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Friday
Oct152010

Divas to Salute the Troops

Photo Courtesy - Ethan Miller/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Last year, VH1 revived its star-studded Divas Live concert series in Brooklyn, New York, featuring everyone from Kelly Clarkson and Sheryl Crow to Melissa Etheridge and Jennifer Hudson.  But at this year's concert, the divas will be doing it for the troops.

VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, airing Dec. 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, will feature Katy Perry, Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj and country duo Sugarland performing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.  In addition, Paramore will be part of the show, visiting with U.S. service members overseas at an undisclosed military base on the Middle East.

The show is being presented by the USO, which has been arranging for celebrities to entertain the troops since 1941.

More performers and special guests, including what VH1 calls "a few good men," will be announced in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

Justin Bieber Raps; Will Virtually Host MTV EMAs

Photo Courtesy - Island Def Jam Music Group(NEW YORK) -- Justin Bieber sings, dances and writes books, and now he's showing off a previously unheralded talent: rapping.  Bieber posted a video on Twitter that features him busting out a freestyle rap that he calls "Speaking in Tongues," because he's rapping over a song called "Speaking in Tungs" by Cam'ron and Vado.  A note posted under the video states that Bieber's "alter ego rap name" is Shawty Mane.

In his rap, he mentions his hairstyle several times and also gives a shout-out to Lady Gaga.  At the end, he stops rapping and says in his speaking voice, "I'm Justin Bieber. You guys might know me as the guy who sings 'Baby.' I'm a pop singer.  I'm white.  But I just wanted to do this to prove that I got skills on the rap game."

In other news, it's been announced that Bieber will be the "online host" for the MTV European Music Awards, which are taking place Nov. 7 in Madrid, Spain.  Since he's the online host, Bieber won't actually have to go to Madrid.  Instead, he'll be tweeting and interacting live with fans at MTVEMA.com.

In a statement, Bieber said, "I'm so excited to have all my fans come and watch the show with me online. It'll be like one giant, global viewing party at my house!"

The show will be streaming live at MTVEMA.com and on Facebook starting at 9 p.m. Central European Time.  The stream won't work for U.K. residents, though.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

Vince Vaughn Speaks About Controversy Over Movie Trailer

Photo Courtesy - Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Vince Vaughn is the latest celebrity to take a stand against bullying, though it comes just a week after a theatrical trailer for his new film received criticism for containing what many people deemed to be an insensitive remark regarding homosexuality. 

The original trailer for The Dilemma was pulled from theaters after CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation complained about a scene in which Vaughn's character tells a group of people, "Ladies and gentleman, electric cars are gay."

In a statement released to Deadline.com, Vaughn said, "Let me add my voice of support to the people outraged by the bullying and persecution of people for their differences, whatever those differences may be.  Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together.  Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us.  Most importantly, where does it stop?"

The Dilemma, directed by Ron Howard, focuses on a man who finds out his best friend's wife is having an affair.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

Publicist Denies Reports That Michael Douglas Is Dying

Photo Courtesy - Evan Agostini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michael Douglas is not at death's door.  Some tabloids have reported the actor, who just completed treatment for advanced throat cancer, is preparing for the worst, including a Star cover story featuring the ailing Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps star with the headline, "Saying Goodbye."

Not true, says Allen Burry, Douglas' friend and longtime publicist.  He tells People magazine, "Michael is totally focused on his recovery...It's been very difficult, [but Douglas' doctors] are very pleased with how he responded to treatment.  They think he's doing really well.  He's doing as well as can be expected."

Burry also laughed off Star's claim that the actor has made changes to his estate.  "Michael hasn't changed his will recently, and he isn't contemplating changing it," he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

Bruno Mars Holds Top Spot As Taylor Swift Sets Record 

Photo Courtesy - Big Machine Records(NEW YORK) -- Bruno Mars holds onto the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a fourth week with his smash hit "Just the Way You Are."  The song has sold close to 1.7 million copies since it was released, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  But the big news on the chart this week is Taylor Swift, who enters the top 10 with "Speak Now," the title track from her upcoming CD.

Swift is now the artist with the most top-10 single debuts in the history of the Billboard Hot 100.  She's had a total of six, breaking the old record of five set by Mariah Carey.

Swift's first top-10 single debut was "Change," back in the summer of 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

Prince Announces New Tour

Photo Courtesy - Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Prince is organizing a tour that will begin sometime this December.  According to Billboard, he announced during a press conference Thursday at New York City's Apollo Theater that he will emcee and perform on the Welcome 2 America tour, which will feature guest stars such as Janelle Monae and Mint Condition.

"Bring your friends, bring your children, and bring foot spray, because it's going to be funky," says Prince of the tour.

Prince didn't say where the shows will be held.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct152010

James Blunt to Release Third Album

Photo Courtesy - Atlantic Records(NEW YORK) -- James Blunt's second album All the Lost Souls wasn't as successful as his smash debut CD Back to Bedlam, but that's not stopping him from trying again.  The British singer's third album, Some Kind of Trouble, will hit stores Jan. 25.  The first single, "Stay the Night," will be available for download on Nov. 2.   James co-wrote the song with hitmaker Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.

James says of the new album, "These new songs are not about fame and celebrity -- they're about reality.  I've been hanging out with my friends, writing songs about the world we live in, and where we want to go."

He plans to kick off a world tour in early 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

Gloria Allred Criticizes Oscar-Winner Hilary Swank Over New Film

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- In the new movie Conviction, two-time Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank portrays the real-life Betty Anne Waters, whose brother Kenny was convicted of murdering a Massachusetts woman, Katharina Brow, in 1980.

Now Swank – whose character gets a law degree to help prove her brother's innocence – has suddenly become the film's second victim.

At a press conference streamed live Thursday afternoon on TMZ.com, feminist lawyer Gloria Allred claimed that neither Swank – an executive producer for the movie – nor the film company ever contacted Brow's children.

Allred said that the children – Melrose and Charles, who were also at the news conference – "want to express their disappointment and anger about what they believe is a failure by the producers of the new movie Conviction to show respect and compassion for their family, when it was the brutal murder of their mother that triggered events which are the basis for this feature film which will be released [Friday]."

Allred described Katharina Brow as a loving mother and grandmother, and a victim of "a cold, heartless and brutal murder."  Kenneth Waters spent 18 years in prison while his sister, who did not have a college degree, put herself through law school so that she could fight for his freedom.

Allred said Swank's description of Conviction during a Larry King interview on CNN as "a feel-good movie" is not a description shared by Brow's children and family.

"The release of Conviction and the press tour that accompanies it does not make them feel good, the fact that their mother is mentioned in it does not make them feel good and the fact that neither Ms. Swank nor anyone else connected to the film has had the decency to contact the family about the terrible tragedy they have suffered does not make them feel good," said Allred.

"[The children] should have been asked if they had any questions about the film and they should have been consulted about any portrayal of their mother and her murder," she said.  "They should also have been asked if they wished to attend a private screening."

Allred – spoofed last weekend on Saturday Night Live as a publicity hound, famous for representing women whose plights quickly became media fodder – announced that she has sent a letter to Swank and hopes for "a positive, thoughtful and caring response."

The letter requests a meeting between the children, Swank and the filmmakers.  "[Melrose's] mother was not just a name, and was not and is not a person who should be used as a line in a script or just a way to make a profit for the entertainment industry," Allred wrote.  The correspondence also included questions that Melrose would have asked the filmmakers had she been contacted.

Allred concedes this is not a legal issue, but a moral one.  "It should be for Hollywood producers to reach out," rather than having the burden fall on the victim's family members to get in touch with Hollywood, said Allred. "You have time to make a movie, you have time to make a phone call."

Allred told ABC News a letter to a victim's family is insufficient.  "There needs to be a conversation," she said.  "Filmmakers should have the courtesy to listen to family members' concerns."

Although Allred said she has hopes for a new moral standard in Hollywood associated with this type of issue, not all legal experts think the matter is so simple.

"A film producer may be reluctant to talk to people not central to or depicted in the movie, because it may start a slippery slope," said Jimmy Nguyen, an entertainment and intellectual property lawyer at Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon in Los Angeles.

Nguyen cites impracticality – there may be too many people to contact.  "Family members contacted also may request monetary compensation, even though legally there is no obligation," he said.  "And the family may make requests that would complicate making the film."

The key question for filmmakers, said Nguyen, should be, "Whose perspective is being shown?" In the case of Conviction, he said, the focus is on Betty Anne Waters and her brother Kenny.  He also added that the information about Brow used in Conviction was public knowledge, used in court documents.

Allred said she doesn't buy into the argument that producers' lives would be complicated if they reach out to the people in their films. "Nothing is more complicated than the life of a murder victim's family," she said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

'View' Co-Hosts Storm Off Set in Wake of Bill O'Reilly's Comments

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Barwall(NEW YORK) -- The View's usually heated discussion boiled over into a verbal brawl Thursday.

After guest Bill O'Reilly declared "Muslims killed us on 9/11," Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, co-hosts of the ABC daytime talk show, stormed off the set.

The Fox News host was discussing President Obama's stance on Park51, a Muslim community center that is slated to be built two blocks from ground zero in Manhattan.

"It's inappropriate because a lot of the 9/11 families who I know say 'Look, I don't want that,'" O'Reilly said.

Behar countered, "This is America." O'Reilly shot back, "Hold it, hold it -- listen to me, because you'll learn."

Boos erupted from The View's audience, and Behar called O'Reilly a pinhead while making a bunny ears gesture behind his head, but O'Reilly plowed on, citing the statistic that "seventy percent of Americans don't want that mosque down there."

When Behar asked, "Where's that poll?" O"Reilly responded by saying "I'll show you that poll in a minute" and offered a new reason for why he thinks that Park51 is inappropriate. "Because Muslims killed us on 9/11," he said.

Goldberg spit out a phrase that was bleeped from the broadcast. Behar stood up and said, "I don't want to sit here. I don't." She walked off stage and Goldberg went with her.

View creator Barbara Walters tried to establish equilibrium after they left.

"I want to say something to all of you," she told the audience. "You have just seen what should not happen. We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage. I love my colleagues, but that should not have happened."

Then, she turned to O'Reilly.

"Now let me just say to you, in a calmer voice, it was extremists. You cannot take a whole religion and demean them," Walters said.

O'Reilly offered an apology.

"If anyone felt that I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize," he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

Report: Christina Aguilera Files for Divorce

Photo Courtesy - Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Reports that Christina Aguilera and her husband Jordan Bratman had no plans to divorce just yet appear to be inaccurate. The couple, who confirmed their separation earlier this week, are apparently kaput. 

Christina has just filed for divorce, reports TMZ.com, and in the petition, she cites "irreconcilable differences."  The petition also states that she and Jordan separated on September 11th of this year. 

TMZ says that according to the petition, there is a prenup in place, and Christina is seeking joint physical and legal custody of her and Jordan's son, two-year-old Max.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio