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Jennifer Hudson's honor; Amanda Bynes vs. Perez Hilton
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-04-17

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Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Hudson and the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry were honored at this year's Grammys on the Hill Awards, held April 17 at the Hamilton in Washington, D.C., according to Billboard.com . Hudson performed and accepted the Recording Academy's Recording Artists' Coalition Award, while Dr. James Billington accepted the Grammys on the Hill Awards on behalf of the registry. Also, York Community High School of Elmhurst, Ill., was recognized as a 2013 Grammy Signature School Gold (receiving $5,500) while Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill., is a 2013 National Grammy Signature School ($10,000).

Actress Amanda Bynes lashed out at gay blogger Perez Hilton after he posted unflattering images of her on his website, according to Starpulse.com . In response, she shared a photo of him, saying how much hotter she looked than him. She tweeted, "I'm so sick of you saying you're sincerely worried about me. At least pick a photo from my Twitter if you won't stop talking about me. Leave me alone! You are the scum of the earth!! ... Perez Hilton is ugly, has never had a hot boyfriend. He makes being gay look bad!"

Lifetime will premiere its new drama Devious Maids—which Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) are executive-producing—on Sunday, June 23, at 10 p.m. ET, a press release stated. The ensemble all-star cast—Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Dania Ramirez (Entourage), Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Edy Ganem (Livin' Loud) and Judy Reyes (Scrubs)—portray five maids with ambition and dreams of their own while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. In the series premiere, the women turn to one another for support when their friend and fellow maid Flora (Paula Garces, CSI Miami) is brutally murdered at the home of her employers.

Four-time Tony-nominated and actress Tovah Feldshuh will return to host the seventh annual The Broadway Beauty Pageant May 20 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, according to a press release. The Broadway Beauty Pageant (the annual benefit of New York's Ali Forney Center) will feature male cast members representing their respective Broadway shows, competing for the title crown through talent, interview and swimsuit competitions. Andrea Martin (Pippin), Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), and Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar) will judge the event.

Nate Berkus and boyfriend Jeremiah Brent are officially engaged to be married, according to OMG.yahoo.com . The pair, who have been dating for nine months, made it official atop Machu Picchu in Peru April 8. TV personality and interior designer Berkus, 41, was the one to pop the question to Brent, Rachel Zoe's former assistant, during their trip to Peru.

According to Wired, DC Comics will continue to expand the LGBT diversity of its superhero universe by introducing the first openly transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic. In Batgirl #19, currently on sale in both print and digital formats, the character Alysia Yeoh will reveal that she is a transgender woman while conversing with her roommate, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl). Taking care to distinguish Yeoh's sexual orientation from her gender identity, Batgirl writer Gail Simone noted that the character is also bisexual.

NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth has joined Athlete Ally, a group dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports, according to the Huffington Post. Stallworth's decision to fight for gay rights was inspired in part by his brush with death last month, when he and his girlfriend were nearly killed in a hot-air balloon accident. He said, "After that situation where I literally almost lost my life, I came to the understanding and the realization that life is really short, and while you're here, you need to love and respect the people who love and respect you."

Another NFL player, Kerry Rhodes, has told TMZ he's not gay, in the wake of reports that say otherwise. Photos surfaced of Rhodes, 30, with his arm around a male friend, and the site MediaTakeOut.com reportedly accompanied it with a strong insinuation about Rhodes' sexuality. Rhodes said, "The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team."

Actress, comedian and Universal Life minister Sandra Bernhard officiated the wedding between Manhattan natives Georgi Dimitrov Balinov and Bradford Shane Shellhammer, according to Buzzfeed.com . Balinov, 30, is a vice president for investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch while Shellhammer, 36, is a founder and the chief design officer of the social shopping site Fab.com . The ceremony, which had a masked-ball theme, took place with relatives and friends at New York's Russian Tea Room.

HBO has ordered episodes of Ryan Murphy's racy new project, according to Gay Star News. Open—which he is creating and writing with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis—is described as a "modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships." Deadline.com noted that a fifth-season renewal for Glee is pending, and Murphy has revealed that the upcoming third installment of "Horror" will be titled American Horror Story: Coven, and will star Kathy Bates in addition to Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Taissa Farmiga.

American Idol has its first all-female top five after the last guy remaining, Lazaro Arbos, was sent packing, according to People.com . The website noted, "Following Candice [Glover]'s show-stopping performance of 'Lovesong' and Lazaro's awkward, off-key performance of 'Close to You' on [April 10], the results almost seemed inevitable." Before the final decision was disclosed, former "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson sang "People Like Us," a song from her new album.

Jonathan Winters—the comedian known for his work everything from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World to the TV show Mork and Mindy, among many other projects—died April 12 at the age of 87 at his home in Montecito, Calif., USA Today reported. Winters appeared on the late-night TV circuit for decades, often appearing with Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Steve Allen.

In the May issue of Marie Claire magazine, actress Scarlett Johansson discusses her much-publicized 2010 divorce from actor Ryan Reynolds, who has moved on and married actress Blake Lively, according to Starpulse.com . Johansson also says that she's obsessed with the show RuPaul's Drag Race, stating, "I love the makeup, I love the hair, I love the looks. That's been my escape."

Jonathan Knight—the openly gay member of the boy band New Kids on the Block—left fans confused and concerned recently when he walked off stage in the middle of a concert in New York, CNN reported. HollywoodLife.com's Emily Longeretta was in the front row, and wrote on the celebrity website that Knight "seemed out of it. While the men started their choreographed dances, Jonathan stood uncomfortably in the background—actually just standing and texting on his phone during the performance." The singer, who later tweeted "I'm sorry," has been vocal in the past about his struggle with anxiety.

R&B star Chaka Khan will be inducted into the Apollo Theater's hall of fame, according to Yahoo! News. The theater announced that Patti LaBelle and Mary J. Blige will perform in Khan's honor at its June 10 New York gala. Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie and the late Etta James were inducted last year into the hall of fame; previous inductees include LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, among others.

Meryl Streep's voice will be heard on a special project this summer: the first audiobook edition of the late Nora Ephron's Heartburn," according to Yahoo! News. Random House Audio announced Streep (a close friend of the late Ephron) will narrate the writer's autobiographical novel based on her marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein, first published in 1983. The Oscar-winning actress starred in the film version, which came out three years later.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi will not be expanding their family, according to a New York Daily News item. de Rossi, 40, told Out magazine, "You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did. So it's just going to be me and Ellen and no babies." The actress married DeGeneres, 55, in 2008 and she told the mag, "We've settled into happily married life, we really support each other in whatever we're doing and we're incredibly happy, which is why you don't see us in the press so much. There's no drama to report."

Diana Ross has been added to the long list of stars set to take the witness stand in the Jackson family's upcoming lawsuit against AEG Live, according to Starpulse.com . Michael Jackson's mother Katherine and the late pop star's three children—Paris, Prince and Blanket—have accused the concert promoter with Jackson's wrongful death, claiming that they were negligent in their hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray. The singer Prince, Spike Lee, ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley and several members of the Jackson family are all lined up to testify on behalf of the plaintiff.

Lady Gaga, who recently had hip surgery, is paying for a fan to have the same type of operation, according to AOL Music. The "You and I" singer offered to fund the procedure for one of her fans, Emma, who suffers from scoliosis and hip dysplasia. Gaga was reportedly so touched when Emma initially reached out to offer her support to the star that she named her gold-plated wheelchair after the fan.

Tony winner Idina Menzel (Wicked)—who is scheduled to return to Broadway in spring 2014 in If/Then, a new musical by the Next to Normal writing team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey—will perform at the London nightclub G-A-Y during her upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, according to Playbill.com . The singing actress will perform in concert April 24 at London's Hackney Empire, and the show at the LGBT nightclub is slated for April 27. Acts that have performed at the club include Adam Lambert, Bananarama, The Wanted and Lady Gaga, among many others.

Drew Barrymore is set to host the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles April 20, according to USA Today. GLAAD has also announced that President Bill Clinton will receive the Advocate for Change Award. Special guests will include Betty White, Matt Bomer, Chris Evans, Naya Rivera, Alex Newell, Chaz Bono, Ellen Barkin and Tobey Maguire. Kelly Rowland is slated to perform.

Kristen Chenoweth has landed a starring role on a comedy pilot on CBS starring Broadway veteran Matthew Broderick, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The untitled multicamera comedy centers on Jack (Broderick), a recently widowed father raising his 12-year-old son while jumping back into the dating pool. Chenoweth, also a Broadway alum, will play Marnie, described as Jack's "cute" and "judgmental" sister who works as a waitress.

Chaz Bono—the 44-year-old former Dancing With the Stars finalist and the most public face of the transgendered community—has reportedly time away from his mother, Cher, according to Radar Online. Radar cites a source who said, "Cher loves Chaz to death, but she stopped talking to him because they just don't see eye to eye on the very public way he's continued to deal with his transformation. ... Chaz understands completely so they both agreed to take a little family sabbatical—from each other."

TV legends Patty Duke and Meredith Baxter will appear on Glee as a committed lesbian couple who have been together for 25 years, according to a Daily Mail item. And in yet another twist, their characters will serve as mentors to Kurt and Blaine as the men prepare to exchange vows. The storyline was reportedy inspired by the recent same-sex marriage case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Season two of the Bravo show Million Dollar Listing: New York will premiere Wed., May 8, according to a press release. The show will follow three agents (Ryan Serhant, newcomer Luis D. Ortiz and openly gay Fredrik Eklund) into the aggressive, high-stakes world of New York City's real-estate market. Eklund has addressed his gay-porn past in various publications,including the New York Times and HX, a now-defunct LGBT weekly.

On June 11, Cooking Vinyl/Metropolis Records will present the minutes, the new album by Alison Moyet, according to a press release. Moyet has achieved sales of more than 20 million units, both as a solo artist and half of the duo Yaz. Her first album since 2007, the minutes was written with and produced by Guy Sigsworth, known for his work with Robyn, Bjork, Goldie and Madonna.

Kathleen Thurston, who has a history of stalking actor Hugh Jackman, confronted the actor at a gym recently, according to the Daily Mail. Although the woman was eventually stopped by a gym employee, she reached into her waistband and grabbed an electric razor full of her body hair. Thurston left the gym as soon as security arrived; she was arrested a few blocs away from the facility and charged with stalking. Jackman has also seen the woman outside his seven-year-old daughter's elementary school in Manhattan and outside his home in New York City's West Village.

Singer Adam Lambert has spoken out against a law in St. Petersburg, Russia, that bans Gay Pride marches, On Top Magazine reported. At a question-and-answer session as part of Miami Beach Gay Pride, Lambert said, "I was in Russia a couple months back and St. Petersburg, as you probably know, has a lot of issues with the gay and lesbian community being a little bit oppressed. ... And coming here, it reminds you how lucky we are. We have so many freedoms."

GLAAD will honor the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants with the Corporate Leader Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards May 11, according to a press release. In 1994, the San Francisco Giants became the first-ever professional sports team to host an HIV/AIDS benefit game, "Until There's A Cure Day." Since then, the Giants and the Giants Community Fund have repeated the effort, generating more than $1.3 million for Bay Area HIV/AIDS education, care/service organizations and international HIV/AIDS research. This May, the Giants will host their 11th annual "LGBT Night Out."

CNN anchor and bullying-prevention activist Anderson Cooper is partnering with Cartoon Network to present The Bully Effect, an original documentary co-produced with CNN that will be telecast commercial-free and abridged for family co-viewing on Sunday, April 28, at 5:30 and 8 p.m. ET/PT, according to a press release. New additional content within The Bully Effect will include an introduction by Cartoon Network President/COO Stuart Snyder, and a follow-up conversation with Cooper about why this issue is to personal to him.

San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon faced suspension by Major League Soccer (MLS) after television cameras caught him making an anti-gay comment to an opponent during an April 14 game, according to the Chicago Tribune. Gordon made the comment to Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson; MLS is looking into the incident. After Portland's 1-0 win, Gordon said, "I sincerely apologize for what I said in our game tonight. Although I said it in the heat of the moment, that language has no place in our game."

Director Bryan Singer posted an image on Twitter of Sir Patrick Stewart from the set of the upcoming movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, according to Digital Spy. Stewart will return to the role of Professor Charles Xavier alongside James McAvoy, who will play a younger version of the telepath in the time-travel tale. Among the others in the huge cast are Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page and Peter Dinklage. The movie will debut July 18, 2014.

Talk-show host Wendy Williams will be joining the cast of Chicago: The Musical on Broadway, according to the Huffington Post. She will play Matron Mama Morton, the role played by Queen Latifah in the Oscar-winning film adaptation. Williams will take the stage for seven weeks this summer, appearing on Broadway starting Tuesday, June 25. In addition to those duties, her show will continue taping over the summer, adding more episodes to the ongoing season.

A photo of a topless Angelina Jolie will be sold in London auction house Christie's next month, according to AceShowbiz.com . Photographer David LaChapelle took the photo in 2001 when Jolie was 25 years old, and it is predicted to fetch around $53,000. The colorful photo shows Jolie smiling with her head back; her hands caress a white horse's head, while the horse nuzzles her chest.

Actor Andrew Garfield (Spider Man; The Social Network) has expressed his support for marriage equality, according to Advocate.com . In a recent interview with The Times of London, Garfield said, "Of course I'm in favor of marriage equality. Same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else. There is no argument against equality. How can anyone argue against compassion and understanding?"

Original Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Ian Ziering, 49, is now a stripper. According to Gay.net, Ziering is the latest celeb to join the infamous Las Vegas Chippendales revue as a guest dancer, following in the footsteps of Joey Lawrence, The Bachelor's Jake Pavelka and 98 Degrees singer Jeff Timmons. "I am passionate about health and fitness so I've kept in shape, and dancing is something I've always enjoyed, so I figured why not?," asked Ziering.


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