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SHOWBIZ Kelly Clarkson, Sam Smith, comic-book movies, 'Drag Race'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-04-03

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After a booted contestant on The Voice called Kelly Clarkson "small-minded" for comparing her to fellow gay artists, the coach had something to say, People.com noted. Contestant Molly Stevens, who is openly gay, revealed in a now-deleted Instagram post that she was upset by a comparison that Clarkson made during the battle rounds, as Clarkson said Stevens reminded her of the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge. Clarkson tweeted that Stevens neglected to include a comparison to straight singer Patty Griffin and assert that the connections had nothing to do with sexuality. Stevens later apologized for the misunderstanding.

Sam Smith was "so emotional" after receiving a giant rainbow tribute, Gay Times magazine noted. The Grammy-winning star began his world tour in Sheffield. Smith declared himself to be a "proud gay man" to the arena of adoring fans, but during a show in Glasgow, it seemed it was the venue showing off Pride, as the SSE HYDRO lit up in rainbow colors to honor his appearance there. "I can't believe the SS[E] HYDRO did this!! Has made me so emotional," he tweeted, alongside several Pride flag emojis.

The identity of Deadpool 2's bisexual, polyamorous superhero has been revealed, PinkNews noted. Shatterstar, who has appeared in Marvel comics since 1991, will star alongside Ryan Reynolds' pansexual Deadpool in the sequel to the 2016 smash hit. Lewis Tan, who played Zhou Cheng in Marvel's Iron Fist, will play the time-travelling mutant human.

Pedro Pascal—from the TV series Narcos and Game of Thrones ( having played pansexual Oberyn Martell in the latter )—is joining the cast of the second Wonder Woman film, TheWrap noted. Pascal joins Kristen Wiig, who is set to play classic Wonder Woman villain Cheetah in the sequel, which is reportedly set in the 1980s. Interestingly, Pascal previously starred in NBC's 2011 Wonder Woman pilot starred starred Adrianne Palicki as Diana/Wonder Woman.

The queens of RuPaul's Drag Race will begin their fall North American WERQ THE WORLD TOUR this September with 32 live shows throughout the United States and Canada, a press release noted. The tour will start Sept. 5 in New York City and end Oct. 27 in Miami, with stops in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver, New Orleans and San Francisco. Bob the Drag Queen and/or Michelle Visage will host with live performances former contestants such as Violet Chachki, Kim Chi, Shangela and Valentina, as well as three soon-to-be-announced RuPaul's Drag Race Season Ten queens. See WerqTheWorld.com .

GLAAD announced the 2018 Concert for Love and Acceptance set for June 7 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, according to a press release. Ty Herndon and CMT's Cody Alan will host, and the event will feature performances by Herndon as well as Terri Clark, Cassadee Pope, Michael Ray, Calum Scott, Brandon Stansell and more. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit GLAAD.org/nashville.

Call Me By Your Name screenwriter James Ivory revealed to The Guardian that he would've liked to have seen more full-frontal nudity in the film, Gay Star News noted. It seems the Oscar-winning screenwriter is calling out director Luca Guadagnino's claims that he never wanted nudity in the film. Ivory said, in part, "When people are wandering around before or after making love, and they're decorously covered with sheets, it's always seemed phony to me." The possibility of fully naked scenes was overruled in the actors' contracts.

Keiynan Lonsdale—who plays the enigmatic Blue in the film Love, Simon—has dropped an unapologetically queer single titled "Kiss the Boy," Billboard reported. "The teaser for Love, Simon had dropped on YouTube and then for some reason, I don't know why, the song 'Kiss the Girl' from The Little Mermaid popped up on my feed," Lonsdale said, explaining how the idea for his song took root. The Australian actor/musician doesn't ascribe to a specific label in terms of his sexuality, as he has said he is openly attracted to men and women.

Actress Marcia Gay Harden's reason for being an LGBT-rights activist is personal, NewNowNext.com noted. Her 13-year-old son, Hudson, is gay and she's determined to make sure he inherits a future where his rights are guaranteed. The Oscar winner brought Hudson to the the Family Equality Council's annual Impact Awards in L.A. last month, where Armie Hammer, Beau Bridges, Lance Bass, Peter Paige and Queer Eye's Karamo Brown were also in attendance. "The cause is dear to me," Harden told Us Weekly. "My son is gay. I just want to make sure he gets to have a family when he wants one."

Openly gay Golden State Warriors president Rick Welts is among the inductees in the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame class, Outsports noted. ( Welts actually came out in 2011, when he was with the Phoenix Suns. ) This year's class also includes two-time NBA Champion Ray Allen, four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, the only coach in NCAA history to be named Conference Coach of the Year in four different conferences Charles "Lefty" Driesell, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, 10-time NBA All-Star Jason Kidd, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, WNBA.com noted.

In an essay for Teen Vogue, dancer/singer/actress Alyson Stoner revealed that she is genderfluid, Billboard noted. "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways," she wrote. "I can love people of every gender identity and expression. It is the soul that captivates me." She added that her new song, "When It's Right," is an ode to what it felt like to fall in love with a woman for the first time.

Plans to turn the queer literary classic Stone Butch Blues into a movie have angered fans of Leslie Feinberg's semi-autobiographical novel, NewNowNext.com noted. First published in 1993, Blues follows the story of Jess Goldberg, a blue-collar lesbian in 1950s Buffalo whose life intersects with the emerging gay-rights movement; at various points, Jess navigates between a butch-lesbian identity and that of a transgender man, mirroring Feinberg's own journey. Before her death in 2014, Feinberg made it explicitly clear she didn't want such a movie made.

San Antonio drag queen Ada Vox, whose birth name is Adam Sanders, has advanced to the American Idol top 24, according to Chron.com . "I finally became something that I was proud of, and in that I developed Miss Ada," Sanders said. "She taught me that I don't have to be afraid of who I am." Sanders previously auditioned during season 12, making it to the top 50 before getting cut. He says that was followed by relentless online bullying about his appearance and sexuality.

Sarah Jessica Parker is the latest Sex and the City star to endorse Cynthia Nixon in her bid for New York governor, TheWrap noted. "A mother. An activist. An advocate. A fighter. A NY'er. A dear friend. Running for Governor of our great state," Parker wrote on her Instagram account. "My sister on and off screen, you have my love, support and vote." Fellow "SATC" alum Kristin Davis endorsed Nixon earlier this month. Kim Cattrall, when asked about what she thought about Nixon's bid, said, "I support & respect any former colleague's right to make their own career choices."

Breaking Glass Pictures and NakedSword Film Works announced the launch of the LGBTQ streaming service Qreel ( pronounced "Q-reel" ), according to a press release. The two companies first partnered to bring the documentary Seed Money: The Story of Chuck Holmes, the story surrounding the rise and tragic end of the founder and figurehead of Falcon Studios. Qreel subscriptions cost $9.95/month or $79.95/year; visit Qreel.com .

RuPaul's Drag Race All Star and fan favorite Katya Zamolodchikova has announced her return to the spotlight following her hiatus earlier this year, Gay Times magazine noted. The season seven contestant told fans back in January that she will be taking a break from drag due to mental-health issues. In a tweet, Katya announced her return with a GIF of Michelle Pfeiffer in her iconic role as Catwoman in Batman Returns, alongside the caption "The Bitch is Back."

Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton is stirring some controversy of his own, according to Entertainment Tonight Canada. He said in a video posted on his website that he wouldn't be enrolling his 5-year-old son in dance class, due to the fact that "50 per cent or more of little boys who take dance class end up being gay." Hilton, who believes he was born gay, has also said on his podcast that he'd prefer his son, Mario, to grow up straight because it's "easier." Hilton, who is a father to 2-year-old Mia and 5-month old Mayte, explained that no matter what Mario grows up to be, he will continue to show his love and support.

Garbage announced the release of the 20th anniversary edition of its second album, Version 2.0, a press release noted. Due for release on Stunvolume/PIAS on June 22, the package will feature the whole original album as well as 10 B-sides from the era. Version 2.0 songs include "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "When I Grow Up," while B-sides include "Lick the Pavement," "Deadwood" and "Can't Seem to Make You Mine," among others.

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum announced that they are separating after nearly nine years of marriage, CNN.com noted. "We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple," the pair said. The couple first met while filming the 2006 movie Step Up. They married in 2009 and have a young daughter together.

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson has filed a lawsuit against Ryan Seacrest's production company, NBC Universal and others, alleging that she was tricked into appearing on Bravo's Shahs of Sunset reality series and falsely painted as a villain on the episode, AOL.com reported. Dickinson would "not have agreed to appear or be featured in any episode of the Series or any promotion or advertising for the Series, or to endorse the Series or be associated with it, without being paid the fee that she usually receives for such services, or at a minimum without a negotiation with her representative regarding such a fee," according to the suit, which says that she usually receives an appearance fee of $75,000 or more for reality TV.

In a conversation with Sirius XM's "Conversations with Maria Menounos," singer Ashanti said she was once put in an uncomfortable situation with a music producer she worked with, VH1.com noted. The person, whose name she did not reveal, allegedly sexually harassed her and then tried to swindle her as punishment for rejecting his advances. The "Say Less" singer said that she was fortunate to have the support of male allies—in Ashanti's case, her Murder Inc. label mates.

After reports of a "gay cure" therapist's suspension for sexually engaging with patients, a Twitter user has accused gospel singer and minister Donnie McClurkin Jr. of having ties to Exodus International—a gay conversion organization with a disturbing history of sexual-abuse allegations, BET.com reported. The individual claimed his mother enrolled him in Exodus years ago, and McClurkin had "formed a religious gay cure cult" via the organization. Neither McClurkin nor his team had made official statements regarding the accusations.

In what appears to be a call for help, Bow Wow ( real name: Shad Moss ) has engaged with his followers in posts that make the entertainer look suicidal, some fear, according to HotNewHipHop.com . Recently, he posted, "Sometimes i REALLY wish i never existed... i can never do SHIT RIGHT EVEN WHEN IM DOING RIGHT! Im better off ....." Bow Wow has not made reference to the posts since publicizing them, choosing to play around with Jermaine Dupri and show off his Adidas tracksuits.

Aaliyah for M.A.C ( named after the late singer ) is officially dropping on June 20 online and June 21 in stores, according to an ELLE.com item. ( The Aaliyah for M.A.C collection, like the M.A.C x Selena collection, started out as a fan-driven change.org petition that was eventually endorsed by her brother, Rashad Haughton, her friend Missy Elliot and her makeup artist Eric Ferrell. ) M.A.C also recently announced a casting call to create an "A-Z of Aaliyah" short film tied to the launch. To participate, fans just have to post a video or photo showing how Aaliyah inspired them using the hashtags #AtoZofAaliyah and #AaliyahforMAC.

ABC's Roseanne reboot premiere ( on March 27 ) delivered huge demo ratings, Deadline noted. The first of the two episodes drew massive 17.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating in adults 18-49, while second episode ( at 7:30 p.m. CT ) rose even higher, to 18.6 million viewers and a 5.3 in 18-49. Even more impressive, these ratings were up from the finale telecast from 21 years ago. Roseanne ( which has already been renewed for a second season ) easily ranks as the biggest series debut this season, topping CBS' Young Sheldon ( 17.2 million viewers ), which followed The Big Bang Theory.

The CW again has given an early renewal to the bulk of its lineup, picking up all returning series on its fall schedule for the 2018-19 season as well as freshmen Dynasty and Black Lightning, Deadline noted. The list includes all five DC superhero series, The Flash ( season 5 ), Arrow ( season 7 ), Supergirl ( season 4 ) and Legends of Tomorrow ( season 4 ), joined by newcomer Black Lighting ( season 2 ) as well as the venerable Supernatural, picked up for a 14th ( ! ) season, sophomore success Riverdale ( season 3 ) and comedies Jane the Virgin ( season 5 ) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ( season 4 ) for what could be the praised duo's final seasons.

Florence and the Machine and Janet Jackson will headline the 2018 FYF Festival on July 21-22 at Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles, Rolling Stone noted. The Breeders, Future, the xx, My Bloody Valentine, St. Vincent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Youth Code, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Car Seat Headrest, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and more will also perform at the 15th-anniversary event. See https://fyffest.com/.

Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Lionel Richie, Brandi Carlile, Hozier, Counting Crows, Amos Lee, Bleachers, Lord Huron, Dawes, Maggie Rogers, Elle King, Pete Yorn and more will be part of this year's Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival on Sept. 22-23 in Franklin, Tennessee, Relix.com noted. Pilgrimage takes place during the day, and offers a lineup of rock 'n' roll, alt-country, bluegrass, jazz, indie, gospel and other musical genres, according to its website. See https://pilgrimagefestival.com/.

Kenya Moore has claimed that most of her Real Housewives of Atlanta co-stars have "enjoyed kicking me while I was down," especially about love and motherhood, according to Page Six. "The main thing that they always … bullied me about was me being single and me having no children," she said. "So, now that obviously my life has turned around and I'm getting everything that I want and have ever dreamed of, I just think that [most of them are] still stuck and they really just don't want to be happy for me." Moore secretly wed businessman Marc Daly in St-Tropez last June, but some of the women have questioned the authenticity of their relationship.

Abby Lee Miller's stint in jail for shady financial moves ended March 27 with the former Dance Moms host getting an expected early release for good behavior, Deadline noted. She is being transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach, California. She is set to leave the halfway house on May 25 if she meets all the conditions of her stay there. Miller was indicted on 20 counts of fraud in October 2015, and started serving her year-and-one-day sentence on July 12, 2017.


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