marți, 27 martie 2012

Succes 2012: Lepa Brena, famous bosniak pop-folk singer

Fahreta Jahić Živojinović (born 20 October 1960) is a Bosniak pop-folk singer, better known by her stage name Lepa Brena.

Lepa Brena was born as Fahreta Jahić to a Bosniak family in Tuzla in 1960, but grew up in Brčko. She was the third-born child of Abid Jahić (1928-2010) and Ifeta Jahić. She has a sister Faketa and an older brother named Faruk
In 1980, she started singing with the band Slatki Greh. She subsequently moved to Novi Sad and then to Belgrade. Brena started to sing in hotel TURIST in Backa Palanka. She released her first album Čačak, Čačak in 1982. She is arguably the most popular singer of the former Yugoslavia, and a top-selling female record artist with more than thirty million records sold.

Beside her career as a singer, Lepa Brena is one of the founders of Grand Slam Group and Grand Production.

Fahreta's nickname "Brena" was given to her by her gym teacher. Later on, Serbian showman Minimax added "Lepa" (beautiful), creating the stage name "Lepa Brena".

Lepa Brena's career can be divided into two main periods:

* Performance with the band Slatki Greh ("sweet sin")
* Solo career

Lepa Brena joined Slatki Greh in 1981 when the group's original singer Spasa left the band because of her marriage. Saša Popović, the band's frontman, was initially opposed to the idea that Lepa Brena should be the band's new singer, but later changed his opinion. Their first performance was in Bačka Palanka on 6 May 1980.

Her first album Čačak, Čačak was written mostly by Milutin Popović-Zahar, and the career-manager was Vladimir Cvetković. That same year Lepa Brena and Slatki Greh appeared in the first part of Yugoslavian classic comedy Tesna koža (translation: Tight Skin), which raised their profile and brought them almost instant popularity.
The second album Mile voli disko, was released in 1983. Best known songs from that album were "Mile voli disko", "Duge noge" and "Dama iz Londona". The album's main writer was Milutin Popović-Zahar.
In 1983, Lepa Brena ended her collaboration with Milutin Popović-Zahar and Vladimir Cvetković. That year Lepa Brena and Slatki Greh participated in Jugovizija (Yugoslav selection for the Eurovision Song Contest) with the song "Sitnije, Cile, sitnije". Her appearance caused confusion among the audience, since Jugovizija was considered exclusively reserved for pop singers. Although they did not qualify for the prestigious European competition, Lepa Brena and Slatki Greh won the contest, gaining even more popularity.

The following year, Lepa Brena and Slatki Greh started a cooperation with a new manager Raka Đokić. "Bato, bato", her third album, was released the same year. A new provocative image was accompanied by a new musical style, different from the one fostered by Popović. Popular pub called "dvojka" has been replaced by pop melodies and more provocative lyrics. The same year, Lepa Brena held a concert in neighboring Romania, at the stadium in Timisoara to an audience of 65,000. It was the first successful concert of a Yugoslav singer outside their home country.

Lepa Brena's next three albums, Pile moje in 1985 and Voli me, voli and Uske pantalone in 1986 would propel her to the throne of the Yugoslav music scene.
Along with these albums, Lepa Brena established a cooperation with Yugoslav folk star Miroslav Ilić and recorded a romantic duet "Jedan dan života", and the song "Živela Jugoslavija", which was received with a mixed response. The latter song was in line with Lepa Brena's only official political stance: an uncompromising support of a united Yugoslavia, with her becoming a symbol of this view.

By the end of 1986, Lepa Brena has already become the most popular public figure in Yugoslavia and strengthened the position of undisputed sex symbol. Later that year, her manager Raka Đokić came up with the idea that her next studio album should be followed by a movie in which would Lepa Brena should play a major role. This idea was successfully implemented in 1987 when the motion picture Hajde da se volimo was filmed. Many then-popular Yugoslav actors co-starred in the film, including Dragomir Gidra Bojanić, Milutin Karadžić, Velimir Bata Živojinović, Milan Štrljić etc.

Based on the success of the original, two sequels were produced for Hajde da se volimo. Hajde da se volimo 2 (1989) was followed by the studio album Četiri godine, and Hajde da se volimo 3 (1991) followed by album Boli me uvo za sve in 1990.
In the turbulent years of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Lepa Brena held more than three-hundred and fifty concerts yearly, and would often hold two concerts in one day. Lepa Brena set a record by holding thirty-one concerts day after day at Dom Sindikata, and seventeen concerts day after day at the Sava Center. In the late 1990s Brena held a concert at Levski stadium in Sofia (Bulgaria), in front of one hundred thousand people.

Lepa Brena and Slatki Greh recorded their second-to-last album together: Zaljubiška, in 1991.
In 1994, after a three-year break, Lepa Brena recorded her first solo album Ja nemam drugi dom, and held a famous "Concert in the Rain" at Tašmajdan stadium which was attended by 35,000 people. The next year, she recorded a couple more solo albums: Kazna Božija (1995) and Luda za tobom (1996).
[edit] Return to music

After eight years of absence from making music, Lepa Brena returned in 2008 with a studio album, "Uđi slobodno". The album contained 10 new songs, nine of which were written by Brena's old song-writer Marina Tucaković and Aleksandar Milić Mili. She then released her sixteenth album, "Zacarani Krug", in 2011. Both albums were major successes

duminică, 25 martie 2012

Succes 2012: Steven Spurrier, british wine expert. A champion of french wine, founder of the Academie du Vin and Christie's Wine Course. Consultant editor to Decanter

Steven Spurrier (born 1941) is a British wine expert and former merchant in Paris, France, who has been described as a champion of French wine.[2] Spurrier organized the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, which promoted the expansion of wine production in the new world. He is also the founder of the Academie du Vin and Christie's Wine Course, in addition to authoring and co-authoring several wine books.
Having been educated in Rugby School and the London School of Economics,Spurrier entered the wine trade in 1964 as a trainee with London’s oldest wine merchant Christopher and Co. In 1970 he moved to Paris where he persuaded an elderly lady to sell him her small wine store located in a passageway off the rue Royale. From 1971 he ran the wine shop Les Caves de la Madeleine where clients were encouraged to taste wines before they bought them, which achieved recognition as a highly regarded specialist wine shop. In 1973 he started L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school, which was central to the wine education of several wine personalities such as French wine writer Michel Bettane, and Charles F. Shaw, namesake of "Two Buck Chuck".

Spurrier went on to stage the influential "Judgement of Paris" Tasting of 1976, when a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from California were ranked above some of the most prestigious wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Spurrier sold his wine interests in France and returned to the UK in 1988,becoming a wine consultant and journalist. He is now director of The Christie’s Wine Course, which he founded with Christie's Education in 1982. He is also a wine consultant to Singapore Airlines, and consultant editor to Decanter.
Spurrier has received several international awards for wine writing including Le Prix de Champagne Lanson and the Bunch Prize, both for articles published in Decanter. In 2001 he was awarded Le Grand Prix de l’Academie Internationale du Vin and The Maestro Award in honor of Andre Tchelistcheff. In 1988 he was made Le Personalite de l’Annee (Oenology) for his services to French wine. He has also received the Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Prix Louis Marinier. He is a regular judge on the international wine tasting circuit and the chairman of the Japan Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Alan Rickman portrayed Steven Spurrier in the 2008 film Bottle Shock. During its production, Spurrier warned of taking legal action in the event of misrepresentation. Having read the script, Spurrier stated, "There is hardly a word that is true in the script and many, many pure inventions as far as I am concerned and I have never been in the same room as Peter Mandelson".

joi, 22 martie 2012

Succes 2012: Remy "The Flying Gentleman" Bonjasky, three-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion. He has been known for his flying kicks and knee attacks

Remy "The Flying Gentleman" Bonjasky (born January 10, 1976) is a Dutch super heavyweight kickboxer of Surinamese descent. He is a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion, who has won the title in 2003, 2004, and 2008. He has been known for his flying kicks and knee attacks, hence the nickname of "The Flying Gentleman".
Bonjasky was born in Paramaribo, Suriname and moved to Tilburg, the Netherlands when he was 5 years old.

He was involved in football (soccer) during his teens, but when he broke his leg he chose to stop playing. At the age of 18, when a friend brought him to the Mejiro kickboxing gym to "see who is the best", Bonjasky decided to stay and train and eventually fell in love with kickboxing, although he declared Muay Thai to be his style.

Bonjasky had his first fight at the age of 19 against an established Dutch mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter named Valentijn Overeem. Bonjasky won by TKO. From this moment on he quit his job as a network operator and focused on training full time. Despite losing his first K-1 fight by split decision he made his second fight against an established K-1 fighter, Ray Sefo. Despite the odds he won the fight by TKO.

After graduating from university, Bonjasky worked as a banker at ABN Amro for a time.
Bonjasky lost against K-1 and kickboxing superstar Stefan Leko in 2002.

On December 6, 2003 at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 quarter-finals in Tokyo, Japan, Bonjasky was matched up against Australian fighter Peter "The Chief" Graham. Remy won the fight by a TKO in the first round. In semi-finals Cyril Abidi fell victim of The Flying Gentleman's flying knee attacks, and after defeating Musashi in the tournament finals by unanimous decision Bonjasky was crowned the K-1 World champion.

In 2004 he accumulated wins over Tsuyoshi Nakasako, Francois Botha, Aziz Khattou and ex-sumo champion Chad "Akebono" Rowan. If it hadn't been for his one loss in 2004 against Francisco Filho he would have beaten Semmy Schilt's record of the longest winning streak in K-1 history.

On December 4, 2004 at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2004, with three decision wins over Ernesto Hoost, Francois Botha and Musashi, Bonjasky successfully defended his K-1 WGP title.

He presented himself on November 19, 2005 for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 finals in Tokyo, to keep his title for a third consecutive year, but was stopped by Semmy Schilt's knee strikes in the tournament's semi-finals.
In 2006, after his divorce and change of trainers, he came back to the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 finals. In his quarter-final match, he got a rematch against former foe Stefan Leko, who'd beaten him in 2002, and it turned into a grudge match. When Bonjasky was champion, Leko was taking a hiatus away from K-1, and his career rise had thus stalled. Prior to his rematch with Remy, he pledged that the 2006 Grand Prix would be his year to finally become the undisputed champion, at the expense of Bonjasky whom he'd beaten before. Bonjasky stated that Leko was 'limited'. In the fight, Bonjasky got hit in the groin twice in the first round and the fight was postponed for 30 minutes. When the bout resumed, Bonjasky still managed to win the fight by a unanimous decision, after scoring a knockdown in the final minute of the fight. However, because of a persisting injury to the groin, he was not able to continue the tournament and was replaced by Peter Aerts.

In 2007 Bonjasky's mother died. Because Remy was badly hurt by this he pulled of scheduled fights with Badr Hari and Peter Aerts. His only fight before the Final 16 was against Glaube Feitosa in Hawaii. Remy won by decision and remained open for the Final 16 event.

On September 29, 2007 Bonjasky was booked in a rubber match with Stefan Leko at the K-1 World GP 2007 in Seoul Final 16 event. The pair went in with bad blood, as Remy claimed that simply hearing the name of Leko 'made his blood boil' after their second fight, and he claimed that the groin shots he delivered were deliberate. He further lit the fuse by claiming Leko was a limited fighter, who 'only had a couple of punches and a spinning back kick, nothing else'. Leko for his part said he would be glad to prove once and for all that he was the superior fighter, which he claimed was clear from their first fight, and that Remy was 'an actor', and had been 'lucky' the second fight, and had 'the heart of a chicken'.

Bonjasky won the grudge fight by TKO when the ref stopped it in the first round after landing his trademark flying knee strike. Leko beat the count, but the referee waved off the bout. Some have criticised the stoppage as K-1 protecting the by-then bigger name superstar, as Remy had been their World Grand Prix champion, and that K-1 wanted him through to the later stages. Others said that Leko did not display that he still had his faculties. Regardless, the fight marked the end (as of 2011) of the feud between the two, and the win qualified Bonjasky for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Finals which were held on December 8, 2007 at the Yokohama Arena in Japan.

At the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Finals, Remy Bonjasky faced fellow Dutch Muay Thai fighter Badr Hari. He won the fight by decision. In the semi-finals he faced Dutch legend Peter Aerts, who he lost to, leaving him as eliminated.
Bonjasky started off 2008 by knocking out Melvin Manhoef in Amsterdam, Bazigit Atajev in Tapei and majority decision over Paul Slowinski in the K-1 16 to qualify for his 6th Grand Prix appearance.

In the quarter finals he defeated Jerome Lebanner by TKO, Gokhan Saki by KO in the semi-finals, sending him to the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals for the third time against Badr Hari. After a slow start he knocked Hari down with a left hook and then went on defensive for the rest of the round. Remy was hit after the bell at the end of the round by an angry Hari. In the second round Hari took Remy to ground, then punched him twice and then gave an unsportsmanlike foot stomp to Remy when he was down. Remy seemed unable to get up and was inspected by the ringside doctors. Meanwhile Hari screamed at Remy, telling him to get up and quarrelled with his trainer, Ivan Hippolyte. After 5 minutes the doctors announced Remy had double vision and could not continue. Hari was therefore disqualified and Bonjasky was declared the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Champion. Remy was disappointed by the outcome, evident from his unhappy expression after the decision was announced.

Bonjasky stated in a post-fight interview that he still had double vision and a headache the next morning. Hari however claimed that "Remy was acting", and that, "his corner was screaming at him to stay down".

After he won his 3rd GP title, he faced Alistair Overeem. Overeem was aggressive in the 1st and dominant in the 2nd round, knocking Bonjasky down in the end of the 2nd round with a right cross, but referee Nobuaki Kakuda did not count it. In the 3rd round Remy knocked Alistair down with a flying knee and right punch combo to secure a unanimous decision win. All three judges scored the bout 30-28. It was latter confirmed that Remy had badly twisted his left knee 2 days before the fight (reason for his inactivity). Remy went on medical recovery after the fight and did not fight again for months.

Remy returned to training to train for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 16. At the event he defeated Melvin Manhoef, for the third time, by unanimous decision.

At the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final Remy was won his third consecutive unanimous decision against Errol Zimmerman. In the Semi Finals he met his nemesis Semmy Schilt. In the first round Remy landed a left hook to knock Semmy down. Semmy however landed a low kick to Remy's left leg that was damaged in his earlier fight with Zimmerman, Remy was therefore knocked out of the tournament, losing to Semmy for the third time.

Bonjasky was absent from the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Yokohama tournament, and did not fight at all in 2010, and has pondered retirement after having eye surgery in August of the year. He opened his own kickboxing / muaythai gym, Bonjasky Academy, in the Almere city in that year.

luni, 12 martie 2012

World champion Diego Armando Maradona, retired Argentine football player that won FIFA Player of the Century award. The only player in football history who set world-record contract fees twice

Diego Armando Maradona (born 30 October 1960) is a retired Argentine football player, and current manager of Al Wasl FC in Dubai. Many people, football critics, former and current players consider Maradona the greatest football player of all time. He won FIFA Player of the Century award which was to be decided by votes on their official website, their official magazine and a grand jury. Maradona won the Internet based poll by wide margins, garnering 53.6% of the votes against 18.53% for Pelé.He is the only player in football history who set world-record contract fees twice. The first, when he was transferred to Barcelona for a then world record £5m and the second, when he was transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9m. Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.
He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 tournament, where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. In that same tournament's quarterfinal round, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two different reasons. The first goal was via an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble through six England players, voted "The Goal of the Century".Maradona is considered one of the sport's most controversial and newsworthy figures. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA after testing positive for ephedrine. After retiring from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997,[2] he gained weight, suffered ill health and the effects of cocaine use. In 2005, a stomach stapling operation helped control his weight gain, and he overcame his cocaine addiction. His outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sport executives. Although he had little managerial experience, he became head coach of the Argentina national team in November 2008, and held the job for eighteen months, until his contract expired after the 2010 World Cup.
Maradona captained the Argentine national team to victory in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the final in Mexico against West Germany. Throughout the 1986 World Cup Maradona asserted his dominance and was the most dynamic player of the tournament. He played every minute of every Argentina game, scored 5 goals and made 5 assists. After scoring two goals in the 2–1 quarter-final win against England his legend was cemented.

This match was played with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and emotions were still lingering in the air throughout the entire match. Replays showed that the first goal was scored by striking the ball with his hand. Maradona was coyly evasive, describing it as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God." It became known as the "Hand of God". Ultimately, on 22 August 2005 Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate. This became known as an international fiasco in World Cup history. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.

Maradona, turns like a little eel, he comes away from trouble, little squat man... comes inside Butcher and leaves him for dead, outside Fenwick and leaves him for dead, and puts the ball away... and that is why Maradona is the greatest player in the world.

Maradona's second goal, just four minutes after the hotly disputed hand-goal, was later voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup. He received the ball in his own half, swivelled around, and with 11 touches ran more than half the length of the field, dribbling past five English outfield players (Peter Beardsley, Steve Hodge, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, and Terry Fenwick) and goalkeeper Peter Shilton. This goal was voted "Goal of the Century" in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA

luni, 5 martie 2012

Succes 2012: Brigitte Bardot, one of the best-known sex symbols of the 1960s

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot (born 28 September 1934) is a controversial former French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex symbols of the 1960s. Starting in 1969, Bardot's features became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France.

Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer in early life. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous due to her role in her then-husband Roger Vadim's controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 cult film, Contempt. Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for her role in Louis Malle's 1965 film, Viva Maria!. Bardot caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir's 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a "locomotive of women's history" and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France.

Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, Bardot starred in 47 films, performed in numerous musical shows, and recorded 80 songs. She was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1985 but refused to receive it. After her retirement, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. During the 1990s she generated controversy by criticizing immigration, Islamization and Islam in France, and has been fined five times for "inciting racial hatred".

Although the European film industry was then in its ascendancy, Bardot was one of the few European actresses to have the mass media's attention in the United States, an interest which she did not reciprocate, rarely, if ever, going to Hollywood. She debuted in a 1952 comedy film Le Trou Normand (English title: Crazy for Love). From 1952-56, she appeared in seventeen films; in 1953 she played a role in Jean Anouilh's stageplay L'Invitation au château (Invitation to the Castle). She received media attention when she attended the Cannes Film Festival in April 1953.

Her films of the early and mid 1950s were generally lightweight romantic dramas, some historical, in which she was cast as ingénue or siren, often in varying states of undress. She played bit parts in three English-language films, the British comedy Doctor at Sea (1955) with Dirk Bogarde, Helen of Troy (1954), in which she was understudy for the title role but only appears as Helen's handmaid, and Act of Love (1954) with Kirk Douglas. Her French-language films were dubbed for international release.

Roger Vadim was not content with this light fare. The New Wave of French and Italian art directors and their stars were riding high internationally, and he felt Bardot was being undersold. Looking for something more like an art film to push her as a serious actress, he showcased her in And God Created Woman (1956) with Jean-Louis Trintignant. The film, about an immoral teenager in a respectable small-town setting, was an international success.

In Bardot's early career, professional photographer Sam Lévin's photos contributed to her image of sensuality. One photo shows Brigitte from behind, dressed in a white corset. British photographer Cornel Lucas made iconic images of Bardot in the 1950s and 1960s that have become representative of her public persona. She divorced Vadim in 1957 and in 1959 married actor Jacques Charrier, with whom she starred in Babette Goes to War. The paparazzi preyed upon her marriage, while she and her husband clashed over the direction of her career.

Vie privée (1962), directed by Louis Malle has more than an element of her life story in it.[citation needed] The scene in which, returning to her apartment, Bardot's character is harangued in the elevator by a middle-aged cleaning lady calling her offensive names, was based on an actual incident, and is a resonant image of celebrity in the mid-20th century.[citation needed] Bardot was awarded a David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign actress for the role.

Bardot withdrew to the seclusion of Southern France where she had bought the house La Madrague in Saint-Tropez in May 1958. In 1963, she starred in Jean-Luc Godard's critically acclaimed film Contempt. Bardot was featured in many other films along with notable actors such as Alain Delon (Famous Love Affairs, Spirits of the Dead), Jean Gabin (In Case of Adversity), Sean Connery (Shalako), Jean Marais (Royal Affairs in Versailles, School for Love), Lino Ventura (Rum Runners), Annie Girardot (The Novices), Claudia Cardinale (The Legend of Frenchie King), Jeanne Moreau (Viva Maria!), Jane Birkin (Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman).

In 1973, Bardot announced that she was retiring from acting as "a way to get out elegantly".

She participated in various musical shows and recorded many popular songs in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly in collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg, Bob Zagury and Sacha Distel, including "Harley Davidson", "Je Me Donne A Qui Me Plaît", "Bubble gum", "Contact", "Je Reviendrais Toujours Vers Toi", "L'Appareil À Sous", "La Madrague", "On Déménage", "Sidonie", "Tu Veux, Ou Tu Veux Pas?", "Le Soleil De Ma Vie" (the cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life") and the notorious "Je t'aime... moi non plus".

Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release this duet and he complied with her wishes; the following year, he re-recorded a version with British-born model and actress Jane Birkin, which became a massive hit all over Europe. The version with Bardot was issued in 1986 and became a popular download hit in 2006 when Universal Records made their back catalogue available to purchase online, with this version of the song ranking as the third most popular download.