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  • Ghost singer and founder Tobias Forge, who performs as Papa Emeritus, unmasked himself publicly for the first time since the band was formed for an appearance on the Swedish radio show "Sommar i P1." The daily program, on which one well-known Swede speaks without interruption for 90 minutes about whatever he or she likes, has been on the air since 1959.

    During his appearance on the show, which aired last Thursday (August 17th), Forge spoke about his family life and particularly his older brother, Sebastian, who died of heart failure in 2009 the day after Ghost posted its first song on MySpace. At one point, Forge spoke directly to his late brother and was sobbing and crying while lamenting the fact that "we didn't get to experience this thing together."

    • Forge also said that his mother was so proud of him that she was telling everyone about his involvement with Ghost even though the bandmembers' true identities were supposed to be kept secret, adding, "I guess it doesn't matter anymore."
    • Forge signed off the show by saying, "My name is Tobias Forge and I'm the man behind the mask in Ghost. Thanks for listening."
    • Although the identities of Forge and the other members of Ghost -- who also performed with masks and were known only as Nameless Ghouls -- had been a closely guarded secret for years, the wall of anonymity began to crumble last year after Forge fired the entire lineup.
    • While personnel had come and gone in Ghost over the years, four ex-members of the band sued Forge after the mass dismissal, accusing him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group's albums and world tours.
    • In his own court documents responding to the suit, Forge named himself as the person who developed Ghost's image and stage show, as well as the Papa Emeritus persona, while blaming his former bandmates for "destroying the mystery" around the group.
    • Ghost broke out internationally in 2015 with its third album, Meliora, which featured the Grammy-winning hit single "Cirice." A follow-up EP, Popestar, yielded the Number One rock radio single "Square Hammer." Ghost is currently off the road and working on its fourth full-length LP.

  • It takes a lot to rattle Gene Simmons. Although the Kiss co-founder was publicly mocked and derided by many in the rock community for seeking the approval of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to officially trademark the universal "sign of the horns" rock hand gesture -- he's taking it all in stride.

    Simmons, who abandoned plans to own the trademark after only two weeks, told WindsorStar.com, "I regret nothing. Wake up every morning and let your conscience be your guide. Did you know I own the money bag logo? The dollar sign with the bag of money. I own all kinds of things. I own 'motion pictures' as a trademark. Anyone who thinks that’s silly -- the silliest thing I’ve ever done is wear more makeup and higher heels than your mommy. People said, 'You can’t do that.' Actually, b-tch -- I can. I can do anything I want to do."

    • Intellectual property attorney Victor Sapphire explained to Variety earlier this summer, that even if Simmons were to have been successful in snagging the copyright, enforcing it would tough job: "Even if consumers don’t think of Gene Simmons in particular, do they associate the gesture with a single source of entertainment services in the nature of live performances and personal appearances? While there certainly may be a route to registration for this mark, this question may ultimately render the mark unenforceable, in which case the process of applying for registration will appear to have functioned as either another of Mr. Simmons’ brilliant publicity-generating moves, a vanity exercise, or perhaps a bit of both."
    • Much like Donald Trump, Gene Simmons has been obsessed with the art of the deal when it comes to the non-stop commercialization and cross-marketing of the Kiss brand. Over the years, Simmons has never been bashful about talking about his love for money: "Every once in a while I read an interview, and I just want to b-tch-slap one of these little punks. If you don't want to be famous, don't be in a rock band. Move to Nome, Alaska. They won't care. And if you feel awkward about the amount of money that you're making -- often hideous amounts -- the answer is, sit down and write a check to Gene Simmons for your entire net worth." :
      September 26 - Sugar Land, TX - Smart Financial Centre At Sugar Land
      September 27 - Irving, TX - Pavilion At The Irving Music Factory
      September 28 - Rogers, AR - Walmart AMP
      September 29, 30 - Gretna, LA - Gretna Heritage Festival
      October 1 - Gretna, LA - Gretna Heritage Festival
    AUDIO: GENE SIMMONS SAYS NO ONE SHOULD COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING RICH AND FAMOUS

  • Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin spoke to The Morning Call about the progress of the songwriting for the follow-up to 2014's 1000hp album. Larkin revealed, "We have a strong seven (songs completed) right now, but we also have another 10 that are works in progress. But we do have the majority of the new record, and I'm really happy with it. It's great songs, man, and that's why it takes us usually four years in between albums, 'cause we really care about our songs."

    Singer Sully Erna hinted to us a while back that the new LP will mark a shift in Godsmack's sound: "I really think the new record is gonna be a reflection of where we're at in our lives now. I think it's gonna be a lot more uplifting, a lot more neutral rock music. Not metal, you know, not -- it's not gonna be too classic rock, but it's certainly not gonna be metal. And I think bands like the Foo Fighters do it great."

    • The group's seventh studio disc will arrive in 2018 to coincide with the group's twentieth anniversary. Larkin admitted, "We felt a little extra pressure to make this a great record after two decades."
    • Larkin said about the direction of the new material, "It is a new sound for us in that we're working with different producers and so we're trying to implement some kind of new sound without losing our heritage."
    • Several producers and songwriters have been involved in crafting the new material, although the actual producer for the new disc has yet to be confirmed.
    • The plan right now is for Godsmack to issue a new single next January, followed by the full album in April.
    AUDIO: SULLY ERNA SAYS GODSMACK WILL EVOLVE ON NEXT ALBUM

  • Late Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley would have turned 50 on Tuesday (August 22nd), and his mother Nancy McCallum has opened up in a new interview with the Seattle Times about her son's struggle with heroin addiction and her views on the current opioid crisis. McCallum said that her son's music was about "the life of an addict," adding, "He was caught in a trap. I came to understand it too late. Addiction is a disease like any other. Like a cancer, it can be treated, but it can also reoccur. We shouldn’t judge. The emphasis should be on research and treatment."

    • McCallum was present when police discovered Staley's partially decomposed body in his apartment on April 19th, 2002, insisting that she sit with him for a few minutes. She recalled, "I told him I was sorry this was how it turned out."
    • McCallum said that she was dismayed about the growing opioid crisis, blaming it on doctors who overprescribe painkillers. She added, "I don’t have any magic answers. I just try to console people. It’s heartbreaking and overwhelming and unnecessary."
    • An annual tribute concert was held for Staley at the Moore Theatre in Seattle on Saturday (August 19th), featuring performances from Alice In Chains tribute band Jar Of Flies as well as special guests. Proceeds to were earmarked for Therapeutic Health Services.
    • McCallum said about her son's struggle, "He chose to write about it and sing about it and perform about it. It was a warning."

  • Three previously unheard Queens Of The Stone Age songs were accidentally included on advance vinyl pressings of an album called Reservoir by Australian electro-folk singer Gordi, according to Exclaim. The mistake was due to a manufacturing defect and was limited to Australia. The Queens songs were supposed to be contained on a vinyl edition of the band's new album Villains.

    Chris Swanson, co-founder of the vinyl subscription club Secretly Society, explained to Pitchfork, "This is a pressing defect that we’re working diligently to resolve as quickly as possible. It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but we’re all hoping it’s the last."

    • The Queens tracks that showed up on Gordi's album were "Fortress," "Haunted House" and "Un-Reborn." There is no word on whether the defect was limited to Gordi LPs pressed just for the subscription club or copies pressed for general release.
    • With the company ceasing to manufacture the LPs to fix the mistake, it won't be unusual to see copies of the defective pressing going for good money on the collector's circuit.
    • Villains is the seventh studio album from the Queens and is due out this Friday (August 25th). It features the Top 15 rock radio track "The Way You Used To Do," for which the band has just issued a video.
    • Frontman Josh Homme told us a while back that once an album is finished, he can't wait to get out there and tour it: Frontman Josh Homme told us he can't wait to get back on the road again: "I think any time you have a bunch of new songs, you're leaning on a gate waiting for someone to open it, you know. And so I'm just gonna lean on the gate until they open that sucker, and then I'm gonna do everything I have to do."
    • Queens Of The Stone Age begin a lengthy North American tour with Royal Blood on September 6th in Port Chester, New York, wrapping up on October 24th in New York City.
    AUDIO: JOSH HOMME ON QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE RETURNING TO THE ROAD

  • Robert Plant has announced his new album, titled Carry Fire, will be released on October 13th, with the lead single, "The May Queen" already debuting online. Ultimate Classic Rock reported that The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde joins Plant on a cover of Ersel Hickey's 1958 semi-classic "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" -- a tune which the Beach Boys most famously covered on their 1969 20/20 album. Once again, Plant's steady band, Sensational Shape Shifters, provides backing on the new set.

    Plant appeared on the BBC 6 Music and spoke in length about Carry Fire and his current work, explaining, "It’s about intention. I respect and relish my past works, but each time I feel the incentive to create new work, I must mix old with new. Consequently, the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat -- the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation."

    • He went on to praise the experience he earned during his years as a songwriter in Led Zeppelin: "I look for a theme from all the stuff I’d written down and then I just roll on. I’ve been very fortunate. I was in the greatest cross-sectional band ever. Not for melody, but for power and energy and inventivity – a very good word."
    • Plant went on to make the connection between Carry Fire and his past projects: "I’ve done a lot of other things, from the Honeydrippers or working with Alison Krauss, which was beautifully romantic. When you’re singing alongside Alison, and she’s got a twinkle in her eye, and you’re singing about the pitfalls of romance, it can be difficult. I really loved the songs of Roy Orbison and people like that. 'The Big O' really sang about love and captured that area of the teenage angst. I’m no longer a teenager, but I’m aware as time goes on, if you listen to singing about love, it’s usually broken love. It’s seldom you extol the virtues of a life in successful love. Show me a happy writer, I’ll show you a rubbish writer! I see things going on around me; I see the rub of love, the energies, the electricity. I’m not giving up -- I have a season ticket."
    • Robert Plant explained that throughout his career he’s luckily been able to rise to heights of the talent surrounding him: "It’s the company you keep, y’know? I mean that’s the very essence of life within and surrounding music. I mean, I’m very, very fortunate not to be held down by not being an instrumentalist. I can, kind of, arrive and disappear and I can add to a moment with a group of people -- or I can destroy the moment."

    The tracklisting to Robert Plant's Carry Fire is:

    "The May Queen"
    "New World. . ."
    "Season's Song"
    "Dance With You Tonight"
    "Carving Up The World Again"
    "A Way With Words"
    "Carry Fire"
    "Bones Of Saints"
    "Keep It Hid"
    "Bluebirds Over The Mountain"
    "Heaven Sent" AUDIO: ROBERT PLANT ON QUALITY CONTROL FOR FANS AND HIMSELF
    AUDIO: ROBERT PLANT ON THE FREEDOM OF BEING A VOCALIST

CELEBRITY GOSSIP

SARAH HYLAND BREAKS UP WITH BOYFRIEND: Sarah Hyland and Dominic Sherwood, her boyfriend of more than two years, are calling it quits. The Modern Family and Billionaire Random stars will reportedly remain friends. Fans have been speculating that they were over as they have been absent from each other’s Instagram feeds for months now. SELMA BLAIR MOURNS BELOVED DOG DUCKY: Selma Blair’s family dog experienced a "tragic accident" and couldn’t recover, despite their efforts, she disclosed on Instagram. She shared the news of his accident on Instagram, writing: "Please say prayers for Ducky. She had a terrible accident this evening. The vet recommended ending her suffering. But when her tail wagged, I couldn’t do it." She added that her son Arthur’s "heart is broken." Sadly, Ducky did not pull through. The 45-year-old actress shared the news on Instagram, writing: "Run with the angels. We miss you so much. So much, sweet girl. Please send us our next dog. With the spirit of you and wink. Our hearts are broken." BACHELOR IN PARADISE’S JADE ROPER AND TANNER TOLBERT WELCOME BABY: Bachelor in Paradise lovebirds Jade Roper Tolbert and Tanner Tolbert have welcomed their first baby. Jade, 30, gave birth to a girl on August 17th. They tell E! News in a statement: "She's here, our little sweetheart! Tanner and I are very proud to announce the arrival of our baby girl this Thursday morning. There's truly no words to describe the feeling holding you in our arms for the first time and looking into your eyes. We love you, precious girl." The former contestants on Bachelor / Bachelorette met and got engaged on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in 2015. They married in January of 2016. IMAN SHARES RARE PHOTO OF TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Supermodel Iman shared a shot of her stunning daughter on Instagram in honor of her 17th birthday. She captioned the photo of Alexandria Zahra Jones: "The Queen of my heart Lexi Jones at 17 years old! #selfportrait #LexiLove." In the pic, the daughter she shares with the late rock icon David Bowie is posing in a simple white top with a halo of red curls and an ornate nose ring. Bowie died of liver cancer in January of 2016, when she was just 15 years old. TWIN PEAKS ACTOR FACES MURDER CHARGES: Twin Peaks actor Jeremy Lindholm, 41, was arrested and is facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly beat his girlfriend with a baseball bat. Lindholm was reportedly incensed because she did not get him Kool-Aid before reporting for work at the 420 Lingerie Boutique in Spokane, Washington. Surveillance footage showed him hitting her more than a dozen times in the head and body, throwing her to the floor and then jumping on her chest. Police tell the Spokesman-Review that she was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Lindholm, who has also appeared on Z Nation, was booked into Spokane County Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail.

INTERNET FREAKS OUT OVER TINA FEY'S TRUMP BIT

Not everyone was laughing after Tina Fey appeared on Saturday Night Live on Thursday during its satirical Weekend Update show. Her segment was framed as a response to the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. While she did slam President Donald Trump for his failure to call out white supremacists and neo-Nazis, many objected to the manner of her delivery. Fey then shared her approach to dealing with the current political climate, which entailed staying home and binging on cake, preferably from a "Jewish-run bakery" or an "African American-run bakery." Some say the bit was a brilliant and sardonic send-up of tone-deaf privileged white women, while others say it was just straight-up tone deaf. Her segment quickly went viral and culminated with Fey urging "good sane Americans" to "treat these rallies this weekend like the opening of a thoughtful movie with two female leads…don’t show up." Critics jumped on her "let them eat cake" approach, pointing out that just not showing up was the problem in the first place. One Twitter user wrote, "it's cute that Tina Fey wants everyone to ignore white supremacists because 'they're morons' but the last time we tried to ignore one..." This isn’t the first time Fey has come under fire for jokes that walk the line, including rape jokes and blackface gags. In 2015, Fey shared her nonresponse to the blowback she receives with Net-a-Porter: "We did an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode and the internet was in a whirlwind, calling it ‘racist’, but my new goal is not to explain jokes…I feel like we put so much effort into writing and crafting everything, they need to speak for themselves. There’s a real culture of demanding apologies, and I’m opting out of that."

JOEL SILVER SUED FOR ASSISTANT'S DEATH DURING JENNIFER ANISTON'S HONEYMOON CELEBRATION

Joel Silver has been hit with a lawsuit by the family of his assistant Carmel Musgrove, who was found dead at Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux’s honeymoon celebration in 2015. According to court papers obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Silver’s production company, Silver Pictures, flew Musgrove and others to the Four Seasons Hotel in Bora Bora on a chartered Gulfstream to celebrate the nuptials. The Die Hard producer was traveling with the partiers as well. Musgrove reportedly went on a fishing trip and then dined with Silver’s family. Alcohol was served throughout the day. The lawsuit claims that after dinner on August 18th, 2015, Musgrove went to a bungalow occupied by Silver’s personal chef. While there, she indulged in cocaine and marijuana with chef Martin Herold before returning to her place around 11 pm. After returning home, she reportedly sent a message that reads "Xxx" to Herold at midnight. She also a hotel staff member for matches. The hotel staff person was the last person to see her alive. Her nude body was found floating in a lagoon 500 yards away from her bungalow the next day. The lawsuit questions how an email was sent from her account at 7:04 am if she had supposedly died during a midnight swim. The suit also alleges that her death was due in part to alcohol, cocaine, work fatigue and heat stroke. Following her death, Silver’s publicist released a statement that reads: "Joel Silver, his family and his staff are devastated by the passing of Carmel Musgrove. Carmel was a dear friend and respected colleague with a very bright future ahead of her. They will all miss her dearly." Courteney Cox, Chelsea Handler, Jason Bateman and others were among the other fellow honeymoon revelers. Silver Pictures and Herold were also named in the lawsuit.

COMEDY LEGEND JERRY LEWIS IS DEAD AT AGE 91

Pop culture sensation and slapstick maestro Jerry Lewis has died at age 91. Lewis died at his home in Las Vegas Sunday morning with his family by his side, according to reports. His evolving routine helped him grow and maintain his fan-base over several decades in Hollywood. Lewis rose to fame in the 1950s alongside singer Dean Martin. Together, they created classics such as That's My Boy, The Stooge and The Caddy. They parted ways in 1956 after a falling out. Lewis then launched his successful solo career, starring in films such as The Nutty Professor and The Bellboy. He also developed a more polished stage persona and began a long career in Las Vegas, doing performances as recently as 2016. Lewis was also a noted humanitarian. He served as a national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association until 2011, raising more than $2.6 billion with the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for the charity. He fathered five sons and adopted another child with his first wife Patti Palmer. He adopted a daughter with his second wife, SanDee Pitnick. Lewis’ brand of humor didn’t always sit well with people as attitudes changed. He was forced to apologize for making a gay slur during the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in 2007. Still, he persisted in making jokes that many considered racist and misogynistic. There were other controversies as well. His MDA telethons were hit with claims that there was a disparity between the funds pledged and the funds collected by the charity. In addition to his trademark films, Lewis appeared in a number of other important films, such as Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy.

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