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SHOWBIZ Mariah Carey, Rami Malek, Jussie Smollett, Rachel Maddow
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Mariah Carey got an unexpected gift last week when her 2001 Glitter soundtrack album suddenly shot to number one on the iTunes chart, thanks to a social-media push from fans, Page Six noted. "Back on the charts! I thought it was going to ruin me, and now here we are, however many years later," Carey told Andy Cohen and Sandra Bernhard during a promo stop at SiriusXM. Carey has just released her most recent CD, Caution.

Rami Malek has been chosen for this year's Breakthrough Performance Award at the 30th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival for his acclaimed performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Deadline reported. The honor will be presented at the Film Awards Gala on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Palm Springs Convention Center; the festival runs Jan. 3-14. Malek joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close, who will receive the Icon Award.

During an interview on The Clay Cane Show on SiriusXM, Empire actor Jussie Smollett revealed his character, Jamal Lyon, almost had a white boyfriend, but he was not for it, reported. "There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend and I said, 'Fuck no!'" said the actor, 35. "Not for any reason except we have a responsibility and we have a such a beautiful opportunity to show two Black men in a relationship together, in a healthy relationship."

Rachel Maddow has launched a documentary special, Betrayal, that looks at the darker side of the 1968 election and how then-candidate Richard Nixon seemed willing to collude with a foreign government to win it, Variety reported. At the end of October, Maddow and MSNBC launched Bag Man, the host's first podcast series. The seven-episode serial tackled the story of former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who stepped down from the post after pleading no contest to tax evasion. "Bag Man" topped recent podcast charts on iTunes.

Anna Faris ( Mom ), Yvonne Orji ( Insecure ) and Tituss Burgess ( Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ) joined Slay Team alums Cecily Strong ( SNL ) and Chrissie Fit ( Pitch Perfect 2 ) to release Sleighin' the Holidays, according to a press release. Produced by Haven Entertainment and MWWPR and written by actress-songwriter Laura Bell Bundy, "the song and music video plays with the realities and aspirations for a stress-free and chill holiday season in an upbeat and humorous way," the release added. The video can be seen on Barefoot's YouTube channel.

Celine Dion has partnered with fashion designers Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg, the co-founders of the global children's fashion brand NUNUNU, to create a new line of kid's gender-neutral clothing, CELINUNUNU, noted. According to, the brand shared a one-minute long clip on YouTube, with Dion breaking into a hospital while her voiceover said: "Our children, they are not really our children, as we are all just links in a never-ending chain that is life. "For us, they are everything. But in reality we are only a fraction of their universe."

Tom Hanks, Kathy Bates and Clint Eastwood were among those who attended the 2018 Governors Awards on Nov. 18 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Just Jared noted. During the ceremony, Academy Honorary Awards were given to Cicely Tyson, Lalo Schifrin and Marvin Levy. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award went to Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

Miranda Lambert opened up about her and Jason Aldean's summer hit "Drowns the Whiskey," Page Six noted. "Yes, I had to sing with someone with a penis to get a number one," Lamber told The Washington Post. The song, which was released in May and reached number-one status three months later, was the country singer's first tune to reach the same accomplishment in four years.

Four-time Tony nominee Raul Esparza will join Classic Stage Company Artistic Director John Doyle for a one-night-only conversation and concert looking back at Esparza's career, Playbill noted. The Law & Order: SVU alum—who recently appeared in a production of Chess opposite Karen Olivo and Ruthie Ann Miles—is currently starring in the Off-Broadway production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Doyle for Classic Stage Company. The Dec. 9 event will feature Esparza performing songs highlighting his stage career, with musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell accompanying on piano.

Tony winner LaChanze ( currently on Broadway in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical ), Tony nominee Saycon Sengbloh and more will take the stage in the world premiere of The Secret Life of Bees, a musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's novel, noted. The musical—featuring a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead—will begin performances May 12, 2019, at the Atlantic Theater Company before an official opening June 13. Sam Gold will direct the off-Broadway production.

Days after professing his love for rapper Tyler, the Creator—on stage and online—Jaden Smith has deleted a tweet confirming the whirlwind romance, Queerty noted. But to add another layer to their relationship ( which seemingly is not romantic ), Smith posted a photo of the two instead, along with the date "November 17," suggesting a possible impending collaboration.

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer married his boyfriend of two-plus years, Joshua Ross, in Southern California, Outsports noted. He had never—while he was playing in the NFL for the Cowboys or at any point during his marriage to his wife—dated men, had a boyfriend or had any kind of same-sex experience. However, Rohrer said there was a secret inside him that he felt he could never reveal. Rohrer added that, while playing with the Cowboys, "It was a football locker room, like every other locker room I've ever been in. Nothing was anti-gay." Rohrer, his ex-wife, their kids and Ross have all lived under the same roof for a couple years, noted.

Speaking at a 10th-anniversary screening of the pilot episode of the series True Blood at Vulture Festival in Los Angeles, creator Alan Ball gave details of the rumored musical version coming from composer Nathan Barr, which Ball said he's heard is "pretty good," Deadline noted. "It tells the story of vampires coming out of the closet," Ball said. "Ultimately it really departs from the book, because people aren't ready, and they're too bigoted and they end up going back in to the closet." He said the project, which Barr first announced in 2014, is being workshopped.

It turned out GQ had an explanation regarding why the word "woman" was in quotes on the publication's cover when it named Serena Williams "woman" of the year. According to Inside Edition, the graphic in question was handwritten by designer Virgil Abloh, who is known for putting quotes around words. He even signs his own name in quotes. Abloh collaborated with Williams on her off-the-shoulder tutu look for the U.S. Open earlier this year, which featured the word "logo" in quotes on it as well. Her name, "Serena," was in quotes on her trainers, too.

In her new autobiography, Brutally Honest, Mel B said that she tried to commit suicide in 2014 by downing 200 painkillers, Page Six revealed. The singer was an X Factor judge at the time, and missed the Saturday semi; however, appeared for the Sunday live final in a dress that showed her injuries—which she blamed on a stomach ulcer. In part, she says in the book, "Behind the glitter of fame, I felt emotionally battered, estranged from my family. I felt ugly and detested by the very man who once promised to love and protect me, my husband and manager Stephen."

Armie Hammer is dialing it back on Twitter after Jeffrey Dean Morgan called him an "a—hat," noted. Hammer apologized on Twitter after he criticized celebrities who shared Stan Lee selfie tribute posts in honor of the icon, who died Nov. 12 at 95. Morgan, 52, called out Hammer in a now-deleted tweet, writing, "Looks like you found a way to use others ways of mourning and their memories to draw some attention to yourself. You sound like a real a—hat."

Woodstock's 50th anniversary is coming up next year—and one of the festival's original promoters, Michael Lang, told The Poughkeepsie Journal that there were "definite plans" for a commemorative event, Stereogum noted. This past summer—when archeologists dug up the festival field in Bethel, New York, where the festival took place—there was mention of the on-site museum planning interactive walking routes in time for its anniversary in 2019.

Night School—starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish—arrives on Digital and the digital movie app Movies Anywhere on Dec. 11; On Demand Dec. 28, 2018; and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on Jan. 1, 2019, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, according to a press release. Bonus features on the various formats range from a gag reel to deleted scenes to features like "Prom NIght Revisited."

The four network daytime dramas will not be boycotting next year's Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony as they'd threatened to in July, Deadline noted. In an unprecedented show of unity, after being dissatisfied with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' response to screw-ups during this year's awards show, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and The Young and the Restless banded together this summer to present a list of complaints and demands for changes.

Smithsonian Channel is set to revisit the life of one of the silver screen's most iconic legends by way of her most personal possessions, a press release noted. At Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles, more than 1,000 lots sold for a total of more than $11 million at an auction of Marilyn Monroe belongings. Telling the story of this Hollywood movie star and sex symbol via some of her most recognizable costumes, letters and clothes, the new documentary Marilyn Monroe for Sale premieres Sunday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m. CT on the channel.

Paramount Pictures is talking with Chris Pratt to star in a relaunch of its action franchise The Saint, Deadline noted. After originating as a 1940s serial, Roger Moore played Simon Templar, the wealthy adventurer, in a six-season TV series in the 1960s. It was turned into a Paramount movie in 1997 that starred Val Kilmer.

Tom Cruise, who reportedly stands 5'7", has been replaced as the action hero Jack Reacher in an upcoming TV reboot based on the character from Lee Child's series of crime thriller novels due to his stature, The Huffington Post noted. Reacher is described in Lee Child's novels as well over six feet and who dominates enemies with his formidable size. "Cruise, for all his talent, didn't have that physicality," the writer said.

ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been given a season-seven order, an ABC Entertainment announced. The show stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward. Co-creators include Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, who also serve as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb.

MTV will bring back its MTV Spring Break in 2019, expanding its live-events business on the heels of its acquisition of SnowGlobe Music Festival, a press release announced. The all-new MTV Spring Break will be held March 19-21 at the Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, and will feature its signature mix of high-energy performances, surprise celebrity guests and thousands of young people. Also, for the first time, MTV will concurrently host alternative Spring Break events for young activists who use their free time to give back.

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