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Entertainment: George Michael; Ellen; Big Freedia; Oscars; k.d. lang
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-03-01

This article shared 5001 times since Tue Mar 1, 2016
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Singer George Michael is reportedly planning a return to the music industry by planning a comeback tour—four years after last performing live, Yahoo! News reported. The singer has been in touch with insurance companies about touring again, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper. It was reported last year that the former Wham! star, who was last seen on stage in September 2012, has spent much of his time in rehab.

On IMDB.com, Bryan Cranston recalled his first credit—on Crisis Counselor: Bisexual Marriage ( 1982 ). "It was ahead of its time," he said. "A real counselor who opened up all his files, changed the names and cast actors to play the parts. ... It was fun to just wing it and throw it out there." In the role of Sam ( of a man who's married to a woman but wants to keep his male lover ), Cranston said, "In my mind, I am morally right."

Ellen DeGeneres was interrupted by Saturday Night Live actress Kate McKinnon on her show Feb. 24, The New York Daily News noted. "She's beautiful, she's charming she's smart, she's hilarious—she's me," DeGeneres said as she kicked off her show.

New Orleans "bounce music" pioneer Big Freedia—who just collaborated with Beyonce on her controversial new tune "Formation"—is branching into food, Page Six noted. At the BUKU Music + Art Project on March 11 and 12 in New Orleans, the local singer's hosting a pop-up called Big Freedia's Soul Food, serving a Southern menu that includes dishes like Twerk-A-Mein, Booty Poppin' Potatoes and Cucumber & Creole Tomato Salad.

Sam Smith's acceptance speech for best original song made him a hero at the Elton John Foundation's Oscars-viewing party, CBS8.com reported. Smith dedicated his award Feb. 28 to the gay community, saying, ''I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope that we can all stand together as equals one day." Caitlyn Jenner, Kelly Osbourne and Mariah Carey were among those attending John's soiree.

However, another item involving Sam Smith has caused controversy—and Sir Ian McKellen has responded, the UK Independent reported. After Smith said he'd read in a Guardian article that "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said no openly gay man had won an Oscar," social media erupted. McKellen tweeted, "I'd said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars-that doesn't detract from @samsmithworld achievement. Congratulations to him & all others!" Smith has apologized.

A beauty website has apologized after mistaking Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah Winfrey as part of its Oscars night coverage, The Guardian noted. Total Beauty was criticized on social media after tweeting a photograph of Goldberg, who has a distinctive tattoo on her shoulder, accompanied by the line: "We had no idea Oprah was #tatted, and we love it." The people behind the site apologized, adding it would donate $10,000 to a charity of the celebrities' choice.

Elton John recently sounded off about the authenticity of another pop star: Janet Jackson, EW.com noted. "You know, f—king music magazines writing a review of Janet Jackson saying, 'This is the greatest show—four and a half stars,'" John said to Rolling Stone. "It's f—-king lip-synced! Hello! That's not a show! I'd rather go and see a drag queen. F—-k off."

While fans of Amy Winehouse are celebrating the Oscar win for Amy—Asif Kapadia's acclaimed documentary about the late singer's life—at least one member of her family won't be cheering: her father, Mitch Winehouse, Newsweek reported. The London cab driver, who has been critical of the revealing portrayal of his daughter ( as well as himself ), took to Twitter to denounce the film's victory. He called it a "negative, spiteful and misleading" depiction of the "Rehab" singer, who died in July 2011.

Singer k.d. lang is teaming with Laura Veirs and Neko Case for an album, case/lang/veirs, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. To promote it, they are launching a North American summer tour that will commence June 22 in San Diego at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Their album will be released June 17 on Anti Records, the label that is also the home to Case.

Caitlyn Jenner has been unveiled as the new face of MAC Cosmetics in a landmark deal that makes her the first transgender star to land a big mainstream beauty contract, Page Six revealed. The company announced that Jenner, 66, has signed on as their newest celebrity endorsement, following in the footsteps of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Fergie. Beauty insiders said the deal is thought to be worth at least seven figures, and will see the cosmetics company, owned by Estee Lauder, become more involved in transgender issues and causes.

Madonna shared a personal story of betrayal on stage in the Philippines during the Manila stop on her "Rebel Heart" tour, according to Page Six. "Once I had a Filipino trainer—this beautiful, beautiful girl. She was gorgeous and very talented as a trainer," Madonna told a sold-out crowd of 20,000 people. "But she f—-d my boyfriend, so I fired her." Some have speculated that the person in question is Madonna's longtime trainer Nicole Winhoffer.

Performers have been announced for the 12th annual Los Angeles Awards Dinner on March 12, a press release stated. Actress/comedian Caroline Rhe will emcee, and singer/songwriter Linda Perry, actor Jeremy Jordan and Tony winner Levi Kreis will perform. Special guests will include Calista Flockhart, Sharon Osbourne, Tuc Watkins, Alec Mapa and Carly Lehwald. Perry and partner Sara Gilbert will be honored, in addition to showrunner Greg Berlanti, with Impact Awards.

Out actor Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo and Callie Hernandez have signed on to an Alien: Covenant cast that already features Micahel Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Demian Bichir and Danny McBride, TheWrap noted. Plot details are mostly under wraps for what is the second of the planned three pics at 20th Century Fox acting as a prequel trilogy to Scott's Alien movies. Only Fassbender is confirmed to reprise his character from 2012's Prometheus; it remains unclear whether Noomi Rapace will return.

America's Next Top Model will return to New York City for a reinvented debut on VH1, a press release stated. Tyra Banks—the series creator, original host and executive producer—will continue to serve as executive producer for the new season; Ken Mok, also executive producer for the series' full run, will continue in the same role for the next season as well. Details on the premiere date and a new, reimagined cast of host and judges will be announced at a later time.

Transgender Oscar nominee Anohni opted to skip the Academy Awards after not being invited to perform, The Washington Blade noted. Anohni was nominated for Best Original Song for "Manta Ray," recorded for the documentary Racing Extinction. Fellow category nominees Sam Smith, Lady Gaga and The Weeknd were billed to perform for the night but Anohni found out she and another Best Original Song nominee, Sumi Jo, were cut due to "time constraints." Anohni is part of indie-rock group Antony and the Johnsons, but has also worked as a solo artist for years; she was the second-ever openly transgender Oscar nominee.

Hours before the Oscars, Mark Ruffalo ( nominated for his role in Spotlight, a film about the Boston Globe's coverage of the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal cover-up ) took part in a rally outside a Los Angeles Catholic church, Page Six noted. "I'm here to stand with the survivors and the victims and the people we've lost from Catholic priest childhood sex abuse," Ruffalo told protesters outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels ( via the L.A. Times ). Spotlight director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer joined Ruffalo.

British singer Adele stole the show at the 2016 BRIT Awards in London, making a triumphant return to the star-studded ceremony as she picked up four trophies, including the coveted "album of the year" award, according to Newsweek. On the bill at this year's bash were international stars Rihanna and Justin Bieber, as well as homegrown artists James Bay and Coldplay. During one of her acceptance speeches, Adele also said she wanted to "publicly support" U.S. pop star Kesha, who has claimed her former music producer Dr. Luke abused her.

Models and friends Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner were immortalized in wax as part of a special "immersive" experience for London Fashion Week at Madame Tussauds, The Mirror reported. Jenner's mannequin had been styled in black underwear and a long silk dressing gown, with its feet clad in a pair of stiletto heels. Delevingne's wax work—decked out in a sequined Saint Laurent dress—really was her double, with its matching tattoos, including a diamond on her ear and stars around her neck.

Celine Dion was overcome with emotion during her return to the Las Vegas stag, E! Online noted. The "My Heart Will Go On" singer broke down in tears during her performance—her first since the passing of her husband, Rene Angelil, and brother. Dion honored her late husband during her performance with a written message, a video montage and an emotional speech to the crowd in which she said, "We will always be one. You know, I might not hear his voice yet, but I talk to him, I think of him all the time. I feel and I know he hears me."

The award-winning documentary Women of '69: Unboxed will have its nationwide digital release March 15 via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and XBOX, a press release stated. The documentary is set in the 1960s and focuses on the hardships of women during this time, and more specifically, the graduating class of 1969 from Skidmore College. These women, now 65 years old, reflect on their heartaches and triumphs, and evaluate the "dowry" they'll leave for future generations.

Kylie Jenner wants to trademark her first name in the United States—but a certain other famous Kylie ( Australian singer Kylie Minogue ) isn't having it, according to Newser. KDB, an Australian firm representing Minogue, officially opposed Jenner's trademark application, citing that such a move would dilute Minogue's brand and confuse her fans. As for Minogue, she owns the trademarks for "Kylie Minogue," "Kylie Minogue Darling" ( the name of her perfume ) and "Lucky—the Kylie Minogue Musical."

Former Sports Illustrated cover model Cheryl Tiegs isn't happy with the magazine's decision to run plus-size model Ashley Graham on one of three covers for this year's swimsuit issue, according to TheWrap, which cites E!. "I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them, and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]," the 68-year-old told E! Tiegs was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue multiple times in the 1970s and '80s, and now says that the publication is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by choosing to feature Graham.

Oscar host Chris Rock, producer Reginald Hudlin and film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs attended an event that celebrated Black women in Hollywood, according to Page Six. Debbie Allen, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, entertainment attorney Nina Shaw and filmmaker Thais Francis were recognized. Oprah Winfrey opened the program, which aired Feb. 27 on OWN.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is set to reprise her role as the conniving Kathryn Merteuil in NBC's pilot for Cruel Intentions, the TV sequel to the guilty-pleasure teen melodrama that was on the big screen in 1999, EW.com reported. Picking up a decade and a half after the film left off, the new Cruel Intentions finds Kathryn trying to establish dominion over both Valmont International and Bash Casey ( Taylor John Smith ), the son of her late stepbrother and a woman she wronged long ago.

Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall took to Twitter to share photos of an incident in which she says a teenager crashed a car into her home at 1 a.m., US Weekly noted. The actress uploaded pics showing her front door and windows completely destroyed by the unexpected impact from the white vehicle. She also posted a snapshot of significant interior damage. While her home was partially ruined, Cattrall assured worried fans that no one was physically harmed in the accident.

On The View, Raven-Symone revealed that she would leave the United States and move to Canada if a Republican was nominated for president, according to NewNowNext.com . However, a Republican has to be nominated, just as a Democrat will.

Miami Beach, Florida, is hosting the Winter Party Festival, March 2-7—one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world, bringing 10,000 people from around the globe together, a press release stated. More than 20 events will take place—culminating with a sexy beach party on the seventh. Every dime of the proceeds from this multi-day celebration goes to the National LGBTQ Task Force. See WinterParty.com .

Rihanna canceled her Grammys performance due to "bronchitis," but sources exclusively told Page Six it was just a ploy to get her out of the awards show at the 11th hour, because she feared giving a lackluster performance. Sources said RiRi rehearsed her tune "Kiss It Better" twice, but then got cold feet after seeing Kendrick Lamar and others rehearse.

In a series of Facebook videos, athlete-turned-actor Terry Crews revealed that he was addicted to pornography and had to go to rehab for the problem, according to US Weekly. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star said his addiction started at age 12 and almost cost him his wife, Rebecca King-Crews.

The lead singer of the Irish band The Cranberries has been fined $6,600 for an air-rage incident on a flight from New York to Ireland, the Associated Press noted. Dolores O'Riordan, 44, avoided a criminal conviction Feb. 24. She had pleaded guilty in December to assaulting three policemen and a flight attendant during an alleged psychotic episode.


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