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SHOWBIZ 'Orange Is the New Black,' Jake Shears, Bob the Drag Queen, Mika
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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The seventh and final season of Orange Is the New Black will debut on Netflix on July 26—and it's being celebrated in a unique way, a press release noted. This season, the cast and creators are honoring the fans by having the "Orange Army" themselves create the key art for the series finale. Ten artists from across the globe—the United Kingdom, Armenia, Brazil, Italy and the United States—were hand-selected via social media to have their showpiece displayed across busses, buildings, and billboards all over the world. For more, visit

Former Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears revealed in an interview with GayCities that the group's demise was because of their hit single "Let's Have a Kiki," according to The Washington Blade. "I didn't know what the fuck to say after that song, quite honestly," Shears told GayCities. "When that song came out and did what it did. I was just like, 'Well, there it is; I guess we did it.'" Also, Shears denied that the group broke up because of a rift between him and fellow lead singer Ana Matronic. However, a Scissor Sisters reunion could be in the works sometime in the future.

Bob the Drag Queen is hosting the ultimate makeover show in MTV's Drag My Dad, a press release touted. Each episode centers on a young adult who is at a crucial point in his/her/their life and struggling to connect with the dad. The new digital original series airs every Monday at 5 p.m. CT on MTV Facebook.

Singer Mika has unveiled his summer anthem, "Ice Cream," a press release noted. He will kick off his recently announced forthcoming European tour, in London this November with stops through Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and more—and he is also planning select U.S. shows this fall. The video is at

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter announced a joint Pride Summit set for Thursday, Aug. 8, at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood to celebrate the influence of the LGBTQ+ community across music, media and entertainment, a press release noted. Billboard also will announce the recipients of two newly established Billboard Pride Scholarships to its Music Industry Essentials course at NYU. The summit is part of Billboard's "Summer of Pride," which also includes special editorial coverage of concerts and events across the globe; well-known and up-and-coming LGBTQ+ artists and allies; playlists curated by artists, executives and influencers; and a pride chart recognizing LGBTQ+ artists of the past and present.

Connor Jessup, best known for his role on season two of ABC's anthology series American Crime, came out as gay in an emotional Instagram post on his 25th birthday, USA Today noted. Jessup said that although he wasn't worried about being accepted by his family, he shielded his authentic self behind comfort, convenience and privilege over the years. The actor added he hopes that his coming-out will inspire other people struggling with identity to embrace who they truly are.

Just ahead of the release of the new Spider-film Far From Home, actor Tom Holland said he'd be fine with a gay Spider-Man, noted. When asked directly about the possibility, 23-year-old Holland told The Sunday Times: "Yeah, of course! ... The world isn't as simple as a straight white guy. It doesn't end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person."

Red Crown Productions LLC acquired the rights to Harry Tarre's screenplay Queen, based on the article "How I Became the World's First Transgender Prom Queen—A Personal Essay," written by activist and model Corey Rae, a press release noted. The script is an intimate portrayal of Rae's real life high school transition process and how she became the world's first openly transgender prom queen.

Willow Smith opened up that she loves men and women "equally" while discussing polyamory on the latest episode of her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith's Red Table Talk, The Washington Blade noted. "I feel like I could be polyfidelitous with those two people," Smith said. "I'm not the kind of person that is constantly looking for new sexual experiences. I focus a lot on the emotional connection."

On a related note, Jada Pinkett Smith spoke about her relationship with husband Will Smith and his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino, on the latest episode of her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk—which is titled "Unconventional Relationships" and prominently features the term "throuple," which is defined on the episode as "three people having a consensual romance," Yahoo! noted. Why it's so not foreign to me too is that I've had a non-sexual throuple for years with Sheree," Jada said. "When you have your husband that is taking care of another woman and spending time with another woman, it's the same thing."

Susan Bernard, a 1960s cult movie actress who would go on to oversee her father's iconic archive of Marilyn Monroe photographs, has died at 71, Deadline noted. Best remembered for her role in Russ Meyer's 1965 cult epic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Bernard had a Hollywood career than spanned such 1960s-'70s pop-culture touchstones as General Hospital, The Beverly Hillbillies, Room 222 and the 1969 pulp lesbian classic That Tender Touch ( since preserved by Outfest's Legacy Project ). Son Joshua John Miller become a successful TV producer in his own right.

Mariah Carey's ex-manager is threatening to "lay bare" the singer's secrets in court, Page Six noted. Stella Bulochnikov—who managed Carey for three years until an acrimonious split in 2017—is being sued by Carey's former assistant Lianna Shakhnazaryan, who claims that Bulochnikov sexually assaulted her. In court papers, Bulochnikov admitted that she and former pal Shakhnazaryan used to engage in friendly "horseplay" while on tour with Carey. But in the suit she claims, "[Shakhnazaryan's] horseplay was far more aggressive and inappropriate compared to Stella's benign conduct."

DJ Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll, a.k.a. Kygo, released new single "Higher Love"—with the late superstar Whitney Houston, a press release noted. The single marks the first new music from Houston in a decade, since 2009's I Look To You. "Higher Love" is a cover of the 1986 Steve Winwood classic, which celebrated its 33rd anniversary on June 20.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has finally gotten her own Wheaties box, noted. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and four Olympic gold medals. Past Wheaties cover stars have included icons like Michael Jordan, Caitlyn Jenner and Mary Lou Retton.

Following the world premiere at the Seattle International film festival and international premiere at Toronto's Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, director Wendy Jo Carlton's ( Hannah Free; Easy Abby ) newest feature film, Good Kisser, will have its Los Angeles premiere at Outfest 2019, a press release noted. The screening will be attended by director Carlton, plus actors Kari Alison Hodge, Rachel Paulson and Julia Eringer.

Talk-show host Wendy Williams flaunted her spirit during the New York City Pride Parade on June 30, wearing a bright, skintight rainbow jumpsuit, crystal-studded pink Gucci sunglasses and a tiny pink Fendi purse as she made her way down Fifth Avenue on a float, Page Six noted. She accessorized with her signature "W" necklace and diamond flower ring, as well as with a rainbow flag that she waved throughout the day.

Three months after applying to trademark "Okurrr" for merchandising purposes, rapper Cardi B was denied her request because it was more common than she perhaps thought, noted, citing The Blast. In the official papers, U.S. Patent and Trademark officials said that Cardi's phrase was considered a "widely-used commonplace expression," after learning that the Kardashian family and many of her fans had used "Okurrr" over the years. Cardi's fans also reportedly filed similar trademark applications before the rapper did.

Also, Tyra Banks wants to trademark the phrase "smize" and apply it to a new line of ice cream, noted. According to a listing United States Patent and Trademark Office, Banks' company applied on June 21 for the ownership of the term "Smize Cream." Banks has long documented her love of the dessert.

Shay Mitchell—who played lesbian student Emily on the Pretty Little Liars TV series—announced on Instagram that she is pregnant, sharing a topless photo of herself that shows off her growing baby bump, Page Six noted. Mitchell shared in a video titled "Guess Who's Preggers" that she is expecting her first child with boyfriend Matte Babel. In January, the actress revealed she had suffered a miscarriage in 2018.

Sharon Osbourne is fuming over President Trump's use of one of her husband's most popular songs in a video he tweeted, Page Six noted. The footage shows the technical glitches that marred the June 26 Democratic primary debate, paired with Ozzy Osbourne's 1980 hit "Crazy Train." Sharon said she was banning Trump's 2020 presidential campaign from using any of the English rock star's tunes.

One Day at a Time—cancelled earlier this year by Netflix—has been picked up for a fourth season by Pop, Deadline noted. CBS Corporation and Sony Pictures TV reached a deal to give the critically praised multi-camera family comedy a 13-episode fourth go-round. Cast, crew and fans reacted with glee on social media.

Stevie Wonder and designer Kai Millard Morris' 17-year-old son Kailand Morris has a cool summer internship slated— working with Dior's head creative director, Kim Jones, at Dior Homme in Paris, Page Six noted. Morris is no stranger to high fashion: He's walked the runways for Dolce & Gabbana, Pyer Moss and Comme des Garcons.

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