Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Emmylou harris

Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947, Birmingham, Alabama) is an American country singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists.
Early years

Emmylou Harris is the daughter of a career military father, a Marine Corps officer who was reported missing in action in Korea in 1952 and spent ten months as a prisoner of war. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, she spent her childhood in North Carolina and Woodbridge, Virginia, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School as class valedictorian. In high school she also won a drama scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she began to study music seriously, learning to play the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar. Leaving college to pursue her musical aspirations, she moved to New York, working as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses. She married fellow songwriter Tom Slocum in 1969 and in the following year recorded her first album, Gliding Bird. Harris and Slocum soon divorced, and Harris and her newborn daughter Hallie moved in with her parents in the Maryland suburbs on the edge of Washington, D.C.
With Gram Parsons

Harris soon returned to performing as part of a trio with Gerry Mule and Tom Guidera. One night in 1971, members of the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers happened to be in the audience. Former Byrds member Chris Hillman, who had taken over the band after the departure of its founder Gram Parsons, was so impressed by Harris that he briefly considered asking her to join the band. Instead, Hillman ended up recommending her to Parsons, who was looking for a female vocalist to work with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons' band, The Fallen Angels, in 1973, and the couple shone during vocal harmonies and duets. Harris was quite pleased, and invested a lot emotionally in their relationship. Later that year, Parsons and Harris were working together to record a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974, and three more tracks from his last sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. There was one more album of recorded material from that period of time that was packaged with the name, Live 1973, but wasn't released until 1982.

The working relationship between Harris and Parsons is one of great importance in country and country-rock music history. Parsons offered Harris a study in true country music, introducing her to artists like The Louvin Brothers, and provided her with a musical identity; Harris' harmony and duet vocals, on the other hand, were lauded by those who heard them, and helped inspire Parsons' performances. His death left her devastated at an emotional and musical crossroads. She eventually carried on with her own version of Parsons' musical vision, and was instrumental in bringing attention to his achievements. Harris' earliest signature song, and arguably her most personal one, "Boulder to Birmingham", written shortly after Gram's death, showed the depth of her shock and pain at losing Parsons. It was, according to her friend Linda Ronstadt, the beginning of a "lifetime effort to process what had happened", and was just the first of many songs written and/or performed by Harris about her life with (and without) Parsons.

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.

--Boulder to Birmingham lyrics by Emmylou Harris

Harris moved back to Washington D.C., and formed an electric band, The Angel Band, consisting of Bruce Archer on guitar, Tom Guidera on bass, Danny Pendleton on pedal steel and Mark Cuff on drums. Friend Linda Ronstadt invited Harris to join her in Los Angeles. Ronstadt, having a deep admiration for Harris's musicianship, informed everyone she could of Harris's talents and was instrumental in helping to get her work in musical venues (often singing with her), along the Sunset Strip. In fact, Harris credits Ronstadt with being the force behind her getting a record contract.
The Hot Band

Warner Brothers A&R representative Mary Martin introduced Harris to Canadian producer Brian Ahern, who produced her major label debut album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975 on Reprise Records. The album was surprisingly eclectic, especially by Nashville standards, including cover versions of The Beatles' "For No One", Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and The Louvin Brothers' "If I Could Only Win Your Love". It also featured "Bluebird Wine", a composition by young Texas songwriter Rodney Crowell, who was the first in a long line of songwriters whose talents Harris has championed. The record was one of the most expensive country records produced at the time, featuring the talents of James Burton, Glen Hardin, Ron Tutt, Ray Pohlman, and Bill Payne, as well as two tracks ("Before Believing" and "Queen of the Silver Dollar") that were cut with the Angel Band. Two singles were released: "Too Far Gone", which initially charted at #73 (a 1979 reissue hit #13), and Harris's first big hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love", which peaked at #4.

Executives of Warner Bros. Records (Reprise Records's parent company) told Harris they would agree to record her if she would "get a hot band". Harris did so, enlisting guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin, both of whom had played with Elvis Presley as well as Parsons. Burton was a renowned guitarist, starting in Ricky Nelson's band in the 1950s, and Hardin had been a member of The Crickets. Other Hot Band members were drummer John Ware, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, and bassist Emory Gordy, Jr., with whom Harris had worked while performing with Parsons. Singer-songwriter Crowell was enlisted as a rhythm guitarist and duet partner. Harris's first tour schedule originally dovetailed around Presley's, owing to Burton and Hardin's continuing commitments to Presley's band. The Hot Band lived up to its name, with most of the members moving on with fresh talent replacing them as they continued on to solo careers of their own.

Elite Hotel, released in December 1975, established that the buzz created by Pieces of the Sky was well-founded. Unusual for country albums at the time, which largely revolved around a hit single, Harris's albums borrowed their approach from the album-oriented rock market; in terms of quality and artistic merit, tracks like "Sin City", "Wheels", and "Till I Gain Control Again", which weren't singles, easily stood against tracks like "Together Again", "Sweet Dreams", and "One of These Days", which were. While Elite Hotel was a #1 country album, the album did sufficiently well as a crossover success with the rock audience. Harris appealed to those who normally disapproved of the country market's pull toward crossover pop singles ("Together Again" and "Sweet Dreams" both topped the country charts). Elite Hotel won a Grammy in 1976 for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

Harris's reputation for guest work continued. Aside from contributing to albums by Linda Ronstadt, Guy Clark and Neil Young, Harris was tapped by Bob Dylan to perform on his Desire album. Harris also filmed one of the studio sequences, owing to her touring schedule, in The Band's The Last Waltz, singing "Evangeline."

Burton left the Hot Band in 1976, choosing to remain with Elvis Presley's band, and was replaced by English guitarist Albert Lee. Harris and Ahern were married in 1977. Harris's commercial apex was Luxury Liner, released in 1977, which remains one of her definitive records. On Luxury Liner, Harris's mix of songs from Chuck Berry ("(You Never Can Tell) C'est La Vie"), Gram Parsons (the title track and "She"), The Carter Family ("Hello Stranger") and Kitty Wells ("Making Believe") illustrate a continuity and artistic merit to country music often overlooked at the time. Despite Top Ten singles with "C'est La Vie" and "Making Believe," the album's best known track is the first recorded cover of Townes Van Zandt's classic "Pancho & Lefty", which would be a #1 hit for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. At the end of 1977, Crowell left the Hot Band to pursue a solo career; his replacement was bluegrass multi-instrumentalist and singer Ricky Skaggs.

Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town signalled a slight change of direction from Harris's previous three albums. Rather than mixing classic and contemporary, the album is made up largely of recently written songs, though from a wide variety of writers. "Two More Bottles of Wine" became Harris's third #1 single, "To Daddy", written by Dolly Parton, went to #3, and a third single, "Easy From Now On", went Top Twenty. The album included two songs apiece from Crowell ("I Ain't Living Long Like This" and "Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight") and Canadian songwriter Jesse Winchester ("Defying Gravity" and "My Songbird"), and Utah Phillips' "Green Rolling Hills."
The Roots Records

In 1977 (January), Harris married Brian Ahern. Their (Harris's second) daughter, Meghann, was born in 1979. During this time, Harris cut three studio albums that reflected a shift toward traditional country (the industry, on the other hand, was about to embrace Urban Cowboy). The first key to the change in direction was her Grammy Award-winning 1979 album Blue Kentucky Girl. Apart from a cover of The Drifters' "Save The Last Dance For Me", the album was largely made up of classic-styled country material in the vein of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells. One of her best-loved albums, the record includes songs ranging from The Louvin Brothers' "Everytime You Leave" to Willie Nelson's "Sister's Coming Home" to Gram Parson's signature "Hickory Wind". Wesley Rose took special interest in Harris's recording of "Beneath Still Waters", which became a #1 smash.

A Christmas album, Light of the Stable, was released in 1979; its title track featured backing vocals by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young, all three of whom Harris had been working with sporadically since the mid-1970s, and would continue to collaborate with through the 2000s. (Harris, Parton and Ronstadt began working on a planned trio album during this time, though it would remain unfinished, and the project was eventually abandoned; a few of the tracks recorded for the project eventually surfaced on the women's' respective solo albums.) The album is largely acoustic, featuring readings of traditional fare such as "Silent Night," "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "The First Noel."

In the 1980s, Harris pursued country music's history even further with the bluegrass-oriented recording of Roses in the Snow, featuring Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Albert Lee, Emory Gordy Jr. and Jerry Douglas. Harris's versions of the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger" and Paul Simon's "The Boxer" were strong singles.

In 1980, Harris recorded "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" with Roy Orbison. The duet was a Top 10 hit on both the Country and Adult Contemporary charts. They would win the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. She would also be featured on Paul Kennerley's concept album The Legend of Jesse James, which also featured Levon Helm of The Band and Johnny Cash.
Pop-chart success, songwriting

In 1981, Harris reached the Top 40 on the Billboard pop chart with a cover of "Mister Sandman"—again Top 10 Country as well as Adult Contemporary—from her Evangeline album. (The album version of the song was a track from the ill-fated Trio sessions with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, but neither Parton's nor Ronstadt's record companies would allow their artists' vocals to be used on the single, so Harris re-recorded the song, singing all three parts.)

White Shoes in 1983 included an eclectic pairing of the rockish reading of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" with a remake of the Donna Summer hit "On the Radio", as well as tracks from a diverse group of songwriters such as Hot Band member Crowell, Sandy Denny and T-Bone Burnett.

Harris's major-label releases thus far had included few self-penned songs, but in 1985 her songwriting skills were much in evidence with the release of The Ballad of Sally Rose, for which she co-wrote all of the songs. The album was semi-autobiographical in theme, based loosely on her relationship with Parsons. Harris described it as a "country opera". Her co-writer and producer on the album was English songwriter and musician Paul Kennerley, writer of the hit singles "Born to Run" (on Harris's 1981 Cimarron album) and "In My Dreams" (on White Shoes). Kennerley also produced her next album, Thirteen. They were married in 1985 and divorced in 1993.

In 1987, nearly a full decade after they'd first attempted to do so, Harris teamed up with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt for their long-promised and much-anticipated Trio album. The album proved to be the biggest commercial success of Harris' long and varied career, spending five weeks at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart (also quickly reaching the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart), sold several million copies and produced four Top 10 Country hits, including "To Know Him Is To Love Him", which hit #1. The disc was nominated for the coveted Album Of The Year Grammy award (given to U2 that year for The Joshua Tree) and the three women won the statuette for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal; the Linda Thompson-penned track "Telling Me Lies" was also nominated for country song of the year.

Harris also found time in 1987 to release a solo album, Angel Band, featuring traditional gospel songs, on which she worked with, among others, rising country star Vince Gill.

In 1989, she recorded two songs with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume II. In a snippet of studio chatter included on one of the tracks, she talked during the recording session about her beginnings and how music had changed:

Years ago I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience, it was wonderful. And I decided then that was what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we've all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We've lost the living room. The living room has gone out of the music, but today I feel like we got it back.

Around 1991, she dissolved The Hot Band and formed a new band of acoustic musicians—Sam Bush on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Roy Huskey, Jr. on bass and vocals, Larry Atamanuik on drums, Al Perkins on banjo, guitar, Dobro guitar and vocals, and Jon Randall on guitar, mandolin and vocals—which she named The Nash Ramblers. They recorded a Grammy Award-winning live album in 1992 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, which led to the $8 million restoration of the facility into a premium concert and event venue. It was her last album with Reprise Records.
New directions

By the 1990s, Harris started receiving less airplay as mainstream country stations began shifting their focus to the youth-oriented "new country" format. Harris's albums Bluebird and Brand New Dance (1989 and 1990, respectively) received ample critical acclaim and sold reasonably well, yet her chart success was on the wane. 1993's Cowgirl's Prayer—the first album since her switch to Elektra Records—was critically praised but received very little airplay, and its lead single, "High Powered Love" charted very low, peaking at #63, prompting her to shift her career in a new direction.

In 1995, Harris released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the decade, Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois, best known for his work with U2, Peter Gabriel and Bob Dylan. An experimental album for Harris, the record included Harris's rendition of the Neil Young-penned title track (Young himself provided guest vocals on two of the album's songs), Steve Earle's "Goodbye", Julie Miller's "All My Tears", Jimi Hendrix's "May This Be Love", Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Goin' Back to Harlan" and Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl". U2's Larry Mullen, Jr. showed up to play drums for the project. The album received virtually no country airplay whatsoever, but did bring Harris to the attention of alternative rock listeners, many of whom had never listened to her music before.

Harris then took her Wrecking Ball material on the road, releasing the live Spyboy in 1998, backed with a power trio comprising Nashville producer, songwriter and guitarist Buddy Miller and New Orleans musicians, drummer Brady Blade and bassist-vocalist-percussionist Daryl Johnson. In addition to performing songs from Wrecking Ball, the album updated many of Harris's career hits, including "Boulder to Birmingham".

Also in 1998, she appeared prominently on Willie Nelson's moody, instrumentally sparse Teatro album, produced by Wrecking Ball producer Lanois.

During the summer of 1997 and 1998, Harris joined Sarah McLachlan's all-woman musical touring festival, the Lilith Fair, where new artists like Patty Griffin could share new experiences and ideas with seasoned musicians like Harris and Bonnie Raitt.

In January 1999, Harris released Trio 2 with Parton and Ronstadt. Much of the album had actually been recorded in 1994, but remained unreleased for nearly five years because of record label and personnel disputes, conflicting schedules, and career priorities of the three artists. Trio 2 was much more contemporary-sounding than its predecessor and was certified Gold. It included their version of Neil Young's classic "After The Gold Rush", which became a popular music video and won another Grammy—this one for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Harris and Ronstadt then released a duet album, Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions, later the same year. The two superstars toured together during the fall months in support of the disc. Both albums made the Top 10 of Billboard's Country Albums chart and did well on the pop side as well.

Also in 1999, Harris paid tribute to her former singing partner Gram Parsons by co-executive producing Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, an album that gathered together more than a dozen artists. Harris performed duets with Beck, Sheryl Crow and The Pretenders on this album's tracks.

In 2000, Harris released her solo follow-up to Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl, produced by Lanois protege Malcolm Burn. For the first time since The Ballad of Sally Rose, the album contained a number of Harris's own compositions. Like Wrecking Ball, the album's sound leaned more toward alternative rock than country. Nevertheless it reached #5 on Billboard's Country Albums chart as well as a healthy #54 on the pop side. It also won Harris another of her 12 Grammy awards, in the category of Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Harris also accompanied on alternative country singer Ryan Adams' solo debut Heartbreaker.

Also in 2000, Harris joined an all-star group of traditional country, folk and blues artists for the T-Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The soundtrack won multiple CMA, ACM and Grammy awards. A documentary/concert film, Down from the Mountain, featured the artists performing music from the film and other songs at the Ryman Auditorium. Harris and many of the same artists took their show on the road for the Down from the Mountain Tour in 2002. In 2003, Harris supplied the finishing touches in harmonizing with the Dixie Chicks on a song they were recording in the studio, "Godspeed".

On September 9, 2005, Harris participated in "Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast," a series of concerts simulcast by most American television stations to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. She performed with Beth Neilsen Chapman and the Dixie Chicks, harmonizing on Patty Griffin's song, "Mary.

Recent work

Harris released Stumble into Grace, her follow-up to Red Dirt Girl, in 2003. Like its predecessor, it contained mostly self-penned material. In 2004, Harris led the Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue tour with Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin. They performed singly and together and swapped instruments.n 2005, Harris worked with Conor Oberst on Bright Eyes' release, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, performing backup vocals on three tracks. In July, she joined Elvis Costello on several dates of his U.S. tour, performing alongside Costello and his band on several numbers each night. Harris and Costello recorded a version of Costello's song, "The Scarlet Tide", from the soundtrack of the movie Cold Mountain. July also saw the release of The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways, a single-disc retrospective of Harris's career, on the Rhino Entertainment label. This same year, Harris appeared as a guest vocalist on Neil Young's widely acclaimed Prairie Wind. She also appeared in the Jonathan Demme documentary-concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold, released in 2006.

All the Roadrunning, an album of collaborations with former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, was released in April of 2006 and supported by a tour of Europe and the USA. The album was a commercial success, reaching #10 in the UK and #17 in the USA. Selections recorded during the All the Roadrunning tour performance at the Gibson Amphitheatre were released as a CD/DVD package titled Real Live Roadrunning in November of 2006. In addition to several of the compositions that Harris and Knopfler recorded together in the studio, Real Live Roadrunning features solo hits from both members of the duo, as well as a few classic tracks from Knopfler's days with Dire Straits.

Harris is featured on a A Tribute To Joni Mitchell, released on April 24, 2007. Harris covered the song "The Magdalene Laundries" (originally on Mitchell's 1994 album, Turbulent Indigo). She sang "Another Pot O' Tea" with Anne Murray on Murray's album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends, released November 13, 2007, in Canada and January 15, 2008, in the U.S.

A new solo album, All I Intended to Be, was released on June 10, 2008, to critical acclaim. Contributors include Buddy Miller, the McGarrigle sisters, Vince Gill, and Dolly Parton. She toured with an ensemble she dubbed the Red Dirt Boys, featuring Phil Madeira on accordion and keyboards, Colin Linden on guitar and banjo, Rickie Simpkins on mandolin and fiddle, Chris Donohoe on bass, and Bryan Owings on drums. It did not include Buddy Miller, who was touring with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and T Bone Burnett at the time. In 2009, Harris toured with Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller as "Three Girls and Their Buddy".

Harris wrote a song called "In Rodanthe" for the 2008 film Nights In Rodanthe.

In 1997 and 1998, Harris performed in Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair, promoting feminism in music. Since 1999, Harris has been organizing an annual benefit tour called Concerts for a Landmine Free World. All proceeds from the tours support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's (VVAF) efforts to assist innocent victims of conflicts around the world. The tour also benefits the VVAF's work to raise America's awareness of the global landmine problem. Artists that have joined Harris on the road for these dates include Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Cockburn, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Joan Baez, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Willie Nelson, and Lucinda Williams. Harris is a supporter of animal rights and an active member of PETA.[5] She founded, and in her spare time assists at, an animal shelter in Nashville.[6]
Awards and other honors
Grammy Awards

2005 Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("The Connection")

2001 Album of the Year (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

2000 Best Contemporary Folk Album (Red Dirt Girl)

1999 Best Country Collaboration with Vocals ("After The Gold Rush", with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt)

1998 Best Country Collaboration with Vocals ("Same Old Train", with Alison Krauss, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Scruggs, Joe Diffie, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs & Travis Tritt)

1995 Best Contemporary Folk Album (Wrecking Ball)

1992 Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers At the Ryman, as Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers)

1987 Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (Trio, with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt)

1984 Best Country Vocal Performance, Female ("In My Dreams")

1980 Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group ("That Lovin' You Feelin' Again", with Roy Orbison)

1979 Best Country Vocal Performance, Female (Blue Kentucky Girl)

1976 Best Country Vocal Performance, Female (Elite Hotel)
Country Music Association Awards

2001 Album of the Year (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

1980 Female Vocalist Of The Year

1988 Vocal Event of the Year (Trio, with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt)
Other honors

* VH1's 100 Most Influential Women in Rock and Roll (1998) - Number 22 out of 100
* Billboard's Century Award recipient (1999) - inducted by Sarah McLachlann
* CMT's 40 Greatest Women of Country Music - #5 ranking (2002)
* Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on February 12, 2008]
* Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Roman polanski

Roman Raymond Polanski (born August 18, 1933) is a Polish-French film director, producer, writer and actor. Polanski began his career in Poland, and later became a celebrated Academy Award-winning director of both art house and commercial films, making such films as Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974). Polanski is one of the world's best known contemporary film directors and is widely considered as one of the greatest directors of the time. He is also known for his turbulent and controversial personal life.

Polanski survived the Holocaust in German occupied Poland during World War II. In 1969, his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family. In 1977, he was arrested in Los Angeles and pleaded guilty to "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor", a 13-year-old girl. Released after a 42-day psychiatric evaluation, Polanski fled to France. For decades, he was considered by U.S. authorities to be a fugitive from justice and did not return to the United States.

Polanski has since avoided visits to countries that were likely to extradite him, such as the United Kingdom.

He travels mostly between France, where he resides, and Poland. As a French citizen, he is protected by France's limited extradition with the United States, and Poland is also unlikely to extradite him. On 26 September 2009 he was arrested by authorities in Switzerland on the 1978 US arrest warrant, while travelling to the Zurich Film Festival to collect a lifetime achievement award.

Polanski has continued to direct films in Europe, including Frantic (1988), Death and the Maiden (1994), The Ninth Gate (1999), the Academy Award-winning (for best director) and Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or-winning The Pianist (2002), and Oliver Twist (2005). He has also done occasional work in theatre and in the films of other directors.

Personal life

Polanski was born Rajmund Roman Liebling in Paris, France, the son of Bula[8] (née Katz-Przedborska) and Ryszard[8] Liebling (aka Ryszard Polański), who was a painter and plastics manufacturer.[9] Polanski's parents were agnostics.[10] His father was a Polish Jew and his mother, a native of Russia, was brought up as a Catholic as she had a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother.

The Polański family moved back to the Polish city of Krakow in 1936,[8] and were living there in 1939, when World War II began. Poland was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. As a Jewish family, the Polańskis were targets of German Nazi persecution and forced into the Kraków Ghetto, along with thousands of other Polish Jews.

His father survived the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria, but his mother died in 1942 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Polanski himself escaped the Kraków Ghetto in 1943, and survived the war with the help of Polish Roman Catholic families in poor and uncertain conditions, sleeping in a barn next to cows.[citation needed] After the war he was reunited with his father and moved back to Krakow.

Polanski's father married Wanda. He died of cancer in 1984.

During the Soviet imposed communism in Poland, Roman Polanski attended the Polish film school in Łódź, and graduated in 1959.

Polanski's first wife, Barbara Lass (née Barbara Kwiatkowska), starred in When Angels Fall. The two were married in 1959 and divorced in 1961, when she left him for German actor Karlheinz Böhm.[citation needed]

Martin Ransohoff introduced Polanski and rising actress Sharon Tate shortly before filming The Fearless Vampire Killers, and during the production the two of them began dating. On January 20, 1968, Polanski married Sharon Tate in London.[19][20] In his autobiography, Polanski described his brief time with Tate as the best years of his life. During this period, he also became friends with martial-arts master and actor Bruce Lee.
Manson murders

On August 9, 1969, Tate, who was eight months pregnant with the couple's first child (a boy), and four others (Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent) were brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson's "Family", who entered the Polanskis' rented home at 10050 Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills intending to "kill everyone there". Terry Melcher (son of film icon Doris Day) and his girlfriend at the time, actress Candice Bergen, had lived at the house, but had moved out in February, 1969. The following month, Polanski and Tate moved in. Melcher had angered Charles Manson because he had declined to record some of his music.

When Manson ordered members of his group to go to the property and kill everyone, they obeyed. After Parent, Sebring, Frykowski, and Folger had been murdered, Tate pleaded for the life of her unborn son. Susan Atkins replied that she felt no pity for her and began stabbing her.

Polanski was at his house in London at the time of the murders and immediately traveled to Los Angeles, where he was questioned by police. As there were no suspects in the case, police checked on the past history of Polanski and Tate to try to determine a motive. After a period of months, Manson and his "family" were arrested on unrelated charges, which revealed evidence of what came to be known as the Tate-LaBianca murders. Polanski returned to Europe shortly after the killers were arrested. He later said that he gave away all his possessions as everything reminded him of Tate and was too painful for him. His greatest regret was that he was not in Los Angeles with Tate on the night of the murders.
Sex crime allegations

In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Geimer (then known as Samantha Gailey). It ultimately led to Polanski's guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[23]

According to Geimer, Polanski asked Geimer's mother if he could photograph the girl for the French edition of Vogue, which Polanski had been invited to guest-edit. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. According to Geimer in a 2003 interview, "Everything was going fine; then he asked me to change, well, in front of him." She added, "It didn't feel right, and I didn't want to go back to the second shoot."

Geimer later agreed to a second session, which took place on March 10, 1977 at the Mulholland area home of actor Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles. "We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer says. "Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there." Geimer testified that Polanski performed various sexual acts on her, after giving her a combination of champagne and quaaludes. In the 2003 interview, Geimer says she resisted. "I said no several times, and then, well, gave up on that."
Charges and guilty plea

Polanski was initially charged[29] with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance (methaqualone) to a minor. These charges were dismissed under the terms of his plea bargain, and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[30]
Imprisonment and flight

Following the plea agreement, according to the aforementioned documentary, the court ordered Polanski to report to a state prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but granted a stay of ninety days to allow him to complete his current project. Under the terms set by the court, he was permitted to travel abroad. Polanski returned to California and reported to Chino State Prison for the evaluation period, and was released after 42 days.

On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled to London, where he maintained residency. A day later he traveled on to France, where he held citizenship, avoiding the risk of extradition to the U.S. by Britain. Consistent with its extradition treaty with the United States, France can refuse to extradite its own citizens. An extradition request later filed by U.S. officials was denied. The United States government can request that Polanski be prosecuted on the California charges by the French authorities.

Polanski has never returned to England, and later sold his home in absentia. The United States can still request the arrest and extradition of Polanski from other countries should he visit them, and Polanski has avoided visits to countries that are likely to extradite him (such as the UK) and mostly travels and works in France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Later developments in the case

In a 2003 interview, Samantha Geimer said, "Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us." Furthermore, "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it".

In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, “I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever — besides me — and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it."

In 2008, a documentary film of the aftermath of the incident, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following review of the film, Polanski's attorney, Douglas Dalton, contacted the Los Angeles district attorney's office about prosecutor David Wells' role in coaching the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband. Based on statements by Wells included in the film, Polanski and Dalton are seeking review of whether the prosecutor acted illegally and engaged in malfeasance in interfering with the operation of the trial.

In December 2008, Polanski's lawyer in the United States filed a request to Judge David S. Wesley to have the case dismissed on the grounds of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The filing says that Judge Rittenband (now deceased) violated the plea bargain by keeping in communication about the case with a deputy district attorney who was not involved. These activities were depicted in Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

In January 2009, Polanski's lawyer filed a further request to have the case dismissed, and to have the case moved out of Los Angeles, as the Los Angeles courts require him to appear before the court for any sentencing or dismissal, and Polanski will not appear. In February 2009, Polanski's request was tentatively denied by Judge Peter Espinoza, who said that he would make a ruling if Polanski appeared in court. This decision appears to have ended litigation in the case, at least for now.

That same month, Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.
2009 arrest in Switzerland

On September 26, 2009, Polanski was arrested entering Switzerland under a 1978 US arrest warrant. Polanski had hoped to attend the Zurich Film Festival to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Vanity Fair libel case

In 2004, Polanski sued Vanity Fair magazine in London for libel. A 2002 article in the magazine written by A. E. Hotchner recounted a claim by Lewis H. Lapham, editor of Harper's, that Polanski had made sexual advances towards a young model as he was traveling to Sharon Tate's funeral, claiming that he could make her "the next Sharon Tate". The court permitted Polanski to testify via a ideo link, after he expressed fears that he might be extradited were he to enter the United Kingdom.

The trial started on July 18, 2005, and Polanski made English legal history as the first claimant to give evidence by video link. During the trial, which included the testimony of Mia Farrow and others, it was claimed that the alleged scene at the famous New York City restaurant Elaine's could not have taken place on the date given, because Polanski only dined at this restaurant three weeks later. Also, the Norwegian model disputed accounts that he had claimed to be able to make her "the next Sharon Tate". In the course of the trial, Polanski did admit to having been unfaithful to Tate during their marriage.

Polanski was awarded £50,000 damages by the High Court in London. Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, responded, "I find it amazing that a man who lives in France can sue a magazine that is published in America in a British courtroom".
Relationship with Emmanuelle Seigner

Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner married in 1989. They have two children, daughter Morgane and son Elvis, who is named after Polanski's favorite singer, Elvis Presley.

Recent work and honours
In 1997, Polanski directed a stage version of The Fearless Vampire Killers, a musical, which debuted on October 4, 1997 in Vienna as Tanz der Vampire, the German title of the film version. After closing in Vienna, the show had successful runs in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin.

On March 11, 1998 Polanski was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

In May 2002, Polanski won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival for The Pianist, for which he also took Césars for Best Film and Best Director, and later won the 2002 Academy Award for Directing. He did not attend the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood because he would have been arrested once he set foot in the United States. After the announcement of the "Best Director Award", Polanski received a standing ovation from most of those present in the theater. In 2004, he received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

During the summer and autumn of 2004, Polanski shot a new film adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, based on Ronald Harwood's screenplay. The shooting took place at the Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech Republic. The actors included Barney Clark (Oliver Twist), Jamie Foreman (Bill Sykes), Harry Eden (the Artful Dodger), Ben Kingsley (Fagin), Leeanne Rix (Nancy), and Edward Hardwicke (Mr. Brownlow). Besides the cast, the director gathered some collaborators from The Pianist: Ronald Harwood (screenplay), as noted, Allan Starski (production designer), Pawel Edelman (director of photography), and Anna Sheppard (costume designer).

Damian Chapa has completed an unauthorised biopic of Roman Polanski titled Polanski, which he[who?] co-wrote and directed in addition to playing the lead.

Polanski made a cameo appearance in Rush Hour 3 (2007) as a French police official. An attempt to adapt Robert Harris' Pompeii was abandoned.
Current projects

Polanski is currently directing an adaptation of Harris' The Ghost, a novel about a writer who stumbles upon a secret while ghosting the autobiography of a former British prime minister. It will star Ewan McGregor as the writer and Pierce Brosnan as the prime minister. Filming takes place in Germany. The Ghost is being co-produced as of February 2009 by the Babelsberg Studios.

Vitali klitschko

Vitali Klitschko (Ukrainian: Віталій Кличко, Vitaliy Klychko; born 19 July 1971 in Belovodsk, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union) is a Ukrainian professional heavyweight boxer and the current WBC heavyweight champion. He has the highest knockout percentage (92.5%) of any heavyweight champion in overall fights, having lost twice due to injury whilst well ahead. Only one opponent has not been knocked out in his 38 victories. His younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko, is the current IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine world heavyweight champion. Vitali is the first professional boxing world champion to hold a Ph.D. (in sports medicine).

Boxing career

Originally a professional kickboxer, Vitali won the super heavyweight championship at the first World Military Games in Italy in 1995. In that same year, he won the silver medal at the 1995 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Berlin Germany, where he was defeated by Russia's Alexei Lezin in the final. His amateur record was 195-15 with 80 knockouts.

He began his professional boxing career in 1996, winning his first twenty-four fights by either early knockout or technical knockout (TKO). He and Wladimir signed with the German athlete-promotion company Universum. With both brothers holding Ph.D.s and being multilingual, their refined and articulate personalities made for mainstream marketability when they moved to Germany and Universum. In time, they became national celebrities in their adopted home country. In his 25th pro fight, on 26 June 1999, Klitschko won the WBO heavyweight title from Herbie Hide of the United Kingdom by a 2nd round knockout.

He successfully defended the title twice before an April 1, 2000 match against American Chris Byrd. Complaining of shoulder pain, Vitali and his corner threw in the towel after the ninth round despite carrying a lead on all three judges' scorecards (89-82, and 88-83 twice). Klitschko, who was later diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, received much criticism for quitting the fight.

Klitschko rebounded from his loss to Byrd by reeling off five victories in a row, earning himself a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on June 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Klitschko, a 4-1 underdog, dominated the early going and stunned Lewis in the second round with two hard rights. In the third, Lewis landed a big right hand of his own that opened a deep cut above Klitschko's left eye. Klitschko was able to rally and regain control of the fight, but the cut continued to worsen. Before the seventh round, the ringside doctor inspected the wound and deemed it severe enough to threaten eye damage if struck again, stopping the fight despite Klitschko's pleas to continue. Klitschko was ahead on all three scorecards 58-56 (4 rounds to 2) at the time of the stoppage, but because the wound was a result of punches from Lewis and not a headbutt, Lewis won by technical knockout. Lewis was booed lustily when he was announced the winner. Klitschko, despite the loss, gained international respect for fighting so well against the heavyweight champion for 6 rounds. Negotiations for a December 6 rematch began[2], but Lewis retired before the match could take place.

Around this time, the Klitschko brothers moved from Hamburg, Germany to Los Angeles, California.

In January 2004, they notified Universum that they would not re-sign when their contracts expired in April. Universum sued the brothers, arguing that their recent injuries had triggered a clause binding them beyond April. The suit was resolved in late 2004.

Klitschko earned an 8th-round TKO victory over South African Corrie Sanders on 24 April 2004, to capture the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship which had been vacated by Lewis. Sanders had knocked out (2nd Round TKO) younger brother Wladimir on 8 March 2003. This fight was also for The Ring Magazine belt. Klitschko was rocked early by Sanders, but by using movement and strong punching he broke down Sanders and forced the referee to stop the bout.

Vitali Klitschko's first world title defense was against British boxer Danny Williams. Williams had become suddenly marketable from a KO over Mike Tyson in round 4. Klitschko scored a technical knockout against Williams in 8 rounds on 11 December 2004, while wearing an orange cloth to show support for the Ukrainian presidential opposition movement. Klitschko knocked Williams down in the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 8th rounds before the fight was stopped. Immediately afterward, Klitschko dedicated his victory to democracy in his native Ukraine, and also to the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, whom he supported in the 26 December 2004, election revote.

On 9 November 2005, Vitali Klitschko announced his retirement from professional boxing and vacated his title. He cited regrets about his suddenly-mounting injuries, a desire to leave the sport while still on top, and political aspirations in his home country of Ukraine. Following his retirement, the WBC conferred "champion emeritus" status on Klitschko, and assured him he would become the mandatory challenger if and when he decided to return. Klitschko retired with a career knockout ratio of 92 percent (34 knockouts in 37 bouts). He has never been knocked down or received a standing count.

He still occasionally calls out Lennox Lewis, who has been retired since early 2004, for a rematch. In the German Bild-Zeitung, he announced on 24 January 2007 his comeback and requested to fight again. But because of a number of health problems, Klitschko backed out from a number of bouts scheduled for him.

On 3 August 2008, the WBC awarded Klitschko a chance to regain his WBC heavyweight title. A fight was arranged with Samuel Peter and on 11 October 2008, he regained his title when Peter retired on his stool in the eighth round.

On 21 March 2009, Klitschko successfully defended the WBC heavyweight title against Juan Carlos Gomez which he won by TKO in the ninth round.

Klitschko successfully defended the WBC Heavyweight Title against Chris Arreola on September 26, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. He scored a TKO victory at the conclusion of the tenth round after Arreola's trainer, Henry Ramirez called a stop to the fight.
Outside the ring

Klitschko began campaigning for mayor of Kiev shortly after his retirement. He lost the 2006 mayoral election to Leonid Chernovetsky but placed second with 26% of the vote, ahead of the incumbent Oleksandr Omelchenko. Klitschko campaigned on an anti-corruption platform associated with Pora party. Analysts stated his relatively late entry into the campaign might have cost him votes. Still, he was elected as a people's deputy to the Kiev City Council.[9] In the May 2008 Kiev local election he ran again and won 18% of the vote. His party, Vitaliy Klychko Bloc, won 10.61% of the votes and 15 seats and again he was elected into the Kiev City Council. His campaign hired Rudy Giuliani to consult the campaign.[11] In 2008 he was also appointed to the Ukrainian delegation of the Congress of the Council of Europe.

Both Vitali and his brother are avid chess players. Vitali is a friend of former world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik and the two have played, with Kramnik always winning. Vitali has commented that "chess is similar to boxing. You need to develop a strategy, and you need to think two or three steps ahead about what your opponent is doing. You have to be smart. But what's the difference between chess and boxing? In chess, nobody is an expert, but everybody plays. In boxing everybody is an expert, but nobody fights."

Vitali and his brother also have been involved in charitable activities dedicated to support the needs of schools, churches and children. In 2002, the Klitschko brothers announced that they had agreed to work specifically for the UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) which supports more than 180 projects in 87 countries.

Their father, Vladimir Rodionovich, was a Soviet Air Force Colonel. Their mother is Nadezhda Ulyanovna.

He is married to Natalia Egorova, a former athlete and model. They met in Kiev and got married in April 1996. He has three children, Egor-Daniel, Elizabeth-Victoria and Max (named after the former World Heavyweight Champion Max Schmeling).

In 1996, he graduated from the Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky Pedagogical Institute (Ukraine) and was accepted into the postgraduate study program at Kiev University. On 29 February 2000, he presented his doctoral thesis on "talent and sponsorship in sports" at the Kiev University of Physical Science and Sports, and his Ph.D. in Sports Science was conferred.

Charles rocket

Charles Rocket (August 24, 1949 – October 7, 2005) was an American film and television actor, notable for his tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live as well as for his appearances as the villain Nicholas Andre in the film Dumb and Dumber, Dave Dennison, the father in Disney's "Hocus Pocus" and Adam, the Angel of Death, in the series Touched by an Angel. He was found dead on October 7, 2005. His manner of death was ruled as suicide.

Early life and career

Rocket was born Charles Adams Claverie in Bangor, Maine. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1960s and was part of the Rhode Island underground culture scene in the 1970s that also included Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and film director Gus Van Sant. He had a son with his wife Beth.[1] They were married on board the battleship USS Massachusetts anchored in Fall River, MA. Charlie also appeared from time to time with friend Dan Gosch as superheroes "Captain Packard" and his faithful sidekick "Lobo". In a RISD yearbook the dynamic duo appeared in a photo at the Rhode Island State House with then Governor Frank Licht.

Rocket made several short films and fronted his band, the Fabulous Motels, on accordion. He later anchored the local news at Channel 12 WPRI and at KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs under his own name, and WTVF Nashville under the name Charles Kennedy. He made his network debut on the popular late-night television Saturday Night Live. Later in his career Rocket would lend his accordion talents to the David Byrne-produced B-52's album Mesopotamia.
Saturday Night Live

Rocket was cast for the 1980–81 season, which followed the departure of the remaining members of the show's popular original cast and original executive producer Lorne Michaels. Singled out by new executive producer Jean Doumanian as the star of her new ensemble, Rocket was promoted as a cross between Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. Rocket was given the role of anchor for the show's Weekend Update news parody, and was featured in many sketches. He was a "utility man" of sorts, as he appeared in more sketches than any other male cast member that season with the exception of Joe Piscopo. Several clips of Rocket's performances appear in both the feature and featurette of the "SNL In The 80's: Lost and Found" DVD.

The February 21, 1981 episode hosted by Dallas star Charlene Tilton featured a parody of the famed Who Shot J.R.? episode of Dallas. In the episode, Rocket was shot in the chest by a sniper while doing a sketch about a sexy couple (with Gail Matthius as his partner) bathing a dog and spouting innuendo. At the end of the show, as cast members traditionally gathered around the host to say good night, Tilton asked Rocket how he felt about being shot. In character, a wheelchair-using Rocket improvised, "Oh, man, it’s the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd like to know who the fuck did it", followed by the cast and audience reacting with shock and laughter.

Due partially to the violation of broadcast standards, along with Saturday Night Live's low ratings, Doumanian and Rocket were soon fired (along with most of the writers and fellow cast members Gilbert Gottfried and Ann Risley). Piscopo and Eddie Murphy were the only cast members to survive the axe, after new producer Dick Ebersol replaced Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius after producing one episode. In "Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live," it is reported that Rocket was particularly hostile to Murphy and Piscopo.
Post-SNL career

Rocket recovered from this early career screw-up and acted in many films, including Earth Girls Are Easy, It's Pat, Dances with Wolves, and Dumb & Dumber, often portraying the antagonist. In television, he secured a series of guest spots on several 1980s sitcoms, co-starred in the short-lived 1992 comedy-drama series Tequila and Bonetti, and played rival network president Ned Grossberg on the 1980s cyberpunk series Max Headroom. Rocket became well known for his role as Richard Addison (brother to Bruce Willis' David Addison) on the popular comedy-drama Moonlighting and as "Adam"[4] the first "Angel of Death" on CBS's Touched by an Angel.

During the 1990s, some roles for Rocket were box office duds such as the animated Titan A.E. and Fathers' Day and the short-lived 2000 John Goodman series Normal, Ohio on the Fox network. But he made frequent guest appearances on many popular television programs in the early 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s, including Quantum Leap, Wings, The King of Queens, and recurring roles in Touched By An Angel, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the last of which marked his final appearance on network television. He also lent his voice to popular video game titles Star Wars: Starfighter, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (as the character "Nym" in both games), Descent 3, and Age of Mythology.

His final film role came in the 2003 movie Shade which starred Sylvester Stallone and Melanie Griffith.

Rocket was found dead in a field near his Connecticut home on October 7, 2005; his throat had been cut. He was 56 years old. The state medical examiner later ruled the death a suicide. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered.

John gotti

John Joseph Gotti, Jr. (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002) was the boss of the Gambino crime family after the murder of the previous boss Paul Castellano. John Gotti was the most powerful crime boss during his era. He became widely known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant style that eventually caused his downfall.

He was known by the media as the "The Dapper Don" because he wore expensive clothes and "The Teflon Don" because the majority of attempts to convict him resulted in either a hung jury or an acquittal - thus no criminal charge would "stick to him".

In 1992, Gotti was convicted of racketeering, 13 murders, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal gambling, extortion, tax evasion, and loansharking, and was sentenced to life in prison where he died 10 years later of cancer.

Early life and family

Gotti was born to Italian-American parents John Gotti Sr. and Philomena "Fannie" Gotti. He was 12 when his family moved to East New York, Brooklyn where he and his brothers, Peter, Gene, Richard, and Vincent Gotti became part of a local street gang. A cement mixer tipped over when he tried to steal it, crushing Gotti's foot, giving him a limp that would last the rest of his life.

Gotti married Victoria DiGiorgio on March 6, 1962. They had five children, Angela (Angel), Victoria, John A. "Junior" Gotti, Peter and Frank.

John Gotti subjected his wife and son to physical abuse according to FBI secret recordings of his wife, Victoria Gotti. This later became media fodder for the New York newspapers.

Towards the end of his life, during a prison visit with his brother, daughter and grandson, John Gotti verbally degraded all three.
Criminal career

Gotti's criminal career with the Gambinos began with fencing stolen goods from Idlewild Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport), which was the territory of the Lucchese family, specifically, the Paul Vario crew, which included such Mob associates as Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke.

In February 1968, United employees identified Gotti as the man who signed for stolen merchandise. The FBI arrested him for the United hijacking soon after. Two months later, while out on bail, Gotti was arrested a third time for hijacking—this time stealing a load of cigarettes worth $50,000 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Later that year, Gotti pled guilty to the Northwest hijacking and was sentenced to four years at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Prosecutors dropped the charges for the cigarette hijacking. Gotti also pled guilty to the United hijacking, and spent less than three years at Lewisburg.

After he was released from prison, Gotti was placed on probation and ordered to acquire legitimate employment. Meanwhile, he returned to his old crew at the Bergin club, still working under caporegime Carmine Fatico. Fatico was indicted on loansharking charges and made Gotti the acting capo of the Bergin Crew reporting to Carlo Gambino and Aniello Dellacroce. After Gambino's death, Paul Castellano, Gambino's brother-in-law, was elevated to the head of the crime family. Castellano was not respected by his underlings. When Gotti's crew was discovered to be selling heroin, against the rules of the family, Gotti and others, fearing reprisals, ordered the execution of Paul Castellano (he was shot six times along with his bodyguard, Thomas Bilotti, outside Sparks Steak House). Gotti then took control of the family.

Paul Castellano gave Gotti the contract to kill the notorious Gambino soldier and serial killer Roy DeMeo, but politely declined as DeMeo was considered extremely dangerous and was known to have murdered as many as 200 people along with his crew who operated out of the Gemini Lounge in Brooklyn. On an FBI bug in the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Queens, Gene Gotti was heard telling an associate that Castellano was having a difficult time finding anyone willing to kill DeMeo.

Gotti was arrested several times throughout his career, serving time in both state and federal prison (including a manslaughter conviction in connection with the 1973 shooting death of low-level Irish-American gangster James McBratney, who had kidnapped and killed Emmanuel Gambino, Carlo Gambino's nephew). By the 1980s, he was referred to by the news media as the "Teflon Don" as he avoided conviction on racketeering and assault charges.
Death of Frank Gotti

On March 18, 1980, 12-year-old Frank Gotti, youngest son of John Gotti was run over and killed on a family friend's mini-bike by John Favara, a neighbour, whose children were friends with Frank Gotti.

Police found Favara was not to blame for the accident, and no charges were ever filed against him. In the months after the accident, the word "Murderer" was spray-painted onto Favara's car and he was advised to move. On July 28, 1980, Favara disappeared after leaving work and has never been found since. The Gotti family were in Florida at the time. In January 2009, prosecutors claimed Charles Carneglia, an alleged mob soldier awaiting trial on five murders, dissolved Favara's remains in a drum of acid after murdering him.

Post Arrest
Gotti was under electronic surveillance by the FBI; they caught him on tape in an apartment discussing a number of murders and other criminal activities. The FBI also caught Gotti denigrating his underboss, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. On December 11, 1990, FBI agents and New York City detectives raided the Ravenite Social Club and arrested Gotti, Gravano, and Gambino Family consigliere Frank Locascio.

Gotti was charged with 13 counts of murder (including Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti), conspiracy to commit murder, loansharking, racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, and tax evasion.

Gotti was tried in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York before United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser. The federal prosecutor's evidence was overwhelming. Not only did they have Gotti on tape, but they also had several witnesses to testify against Gotti. Philip Leonetti, a former Underboss in the violent Philadelphia crime family, was going to testify that Gotti bragged that he had ordered Castellano's execution. Then, Sammy Gravano agreed to testify against Gotti and Locascio, with the promise of being entered into the Witness Protection Program. Gravano subsequently pled guilty to a single count of racketeering as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted responsibility for 19 murders. On April 2, 1992, after only 13 hours of deliberation, the jury found Gotti and Locascio guilty on all 13 charges.On June 23, 1992, Judge Glasser sentenced Gotti to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.[5]He was sent to the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, where he was kept in a cell 23 hours a day.

While in prison, Gotti offered $100,000 to the Aryan Brotherhood to kill Walter Johnson, a mentally unstable black inmate who had assaulted him. The Aryan Brotherhood accepted Gotti's offer. The prison guards surmised that Johnson was in danger, and moved him to a different cell block, ultimately transferring him to another prison where Johnson was eventually paroled. Gotti, during a prison visit with his family was recorded saying: "Being a nigger is an embarrassment."[8]

John Gotti died of throat cancer at 12:45 p.m. on June 10, 2002 at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, where he had been transferred once the cancer was diagnosed. Gotti had the lower half of his jaw removed due to the cancer and was fed through a tube. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced that Gotti's family would not be permitted to have a Mass of Christian Burial but allowed it after the burial.

Tim tebow injury

Timothy Richard "Tim" Tebow (born August 14, 1987 in Manila, Phillipines) is a Heisman Trophy-winning American football quarterback for the Florida Gators. He was the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

Tebow played quarterback for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he became a Division I-A recruit and ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a senior. After a tight recruiting battle, he chose to attend the University of Florida over the University of Alabama. Tebow, being a dual threat quarterback adept at rushing and passing the football, was used in his freshman season largely as a change of pace to the Gators' more traditional quarterback, Chris Leak. His contribution in the 2006 college football season was as a key reserve who helped the Gators win college football's national championship game for the first time since 1996.

As a sophomore in the 2007 season, he became the Gators' starting quarterback and broke the Southeastern Conference records for both rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns accounted for in a single season. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, his performance in 2007 also earned him the Maxwell Award as the nation's top football player, the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport.

Early life/Personal
Tebow was born on August 14, 1987 in the Philippines to Bob and Pam Tebow, who were serving as Christian missionaries at the time. While pregnant Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life. She carried Timothy to term, and both survived.

All of the Tebow children were homeschooled by their mother, who worked to instill the family’s Christian beliefs along the way. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to compete in local high school sporting events. The law specifies that homeschooled students may participate on the team of the local school in the school district in which they live. The Tebows lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and Tim played linebacker and tight end at the local Trinity Christian Academy for one season. Tebow's preferred position was quarterback, but Trinity football team's offense did not rely on passing the football, so he began to explore his options to play for a new high school. He decided to attend Nease High School, which under head coach Craig Howard was known for having a passing offense. With the rest of his family living on a farm in Duval County, Tim and his mother moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the football team at Nease. His performance soon turned heads and led to a minor controversy of him being a home-schooled student having his choice of school to play for.

As a junior at Nease, Tebow’s stock rose as he became a major college football quarterback prospect and was named the state of Florida's Player of the Year. He would repeat as Player of the Year in his senior season. One of his highlights as a high school athlete was finishing a game on a broken leg. During his senior season he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida's Mr. Football and a Parade All-American. Tebow finished his high school career with 9,810 passing yards, 3,186 rushing yards, 95 passing touchdowns and 62 rushing touchdowns. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio, Texas which features the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and is shown nationally on NBC television.

Tebow was considered one of the nation’s top recruits and was the subject of an ESPN “Faces in Sports” documentary. The segment was titled "Tim Tebow: The Chosen One", and focused on Tim’s homeschool controversy and missionary work in the Philippines, as well as his exploits on the field of play and the college recruiting process. Tim Tebow was also featured in Sports Illustrated on the “Faces in the Crowd” page.[16] In 2007 he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Team that listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100 year history of high school football.

Despite having family ties to the University of Florida, where his parents first met as students, he remained open-minded during the recruiting process and became very close to Alabama coach Mike Shula. After careful consideration he decided to play for Urban Meyer's Florida Gators. One of the reasons he chose Florida was because of Meyer's spread option offense, an offense for which Tebow was deemed a prototypical quarterback.

Tebow spent the last three summers before enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father's orphanage and missionary work. He is also a self-proclaimed virgin and is "saving himself" for marriage. Tebow appeared late Saturday night, July 25th, 2009 at a Rascal Flatts concert and sang a few lines along with the group and Darius Rucker, as well as signed and tossed a football out into the crowd.
College career
See also: 2006 Florida Gators football team

Tebow started his career at Florida in the 2006 "Orange and Blue" Spring scrimmage, where he completed 15 of 21 pass attempts for 197 yards and one touchdown. Coach Urban Meyer declared that Leak would remain the starting quarterback despite the expectations and performance of Tebow in the game. Prior to the 2006 season, Tebow was listed by Sports Illustrated as college football's future top mobile quarterback.

Tebow made his college debut coming off the bench behind Chris Leak in a goal line situation against Southern Miss. He rushed for a touchdown on a designed quarterback scramble on his first play. In his next game, he led the team in rushing yards against UCF.

He made his SEC debut against the Tennessee Volunteers on September 16. His performance included a ten-yard run on his first carry and converting a critical fourth down near the end of the game, which led to the Gators' go-ahead touchdown.[

Tebow's biggest game in the season came against the LSU Tigers on October 7, where he accounted for all three of the Gators' touchdowns, passing for two and rushing for another. Tebow had a one-yard run on the goal line for his first score, a one-yard "jump pass" to tight end Tate Casey, in which he jumped in the air and double-pumped his arm before releasing the ball, and a 35-yard play-action pass to wide receiver Louis Murphy.

Tebow played a role in the Gators' victory in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against Ohio State. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, finishing with 39 rushing yards. He finished 2006 with the second-most rushing yards on the Gator team.

Tebow was named as one of the "Breakout Players of 2007" for college football by Sporting News, and was named the starter at quarterback for the Florida Gators before the 2007 season. The Gators' offense in 2007 was expected to be similar to what Urban Meyer used at Utah, since Meyer views Tebow as “very similar to Alex Smith.” Smith was quarterback for Meyer's last team at Utah in 2004, which became the first team from outside the BCS conferences to play in and win a BCS bowl game, and went on to be the top overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

There were some questions about how he would perform as a full time passer, but he opened the year 13-of-17 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in his starting debut against Western Kentucky University. Tebow finished the regular season with 217 completed passes in 317 attempts for 3132 yards gained and 29 touchdowns with six interceptions—giving him the second highest passing efficiency in the nation with 177.8. Additionally, he rushed 194 times for 838 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground through 11 games. Tebow's 51 touchdowns were more than 87 Division 1-A Teams scored.

In week 4 of the season, when the Gators faced Ole Miss in an SEC match-up, Tebow broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback in one game, with 166 yards. On November 3, against Vanderbilt, Tebow rushed for two touchdowns to break the all-time SEC quarterback TD record in a single season.[39] Against LSU, leading by 10 in the 4th quarter, Tebow was largely ineffective and had a turnover as he was unable to lead his team to any score, and LSU came back to win the game. LSU went on to win the 2007 National Championship.

In a game versus the South Carolina Gamecocks on November 10, Tebow broke the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season and set a career high with 5 rushing touchdowns. This brought his season total to 19 rushing touchdowns, which tied him for the SEC record for any player in a season (shared with Shaun Alexander, Garrison Hearst, and LaBrandon Toefield). He also broke Danny Wuerffel's conference record for touchdowns accounted for in a single season with 42.[40]

On November 17, Tebow had a record day against Florida Atlantic, he scored his 20th rushing touchdown to set a new conference record for most rushing touchdowns in a season. He also became the only person ever in NCAA History to score 20 touchdowns rushing and 20 touchdowns passing in the same season.

On November 24, against the Florida State Seminoles, Tebow threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two in a 45-12 rout of the Seminoles. It was later revealed that Tebow fractured his right hand during the third quarter but played the rest of the game. He had to wear a cast for the next three weeks.

After the season was over, Tebow became a favorite for the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player of the year, which he won on December 8 in New York City. He also received the Davey O'Brien Award, annually given to the best quarterback in the nation, on February 18 in Fort Worth, TX.

While the Gators finished the season in Orlando, Florida with a 41-35 loss to Michigan in the 2008 Capital One Bowl, Tebow maintained his record for both rushing and passing for at least one touchdown in every game played, and he raised the record for total touchdowns accounted for in a single season to 55. He played with a soft cast on the hand he broke in his previous game.

On December 8, 2007, Tim Tebow was awarded the Heisman Trophy, finishing ahead of Arkansas's Darren McFadden, Hawaii's Colt Brennan, and Missouri's Chase Daniel. He was the first underclassman to have ever won the Heisman Trophy. He garnered 462 first place votes and 1957 points, 254 points ahead of runner-up Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. He finished the regular season as the only player in FBS history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in both categories in the same season. He had 32 passing touchdowns, and 23 rushing touchdowns. Tebow's rushing TD total in the 2007 season is the most recorded for any position in SEC history. to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.Coincidentally, all three of Florida's Heisman-winning quarterbacks were sons of ministers.

Before the 2007 season had even come to a close, Florida coach Urban Meyer stated that he would likely use 2 quarterbacks during the 2008 season to take some of the workload off of Tebow's shoulders. Tebow led the Gators in rushing in 2007[49] but also had to play through a bruised shoulder and broken non-throwing hand.

On November 1, 2008 playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tim Tebow ran for his 37th rushing touchdown, breaking the school record previously held by former Florida running back Emmitt Smith.

Tebow led the Gators to a 12–1 record in 2008. After clinching the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title, the team played for and won the SEC title in the 2008 SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The win secured the #2 ranking in the final BCS standings, which earned the Gators the chance to play the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, which they won 24–14.

Tebow appeared on the September 2008 cover of Men's Fitness magazine.

On December 13, 2008, Tebow finished third in the 2008 Heisman Trophy voting with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford taking the top spot followed by Texas' Colt McCoy, despite Tebow receiving the most first-place votes. Tebow also won the Maxwell Award in 2008, becoming only the second player to win the award twice.
Tebow announces his return

On January 11, 2009, at a national championship celebration held at Florida Field, Tebow announced that he would not make himself eligible for the NFL draft but would instead return for his senior season at Florida. One day later, Tebow had surgery on his right shoulder to remove a bone spur in an effort to reduce chronic inflammation. He is expected to be ready for spring practice in April.

Tebow opened the 2009 season continuing a streak of of throwing and running for a touchdown in blowout wins over Charleston Southern and Troy. He ran for a touchdown in the third game, a win against Tennessee, but failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time since his freshman season.

Tebow started against Kentucky despite suffering from a respiratory illness and taking two bags of intravenous fluids before the game. He ran for two touchdowns to put him in 2nd place on the all-time SEC touchdown list and he also threw for a touchdown. Late in the third quarter he was hit in the chest by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham and then in the back of the head while falling by knee of Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert. He lay motionless for several seconds before being helped to the sidelines. Once there, he vomited. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. A CT scan showed no bleeding in the brain, but officials called the injury a "bad concussion".
Heisman Trophy

Etta james

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938) is an American blues, soul, R&B, rock & roll, gospel and jazz singer and songwriter. James is the winner of four Grammys and seventeen Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. In the 1950s and '60s, she had her biggest success as a blues and R&B singer. She is best known for performing "At Last", which has been featured in many movies, television shows, commercials, and web-streaming services since its release. James has a contralto vocal range.

Early life

Jamesetta Hawkins was born in Los Angeles, California, to an unmarried 14-year-old African-American, Dorothy Hawkins. She claimed that her mother told her that her father was a pool player Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, who was Caucasian.

She received her first professional vocal training at the age of five, from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir, at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

James's family moved to San Francisco in 1950, and James soon teamed up with two other girls to form a doo-wop singing group. When the girls were 14 years old, band leader Johnny Otis had them audition; they sang an answer to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie," called "Roll With Me Henry." Otis particularly liked the song and, without her mother's permission, James and the duo went to Los Angeles to record it, in 1954. The song was recorded under the Modern Records label. By this time, the trio had renamed the song "The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)." It was released in 1955. James named her vocal group "The Peaches." Richard Berry, a Los Angeles doo-wop luminary, is featured on some of the group's records.

James married Artis Mills. She has two sons, Donto and Sametto James, and several grandchildren.

There are at least two versions of how Johnny Otis discovered Etta James. Otis's version is that she came to his hotel room after one of his performances in San Francisco and persuaded him to audition her (this is the version that Johnny tells to this day). Another frequently told story is that Otis spotted her performing in an L.A. nightclub with The Peaches and, having conceived of the answer song to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie," arranged with the Bihari brothers for Modern Records to record "The Wallflower" with James. "The Wallflower" reached #2 on the rhythm and blues charts in February 1955, but was undercut in the wider market by a rushed-out cover version by Georgia Gibbs, on Mercury Records. In fact, the very first time she was recorded in studio, they used the first take she recorded and it became #1 on the "Top 100" songs in the nation. "The Wallflower"'s royalties were divided between Ballard, James and Otis, and its huge success attracted the attention of the R&B world, resulting in James going on tour with Little Richard. On the tour, according to James, she witnessed and experienced situations to which minors are not usually privy.
Music career
Early success: 1955 – 1959

"The Wallflower" was a #1 hit on the R&B charts of 1955. The song was later a hit in the white market for Georgia Gibbs, written as "Dance with Me, Henry" and rewritten as "The Wallflower" according to her book "Etta James". The song was featured in the 1985 movie Back To The Future in one of the diner scenes. Soon after the song's success, The Peaches and Etta parted company, but this did not halt her career. She continued to record and release albums throughout much of the decade, and enjoyed more success. Her follow-up, "Good Rockin' Daddy" was released and became another hit in the fifties. Other songs however, such as "Tough Lover" and "W-O-M-A-N" failed to gain any significant success at all. James toured with Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Otis Redding in the fifties and has cited Watson as the most significant influence on her style.
Breakthrough and the Chess years: 1960 – 1978

In 1960, James signed a recording contract with Chess Records, signing with their subsidiary label, Argo Records (she later also recorded for their other subsidiary label, Cadet). James began to have major hits off the label, first with a pair of duets with her then husband and singer, Harvey Fuqua; "If I Can't Have You" and "Spoonful." She had her first major solo hit with the R&B-styled tune, "All I Could Do Was Cry." The song quickly went up the Billboard R&B Chart, peaking at #2 in 1960. This was followed by the Top 5 R&B hit, "My Dearest Darling" the same year. Around the same time, James also sang background vocals on Chuck Berry's hit, "Back in the USA." That same year, James released her debut album off Chess entitled, At Last!. It featured all of James' hits between 1960 and 1961, and also included a few standards, such as Lena Horne's "Stormy Weather", "I Just Want to Make Love to You," and "A Sunday Kind of Love." The album showed James' choices of a large varieties of music.

Chess Records head producer, Leonard Chess imagined James as a classic ballad stylist who had potential to cross over onto the Pop charts. Chess began backing James up on her recording sessions with violins and other string instruments, which was first seen on her 1961 hit, "At Last."[3] The song went to #2 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1961, and also peaked at #47 on the Billboard Pop Chart, ultimately becoming her signature song. Although it wasn't as successful as expected on the Pop charts, it did become the most remembered version of the song. In 1961, James had another major hit with "Trust in Me," which also featured string instruments. Also in 1961, James released a second studio album, The Second Time Around, an album inspired by Soul music. The album took the same direction as her previous album, covering many Pop standards, and using strings on many of the songs. The album spawned a Top 15 hit, "The Fool That I Am" and a minor hit on the Pop chart, "Don't Cry Baby."

In 1962, James had three major hits, beginning with the Gospel-inspired, "Something's Got a Hold on Me," which peaked at #4 on the R&B chart, and also reached the Pop Top 40. Another single, "Stop the Wedding" followed and reached #6. In 1963, James cut and released her first live album, Etta James Rocks the House, which was cut in Nashville, Tennessee at the New Era Club. In 1963, James had a another Top 10 R&B hit with, "Pushover," which also made the Pop Top 25, and was ultimately one of Etta's two biggest Billboard hits on the Hot 100. "Pushover" also hit #11 on influential pop music station WMCA in New York during May, 1963. It was followed by two other singles that year that were minor hits on the Pop chart, "Pay Back" and "Two Sides (To Every Story)." That year she released her third album, Etta James Top Ten. Within the next year, James scored another Top 10 hit with "Loving You More Each Day" (which also reached #65 on the Pop chart) and had a Top 40 hit with "Baby What You Want Me to Do."

In the mid-1960s, James began to battle a heroin addiction, which would last up until 1974. For years, James would spend much time in and out of Los Angeles' Tarzana Psychiatric Hospital.[ However, James began recording again in 1967 and achieved her biggest hit in years, "Tell Mama," which reached the R&B Top 10 and #23 on the Hot 100. An album of the same name, produced by Rick Hall at his then-hot Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, also featured a rendition of Otis Redding's song, "Security" which peaked at #11 on the R&B chart.[8] Although she wasn't as successful as she had been, James remained a large concert attraction. She continued to have R&B Top 40 hits up until the mid 1970s, with "Loser Weepers" (an album of the same name was released in 1971) and then with "I Found a Love" in 1972.

James released a new album in 1973 that was self-titled and spawned two minor hits. Produced by Gabriel Mekler, who had previously worked with Steppenwolf and Janis Joplin, the album musically was an ambitious mix of soul, blues, jazz and rock and it was nominated for a Grammy award the following year.. Mekler produced a follow-up album called "Out On The Street Again" in 1974. Again critically acclaimed, this also produced only minor hits. Despite the death of Leonard Chess, James recorded for the label up until 1978, and began using more Rock based songs in her albums. She released her final two albums for Chess in 1978, Etta Is Betta Than Evah and Deep in the Night. That year, James also opened tour dates in the United States for The Rolling Stones and also played at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.
Later career: 1988 – 1999

For seven years during the 1980s James' career stalled, however by 1989 she made her comeback with an album, Seven Year Itch, released by Island Records; her first recording contract in that span of time. James found a way to bring back her older raw sound she had used on previous albums The album was produced by keyboardist, Barry Beckett and was recorded at Alabama's famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, where James had recorded previous major hits, such as "I'd Rather Go Blind." The album also helped James reunite with producer Jerry Wexler, who worked with James on her 1978 release, Deep in the Night, and also produced many of Aretha Franklin's records. James released a subsequent album in 1989 off of Island records entitled, Stickin' to My Guns, where she once again recorded at the Muscle Shoals recording studio.
Etta James in 1990

The same year, James also collaborated with Delicious Vinyl rap artist Def Jef for the song and Hip Hop Dance classic "Droppin Rhymes on Drums" This record not only bridged the gap between the jazz musician and hip hop artist but also triggered the Hip Hop style of dance made popular by The Soul Brothers Dance Group during the Golden Era of Hip Hop from 1988-1994.

In 1992, James released her next album, The Right Time off of Elektra Records, where she again worked with Jerry Wexler. James then released a tribute album in 1993, Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday dedicated to one of her musical inspirations, Billie Holiday. The album was her first album for the Private Music label and also set the trend for a few albums James would release within the decade that would go in a Jazz direction. James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1993. The album earned James her first Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1994. The following year, James published her autbiography co-written with David Ritz titled, A Rage to Survive. The same year, James released a Soul-inspired studio album, Time After Time also produced with Jerry Wexler. In 1998, she released her first Holiday album, Etta James Christmas, off of Private Music.

To a younger generation, Etta is known for the Muddy Waters song "I Just Wanna Make Love to You", used in television commercials for Coca-Cola and for John Smith's bitter (beer). The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Foghat have also recorded the song. Etta's version was a surprise Top 10 UK hit in 1996.
The Modern era: 2000 – present

James continued to record for Private music into the new millennium, finding her next release to be Matriarch of the Blues. It was given much praise from music articles and magazines, such as Rolling Stone Magazine, which said, "A solid return to roots, Matriarch of the Blues finds Etta James reclaiming her throne---and defying anyone to knock her off it." In 2001, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and also was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 2003, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her next album the following year, Blue Gardenia was another return to a Jazz music style. That same year, she also released her third live album, Burnin' Down the House: Live at the House of Blues, which was recorded at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Two years later, she released her final album for Private Music, Let's Roll, which won James another Grammy in 2005 for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her #62 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Etta James performs at the top world jazz festivals in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, 1989, 1990 and 1993, performed nine times at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival five times. She also performs often at free city outdoor summer arts festivals throughout the US.

James was portrayed by R&B singer and actress Beyoncé Knowles in the film Cadillac Records, which was released to theatres on December 5, 2008. The film is loosely based on the rise and fall of James' record label, Chess Records, and how producer Leonard Chess helped the career of James and her other counterparts at the label, although the film fails to reflect the fact that James was already a successful hit-recording artist before she joined Chess, and was not discovered by Leonard Chess as portrayed. In fact, James's songs performed worse on the charts after she joined Chess. Also, contrary to the impression created in the film, it is doubtful that James and Chess were lovers. Others portrayed in Cadillac Records include Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Willie Dixon.

On April 7, 2009, Etta James appeared on Dancing with the Stars as a guest performer, singing her classic hit from 1961 "At Last" at age 71.

In Memphis Tennessee on May 7, 2009, the Blues Foundation awarded Etta James the 2009 Soul/Blues Female Artist of the Year - making Etta a nine times winner of this prestigious award.

James lives today in Riverside, California.
Musical style

James' musical style has changed in various ways during the course of her career. When beginning her recording career in the mid-50s, James was marketed as an R&B and doo wop singer. After signing with Chess Records in 1960, James broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards on her debut album, At Last. However during the late 60s, her style took a different musical approach with her 1968 Tell Mama, with upbeat soul-inspired songs, including covers of Otis Redding's "Security" and Jimmy Hughes' "Don't Lose Your Good Thing".James' voice has deepened and coarsened in the past ten years, moving her musical style in these later years into the genres of soul and jazz.

Etta James had once been considered one of the most overlooked Blues and R&B musicians in American music history. It wasn't until the early 1990s when James began receiving major industry awards from the Grammys and the Blues Foundation that she began to receive wide recognition. In recent years, she has been seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. James has influenced a wide variety of American musicians including Janis Joplin, Diana Ross, Shemekia Copeland, Alex Mills, Rod Stewart,Christina Aguilera and even Hayley Williams of Paramore as well as British artists The Rolling Stones and Adele.[
Personal life
Substance abuse

James encountered a string of legal problems during the early '70s due to her heroin addiction. James was continuously in and out of rehabilitation centers, including the Tarzana Rehabilitation Center, in Los Angeles, California. Her husband Artis Mills, whom she married in 1969, took the fall when they were both arrested for heroin possession and served a 10 year prison sentence[16]. He was released from prison in 1982 and the couple is still married today.[7] James was also arrested around the same time for her drug addiction, accused of passing bad cheques, forgery and drug possession of heroin. In 1974, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison. James was in the Tarzana Psychiatric Hospital for 17 months, at age 35, and went through much struggle in the beginning of treatment. James later stated in her autobiography that the time she spent in the hospital changed her life. However after leaving treatment, James' substance abuse continued into the 1980s, after she developed a relationship with a man who was also using drugs. It wasn't until 1988, at age 50, when James entered the Betty Ford Center, in Palm Springs, California, for treatment that James conquered her drug problem. She claims to have been sober ever since, though she has been known to drink wine onstage at concerts.