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SHOWBIZ Whitney Houston, all-trans 'Brokeback,' Sam Smith, 'Chicago Med'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 1292 times since Mon Oct 5, 2020
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A hologram of the late Whitney Houston was used in a livestream show—allegedly without permission from her estate, reported. Hologram USA founder Alki David had originally worked on Houston's likeness in 2016. The hologram appeared as part of a variety-style show, hosted by producer-songwriter Scott Storch and operated on David's FilmOn TV network.

Speaking of Houston, Taylor Swift surpassed the icon for the most weeks at No. 1 by a woman on the Billboard 200 album chart, noted. Swift's latest, folklore, has sat on top for seven non-consecutive weeks, giving her a total of 47 weeks—one more than Houston. Swift had a recent boost following the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she performed "Bettym" off folklore, live and released it as a single shortly after. Houston hit No. 1 with her Whitney Houston debut in 1986, and then with Whitney, The Bodyguard soundtrack and I Look to You.

Featuring an all-star trans cast, a virtual live-read event of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain will take place Sunday, Oct. 18, NewFest announced. The event will be a benefit for The NewFest Future Fund and the New York City Anti-Violence Project. It will feature Leo Sheng, Brian Michael Smith, Jen Richards, Alexandra Grey, Sam Feder, Theo Germaine and Vico Ortiz, among others. RSVP at

To celebrate the release of their forthcoming album Love Goes, Sam Smith will return to the iconic Abbey Road Studios for an exclusive livestreamed pay-per-view performance Oct. 30, in partnership with American Express, a press release announced. For this exclusive show, Smith will be singing tracks old and new, with intimate performances of the Grammy-winning "Stay With Me," "Lay Me Down" and "Too Good At Goodbyes," as well as treating viewers to the world premiere of new music from Love Goes, including new single "Diamonds." The event will also feature live Q&A elements, audience participation and guest performances from co-collaborators.

Chicago Med paused filming for two weeks ( starting Sept. 29 ) due to a positive COVID-19 test, Deadline noted. The person in question, a production team member from a Zone A department, was immediately sent home, sources said. The positive test also triggered guidelines set by the state/county and outlined in the NBCU Production Playbook, including immediate contact tracing.

SohoMuse Inc. ( ) announced the launch of its ongoing live Virtual Entertainment Series, "SohoMuse Presents Voices," where creatives from diverse industries will come together to discuss newsworthy topics, a press release noted. The next installment of the series will be held Oct. 7-10 in celebration of LGBT History Month, and will feature Grammy-nominated songwriter Linda Perry, Olympic icon Greg Louganis, broadcaster India Willoughby, Australian folk rock singer Jennifer Knapp and many others.

Cheyenne Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Tyra Banks, Ashlee Simpson Ross and Evan Ross, Loni Love, Reid Scott and more celebrities came out to celebrate the return of the "Nights of the Jack" Halloween Jack O'Lantern experience Oct. 1, a press release noted. The interactive production was reimagined this year as a contactless, drive-thru experience, and will run through Nov. 1 at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, California.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story—a limited series co-created by longtime collaborators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan—has been greenlighted by Netflix, noted. The movie will co-star Richard Jenkins, with Carl Franklin ( Mindhunter; The Leftovers ) directing and Janet Mock ( Pose; Hollywood ) writing and directing. Production is slated to begin in January.

Shudder—AMC Networks' streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural—announced a new Shudder Original, The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Resurrection, that will debut Tuesday, Oct. 20, a press release noted. Hosted and judged by series creators The Boulet Brothers, The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Resurrection's Halloween-themed competition will mark the first time that competitors from all three seasons of the show will return to compete against one another. The winner of the competition will be "resurrected" and will return to compete on the upcoming Boulet Brothers' Dragula's fourth season as a main competitor, and will also walk away with a $20,000 cash prize.

The Schitt's Creek motel will be "up for sale next month," owner Jesse Tipping announced in late September to the Orangeville Banner, noted. Known as the Rosebud Motel in the popular Canadian series created by Eugene and Dan Levy, the site has become a popular tourist destination in Orangeville, Ontario, an hour's drive west of Toronto. Tipping purchased the property in 2011 as a space to house basketball recruits.

A24 and New Regency are putting together a film package that will have Emmy-winning Euphoria star Zendaya attached to play singer Ronnie Spector in a film about her life, Deadline reported. Deals have just closed for Spector's life rights and for Be My Baby, the memoir she wrote with Vince Waldron.

Grammy-winning Darkroom/Interscope Records artist Billie Eilish revealed the official music video for "No Time To Die"—the original song written for the 25th James Bond motion picture, No Time To Die, a press release announced. Directed by Daniel Kleinman, the visual interweaves footage of Billie Eilish with scenes taken from the upcoming James Bond motion picture. The video is at

The Walt Disney Studios has set Oscar winner Barry Jenkins to direct the studio's follow-up to the 2019 blockbuster The Lion King, according to Deadline. Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the last installment, is back in the fold and has completed an initial draft of the script. Jenkins won the Oscar for scripting the Best Picture winner Moonlight and was nominated for adapting If Beale Street Could Talk. ( He directed both. )

Kelly Clarkson is being sued by her management company, Starstruck Management Group—which is run by her estranged husband's dad—for allegedly stiffing it out of more than $1 million in commissions, Page Six noted. The company is run by Narvel Blackstock; the "Miss Independent" singer filed for divorce from his son Brandon in June 2020. The suit also alleges that she will owe the company at least $5.4 million by the end of 2020.

Kast Media is partnering with Sarah Silverman to launch her first podcast, The Sarah Silverman Podcast, Deadline noted. It will debut Thursday, Oct. 8, and be available on all platforms. Featuring Silverman's signature comedic timing, the podcasts will tackle topics ranging from her personal life to societal issues, politics and current events.

Josh Groban will be releasing his brand-new album, Harmony, on Nov. 20 via Reprise Records, a press release noted. With Harmony, Groban performs a collection of timeless songs along with two originals; highlights include "The Impossible Dream," "Angels," "I Can't Make You Love Me," "Celebrate Me Home," "She" and more.

Amazon Studios acquired the global rights to the sequel of the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Deadline noted. The film, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen in the title role once again, will premiere late October on Amazon Prime and its subscribers in 240 countries and territories. The Borat sequel was the first movie made during the COVID-19 shutdown, shot quietly as quickly as coronavirus shooting restrictions were eased and unions agreed on a return to shooting.

The Dead Ones—the controversial new film by Jeremy Kasten ( The Exorcist Files; The Wizard of Gore )—is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD/Digital from Artsploitation Films and Kino Lorber, a press relase noted. In the film, four teens are assigned to clean their high school after a horrific incident. But they are not alone; a macabre gang wearing guises of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse—Famine, Pestilence, War and Death—has locked them inside and is hunting them through the school's ravaged hallways.

Charlie Carver told Variety that a gay colleague in the entertainment industry once gave him a hard time, claiming he was "too effeminate," Queerty noted. The criticism culminated in the unnamed co-worker slapping Carver across the face at a post-Emmys party in 2015. "It wasn't playful but intentional, pointed and meant to be instructive. A slap," says Carver. "I told him that if he ever touched me again, I would name him."

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey's office filed even more new sexual-assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, Deadline reported. The DA announced that an amended complaint stated "Weinstein ( DOB 3/19/52 ) now faces a total of four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, involving five victims for crimes that span from 2004 to 2013." This is the second set of new charges from Lacey's office against Weinstein since the long-serving D.A. first and finally announced a case against the producer on the opening day of his New York trial on Jan. 6.

Netflix female wrestling dramedy GLOW will not be returning to the ring for a fourth and final season, Deadline reported. The streamer has reversed its renewal decision, made more than a year ago, in August 2019. The series—starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron—became the latest casualty of the coronavirus-related production shutdown.

Zac Efron has joined the reboot of the horror film Firestarter, Deadline noted. The first movie—released in 1984 and starring Drew Barrymore hot off E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial—grossed $17 million at the domestic box office. Jason Blum and Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman are producing.

Jezebel reported that actress, former American Idol finalist and supposed LGBTQ ally Katharine McPhee allegedly donated $500 in 2020 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group that is working to maintain the GOP's majority in the Senate, Queerty noted. After that story broke, Queerty reported that McPhee has allegedly donated waaay more than just $500 for waaay longer than just this year. Throughout her career, McPhee has professed her love for the LGBTQ community, who she has acknowledged have played a pivotal role in her success as a singer and musical-theater actress.

Three months after his death, Benjamin Keough was laid to rest at Graceland beside grandfather Elvis Presley and several other beloved family members, Page six noted. The 27-year-old son of Lisa Marie Presley died by suicide.

Battlestar Galactica actress and Nxivm devotee Nicki Clyne—the wife of former Smallville star Allison Mack—defended the upstate cult, saying she wouldn't trade her experiences in it "for anything," Page Six noted. "It's very unfortunate the way that the word 'Nxivm' has been applied and is now synonymous with the term 'sexual cult,' which I don't even know how to define what that is," Clyne told CBS' This Morning alongside four other Nxivm members. Nxivm co-founder and convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere was convicted on a slew of charges in 2019 for starting a master-slave group called DOS within Nxivm in which, prosecutors said, women were forced to seduce him, go on strict diets and have his initials branded onto their skin.

Singer Lana Del Rey was criticized for wearing a sparkly—and medically useless—mesh face mask, USA Today noted. Del Rey appeared at a surprise reading of her new book of poetry, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, at a Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles' outdoor mall The Grove. At the event, Del Rey wore the same mesh, glittery face mask she had worn for a recent Interview magazine cover shoot. According to Britain's The Independent, the singer's sister, Caroline "Chuck" Grant, told fans Del Rey had "tested negative" and was standing "more than six feet away" from others at the signing—although photos posted on social media apparently show otherwise.

Alongside artist Virgil Abloh and Mercedes-Benz's announcement of their collaborative Project Geländewagen in September, they also revealed that the one-of-a-kind G-Class would be sold at auction with Sotheby's, noted. On Oct. 2, the car was included in the auction house's Contemporary Curated collection, where it sold for $160,000. The entire $160,000 has gone to Abloh's "Post-Modern" Scholarship Fund, which he launched earlier this year as a way to uplift emerging fashion students who are of Black, African-American, or African descent.

NBA superstar LeBron James purchased a $36.75 million Beverly Hills estate that once was owned by Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn, noted. The 2.5-acre property was sold by the estate of Lee Phillip Bell, The Young and the Restless co-creator who died in February. It was originally listed in April for $39 million, meaning James got approximately a 6-percent discount.

Bronx rapper Cardi B has filed trademarks to brand just about everything with WAP—the name of her single with Megan Thee Stallion, noted. She wants to trademark various items, from clothing to shoes to bags, liquor, soft drinks, mineral water and more.

Now-former Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes took to her Youtube channel to address Wendy Williams and Andy Cohen discussing her departure from the series on Watch What Happens Live, Page Six noted. After thanking fans who've supported her exit from the Bravo hit, Leakes said, "I don't have a friend who knows what I have been going through lately that would do this kind of thing to me. I don't have that friend that is around me." As for Cohen himself, Leakes felt as if the producer intentionally stirred the pot by having Williams on "WWHL" to discuss her "RHOA" departure; she also claims Bravo "forced her out of the franchise."

Marie Osmond was allegedly ousted from daytime show The Talk after fellow hosts Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood went to CBS execs and threatened to quit unless Osmond was canned, Page Six reported. Osmond has said she wanted to spend more time with family and to "pursue other projects." However, a different CBS insider insisted there was no meeting with network execs and Osbourne and Underwood never issued an ultimatum.

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