembre 2011, il sort un best of, annonce de deux concerts en février 2012 à Hawaii, et une tournée nord-américaine de juin à septembre 2012. Son dernier album à ce jour, Melody Road, est sorti en 2014.
Le 24 juin 2015, il donne un concert unique en France, au Zénith de Paris, son seul passage en France depuis 1978. Devant une salle comble, et à 74 ans, accompagné de son « Neil Diamond Band » (certains musiciens du groupe travaillant avec lui en tournée depuis 1978), il interprète ses plus grands succès durant un show de plus de deux heures.
En 2012, ses chiffres de vente s’élèvent à environ 125 millions de disques à travers le monde[réf. nécessaire].
En 2019, son titre Sweet Caroline (1969) a été sélectionné par la Bibliothèque du Congrès pour être conservé dans le Registre national des enregistrements en raison de son caractère « culturel, historique ou esthétique significatif ».
De 1963 à 1969, il est en couple avec Jayne Posner. De 1969 à 1995, il vit avec Marcia Murphey. Depuis 2012, il partage sa vie avec Katie McNeil, de vingt-neuf ans sa cadette.
Le 22 janvier 2018, il annonce être atteint de la maladie de Parkinson et annule sa tournée
My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical drama film adapted from the 1956 Lerner and Loewe stage musical based on George Bernard Shaw‘s 1913 stage play Pygmalion. With a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by George Cukor, the film depicts a poor Cockney flower-seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, as he casually wagers that he could teach her to speak “proper” English, thereby making her presentable in the high society of Edwardian London.
The film stars Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins, with Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Wilfrid Hyde-White in supporting roles. A critical and commercial success, it became the second highest-grossing film of 1964 and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. In 1998, the American Film Institute named it the 91st greatest American film of all time. In 2006 it was ranked eighth in the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list.
In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In London, Professor Henry Higgins, a scholar of phonetics, believes that the accent and tone of one’s voice determines a person’s prospects in society (“Why Can’t the English?”). At the Covent Garden fruit-and-vegetable market one evening, he meets Colonel Hugh Pickering, himself a phonetics expert who had come from India to see him. Higgins boasts he could teach even Eliza Doolittle, the young flower seller woman with a strong Cockney accent, to speak so well he could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. Eliza’s ambition is to work in a flower shop, but her accent makes that impossible (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”). The following morning, Eliza shows up at Higgins’ home, seeking lessons. Pickering is intrigued and offers to cover all the attendant expenses if Higgins succeeds. Higgins agrees and describes how women ruin lives (“I’m an Ordinary Man”).
Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle, a dustman, learns of his daughter’s new residence (“With a Little Bit of Luck”). He shows up at Higgins’ house three days later, ostensibly to protect his daughter’s virtue, but in reality to extract some money from Higgins, and is bought off with £5. Higgins is impressed by the man’s honesty, his natural gift for language, and especially his brazen lack of morals. Higgins recommends Alfred to a wealthy American who is interested in morality.
Eliza endures Higgins’ demanding teaching methods and treatment of her personally (“Just You Wait”), while the servants feel both annoyed with the noise as well as pitiful for Higgins (“Servants’ Chorus”). She makes no progress, but just as she, Higgins, and Pickering are about to give up, Eliza finally “gets it” (“The Rain in Spain”); she instantly begins to speak with an impeccable upper-class accent, and is overjoyed at her breakthrough (“I Could Have Danced All Night”).
As a trial run, Higgins takes her to Ascot Racecourse (“Ascot Gavotte”), where she makes a good impression initially, only to shock everyone by a sudden lapse into vulgar Cockney while cheering on a horse. Higgins partly conceals a grin behind his hand. At Ascot, she meets Freddy Eynsford-Hill, a young, upper-class man who becomes infatuated with her (“On the Street Where You Live”).
Higgins then takes Eliza to an embassy ball for the final test, where she dances with a foreign prince. Also present is Zoltan Karpathy, a Hungarian phonetics expert trained by Higgins, who is an impostor detector. After he dances with Eliza, he declares that she is a Hungarian princess.
Afterward, Eliza’s hard work is barely acknowledged, with all the praise going to Higgins (“You Did It”). This and his callous treatment of her, especially his indifference to her future, causes her to walk out on him, but not before she throws Higgins’ slippers at him, leaving him mystified by her ingratitude (“Just You Wait (Reprise)”). Outside, Freddy is still waiting (“On the Street Where You Live (Reprise)”) and greets Eliza, who is irritated by him as all he does is talk (“Show Me”). Eliza tries to return to her old life but finds that she no longer fits in. She meets her father, who has been left a large fortune by the wealthy American to whom Higgins had recommended him, and is resigned to marrying Eliza’s stepmother. Alfred feels that Higgins has ruined him, lamenting that he is now bound by “middle-class morality”, in which he gets drunk before his wedding day (“Get Me to the Church On Time”). Eliza eventually ends up visiting Higgins’ mother, who is outraged at her son’s callous behavior.
The next day, Higgins finds Eliza gone and searches for her (“A Hymn to Him”), eventually finding her at his mother’s house. Higgins attempts to talk Eliza into coming back to him. He becomes angered when she announces that she is going to marry Freddy and become Karpathy’s assistant (“Without You”). He makes his way home, stubbornly predicting that she will come crawling back. However, he comes to the unsettling realization that she has become an important part of his life (“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”). He enters his house feeling lonely, reflecting on his callous behaviour and missing Eliza so much that he turns on his gramophone and listens to her voice. Suddenly, Eliza reappears at the door and turns it off to catch his attention, with Higgins asking, “Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?”.
Home Free is an American country a cappella group of five vocalists, Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Adam Rupp, Tim Foust, and Adam Chance. Starting as a show group, they toured around 200 shows a year across the United States.
The group competed in and won the fourth season of The Sing-Off on NBC in 2013. They sang an arrangement of Hunter Hayes’s “I Want Crazy” as their final competitive song, earning the group $100,000 and a recording contract with Sony.
Home Free released their first album under a major label, Crazy Life, on February 18, 2014. Their most recent album, Land of the Free, was released in June 2021.
The group Home Free was originally formed in January 2001 by Chris Rupp in Mankato, Minnesota, when some of its members were still in their teens. The five founding members were brothers Chris and Adam Rupp, Matt Atwood, Darren Scruggs, and Dan Lemke; taking their name from a boat owned by Atwood’s grandfather who helped support the group financially in the early years. The group began as a hobby for the singers, but they gradually gained in experience and popularity. By 2007 they had enough of a following to pursue music full-time. During this period, the Rupp brothers and Atwood formed the core of the group, with Atwood singing lead tenor. Other members of the group came and went. Current member Rob Lundquist, another Minnesotan, joined in 2008.
For much of the group’s history they worked with many talented bass singers, but did not have a full-time committed bass voice. In 2007 Chris Foss sang with them. Elliott Robinson was added as bass in September 2008, and was replaced in June 2009 by Troy Horne. Later that year, Horne left to rejoin The House Jacks. To replace Horne they turned to Tim Foust, who first sang with them as a guest on their 2010 tour. A Texas native, Foust was then pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter of country music and had recently released a solo album, but was not ready to sign on full-time. Matthew Tuey sang with the group in the interim of 2011, until Foust joined them full-time in January 2012.
In 2012, Austin Brown was working on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship as a featured singer in their production shows. When Home Free joined the cruise as a guest performing group, they met and became close. Brown, who was born in Tifton, Georgia, let Home Free know that he would be interested in joining the group if they ever had an opening. At the end of 2012 lead singer Matt Atwood and his wife, who had married the previous year, were expecting their first child. Finding the group’s touring schedule incompatible with family life, and having an opportunity to take over his family’s real estate business in Mankato, Atwood made the decision to retire from the group. Home Free then invited Brown to join as lead tenor. He sang his first show with the group in October 2012, and became full-time in January 2013. In 2015 they made a guest appearance on Kenny Rogers’s holiday album Once Again It’s Christmas on the track “Children Go Where I Send Thee”; a music video was released in November 2015.
On March 18, 2016 it was announced that, after sixteen years performing with the group, co-founder Chris Rupp would be leaving to pursue a solo career. He would be replaced after May 8 by Adam Chance, formerly of Street Corner Symphony.
All five of Home Free’s singers have formal musical training. Lundquist and the Rupp brothers all have bachelor’s degrees in music. Adam Rupp’s primary instrument is trumpet, but he also plays drums, keyboard, and bass guitar. Since joining, Foust and Brown have also become very active in writing and arranging.
In terms of musical roles, Home Free personnel includes a lead tenor, a high tenor, a baritone, a bass, and a beatboxer. The High tenor, who often fronts the group, is Austin Brown who sings in the register of a high tenor. Traditional tenor harmony is sung by Rob Lundquist, baritone harmony is sung by Adam Chance, and Tim Foust sings bass with the range of a basso profundo. Occasionally, the latter two switch roles in their singing voice. In addition to the four voices, percussion sounds are provided by beatboxer Adam Rupp. All of the singers occasionally sing solos supported by the harmonies of the other singers.
Home Free’s styling as a country group is relatively recent. Before Foust joined the group, Home Free was an all-purpose a cappella group, singing in a wide variety of styles, of which country was only a minor one. With the additions of Foust and Brown, the group moved more in the direction of country and found that audiences responded well to it. Home Free had auditioned three times for The Sing-Off (without Foust and Brown) and not been accepted. When auditioning for the fourth season, they made a conscious decision to style themselves as a country group. In an interview Brown said this identity is what grabbed the attention of The Sing-Off’s casting director, who said, “You guys really fit something we don’t have.”
Dame Julie AndrewsDBE (born Julia Elizabeth Wells; 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer, and author. Throughout her career of over 75 years, she has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and six Golden Globe Awards.
Andrews was made a Disney Legend in 1991, and has been honoured with a Honorary Golden Lion as well as the AFI Life Achievement Award. In 2000, Andrews was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the performing arts.
In 2002, Andrews was ranked No. 59 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. In 2003, she revisited her first Broadway success, this time as a stage director, with a revival of The Boy Friend. Apart from her musical career, she is also an author of children’s books and has published two autobiographies, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (2008) and Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (2019).
Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on 1 October 1935 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England.Her mother, Barbara Ward Wells (née Morris; 1910–1984) was born in Chertsey and married Edward Charles “Ted” Wells (1908–1990), a teacher of metalwork and woodwork, in 1932.
Andrews was conceived as a result of an affair her mother had with a family friend. Andrews discovered her true parentage from her mother in 1950, although it was not publicly disclosed until her 2008 autobiography.
With the outbreak of World War II, her parents went their separate ways and were soon divorced. Each remarried: Barbara to Ted Andrews, in 1943, and Ted Wells in 1944 to Winifred Maud (Hyde) Birkhead, a war widow and former hairstylist at a war work factory that employed them both in Hinchley Wood, Surrey. Wells assisted with evacuating children to Surrey during the Blitz, while Andrews’s mother joined her husband in entertaining the troops through the Entertainments National Service Association. Andrews lived briefly with Wells and her brother, John in Surrey. In 1940, Wells sent her to live with her mother and stepfather, who Wells thought would be better able to provide for his talented daughter’s artistic training. According to Andrews’s 2008 autobiography Home, while Andrews had been used to calling her stepfather “Uncle Ted”, her mother suggested it would be more appropriate to refer to her stepfather as “Pop”, while her father remained “Dad” or “Daddy” to her, a change which she disliked. The Andrews family was “very poor” and “lived in a bad slum area of London,” at the time, stating that the war “was a very black period in my life.” According to Andrews, her stepfather was violent and an alcoholic. He twice, while drunk, tried to get into bed with his stepdaughter, resulting in Andrews fitting a lock on her door.
As the stage career of her mother and stepfather improved, they were able to afford better surroundings, first to Beckenham and then, as the war ended, back to the Andrews’s hometown of Hersham. The family took up residence at the Old Meuse, in West Grove, Hersham, a house (now demolished) where Andrews’s maternal grandmother had served as a maid. Andrews’s stepfather sponsored lessons for her, first at the independent arts educational school Cone-Ripman School (ArtsEd) in London, and thereafter with concert soprano and voice instructor Madame Lilian Stiles-Allen. Andrews said of Stiles-Allen, “She had an enormous influence on me,” adding, “She was my third mother – I’ve got more mothers and fathers than anyone in the world.” In her memoir Julie Andrews – My Star Pupil, Stiles-Allen records, “The range, accuracy and tone of Julie’s voice amazed me … she had possessed the rare gift of absolute pitch”,though Andrews herself refutes this in her 2008 autobiography Home. According to Andrews, “Madame was sure that I could do Mozart and Rossini, but, to be honest, I never was”. Of her own voice, she says, “I had a very pure, white, thin voice, a four-octave range – dogs would come from miles around.” After Cone-Ripman School, Andrews continued her academic education at the nearby Woodbrook School, a local state school in Beckenham.
Termed “Britain’s youngest prima donna”, Andrews’s classically trained soprano voice, lauded for its “pure and clear” sound, has been described as light, bright and operatic in tone. When a young Andrews was taken by her parents to be examined by a throat specialist, the doctor concluded that she had “an almost adult larynx.” Despite the continual encouragement to pursue opera by her voice teacher, English soprano Lilian Stiles-Allen, Andrews herself felt that her voice was unsuited for the genre and “too big a stretch”. At the time, Andrews described her own voice as “extremely high and thin”, feeling that it lacked “the necessary guts and weight for opera”, preferring musical theatre instead.
As Andrews aged, so did her voice, which began to naturally deepen. Losing her vast upper register, her “top notes” became increasingly difficult to sing while “her middle register matured into the warm golden tone” for which she has become known, according to Tim Wong of The Daily Telegraph.
Musically, she had always preferred singing music that was “bright and sunny”, choosing to avoid songs that were sad or otherwise written in a minor key, for fear of losing her voice “in a mess of emotion”. She cited this as another reason for avoiding opera.
Additional informations about “the sound of music” : The original Broadway cast. The original Broadway cast was started by Mary Martin. Her singing style was very different than Julie Andrews’s style.
A Star Is Born ou Une étoile est née est un film musical américain coécrit, coproduit et réalisé par Bradley Cooper, sorti en 2018. Salué à la fois par le public et les critiques, le film et sa bande originale remportent plus d’une soixantaine de prix.
Il s’agit du quatrième remake du film Une étoile est née de William A. Wellman, sorti en 1937.
Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) se produit dans des concerts qui se vendent bien tout en ayant des acouphènes assez fréquents et des addictions à l’alcool et à la drogue qu’il cache au public. Son principal soutien et manager n’est autre que son demi-frère aîné Bobby (Sam Elliott) qui s’occupe de lui. Ally Campana (Lady Gaga) est une jeune autrice-compositrice qui travaille comme serveuse avec son ami Ramon (Anthony Ramos), tout en chantant dans un bar de drag queens. Après un concert au Coachella Festival, Jackson arrive dans ce même bar pour boire un verre et découvre Ally qui chante La Vie en rose. Impressionné par son talent, il partage un verre avec elle. Ally lui révèle qu’elle n’a jamais poursuivi de carrière professionnelle car les gens de l’industrie lui ont trop souvent dit qu’elle avait un nez trop grand et qu’elle n’arriverait jamais à rien. Jackson lui avoue trouver cela séduisant et lui propose d’écrire des chansons ensemble. Elle le ramène chez elle, où elle vit avec son père veuf, Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay), qui dirige un service de chauffeurs avec ses amis. Jackson demande à Ally de venir à son concert le soir même, mais elle refuse malgré l’insistance de Lorenzo. Elle change finalement d’avis et emmène Ramon avec elle. Jackson demande à Ally de chanter avec lui sur scène. Après hésitation, elle cède et finit par être adulée sur les réseaux sociaux grâce à son interprétation de Shallow.
Jackson et Ally partent sur les routes, chantent ensemble à plusieurs concerts et commencent à se lier. Après l’évanouissement de Jackson à cause de son alcoolisme, Bobby dit à Ally qu’elle doit être très prudente avec lui. Jackson emmène Ally en Arizona voir une ferme qu’il a achetée pour Bobby et où son père est enterré, mais découvre que Bobby a vendu le terrain et que le corps de leur père a été emporté dans une tornade. Furieux de sa trahison, Jackson frappe Bobby, qui décide de démissionner de son poste de manager.
À la fin d’un concert, Ally rencontre Rez (Rafi Gavron), un producteur qui lui propose un contrat après l’avoir entendu chanter Always Remember Us This Way. Malgré le fait qu’il soit visiblement contrarié, Jackson soutient sa décision et aide Ally à traverser les premières épreuves de sa notoriété. Pendant un de ces concerts, Rez réprimande Ally sur sa décision d’annuler le numéro de danse initialement prévu et lui suggère de se teindre les cheveux en blond platine, ce qu’elle refuse. Supposé venir au concert, Jackson, ivre, s’évanouit en centre ville et est aidé par Noodles (Dave Chappelle), un de ses amis d’enfance qui l’autorise à rester temporairement chez lui. Ally le rejoint et lui avoue avoir de plus en plus de mal à supporter ses addictions. Jackson lui fait alors sa demande en mariage en créant une bague avec un bout de corde de guitare, et ils se marient le jour même.
Pendant qu’Ally se produit dans l’émission Saturday Night Live, Bobby arrive et se réconcilie avec Jackson. Plus tard, Jackson exprime sa réprobation face à une des chansons d’Ally, qui perd en authenticité et se transforme petit à petit en produit commercial. La traitant de « laide », ils se disputent puis essaient rapidement de laisser le problème derrière eux. Sous l’emprise de l’alcool et des opiacés, Jackson se produit aux Grammy Awards avec un hommage à Roy Orbison. Ally gagne le Grammy de la meilleure nouvelle artiste. Pendant qu’elle prononce son discours, Jackson arrive sur scène au même moment mais s’humilie en s’urinant dessus et en perdant connaissance. Lorenzo emmène Jackson dans les coulisses, le réprimande et le met sous une douche pour le faire dessoûler. À la suite de cet incident, Jackson part en cure de désintoxication.
Ally lui rend visite et Jackson s’excuse pour son comportement. Avant le retour de Jackson chez lui à la fin de sa cure, Ally propose à Rez de faire une tournée commune avec son mari, désormais sobre et remis sur pied. Mais le manager refuse catégoriquement. Hors d’elle, Ally lui dit qu’elle préfère annuler la tournée. Rez se rend à leur domicile et dit en privé à Jackson qu’il finira par replonger tôt ou tard et qu’il pourrait ruiner la carrière d’Ally à cause de ses addictions, mais qu’elle n’osera jamais lui dire. Celle-ci ment à Jackson et lui explique qu’elle a annulé sa tournée européenne pour enregistrer son deuxième album. Lorsqu’elle part pour son dernier show, elle lui demande de la rejoindre sur scène pour chanter ensemble. Il accepte. Mais après le départ d’Ally, Jackson prend des pilules et se suicide en se pendant, comme il avait tenté de le faire durant sa jeunesse.
Ally demeure inconsolable malgré les efforts de Lorenzo et de Ramon pour l’aider. Bobby lui explique que la mort de Jackson n’est pas sa faute mais celle de Jackson lui-même. Elle s’approprie une chanson que Jackson avait écrite mais jamais présentée en public, I’ll Never Love Again, et décide de la chanter à une cérémonie de commémoration, au Shrine Auditorium, où elle se présente elle-même comme Ally Maine. Elle se remémore le moment où Jackson la lui avait présentée chez eux et regarde vers le haut, une larme à l’œil.
LES VERSIONS DE ” A STAR IS BORN”
A star is born (William Wellman, 1937)
Avec : Janet Gaynor et Fredric March.
A star is born (George Cukor, 1954)
Avec : Judy Garland ( Rappel : Judy Garland étant la mère de liza Minelli ) et James Mason.
A star is born (Frank Pierson, 1976)
Avec : Barbra Streisand et Kris Kristofferson
BRADLEY COOPER SPEAKING FRENCH / BRADLEY COOPER PARLANT EN FRANCAIS
Darlene Koldenhoven was born in a mixed neighborhood on the South side of Chicago to a family with an extensive musical lineage, but hearing only the singing of her mother and grandfather.
Darlene could hold her own harmony part by age 3, making her Easter Sunday debut in church singing a solo, “Low in the Grave He Lay.” Her initial emphasis of formal training was classical piano, which she began studying in earnest at age 9.
Two years prior, she learned sewing from grandmother and continues to carry on the tradition to this day, sewing and occasionally designing her clothes and concert gowns. Her father, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, died from malaria complications contracted during his “tours of duty.”
The family suffering from the financial hardship, a single mother, and her sister being born deaf, didn’t allow her hard working mother to afford formal singing lessons for Darlene until age 16.
The product of a strict Dutch Christian Reformed/Calvinist family, Darlene was only allowed to listen to or play religious or classical music, not allowed to improvise, and never really listened to pop music until college where she absorbed everything from the Beatles and Middle Eastern music to jazz.
But the fierce work ethic and discipline she learned from home and her schooling made her an outstanding scholarly achiever, thus preparing her for the ubiquitous and enviable career she now relishes in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. Arriving in Los Angeles in January with only a leap-of-faith, $400, her car, 6 wool turtleneck sweaters (she’s from Chicago) and no contacts – therein lay the story of how hard work and perseverance pays off . . .
Ms. Koldenhoven revealed an early sensitivity to teaching and nurturing when she assisted in the early speech therapy of her only sibling, a sister 9 years younger who was born deaf with bilateral aural atresia. Experimental surgery created some hearing capabilities for her at age 4.
Revelations from that experience impacted Koldenhoven three-fold, sparking her intense interest in how vocal sound is created by the smallest gestures of the structures of the mouth, sound vibration as a source of healing and restoration, and the expressive possibilities of vocal sound without words – a signature element of her singular style.
Darlene Koldenhoven’s first two albums are her debut Keys to the World (an adult contemporary pop work with an emphasis on positive lyrics, both humanitarian and for the environment), Free to Serve (an eclectic gospel soundtrack, commissioned by the Christian Reformed Church of North America and lifted from a World Missions multi-media concert that she co-directed, wrote all the music for and performed in, featuring musicians and singers she brought back from the impoverished Sierra Leone, West Africa).
When asked about the future, in addition to her regular activities, Darlene is looking forward to touring with her concerts and workshops and is in the process of developing a unique music education program for those with special needs.
Reblogged this on TABBOUCH & Cie.