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Showbiz news: Anderson Cooper, Kelly Clarkson, Shaun T, Coming Out Day
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.

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Andy Cohen will co-host CNN's New Year's Eve celebration with Anderson Cooper, Deadline noted. Cohen—best known as host and EP of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live—will join Cooper in Times Square in New York City on "New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen" on Sunday, Dec. 31. CNN terminated its agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear in its New Year's Eve program in May, after her photo shoot in which she held up a "decapitated" head of President Donald Trump and was blasted both by the left and the right.

Anderson Cooper, he and Jodie Foster were recently named the most inspirational coming-out celebrities in an LGBTQ Nation poll, according to the website. ( Cooper received twice as many votes as runner-up Foster. ) Cooper came out publicly in 2012 in a letter to a journalist. "The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," he wrote. Foster came out publicly at the Golden Globes in 2013.

Kelly Clarkson, who has a new deal with Atlantic Records, has talked about legendary music producer Clive Davis, according to Page Six. "I was told ['Because of You'] was a s—ty song because it didn't rhyme," Clarkson told Variety, adding that Davis broke the news to her in a big meeting. "A group of men thought it was OK to sit around a young woman and bully her. I was told I should shut up and sing." Despite their strained relationship, Clarkson admitted she and Davis produced good work together.

Fitness expert Shaun T and husband Scott Blokker are expecting twins, Page Six noted. The couple posted a video to Instagram in which they used a poem to announce the news "Five years of challenges, five years of wait," the couple said in their message to fans. "Ups, downs in emotion. Painful blows we'd take. But we learned to stay the course. Hope and prayer wins." Then, their surrogate who only appears from the shoulders down, joins them wearing a T-shirt saying, "We're having twins." The fall, Shaun T also plans to release a memoir.

On National Coming Out Day ( Oct. 11 ), many celebrities shared coming-out stories, including Wilson Cruz, Laverne Cox, Tyler Glenn, Elvis Duran and Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears. According to Billboard ( which asked several musicians to share their stories ), Brooklyn-based rapper Cakes da Killa shares his story about how his mother found a love note from a boy when he was 8; he quickly shoved the note in his mouth and ate it. More musicians' stories are at

Also on National Coming Out Day, singer/American Idol judge Katy Perry helped a lesbian couple get engaged at her concert, noted. Performing at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York, Perry helped a fan named Katie facilitate a surprise proposal between her girlfriend, Becky. After Becky accepted the proposal, Katie said, "My wish came true" as Perry hugged the two and posed with them together for a selfie.

At his concert in Washington, D.C., former One Direction star Harry Styles made a subtle jab at President Trump by waving the transgender flag ( alongside the Puerto Rican flag ), PinkNews noted. During many of the concerts the singer has waved a rainbow flag, draping it over his mic stand and featuring it prominently onstage. One fan explained on Twitter that a young transgender fan had brought the trans flag to the NYC show. When Styles spotted it in the crowd he came over and picked it up, which the fan said was "one of the most heartwarming moments of my life".

Adele will pay tribute to the late George Michael with a heartfelt version of his hit single "Fastlove" in his upcoming posthumous documentary Freedom, Eyewitness News noted. She will be seen performing the track during the opening credits of the documentary—which Michael was working on prior to his passing on Christmas Day last year—after she performed a slowed-down cover of the song at the Grammys earlier this year.

It's been revealed that singer Melissa Etheridge was arrested back in August after her tour bus was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in North Dakota, Page Six noted. In late September, she issued a statement explaining that she uses medical marijuana to fight her cancer pain. While the drug is legal in her home state of California, it's not in North Dakota.

Music legend Cher is currently in the UK lending her vocal talents to the upcoming Mamma Mia! film sequel Here We Go Again, according to a Broadway World item that cites the Daily Mail. The first Mamma Mia! movie is the highest-grossing movie musical of all time, with more than $600 million in grosses worldwide and still growing. Cast members Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Christine Baranski are reprising their roles.

Jennifer Lawrence revealed an experience early in her career when she was asked to do a nude lineup and told to lose weight, noted. At Elle's Women in Hollywood event sponsored by Calvin Klein and L'Oreal Paris. she said, "A female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet." Lawrence said she tried to stand up for herself and told another producer she thought the weight loss demands were not appropriate: "He said he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was 'perfectly f***able.'"

In light of the revelations and accusations pouring forth about Harvey Weinstein ( whose Academy and Producers Guild memberships have now been revoked ), actor Terry Crews used Twitter to recount his own tale of sexual misconduct at the hands of a Hollywood executive, TheWrap noted. Crews posted, "My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates. ... I was going to kick his ass right then—but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear. ... He knows who he is. But sumtimes Uhav2 wait & compare notes w/ others who've been victimized in order 2gain a position of strength."

Also, other male actors have come forth, saying they have also been harassed. According to, one is former Dawson's Creek actor James Van Der Beek, who posted on Twitter, "I've had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I've had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger...," adding, "I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There's a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome."

On a related note, Rose McGowan and Asia Argento—two of the actresses who have gone public with their sex-abuse claims against Harvey Weinstein—criticized talk-show host James Corden for making jokes about the disgraced mogul at the AmfAR Gala Los Angeles, Deadline reported. Corden, who emceed the charity event, said, "This is a beautiful room. It's a beautiful night here in L.A.—so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage." McGowan called Corden a "motherf*cking piglet" on Twitter. Corden has apologized.

The aforementioned amfAR Gala Los Angeles featured Julia Roberts accepting the Award of Courage, according to the L.A. Times. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, appearing as a surprise guest entertainer, sang four songs, including a new tune he called "Julia's Smile" and a duet with James Corden. Among those attending were Sean Penn, Kate Hudson, Cheyenne Jackson, Busy Philipps, Diane Sawyer, Sophia Bush, Melanie Griffith, Goldie Hawn, Victoria Justice, Ryan Murphy and others.

Icelandic pop star Bjork has claimed that she was sexually harassed by an unidentified movie director and "a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it," according to a Page Six item. She said she decided to disclose "my experience with a danish director" in the wake of the sex-harassment and assault allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Bjork has appeared in just three feature films, with only one directed by a Dane—Lars von Trier's 2000 musical drama Dancer in the Dark, according to .

Ben Affleck was called out on Twitter for a 2003 incident involving actress Hilarie Burton ( One Tree Hill ), who interviewed him on the MTV show TRL and said that when he hugged her, Affleck grabbed her breast, according to Deadline. On Twitter, Affleck posted, "I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize."

iHeartRadio stations across the country are announcing the lineups for their annual Jingle Ball concerts, presented by Capital One, E! News noted. Taylor Swift will be performing at The Forum in Los Angeles for 102.7 KIISFM's concert as well as Z100's event at Madison Square Garden. Joining the "Shake It Off" singer will be Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Logic, Niall Horan, Charlie Puth and Liam Payne. Others set to appear at select shows during the tour include Kesha, Nick Jonas, Camila Cabello, Julias Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Fifth Harmony and more.

Singer Pink said to not put a label on her sexuality, The Huffington Post noted, citing The Guardian. The singer, who married motorcycle racer Carey Hart in 2006, has faced rumors about her sexual identity since she first hit the charts nearly two decades ago. "I think people like Miley [Cyrus]… I feel like people are just less inclined to be labelled now, which I really like," she said, referencing Cyrus coming out as pansexual and gender-neutral in recent years. "That's where I was always coming from. Just, leave it alone. I just wanna live my life."

CBS has put in development Rosarito Beach, a comedic drama from Jennifer Lopez and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas' Nuyorican Productions and Universal Television, Deadline noted. The show pairs a disgraced, loose cannon female attorney from California with an ambitious, tightly wound Latino lawyer who is intent on building his practice in San Diego, taking on cases that straddle the U.S./Mexican legal systems.

Chance the Rapper tweeted a "press release" announcing that he bought tickets all day so Chicagoans could go see the new film Marshall, Billboard noted. Marshall, now in theaters, tells the story of Thurgood Marshall, the country's first African-American Supreme Court justice. The biopic focuses on one of his most renowned cases as a lawyer when he represented a Black man accused of raping a white woman.

Lionel Richie is set to produce a biopic about a fellow music legend after the singer secured the rights to Curtis Mayfield's life story, Rolling Stone noted, citing Deadline. The former Commodores singer's RichLion Productions acquired the rights from the Curtis Mayfield Estate. Mayfield, a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is responsible for writing songs like the Impressions' "People Get Ready."

CBS is rebooting Name That Tune, Deadline noted. The network has ordered a pilot for a new, updated version of the classic music game show. In Name That Tune, created by Harry Salter, contestants of all ages compete against each other to test their knowledge of songs via hundreds of proven games, including the signature "Bid-a-Note" round.

A core member of the time-traveling team on DC's Legends of Tomorrow is departing, Deadline reported. Victor Garber—who has played Martin Stein aka part of Firestorm from the start—will be exiting the series during the current third season. A pending departure was inadvertently revealed in early September when it was announced that musical theater veteran Garber would return to Broadway, teaming with Bernadette Peters to headline the Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly!, taking over from David Hyde Pierce and Bette Midler.

Shemar Moore is heading back to CBS' Criminal Minds—for one episode, TheWrap noted. Moore, who stars on the network's new drama S.W.A.T., will return to Criminal Minds as a guest star on the Oct. 25 episode. He reprises his role as Derek Morgan, which he originated when the series launched in September 2005. Moore exited the show during season 11 but returned earlier this year for the season 12 finale.

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