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SHOWBIZ Lady Gaga, Quibi shows, Alexandra Billings, 'Queer Eye,' podcasts
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 3143 times since Tue May 12, 2020
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Lady Gaga announced that her sixth studio album, Chromatica, will be released Friday, May 29, via Interscope Records, a press release noted. The album features collaborations with Ariana Grande, Elton John and Blackpink, and is executive-produced by BloodPop and Lady Gaga. Chromatica will be available in a variety of physical formats including standard CD, vinyl in various colors, and cassettes in various colors.

Quibi unveiled its line-up for May, Variety reported. In addition to the previously announced Reno 911! revival that debuted May 4, Useless Celebrity History, starring Adam Rippon, launched that day as well. Then, sports documentary Blackballed, and Barkitecture ( hosted by The Bachelorette finalist Tyler Cameron ) launched May 11; Dave Franco-starrer The Now and floral design show Centerpiece will be available starting May 18; and the Nitro Circus-produced Life-Size Toys comes to the app May 25.

Transgender actress/activist Alexandra Billings will be the grand marshal and hostess of The Lavender Effect Live Virtual Pride Parade on Sunday, May 31, Broadway World noted. Billings is best known for her recurring role on Amazon's award-winning show Transparent. The Lavender Effect is currently accepting applications from individuals and organizations who would like to participate in the virtual pride parade; visit .

The season-six premiere of Celebrity Family Feud—"Queer Eye: OG vs. Queer Eye: The New Class"—will air Sunday, May 31, at 7 p.m. CT on ABC, a press release announced. ( Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. ) The original Queer Eye cast ( Carson Kressley, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia and Jai Rodriguez ) will play for The Trevor Project; and Queer Eye: The New Class ( with Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France and season-four hero Wesley Hamilton ) will play for GLSEN.

Podcast producers from X-Reads, X is For Podcast, Comic Book Queers, The Wolverine Podcast That Goes Snikt, The Cerebros and Homo Superior have joined the X-Men podcast community together to raise monetary support for comic book-shop owners through the Book Industry Charitable Foundation ( BINC ) and its Comic Book United Fund, a press release noted. Some of the perks that listeners will enjoy for donating to the fund include social media shout outs, name call-outs on the podcast recordings, digital X-Men art from artists, and the opportunity to appear as a guest on a podcast. Donations must be made directly to the BINC Foundation:

Making the Cut winner Jonny Cota said he is excited to continue selling his edgy streetwear at his shop and also support his fellow fashion designers, despite the pandemic, noted. Also, Cota's brand, Skingraft, teamed with the Tom of Finland store to launch their mask initiative. For every mask purchased, they will donate one mask to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, providing protection to its dedicated health care staff and homeless youth in need.

Speaking of Making the Cut, supermodel Naomi Campbell ( who was a judge in the show's first season ) appears on the front of this month's issue of Essence Magazine—but the photo is hardly just another cover for her, NDIGO noted. The May/June issue of Essence represents milestones for both Campbell and the women's magazine, as both turn 50 this month. Also, the Essence cover was styled and shot by Campbell on her iPhone.

Tyra Banks broke her silence on several clips from America's Next Top Model that have resurfaced on Twitter, Variety noted. The major video that caused Banks to respond was from season six of the show, in which she tells contestant Dani Evans that she would never become a model because of the gap in her front teeth; Evans went on to win that season, and modeled for brands like CoverGirl and Sephora. "Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past 'ANTM' moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs," Banks wrote on Twitter.

The Walt Disney Company announced it will share a four-year-old live capture of Hamilton on Disney+ starting Friday, July 3, WGN-TV noted. Earlier this year, Disney announced the film would be released in October 2021 and would include a theater release. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Disney opted to release the film early and exclusively on Disney+.

Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage has been penned to play Joe Exotic—from the viral docuseries Tiger King—in a new series from CBS Studios and Imagine Entertainment, Forbes noted, citing Variety. The eight-episode program around the underworld of big-cat breeding will be brought by American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana, along with Paul Young. The story was optioned from a Texas Weekly article from Leif Reigstad titled "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild," and will soon be pitched to networks and streaming platforms.

CBS New York ran a segment highlighting the story of Yuval David, a gay actor, filmmaker, and advocate in New York who was turned away from donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19 in March, a GLAAD press release noted. GLAAD has been leading a campaign to urge the FDA to lift its restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood and plasma, with its petition calling for an end to the current blood ban approaching 25,000 signatures. David also wrote about his story on Medium, where he recounts his experience with COVID-19, details being turned away from donating his plasma, and calls on the FDA to lift its discriminatory restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood.

Whitney Hilton—a registered nurse at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah—received a surprise when singer-songwriter Taylor Swift sent her a handwritten thank-you note along with a special package filled with tons of Lover merch, noted. "I need to PUBLICLY THANK TAYLOR SWIFT @taylorswift & @taylornation13 @treepaine for sending me a box full of Merch & a PERSONALIZED LETTER from Taylor herself for my 30th birthday/for going to NYC to help as a nurse," Hilton tweeted of her gifts from Swift. Hilton ( a Swift fan ) recently detailed her "humbling experience" helping in New York amid the worldwide health crisis in a blog post, describing the situation as a "modern war."

On Tuesday, June 2, Kino Lorber will release the 1968 drag documentary The Queen on Blu-ray, a press release announced. More than 40 years before RuPaul's Drag Race, this groundbreaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. Organized by LGBTQ+ icon and activist Jack Doroshow ( better known by his stage persona, Flawless Sabrina ), the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers and Terry Southern.

R&B/pop singer and seven-time Grammy Award-winner Toni Braxton returns with her new song "Do It," via Island Records, a press release noted. Braxton's latest single serves as advice for anyone struggling with the decision to end an unhealthy relationship. Drawing from her own experiences, Braxton urges "he ain't gonna change, if you take him back it's gonna be the same, just do what you need to do." The lyric video is at

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Brandy released the official video for her new single "Baby Mama," featuring Chance The Rapper, a press release noted. On May 1, Brandy released the single "Baby Mama" via Brand Nu Entertainment/Entertainment One ( "eOne" ). Produced by Hit-Boy & Brandy, the horn-laden track is an ode to raising daughter Sy'rai and a larger anthem to all mothers working hard to support their family.

Actress Amber Heard ( Aquaman ) revealed that her mother, Paige Heard, had died, Page Six noted. "I am heartbroken and devastated beyond belief at the loss of my mom, Paige Heard," Amber wrote on Instagram. "She left us too early, clasping onto the memory of her beautiful, gentle soul. She will be missed from the very depths of our hearts forever." Heard's famous friends, including Cara Delevingne and Andie MacDowell, offered their condolences.

Jessica Simpson said she was being "body-shamed" by Vogue after a former staffer claimed her breasts fell out of her dress at the 2007 Met Gala, Page Six noted. In "Only at the Met"—an oral history of annual ball, which was published on May 5—the magazine's former creative digital director Sally Singer recalls of Simpson that "her breasts maybe fell out of her dress on the red carpet." Simpson fired back on Instagram by posting the famed picture of Sophia Loren side-eying Jayne Mansfield's breasts at a dinner with the caption, "Feeling a little like Jayne Mansfield after reading this ( inaccurate! ) oral history of the #MetBall where I am body-shamed by [Singer]."

Model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne and her actress girlfriend, Pretty Little Liars alum Ashley Benson, have called it quits after dating for two years, according to a item that cites E! News. The couple, who went public with their relationship via a steamy Instagram post from June 2019, have reportedly broken up and are quarantining separately with friends. Previously, a source close to the duo confirmed to E! News that they'd moved in together in Los Angeles.

Skylar Astin, Dolores Catania, Julian Edelman and Isiah Thomas helped to raise funds to deliver meals to Holocaust survivors unable to leave their homes during the coronavirus crisis, Page Six noted. The celebs and athletes have joined forces with 333 Charity and the UJA-Federation to teach a virtual total body-conditioning workout class with Trooper Fitness to benefit survivors living in New York. The class had a minimum donation of $20/person.

Actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan is starring in an AMC series as Rob Ford—the notorious former Toronto mayor who, among other scandals, was caught on video smoking crack during his tenure, noted. Gaffigan retweeted a Variety report tying him to the role, adding the caption "Stop the gravy train," an old campaign promise of Ford's. Recently, Gaffigan starred in the Amazon Studios movie Troop Zero, with Viola Davis, and has appeared in shows like Bob's Burgers and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

CBS renewed 18 more series for 2020-21, including the majority of its drama lineup and a trio of comedies, Deadline noted. The broadcaster picked up dramas All Rise, Blue Bloods, Bull, FBI, FBI: Most Wanted, MacGyver, Magnum P.I., NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Seal Team and S.W.A.T.; comedies Bob ( Hearts ) Abishola, The Neighborhood and The Unicorn; news programs 60 Minutes and 48 Hours; and reality series Undercover Boss. They join previously renewed Evil, Mom, Young Sheldon, Survivor and The Amazing Race for a total of 23 shows.

Betty White has signed on to star in a Lifetime Christmas movie, . The eight-time Emmy winner and all-around pop-culture legend turned 98 in January, and hHer Hollywood career spans more than eight decades, with White starring in such series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland.

Michael Buble will be returning to his "An Evening With Michael Buble" Tour in February and March 2021, with an opening night in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6, a press release noted. His new single—"Gotta Be Patient," a collaboration with Barenaked Ladies and Mexican singer Sofia Reyes—has just been released. Tickets will be honored for the rescheduled dates.

Selena Gomez is heading to the kitchen with a quarantine-themed cooking show for HBO Max, Deadline noted. The WarnerMedia streaming service has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to the Untitled Cooking Project, starring and executive produced by Gomez via her July Moon Productions. In each episode, the recording artist, actress and producer will be joined remotely by a different master chef.

Valerie Bertinelli has been watching the One Day at a Time reboot and she came really close to appearing on an episode, noted. Bertinelli, who played Barbara Cooper in the original One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984, said she really loves what Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce are doing with the latest iteration, and that it's only a matter of time before she'll pop up and surprise audiences. Bertinelli said that "it's just been scheduling issues—that's really all it's been."

Kino Marquee's New French Shorts 2020—the annual showcase of some of the new cinematic voices from France—will open Friday, May 15, in U.S. virtual screening rooms, a press release noted. Among the films is The Distance Between Us and the Sky ( La distance entre nous et le ciel )—the winner of Short Film Palme d'Or and Queer Palme at Cannes 2019. The full list of cities is at

The American Horror Story franchise is expanding with a new anthology series spinoff, American Horror Stories, Deadline noted. AHS co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy mentioned the new series in a social media post, noting that will feature one hour contained episodes. Sources have described the new project as a companion anthology series to AHS in which each episode is a standalone ghost story.

A new Netflix docuseries dives into the infamous 1996 case involving a man who killed his gay best friend after the friend revealed his crush during a taping of The Jenny Jones Show, Queerty noted. Trial By Media is a true-crime series that looks back at some of the most notorious court cases of our time and how the media may have impacted the verdicts. In March 1995, Scott Amedure appeared on the show to proclaim his love for his friend, Jonathan Schmitz, with Jones acting as a moderator. The episode was never broadcast, however, because three days later, Schmitz withdrew cash from his bank account to purchase a shotgun; he went over to Amedure's home in Detroit and shot him twice, killing him instantly, before turning himself into police.

The July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular live concert has been cancelled—but a special broadcast, both retrospective and new content, will take place on that day, a press release noted. The Boston Pops will present "A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes" to pay tribute to the COVID-19 frontline workers and honor those who have lost their lives during the current health crisis.

Actress Chloe Sevigny welcomed her first child with boyfriend Sinisa Mackovic, Extra noted. In March, the American Horror Story actress reacted to the news that some New York hospitals wouldn't allow fathers to be present, writing on Instagram, "I hope all expecting families are finding some calm. Today's news in NY was very distressing for all. #support #prayers." The child has been named Vanja Sevigny Mackovic.

Andre Harrell, whose Uptown Records is considered one of the key bridges between hip-hop and R&B, died of heart failure at age 59, Deadline noted. Harrell was a key to the careers of Sean Combs, Mary J. Blige, Heavy D & The Boyz and Jodeci, among many others. He was also an executive producer of the television police drama New York Undercover as well as the films Strictly Business and Honey.

Bravo TV's Southern Charm personality Kathryn Dennis is being called out as racist after sending a monkey emoji to a Black radio-show host, Page Six revealed. The Charleston, South Carolina native, had an ugly spat with radio host/activist Mika Gadsden over a planned "Trump Boat Parade" being thrown by local businesses, the messages show. Dennis argued that supporting Trump did not make her racist—and then sent the emoji tweet in an angry exchange of direct messages. Dennis later admitted that "using a monkey emoji in my text was offensive."

Singer Billie Eilish filed for a restraining order against a fan who allegedly stalked her at her parent's house during quarantine, according to Page Six. Page Six obtained documents that show the 18-year-old singer filed a petition for civil-harassment prevention at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse against Prenell Rousseau. Rousseau, 24, allegedly showed up at Eilish's parents house for the first time in early May and asked if the "Bad Guy" singer lived there; Eilish's father reportedly told Rousseau he had the wrong house, but the alleged stalker returned at 9 p.m. that night and exhibited "erratic behavior."

Embattled actor Kevin Spacey, who has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple males—including teenagers—throughout his career, has likened the resulting career fallout to the economic disaster caused by the coronavirus pandemic, BuzzFeed News reported. "I don't often like to tell people that I can relate to their situation because I think it undermines the experience that they may be having, which is their own unique and very personal experience," he said on a Bits & Pretzels Virtual Founders Breakfast podcast episode in April that resurfaced recently. "But in this instance, I feel as though I can relate to what it feels like to have your world suddenly stop."

Singer Aaron Carter was hit with a lawsuit for allegedly ripping off a painting to promote his clothing line—and then launching a Twitter attack against the artist, Page Six noted. Carter allegedly ran an image of the painting "Cosmic Lion" on his now-defunct Love Collection website, which sells apparel and jewelry. Artist Ali Shimhaq, of the Maldives, confronted Carter about the alleged theft on Twitter, prompting a profanity-laced tirade, the suit says.

Screenwriter Lena Waithe and "Harriet" actress Cynthia Erivo—who are a rumored couple—were possibly caught ron their own Instagram Story posts, The Jasmine Brand noted. Both ladies posted photos while watching singer Erykah Badu's online concert, seemingly in the same home theater room, adorned with starry skylights and bean bags. This comes merely months after rumors swirled that Lena Waithe had moved in with Cynthia Erivo amid an abrupt split with Waithe's wife, Alana Mayo.

Lori Loughlin will still go to trial in October for her alleged role in the college admissions scandal, Yahoo! noted. On May 8, a federal judge denied the defense's motion to dismiss charges against the Full House star, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other parents. The defense was looking to get the case thrown out due to alleged investigatory misconduct.

Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May shared an Instagram from the hospital wearing a face mask revealing that he tore his butt muscles "to shreds" while gardening, noted. May said that he needs "to go dark for a while, getting some complete rest, at home" due to his injury. "Please, please don't send me sympathy—I just need some healing silence for a while," he stated.

Believe it or not, Carnival Cruise Line announced that it plans to begin sailing again on Aug. 1, noted. The company said that eight ships will depart from Texas and Florida. "We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests," the company said in a press release.

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