Faces of 2015: Rayvon Owen was a top four finalist on ‘American Idol’ – But in the meantime, he’s been working on a new EP and writing songs for himself as well as other artists. “I think you’ll see a more vulnerable side of me,” he said of the EP. “I’m just kind of letting it come together like my first EP (‘Cycles’) did. I’m letting it happen organically.” The EP, currently untitled, will have five or six new songs. He said the new material will draw on real situations and relationships that he’s gone through. Owen is planning to release the first single at the end of January or the beginning of February. Owen, who is now based in Los Angeles, is also interesting in acting. He recently shot a pilot that was produced and directed by comedian Wanda Sykes, a Portsmouth native. But he’ll have to wait and see if it gets picked up. – Read more at Richmond.com
Why Carrie Underwood’s Mom Is NOT Santa’s Best Helper – “One thing you learn in my family is that my mother is… um… a blabbermouth. And ever since I was little, I have known every single Christmas present I have ever gotten, ever,” she emphasizes. “I’m not one for surprises, and yeah, I’ve always known my presents before Christmas. But I didn’t have to, like, sneak around and find out what they were, ’cause Mom told me.” – Read more at Wincountry.com
Fan in Oklahoma snapped Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
Fellow The Voice coaches, and lovebirds, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton spent the holidays together in Blake’s home state, Oklahoma, where a fan snapped a photo of the couple out shopping. Check out Gwen’s designer camouflage.
Gwen and Blake attended an Arizona Cardinals Game in Glendale Sunday
— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) December 27, 2015
— NFL (@NFL) December 27, 2015
Simon Cowell gives hero security guard who tackled £500,000 jewellery thief a £1,000 bonus – The X Factor boss gave gave M’Bathonha Mendes the Christmas gift after asking to meet him to say ‘thank you’ in person, X Factor boss Simon Cowell has given a £1,000 Christmas bonus to the hero security guard who wrestled £500,000 of his gems from a crook who raided his mansion. Cowell, 56, gave M’Bathonha Mendes the gift after asking to meet him to say ‘thank you’ in person, the Sunday People can reveal. The 34-year-old guard, who works for a private security firm in the same street, followed the raider and grabbed a rucksack containing Cowell’s jewellery. He recalled: “He jumped and then dropped the bag and ran. Fear is my friend.” – Read more at Mirror.com
Orthodox priest wins Season 4 of The Voice Russia – When the fourth season of The Voice Russia began in September, the public was initially shocked by the decision of Orthodox priest Hieromonk Photius to participate. His mentor in the show, singer Grigori Leps, was also confused as she was not quite certain of how to work with such an unusual contestant. Nevertheless, Photius’ performances proved he had a talent for singing in different languages and styles. After reaching the final stage of the competition, the priest was crowned the winner after blowing away the coaches with his three songs, two of which were in Russian and one in Italian. – Read more at Stuff.co.NZ He sang mostly Russian and Italian opera, from what I can tell, but here’s a video of him singing a Christmas song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” in English. Also, he sings “Believe” and “Little Drummer Boy” HERE.