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Entertainment : Jennifer Hudson, Colton Haynes, Sir Ivan, Caitlyn Jenner
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson tweeted her reaction to being left off the list for the 70th Tony Awards, nominations for which were announced May 3, according to Entertainment Weekly. Hudson did not receive a nod, although co-stars Cynthia Erivo ( Actress in a Leading Role ) and Danielle Brooks ( Actress in a Featured Role ) each earned a nomination. Hudson tweeted, "@CrushedSounds my presence was used for my celebrity, not my talent. I'm not surprised"—and then quickly deleted the post. Hudson departed The Color Purple May 8; Tony winner Heather Headley took over May 10.

Actor Colton Haynes has made it official: He's gay. Talking with Entertainment Weekly about a past coy reply on social media about his sexuality, Haynes ( who the publication said is "gay but has never publicly addressed his sexuality" ) said, "I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn't ready. ... But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said." Haynes also talked about stepping away from shows such as Teen Wolf and Arrow: "I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time. I've had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I'm 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back."

As a follow up to last year's hit anti-bullying single "Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye" ( featuring Taylor Dayne ), singer, songwriter and philanthropist Sir Ivan has released a new electronic-dance music version of John Lennon's "Imagine," a press release stated. Net proceeds from SIR IVAN's single "Imagine" and the album Peaceman Shines will be donated to the Anti-Violence Project ( ), New York City's non-profit organization geared to ending violence against LGBT people. Both are available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Beatport Pro and other digital music stores; physical CDs can be purchased at CD Baby.

Channing Tatum announced during his first-ever Facebook Live session that Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will host the "Magic Mike" show starting next March, according to Entertainment Weekly. Tatum made one thing clear about the show, which is partnering with Cosmopolitan magazine: They want feedback on what the show will be. In part, he said, "We want to change what male entertainment has been for years. For 40, 50 years, it hasn't changed, and we want to make it better."

Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly posing nude for the cover of Sports Illustrated, wearing "nothing but an American flag and her Olympic medal," reported Us Weekly. It will be the first time the former athlete will pose with her gold medal since the July 2015 Vanity Fair profile in which Jenner came out as transgender. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Jenner's world decathlon record at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games.

Also regarding Jenner, hot on the heels of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I Am Cait will be descending on Cuba, Page Six noted. While Jenner can't make it because of "scheduling issues," Candis Cayne will travel to the country with Jessi Calzado's travel company, Cuba Inspires, as their first LGBT ambassador to Cuba and to take part in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

RuPaul's DragCon broke last year's attendance records with a celebrity and fan-filled weekend, including Amber Rose, Blac Chyna, Henry Rollins, Big Freedia, Todrick Hall and Debbie Gibson, among others, a press release noted. More than 22,000 people attended the event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The second installment coincided with the launch of the RuPaul's DragCon YouTube Channel. The 2017 event will take place April 29-30; visit

Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets is the latest studio album by out Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, Euronews noted. The CD was released to coincide with the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Featuring adaptations of sonnets by the famous Bard, it brings together major opera stars, actors and singers, including Carrie Fisher, Helena Bonham Carter and Florence Welch ( of Florence and the Machine ).

Kristen Stewart and girlfriend Stephanie "Soko" Sokolinski have split after a few months of dating, Us Weekly reported. While the couple are currently broken up, they may reconcile. The Snow White and the Huntsman star, 26, and the French singer-songwriter, 30, were first spotted looking romantic on a March trip to Paris.

SPOILER: In the upcoming movie Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Dave Franco's character is in a relationship with another man, LGBTQ Nation noted. As director Nicholas Stoller recently explained to Yahoo! Movies, the decision to have the character come out not only came from the first movie's homoerotic undertones, but from a journalist questioning why the director had never included a gay character in any of his previous films.

Now that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed HB 1840, giving therapists the right to refuse LGBT patients, the state is facing a celebrity backlash of its own, NewNowNext noted. The stars of ABC's Nashville, which has filmed in city since it premiered in 2012, are speaking out. Before HB 1840 was signed into law, Connie Britton told The Hollywood Reporter "Honestly, if they proceed with this, I'm not necessarily going to feel comfortable working there." Also, Chris Carmack ( who plays a gay character on the show ) and his fiance, Erin Slaver, are shopping for a house in Nashville—but are reconsidering that decision because of the new law.

Emmy-winning actress Jessica Lange is confirmed to star in Feud, a new anthology series coming to FX from Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, NewNowNext reported. The series will focus on famous beefs, with the first season revealing the backstory and backbiting behind What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Lange will play Joan Crawford, with Susan Sarandon stepping in as Bette Davis. Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess will co-star.

ESPN has hired retired soccer great Abby Wambach as an analyst and commentator, according to Gay Star News. The lesbian athlete, who retired last October, will work as an analyst and commentator for the Rio Olympics. In addition, she'll cover he UEFA European Championships and participate in the sports network's show Outside the Lines. She is a two-time Olympic gold-winning player and FIFA Women's World Cup champion ( 2015 ), and she was recently honored with her own Barbie doll.

The documentary Out of Iraq will debut nationally on �LOGO on Monday, June 13, according to a press release. It is a love story of an Iraqi soldier and an Iraqi translator, both� working with the U.S. military, and set in a war�-�torn country where their love is banned. Ramadi in 2004 was one of the most dangerous places� in the world and the last place one might expect to find love, but that's what happened when Nayyef ( translator ) met Btoo ( Iraqi soldier ).

Naomi Campbell has said she initially had "no idea" how much editor Anna Wintour had to fight to secure her spot as the first Black woman on the cover of Vogue's September issue, according to The Irish Examiner. The English supermodel, 45, broke a racial taboo when she became the fashion bible's cover star in September 1989—traditionally the year's biggest and most important issue ( as evidenced by the documentary The September Issue ). Naomi was also the first Black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue, making her debut in 1988 after Yves Saint Laurent threatened to pull his advertising from the magazine if they refused to put a Black model on the cover.

Empire creator Lee Daniels will be making a deep pocket donation to a charity for Sean Penn as the Oscar winner pulls the plug on his $10 million defamation lawsuit against the Oscar nominee, Deadline reported. "I am so sorry that I have hurt you, Sean, and I apologize and retract my reckless statements about you," Daniels said in an apology that accompanies the donation and ends the nearly nine-month war of words and writs between the two. The initial filing from Penn last September came not long after The Butler director, in a Hollywood Reporter interview, seemingly equated a double standard based on race out of the media response Empire star Terrence Howard had received from past run-ins with law and domestic-violence accusations.

Nominations for the 2016 Fred and Adele Astaire Awards—which honor outstanding dance and choreography on stage and screen—were announced at the Friar's Club by New York Post columnist Michael Riedel, according to a press release. The 34th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards will take place Monday, May 16, at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York. This year's award recipients are Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Nigel Lythgoe, creator/executive director of So You Think You Can Dance. Choreographer Maurice Hines and Dr. Joan Fallon will also receive special awards.

Paramount Television has put together Bettyville, a dramedy TV series project that has Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine and Tony winner Matthew Broderick are attached to star, according to Deadline. Bettyville follows George Hodgman ( Broderick ) after leaving Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri to care for his aging mother, Betty ( MacLaine ).

Tim Matheson has been cast as President Ronald Reagan and out actress Cynthia Nixon ( Sex and the City ) as First Lady Nancy Reagan in the adaptation of Bill O'Reilly's book Killing Reagan, for the National Geographic Channel, Deadline reported. Also, in a Hitchockian move, O'Reilly will have a small role in the project, which he declined to name except to say it was "a pretty fun role."

Alicia Vikander—who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar this year for The Danish Girl—just added a new hyphen to her considerable list of talents: producer,Deadline reported. The 27-year-old Swedish actress has launched her own production banner, Vikarious Productions, along with her London-based agent Charles Collier of Tavistock Wood. The company has set its first feature, Euphoria, with Vikander also set to star alongside Eva Green as sisters in conflict.

Kesha performed an emotional cover of Lady Gaga's "Til It Happens to You" at the Humane Society Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 7, US Weekly noted. The 29-year-old entertainer had tears in her eyes as the night's honoree, Diane Warren, started to play the tune on the piano. After taking a few deep breaths, Kesha told the audience, "I want to dedicate this song to every man, woman, child [and] animal that has ever been abused."

Prima ballerina Misty Copeland has been honored with a Barbie doll in her likeness, ABC News reported. Copeland, 33, made history last year when she became the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre. The doll is part of the Barbie Sheroes program, which honors women who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for a diverse group of women.

Fashion designer Zac Posen has revealed details of Claire Danes' gown at the 2016 Met Gala that was glow-in-the-dark, ABC News reported. Posen said it was powered by LED lights as well as 30 battery packs, and was made with fabric custom-ordered from France. The designer said he draped the dress about four weeks ago, going into his studio and turning on his boombox to create what would become the prestigious gala's most-talked about dress.

Hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa is no longer the leader of the Zulu Nation, the international hip-hop awareness group he formed, NewsOne reported. The group agreed to strip him of his title after he was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young boys in the eighties while at the helm of the organization. Bambaataa has not commented on the Nation's statement, but he continues to maintain his innocence regarding the accusations against him.

Pam Anderson auctioned off selfies for $500 a pop at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala, Page Six reported. Anderson, who's been to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, praised Israel's efforts on "conservation," and the Baywatch star then launched into a speech about "ecology."

Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne have split after more than 33 years of marriage, Us Weekly reported, citing multiple outlets. E! News reported that the couple reached a mutual agreement that the rocker would move out of their house temporarily, but noted that the split "has nothing to do with Ozzy's sobriety." However, sources say the split may be temporary.

Arsenio Hall has sued Sinead O'Connor over the singer's claim that the former talk-show host was Prince's drug dealer, TheWrap noted. "Two words for the DEA investigating where prince got his drugs over the decades…. Arsenio Hall ( AKA Prince's and Eddie Murphy's bitch )," O'Connor wrote on Facebook. ... Arsenio I've reported you to the Carver County Sheriff's office. Expect their call." The libel lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks damages "in an amount not less than $5 million." O'Connor called the lawsuit "laughable."

Singer Janet Jackson is reportedly pregnant, The New York Daily News noted, citing ET. The "Rhythm Nation" singer announced last month that she would be postponing her "Unbreakable" tour, which began in August 2015, to plan her family with her husband, Wissam Al Mana. Jackson secretly wed Al Mana in 2012, not confirming the news until early 2013. It was the singer's third marriage; she currently has no children.

Rickey E. Smith, a former American Idol contestant, has died at age 36, Extra reported. The singer was involved in a head-on collision on I-240 in Oklahoma, the Associated Press noted. Gerardo Cerda Jr., 27, was allegedly driving a pickup truck westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-240 when he slammed into Smith head-on; Cerda was taken to the hospital and later arrested for DUI.

Mary Chapin Carpenter's new album, The Things That We Are Made Of, is out on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers ( Web store, iTunes, Amazon ), according to a press release. The album is also available on vinyl—Carpenter's first since 1992's Come On Come On. Produced by Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, the album features 11 new songs that Carpenter wrote.

The Weinstein Company acquired most worldwide rights to The Guardian Brothers, an animated feature that will feature the voices of Mel Brooks, Nicole Kidman and Zendaya, Deadline reported. The film was released in China by Alibaba Pictures on Jan. 1 under the title The Little Door Gods.

Nile Rodgers honored Bono and Jimmy Carter at the We Are Family Foundation gala hosted by Soledad O'Brien, Page Six noted. Carter received a standing ovation as he accepted the Mattie J.T. Stepanek award and dedicated his speech to Stepanek—a published poet who died at 13 from a rare form of muscular dystrophy. The event ended with a performance by Rodgers' band Chic and Bono.

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