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Ricky Martin's change; Cooper's new home; 'Orange' wins
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 8615 times since Tue Jun 24, 2014
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Openly gay musical artist Ricky Martin surprised fans during a live concert in Morocco when he changed the lyrics to a song from "she" to "he," according to On Top Magazine. While performing at the Mawazine Festival ( Rhythms ), an annual music festival which takes place in Rabat, Morocco's second largest city, Martin altered the lyrics to his 1999 hit "She's All I Ever Had." Same-sex unions are not recognized in Morocco and while the law is only sporadically enforced, gay sex is illegal in that country.

CNN host Anderson Cooper and his partner, Benjamin Maisani, will be relaxing in Connecticut's affluent Litchfield County this summer, according to Page Six. Cooper has reportedly splurged on a 10,127-square-foot Tudor revival stone mansion, called Rye House, for the mid-to-high seven figures. The home includes an Olympic-size swimming pool and tennis court, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Orange Is The New Black was the big winner at the fourth annual Critics' Choice Television Awards, Deadline reported. The Netflix original won Best Comedy Series along with Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Kate Mulgrew ( in a tie with Mom's Allison Janney ) and Best Guest Performance in a Comedy for Uzo Aduba. Among some of the other winners were The Normal Heart, actress Tatiana Maslany ( Orphan Black ), Breaking Bad, Matt Bomer ( The Normal Heart ) and Neil deGrasse Tyson ( for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey ). In addition, The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons presented the Louis XIII Genius Award to Ryan Murphy for his work on American Horror Story, Glee and the AIDS drama The Normal Heart; Parsons co-starred in "Heart," the Washington Post noted.

In another awards-related matter, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey and the soap opera The Young and the Restless were among the 41st annual Daytime Emmy winners. DeGeneres' show received its eighth trophy as outstanding entertainment talk show, according to Fox News. Among some of the other winners were Chandler Massey ( for portraying gay character Will Horton on NBC's Days of Our Lives ), the game show Jeopardy! and The People's Court.

Meryl Streep—the Oscar winner who's transformed herself into Margaret Thatcher and Julia Child—will play opera legend Maria Callas in a film version of Terrence McNally's play Master Class for HBO, according to Page Six. Mike Nichols will direct the adaptation of the Tony-winning play about iconic diva Callas teaching students at Juilliard in 1971. Master Class debuted on Broadway in 1995, starring Australian actress Zoe Caldwell as Callas and co-starring Audra McDonald.

With hundreds of marriage-equality supporters tucked into a hotel ballroom, virgin cocktails in their hands, Lance Bass and Latrice Royale recently helped gay Atlanta #ToastToMarriage, Project Q Atlanta reported. The effort, the launch of an 11-city tour by Freedom to Marry and SKYY Vodka, hopes to help bring gay marriage to Georgia and other states that still ban it. The group of supporters, led by Bass and fiance Michael Turchin, also aimed to set a new world record for the largest arms-linked toast.

Singer Adam Lambert said the media is making a "big deal" out of British singer Sam Smith's sexuality, On Top Magazine noted. Recently, Smith, 22, revealed that his single "In the Lonely Hour" is about unrequited love between himself and another man. "Sam is going through that process of having his sexuality dissected and talked about," Lambert said. "He told me he has never had an issue about his sexuality until now because everyone is making such a big deal about it, which is crazy."

Singer R. Kelly has talked for the first time about his transgender son, according to The Advocate. Asked about 14-year-old Jay Kelly on the Chicago radio station WGCI, the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer said, "You don't really wanna open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son, because if that were true—don't even give the blogs that kind of credit." In the end, Kelly said he didn't want to address the news, and implied that the report was inaccurate in some way.

Ellen DeGeneres was slammed as ignorant and disrespectful after making a controversial joke during the USA-vs.-Ghana World Cup match, according to International Business Times. At one point, she tweeted, "Go USA! Fastest goal in U.S World Cup History in the #USAvsGhana game. 32 seconds! It took me longer to look up where Ghana is." Members of the African community soon took to social media to vent their outrage, with some insisting that she should know better as a well-respected celebrity.

Chelsea Handler has lined up her next TV gig—with a talk show on Netflix, according to Deadline. After months of negotiations and speculation, the streaming service has announced a deal with the comedian that includes a talk show, to launch in early 2016, as well as standup special and four docu-comedy specials. Handler's E! late-night show will end its seven-tear run later this summer, on Aug. 26.

Actor James Franco bared some skin—specifically, his rear end—during an appearance at the Broadway Bares charity event in New York, according to The New York Daily News. RuPaul's Drag Race season-six winner Bianca Del Rio exposed Franco's jock strap, showing his naked backside for all to see. In May, Franco shared a nearly nude bathroom selfie, which he deleted after an hour.

Speaking of Broadway Bares, the 24th edition of the annual event ( "Broadway Bares: Rock Hard!" ) raised $1,386,105 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, according to Playbill. More than 5,000 people attended the performances; the 24 editions of Broadway Bares have now raised more than $12.6 million for Broadway Cares. Among the evening's performers were Alan Cumming, singer Constantine Maroulis and actor Christopher Sieber.

Beyonce returns to HBO later this month for BEYONCE: X10, a 10-episode series of concert performances, a press release stated. Starting June 29, a new four-minute segment will debut every Sunday night at 8:55 p.m. ( ET/PT ), immediately before the debut of a new episode of the final season of "True Blood" at 9 p.m. The performances were shot live in various cities during her recently completed Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Beginning April 15, 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia and concluding March 27, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal, the sold-out Mrs. Carter Show World Tour included 132 concerts in 27 countries and 69 cities.

The hairy men are back! Season three of the gay comedy mystery Web series Where the Bears Are will premiere Aug. 11 at, according to a press release. The series recently won's "Best Gay Web Series" and has accumulated more than 9 million views since premiering in 2012. Season three is a romp through L.A.'s trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake, and eventually reaches its climax in the first-class cabin of a jumbo jet.

A fan of Mariah Carey apparently loves the singer so much that she got the crooner's latest album cover for Me. I Am Mariah imaged across her 18th birthday cake, E! Online noted. Carey noticed the cake's image ( posted to Twitter ), and retweeted it. Carey also took to Twitter to respond to backlash she got after releasing the new art for her latest single "You Don't Know What to Do"—which is identical to the Me. I Am Mariah album cover photo. "That definitely was NOT my selection for the cover... ugh!" Carey tweeted.

Sandrine Holt and Agnes Bruckner have been cast as a lesbian couple in the U.S. version of the critically acclaimed French show Les Revenants, noted. The new show, The Returned, will air 10 episodes on A&E. The Returned is set in a small town that starts to experience some odd, supernatural incidents.

Showtime will premiere the documentary Kidnapped for Christ—which counts Lance Bass among its executive producers—on July 10, The Wrap noted. The documentary—which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at Slamdance this year—revolves around Escuela Caribe, a controversial Christian behavior modification program in the Dominican Republic for "troubled" U.S. teenagers. The movie shows evangelical filmmaker Kate Logan actually trying to win freedom for one of the kids in the camp after initially aiming to show the positive aspects of a school such as Escuela Caribe.

Jennifer Lopez was at the Bravo Clubhouse for the June 19 installment of Watch What Happens Live, and host Andy Cohen grilled the superstar on her storied love life, booty and alleged feuds, US Weekly reported. At one point, Cohen asked Lopez if dancers, singers or actors are better in bed. "I have to say that in my limited experience, I would have to say anybody involved in music," she offered. "So I would say singers and dancers. I forgot my card! Dammit! I could've pleaded the fifth!" Lopez also said she'd love to meet Mariah Carey, with whom she has had an alleged feud.

The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story will premiere as a Lifetime television movie on Sept. 1, according to . The film will be based on hours of new interviews conducted with the cast and crew of the TV show. The story promises to be juicy if it's anything like the tell-all book Dustin Diamond ( Screech in the original cast ) wrote in 2009. In the book, Diamond claimed that cast members hooked up, had threesomes and did drugs.

Transgender Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox says she has a type: Jewish men, according to Page Six. "I dated a lot of Jewish men," Cox said on Chelsea Lately. "I'd like to think of myself as the nation's premiere Black transgender shiksa." Cox chalked up her dating preferences to location, noting there are lots of Jewish men in New York.

Modern Family's Ty Burrell ( who plays Phil Dunphy on the show ) headlined a marriage-equality fundraiser in Salt Lake City, according to Page Six. Burrell lent his celebrity status to help a group backed by co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays one half of the show's gay couple. The evening event was staged by Tie the Knot, an organization Ferguson and his real-life husband, Justin Mikita, created to help pay for the legal costs of challenging same-sex marriage bans.

Lady Gaga scrapped the video for her duet with R. Kelly, "Do What U Want," earlier this year, citing time constraints and "those who have betrayed me." However, she may have dodged a bullet, as both Kelly and photographer Terry Richardson ( who directed the sexually charged video ) are both in the midst of scandals, according to Page Six. Several models have accused Richardson of sexual misconduct, while Kelly faced backlash last December over an in-depth Village Voice interview that discussed "dozens" of sexual-assault lawsuits.

Speaking of Gaga, she has come under fire from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA ) for dressing her pet dog Asia up in heavy, uncomfortable jewels, US Weekly reported. Gaga shared photos of her beloved French bulldog via Instagram—and the dog has some heavy-duty jewelry draped over her adorable pup's head. She captioned the snap "Little McQueen," and even posted a picture of her dog with earrings clipped on her ears. The best accessory for any dog is a comfortable, secure, well-fitting harness, which is perfect for long walks together," PETA stated.

HBO has confirmed that out actor Zachary Quinto will guest-star in at least one upcoming episode of Girls, according to . Quinto was photographed in Brooklyn shooting a scene with Girls creator/executive producer/star Lena Dunham. His resume includes the films Star Trek and Margin Call as well as TV projects 24, Heroes and American Horror Story.

Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. women's soccer team, was arrested for allegedly striking her sister and teenage nephew during a dispute at her home in a Seattle suburb, according to The Chicago Tribune. Solo, 32, appeared "intoxicated and upset," police said, and her 17-year-old nephew and adult sister were visibly injured. Solo was held without bail in a local jail, on two charges of domestic-violence assault in the fourth degree. She has pled not guilty.

Kanye West and Annie Leibovitz have released a "joint statement" about West's inflammatory comments in Cannes, according to Page Six. "Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding, he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way," reads the statement from Def Jam. Leibovitz's rep has said she was never confirmed for the event.

Season 13 of Lifetime's Project Runway ( #ProjectRunway ) returns on Thursday, July 24, according to a press release. Offering one past designer the chance to come back to the workroom and compete in season 13, fans were able to vote on their favorite designer's "InstaPortfolio," choosing from former season favorites Ken Laurence ( Season 12 ) Alexander Pope ( Season 12 ) and Amanda Valentine ( Season 11 ). The winner of Project Runway will receive $100,000 from Red Robin; a complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother International Corporation; a premiere entertainment center, courtesy of Samsung; a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine; and a car from Lexus.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes actor Gary Oldman launched into a profanity-laced defense of scandal-scarred actors Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin in an interview with Playboy magazine, calling the political correctness that pervades Hollywood "crap," according to The New York Daily News. "Alec [Baldwin] calling someone [a f****t] in the street while he's pissed off coming out of his building because they won't leave him alone. I don't blame him," he said about Baldwin's infamous use of an anti-gay slur last year after being provoked by a paparazzo. Oldman also talked about everyone else from Bill Maher to Hillary Clinton ( who the self-described Libertarian doesn't support for president ).

Speaking of Maher, he shocked the audience on the show The View with an off-color gay joke about Karl Rove, according to The Wrap. Co-host Sherri Shepherd asked the Real Time host for his take on the criticism about Hillary Clinton's current book tour, which prompted Maher to bring up Karl Rove's controversial comments about Clinton's alleged mental health. Maher said, "Bringing up brain damage and just saying, 'Well, I'm not saying she does, I'm just putting it out there.' I wonder if Karl Rove's gay lover that he murdered … oh, I'm not saying that's definitely true, I'm just putting it out there."

Singer Bonnie Raitt will kick off the upcoming Thanksgiving Caribbean Cruise for Olivia Travel, which offers vacations for the lesbian community, according to a press release. The cruise is scheduled to take place Nov. 23-30 on Holland America's 1300 passenger ms Ryndam. Other scheduled entertainers for the trip include independent recording artist Cris Williamson, comedians Suzanne Westenhoefer and Poppy Champlin, and classically trained chef Josie Smith-Malave.

Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling told Allure magazine, "I don't feel bound by my face or my body," The New York Daily News noted. "I don't feel like that's the biggest gift I have to offer the world. I feel like there are more parts of me to offer than that." However, while she embraces the unfiltered beauty of her character as a form of freedom, Schilling, 29, felt like a prisoner in her own body as a child: "My experience was painful, so painful. There was a period of time I had very short hair, and I had glasses, and I was very tall for my age."

Joan Rivers is claiming that Twilight actress Kristen Stewart is suing her after the 81-year-old comedian poked fun at Stewart's 2012 affair with her then-married Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, in Rivers' new book, Diary of a Mad Diva, The New York Daily News reported. The joke reads, "Many stars only do one thing well, of course, the best one-trick pony is Kristen Stewart, who got a whole career by being able to juggle directors' balls." Among the other women Rivers targets in her book are Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Adele, Madonna and Lena Dunham.

Merry Clayton—the veteran backup singer who was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom—is recovering after being seriously injured in an automobile accident, Page Six noted. Clayton's manager said that the singer suffered "severe injuries to her lower body, including major trauma to her lower extremities," in the June 16 crash. Clayton began her career in the early 1960s and has recorded with Ray Charles, Carole King, Bobby Darin and the Rolling Stones; she has a 1987 hit song, "Yes," from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Model Cara Delevingne—who has been linked to stars such as actress Michelle Rodriguez—has given "flashing" a new meaning. According to Page Six, the 21-year-old model posted an Instagram photo of her placing a pair of flashlights over her breasts and a red road sign on her lower half while in Bali. She recently went there with several other models, male and female.

Gay-porn star Cameron Fox, who retired from adult films in 2004 and attempted to break into legit roles, died June 12 at age 36, according to EDGE Boston. Hailing from Texas, Fox ( born Shane Eugene Davis ) started his career as a Falcon Studios model but left the industry in 2006 after appearing in nearly 50 adult films.

Nancy Garden, a lesbian award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults, has died at age 76. Her books included the lesbian teen novel Annie on My Mind. According to, the "book, first published in 1982, is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings." She is survived by longtime partner Sandy Scott.

The creators of a popular party game have issued an apology after one user claimed the game promoted transphobia, reported. The game's concept is that a dealer issues a black prompt card; using their white answer cards, players try to come up with the funniest ( and often most intentionally disgusting ) combinations. However, 19-year-old trans individual Jonah Miller discovered a white card that read "passable transvestites" and burned it. Game co-creator Max Temkin saw Miller's post and responded by expressing regret for including the card.

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