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Entertainment news: Lea DeLaria, Aretha, Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Murphy
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Lea DeLaria recently told E! News that she's "the lesbian Jack Nicholson," adding, "I'm dating a lot, dating a lot of young girls. That's where I am right now." The Orange Is the New Black co-star announced about a month ago that she and fiancee Chelsea Fairless had called it quits. They revealed they were no longer together by posting a photo on Instagram of themselves with Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor at Liza Minnelli's wedding to David Gest.

Speaking of Orange Is the New Black, the show has a premiere date for its fifth season, Deadline reported. Netflix said that its women's-prison series, starring Taylor Schilling, will return June 9. The dramedy has scored four Emmy Awards since its 2013 premiere, including back-to-back Supporting Actress wins for Uzo Aduba as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren.

Aretha Franklin, 74, plans on retiring after this year, USA Today noted. Franklin told Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4, the city's NBC affiliate, that she will make one more album—with several tracks produced by Stevie Wonder—and will otherwise limit herself to "some select things, maybe one a month, for six months out of the year" as she devotes more time to her grandchildren. She also said 2017 will be her "last year in concert."

Fresh off her Super Bowl halftime show performance, Lady Gaga is set to guest-judge on the season premiere of Logo's Emmy-winning competition series RuPaul's Drag Race, a press releases noted. Logo announced that the new season will kick off with "Mother Monster" and RuPaul this March. For a sneak peek at Lady Gaga's appearance on the new season of "Drag Race," visit

In more Gaga news, her Joanne World Tour announced instant sellouts at multiple venues and additional dates added in response to extremely high demand throughout North America and Europe, a press release stated. Tickets for the Joanne World Tour's North American leg went on sale Feb. 13 and all dates promptly sold out. Additional sold-out shows have been confirmed in Vancouver, Edmonton, Tacoma, San Francisco, Sacramento, Omaha, St. Paul, Cleveland, Chicago and Montreal.

Show creator Ryan Murphy recently joked to E! News that a future season of Feud may center on Glee stars Lea Michele and Naya Rivera. Rumors ran rampant in the later seasons of Glee that there was a deep and fiery divide between the actresses—which Rivera addressed in her book. Murphy told E! News, "I don't think I would take on Lea and Naya. I think for a feud to work on this show, it has to have decades of pain behind it. But if they're still feuding at 40, I might consider it. I'll call them up in a couple years." Feud: Bette and Joan ( about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ) is considered by some to be the most anticipated new series of the year.

Hugh Jackman's defense against skin cancer continues as the actor posted his latest warning about wearing sunscreen, CNN reported. With a bandage over his nose, the star checked in with his fans on Twitter and Instagram to reveal that he's undergoing treatment for basal cell carcinoma, again. The Australian actor has been previously treated for basal cell carcinoma at least four times. Logan, the third installment in the X-Men franchise's Wolverine series, is scheduled to open in movie theaters in March.

Clive Davis kicked off Grammy week with a private screening of his documentary The Soundtrack of Our Lives at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, according to Page Six. The crowd of 300 people included Sean "Puffy" Combs, Alicia Keys, Diane Warren, David Foster, artist Paul Gerben, Carole Bayer Sager, Bob Daly, members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. Davis' doc will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19.

Justin Timberlake opened up about why the five members of 'NSync went their separate ways in the early 2000s while they were still hugely successful, US Weekly noted. "I was growing out of it," he told The Hollywood Reporter in his latest cover story. "I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group. And I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart." Timberlake also said he's not sure he wants his 22-month-old son, Silas, whom he shares with wife Jessica Biel, to follow in his footsteps.

Michael C. Hall ( Dexter; Six Feet Under ) will be playing JFK when The Crown returns to Netflix for its second season, Variety noted. Hall will be joined by Quarry star Jodi Balfour as Jackie Kennedy. Season 2 of the English drama, which doesn't yet have a premiere date, will segue into the 1960s, as Queen Elizabeth II loses her third prime minister to scandal amidst the illegal use of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in Egypt. The series has also added Matthew Goode as Lord Snowden, husband of Princess Margaret ( Vanessa Kirby ).

Boy George pulled out all the stops in the final challenge of The New Celebrity Apprentice, but his bid fell short as American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman was crowned winner of the NBC show's 2017 season finale ( Feb. 13 ), Billboard noted. For the final task Boy George brought out the star power of Caitlyn Jenner, Mel. B. and "cruise director" Carson Kressley before capping it off with a performance by Natasha Bedingfield. Iseman, however, scored major points with the appearance of Carnie Wilson, who appeared with her group Wilson Phillips for a performance of Billboard Hot 100-topper "Hold On."

With New York Fashion Week taking place, stars attended the amfAR gala in New York City, AOL News noted. Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima wore a sheer black gown that showed off her assets, while gal pal Alessandra Ambrosio was a vision in a white floor-length dress with a sexy thigh-high slit. Others who attended included Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum and Scarlett Johansson.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood delivered a powerful and heartfelt speech in North Carolina over the weekend at a Human Rights Campaign Gala, opening up about her bisexual identity and the responsibility she feels as an LGBTQ public figure, The Huffington Post reported. Wood told the audience that she never felt compelled or knew how to speak out about her sexuality until she heard another actress first say the word "bisexual." She then realized the power of visibility and the impact that moment had on her own life and identity.

The third season of Grace & Frankie is set to launch on March 24 on Netflix, Deadline reported. The series stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as a straight-laced former cosmetics company founder and a counter-culture artist, respectively, who are thrown together when their lawyer husbands announce they are gay, in love and retiring to live together. Martin Sheen and Sam Waterson play the husbands.

Stars of the TLC show Little People, Big World have landed in hot water for their openly anti-LGBT views, according to . Members of the Roloff family, whose misadventures have been chronicled on the reality show for over a decade, have long claimed to be advocates for diversity, especially as three members of the clan have dwarfism. However, in addition to all the comments they have made against the LGBT community, the pair also belong to Bridgetown Church, headed by openly anti-gay pastor John Mark Comer.

ABC has given an early renewal for next season for its signature TGIT drama lineup of Shondaland's Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, Deadline reported. Grey's Anatomy, starring Ellen Pompeo, has been picked up for a 14th season; Scandal, toplined by Kerry Washington, for its seventh; and How To Get Away with Murder, headlined by Viola Davis, for its fourth.

Oprah Winfrey will take a cruise this summer in a place she's never been before: Alaska, Page Six noted. The trip launches a partnership between O, The Oprah Magazine, and Holland America Line. The partnership will include programming for 300 Holland America cruises developed in collaboration with O magazine. Onboard activities designed to "bring the magazine to life" will include meditation, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, a book club and more.

Speaking of Winfrey, she pulled off one of the biggest private art deals of 2016, according to Page Six. Bloomberg reports the talk show legend sold a painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt for $150 million to an unnamed Chinese buyer. Already worth $2.9 billion, Winfrey originally purchased the "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" for $87.9 million at a Christie's auction in 2006.

The estate of Anthony Barre is suing Beyonce for $20 million, claiming that the superstar lifted portions of Messy Mya's "Booking the Hoes From New Wildings" and "A 27 Piece Huh," Forbes noted. Lyrics such as "What happened at the New Orleans" and "Bitch, I'm back by popular demand" can be heard on Beyonce's "Formation" ( from Lemonade ) video and the estate reportedly has "received nothing … no acknowledgment, no credit no remuneration of any kind." The estate of Barre ( primarily Mya's sister ) is suing Beyonce for royalties, and Sony Music and Jay-Z entities are also named in the suit. Mya, an internet celebrity, was killed in 2010 at the age of 22, noted.

Debra Messing recently recalled being allegedly belittled and insulted by a director on the set of her first movie, 1995's A Walk in the Clouds, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Speaking at the 2017 Makers conference earlier this week, Messing said she had been told there would be no nude scenes in the film she starred opposite Keanu Reeves; however, once she got on set, she heard that there would be one. ( The scene ended up just showing Messing's bare back. ) Messing alleged director Alfonso Arau told her, "Your job is to get naked and say the lines. That's it. You should be grateful to have this part."

Rosie O'Donnell has volunteered to portray Steve Bannon—the controversial former Brietbart editor currently serving as President Trump's chief strategist—on SNL, NBC News noted. Calls to cast O'Donnell as Bannon on Saturday Night Live went viral on social media, as lefty Twitter users cracked jokes about how much the casting would likely drive the President Trump—who seems to consider O'Donnell an archenemy of sorts—into a rage.

As part of the yearlong celebration commemorating the 30th anniversary of the hit 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, Lionsgate Films has released a special-edition Blu-ray/DVD, along with a limited edition Collector's Box set, noted. The global box-office sensation starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Cynthia Rhodes, Jerry Orbach and Jack Weston was originally released in 1987. The film's signature song, "( I've Had ) The Time of My Life," took home the Best Original Song Oscar.

Expectant mom Ciara performed an energetic tribute to Whitney Houston, reported. The 31-year-old singer marked the five-year anniversary of Houston's death by lip-syncing and dancing to the late star's hit song "I'm Every Woman" in a new video. Ciara's video features cameos by her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson, and 2-year-old son, Future Zahir, whom she shares with ex-fiance Future. She previously remembered Houston on BET's 106 & Park in 2012.

Nick Cannon has said that he is going to quit as the host of America's Got Talent, noted. The comedian, host and rapper took to social media to post a lengthy explanation of his decision to step away from his job hosting the talent search show. In a lengthy Facebook post, Cannon stated, "Not to get too detailed but this isn't the first time executives have attempted to 'put me in my place' for so-called unruly actions. I will not stand for it."

Pamela Anderson strips naked before pleasuring herself on a bed of roses with a sex toy in a raunchy new advertisement, Page Six noted. The 49-year-old former Baywatch star is seen writhing around and quietly moaning in front of the camera in the X-rated scenes for high-end sex shop Coco de Mer. Anderson has been spotted on several outings to visit WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

United Talent Agency has canceled its annual Academy Awards party and will instead donate $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee, and hold a rally "to express the creative community's growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States," according to Variety. UTA said its rally on Feb. 24, two days before the Oscars, is meant to combat the "potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas and freedom of expression."

Gay-for-pay adult film actor Cameron Diggs ( aka Timothy Harper ) was arrested with three others in a SWAT drug raid in the Dallas gayborhood of Oak Lawn, according to a Towleroad item that cites The Dallas News. SWAT members saw a large plastic bag with a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, which led to a search and the discovery of more than 1,600 grams of suspected meth, scales and packaging "consistent with narcotics trafficking." Bail had been set at $100,000.

Tamron Hall has an unexpected celebrity doppelganger: Bruno Mars, Page Six revealed. After a Twitter user posted side-by-side shots of the stars with the caption, "Separated at birth?," Hall said she actually hears that comparison all the time. "thx for the laugh. If I had a dollar for every time I get this one. How much would I have??," she wrote back.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Grey Gardens—the house that belonged to relatives of Jackie Kennedy and inspired a documentary, an HBO movie and a Broadway musical—is on the market, Town and Country noted. The asking price for the 1897 home—which wKennedy Onassis' aunt and cousin, Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith Beale, bought in the 1920s—is $19.995 million. The listing for the seven-bedroom property at 3 West End Road in East Hampton calls this "a rare opportunity to own an iconic property in one of the most coveted locations in the Hamptons."

NBC is in talks with FremantleMedia to resurrect American Idol, Variety revealed. NBC has been pitched a revival of the long-running singing competition by producer Fremantle and is now mulling options for how to integrate the show into its programming slate. One possibility being considered: cutting NBC's existing singing competition The Voice from two cycles a year to one.

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