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Elton John's illness; John Barrowman gets hitched
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 5959 times since Wed Jul 10, 2013
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Sir Elton John has said he nearly died after excruciating stomach pain forced him to cancel his recent headline concert in London's Hyde Park, the UK Telegraph reported. He has also been forced to scrap the rest of his European summer tour, after scans revealed a potentially fatal abscess on his appendix. John, 66, who is expected to undergo surgery soon, said, "I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time. I feel so lucky and so grateful to be alive. I played nine gigs and the White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball in agony."

In other Elton news, he apparently has praised Pope Francis as the Italian edition of Vanity Fair has named the pontiff "Man of the Year," according to Pink News. "The Pope seems to want to take the Church back to the old values of Christ and, at the same time, bring it into the 21st century," John said, adding that the pope could "reach out to children, women, men who live with HIV and AIDS—often alone, and hidden away in silence." Three years ago, as cardinal, Francis said that efforts to legalize equal marriage in Argentina would "confuse and deceive the children of God."

Torchwood and Arrow star John Barrowman has married longtime love Scott Gill, according to Access Hollywood. "We are now Legally Married. Thanks for all your great wishes," John and his husband tweeted. Barrowman had earlier posted, "We're getting married in the state of California. Thank you Supreme Court. About time you made it legal!" Barrowman is set to host ABC's new celeb-reality competition Sing Your Face Off.

Singer Rihanna was booed in Paris as she arrived for a fashion show, Digital Spy noted. Fans and photographers jeered her at Chanel's haute couture show after she ignored them and hid her face. The star later posted a series of images on her Instragram from the show, adding: "Went straight to the Chanel Couture show early this morning with NO SLEEP!!! It was so worth it!!!"

Speaking of Rihanna, did she out Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo? According to, the "S&M" singer was asked about her friendship with the athlete. Her response was, "I have a lot of gay friends and support sexual diversity." Ronaldo has been known for dating a string of female supermodels.

Pharrell Williams has filed a lawsuit in an ongoing dispute with fellow musician over the "I Am" branding, according to Digital Spy. It was initially reported that the Black Eyed Peas rapper was intending to file a claim against Williams and his I Am Other brand, because it resembled his own range too closely. However, Williams has now filed a case asking the court to rule that his I Am Other range does not violate any trademarks owns.

Lena Dunham, creator and star of the controversial HBO series Girls, recently shared her top 10 favorite films for the Criterion Collection, according to . At number four is Weekend, out British filmmaker Andrew Haigh's movie about two gay men who meet at a London nightclub and spend the next 48 hours having sex, sharing their stories and baring their souls. She writes about the "messy, happy, lonely sex" in Weekend inspiring her.

Former NBA player Tim Hardaway has transformed from marriage-equality foe to ally, according to a Yahoo! Sports item. In a 2007 radio interview, Hardaway criticized both the LGBT community and the idea of gay rights itself; at one point, he said, "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic." Now, Hardaway has become the petition-signer on the Equal Marriage Florida effort to put a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage in the state on the November 2014 ballot.

Actress Tilda Swinton has released an image of her posing with a rainbow flag in front of the Kremlin in Moscow, according to Digital Spy. The actress' representative, Christian Hodell, urged people to share the image of the actress waving the gay pride symbol. Despite the decriminalization of male same-sex acts in Russia in 1993, there have been increasing restrictions on gay rights in recent years; Moscow's top court has ruled that no gay pride parade may be held in the capital for 100 years.

The Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has lost a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), according to Digital Spy. He sued the company after it released a T-shirt with the phrase "The Fitchuation." The judge ruled, "A&F used only so much of the plaintiff's name as was reasonably necessary to respond to his wearing A&F's brand on Jersey Shore, and did not do anything that would suggest Sorrentino's sponsorship or endorsement." The company once offered Sorrentino $10,000 to shop wearing its clothes on "Shore."

Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen has cut business ties with the agent who helped make her a Food Network star and launch her media empire, according to . Deen had worked with New York agent Barry Weiner for more than a decade, but broke up with the key partner after a turbulent two weeks following her publicized admission during a deposition that she has used the N-word. Several companies, including Random House and the Food Network, have dropped Deen.

And in yet another Deen-related development, New York FBI agents arrested Thomas George Paculis of Newfield, N.Y., a former resident of Deen's hometown of Savannah, Ga., on charges that he had attempted to extort money from the chef, according to the New York Daily News. Paculis reportedly requested $250,000 in exchange for keeping mum about "true and damning" statements about Deen "using the N-word in her business practices."

On July 10, President Obama will bestow the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal upon several individuals, according to a press release. Among the recipients will be out gay Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and lesbian poet Kay Ryan. Author Joan Didion, movie producer/director George Lucas, musician Allen Toussaint, actress/professor Anna Deavere Smith, opera singer Renee Fleming, screenwriter/director Elaine May and others will also be honored.

Out gay film director Roland Emmerich (White House Down; Independence Day) has helped marriage-equality efforts as they expand into more red states, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Emmerich offered to match $250,000 in financial contributions to the Human Rights Campaign, which helped wage the successful court battle against California's Proposition 8. Emmerich said, "With [the] Supreme Court rulings, they proved it can be done, but we still have a long way to go in establishing equal rights for everyone. I support them every step of the way."

Cameron Diaz will star as Miss Hannigan in the upcoming film remake of the hit musical Annie—a role that was previously eyed for Sandra Bullock, according to a Huffington Post item. Due for release Christimas Day 2014, Annie stars Quvenzhane Wallis as the title little orphan and Jamie Foxx as Benjamin Stacks, a take on the character Daddy Warbucks. Will Gluck (Easy A) is set to direct Annie, with Will Smith and Jay-Z acting as producers.

Speaking of Diaz, in a still from the upcoming movie The Counsellor, she and Penelope Cruz can be seen lounging topless together as they enjoy a cocktail together at what appears to be a spa resort, according to the Daily Express. Following their pairing in 2001's Vanilla Sky, Diaz and Cruz star alongside Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Cruz's husband, Javier Bardem, in the highly anticipated thriller.

Madonna's teeth are sporting some serious bling. The singer posted two photos of her shiny new mouth grill—made by Cap Master with 24 diamonds and an open-tooth design—on Instagram July 2, the New York Daily News noted. "Don't hate me. Hate my #grilz. @cap_master," the 54-year-old "Borderline" singer wrote. In one of the photos, which look to be for a possible Harper's Bazaar shoot, Madonna shows off her new golden caps as she bites down on a sword.

Has Lady Gaga left Twitter? On July 5, the almost 39 million followers of the pop star were shocked to notice that the singer had deleted her Twitter photo and changed her bio, according to . No clear explanation was given, although some have theorized that this is promotion for Gaga's upcoming ARTPOP album. A short note on the account read, "This interface has been shutdown temporarily. Please check back for updates."

Britney Spears was pictured giving money to a homeless family over the Fourth of July weekend, according to Digital Spy. The singer had been out shopping at Wal-Mart with boyfriend David Lucado before spotting a homeless family sitting on the side of a road. Spears gave Lucado a few $100 bills to hand over to the family. In March, it was reported that Spears gave money to a homeless man who asked for help.

Author Orson Scott Card's controversial position on LGBT rights has prompted an online protest ahead of the November release of Ender's Game, the big-budget Hollywood movie based on his famed 1985 novel, according to the Huffington Post. In 2009, Card joined the board of directors at the National Organization for Marriage, a group that actively opposes same-sex marriage. Card, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, said, "With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. ... Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute."

Pop singer Taylor Dayne—who made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical Aida—will star as Grizabella in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, which will be spart of New York's Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival this August, according to . Grammy Award nominee Dayne, known for her hit singles "Tell It To My Heart," "I'll Be Your Shelter" and "Love Will Lead You Back," will lead the production that runs Aug. 21-Sept. 11. Dayne will perform the signature song "Memory" in the production.

Chaz Bono will play the president of the United States in Thirty Minute Musicals: Independence Day, according to a item. The role, which is a parody of the character played by Bill Pullman in the 1996 film Independence Day, is a dream come true for Bono, who credits playing a male role in high school with opening his eyes to his own gender identity. After shying away from the spotlight, Bono returned to the stage as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars in 2011 before guest-starring on Degrassi: The Next Generation and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Conservative activists want the company Capital One to drop actor Alec Baldwin in the wake of his recent anti-gay Twitter rant, according to the New York Daily News.'s John Hawkins has said, "It's still a free country and Alec Baldwin can do as much gay bashing as he likes on Twitter, but it's hard to understand why Capital One would choose to publicly condone his homophobia by keeping Baldwin on as its spokesman." Baldwin went after the Daily Mail's George Stark on Twitter after the reporter claimed Baldwin's wife, Hilaria, was tweeting during James Gandolfini's memorial service—which was later reported as inaccurate.

Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill reported to prison July 8, entering the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., for a three-month sentence, noted. The punishment, which includes an additional three months of house arrest after she checks out of prison, was sent down in May after she was found guilty of failing to pay nearly $1 million in taxes. The "Everything Is Everything" singer will reportedly be housed in the general population of the minimum-security prison.

HBO Documentary Films is currently in production on a film telling the story of the historic Supreme Court case that overturned Prop 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, according to a press release. Over the last five years, directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White have had exclusive access to the work of the legal team led by Ted Olson and David Boies, as well as the lives of the four plaintiffs in the case. The untitled feature will be completed by the end of this year to debut on the network in 2014.

Openly gay country-music singer Steve Grand's YouTube video for the ballad "All-American Boy" has gone viral, according to a item. The video has garnered more than half a million videos—considered impressive for a complete unknown whose only promotion has been Internet buzz. The video portrays a young gay man (Grand) who misreads signals from an apparently straight "all-American" male friend. Grand, who is from Chicago, said he has no idea where the YouTube success may take him, though he does admit he's "not much of a singer" and more of a songwriter.

A new Amy Winehouse exhibition is due to open in the London district of Camden in September, days before what would have been what would have been the late singer's 30th birthday, according to . The exhibit, which will be called "Amy Winehouse: For You I Was A Flame," will feature pictures as well as artwork, and is one of the many events taking place throughout Camden this year to mark the year Amy would have turned 30. Earlier this month, the Jewish Museum opened an exhibition called "Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait," which displays a number of her personal items.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving ABC for Fox, according to ABC News. She has left the talk show The View (her last day being July 10) and is co-hosting Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends. Hasselbeck joined The View in November 2003; previously, she was known to TV audiences for reaching the final four on the second season of Survivor. Her new gig starts in September.

Big Brother host Julie Chen has spoken out about the anti-gay and racist remarks from two contestants, Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman, according to the L.A. Times. (Among other things, Gries told an Asian-American contestant to "go make some rice."). Chen said the anti-Asian slurs "hurt me the most. It took me back to the '70s when I was growing up in Queens, and when I was 7 years old, getting bullied with people pulling their eyes back." She added that all the comments were just "mean."

The July 17 season premiere of TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo will be accompanied by what the network is calling "Watch 'n Sniff," the New York Post stated. Viewers will be prompted to scratch their cards when they see the corresponding number pop up on the screen. People and US Weekly inserted cards into their current issues, and TLC also had "street teams" giving the cards out in cities across the United States; in all 10 million cards were printed.

Carolyn Moos—the ex-fiancee of NBA player Jason Collins, who recently came out of the closet—claims she is still waiting for closure regarding the end of their relationship, according to the New York Daily News. In an essay for Cosmopolitan magazine, Moos, a 6-foot-5 former WNBA player, says she's happy for the man she once planned to spend the rest of her life with—up to a point. Moos says she's still waiting, however, for "the open dialogue" Collins reportedly promised her before he ended their last phone call in April.

This article shared 5959 times since Wed Jul 10, 2013
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