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Entertainment news: Lady Gaga, Lance Bass, Alexis Arquette, Zayn Malik
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-09-21

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Lady Gaga is reportedly inching closer to one of the biggest gigs on the planet: performing at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, Billboard reported. Sources have told the publication that Gaga is in talks for the 51st annual football showdown, scheduled for Feb. 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston. She released a new song, "Perfect Illusion," on Sept. 9—and it's the first single from her forthcoming album, which was executive-produced by Mark Ronson and features collaborations with Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine, Beck and Father John Misty.

In other Lady Gaga news, the six-time Grammy winner will release her fifth studio album, Joanne, on Friday, Oct. 21. The first single, "Perfect Illusion" recently debuted at number one on iTunes in 60 countries. Throughout her career, Lady Gaga has amassed 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales.

It turns out Alexis Arquette passed away Sept. 11 following an AIDS-related stroke—but Radar Online discovered several videos that proves the entertainer/activist had long since prepared for death. In one home video that was filmed in 2008 and obtained exclusively by Radar, Arquette goes into eerie detail about the personality's own death and what awaits in the afterlife. "Why try to figure out something that you are never gonna know? It's futile," Arquette said to friend Sham Ibrahim. "Anybody who spends their time on this … even those who write books, and philosophers and religious people are wasting my time and yours. It is just making up stories. What if it's that? What if it's this. Great. You don't know until you are dead."

Lance Bass still intends to go into outer space, Page Six noted. When asked about his plans to head into orbit during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, the singer/Finding Prince Charming host revealed he's "very connected with the space community still … privately and NASA." Bass has even had his blood work done for NASA in advance of his planned departure.

The New-York Historical Society has acquired the archive of lesbian tennis icon Billie Jean King, ESPN reported. The museum said it includes documents, objects, personal scrapbooks and photographs. Highlights include her 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom—the first to be awarded to a female athlete. King won 39 Grand Slam titles and lobbied for pay equality in the sport. She famously beat Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" match on Sept. 20, 1973.

Penguin Random House announced that it will publish the 23-year-old singer Zayn Malik's "first autobiography," Page Six noted. The book will include personal photographs and drawings from the former One Direction band member. Malik quit the group in 2015 and released his solo debut, Mind of Mine ( with the hit single "Pillowtalk" ), earlier this year. The singer-songwriter says he wrote an autobiography so his fans "can judge me on my own terms, not on what the press or anyone else says."

Speaking of Finding Prince Charming, multiple contestants have claimed that show producers and network executives not only knew its leading man had worked as a male escort and appeared in a sex tape—but that they planned the entire scandal to drum up ratings for the network, TheWrap reported. One of the 13 suitors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, insisted there is "no way" the network was unaware of the past of 33-year-old interior designer Robert Sepulveda Jr., as a Logo spokesperson claimed to TheWrap. Contestants also disputed Sepulveda's claims that he came clean about his past on the show, suggesting that he only opened up to a small group of people.

Trans models Tracey Africa and Geena Rocero are joining Tyra Banks for a groundbreaking cover series in the new issue of Harper's Bazaar India, NewNowNext reported. Art Director Christopher Sollinger cast icons and new faces, with nine versions of the magazine available, each featuring a different woman of color—including Africa and Rocero, the first transgender women to appear on a Harper's Bazaar cover. Africa, who landed a coveted Clairol hair color box in the 1970s, said this return to the spotlight "means the world to me."

When out fashion designer Marc Jacobs featured models strutting down New York runways sporting multi-colored dreadlocks this week, some called it "cultural appropriation" of African-American hairstyles and culture, Advocate.com stated. However, Jacobs offended even more people with his Instagram response: "All who cry 'cultural appropriation' or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner—funny how you don't criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don't see color or race—I see people."

The return of Bette Midler to the Broadway stage in Hello, Dolly! just made history, People.com reported. With ticket sales totaling more than $9 million over the last weekend, the upcoming revival officially broke the record for best first day of sales in the history of Broadway. Midler will play the title role in the Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman musical, which tells the story of an outspoken matchmaker and her attempts to marry "half-a-millionaire." The show took home the Tony Award in 1964 for Best Musical. Previews of Hello, Dolly! will begin March 15, 2017, at The Shubert Theatre, with opening night set for April 20.

Comedian/talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is defending herself by saying she has a First Amendment right to name-calling, Page Six noted. That's the defense her show's producer, Warner Bros., is using in a federal lawsuit brought by Georgia woman Titi Pierce, who is suing for defamation after the TV host poked fun at her name. Pierce, 35, says her name is pronounced "TEE TEE," and insists no one has ever referred to her as "titty" -until DeGeneres made the joke in February on her TV talk show.

While taking the stage in Boston on Sept. 14, singer Adele took a moment to remember Amy Winehouse on what would have been her 33rd birthday, E! Online noted. "I'd see her on TV or in magazine shoots with a pink electric guitar, and I used to think she was the coolest mother f—ker on the face of the earth," Adele began, explaining her obsession with the late star. "Because of her, I picked up a guitar and, because of her, I wrote my own songs." Winehouse was found dead in her London flat on July 23, 2011, at age 27 from alcohol poisoning.

Big-voiced, openly gay singer Brian Justin Crum—who covered Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" on the season finale of America's Got Talent—finished fourth on the reality-competition series, The Orlando Sentinel noted. Quirky 12-year-old singer/musician Grace VanderWaal, who plays the ukelele, won the show, while the runner-up was the duo The Clairvoyants, a skilled duo. Magician Jon Dorenbos, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, was third.

Out actor Wentworth Miller ( Prison Break ) stars in a new video to help raise awareness around living with depression and to encourage those suffering to reach out for help, LGBTQ Nation reported. Miller has shared that he tried to commit suicide more than once growing up. When he was mocked on The Lad Bible's Facebook page for his post-Prison Break weight gain, he responded that he was suicidal at the time, prompting an apology. In the video, he encourages those in need to find a support group through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and for those in serious crisis to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, or text "START" to 741-741.

Hip-hop act Tha Dogg Pound ( Kurupt and Daz Dillinger ) recently stopped by TMZ's Raq Rants and said, among other things, that if Tupac Shakur were alive, he'd probably call today's rappers corny, according to TheBoombox.com . However, Kurupt also said being a gay rapper would probably never be accepted in hip-hop. Kurupt said he has no problems with the gay community, adding, "I don't got no problem with the gay community. Just to talk about it separates them like a religion when really they're just human, just living their life."

During an interview with lesbian soccer icon Abby Wambach ( who's promoting her new memoir, Forward ), Terry Gross asked Wambach if she needed to have sex with a man to decide she is gay, Slate noted. Wambach told her, in part, "You know, I did what I was kind of, quote, unquote, 'supposed to do' as a kid. And I dated the boy and I experienced the boy and, as soon as I met and started dating my first girlfriend, I then got it. I understood what I was missing all along, and this is no disrespect to my boyfriend in high school."

Confidential medical data of the Chicago Sky's Elena Delle Donne, gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and other female U.S. Olympians was hacked from a World Anti-Doping Agency ( WADA ) database and posted online, WGN-TV reported. WADA said the hackers were a "Russian cyber espionage group" called Fancy Bears. WADA previously warned of cyberattacks after investigators it had appointed published reports into Russian state-sponsored doping.

During an interview on SiriusXM's Wake Up with Taylor, party planner David Tutera said it was awful working with the Real Housewives on his reality show CELEBrations—particularly former New York cast member Jill Zarin, Page Six noted. "I didn't go to her party 'cause she insulted me on my own show," Tutera explained. "We pretended I was stuck at the airport. So now everyone knows." Zarin and Tutera fought on camera after she enlisted him to plan her 50th-birthday redo in Los Angeles in 2014. After Tutera's interview, Zarin apologized for offending him.

Gay Christian singer Trey Pearson was recently barred from a music festival his band, Everyday Sunday, had played at for years, according to NewNowNext. Some attendees at the Joshua Fest were not enthusiastic about the possibility of Pearson performing—and that feeling apparently spread to the crew, as 11 members of the production team approached festival organizers before the Labor Day festival to say that they would drop out if Pearson performed. "I was hurt," Pearson admitted. "I felt like I was powerless in the situation—like I was just punched in the gut." Pearson ended up performing a song with Five Iron Frenzy, a ska-punk band he says he grew up on, Billboard noted.

Lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe continues to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, USA Today noted. On Sept. 15, she knelt before the U.S. women's national soccer team against Thailand in her first on-field appearance since a National Women's Soccer League game Sept. 7. "I'm very proud to pull on this shirt and play for this country, and also represent my country in a different way in speaking out for people that are oppressed," Rapinoe told ESPN after the game.

Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith accepted her Emmy award with grace, class and a sense of humor, The Hollywood Reporter noted. After being absent during the Sept. 18 awards show, the outstanding supporting actress in a drama series winner took to Twitter to accept the honor and respond to host Jimmy Kimmel, who made her the butt of his longest opening-monologue joke. Smith tweeted, "I was very astonished and pleased to win the award. I feel the Emmys have been overly generous to me. If Mr. Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight."

Mark Wahlberg regrets requesting a pardon stemming from an assault charge in the 1980s, The Belfast Telegraph noted. In 2014, he asked Massachusetts state officials to help him clear his name over an assault conviction in 1988. Wahlberg spent 45 days in jail for beating up two Vietnamese men in separate incidents in his hometown of Dorchester when he was 16, and he filed a petition asking for the felony charge to be removed from his record. He told TheWrap, "I didn't need [to apply]; I spent 28 years righting the wrong. I didn't need a piece of paper to acknowledge it." Page Six noted that Wahlberg has since dropped the application.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie recently settled their custody battle over son Rocco following nine months of dispute, agreeing that he must continue his education in England while still spending regular time with his mother in the States, The Daily Mail noted. And recently, Madonna, 58, flew into London to ensure the teenager settled into the new school term after Ritchie jetted to Malibu within days of the ruling. According to reports, the "Borderline" singer was concerned Ritchie's absence would affect their son's schooling.

Prince's ex-wife Mayte Garcia is slated to write an "intimate memoir" about her life with the musician, BBC News reported. The book, called The Most Beautiful, will chronicle the couple's relationship and marriage as well as the painful loss of their son in 1996. Publisher Hachette said the book was due for release in April 2017, marking the first anniversary of the pop star's death.

Speaking of Prince, Stevie Wonder and members of Prince's inner circle will highlight a family-sanctioned Prince tribute concert in St. Paul on Oct. 13, according to Page Six. Prince's family originally planned to hold the show at the new NFL stadium in his hometown of Minneapolis; however, organizers said that it will be at the smaller Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The lineup also includes Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E. Fresh, Luke James, Bilal and Mint Condition.

John Stamos has partnered with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ( The Wiz Live! ) for a cable drama series chronicling the fame and excess of daytime soaps in the 1980s, Deadline reported. Universal TV, where Zadan and Meron are under a deal for series and live events, is the studio. The untitled drama, now in early stages of development, will be inspired by the experiences of Stamos, whose acting career was launched in 1982 when, at the age of 18, he landed the role of Blackie Parrish on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital.

Aphex Twin is confirmed to play Houston's Day for Night festival at some point during the two-day event from Dec. 17-18, Billboard noted. Festival organizers say this will be the elusive artist's first time performing in the United States since his Coachella set in 2008. The influential electronic artist recently released his Cheetah EP in July. Bjork, Butthole Surfers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Kaskade are just a few of the other artists slated to perform, a press release stated.

Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were among the top models strutting in Ralph Lauren's latest collection on Sept. 14 in New York City, Page Six noted. The powerful designer shut down a stretch of busy Madison Avenue to hold his Fashion Week show in front of his Upper East Side store, with the sidewalk as a runway. The curbside front row included Julianne Moore, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jessica Alba and NBA star Kevin Love.

Mary J. Blige's divorce may have just gotten more expensive, Page Six noted. The singer's estranged husband and former manager, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs, filed his response to her divorce petition, TMZ reported. In the paperwork, Isaacs requests spousal support from Blige, 45, and for her to pay his legal fees.

Kim McGuire, known for her iconic character Mona "Hatchet-Face" Malnorowski in John Waters' cult musical comedy Cry-Baby, has died at age 60, The Huffington Post noted. McGuire followed Cry-Baby with bit parts in Acting on Impulse, Serial Mom, the HBO series Dream On and On the Air. In the mid-'90s, McGuire became an attorney and went on to practice in several states.


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