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SHOWBIZ Janelle Monae, Harry Hains' death, Sam Smith, COVID-19 cancellations
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-03-17

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Janelle Monae will headline the 2020 Pride Festival in New York on Saturday, June 27, BET.com noted. The annual event has been headlined in the past by Grace Jones, Madonna and Patti Labelle, among others. This year, Monae will be joined by other acts including Betty Who, Pussy Riot, Luisa Sonza, and DJ duo Coco and Breezy. In April 2018, Monae publicly announced that she identifies as queer. At the time, Monae told Rolling Stone, "Being a queer Black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women—I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf**ker."

The cause of death for Harry Hains—a rising actor and model who was genderfluid, and who died at age 27—has been revealed, People.com reported. Two months after actress Jane Badler confirmed that her son died Jan. 7, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office announced Hains died of fentanyl intoxication. Badler, 66, posted an Instagram tribute in honor of her late son, saying," He was 27 and had the world at his feet. But sadly he struggled with mental illness and addiction. A brilliant spark shone bright too short a time .. I will miss you Harry every day of my life."

Sam Smith debuted an acoustic version of their latest single, "To Die For," along with an ambient visual ( at www.youtube.com/watch ), a press release noted. Filmed and recorded live in Los Angeles, this version sees the single stripped down to a piano and cello, with Smith's vocals front and center. Since the release of their 2014 debut album, In The Lonely Hour, Smith has sold more than 25 million adjusted albums worldwide.

The CW show Riverdale suspended production amid concerns that a person working on the show was recently in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, Deadline noted. "We are working closely with the appropriate authorities and health agencies in Vancouver to identify and contact all individuals who may have come into direct contact with our team member," according to a statement. KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Casey Cott and Madelaine Petsch star in the series based on the characters from Archie Comics.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony, which was supposed to take place May 2 at Cleveland's Public Hall, has been postponed due to the coronavirus, Rolling Stone reported. This year's Hall of Fame class includes Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, T-Rex and the Notorious B.I.G. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President Joel Peresman said in a statement, "Our first concern is to the health and safety of our attendees and artists and we are complying to the direction of the local and state authorities and common sense."

Organizers of Coachella postponed the popular music festival, according to reports from Forbes, Variety and TMZ, as global cases of coronavirus approached 150,000. The Indio, California, event was originally scheduled for the weekends of April 10-12 and April 17-19; it will now be held Oct. 9-11 and 16-18. The scheduled nightly headliners were Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. Coachella joins hundreds of events worldwide—including other music festivals like Miami's Ultra and the French Alps' Tomorrowland—that have been cancelled, postponed or transformed into "digital-only" affairs, Forbes noted.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a plan to suspend Broadway shows as part of new regulations to prevent public gatherings of more than 500 people, The Guardian reported. Carnegie Hall, one of New York's premier concert venues, will also suspend performances through March 31, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art will close indefinitely from March 13.

New York City's Tribeca Film Festival, scheduled for April 15-26, has been postponed. "We founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to heal our community after the devastation of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. We were determined to overcome our fear and anxiety by joining together. It is in our DNA to march forward while caring about our community," said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, in a statement. ... We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public while also supporting our friends, filmmakers and storytellers who look to Tribeca as a platform to showcase their work to audiences. We will be back to you shortly with our plans."

The View's Joy Behar is taking precautions when it comes to not contracting the coronavirus. Hollywood Lif enoted. The 77-year-old announced March 12 while taping the show that aired March 13 that she's going to be taking a temporary leave from the ABC daytime talk show. So far, no staffers or panelists on The View have tested positive for the coronavirus; Behar's fellow panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin will remain on the show.

CBS' daytime dramas are the latest TV series impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Deadline noted. In the face of a fast-escalating health crisis and new restrictions by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti aimed at slowing the epidemic, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are stopping production. Currently, filming is suspended until the end of March.

Disney closed Disneyland and California Adventure—its theme parks in Anaheim, California—because of the coronavirus outbreak, CNN.com noted. The park has only closed a few times since its opening in 1955; it shut down for the national day of mourning following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Also, Orlando's Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Disney Cruise lines will shut down temporarily in the wake of growing concerns over the global coronavirus pandemic, Yahoo! News noted. The Universal Orlando Resort announced its theme-park closure as well. Cast member employees from each location will get paid during the closure. The hotels and retail complexes at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice.

In addition, several series produced by Disney Television Studios have suspended production as the coronavirus health crises deepens, and that includes the final season of Empire, Deadline noted. As of Saturday, March 14, stopping production are Fox dramas Empire and The Resident, produced by DTS' 20th Century Fox TV; FX's Pose, from DTS' Fox 21; USA Network's Queen Of the South, also from Fox 21; and ABC comedy American Housewife, from DTS' ABC Studios. They join Grey's Anatomy ( ABC/ABC Studios ) and Genius: Aretha ( Nat Geo/Fox 21 ).

Cher announced the postponement of all concerts on the "Here We Go Again Tour," effective immediately, a press release noted. "I'm heartbroken, but the health of my fans and my touring family comes first. The shows have been really special but, nothing is more important than everybody's safety. I'm excited to see everyone when we're back out on the road," said Cher. Currently held tickets will be honored for the new dates, and no action is needed if fans want to keep their tickets and current seat locations. Refunds can be received at the points of purchase. Dates have been rescheduled for September through December.

Michael Buble postponed several upcoming dates on his current tour, which was scheduled to begin March 17 in Jacksonville, Florida, a press release noted. The tour dates for Michael Buble's show dates beginning May 2 in Anaheim, California, will continue as scheduled.

Billie Eilish's "Where Do We Go" tour has been postponed, a press announcement noted. Some of the scheduled stops included Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis. Details on postponed dates to be announced soon. All tickets will be honored for the new dates.

Actor Idris Elba said he has tested positive for COVID-19, CNN.com noted. Elba, 47, said he received his test results March 16. So far, the Luther star said he feels "OK" and is showing no symptoms, according to a video posted to Twitter. Elba said he had been isolated since finding out March 13 that he had been exposed to someone who tested positive.

In the most sweeping TV studio response to the growing coronavirus pandemic yet, NBCUniversal has suspended production on the majority of its TV series across all entertainment production units, Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studios and First Run Syndication productions—about 35 shows, Deadline noted. The list includes all Dick Wolf dramas still in production, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, Chicago Med and Law & Order: SVU for NBC and FBI for CBS, as well as NBC's New Amsterdam, and daytime shows such as The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Warner Bros. Television Group confirmed that it is shutting down or postponing production on some current series and pilots, Deadline noted. Various series reportedly include include CBS' Young Sheldon, All Rise and God Friended Me, the CW's Supergirl and Batwoman, TNT's Claws, OWN's Queen Sugar, Epix's Pennyworth and HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, along with the already known Riverdale, The Flash and Lucifer.

Every Netflix production, including Stranger Things season four, has shut down production after Trump declared a "national emergency" over coronavirus, The Independent noted. Other projects affected by the decision is comedy series Grace and Frankie and the Ryan Murphy film The Prom.

CBS' Late Show with Stephen Colbert joined its NBC late-night counterparts in suspending production over coronavirus concerns, Deadline noted. With state of emergency declared in New York over the coronavirus pandemic, New York-based shows suspended production. That included NBC's late-night programs The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, as well as syndicated daytime talker The Wendy Williams Show.

Dolly Parton turned 74 on Jan. 19, and the country legend has big plans for her 75th birthday, Billboard noted. In an interview with 60 Minutes Australia, Parton confessed her dream of being the cover girl of Playboy once more when she was asked what her retirement age was. Parton first appeared on the cover of Playboy in 1978 when she was 32; on the cover, the singer wore the iconic Playboy outfit of a black leotard and bunny ears.

Netflix announced that Queer Eye will officially return to the streaming platform for season six, and the cast members have already started filming in Texas, EW.com noted. Fans are still eagerly awaiting season five, which will launch globally this summer on Netflix; it was filmed in Philadelphia in 2019. In 2018, the rebooted Queer Eye premiered on Netflix, introducing the world to the new Fab Five: Antoni Porowski ( food and wine ), Bobby Berk ( interior design ), Jonathan Van Ness ( grooming ), Karamo Brown ( culture ) and Tan France ( fashion ).

Openly gay actor/DJ Kristian Nairn, who portrayed Hodor on the show Game of Thrones, revealed new tour dates, Variety noted. The tour starts March 20 at Temple in Denver and wraps April 18 at RYSE in St. Charles, Missouri. There will also be stops in Portland, Milwaukee, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle and Brooklyn.

A production assistant working on the CW's Batwoman has been left paralyzed from the waist down after suffering an injury on the set of the Warner Bros. TV-produced superhero drama series, which films in Vancouver, Deadline reported. Amanda Smith, 30, was working below the Georgia Viaduct in Vancouver during a location shoot setup on March 11 when "the bucket of a lift lowered onto her head," according to a GoFundMe page created for her. The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia has launched an investigation into the incident.

Angelina Jolie revealed that two of her daughters are recovering from surgeries, CNN.com noted. In an essay written in honor of International Women's Day for Time, the actress writes that she has "spent the last two months in and out of surgeries with my eldest daughter, and days ago watched her younger sister go under the knife for a hip surgery." The "Maleficent" star didn't identify which of her younger daughters had surgery, and said her sons have been "supportive and sweet" of their sisters. Jolie used the piece to make the call for her wish "that we value girls."

Paramount Pictures will introduce a new "Paramount Presents" label to recognize and celebrate films from the studio's library, a press release noted. The "Paramount Presents" banner will be used for a new line of collectible Blu-ray films incorporating a curated selection of enduringly popular movies, as well as films that had a cultural impact upon their release. The first three films in the "Paramount Presents" Blu-ray line will be Fatal Attraction, the 1958 Elvis Presley drama King Creole and director Alfred Hitchcock's thriller To Catch A Thief. All three titles will be available beginning April 21.

Willow Smith and musician Tyler Cole created a performance art piece, titled "The Anxiety," that was on display at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art recently, USA Today noted. The duo was separated from museum guests by a glass pane and had three canvas walls encompassing them in a box, according to the Los Angeles Times. Smith and Cole went through eight emotional stages of anxiety, spending three hours in each state.

New court documents reportedly reveal that Harvey Weinstein once made threatening comments about Jennifer Aniston when he was asked if he had sexually assaulted her, HuffPost noted. Court documents made public include dozens of emails sent by the Hollywood mogul in the wake of exposes in October 2017 about his history of sexual harassment and assault, Variety and The New York Times reported. In one exchange, Weinstein wrote to his then-representative Sallie Hofmeister that "Jen Aniston should be killed." He did so after being forwarded a National Enquirer reporter's email seeking comment about an allegation—which turned out to be untrue—that Aniston had accused him of groping her.

Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Coolidge and Billy Porter star in the comedy Like a Boss, debuting on Digital April 7, and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand April 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. The plot is as follows: Best friends Mia and Mel ( Haddish and Byrne ) are running their own cosmetics company until a villainous beauty mogul ( Hayek ) conspires to steal it from under them. When her devious plan drives the besties apart, Mia and Mel learn that sticking together is the only way to turn the tables and take their company back. Bonus features include "With Coworkers Like These, Who Needs Friends?," "'Get Some' with Ron and Greg" and deleted scenes.

Recently deceased Good Times star Ja'Net DuBois' death certificate suggested that her biological father was swing-era jazz icon Cab Calloway, Page Six reported. The death certificate, released this week by LA county and obtained by TMZ, lists Dubois' full name as Jeannette T. Calloway-DuBois. During his heyday, Calloway was a huge draw at Harlem's famed Cotton Club, and his famous composition "Minnie the Moocher" has been cited by some as the first jazz record to sell 1 million copies.

The 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook of the classic horror film Friday the 13th will debut May 5, from Paramount Home Entertainment, a press release noted. Originally released May 9, 1980, the film spawned one of the longest-running and most successful horror franchises in film history, with 11 subsequent movies. The Friday the 13th Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook features artwork from the original movie poster and includes the uncut, unrated version of the film, as well as access to a digital copy of the original theatrical version. In addition, bonus content includes commentary, interviews with cast and crew, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Actor and failed GOP candidate Antonio Sabato Jr. said he has been blacklisted for supporting President Donald Trump, Queerty noted. "I had to sell everything," Sabato told Variety. "I had to pay all my debts. I was blacklisted. All my representatives left me, from agents to managers to commercial agents." Today, Sabato is doing construction work in Florida to make ends meet. Asked whether he'll vote for Trump again in 2020, Sabato replied, "Of course. I think he'll be elected by 100 million votes."

Showtime's series adaptation of American Gigolo has been picked up to pilot, with Jon Bernthal attached to star and produce, Deadline noted. Paramount TV originally joined forces with Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the film noir classic starring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton, to explore a TV series adaptation in 2014. The project was set up for development at Showtime in 2016 with Neil LaBute as writer, and has since gone through multiple incarnations. The 1980 movie featured Gere as Julian Kaye, a male escort in Los Angeles.

Billie Eilish got some new bling to complement her five Grammys, iHeart.com noted. The "Bad Guy" singer debuted a black diamond necklace to honor her historic sweep at the 2020 Grammy Awards. In a new Instagram post, Eilish flaunted a 14-karat gold custom pendant with black diamonds shaped as "5X," no doubt to commemorate each trophy the 18-year-old walked away with from the event.

Timeless alum Goran Visnjic is set to star as Count Dracula opposite Gina Torres and Katherine Reis in The Brides, ABC's Brides of Dracula drama pilot, Deadline noted. The Brides reunites Visnjic with Warner Bros. TV, which cast the actor in his breakout role on the NBC medical drama series ER.


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