Samuel L. Jackson Channels Russell Simmons and More Insider Scoop

Samuel L. Jackson Channels Russell Simmons and More Insider Scoop

Samuel L. Jackson as Russell Simmons in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

Jaap Buitendijk

Russell Simmons Does Samuel L. Jackson Doing Russell Simmons
Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has been hearing for weeks that Samuel L. Jackson channeled him to portray the lisping, baseball hat-and-Adidas-wearing villain Valentine in Kingsman: The Secret Service. And after seeing the movie, he agrees there’s a resemblance. “My driver and everybody who saw it with me were laughing. They said, ‘That’s you, Russ!’ ” he tells Overheard, but says the lisp that Jackson affects in the movie is much heavier than his own. “I used to speak that way but haven’t for years now, ” explains Simmons, although he adds that seeing the movie prompted him to “speak with a heavier lisp than usual” while presenting the NAACP Image Award to Clive Davis. “I was channeling Sam Jackson channeling me,” says Simmons. –Frank DiGiacomo

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Charli XCX’s Wild Weekend
True to her new single “Doing It,” Charli XCX didn’t slow down during Grammy weekend. She played a set for the Delta airline at SoHo House on Feb. 5, hosted a bash at 1Oak and jumped in a pool, clothes and all, with 20 pals at a party in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood on Feb. 6. She finished with a post-Grammy party in her room at the Chateau Marmont with Ed SheeranHaimTaylor Swift, Rita Ora and others that got so wild the fire marshal threatened to shut it down. — Andrew Hampp

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Betty Who Kisses and Tells
Betty Who, 23, the rising Aussie pop star who opened for Katy Perry on the Australian leg of her tour late last year, says her first kiss was a real letdown. Who, born Jessica Newham, tells Overheard that her first liplock involved being “messily spider-man kissed by a boy named Will,” who “not 10 minutes after…proceeded to tell my best friend Eloise that he had no interest in me and that he actually wanted to kiss her.” Adds Who: “I think they dated for three years.” Will is probably kicking himself right now. Who will take part in the Sound of a Woman tour this spring and she says that she’s itching to go skydiving with her tour mate Kiesza. –Megan Friend

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Ella Henderson’s Rasta Dream
Don’t be surprised if Ella Henderson has a Snoop Lion period. The former X Factor U.K. singer-songwriter and U.K. chart topper says that if she could get away with writing, recording and releasing any type of music, she’d love to try her hand at reggae. “I’d turn my long, blond hair into long, blond dreadlocks,” the 19-year-old Henderson says, explaining she adores reggae music because “it chills me out and makes me calm.” Currently, she says that “mermaids” are inspiring her hairstyle. –Megan Friend

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Sparro Didn’t Sing
Recently, “Black and Gold” singer-songwriter and producer Sam Sparro performed an intimate DJ set at Golden Box nightclub in Hollywood. Sparro entertained the ecstatic crowd with a playlist that included Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” while grooving inside a golden elevator cage-turned DJ booth. Appropriately, the mustache-sporting music man wore black from head to toe. –Megan Friend

An edited version of this story originally appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of Billboard.