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SHOWBIZ Ryan Murphy, 'Universal Love,' Jay Z, Imagine Dragons
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-04-10

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While discussing the theme of the next American Crime Story with The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Murphy let slip a development in the cast of American Horror Story, according to Queerty. The Hollywood Reporter stated, "When it comes to Murphy's other FX anthologies, he's currently casting an eighth season of American Horror Story ( and, in classic Murphy fashion, reveals he's "throwing in Joan Collins" and is "interested" in Anjelica Huston )." Meanwhile, he's still working on Crime Story to follow the just-finished The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Also, he's working on the New York vogue ballroom-centered Pose for FX as well as at least two new series for Netflix.

MGM Resorts International announced the release of Universal Love, a collection of reimagined wedding songs for the LGBTQ community, celebrating the enduring and overwhelming power of love and music to unite, according to a press release. The album includes boundary-changing songs from some of today's most-beloved artists. Bob Dylan is among the visionary artists participating and re-recorded "She's Funny That Way" as "He's Funny That Way." This unprecedented project features five additional stellar artists whose involvement is a testament to the urgency of equality in entertainment: Kesha ( "I Need a Woman to Love Me" ), St. Vincent ( "And Then She Kissed Me" ), Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie ( "And I Love Him" ), Bloc Party's Kele Okereke ( "My Guy" ) and Valerie June ( "Mad About The Girl" ). For more info, visit www.universal-love.com .

Jay Z said he cried with joy when his mother came out to him as lesbian, NBC Chicago reported. In the April 6 episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix, Jay Z said he was happy his mother was free. The rap mogul says he'd known his mother's sexual orientation, but they discussed it for the first time eight months ago.

Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, announced the second annual LOVELOUD Festival ( loveloudfest.com ) designed to ignite the conversation about what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept and support LGBTQ+ youths, a press release stated. LOVELOUD Festival will take place Saturday, July 28, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Zedd and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, along with Grace Vanderwaal, Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn and A.W. Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Cameron Esposito will also perform and emcee the day's festivities.

Adam Rippon went public with his new boyfriend, Finland resident Jussi-Pekka Kajaala, in an Instagram post, The Washington Blade noted. "Good boys Finnish first," Rippon captioned the photo, along with a Finland flag emoji. He told People he met Kajaala on Tinder around seven months ago. They recently "started to hang out a little bit more" and made their relationship official recently.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs got engaged to new fiance Charly Defrancesco—at a Chipotle, according to Vanity Fair. Jacobs posted a video of the elaborate proposal, which included a group of dancers performing to Prince's "Kiss," to his Instagram. Defrancesco, a model who also has his own candle business, admitted to the Daily Front Row that his approach to fashion has changed since dating the 54-year-old fashion designer, including his newfound love of bulky dad sneakers. A couple days later, Defrancesco surprised Jacobs with a top-secret surprise birthday party at Soho hot spot subMercer, Page Six noted.

Laverne Cox flaunted her new boyfriend in a recent Instagram story, Page Six noted. The actress, who is slowly opening up about her private life, shared a steamy selfie with the nameless blonde, who was bare-chested. To clear up any confusion on what the mystery man means to Cox, she added several red heart emojis to the snap. She's even met his family, adding, "His family's amazing. My mom likes him. It's good."

Historical hip-hop musical Hamilton took seven trophies, including best new musical, at British theater's Olivier Awards, where women's-rights activists joined stage stars on the red carpet to support the Time's Up movement, Page Six noted. Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical about U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton was nominated in a record 13 categories at Britain's equivalent of the Tony Awards.

Production is moving ahead on a new sitcom being touted as a gay version of The Golden Girls, Metro Weekly reported. Silver Foxes focuses on a group of older gay men and their younger friend, who all end up living in Palm Springs after they rescue one of the men from a homophobic nursing home where he was forced back into the closet. Production company Super Deluxe will work with Golden Girls writers Stan Zimmerman and James Berg to bring Silver Foxes to a streaming platform or cable network.

Broad City star Abbi Jacobson came out as being attracted to both men and women in an interview promoting her new film, 6 Balloons, The Washington Blade reported. "I kind of go both ways; I date men and women," the 34-year-old told Vanity Fair. "They have to be funny, doing something they love. I don't know—I've never really been interviewed about this before." In addition to appearing in 6 Balloons, which is currently streaming on Netflix, Jacobson will appear as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race along with Broad City co-star Ilana Glazer.

Kesha and Macklemore will team this summer for 'The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore' Tour, a press release noted. The 30-stop tour will start June 6 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, and end Aug. 5 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida. ( Locally, they will perform July 14 in Tinley Park, Illinois, at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. ) See LiveNation.com .

Former Glee co-stars Lea Michele and Darren Criss are reuniting to go on tour together, Billboard noted. The pair stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show to announce their upcoming LMDC tour. Criss—whose solo EP Homework peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart in January—also shared on Twitter that they would be performing a variety of songs. The LMDC tour begins on May 30 in Nashville; from there, the duo will hit eight other cities, including Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel apologized to those in the gay community who took offense to a joke he made in the middle of an ongoing feud with Fox News host Sean Hannity, CBS News noted. Kimmel had come under fire during an Twitter exchange with Hannity in which he encouraged Hannity to "get back on top." Many users called the comment homophobic. In his statement, Kimmel admitted he enjoyed the back-and-forth but the "level of vitriol from all sides" turned out to be harmful.

Max Mutchnick, the showrunner and co-creator of Will & Grace, plans to donate A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo to the more than 1,100 public elementary schools in Indiana, The Huffington Post reported. Comedian John Oliver created the queer-themed picture book, which features Pence's pet bunny, to draw attention to the anti-LGBTQ stance of the state's former governor. Mutchnick wrote in his caption on Instagram, "By donating these books, I hope to counter those efforts and provide positive role models and a story of inclusion for children in Pence's home state."

Adele got ordained in order to marry her friends, comedian/TV host Alan Carr and husband Paul Drayton, in her backyard in Los Angeles, NewNowNext.com noted. The singer posted an Instagram photo of her dressed in all white, standing before a wall of roses. Carr, who has been with Drayton for 10 years, had recently gone public with the details of their wedding day.

Atlanta native Anthony Williams beating fellow designers Stanley Hudson and Fabio Costa to win Project Runway All Stars, according to a Lifetime press release. In thes finale, Williams claimed his all-star fashion victory, impressing judges Alyssa Milano, Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and guest judges Catherine Zeta-Jones and Zac Posen. As the winner of Project Runway All Stars season six, Williams received a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine and a position as contributing editor for a year; a complete sewing studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery; $100,000; a trip to London; and skincare and makeup from Rodial and accessories and styling services from Intermix.

The movie Book Club will be in theaters May 18, and it will star Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson, with Andy Garcia and Don Johnson, according to a press release. In the film, Diane ( Diane Keaton ) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage. Vivian ( Jane Fonda ) enjoys her men with no strings attached, Sharon ( Candice Bergen ) is still working through a decades-old divorce and Carol's ( Mary Steenburgen's ) marriage is in a slump after 35 years. Four lifelong friends' lives are turned upside down when their book club tackles the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey.

Netflix has announced that it is not renewing lesbian comedy Everything Sucks! for a second season, Gay Times Magazine noted. The series, which was created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan, premiered in February. The series was set in the real-life town of Boring, Oregon, during the 1990s; it starred Jahi Di'Allo Winston as Luke O'Neil and Peyton Kennedy as Kate Messner.

Openly pansexual pop artist Yaysh has released "Get 2 Kno Me," her new pop/reggae summer track, according to a press release. Yaysh is an avid meditation practitioner and student of Shambhala Buddhism and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, her teacher. "People often want to label me a lesbian but I prefer pansexual because I occasionally find sexual chemistry with men," she said.

Oscar winner Viola Davis has been left shaken after burglars attempted to break into her home by smashing a glass door in her bedroom, The Mercury News noted, citing TMZ. Details on the attempted break-in were sketchy, but TMZ said that the How To Get Away With Murder star was asleep in her second-floor master suite with her husband, actor Julius Tennon, when they were awakened by the sound of breaking glass. The thieves, who had climbed a ladder to a balcony off their bedroom, were scared off when the couple turned on the light.

David Cook, the winner of the seventh season of American Idol, made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots April 3 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Playbill.com noted. Cook steps into the role of Charlie Price for a limited engagement through May 5; the singer, who released new EP Chromance Feb. 16, succeeds Jake Shears. Cook joins Wayne Brady, who returned to the role of Lola March 5.

Legendary, multi-award-winning, multi-platinum and million-selling artist Lisa Stansfield returns with the release of her new album, Deeper, according to a press release. The album is available via digital download, CD, limited-edition box set and 12" vinyl in North America. A few of the songs include the single "Billionaire," "Hercules," "Hole in My Heart" and a cover of The Family Stand's "Ghetto Heaven."

Famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins faced the wrath of angry Twitter mobs after critical comments he made on March 15 toward the MeToo movement went viral, TheWrap reported. "If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else … all you've done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good," said Robbins during one of his seminars in San Jose, California. At various points when Robbins spoke, he was met by jeers from audience members, many of whom spent hundreds of dollars to attend his event. Robbins has since apologized, The Washington Post noted.

Lindsey Buckingham, lead guitarist and a key songwriter for Fleetwood Mac for more than half of its existence, is again leaving the group—this time just two months before its new tour, NBC News noted. Rolling Stone and Variety, without naming their sources, reported that Buckingham had been fired. Mick Fleetwood, a co-founder of the original band in 1967, said in a statement that Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House would replace Buckingham on the planned June tour.

NBC said that its Jennifer Lopez-Ray Liotta police drama Shades of Blue will end after the upcoming third season, Deadline noted. The series' final run will begin Sunday, June 17. The series stars Lopez as Harlee Santos, a single mother and detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives run by enigmatic Lt. Matt Wozniak ( Liotta ).

Luann de Lesseps made an unintentional splash in The Real Housewives of New York City season 10 premiere, E! News reported. She attended Dorinda Medley's Halloween party as Diana Ross, complete with a large wig, and appeared to alter her skin color. Viewers on Twitter took issue with de Lesseps' costume, but she denied charges she altered her skin color and appeared in blackface as part of her costume.

Also, de Lesseps has accused hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of groping her, Page Six noted. She said that he sexually harassed her in an elevator at Soho Beach House in Miami several summers ago. She did not report the incident, nor did the hip-hop mogul apologize for his alleged behavior.

In another Simmons-related development, he denied raping aspiring filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik, in court documents filed April 4, Rolling Stone reported. Jarosik sued Simmons for $5 million in January, alleging the hip-hop mogul attacked and raped her during a 2016 visit to his home.

Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush's lawyers told an Australian court that he is "virtually housebound" and believes his career has been "irreparably damaged" following the publication of an allegation against him, Deadline reported. He is suing Sydney's Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathan Moran for defamation over articles that said he was suspected of inappropriate behaviour toward a fellow performer during the production of a Sydney Theatre Company version of King Lear in 2015.

Actor Joey Lawrence and his wife, Chandie Lawrence, have settled their bankruptcy case, US Weekly noted. According to the court documents obtained by Us Weekly, the trustee presiding over Lawrence's case collected $75,636.22 to pay back the money the couple owed. However, after legal fees and other administrative expenses, there was a balance of $52,547.88 left to pay his various creditors, including the IRS, which will only receive $31,000 out of the $67,000 owed.

Crisis public-relations firm Sitrick and Company is no longer representing disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, TheWrap noted. Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by nearly 90 women in in various cities around the world. The producer consistently denied any nonconsensual sex through his Sitrick spokesperson, retained shortly after articles containing the accusations were published in the New Yorker and the New York Times last October.


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