Idol Chatter

Prince_Harry_Trooping_the_Colour_cropped Meghan_Markle_3441On Monday morning, a highly anticipated official statement reported that Prince Harry, fifth in line for the British throne, is engaged to the American actress Meghan Markle. Harry and Meghan are planning to marry next spring and have stated that they plan to live on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London after their wedding.

Harry and Meghan became engaged earlier in November, but the couple delayed making an official announcement until Monday morning. Harry and Meghan began dating over a year ago, and local media outlets have been hoping desperately for proof of a proposal for some time. The U.K.’s Channel 4 aired a hastily-made documentary called “When Harry Met Meghan” at the end of October, likely in hopeful anticipation of good news from the couple.

Members of both the Markle and the royal family extended their official congratulations to the newly engaged couple. A statement from Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, said that they “are delighted” by Harry and Meghan’s engagement. Harry’s older brother, Prince William, and his wife, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, also offered their official congratulations and said that they were “very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.” Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, parents of the bride-to-be, said that Meghan is “a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us.”

Meghan and Harry gave their first joint interview on Monday night just hours after their engagement was confirmed by Clarence House, the office of Harry’s father, heir-apparent Prince Charles. During this evening broadcast, the newly engaged couple spoke about Harry’s proposal at Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage in London. “It was just so sweet and natural and very romantic,” Meghan said. “I could barely let [him] finish proposing. I was like, ‘Can I say ‘yes’ now?’”

Harry and Meghan also touched on the evolution of their relationship in Monday night’s interview. They were introduced by a mutual friend in the summer of 2016 and went on two dates in London during July 2016. A few weeks later, Harry persuaded Meghan to join him on a trip to Botswana, Africa. “We camped out with each other under the stars,” Harry said. “She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.” Meghan was officially announced as Harry’s girlfriend in early November of the same year.

While Meghan and Harry are thrilled to be making their engagement official, their union would have been almost unimaginable a generation ago. Meghan is mixed-race, Catholic, American and a divorcee, none of which would have been easily accepted by the royal family. Meghan and Harry’s engagement shows that the royal family is modernizing, and the blessings from other royals seem to be sincere. Much of the world is cheerfully joining the United Kingdom in wishing the husband-and-wife-to-be much happiness, and everyone is waiting with baited breath for more details about the upcoming royal wedding.

david cassidyDavid Cassidy, star of the popular 1970’s show, “The Partridge Family,” died on Tuesday. JoAnn Geffen, Cassidy’s publicist, confirmed his death and passed on a statement from Cassidy’s family. “On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle and our dear brother, David Cassidy. David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”

Complications from Cassidy’s dementia led to organ failure a few days before his death. The actor and musician held on for a short time before passing away on November 21. He is survived by his daughter, Katie Cassidy; his son, Beau Cassidy; his step-mother, Shirley Jones; and his three half-brothers, Shaun, Patrick and Ryan Cassidy.

David Cassidy had been hospitalized in Florida for several days prior to his passing. He was previously diagnosed with dementia but managed to keep performing for a number of months. In March 2017, Cassidy played at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York and talked about his dementia. He also revealed that his arthritis made playing the guitar a painful and difficult ordeal.

Cassidy is probably best known for playing the role of Keith Partridge in “The Partridge Family.” The ABC sitcom was popular for its clean portrayal of the Partridges’ family rock band and their life on the road in a brightly painted bus. The show ran from 1970 to 1974 and was based loosely on the Cowsills, a real-life musical family. Cassidy’s step-mother, Shirley Jones, played the role of Shirley Partridge, Keith Partridge’s mother.

The story of “The Partridge Family” contained a slight resemblance to David Cassidy’s actual background. Cassidy was a member of a show business family that included his Tony Award winning father, Jack Cassidy, step-mother Shirley Jones, half-brother Shaun Cassidy and David Cassidy’s daughter, the actress Katie Cassidy.

David Cassidy was raised in New Jersey and starred in the 1969 Broadway musical, “The Fig Leaves Are Falling.” The musical closed after only four performances and Cassidy made his way to Las Vegas. It would take more than ten years, but Cassidy would return to the big stage to play Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in 1982. Cassidy also played Mickey in “Blood Brothers,” performed in “Little Johnny Jones” and “Time” and went on to create the Vegas shows “The Rat Pack is Back!” and “At the Copa.”

In addition to his years spent acting, Cassidy also had a successful music career. “The Partridge Family” theme song, “C’mon Get Happy,” helped launch Cassidy’s music career. After his singles “I Think I Love You” and “Cherish” took off, Cassidy regularly sold out stadiums. His wild popularity was nicknamed “Cassidymania” and resulted in several instances of mass hysteria at his shows. One such riot at a 1974 performance in Australia garnered calls for Cassidy to be deported from the country.

Cassidy continued touring and performing until early March 2017 when he put on his final show at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York. In the wake of his passing, fans and fellow celebrities alike have expressed their condolences to Cassidy’s family and taken a few minutes to reminisce about the musician, actor and pop idol who helped define an era.

583559908_1280x720During the first service at the new Liquid Church in Parsippany, New Jersey, Christian celebrity Tim Tebow spoke about God calling him to minister God’s love in a surprising place. Tebow described how he had felt compelled to speak about God’s love in an airport early in November. The man who inspired this desire to minister was walking with a limp. Tebow, however, was battling strep throat and decided against speaking to the limping man. Tebow later felt guilty for skipping the opportunity to tell someone about God’s love. He felt he had used his physical health as an excuse to not listen to God’s call and regretted not speaking to the man. Tebow said he should have told the man with the limp that God loved him, and the celebrity athlete prayed that God would give him another chance to show His love to someone who needed it.

It was in another airport that God gave Tebow a new chance to spread His love. The former football player saw a veteran with prosthetic legs, and Tebow approached the man and thanked him for his service. While the two were talking, Tebow learned that he and the veteran were on the same flight. When the man and Tebow finished their conversation, Tebow asked a flight attendant to give his first class seat to the veteran. Tebow then took the veteran’s seat in coach.

To the more than 1,000 people at Liquid Church, Tebow admitted that he would have enjoyed the solitude of flying first class, so when he gave up his seat and flew coach, he just wanted to put on his headphones and get some rest. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the passengers around him recognized the famous athlete and wanted to speak to him. Tebow told the crowd at Liquid Church that God had plans for Tebow to minister to some of the other passengers on the plane, such as a woman who was dealing with martial issues. She needed comfort and unburdened her heart to Tebow. The Christian celebrity used his airport anecdote to illustrate that people’s lives can be touched by generosity even when the circumstances around them are uncomfortable or awkward.

Tebow’s impromptu airport ministry is hardly the first time he has put his faith on display. The former Bronco’s quarterback made headlines and captured the hearts of millions in 2011 when he knelt down to pray on the sidelines of the football field. His praying posture, down on one knee with a hand on his head, became famous almost overnight. The practice of imitating Tebow’s praying posture was dubbed “Tebowing” and became a position taken as a part of both heartfelt prayer and scathing mockery.

Tebow has since left the football field behind and written two books, Through My Eyes and Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms. He also organized the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2010. The Tim Tebow Foundation has stated that their mission is to “bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need,” and Tebow has worked with Liquid Church before through the foundation. The Tim Tebow Foundation and Liquid Church are planning to partner once more in February 2018 for Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation’s prom designed for teenagers and adults with special needs.

20th Century Fox has released the first official trailer for “The Post”, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Hollywood A-listers Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

“The Post” is a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

“The Post” marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In select theaters December 22.