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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who is Michael Brown ?

Who is Michael Brown? The professional basketball world knows him as Mike Brown.is an American basketball head coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was previously the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers from June 2, 2005 until May 24, 2010.[1][2] After learning the game under Gregg Popovich, Brown is widely regarded as a defensive specialist. He turned the Cavaliers into one of the top defensive teams in the NBA and guided them into the 2007 NBA Finals. Brown was honored as NBA Coach of the Year for leading the Cavaliers to a team record and league best 66 wins in 2009, and 61 wins, again a league best, in 2010. However, after losses to both the Orlando Magic in the conference finals in 2009 and the Boston Celtics in the 2010 conference semifinals, he was fired after failing to win an NBA title with the Cavaliers. On May 25, 2011, Brown succeeded Phil Jackson as the head coach of the Lakers.

Early years

Brown was born March 5, 1970 in Columbus, Ohio, but he spent parts of his childhood overseas. He graduated from Würzburg American High School in Würzburg, Germany in 1988, where he excelled in basketball and football. After studying and playing basketball at Mesa Community College for two years, Brown went on to the University of San Diego, where he played two seasons for the Toreros and graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He began his career in 1992 as an intern with the Denver Nuggets, and eventually spent five seasons with the team as a scout and video coordinator.[3]

NBA career

In 2000, Brown was hired by Gregg Popovich as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. While with the Spurs, Brown's teams won at least 58 games each season. He also was the head coach for the Spurs' summer league teams in Boston and Salt Lake City. After winning a championship with San Antonio in 2003, Brown was hired as assistant coach to Rick Carlisle with the Indiana Pacers. He helped lead Indiana to consecutive playoff appearances including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004.
Brown's record as an assistant coach is 341–201 (.629).[3]
In June 2005, Brown got his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers, replacing Brendan Malone, becoming the second youngest coach in the league, with only Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets younger.[3]
On June 2, 2007, Brown's Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in the history of the franchise. However, they were swept in four games to his former team, San Antonio Spurs.
On February 1, 2008, Brown was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January 2008.[4]
In 2009, Brown was named coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star team,[5] making him the second coach in Cavaliers history to coach the All-Star team, joining Lenny Wilkens who coached the East team in 1989.
On April 20, 2009, Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Cavaliers to a franchise best 66–16 record.[5]
On May 13, 2010, Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. With this loss, the Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to accomplish back-to-back 60+ win seasons and not advance to the NBA Finals.[6]
Brown was fired on May 24, 2010.[7][8] In December 2010, he began working with ESPN as a studio analyst.[9]
After leaving Cleveland Cavaliers, Brown was the assistant coach on his son's middle school team. He was the coach for the Westlake Lee Burneson Middle School team in Ohio. He turned down an offer to serve as an assistant at St. Mary’s College in California. “I’m a glorified equipment guy who gets to chest bump and high-five the players,” Brown said. “The kids still call me coach.” [10]
On May 25, 2011, Brown agreed to be Phil Jackson's successor and become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He reportedly agreed to a 4-year deal, with a team option to keep him under contract for the fourth year.[11] On May 31, 2011, he was officially named the Lakers' new head coach.[12]

Head coaching record

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss  %
Post season PG Playoff Games PW Playoff Wins PL Playoff Losses PW–L % Playoff Win-loss  %
[hide]Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
CLE 2005–06 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Central 13 7 6 .538 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
CLE 2006–07 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Central 20 12 8 .600 Lost in NBA Finals
CLE 2007–08 82 45 37 .549 2nd in Central 13 7 6 .538 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
CLE 2008–09 82 66 16 .805 1st in Central 14 10 4 .714 Lost in Conf. Finals
CLE 2009–10 82 61 21 .744 1st in Central 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
LAL 2011–12 66 41 25 .621 1st in Pacific 12 5 7 .417 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Career
476 313 163 .658
83 47 36 .566









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Who is John Thomas Salley?

Who is John Thomas Salley?  The entertainment and professional basketball world knows him as "Spider". John Salley is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA, actor and talk show host. He was the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises.

Early life and career

Salley was born in May 16, 1964, Brooklyn, New York. Salley played high school ball at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn.[1] He is a 1988 graduate of Georgia Tech's College of Management.[2]
At 6'11" (2.11 m), Salley played both power forward and center for the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Panathinaikos BC and Los Angeles Lakers. The nickname "Spider" is a reference to Salley's fear of the arachnid, which he claims to have conquered during his time on the 2009 reality television show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!.

Detroit Pistons

He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1986 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech. He is among the Pistons' all-time leaders in blocked shots, holds Georgia Tech's blocked shot record, and has had his jersey number 22 retired—a very rare honor in college basketball.[3] After joining the Pistons, he became close friends with Adrian Dantley, who taught him proper nutrition, how to exercise, and how to conduct himself off the court. Salley, for his part, called Dantley "The Teacher." Salley would become good friends with comedian Eddie Murphy and made several appearances at comedy clubs in the off-season. In 1989 and 1990, he played on two Pistons championship teams.

Heat and Bulls

He was traded to the Miami Heat in 1992 and, a few years after that, was left unprotected by Miami in the 1995 expansion draft. Following a short stint with the inaugural Toronto Raptors team where he received little playing time, he negotiated a buyout of his contract in order to sign with the Chicago Bulls, where he helped Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and former Pistons teammate Dennis Rodman (as well as former teammate James Edwards) lead the Bulls to a record-breaking 72-win season, after which Salley retired. However, in 1996, he came out of retirement to join the Greek team Panathinaikos BC for a few games.

Lakers



In 1999, he joined a Lakers team led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He saw little action for the Lakers en route to their first of three consecutive NBA championships from 2000–2002. In 2000 he retired again following the first Lakers championship season after proudly proclaiming that he had won "four championship rings, with three different teams, in three different decades and two different millenniums."

Post-basketball career


Salley in Bad Boys
John Salley had a role in Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2, as a thick-glassed computer hacking nerd who gets out of jail because he helps crack files for the Miami Police Department. In 1996, Salley appeared as a veteran basketball player alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the film Eddie, about a fan who takes over as coach of the New York Knicks.
In the fall of 1998, Salley hosted the game show I Can't Believe You Said That, which aired on the Fox Family Channel. During that time, he also guest-starred as a panelist on Hollywood Squares.
In 2001, Salley made an appearance in the Luther Vandross music video, "Take You Out".
In 2004 he was part of the panel of celebrity judges in the TBS Superstation show He's a Lady.
In 2006, Salley was named the Commissioner of the American Basketball Association.
In 2007, Salley appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Salley matched up against professional wrestler John Cena and tennis star Serena Williams. Salley also became the host of the new BET show Ballers.
Salley joined the cast of the reality competition show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!, which premiered on June 1, 2009.[4] He came in third place with Lou Diamond Phillips winner and Torrie Wilson runner-up. On the show he became friends with Patti Blagojevich who is the wife of Rod Blagojevich.
He also appeared in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic in 2009 as a member of the shopaholic help group, and had a bit role as a pimp named Kotex in the blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite.[5]
Cast of The Best Damn Sports Show Period
He was one of the hosts of The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports Network. Salley hosted The John Salley Block Party, a radio morning show on Los Angeles station 100.3 The Beat from May 2005 - 2006.
For a short time, Salley provided analysis for NBC's NBA Showtime.
Salley appeared in the Disney Channel original movie, The Ultimate Christmas Present as a tall elf.
Salley hosted a podcast on Adam Carolla's "ACE" broadcasting network with sportswriter Kevin Hench entitled Spider and the Henchman.[6] The show was canceled on 18 March 2011.
Salley also hosted VH1's "Basketball Wives"
He is also ambassador for Operation Smile.

Personal life

Salley is a vegan and has appeared on PETA's testimonial videos,[7] as well as in promoting alternatives to practices of massive factory farming.[8]
On May 4, 2010, it was announced that Salley had joined the Simply Raw team. The group of indivuduals who produced the documentary Raw for 30 had approached Salley with their video about reversing diabetes, and "it instantly got his attention" since his father had the disease.
Salley teamed up with Farm Sanctuary in 2010 to host their New York City Walk for Farm Animals on Sunday, October 24, 2010.[9]
Salley has been married to Natasha Duffy since 1993 and they have 2 children together

 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who is Thomas Luther Bryan?

Who is Thomas Luther Bryan  Bryan? The entertainment and country music world knows him as Luke Bryan.

2007-2008: I'll Stay Me

He born July 17, 1976.  and raised in Leesburg, Georgia. At age fourteen, his parents bought him his first guitar, and after learning to play it, he joined various local bands and began to play in local clubs.[3] After graduating high school, Bryan planned to move to Nashville, Tennessee; however, this move was delayed, due to the death of his brother, Chris, on the same day he planned to leave. Luke attended Georgia Southern University, and is a member of the Eta Zeta chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.[4]He moved to Nashville on September 1, 2001 and landed a deal as a songwriter within two months.[3] Among his first cuts was the title track of Travis Tritt's 2005 album My Honky Tonk History.[5] An A&R representative at Capitol Records saw Bryan perform at a club, and signed him to a recording contract. His debut single, "All My Friends Say", was released in early 2007,



 just as country music artist Billy Currington was climbing the Hot Country Songs charts with "Good Directions", which Bryan also wrote. "Good Directions" spent three weeks at Number One on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs charts in May 2007, while "All My Friends Say" reached a peak of #5. In August 2007, Bryan's debut album for Capitol, entitled I'll Stay Me, was released. The album's second single, "We Rode in Trucks", peaked in the Top 40 in early 2008.



 A third single, "Country Man", was released in February 2008 and became his second Top 10 hit. Bryan also charted in late 2008 with a cover of "Run Rudolph Run" which peaked at #42 based on Christmas airplay.

2009-2010: Doin' My Thing

In March 2009, he released an exclusive EP to iTunes titled Spring Break With All My Friends that featured two new songs, "Sorority Girls" and "Take My Drunk Ass Home," as well as an acoustic version of "All My Friends Say." After this EP, he released his fourth single, "Do I", which is included on his second album, Doin' My Thing. Bryan wrote the song with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, whose lead singer Hillary Scott also sings backing vocals on it.[6] It debuted at #53 on the country singles charts dated for May 9, 2009 and reached #2 in December, having been held from the Number One spot by Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." "Rain Is a Good Thing" was released as the second single on January 25, 2010, and in July it became his first Number One on Billboard. The third single, "Someone Else Calling You Baby", was released on August 2, 2010, and also reached Number One in February 2011.



Bryan presented at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010.[7]

2011-present: Tailgates & Tanlines

Bryan released his seventh single, "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)", to country radio on March 14, 2011.



Also co-written by Bryan and Davidson, it served as the lead-off single to his third studio album, Tailgates & Tanlines, which was released August 13' 2011. The album debuted at number 1 on the Top Country Albums and number 2 on the Billboard 200. "Country Girl" peaked at number 4 on the country charts and number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. Bryan co-wrote the album's second single, "I Don't Want This Night to End", with Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, who are collectively known as the Peach Pickers.



 In early 2012, this song became Bryan's third number 1. "Drunk On You" is the album's third single.



On March 6, 2012, Bryan released his fourth Spring Break EP entitled Spring Break 4 ... Suntan City. Along with the title track, which Bryan co-wrote with Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, the EP includes "Spring Breakup,"Little Bit Later On" and "Shake the Sand."[11]

Personal life

Luke Bryan married Caroline Boyer, a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, on Dec. 8, 2006. They welcomed a son, Thomas Boyer "Bo" Bryan, on March 18, 2008.[8] Their second son, Tatum Christopher Bryan, was born on August 11, 2010.[9]

Discography

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Country
[14]
US
[15]
CAN
[16]
I'll Stay Me 2 24
Doin' My Thing
  • Release date: October 6, 2009
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: CD, music download
2 6
Tailgates & Tanlines
  • Release date: August 9, 2011
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: CD, music download
1 2 6
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart
positions
US Country
[14]
US
[15]
Luke Bryan EP
  • Release date: October 31, 2006
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: music download
Spring Break with
All My Friends
  • Release date: March 10, 2009
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: music download
Spring Break 2...
Hangover Edition
  • Release date: March 2, 2010
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: music download
Spring Break 3...
It's a Shore Thing
  • Release date: March 1, 2011
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: music download
6 23
Spring Break 4...
Suntan City
  • Release date: March 6, 2012
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • Formats: music download
2 9
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Album
US Country
[20]
US
[21]
CAN
[22]
2007 "All My Friends Say" 5 59
I'll Stay Me
"We Rode in Trucks" 33
2008 "Country Man" 10 74
2009 "Do I" 2 34 66 Doin' My Thing
2010 "Rain Is a Good Thing" 1 37 57
"Someone Else Calling You Baby" 1 56 84
2011 "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" 4 22 50 Tailgates & Tanlines
"I Don't Want This Night to End" 1 22 48
2012 "Drunk on You"A 6 23 42
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • ACurrent single.

Other charted songs

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country US Bubbling
2008 "Run Run Rudolph" 42 Country for Christmas
2010 "Wild Weekend" 17[29] Spring Break 2… Hangover Edition
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
2007 "All My Friends Say" Shaun Silva
"We Rode in Trucks"
2008 "Country Man" Luke Bryan
"Run Run Rudolph"
2009 "Do I" Shaun Silva
2010 "Rain Is a Good Thing"
2011 "It's a Shore Thing" Potsy Ponciroli
"Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" Shaun Silva
"If You Ain't Here to Party" Michael Monaco
"I Don't Want This Night to End" Shaun Silva
2012 "Suntan City" Michael Monaco
"Drunk on You" Shaun Silva

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Result
2010 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Solo Vocalist[30] Won
Top New Artist[31] Won
CMT Music Awards USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year - "Do I"[32] Won
Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year[33] Nominated
2011 CMT Music Awards Best Web Video of the Year - "It's a Shore Thing"[34] Nominated
Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Award[35] Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Country Single — "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)"[36] Nominated
Choice Music: Country Male Artist[36] Nominated
American Country Awards Artist of the Year: Male[37] Nominated
Single of the Year: Male — "Someone Else Calling You Baby"[37] Nominated

 

 

 

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Who is Terry Wayne Fator?


Who is Terry Wayne Fator? The entertainment and comic world knows him as Terry Fator, he is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Mesquite, Texas. Fator is capable of doing over 100 ventriloquial impersonations,[2] and uses 16 different puppets in his act. He was the winner of Season 2 of America's Got Talent, and received the million dollar prize.[3] The following year, he was signed on as the headliner at The Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.[4]

 Early life

Terry Fator was born June 10, 1965 in Dallas, Texas. Terry's second cousin is Chris Sligh, an American Idol season 6 finalist.[2] Terry Fator says in his audio commentary of Terry Fator: Live from Las Vegas (2009) that he went to college at Liberty University in Lynchburg VA. The beginning of Fator's ventriloquism career dates back to when he was in fifth grade.[2][5] While searching for a book for an assignment on Valentine's Day, he came across a book about ventriloquism[5] titled, Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit, by Paul Winchell.[6] Fator checked out the book and started learning about ventriloquism.[2] A few weeks later, Fator purchased a Willie Talk dummy from Sears[2] and soon won a $25 prize for a performance at a church picnic.[5][6]
Fator got his first ventriloquism dummy when he was ten years old.[7] Throughout his childhood, Fator entertained family and friends with his ventriloquism and did impersonations of singers and actors.[2] When Fator was in sixth grade, he appeared on a popular children's show in Dallas called Peppermint Place that starred "Mr. Peppermint" Jerry Haynes.[citation needed] Fator was able to save his money and got his first professional ventriloquism dummy when he was eighteen.[7]
Fator says he found he had the ability to impersonate singers by practicing ventriloquism while driving his car. "One of the reasons I learned how to sing as a ventriloquist was because I like singing in the car," Fator says. "I’d see other people singing in the car, and they looked goofy, so I’d do it without moving my lips."[7]

Band membership

Fator got his start touring as the lead singer of a band called "Freedom Jam" in 1987-88, produced by Young American Showcase. They performed at over 200 high schools and middle schools across the United States, averaging three performances per school day.

In mid 1988, he was the lead singer of a show band called 'Texas the Band'[8] when he was 20, and incorporated his puppet Walter T. Airedale into his shows. Fator's band at one point was about to sign with a major record label and one of the label's representatives came to hear the band. Fator sang the songs impersonating the original vocalists. "He told me 'you gotta stop doing those impressions,' and wanted me to sing in my own voice," Fator says. "I tried it for a few weeks, and absolutely hated it. We told the record company 'no thanks.'"[9]

Combining singing and ventriloquism

Fator left the band and did a solo act combining comedy and ventriloquism but for many years had little success. "Fairs would stick me on a little stage in the back of fair and have me do three shows in the hottest part of the afternoon," says Fator. "I had heat stroke a couple of times, almost passed out."[9]
In May 2007, before appearing on America's Got Talent, Fator was performing at a fair near Houston, Texas and the only spectator was a 12 year old boy. Discouraged, Fator contemplated pursuing another career, but his family encouraged him to hang in there. Terry entered the America's Got Talent competition with the hope that the exposure if he made it to the Top 20 might help his career and cause people to want to attend his shows. But Fator says the low point of his career was when he appeared at a 1,000 seat theater and had only one customer.[5]
Fator's success stems from combining singing and ventriloquism. Fator had been the lead singer in a band and often did impersonations of singers Garth Brooks, Etta James, James Taylor and Dean Martin while ventriloquism was just a comic side gig for Fator. In 2005 Fator decided to join his two talents, ventriloquism and impersonations.[2] "I had one of my characters sing Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" and the audience went bananas," Fator says. "Boy, that was where my life changed." After his initial success Fator revamped his act. "It took me six months and I completely rewrote the show," says Fator. "It was then that people really noticed and I started getting standing ovations at the end of every show."[10]
Prior to winning America's Got Talent, Fator was an opening act for Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Neal McCoy, and Styx. Fator also made corporate appearances at General Motors and AT&T.

Success on America's Got Talent

Before appearing on America's Got Talent, Fator had almost given up on achieving success in show business as a ventriloquist. "It wasn't easy trying to keep going all these years, and by the time I was in my late 30s, I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen," says Fator.[11]
On June 19, 2007, Fator made his first national appearance on America's Got Talent. Fator never dreamed that he would win the show. "Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would win that show," says Fator. "Essentially I auditioned because the guy that was the ventriloquist the first season got on ('The Late Show with) David Letterman.' ... So I figured I'd do three episodes like he did and end up on 'David Letterman.'"[12] After winning the show Fator actually had to turn the Letterman gig down four times before he could appear. "My schedule got so packed, and it broke my heart every time I had to turn him down," Fator says.[7]
When Fator first came onstage judge David Hasselhoff said "Oh, no, a ventriloquist."[11] "I was thinking, there's no way I would win," Fator says. "I gave myself zero percent [chance]." The judges, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff loved Fator and he won the competition.[5] Judge Piers Morgan told Fator "You’re a great impersonator, a great singer and a great comedian." "You put a twist on the whole being a ventriloquist thing," added Judge Sharon Osborne.[13] Even Simon Cowell approved. "Simon Cowell said I was one of the top two entertainers on the planet," says Fator. "And getting a compliment from Simon Cowell, well, not many people get a compliment like that."[12]
After Fator won the $1 million prize, he bought his wife an expensive wedding ring and a dream house in Trophy Club, Texas near Dallas, Texas.[5]

Performances/Results

Week Song choice Original artist Puppet Result
Chicago
audition
"At Last" Etta James Emma Taylor Advanced
Vegas Verdicts N/A N/A N/A Advanced
Top 20
Group 2
"What a Wonderful World"
(Kermit the Frog
impersonation)
Louis Armstrong Winston the Turtle Safe
Top 10 "Unforgettable" Nat King Cole Emma Taylor Safe
Top 8 "That's Amore"
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco"
Dean Martin
Tony Bennett
Johnny Vegas Safe
Top 4
Judges' Choice
Contestant's Choice
"Friends in Low Places"
"Crying"
Garth Brooks
Roy Orbison
Walter T Airedale
Winston the Turtle
N/A
Finale "You've Got a Friend" James Taylor Johnny Vegas
Kermit the Frog
Winner

Life after America's Got Talent

It was announced on the show that in conjunction with winning, he was to appear at the Jubilee Theatre at Bally's. However, the spots were only going to be 15 minutes long, and in complete mutual cooperation with his management team and Bally's, the plan was dropped. Fator performed at Christian rock legend Larry Norman's 60th birthday party in April 2007.[14] Later Fator flew Larry to tapings of America's Got Talent and also to his debut show at the Las Vegas Hilton as an honored guest. Norman told friends shortly before his death that it was one of the most fun years of his life
On October 14 and 15, 2007, after winning America's Got Talent, Fator took the stage of the Las Vegas Hilton (formerly the International, the same stage that Elvis Presley performed on for many years.) Both shows were sold out to standing room only. Another show was added for December 3 to satisfy the demand for tickets.
In early December 2007, Fator signed a contract for $1.5 million with the Las Vegas Hilton to do 3 shows a month from January 2008 to May 2008. Fator also performed a 6 p.m. early family New Year's Eve show on December 31, 2007.
In 2007, Fator became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC.[15]
On March 17, 2008, Fator appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with American Idol Judge Simon Cowell. To the amazement of Oprah, Cowell referred to Fator as one of the "two most talented people on the planet." Fator performed with three of his dummies; country singer Walter T. Airedale performed a Garth Brooks song and Winston the impersonating Turtle sang a Bee Gees song. Julius performed a Marvin Gaye song; Julius was a favorite when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.[7] "As soon as I brought out Julius, she had this look on her face, wondering what I was about to do," Fator said.[7] "Once I started into Marvin Gaye, she fell out of her chair."[7]
On May 13, 2008 it was announced that Fator had signed a five year deal to perform nightly at The Mirage in Las Vegas. He replaced headliner Danny Gans and the theater was renamed the Terry Fator Theatre. Reportedly the deal is worth an astounding $100 million with an option to extend another five years making the entire deal worth over $200 million. This would be one of the largest entertainment deals in Las Vegas history.
Fator announced in July 2008 that he was at work on a book. "I never thought in my whole life I would write a whole book. It's called 'Who's the Dummy Now?'"[12] Fator announced at the 2008 Bloomsburg Fair on the week of September 20–27, 2008 that he finished his book.
On September 10, 2008, Fator reappeared on America's Got Talent's Top Twenty Results Show as a guest. He brought back a larger Winston the Impersonating Turtle to sing Marvin Gaye's song, "Let's Get It On." Maynard Thomkins was also brought on to sing Viva Las Vegas. Winston was not the only puppet that was reconfigured, on an August 1, 2008 ABCNews Now interview, he brought a reshaped Emma Taylor to sing "At Last."[6]

Getting ventriloquism taken seriously

Fator has fought to be taken seriously as a ventriloquist. "There have been so few good, successful ventriloquists - Edgar Bergen in the 1940s and Paul Winchell in the 1960s were respected and successful," says Fator. "And in the 1970s, I used to watch Willie Tyler and his Lester as well as Jay Johnson and Bob. But over the years, there have been so many bad ventriloquists - and most of them doing corny shows for children - that people began to think of us as a bad joke."[11]

Puppets

This is an incomplete list of the character names for the puppets that Terry Fator uses in his act.
  • Walter T. Airedale - Airedale, a country singer, is the puppet that Fator has had the longest.[12]
  • Winston the Impersonating Turtle - Winston was inspired by Kermit the Frog. "Originally I had a Kermit the Frog puppet and I would have (him) sing Rainbow Connection," says Fator. "When I called up the Muppets to see if they would let me do a Kermit the Frog impression (on national TV), they said I could do the impression but I could not use the Kermit puppet. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I said, OK, I'll have a turtle do an impression of a frog singing with Louis Armstrong."[12]
  • Emma Taylor - "Emma Taylor is a lady who sang with me on 'America's Got Talent,'" says Fator. Fator says that Emma is his "best puppet friend." "I kind of like Emma. She's really cute," says Fator.[12]
  • Maynard Thomkins - "Maynard Tompkins is an Elvis impersonator --the only impersonator in the world who does not know any Elvis songs," says Fator.[12]
  • Julius - Julius is the soul singer. People are sometimes initially shocked by Julius as an African-American puppet. "Obviously, it’s going to be shocking. People look at me a little nervously," Fator said. "But when I start singing, all objections fade away and they love it." Julius was a favorite when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. "As soon as I brought out Julius, she had this look on her face, wondering what I was about to do," Fator said. "Once I started into Marvin Gaye, she fell out of her chair.".[7]
  • Johnny Vegas - a lounge singer, often impersonating Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, etc.[11]
  • Duggie Scott Walker - Introduced as Fator's annoying neighbor, he is a heavy metal music lover. Loves AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and others. He partied so much at concerts he always thinks there are strobe lights flashing.
  • Vikki the Cougar - a 49-year old (she keeps turning 49, so her actual age is unknown) female singer, singing songs from the Pussycat Dolls as an example. As her name implies, she prefers dating younger men, between the ages of 21 and 24, as she revealed in an interview on Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV. Vikki is apparently Duggie's mother.
  • The Fifth Beatle - Patterned after Paul McCartney, he was kicked out of the Beatles.
  • Wrex - A crash test dummy that sings automobile-themed songs.[17]
Fator is constantly creating new characters. "I've got several new ones I'm creating for the Mirage. We're going to be constantly creating new characters for the show," says Fator.[12]

Other characters

Fator has often impersonated singers himself alongside his puppets and/or volunteers from the audience. Michael Jackson has been a regular figure Fator impersonates alongside his Walter T. Airedale puppet. Fator also has incorporated audience members into his act via a remote-control mask. A volunteer wears the mask and the remote allows Fator to move the mask's mouth with Fator providing all of the conversation and singing. Fator usually dresses the volunteer as Cher and performs the duet "I Got You, Babe" with Fator as Sonny Bono.

Charitable work

In July 2007 Fator appeared in Montana to help raise funds for the Kidsports Sports Complex in Kalispell and said he wanted to come back in 2008 to do another show. “We thought, we bet he wants to, but we bet he won’t have time,” said Nancy Manning of Rotary Club of Kalispell. “He made time because it’s so important to him.” All proceeds from Fator’s show went towards the field.[18]
In 2007 Fator did a benefit performance for miners' families in Huntington, Utah.[5]
In 2008, Fator performed at the Palace Theatre in Corsicana, Texas. Proceeds benefited the Navarro Council of the Arts and the Mildred Drama Club. Fator is a native of Corsicana.[19]
On September 3, 2007, Fator made a special appearance in the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, thanking the crowd for the support. His acts were a repeat of the acts he made on America's Got Talent. He brought back Emma Taylor to sing "At Last" and Winston the Turtle to sing "What a Wonderful World" again. He returned to the Telethon on September 1, 2008 and brought Julius to sing "Only You" from The Platters, Marvin Gaye's song, "Let's Get It On," and "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Maynard Thomkins was also brought on to sing "Viva Las Vegas" to finish the show. Fator made his 3rd consecutive telethon appearance(this time via satellite from his showroom during a performance of his show) on September 6, 2009 with puppets The Fifth Beatle and Vikki The Cougar with special guests The Commodores, who joined Fator performing "Brick House".
On September 24, 2008 Fator announced at the Bloomsburg Fair that all proceeds for his song "Horses In Heaven" will go to a Research Center For Childhood Diseases.[citation needed]
In 2010, Terry did a doodle for a charity celebrity doodle auction for Neurofibromatosis, more commonly known as NF. 100% of the profit from all the doodles went to help families with NF.

DVD

On September 1, 2009, Fator's first DVD, Terry Fator: Live from Las Vegas (recorded during a performance at the Mirage), was released just less than a week after its debut airing on CMT (originally aired on August 28, 2009) and copies sold at Target stores include footage not shown on the CMT broadcast. On January 7, 2011, at Terry Fator's show at the Las Vegas Mirage, he announced that all proceeds from his "Horses in Heaven" CD would be going to St. Jude's (Children's Hospital).

 

 

 

 

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