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Lance Bass, Idina Menzel and Adele
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 5648 times since Wed Jul 20, 2011
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Former pro football player Michael Irvin talked with OUT Magazine for its sports issue about several topics, including rumors about former teammate Troy Aikman's sexuality and why every African American should support same-sex marriage. Irvin, who played with the Dallas Cowboys, also said, "If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him. I think growth comes when we share. Until we do that, we're going to be stuck in the Dark Ages about a lot of things."

France's cultural minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, awarded Liza Minnelli the rank of "officier" in the Legion of Honor, according to . Mitterrand pinned the medal, affixed to a red ribbon, to Minnelli's jacket, and said, "Priestess of the music hall, you are the contemporary incarnation of talented versatility à l'Américaine!" He also described her as "a tiger—with the heart of a lamb." In 1987, Minnelli was made chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

Singer Ari Gold posted on Facebook that he and boyfriend were told to move to the back of a bus because they were holding hands, according to . When Gold refused, he said that the Shortline bus driver pulled the vehicle over and contacted police. The police "quickly exited the bus, leaving ours and the other passengers safety in the hands of a dissatisfied, discriminatory, and mad driver," according to Gold. George Grieve—president of Hudson Transit Lines, which owns Shortline—said that the situation will be investigated.

In the August issue of Men's Journal, Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison called National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell a "crook," "devil" and an anti-gay slur, according to the Boston Globe. "If that man was on fire and I had to [expletive] to put him out, I wouldn't do it,'' said Harrison, who also insulted teammates in the piece. "I hate him and will never respect him.'' The NFL fined Harrison at total of $100,000 for illegal hits he committed last season. Harrison has since apologized for most of his comments, including the slur.

Legendary interviewer Larry King has posed for a No H8 photograph and has participated in a public service announcement for marriage equality, according to . Photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley—who launched the No H8 initiative in response to California's Prop 8—released the photo of King in advance of a video for the Freedom to Marry campaign that asks President Obama to endorse marriage equality. King himself has been married eight times.

The Emmy nominations have come out for 2011, and they certainly are gay-inclusive. For example, in the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category, the very gay-friendly show Modern Family has Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet all nominated; they're pitted against Glee's Chris Colfer, who plays out student Kurt. Also, lesbian actress Jane Lynch—who is hosting the show—was nominated for Glee. On another note, the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category bears watching, as Tina Fey (30 Rock), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) and Laura Linney (The Big C) are among the nominees. Drama series nods went to The Good Wife, Mad Men and Dexter, among others. The Primetime Emmys will be televised Sunday, Sept. 18. reported that the Chaz Bono documentary Becoming Chaz—shown on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network—received three Emmy nods: Outstanding Nonfiction Special; Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming; and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming. The show documented Bono's transition from female to male. Said Bono, "We set out to share my story honestly, hoping to help others. The staggering response we've received culminating in this huge honor ofbeing nominated for an Emmy is simply amazing."

Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that stars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer will leave the show after its upcoming third season, Digital Spy reported. The trio's alter egos—Rachel Berry, Finn Hudson and Kurt Hummel, respectively—will graduate at the end of season three. He explained: "You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year."

In a related matter, Chris Colfer said that he found out he found out that next season would be his last through Twitter, according to The Celebrity Cafe. Colfer posted, "Yesterday on Twitter. Yeah, I found out that they made that announcement. I didn't necessarily know that it was going to be our last season next year, I knew something like that was coming up eventually. I mean, we can't be there forever. ... "I don't necessarily want to leave so soon, but I mean, it's fine. It's what it is." However, he and co-star Lea Michele may get their own spinoff.

Lindsay Lohan reportedly said that she should have had Natalie Portman's lead role in the movie Black Swan, according to Digital Spy. Plum Miami magazine writer Jacquelynn Powers claimed that the actress told her she did "ballet until she was 19 and was indignant that she was not considered for the movie Black Swan." Lohan refused to give an interview to accompany a photo shoot she did for the publication, so the magazine ran the images with an account of her difficult behavior.

Jake Gyllenhaal reportedly witnessed Los Angeles gang violence firsthand, Digital Spy reported. The Brokeback Mountain star was riding in a police car while doing research for his upcoming police drama, End of Watch, when a gang shooting broke out on the scene. End of Watch focuses on the relationship between two longtime police partners on the beat; Twilight and Up in the Air actress Anna Kendrick also stars.

A jury has ruled that actress Sharon Stone has to pay $232,000 to a man who was injured while installing a sound system at her home, Digital Spy reported. Peter Krause was working on the Basic Instinct star's property in 2008 when he allegedly slipped on mud and fell into a lattice fence. Gods Behaving Badly, in which Stone will co-star with Edie Falco and Christopher Walken, is scheduled to be released next year.

Singer Morrissey will release his autobiography in December 2012, according to Digital Spy. The ex-Smiths front man called the project the "sentimental climax to the last 30 years." While making this announcement to Billboard magazine, he also criticized modern music: "I would find the idea of compiling a setlist that doesn't wildly excite me to be too restricting. The fire in the belly is essential, otherwise you become Michael Bublé—famous and meaningless."

Some U.S. disability-rights activists are angry with Lady Gaga. According to Digital Spy, the "Edge of Glory" singer recently performed in a wheelchair while wearing a mermaid costume in Sydney, Australia. "Since this isn't the first time she has used a wheelchair in her performances, I invite her to learn more about the 5.6 million Americans who live with paralysis," said Jesse Billauer, founder of the Life Rolls On Foundation. "They, like me, unfortunately, don't use a wheelchair for shock value." Bette Midler also criticized Gaga, tweeting, "Dear @ladygaga if you think a mermaid in a wheelchair seems familiar-it's because it is!You can see it on youtube 24/7-with ME performing it," according to Towleroad. In an unrelated matter, the singer and her team were pelted with eggs while leaving a Sydney nightclub.

Speaking of Gaga, Cher has said that Gaga has written a song for the icon's latest album, according to Digital Spy. GaGa's producer RedOne co-wrote the track, titled "The Greatest Thing." The "We All Sleep Alone" singer is working on her first studio album since 2001's Living Proof.

Also, it turns out that Gaga's YouTube account has been suspended, according to The Celebrity Cafe. It was temporarily terminated because of "multiple or severe violations of YouTube's copyright policy" as posted on the website; the infringing video was a recently uploaded clip of Gaga's performance on Fuji TV's SMAP x SMAP. Gaga's other account, with more than 1.6 billion views, is a Vevo one that debuts her music videos.

On the CBS reality-competition show Big Brother, Chicago contestant Jeff Schroeder went on an homophobic rant about the sexuality of Professor Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, according to . After commenting that Dumbledore "doesn't have any gay tendencies," Schroeder complains, "He's in school with little kids! You don't want to make that guy gay!" CBS issued a statement distancing itself from Schroeder's comments. Schroeder, a veteran of the show, also had an anti-gay incident the previous time he was on the competition in 2009, according to .

Sir Elton John recently woke the astronauts on the final NASA space-shuttle mission with a special message, according to Digital Spy. "Good morning, Atlantis, this is Elton John," the legendary singer said in a message. "We wish you much success on your mission and a huge thank you to all the men and women at NASA who worked on the shuttle for the last three decades." Atlantis commander Christopher Ferguson responded: "Elton John. Music legend. Wow. That is absolutely fantastic."

Whoopi Goldberg, the moderator of TV's The View, has criticized a pledge that backs only traditional marriage—but from a racial perspective, according to On Top Magazine. The original two-page document also included the passage that an African-American baby born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised in a two-parent household than after the nation elected its first African-American president. Goldberg, an ally of the LGBT community, said, "I'm not supposed to automatically assume there's something racial, but damn it I am sick of this crap!" Even Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the conservative member of The View's panel, said that GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who signed the pledge, had derailed her own campaign.

Actor James Franco is predicting more rumors about his sexuality with him playing his fourth gay film role, On Top Magazine reported. In The Broken Tower, Franco will portray gay poet Hart Crane; in the past, he has had gay/bisexual roles in Howl, Milk and the film James Dean.

In London, Junior Bradshaw, 30, and Kevin Liverpool, 33, appeared in court in connection with an alleged plot targeting singer Joss Stone, according to the New York Post. Neither man entered a plea and they were remanded in custody to appear at Exeter Crown Court Oct. 24. Bradshaw and Liverpool, both from Manchester, were arrested after being seen acting suspiciously. Items reportedly found in their vehicle included a samurai sword and notes mentioning Stone's name.

Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres pledged to support and respect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth (LGBT) by signing the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) Team Respect Challenge, according to a press release. The players have pledged to avoid name-calling and language that puts down others because of differences such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or religion. The Team Respect Challenge is part of Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project, which seeks to make K-12 athletics and physical education safe and inclusive for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

British singer Adele's newest CD, 21, has become the biggest-selling digital album in the United States, according to Digital Spy. The "Rollin' in the Deep" singer's second studio album surpassed 1 million downloads in the U.S. just a week after Eminem became the first artist to do so with Recovery. Adele's album has now tallied more than 1.017 million downloads compared to Recovery's 1.005 million, while Lady GaGa's The Fame and Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More are expected to pass the million digital -sales milestone by the end of this year.

Trent Reznor has urged his fans not to buy a reissue of Nine Inch Nails' 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, according to Digital Spy. Reznor tweeted fans that the release is a "record label bulls**t move" and that they should "ignore" it. Reznor (who won an Oscar earlier this year for his work on The Social Network) is currently working on the soundtrack for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Network co-writer Atticus Ross.

True Blood's creator, Charlaine Harris, has revealed her plans for a three-volume graphic-novel series, according to Digital Spy. Harris—who wrote the original Sookie Stackhouse novels on which the HBO show is based—is collaborating with writer Christopher Golden on Cemetery Girl. "Cemetery" is about a woman who finds herself living in a graveyard with no memory of her past life—only sensing that a mysterious threat hangs over her.

Richard Hatch, the first winner of the TV show Survivor, has appealed to have his nine-month prison sentence for tax-evasion charges reduced, according to Digital Spy. Hatch was put back behind bars in March after it was revealed that he failed to pay an estimated $2 million in taxes and penalties relating to his prize from the CBS show. Hatch spent three years in prison back in 2006 for the same charge; however, he failed to follow through with his promise to refile his taxes from 2000 and 2001—the year he won.

Jane Fonda has criticized shopping network QVC for canceling a scheduled appearance following pressure from political activists, according to Digital Spy. Fonda was slated to promote her new self-help book, Prime Time; however, the network cancelled the appearance without consulting with her, fearing a boycott over the actress' position on the Vietnam War. "QVC is live 24 hours a day and welcomes more than 22,000 guests a year," a spokesman for the network said. "It's not unusual to have a schedule change with our shows and guests with little or no notice."

American Idol alum Pia Toscano has officially signed a contract with Interscope Records, the New York Post reported. Her debut single, "This Time," has already been released and she is part of the "American Idol Live!" tour. Her early ouster last season outraged many fans of the show.

Idina Menzel is set to return to Glee next season as Shelby Corcoran, the mother of Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry, according to . Menzel's arc could span as many as 12 episodes. Next season will see Shelby returning from New York to Ohio to join William McKinley High School as a new teacher, complicating things for Rachel and former flame Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison).

Barron Hilton—the 18-year-old brother of Paris and Nicki—has been ordered to pay a former gas-station attendant $5 million, Digital Spy reported. Barron hit Fernando Tellez in 2008 with his Mercedes-Benz at a service station, and was arrested the same day for driving under the influence and using a false driver's license. The judgement includes $4.6 million for Tellez's pain, suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings.

Mathew Knowles, the father of Beyonce, is saying that claims he stole money from her are untrue, according to Digital Spy. Beyonce allegedly dismissed her father following an audit by mega-promoter Live Nation, which suggested that he had stolen funds from her previous world tour. Mathew promises to settle the dispute in court.

Mike Bickle, leader of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), has labeled Oprah Winfrey "the antichrist," the Christian Post reported. He stated, "I believe that one of the main pastors, as a forerunner to the Harlot movement—it's not the Harlot movement yet—is Oprah," adding, "The Harlot Babylon is preparing the nations to receive the antichrist."

Avril Lavigne is distancing herself from other singers her age, telling Mail Online that "In the beginning some people expected me to be like Britney [Spears] and Christina ]Aguilera] and take my clothes off, but I was never going to strip for anyone." The "Girlfriend" singer, 26, added, "I don't get messed around by anyone—especially not guys. I am an independent woman who's always been happy and comfortable with that. I've had famous men chat me up and I just walk away. I'm not interested, so consequently people think I'm moody."

Bette Midler is dropping out of HBO's Phil Spector biopic after suffering a herniated disc, Reuters has reported. Midler had been cast to play Linda Kenney Baden, one of the record producer's defense attorneys during his murder trial. Midler filmed for three of the six days that the project has been in production while suffering from the condition and on medication, before leaving on the advice of her doctor. Al Pacino will play Spector in the movie; Helen Mirren has taken over Midler's role.

Jane Lynch told Vogue magazine that she knew her sexuality at a very young age, according to Digital Spy. The Glee actress and host of the upcoming Emmys said that although she told people that she was lesbian at 21, she knew several years before when she saw two boys holding hands on a Florida beach. She added that she kept her sexuality a secret in order to avoid any sort of backlash: "When I grew up, I didn't want to be too tall. I didn't want to be too loud. I didn't want to be gay."

Bradley Cooper will portray Lucifer in a film adaptation of John Milton's Paradise Lost, according to Digital Spy. Cooper said that he is slated to start working on the film after he finishes The Place Beyond the Pines. In Pines, he co-stars with Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes.

Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria stars in the indie film Without Men—and has a love scene with co-star Kate del Castillo, according to the Huffington Post. In the film, Longoria is the de facto woman in charge of a Latin American village that loses all of its men when they are forcibly recruited by a bunch of guerilla revolutionaries. Eventually, U.S. journalist Christian Slater comes to town, sparking an affair with her—but in the interim all the sexual encounters are lesbian.

Former NSYNC member Lance Bass will host The Pop Ten, a weekly music and pop-culture show on SIRIUS XM's OutQ, Channel 108, according to . Bass will also be joined by celebrity guests and supported by a regular group of friends. "The Pop Ten music countdowns will feature Lance's favorite tracks of the week—dance, pop, rock, world music, country, plus music from new artists he loves—as well as contributions from fans and friends via Twitter @lancebass, Facebook and live calls from listeners," a news release from Sirius XM stated.

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