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<p>Skylar Grey</p>

Skylar Grey

Credit: Skylargreymusic.com

Exclusive: Go behind the scenes on Skylar Grey's debut album

How did Eminem's 'Love The Way You Lie' come about?

Skylar Grey’s solo album has been a long time in coming. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes clip, the singer/songwriter takes you to her Oregon cabin where she wrote  “Love the Way You Lie,” her massive hit for Eminem and Rihanna, as well as talks about the making of her new album, “Don’t Look Down,” out July 9.

[More after the jump...]

 “The beginning half of the album-writing process, I was really focused on my journey, when I was living in Oregon in that cabin and really coming into this new version of me,” she reveals. “It was there that I experimented with my sound and figured out who I wanted to be as an artist."

It’s easy to see why she found inspiration in Oregon: the scenery is breathtaking.  While living there, she sent producer Alex Da Kid the hook for “Love The Way You Lie,” and “my whole life changed,” she says. That led to her own album, executive produced by Eminem and Alex Da Kid.

Even though this is her debut album, Grey has already amassed five Grammy nominations and, in addition to co-writing “Love The Way You Lie,” co-wrote Dr. Dre’s  “I Need A Doctor,” and wrote Cee-Lo’s single, “Only You.”  “Don’t Look Down’s” cheeky first single, “C’mon Let Me Ride,”  came out last December.  “Wear Me Out” is the current track.

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Edie Falco reacts to James Gandolfini's death


Edie Falco reacts to James Gandolfini's death

"I consider myself lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague," she said in a statement, adding: "The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I've ever known." PLUS: Jamie-Lynn Sigler is "heartbroken," "Uncle Junior" is glad he didn't find out from TV, Michael Imperioli is "forever grateful," Holsten's pays tribute, see the Star-Ledger's front page, his 13-year-old son found Gandolfini collapsed in the bathroom of his hotel room, Bryan Cranston says Tony Soprano is responsible for Walter White, HBO to put up an "HBO mourns" message, and see Gandolfini in 1986.


"Kirstie" books Kristin Chenoweth, Kristen Johnston, Cloris Leachman
All three will guest on Kirstie Alley's new TV Land sitcom.


Watch David Letterman eat kettle corn with Jerry Seinfeld
"You could've killed me," Dave says in the newest episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," featuring his Volvo.


"The Voice" winner signs with Taylor Swift's record label
Danielle Bradbery will record her debut album with Big Machine Records.


Comedy Central greenlights a Ben Stiller-produced stand-up comedy series
"The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail" will star comedians Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani.

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<p>&quot;Game of Thrones&quot; star Peter Dinklage accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2011 Emmy Awards.</p>

"Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2011 Emmy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys: When will genre wins like those for 'Game of Thrones' be the norm and not the exception?

For every 'Game of Thrones' there are plenty 'Battlestar Galacticas'

Let’s say my favorite show is "Mad Men," and I tell people as such. They’d probably think, “Good show” or, “I like when Don Draper smokes that cigarette.” They’d probably not think, “Well clearly you love period television and shows about advertising.” Because TV has the power to present layered, nuanced character studies no matter the setting. Showrunners, with multiple seasons at their disposal, have plenty of time. We all know this.

Imagine that same conversation, but instead of "Mad Men" I say "Battlestar Galactica." The new one, not the original. I bet most people would have the same thought: “Neeeeeeeeeeeerd!” Why? The answer is the core of a larger trend in Emmy voting.

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<p>Aden Young in &quot;Rectify.&quot;</p>

Aden Young in "Rectify."

Credit: Sundance

If I Had An Emmy Ballot 2013: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Another deep field gives us the men of 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men,' 'Hannibal' and more

Part 5 of our journey through the Emmy ballot brings us to our first lead category: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. As always, Fienberg will attempt to rank the contenders from most likely to least likely to be nominated, throwing in a bunch of preferential wild cards along the way. And, as always, I will pretend that I am an actual Academy member who has a ballot and therefore has to narrow his choices down to six people.

Same rules apply: we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't nominate people who didn't submit themselves (like if I wanted to nominate Tony Hale for "Arrested Development" rather than "Veep"), and we have to consider people in the category they submitted themselves for, even if that means supporting actors submitting as leads (Rob Lowe, every year) or vice versa (Amy Schumer as supporting for a show that's named after her).

Dan's exhaustive analysis is here, and embedded below (click Launch Gallery to see it), and my picks are coming right up.

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'James Gandolfini was real. He was special. You could feel it'
Credit: HBO

'James Gandolfini was real. He was special. You could feel it'


"James Gandolfini was real. He was special. You could feel it"

"Friends felt it," says Matt Zoller Seitz, who first met Gandolfini in  late 1998, covering "The Sopranos" for New Jersey's Star-Ledger, just before the HBO series premiered. "Colleagues felt it," he says. "People who talked to him for five minutes and never saw him again felt it. People who never met him in person and knew him only through his performance on 'The Sopranos' felt it. It was real. It was deep. It was true. James Gandolfini had an authentic connection with viewers. Everyone who watched him perform, in a starring role or a bit part, came away feeling understood."
Tony Soprano wasn't fully formed until Gandolfini beat out Steven Van Zandt and Michael Rispoli
Without Gandolfini, there would be no Walter White, Carrie Mathison, Vic Mackey
Steven Van Zandt: "I have lost a brother and a best friend"
Gandolfini's performance as Tony Soprano will never be equaled
Gandolfini in 1999 was extremely uncomfortable with his sudden fame
He was always unfailingly humble about his achievement
Watch Gandolfini's "SNL" cameo // Fans pack "Sopranos" finale diner
—Is Amazon using Gandolfini's death to sell "Sopranos" DVDs?
Gilles Marini: Gandolfini was taking a "boy trip" with his to Italy
—In 1988, Gandolfini was a 26-year-old struggling actor, apartment hopping with garbage bags
Gandolfini's unfinished projects: From CBS' "Taxi-22" to HBO's "Criminal Justice"


Stephen Colbert pays an emotional tribute to his mom

"When you watch the show, if you also like me, that's because of my mom," Colbert said in his cold opening in tribute to Lorna Colbert, who died last week at 92.


Netflix renews "Hemlock Grove" for a shorter 2nd season

Season 2 will have 10 episodes instead of 13.


NBC gives "The Office" stars a scrapbook
Check out the scrapbook marking all nine seasons.

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Outstanding Lead Actor Drama - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Lead Actor Drama - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Who will join Bryan Cranston, Damian Lewis and Jon Hamm?
On a day so many of us are so shaken by James Gandolfini's sudden death, it's sadly appropriate that my Emmy focus turns to the category that the "Sopranos" star towered over, a category still dominated by characters and performances that never would have been possible without Tony Soprano.
 
Like love, the Lead Actor in a Drama category at the Emmys is a battlefield. All six nominees from last year return, including four actors who have been nominated for multiple Emmys for their current roles. So this category should actually be a breeze, right? Everybody repeats, right? You tell that to Kevin Spacey and Matthew Rhys and Jeff Daniels. At least one or two of those guys will surely hear their names announced on July 18. But even that means that entirely worthy candidates like Hugh Dancy and Aden Young don't even an iota of a chance. It's a battlefield.
 
Check out the full gallery below:
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<p>James Gandolfini</p>

James Gandolfini

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

My brief encounter with James Gandolfini

Sometimes meeting your heroes works out great

“I’m Jim.”

That’s how James Gandolfini introduced himself to me and a friend when we approached— okay pounced— on him at a intimate party  in October.

We were at a private screening in a Hollywood Hills residence for “Not Fade Away,” David Chase’s valentine to rock and roll about a group of suburban New Jersey kids in the 1960s, who form a rock band and then fall into every trap possible.

It was one of those crazy times where you’re not even sure how you scored an invitation, but you’re just glad you did. There were about 60 of us, including Chase, music supervisor Steven Van Zandt, assorted actors in the movie, and other celebrities like Joe Perry and former “The Sopranos” writer/ “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner.

After we watched the movie in the screening room, there was a buffet  and that’s when I saw him.  He was standing alone in the kitchen, eating.

I have had a lot of crushes in my life, but James Gandolfini was a big one for me. I hated that I found a character as reprehensible as Tony Soprano attractive, but credit solely went to the way Gandolfini found his soul, an inner sadness and all his broken places, and gave this inhumane character humanity (Clearly, I wasn’t alone: TV Guide placed him 28 on its “50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” list).

As the gruff father in “Not Fade Away,” Gandolfini brought the same hurt. He took a man, so shattered by his own disappointments that he poured them all over his son. He was unwilling to let his boy fly because he was so bitter that he had remained tethered to the ground and given up his dreams. In a movie that had more than its share of cliches, Gandolfini’s portrayal stood out as authentic and heartfelt (He brought that same tough exterior/marshmallow interior to Carol, whom he voiced in “Where The Wild Things Are”).

I stared at him for a bit, trying to summon up my courage, and then I decided that I may never have a chance to talk to him again. So my friend and I  walked up to him, apologized for interrupting while he was eating, and introduced ourselves. He said his name was Jim and he was happy to meet us.

We talked about the movie and his portrayal and even specific scenes, including one where he says nothing but telegraphs every bit of desperation and fleeting hope he feels simply with a look.  If you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

He told us the character came easily to him because he was playing his dad: all the frustration, hurt, anger, and disillusionment came from his father.  It’s one of those times when someone reveals something private to you and you don’t know whether to delve deeper or let it go. He made it clear that, as an adult, he'd made peace with his dad and understood him in a way that he didn't when he was growing up. He even asked us when we realized that our parents had to let go of some of their dreams, as if he really wanted to hear the answer. We switched to talking about his relationship with David Chase. He said it was a wonderful working one.  “David puts it all there on the page,” he said. He just had to bring it to life....as if that were the easy part.

He then asked us what we did and what brought us to the party. I told him I was a reporter, but not to worry, anything he said was off the record (well, until this point). I remember he laughed a kind of big bear laugh, and said, “I don’t give a shit,” in the sweetest possible way, like a man completely comfortable with himself. He might have said “I don’t give a f**k.” He used that word very liberally throughout our chat.

We talked about music and his upcoming roles and were in the middle of a very nice, easygoing conversation, the kind you rarely have at these types of events, when a publicist came up and stopped us so he could introduce Gandolfini to Dyan Cannon. What a true Hollywood moment.

We ceded our spot and while I was disappointed at first, I later realized it ended perfectly. There was no way I could have extricated myself because I didn’t want to, and I was probably only one moment away from breathlessly gushing a la Chris Farley’s “Saturday Night Live” character who asks if his guest remembers a certain performance and then can only muster up “That was so cool” instead of a question.

He was so nice and relaxed, generously speaking to anyone who approached, and, otherwise, hanging with his buddies. He eventually left and I was shocked to see that his wife had given birth to a baby girl the next day. He would have surely rather been home with his expectant wife that night, but instead he hung out with all of us, eager to do whatever he could to glad hand and talk about Chase’s labor of love.

I’ve met some of my musical heroes and been sorely disappointed and left wishing I’d let their music speak for them. My experience with Gandolfini couldn’t have been more the opposite. I’m so glad that I got the chance to tell him how much I appreciated his work.

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<p>James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.</p>

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.

Credit: HBO

Remembering James Gandolfini and Tony Soprano

The right actor in the right role transformed the way we looked at television

James Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano forever transformed the way we thought about the TV characters we invited into our living room, has died suddenly while on vacation in Rome. He was 51.

As the star of "The Sopranos," what was so amazing about Gandolfini wasn't so much the way he looked — TV had had overweight and/or balding leading men before (and at the start, Tony wasn't that big) — but the way that he acted. He was a mobster, and an unapologetic one. Tony Soprano took what he wanted, rarely cared about who was hurt in the process, and at times was more animal than man.

We had been told all our lives that we would not watch an ongoing series about such a man. A bruising, foul-mouthed giant with a dent in his forehead was the villain, not the protagonist. TV had always made compromises, always made sure that "flawed" heroes were ultimately redeemable and lovable.

Tony Soprano was not. And we loved him, often despite ourselves.

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<p>James&nbsp;Gandolfini with Delroy&nbsp;Lindo and John&nbsp;Travolta in &quot;Get Shorty&quot;</p>

James Gandolfini with Delroy Lindo and John Travolta in "Get Shorty"

Credit: MGM

James Gandolfini always made an impact, as character actor or leading man

From 'Get Shorty' to 'Zero Dark Thirty,' he always made you sit up and take note

I finally met James Gandolfini last year. It was Paramount's Christmas party at Spago in Beverly Hills and he was there with his "Killing Them Softly" director Andrew Dominik. He was, in a word, imposing. I shook his hand and it engulfed my own. He seemed incredibly unwilling to suffer a fool and I loved that about him, as I do people like Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, etc. But he was willing to engage, willing to give a glimpse of that soft-center.

Now, suddenly, he's dead. A heart attack in Italy. Too soon doesn't begin to say it, but as the news makes its way across the wires I find myself, as we always do at times like this, thinking back on the work. And Gandolfini had a wealth of it. You see, he wasn't always this star, this "name." He made his hay as a character actor in film after film, always leaving a deep impression, long before "The Sopranos" came calling.

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<p>Robin Thicke</p>

Robin Thicke

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' remains atop the Billboard Hot 100

Imagine Dragons sets a record with 'Radioactive'

Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell remains at No. 1 for a second week on Billboard’s Hot 100. It is also the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, with 371,000 downloads sold, as well as on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the R&B Songs charts.

Pharrell is also featured on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which rises 3-2, making Pharrell the first artist in four years to have songs at No. 1 and No. 1.  Black Eyed Peas achieved the feat as the main artists in 2009 with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling,” according to Billboard.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton falls 2-3, while Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” moves 6-4, finally hitting the top 5 42 weeks after it first appeared on the chart and setting a new mark for the longest climb into the Top 5.  “Radioactive” drops Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” down one spot to No. 5.

Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” also slides down one place to No. 6 (while staying atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for a 16th week). The remainder of the Top 10 stays the same: Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” featuring Nate Ruess is at No. 7, Selena Gomez’s “Come & Get It” at No. 8; Ariana Grande’s “The Way” featuring Mac Miller at No. 9 and Icona Pop’s “I Love It” featuring Charli XCX at No. 10.
 

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<p>James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano</p>

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano

Credit: HBO

James Gandolfini is dead


James Gandolfini is dead at 51
"The Sopranos" star suffered an apparent heart attack while in Italy, HBO confirms. Gandolfini was vacationing in Italy and it was recently announced that he would return to HBO to star in the limited series "Criminal Justice." Gandolfini is survived by, his wife, a daughter born last year and a teenage son. PLUS: Gandolfini spoke to TMZ just 1 month ago. Watch Gandolfini win his first Golden Globe and first Emmy, Hollywood reacts to his death, Anthony Jeselnik jokes about it, and watch Gandolfini sing, listen to Kathy Griffin's encounter with Gandolfini, watch him on "Inside the Actor's Studio." Also, his death will ensure that Tony Soprano "will forever be indelibly etched to him."


David Chase: "He was a genius"

"Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that," says "The Sopranos" creator, in a statement. "He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes."

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<p>The cast of &quot;The Neighbors&quot; perform Alan Menken's song.</p>

The cast of "The Neighbors" perform Alan Menken's song.

Credit: ABC

Emmys: Alan Menken aims for the elusive EGOT

Veteran composer could complete the set with a song for sitcom 'The Neighbors'

Earlier this month, as Kris reported, Cyndi Lauper got herself one Oscar away from joining the elite club of EGOT winners -- those over-achieving individuals who have managed to win competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards over the course of their careers. It is, needless to say, a pretty rare achievement: Scott Rudin became the most recent EGOTist with a Grammy win last year.

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