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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 2673 times since Sun Nov 27, 2022
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Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert marked the legendary entertainer's final North American tour stop—upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Farewell Yellow Brick Road kicked off in 2018 and will wrap next July in Sweden—as he looks toward retirement from the road. Partner David Furnish and the couple's two sons made an appearance during the show's encore after fireworks had blasted the sky; guests Dua Lipa, Brandi Carlile and Kiki Dee joined John for special duets. Some of the people in the crowd included Jojo Siwa (in a flame-embroidered jumpsuit), Billie Jean King, Taron Egerton (who portrayed John in the film Rocketman), Sara Gilbert, Neil Patrick Harris, and couple Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance.

Hundreds of fans gathered to remember actor/social-media darling Leslie Jordan in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Nov. 20, Page Six noted. The celebration, which took place at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, featured music, singing, comedy, and audience participation—which was what Jordan's family wanted, according to the local ABC channel. Tickets were priced at $20 each; all the proceeds went to one of Jordan's favorite causes, CEMPA Community Care. Jordan died in a car accident on Oct. 24 at age 67; it is believed he suffered a medical emergency before crashing into the side of a building in Hollywood.

Comedian/writer/actor Joel Kim Booster received a nomination in the Best First Screenplay category of the Independent Spirit Awards for his screenplay for Fire Island—marking his first nod for the awards, Out noted. Booster's screenplay will go up against Bodies Bodies Bodies, Emergency, Emily the Criminal, and Palm Trees and Power Lines. Other queer nominees include Aubrey Plaza and Jeremy Pope in the Best Lead Performance category for their roles in Emily the Criminal and The Inspection, respectively. The ceremony will take place March 4, 2023.

Janelle Monae talked with about the matter-of-fact approach to queerness in her latest movie, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story—the sequel to the hit film Knives Out. Monae said, "I got a chance to see the film in a small theater. Rian showed it to me and I was just like, 'Oh, I love it! I mean, I'm queer non-binary, as you know … so it was just great to have that representation and not be like a big thing. It's like, super normal, casual cool, as it should be." Glass Onion premiered in theaters Nov. 23 and will debut on Netflix on Dec. 23.

Taylor Swift was the big winner at the American Music Awards (AMAs) on Nov. 20, winning all six of her nominations, including Artist of the Year, Variety noted. Bad Bunny led everyone with eight nods, ultimately winning two. This year's awards show introduced some new categories this year, including favorite Afrobeats artist, K-pop Artist, rock song and rock album. Lionel Richie—who has won 17 AMA trophies throughout his prestigious career—received the Icon Award while Pink paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John, who died in August from breast cancer. Boos cascaded at one point when Chris Brown (who claimed the AMAs canceled his Michael Jackson tribute) was announced as a winner but announcer Kelly Rowland told the crowd to "chill out," Deadline noted.

Singer Dove Cameron dedicated her American Music Award for Best New Artist to the LGBTQ+ community. "I want to start by saying that every award that I ever win will always first and foremost be dedicated to the queer community at large," she began her acceptance speech. Cameron then added, "On the heels of the tragedy that happened in Club Q in Colorado Springs I want to remind everyone how important queer visibility is and how important community is. I want to direct your attention toward organizations like GLAAD and The Trevor Project for what you can do right now."

Trans lesbian Amy Schneider is the newest Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner, Out noted. She prevailed against software developer Andrew He and associate professor of operations research Sam Buttrey. The Tournament of Champions was set up so that whoever won three games first would be crowned the ultimate champion. Scheider won three games while He won two and Buttrey won one. Schneider took home the $250,000 grand prize.

Irene Cara—the Oscar-winning singer/actress who sang the title tracks to Fame and Flashdance—has died at age 63, Variety noted. Her publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news on social media, writing that the cause of death is "currently unknown." Cara first came to prominence playing Coco Hernandez, a student at the High School of Performing Arts (now known as Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School) in Fame.

Global recording artist Bad Bunny was recently announced as Apple Music's Artist of the Year, in acknowledgement of the musician's artistic excellence and influence on global culture in 2022, a press statement noted. Released this past May, Un Verano Sin Ti, the artist's sixth project in four years, is Apple Music's most streamed album of 2022 and is now the biggest Latin album of all time.

A German adaptation of the HBO show Euphoria has been officially confirmed, per Variety. German's Zeitsprung Pictures optioned the show from production and distribution company ADD Content. Euphoria—which stars Emmy winner Zendaya, among others—follows a group of high school students navigating friendship and love at the same time as struggling with drugs, sex, trauma and social media.

Bob Iger reached out to Disney employees with the shocking news that he's returned as CEO, replacing Bob Chapek, effective immediately, noting "an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement," Deadline reported. Some high-profile missteps (including LGBTQ+-related mishaps involving inclusion and Gov. Ron DeSantis) had people questioning Chapek's future at the company. However, those voices grew more muted after Disney's board of directors appeared to settle the question by voting in June, unanimously, to renew his original contract, which expired in February 2023, with a new three-year agreement that started July 1.

The American Film Institute (AFI) Board of Trustees will bestow its 49th AFI Life Achievement Award on Oscar winner Nicole Kidman at the June 10, 2023 ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Deadline noted. Kidman is the first Australian actor to receive this honor. Kidman has been nominated five times at the Oscars—four times for Leading Actress for Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, Rabbit Hole and Being the Ricardos as well as once for Supporting Actress for Lion.

Jennifer Lopez announced that a new musical project, This Is Me… Now, is slated for release in 2023, Variety noted. It will be the singer's first full-length album in eight years. Along with a video that shows her in her "This Is Me Then" era 20 years ago, morphing into the present-day J.Lo, Lopez issued a track listing. Some of the songs include "Hearts and Flowers," "Greatest Love Story Never Told, the title track and "Dear Ben part II"—presumably a sequel to the earlier album's "Dear Ben."

After 10 weeks of competition, TikTok star Charli D'Amelio and partner Mark Ballas were named the season 31 champions of Dancing with the Stars, People Magazine noted. They edged former Bachelorette and runner-up Gabby Windey and partner Val Chmerkovskiy, actor and TV host Wayne Brady and partner Witney Carson (who placed third), and drag queen superstar Shangela and partner Gleb Savchenko (who finished fourth). The evening also featured two retirement celebrations—pro Cheryl Burke took the dance floor for a final performance after announcing her retirement following 26 seasons; and Len Goodman, who announced his retirement last week, was honored with a tribute video and his own mirrorball trophy.

Singer August Alsina opened up in the season finale of VH1's The Surreal Life in what social media is calling a "coming out," Out noted. In the clip, Alsina begins to talk about love; then, another man enters the frame and they hug as Alsina says, "I love you." In what was likely his most notable break into public life, Alsina's "entanglement" with Jada Pinkett Smith held public attention for weeks.

In a recent interview with Good Morning America, former American Idol David Archuleta revealed how his relationship with church leaders in the Mormon church affected his coming out journey—and where he stands with the church now. "I've taken a step away," Archuleta said when asked if he's still a member of the LDS church. "I've had a faith crisis this year, so I've had to deconstruct everything." He also revealed that not only did he consider taking his own life, but also tried to convince himself to marry three different women over the years.

The Kelly Clarkson Show has been renewed through 2025, Deadline noted. The show's renewal chances were enhanced after it was upgraded to the time slot previously held by The Ellen DeGeneres Show starting this season. The show emerged early as a potential Ellen successor following its strong launch in the fall of 2019.

Reality-TV stars Julie and Todd Chrisley were sentenced to prison in federal court, CNN noted. Judge Eleanor L. Ross sentenced Todd Chrisley to 12 years in prison with three years of supervised release; his wife, Julie Chrisley, was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. The Chrisley Knows Best couple—who plan to appeal—were found guilty in June of conspiracy to defraud banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans.

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