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Entertainment: Adam Lambert; Gaga; Rock Hudson; offensive films
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-04-28

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Out singer/songwriter Adam Lambert will release his third studio album, The Original High, on Tuesday, June 16, through Warner Bros. Records. The album was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, and Los Angeles with Max Martin and Shellback ( Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Pink, etc. ) as executive producers. Among the 14 tracks are "Ghost Town," ( the first single ) "Underground," "Heavy Fire" and "Evil in the Night." Three songs—"After Hours," "Shame" and "These Boys"—will only be available on the deluxe edition of the CD.

Lady Gaga drew a crowd during a trip to Chicago to ride bikes and raise money, ABC7Chicago.com noted. The singer ( wearing Day of the Dead make-up ) hosted a benefit ride for her Born This Way Foundation, which works to empower young people and teach them to embrace differences. It took place at the New Soul Cycle Chicago on in the Old Town area.

Thirty years after actor Rock Hudson's death from AIDS-related causes on Oct. 2, 1985, at age 59, Lee Garlington and others who knew Hudson closely—including Dr. Michael Gottlieb, the immunologist who cared for Hudson after he was diagnosed with AIDS; his business manager, Wallace Sheft; and his Pillow Talk costar Doris Day—shared memories of him with People.com . "He was a sweetheart. I adored him," said Garlington, 77, a retired stockbroker who said he dated Hudson from 1962 to 1965. Hudson never had to ask him to keep their relationship a secret. "He assumed I would and I did," Garlington said. "He wasn't paranoid."

Retired manufacturing executive and art collector Stefan Edlis and his wife, Gael Neeson, have donated what the Art Institute of Chicago is calling the largest gift in the museum's history—including works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg Combine, Roy Lichtenstein and Gerhard Richter and Jeff Koons, according to Crain's Chicago Business. The gift, with a reported value of $400 million, was approved at a museum board meeting. The heart of the collection, the museum noted, is nine works by Warhol, including two self-portraits; images of Jacqueline Kennedy, Liz Taylor, and the Mona Lisa; and a definitive electric chair.

In the "Observations & Recommendations" section of its Studio Responsibility Index, GLAAD singled out five 2014 films it found particularly offensive, Vanity Fair noted. They were Ridley Scott's biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, Chris Rock's Top Five, The Other Woman, Horrible Bosses 2 and Transformers: Age of Extinction. The organization also added 2015's Get Hard, which it called "one of the most problematic films we've seen in years" and "gay-panic exploiting."

Lambda Literary announced that filmmaker John Waters will receive Lambda's Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature and writer Rita Mae Brown will receive the Pioneer Award at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ( "Lammys" ). Waters and Brown will be honored along with the winning authors of 24 separate LGBT literary categories, as determined by over 90 judges. For the fourth consecutive year, comedienne Kate Clinton will host the event, which will take place Monday, June 1, in New York City.

Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist Melissa Etheridge will hit the road this summer on a tour making stops in more than 50 cities nationwide, according to EDGE Boston. Etheridge's summer tour schedule will be a mix of solo dates, full band gigs and festival stops as well as 10 co-headline dates with Blondie. It kicks off June 10 at the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and concludes in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Aug. 30. Etheridge released her 13th studio album, This Is M.E., last September.

Officials say a pair of Elton John's heart-shaped glasses has been stolen from a display case at a Memphis museum, TriCities.com reported. Memphis police said the glasses were taken from the Memphis Rock n' Soul Museum. Museum executive director John Doyle said the glasses are valued at about $2,000.

Trans actress Laverne Cox has received yet another honor—being named one of People magazine's most beautiful women, Out.com noted. The issue—which features Sandra Bullock on the cover as the world's most beautiful woman—says of Cox that her "skillful performance as Sophia on Orange Is the New Black and her work advocating for transgender women make her one of our boldest beauties yet." A few other women in the issue are actresses Vanessa Hudgens, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Shay Mitchell ( who plays a lesbian on TV's Pretty Little Liars ) as well as singers Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor.

The television show Ugly Betty wrapped five years ago, but the cast has remained like family and reunited recently for the 31st-birthday celebration for the show's star, America Ferrera, the New York Daily News noted. "#Ugly Betty gang reunites @AmericaFerrera's bday!" Vanessa Williams, who played the malicious diva Wilhelmina Slater, tweeted. Ferrera and Williams were joined by Judith Light ( Claire Meade ), Mark Indelicato ( Justin Suarez ), Tony Plano ( Ignacio Suarez ) and costume designer Patricia Field.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS canceled its planned "Broadway Bares: Solo Strips" show, a May 10 precursor to the main Broadway Bares show, after the owners of New York's 42West hosted a private reception for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, according to NewNowNext.com . Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said in a statement, "We do business with and accept fundraising support from a variety of people across a wide spectrum of political and religious affiliations. ... But when it does occur, in a way that's blatantly against all we stand and work for, we can't pretend it doesn't come with consequences. Silence is not a neutral position. It is complicit."

In a related matter, Advocate.com noted that the New York City Gay Men's Chorus ( NYCGMC ) cancelled a April 25 fundraiser at the Out NYC Hotel because of the Cruz event. The group said on its website, "NYCGMC has a 35-year history of campaigning for human rights through our music. Our mission must always come first."

In what ABC touted as "the most anticipated interview of the year" and one that "America is glued to," a former Olympic champion and reality television celebrity who asked for the present to be referred to as Bruce Jenner and with male pronouns described growing up and living as a transgender individual during an April 24 prime-time 20/20 special on the network. To questions from interviewer Diane Sawyer, a candid and patient Jenner charted an emotional and physical journey that began when he was 8. Throughout the interview, Sawyer provided viewers with brief educational segments concerning transgender issues, including basic terminology, the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, and the discrimination, homelessness, suicide rate and violence experienced by trans individuals as well as the horrific numbers of transgender individuals of color murdered in the United States and worldwide.

Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer on April 24 wasn't just a ratings blockbuster for ABC ( 16.9 million viewers ), as the 20/20"special became Twitter's most social Friday telecast of all time, excluding sports, TheWrap reported. A total of 8.1 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of the 972,000 tweets sent about the two-hour special, Bruce Jenner: The Interview. The tweets were sent by 403,000 people and viewed 139 million times, making Jenner's official declaration that he is a transgender individual who identifies as a woman the top worldwide trend that evening.

Many celebrities congratulated Jenner for his interview, noted NewNowNext.com . Among them were Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Lena Dunham, Andy Cohen, Sir Elton John and daughter Khloe Kardashian. Boy George said that Jenner "has my 150% support in every way. I think that the whole transgender thing is the new frontier."

Before Jenner's interview, Dr. Phil McGraw raised eyebrows during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live after he jokingly suggested Bruce Jenner's life-changing decision to transition into a woman at age 65 was pointless, People reported. However, after that statement sparked backlash, McGraw has clarified his comment. "I've said long and loud it's never too late to make a life change, and I'm personally cheering him on," he later said. "I'm glad he's decided to set himself free in order to live his life authentically. It's his life and his body and his decision—more power to him."

A 2011 video showing UK singer Ed Sheeran using the word "faggoty" in a freestyle rap battle has apparently been removed from the Internet, according to an EDGE Boston item that cites the UK Mirror. The five-minute video shows the singer in a freestyle rap battle with rapper Devlin four years ago. The pop star's label, Warner Music Group, was contacted about the clip and it was soon removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim. Sheeran made headlines in 2013 when he slammed the anti-gay protesters of the Westboro Baptist Church who were picketing Taylor Swift's concert in Kansas.

Lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in Arizona on allegations of assault and disorderly conduct, Arizona Central reported. Griner's fiancee, Glory Johnson, was also arrested on the same allegations, according to jail records. Griner was a key player for the Mercury, helping them win the WNBA title in 2014; Johnson was a forward last year with the WNBA's Tulsa Shock.

A documentary set to air on PBS tracks the legal troubles of a gay couple who obtained a marriage license in Boulder, Colorado, long before Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of a 2003 court decision, according to the ABA Journal. Anthony Corbett Sullivan and Richard Frank Adams received a marriage license in 1975 from a county clerk who had previously given a marriage license to another gay couple. Sullivan, an Australian, applied for a spouse's visa to remain in the United States—but the U.S. government denied the application, stating, "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots." The documentary, Limited Partnership, will air June 15.

In the ongoing saga over whether Mo'Nique was ever offered the coveted role of Cookie on hit Fox series Empire, Mo'nique says yes and she has proof, TheWrap reported. The Oscar-winning actress said on the radio show "Sway in the Morning" that she had emails to back her claim—and then produced printed-out emails she said came a short time later from Daniels' camp asking her representatives to coordinate a screen test. One missive read, "Lee fought for her because he thought she would be great for the pilot but studio and network executives insisted on offering the role to Taraji [P. Henson]."

Superstar Mariah Carey has released her new single "Infinity" ( co-written and produced by Carey ), which will be featured as the final track on Mariah Carey #1 To Infinity, arriving in stores May 18 on Epic Records/Columbia Records/Sony Legacy, according to a press release. For the first time ever, one career-spanning chronological collection will gather all 18 of her Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles ( 17 self-penned ), more than any solo artist in history. "Infinity" will be included as the final track on the collection, which includes "Vision of Love," "Heartbreaker" and "Emotions," among other hits.

Amid lesbian rumors about actress Kristen Stewart, she and Alicia Cargile were recently spotted at Coachella getting cozy, IBTimes.co.uk noted. Over the past few months, the actress is known to have developed a close friendship with the visual effects producer, as they are often spotted together. They dress alike and even got matching tattoos of arrows pointing in the same direction on their right arms.

In the upcoming film Bare, actress Paz de la Huerta romances Dianna Agron ( from TV's Glee ), introducing her character to a world of "drugs, stripping and metaphysical experiences," The Huffington Post noted. Filming those scenes wasn't easy but, according to de la Huerta, the actresses built their way up to it, allowing them to become completely uninhibited. "By the point we got to the sex scenes, there was a simpatico," de la Huerta recalled. The movie recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Lisa Vogel, the founder of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, told the fest's followers on Facebook that this year's 40th-anniversary festival will be its last. There have been rumors that a different, smaller festival would replace MichFest if it were to close, but there have been no public statements about such a plan. MichFest was in the news recently when two LGBT groups, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force, withdrew support for a petition from Equality Michigan calling for opposition to the fest because of its intent on transgender women.

Mama June and her 15-year-old daughter Pumpkin ( both known from the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo ) have both come out as bisexual, Inside Edition noted. Initially, Pumpkin—who is currently starring in a music video with sister Honey Boo Boo and Mama June—revealed her sexual orientation. However, she then added that her mother is "gay"—to which June corrected her by saying, "Bisexual." Mama June added that she's fooled around with women but has never had a real relationship with a woman.

This July, 215 Ink will release Flutter, Volume Two: Don't Let Me Die Nervous, the latest in the indie LGBTQ graphic novel series by Jennie Wood and Jeff McComsey, according to a press release. Flutter is about a girl who shape-shifts into a boy to get her dream girl. Over the course of the series, she learns that pretending to be someone she's not has consequences and being a guy has its own difficulties. Ahead of Flutter, Volume Two's release, a Flutter Kickstarter campaign is going on now through May 12; visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/372761059/flutter-an-indie-comic-by-jennie-wood-and-jeff-mcc.

R.E.M. BY MTV, the feature-length documentary by filmmaker Alexander Young, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 2, courtesy of Rhino. Both the Blu-Ray and DVD of R.E.M. BY MTV include the feature-length documentary as well as rarely-seen live performances, all of which were previously available only in last fall's REMTV six-DVD boxed set. In advance of the release, Fathom Events will bring R.E.M. BY MTV to approximately 300 U.S. movie theaters for a one-night-only event on Tuesday, May 19, as a part of its "Classic Music Series."

The 1998 movie 54 ( with the famed Studio 54 as its setting ) is back—as a director's cut, according to Advocate.com . Spooked by negative reactions to test screenings, Disney-owned Miramax originally cut 36 minutes of the film's bisexual content and demanded that director Mark Christopher and company shoot an additional 25 minutes, including a straight love story between Shane ( Ryan Phillippe ) and an actress ( Neve Campbell ) as well as a happy ending. Now, Christopher has recut 54 into the film he always intended to make. 54: The Director's Cut had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival this past February, and it screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Gay Chicago resident Shane Devins is in the running to be named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' ( PETA's ) Sexiest Vegan Next Door, according to LGBT Weekly. Devins, 27, beat out hundreds of other entrants from across the United States to become one of 10 male contestants to advance to the final round. Visitors to PETA.org can now help PETA decide whom it should pick as the two lucky winners—one male and one female—who will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of Humane Travel. The contest ends at noon on May 1; winners will be notified May 6.

Beginning in May, award-winning stage performer Jennifer Blake will portray one of the entertainment industry's most tragic figures—country singer Mindy McCready—at Los Angeles' Spirit Studio, according to Rolling Stone. The late McCready's accolades include a double-platinum debut album and a dozen chart singles, including a number-one hit in 1996 with "Guys Do It All the Time." McCready's life was filled with drug addiction, numerous arrests and suicide attempts, until a self-inflicted gunshot wound ultimately ended her life in February 2013 at age 37.

Universal has announced Furious 8, the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, will be released April 14, 2017, TheWrap noted. The latest installment, Furious 7, broke records at the box office and has already made more than $1 billion worldwide. Paul Walker—one of the original stars of the franchise dating back to the original film in 2001—died unexpectedly while Furious 7 was still in production, causing director James Wan and the filmmakers to revamp the storyline and give an onscreen sendoff to Walker's character, Brian O'Connor.

Bobbi Kristina Brown's grandmother said the 22-year-old has irreversible brain damage and did not regain consciousness in a miracle recovery, despite her dad's shock statement she was "awake," The New York Daily News noted. The only child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown remains unresponsive, although no longer is in a coma, Cissy Houston said in a statement.

The Daytime Emmys brought a soap-opera-ish end to its return to television with a tie for the night's biggest award—Best Drama—as The Young and The Restless and Days of Our Lives split that one, Deadline noted. Big winners included Entertainment Tonight, CBS Sunday Morning and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, while Betty White received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Tyra Banks hosted the show on the Pop network after a year of online-only coverage.

Lambda Literary has announced the recipients of the 2015 Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award: Anne Balay and Daisy HernÃíndez, a press release stated. The Emerging Writer Award—made possible by Teresa DeCrescenzo, and named after her late partner, the author/psychotherapist Dr. Betty Berzon—consists of two cash prizes of $1,000. To qualify, recipients must have published up to two books, or one book and additional literary work such as short stories, essays or journalistic articles. The awards will be handed out June 1 at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony in New York City.

E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, has enlisted her husband to write the script for the sequel, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Niall Leonard, who is married and has two sons with the British author, is an author himself, in addition to being a screenwriter. The first film earned almost $570 million worldwide.

In celebration of the home entertainment debut of director Ava DuVernay's Academy Award-winning film Selma, Paramount Home Media Distribution announced that every high school in the United States, both public and private, will receive a copy of the DVD free of charge. In addition, teachers can receive free companion study guides to help further illuminate the remarkable historical events depicted in the film. Selma is currently available on Digital HD, and will be available on Blu-ray/DVD on May 5.

ABC chiefs are reportedly desperately trying to sign Raven-Symone as a host of The View before their upfront presentation May 12 in New York, Page Six noted. Sources say the former child star of The Cosby Show, Disney Channel actress and, more recently, Empire cast member was a hit when she guest-hosted the daytime show in March alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie Perez.

Fresh off his Oscar win for Whiplash, J.K. Simmons is set to headline Starz's new supernatural drama Counterpart, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Described as an espionage thriller with a metaphysical twist, the series is created and written by Justin Marks ( The Jungle Book ). Morten Tyldum, coming off his Academy Award nomination for helming The Imitation Game, is attached to direct the first two episodes.


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