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SHOWBIZ 'Will & Grace,' Martina's flub, Nick Jonas, Aretha, '9 Months'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-01-01

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The people behind Will & Grace have released a highlight reel featuring some of the show's numerous famous guest stars, NewNowNext.com noted. "So many celebs, so many guest spots over the years," reads the official video's description. The Will & Grace clips include classic moments featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Patti LuPone, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Cher, Janet Jackson, David Schwimmer, Matt Bomer, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Adam Rippon, among others. A third season of the NBC revival has already been confirmed for fall 2019.

Tennis icon Martina Navratilova angered the transgender community by claiming that people who were born male should not be allowed to compete in women's sports events, The Telegraph reported. Responding to a question from one of her followers about transgender women in sport, Navratilova said, "Clearly that can't be right. You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard." After trans activist/cyclist Dr. Rachel McKinnon responded, Navratilova apologized, adding, "I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic - certainly I meant no harm," deleting the original tweet.

Nick Jonas has been named GQ magazine's Most Stylish Man of 2018, ETCanada.com noted. The magazine announced that the 26-year-old singer and newlywed won this year's title after beating out 63 other stylish men in a vote from fans. Meanwhile, ahead of his loss to Jonas in the semifinals of the contest, Dwayne Johnson conceded defeat, admitting that the final vote came down to a "big newlywed" ( as Jonas recently wedded actress Priyanka Chopra in lavish ceremonies ) versus a "big, brown, bald dude" and divorcee.

The Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures, Clive Davis and CBS will pay tribute to the legendary career of 18-time Grammy winner and 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year honoree Aretha Franklin by presenting "Aretha! A GRAMMY Celebration For The Queen Of Soul," according to Billboard. Tyler Perry will host the Jan. 13 event, which will include performances from Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Alessia Cara, Kelly Clarkson, Common, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Patti LaBelle and BeBe Winans as well as current Grammy nominees Brandi Carlile, Chloe X Halle, H.E.R., Janelle Monae and SZA.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, former E! Reality TV Stars Lawrence Carroll and Brandi J. Andrews, from What Happens at The Abbey, are joining Courteney Cox for her 20-part 9 Months docuseries on Facebook Watch, a press release noted. The LGBTQ duo are highlighted with other families from various backgrounds in an intimate self-recorded journey, to personally tell their story of the ups and downs during pregnancy as gay best friends.

Singer Ricky Martin announced the arrival of his daughter with an Instagram post showing off the infant's tiny hands, NBC News noted. Martin said the girl is named Lucia. He added that his family—which includes husband Jwan Yosef and 10-year-old twin sons—have "fallen in love with Lucia."

While the Rolling Stones gear up for their blockbuster 2019 stadium tour, there's a ballet set to Stones music coming to New York—with music curated by Mick Jagger himself, Page Six noted. Melanie Hamrick—Jagger's girlfriend, who just wrapped her role in the American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker—is focusing her attention on a new ballet she's created and set to Stones tunes, with Jagger's collaboration.

Rihanna paid tribute to one of her fans who passed away from cancer during the holiday season, according to Page Six. "This Christmas, we lost a beautiful spirit who was such a pillar of strength to us," the "Diamonds" singer wrote on Instagram along with a photo of her and her fan Monia, who was smiling ear-to-ear. "Most of our friendship she's spent in a hospital or doctor's office!"

Musician Frank Ocean gifted fans with another episode of his Blonded radio show on Beats 1 Christmas Day, Billboard.com noted. Co-hosted by Vegyn and Roof Access, the hour-long Christmas-themed episode featured music by a mix of hip-hop, pop and rock artists, including Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Big Star, Prince, Donny McCarthy, Paul McCartney, Darlene Love and more.

Angelina Jolie has not ruled out a move into politics—and has joked that she might be tough enough to take the rough and tumble that comes with it, according an AOL.com item. The actress and special envoy for the U.N. refugee agency told BBC radio she "can take a lot on the chin"—a possible reference to her bitter divorce from Brad Pitt.

Bleach—Dan Ireland-Reeves' award-winning UK drama about a rent boy—is making its U.S. premiere beginning Jan. 4, for a nine-week engagement, NewNowNext.com reported. The immersive and intimate 18-and-over drama, which features nudity, will be performed for audiences of 10 people at a basement space in Brooklyn. An underground hit seen throughout the United Kingdom, Bleach has also played Paris, Stockholm and Dublin.

"The Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger is going on her first live tour, Page Six reported. The Bravo star "will be counseling a live audience, and helping singles and couples improve their love lives," according to the article. The East Coast tour will include shows in New Jersey and Connecticut, plus a special NYC performance.

Actor Kevin Spacey is facing a felony charge in an alleged sexual assault of the teenage son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh at a Nantucket bar in July 2016—the latest legal entanglement for the two-time Oscar winner over claims of sexual misconduct, The Boston Globe noted. Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said that Spacey, 59, was scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery at Nantucket District Court on Jan. 7, after a Dec. 20 public show-cause hearing where clerk magistrate Ryan Kearney issued a criminal complaint.

In other Spacey-related news, the embattled actor broke his silence with a bizarre video one day after the arraignment was announced, USA Today reported. Spacey posted a video on YouTube titled "Let Me Be Frank," which appeared to criticize the #MeToo movement in a House of Cards-inspired monologue as his former character Frank Underwood. "Conclusions can be so deceiving," he says in the video. "Miss me?" Another video taken at Spacey's home in Baltimore on Dec. 30 showed him delivering pizza to paparazzi, Vulture reported. While delivering a Domino's pizza to a paparazzo in Baltimore Sunday, Spacey wore a cap that read "Retired since 2017," which is the year he was accused of allegedly attempting to sleep with actor Anthony Rapp when the Star Trek: Discovery star was 14.

Comedian Louis C.K.—whose career took a nosedive after allegations of inappropriate behavior with several women—was taking more criticism this weekend when a 2011 video clip resurfaced of him using the N-word, Page Six noted. It happened during a clip from HBO's Talking Funny, a special broadcast that showed C.K. in conversation about comedy with fellow performers Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais. ( Gervais, in the clip, uses the N-word during his explanation of why he doesn't use it. ) Some have criticized Rock for engaging in the conversation.

Jordan Peele released the trailer for his newest horror movie, Us, on Christmas Day, NBC News noted. Peele—who won an Oscar for his scary 2017 feature debut, Get Out—tweeted, "Here we go." The film stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke as Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, who take their children to Adelaide's childhood beach house in Northern California for the summer, according to EW.com—and the family encounter monsters who ( spoiler alert! ) turn out to be the Wilsons themselves.

Andy Cohen stood up to authority about 80 minutes into CNN's New Year's Eve coverage, when the Times Square Alliance forced him to close up his clear umbrella in the pouring rain, Deadline noted. Co-host Anderson Cooper compared it to the White House pulling Jim Acosta's credentials when Acosta scolded President Donald Trump and would not turn over his microphone.

After taking her Reputation tour to 36 cities, seven countries and four continents in 2018, Taylor Swift is bringing it to the rest of the world via Netflix: The Reputation concert film, which arrived on the streaming service on New Year's Eve, Rolling Stone noted. In an exclusive preview clip, Swift zips through her number-one single "Shake It Off" with help from two of her opening acts: Charli XCX and Camila Cabello.

Troy Osmond—a 33-year-old nephew of famous siblings Donny and Marie Osmond—was found dead at his parents' Utah home in November, ExtraTV.com noted, citing RadarOnline.com . There were no signs of foul play, and his cause of death was believed to be "medical or health-related." According to a police report RadarOnline.com obtained, Troy's body was "hanging off the bed and his upper body was laying across a nightstand."

Bassist Peter Hook—who has had an acrimonious relationship with his sometime bandmates since his departure from New Order in 2007—is auctioning off many of the things he's held onto over the decades from his days in Joy Division, Rolling Stone noted. Everything from guitars and clothing to his Sex Pistols ticket stub and a signed Joy Division record are included in the Peter Hook Signature Collection. Hook had sued his former bandmates, who continued on as New Order, over the rights to the band's name and reached an out-of-court settlement last year. The auction will take place March 2; visit http://www.omegaauctionsshop.co.uk/.

Chris Evans suggested his run as Captain America is done—but the filmmakers currently controlling the Avengers' fates say he shouldn't shelve the shield just yet, according to USA Today. Evans tweeted that he had wrapped his shooting on the fourth Avengers movie, calling it an "emotional" day and saying, "Playing this role over the last eight years has been an honor." Joseph Russo—who, along with brother Anthony, wrote and directed this year's Avengers: Infinity War and next year's sequel, and directed Evans as Captain America in two previous films—told The Associated Press: "I think it was more emotional for him than us. Only because he's not done yet. And I don't want ( to ) explain what that means but the audience will soon understand what I'm talking about."

Talk-show host Wendy Williams recently thanked fans for their concern and apologizing for what she called a "less than stellar" show in December that she blamed on taking painkillers before going on the air, USA Today noted. Viewers took to social media to question if something was wrong with the host of The Wendy Williams Show, as she appeared uncomfortable and struggled through an interview with The Lox.

Early tracking shows the gruesome M. Night Shyamalan thriller Glass could earn between $70 million and $75 million when it opens over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Variety.com noted. Glass follows the events of the James MacAvoy movie Split, and sees security guard David Dunn ( Bruce Willis ) using his superhuman abilities to bring mass murderer Elijah Price ( Samuel L. Jackson ) together with Crumbs and his 24 personalities.

Roseanne Barr will address the Israeli Knesset ( Parliament ) during an upcoming tour of Israel next month, TheWrap.com noted. The trip will be sponsored by Barr's friend and spiritual advisor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his World Values Network. Barr's address to Israel's parliament will take place on Jan. 30.

Hafpor Julius Bjornsson ( who won the title of the world's strongest man in May and who plays Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on Game of Thrones )opened up to Business Insider about his massive eating plan, which mandates that he eat every two hours—devouring up to 10,000 calories and six meals daily, according to People.com . The 400-lb. actor, who is 6' 9", admitted that he occasionally questions whether his regimen, which he follows because "diet is very important to stay in shape," is worth the hassle.

Comedian/former View co-host Sherri Shepherd found herself in a tough spot on Christimas Day as she took to social media to ask her followers for money after claiming to be stranded near her ex-husband's home, BET.com noted. She explained in the video that she desperately needed cash for transportation as she had no cell reception or operative data service to order a ride. After explaining that she had "no cash," only credit cards, on her person, she added that she was also unable to get in touch with any of her friends, as they were "out celebrating" for the holiday. She eventually made it home.


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