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SHOWBIZ Out singer, 'Hamilton,' 'Sense8,' Dolly Parton, Shangela
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-11-12

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LGBT singer Michael Longoria released a music video for "Kiss Me ( Like They Do In The Movies )," an original song written by Longoria and arranged by James Dobinson, a press release noted. The music video is directed by Matt Simpkins, and stars Longoria and Anthony Crouchelli. "Kiss Me" is the first single from Longoria's new studio album, Michael Longoria: Like They Do In The Movies, available now at BroadwayRecords.com, .Amazon.com, in stores and across digital platforms.

When asked about a Hamilton movie, actor Leslie Odom Jr.—who won a Tony for creating the role of Aaron Burr in the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical—didn't have information about a feature film, but provided some intel on the 2016 filming of the original cast, Playbill noted. "We shot it before we left," Odom said on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live. "They shot a version of it on stage. So that will come out eventually, I know for sure. … They brought in cameras, they got in tight, they got in close-up. I haven't seen it, but I've heard from people who have seen it that it's really well done, really beautifully done."

Sense8 star Brian J. Smith might be best known for appearing in the since-cancelled Netflix show's pansexual orgies, but he hasn't opened up about his own sexuality until now, Out.com noted. Smith publicly came out in a cover story for Attitude, talking about the hardship of growing up queer in Texas. He said, "At school I really couldn't fit in anywhere. I wasn't a jock or a nerd. Forget about any [LGBTQ+] union or groups. There was absolutely nothing. I was completely alone. I heard all the names—pussy, faggot."

Dolly Parton has earned her first-ever number-one song on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart, thanks to "Faith," her collaboration with Swedish DJ/production duo Galantis, the publication noted. "Faith" is also Galantis' first number-one song on a dance/electronic songs chart, after its Pharmacy set debuted at the same position on Top Dance/Electronic Albums in June 2015. Parton made her first Billboard chart appearance nearly 53 years ago ( Jan. 21, 1967 ), on the Hot Country Songs chart with her debut hit, "Dumb Blonde."

Shangela has been cast as a "ruthless" drag queen on the upcoming Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene, NewNowNext.com noted, citing TheWrap. Shangela will play Devereaux, a rival of another New York queen, Ginger/Jorge Lopez, played by Jonny Beauchamp. The CW's midseason show stars Lucy Hale as Keene. Drag performer Jorge Lopez, a.k.a. Ginger, is part of Katy's circle of friends chasing glamorous dreams in New York City. Drag Race alum Shangela previously had roles in A Star Is Born and The X-Files.

Popular gay YouTuber and LGBTQ influencer Tai Couture has passed away from suicide, The Washington Blade reported. Couture ( real name: Tyree Williams ) was primarily known for his work as a hairstylist and makeup artist, but he had also been vocal about his battle with depression. A GoFundMe page was set up for his homegoing ceremony; see "Home going Celebration for Tyree Williams" at GoFundMe.com .

Actress MJ Rodriguez ( Pose ) is entering a new partnership with Olay Body, for the brand's 14 Day Skin Transformation campaign, The Cut noted. It's the beauty giant's first partnership with a trans Latinx woman, and Rodriguez said she was shocked when she got the call. In addition to Pose, Rodriguez is currently in a production of The Little Shop of Horrors and just delivered a keynote speech at The George Washington University's 5th Annual Diversity Summit.

Whitney Houston's assistant/close friend Robyn Crawford opens up for the first time about their what she said was their romantic relationship in a new memoir, NBC News reported. The two met around 1980 in New Jersey during their late teens and immediately formed a bond, Crawford writes in her book, A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston. In the early 1980s, soon after Houston signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista, she ended the physical relationship with Crawford and, when breaking the news, gave her a blue Bible.

Speaking of Houston, singer Faith Evans talked about her memories of ex-husband Biggie Smalls, herself and the late superstar singer, Page Six noted. Evans said, "Whitney and Bobby [Brown] used to live in the same country club as me and my ex-husband and one day they came to our house. We were drinking wine, smoking joints and they had this thing where they [would] dance and curse at each other." Evans also said that Houston bought her an outfit to an event Donatella Versace threw in 1997, adding, "It was a dinner party … and men with no shirts [were] serving platters."

UK Metro reported that actress Lucy Liu paints lesbian portraits. The Charlie's Angels star started her art journey when she was just 16, with mixed media collage, before going to the New York Studio School to study drawing, painting and sculpture from 2004 until 2006. Many of Liu's works focus on queer female erotic art.

Prince's breakthrough into the mainstream will get a new reassessment this year when 1999—the blockbuster 1982 album that contained the hits "1999" and "Little Red Corvette"—comes out as a souped-up, remastered reissue on Nov. 29, Rolling Stone noted. The massive super-deluxe edition of the reissue contains five CDs and a DVD ( or 10 LPs and a DVD ) with 35 previously unreleased audio tracks and a full concert film that was previously unofficially circulated. The singer's estate is also issuing pared-down versions of the reissue, including a two-CD ( or four-LP ) "Deluxe Edition" and a single-CD ( or two-LP ) basic edition.

Noelle Robinson—the 20-year-old daughter of supermodel Cynthia Bailey and actor Leon Robinson—came out as sexually fluid on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, in an emotional conversation with her mother, People.com noted. "People try to box everyone in and put labels on everything, but I don't really do that," Noelle told Bailey. "I just like who I like, and that's just what it is. There's a lot of attractive guys, and there's a lot of attractive girls." Making sure Noelle felt supported was important to Bailey, especially as her daughter admitted to not fully understanding what her feelings all meant.

Former Zac Posen Chief Financial Officer Dominic Miachon-Hobson filed a lawsuit claiming he's owed nearly $200,000 by the now-shuttered House of Z and Posen, Page Six noted. Miachon-Hobson filed his suit Oct. 11 in New York Supreme Court, claiming he is owed $167,177.51 in unreimbursed expenses. Now he's preparing to widen the suit against billionaire Ron Burkle and his company, Yucaipa, Posen's major investor.

Kacey Musgraves announced her first holiday special, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show, which will find the singer joined by an all-star cast of collaborators on a variety of classic and original holiday songs on Amazon Prime Video, according to Billboard. The special—directed by Dan Levy ( Schitt's Creek )—will premiere globally Nov. 29 and feature Musgraves teaming up with Fred Armisen on "Silent Night," Leon Bridges on "Present Without a Bow," Camila Cabello on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," James Corden on "Let It Snow," Zooey Deschanel on "Mele Kalikimaka," Lana Del Rey on "I"ll Be Home For Christmas" and Troye Sivan on the world debut of "Glittery."

Filmmaking icons Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey have announced their next project, a biopic of inspirational speaker and queer icon Tammy Faye Bakker entitled The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Queerty noted. ( The pair rose to infamy with a documentary of the same title in 2000. ) Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain will don the false eyelashes to play Tammy Faye, while fellow Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield will play Jim Bakker. Vincent D'Onofrio joins the cast as Bakker's scheming associate ( and staunch hater of LGBTQ people ) Jerry Fallwell, while Gabriel Olds ( of Surrogates ) will play another Bakker-Fallwell associate, Pat Robertson.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has set Andrew Garfield to star in tick, tick…BOOM!, Deadline noted. Miranda makes his feature directorial debut for Netflix on the adaptation of the autobiographical off-Broadway show written by Jonathan Larson, who shortly after went on to write the Pulitzer-winning musical Rent. Larson died tragically the night before Rent's first off-Broadway preview performance—before the show became a sensation.

Harry Styles excited fans by announcing his new album, Fine Line, out Dec. 13, Page Six Style reported. For the colorful cover of his second solo album, Styles stuck to his tried-and-true fashion formula: custom white Gucci sailor pants, a hot pink poppy-printed shirt ( $1,600 ) and matching suspenders. It's no surprise to spot the star in Gucci; Styles is close friends with the brand's creative director Alessandro Michele, hosted the 2019 Met Gala dressed in a lace top and wide-leg pants by the Italian label, and has starred in Gucci campaigns.

More than 10 years after first appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, Selena Gomez earned her first No. 1 on the chart with "Lose You to Love Me," Billboard noted. The ballad vaulted from number 15 to the summit following its first full week of data tracking. Also, Kanye West debuted at number seven with "Follow God," from his new album Jesus Is King, which launched at number one on the Billboard 200.

Social media users were sent into a bit of a panic after an article made the rounds claiming Betty White had "dyed," PopCulture.com noted. The 97-year-old Golden Girls actress and TV legend has been the source of death hoaxes for close to a decade at this point, with the article posted by satirical site EmpireNews helping to fuel the rumors. The hoax seems to stem back to at least 2012, leading to many outlets to clear the air over White's status and ensure fans that she was still going strong.

Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon is set to headline and executive produce the limited TV series, now in development at UCP, Deadline noted. It based on Joe Exotic, the second season of Wondery's Over My Dead Body podcast. McKinnon is already starring in and executive producing another limited series based on a podcast, The Dropout, which was ordered by Hulu. It is based on ABC News/ABC Radio's podcast about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos.

The directors-producers of Finding Jack are doubling down on their defense of bringing back the late icon James Dean through CGI visual effects for the Vietnam War-era indie drama, Variety reported. Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh of Magic City Films and producer Donald A. Barton of Artistry Media Group said they were surprised by the reaction and promised that they will be respectful of Dean's legacy. They intend to use Dean's likeness in approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of the film.

Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden had to be evacuated from the set of their upcoming film when experts discovered an unexploded bomb in the area, RadarOnline.com reported. The actors were in the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, Spain, filming The Eternals. The unexploded bomb is thought to have been left over from a Nazi World War II base.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice will be out on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 10, a press release noted. The 93-minute documentary takes viewers through Ronstandt's early years of singing Mexican canciones with her family; her folk days with the Stone Poneys; and her reign as the "rock queen" of the '70s and early '80s. She was a pioneer for women in the male-dominated music industry and an early advocate for human rights, and had a high-profile romance with California Gov. Jerry Brown. Ultimately, her voice was lost to Parkinson's disease, but her music and influence remain.

Anthony Rapp—Star Trek: Discovery actor and original cast member of the cult Broadway musical Rent—is set to marry partner Ken Ithiphol, E! News noted. The two have been together for at least two years. Rapp, 48, announced the news on his Instagram page alongside a photo of him and his fiance, who now sports a new ring. Rapp made headlines in 2017, when he became the first person to publicly accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, recalling an unwanted encounter that he said took place when he was 14.

After sitting in the front row chatting up Anna Wintour, Megan Thee Stallion is officially the new face of Coach's latest ad campaign, Page Six noted. The rapper stars in the label's new "Wonder For All" holiday campaign alongside Yara Shahidi, Kate Moss, Spike and Tonya Lee, Camila Morrone, Miles Heizer and more. This is Stallion's first fashion campaign.

Warner Bros is negotiating with Colin Farrell to play The Penguin in the Matt Reeves-directed The Batman, Deadline noted. If the deal closes, he will round out the trio of villains going against Rob Pattinson's Caped Crusader, with Paul Dano as The Riddler and Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman. Farrell's recent films include Dumbo, Widows, Roman J. Israel Esq, The Lobster, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Penguin was originated by Danny DeVito in Tim Burton's Batman Returns in 1992.

In New York City, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical's opening night attracted Turner herself—as well as luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Variety noted. "You see her at her lowest lows and her highest highs, and she's someone who's had the lowest of lows," said Adrienne Warren, who portrays Turner. "It's not just the story of the violence and abuse between her and Ike, but of how she overcame that, and we're able to locate her truth throughout it all. For her, it was her faith, her faith in Buddhism—which many people may not know—and her ability to surround herself with love."

Madonna brought her intimate Madame X show to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace—and fans said the singer didn't hit the stage until 12:30 a.m. when it was scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m., Fox5Vegas.com noted. Fans reportedly booed Madonna and chanted they wanted a refund when she took the stage. Madonna's late start wasn't the only thing that upset fans; they took to social media and accused her of not performing her hits, talking too much and belittling her audience by even calling them "poor" at one point during the show. It was so bad that Wonderwall.com reports a source told them more than 500 refunds were issued to fans who left before or walked out during the show.

Speaking of Madonna, she extended her record-breaking career, as the remix of her song "Crave" with Swae Lee hit #1 on the Billboard "Dance Club Songs" Chart becoming her 49th #1 hit—the most ever for an artist on that chart, a press release noted. "Crave" is from her album Madame X, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in June.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA ) criticized actor Jason Momoa for pulling a "sad stunt" that the animal rights organization said ignores the cruel treatment of captive animals used for television and film, Newsweek reported. The accusation from PETA came after Momoa—known for his portrayals of Dothraki chieftain Khal Drogo in the show Game of Thrones and the superhero Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe films—released a video of getting a bear to eat an Oreo cookie out of his mouth in preparation for a role. Momoa decided to get up close and personal with a bear in order to steel himself for a scene in which his character on the series See has to fight one.

Kathy Griffin celebrated her 59th birthday with a seductive set of photos on social media, posing in nothing but her underwear, according to Page Six. "Morning fellas. I'm 59 today," she captioned one image of herself wearing a cheetah-print bra and black underwear. Celebrities like Kate Beckinsale, Gloria Estefan, Lance Bass and more wished the star a happy birthday.

The Goldfinch arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 3, and Digital on Nov. 19, a press release noted. A coming-of-age story, The Goldfinch is the film adaptation based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name. The movie stars Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman.

Ricky Gervais will host the 77th annual Golden Globes next year, Deadline noted. "Once again, they've made me an offer I can't refuse," said Gervais of the host job for the three-hour show, which he will be emceeing for the fifth time. "But this is the very last time I'm doing this, which could make for a fun evening." After years of the boozy Globes going without a host, Gervais roasted Hollywood at the annual Beverly Hilton-based ceremony in 2010, 2011 and 2012 before handing the reins over to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for three years, and then re-hosting in 2016.

ABC is developing Revenge—a follow-up to the 2011 series that starred Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe, Deadline noted. The new Revenge chronicles the story of a young Latinx immigrant. Guided by one of the original series' favorite characters, she arrives in Malibu to exact revenge on a Sackler-esque pharmaceutical dynasty.

Also, ABC has cancelled the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, and the sixth season will be its last, EW.com noted. Episodes 14 and 15 of this latest run, airing next year on Friday, Feb. 21, will combine to mark an hourlong series finale. Fresh Off the Boat was renewed for season six with Twentieth Century Fox Television earlier this year—although the news became even bigger when star Constance Wu ( who's also in the movie Hustlers ) expressed her apparent dismay by this development through responses on social media.


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