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    Dolly's business move; Madonna angers Obama camp
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..

Entertainment news


Country-music icon Dolly Parton has withdrawn her partnership in a new Nashville theme park, CNN.com reported. A onetime joint venture between Gaylord Entertainment Co. and Dollywood (Parton's company) was to develop a 114-acre site for a water-and-snow park across from the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. In a statement, Parton said, "Gaylord makes decisions that they feel are good for their company and their stockholders and I have to make decisions based on what is best for me and the Dollywood Company."

Apparently, Madonna calling President Obama a "Black Muslim" is causing political ramifications. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama's campaign team is angry with the superstar. Madonna issued a statement stressing she was being "ironic" and saying it was more of a joke about people who ignorantly believe Obama is a Muslim. However, a top person in the campaign said, "It merely brings that whole crazy Muslim story up again. It just again fuels those false rumors about [the president] being a Muslim in the minds of the right-wing people who also believe he was not born in Hawaii."

Pop singer Kate Perry has been named Billboard's Woman of the Year after a year in which she split from husband Russell Brand and turned their break-up into a hit single and film, according to the New York Daily News. Billboard has confirmed that Perry has sold 48 million tracks in the United States alone. Perry, who will receive the award Nov. 30 at the 2012 Billboard Women in Music event, will join previous recipients such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

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Legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani told Italian newspaper La Repubblica about his early working life, according to My Fashion Life. He said of working at a department store, "I didn't have to work very hard—because, well, I was quite good-looking. The female managers in the shop used to favor me, making things really easy for me." He added that he didn't want to continue "on the fringes of a beautiful profession, without working hard, without risking, without standing up for it."

In the wake of her recent weight gain, Lady Gaga posted revealing photos of herself wearing yellow lingerie with the caption "bulimia and anorexia since 15" on her Little Monsters website, the New York Daily News reported. Gaga posted the photo on a new section of her site, "Body Revolution," which she says is designed to inspire bravery and breed some motherf—-ing compassion." The site adds, "May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous."

Singer Andy Williams died recently of bladder cancer at age 84, according to the New York Post. Known for what he called a "natural style," Williams sang such hits as "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Moon River." The Andy Williams Show, which ran through the 1960s into 1971, won three Emmys. In the '90s, he built the $13 million Andy Williams Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., performing there many times.

The Lifetime reality show about Whitney Houston's surviving family members will premiere Oct. 24, according to the New York Post. The Houstons: On Our Own" will follow, among others, Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina; her mother, singer Cissy Houston; and Houston's sister-in-law/manager, Pat Houston, as they recover from the superstar's death. Whitney Houston died at age 48 Feb. 11 in the bathtub of a hotel room.

Speaking of Bobbi Kristina Brown, she was recently involved in a car crash that left boyfriend Nick Gordon's black Camaro badly damaged, the New York Daily News noted. No one was injured in the Alpharetta, Ga., accident. Gordon—who is Brown's unofficial adopted brother as well—recently tweeted a photo of himself holding a gun in his right hand while driving a car; the image has since been deleted.

Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Usher are among the musicians who will pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston in a one-hour TV special, according to the New York Post. We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston will tape Oct. 11 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and will air live Nov. 16 on CBS. In addition, the compilation album "I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston will be released Nov. 13.

Neil Patrick Harris has signed with Crown Archetype to pen his yet-to-be titled memoir for publication in spring 2014, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The book is described as "a work of imaginative nonfiction that delivers an interactive, nonlinear reading experience that breaks the boundaries of conventional memoir." Crown's David Drake said, "NPH blew us away with his highly original and creative vision for his book."

Katey Sagal (Married ... with Children; Sons of Anarchy) appears in a new video for Americans for Marriage Equality, Advocate.com reported. The organization is an effort from the Human Rights Campaign that features prominent people from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics. In the new spot, Sagal says, "It's absolutely crazy to me that most states are willingly harming families by denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry."

Logo announced that the independently financed, scripted ensemble drama series DTLA will make its U.S. television premiere the network, according to a press release. Starring Darryl Stephens (Noah's Arc) and a supporting cast that includes Melanie Griffith, Sandra Bernhard and Leslie Jordan, DTLA depicts the relationships and sex lives of eight friends of various sexual orientations in downtown Los Angeles. DTLA will have an hour-long premiere Wed., Oct. 24; seven half-hour weekly episodes will follow.

A trio of TV shows of LGBT interest have recently been renewed, Advocate.com reported. The CW has renewed Breaking Pointe, which centers on Salt Lake City's Ballet West (run by gay artistic director Adam Sklute), while USA has renewed White Collar (with openly gay lead actor Matt Bomer) and Covert Affairs (with Piper Perabo, who has played several lesbian roles).

Singer k.d. lang's domestic partnership with Jamie Price has been legally dissolved, according to a SheWired.com item. The couple met in 2003 at an event held by a Buddhist teacher. Lang and Price became domestic partners in California and lived in the Los Angeles hills; they both waived partner support and will split their property evenly.

Six-year-old reality-TV star Honey Boo Boo has shown her love for the LGBT community, Advocate.com noted. On the season finale of her hit show, she jumped into the arms of "Uncle Poodle," which is her pet name for her gay uncle Lee. She later told the cameras, "Ain't nothin' wrong with bein' a little gay; everybody's a little gay." Her show has already been renewed for a second season.

A day after Anderson Cooper called out Teresa Giudice for bullying Caroline Manzo about her weight at The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion, he invited Giudice back on his show, Anderson, to apologize, according to the Huffington Post. While Cooper stood by his criticism of her behavior and what he feels is the show's ongoing negative drama, he told her he regretted how he stated his thoughts. Cooper confessed, "After I did that interview, someone in the audience—a guy named Bobby who was a teacher—said I had been rude."

Lana Parrilla—who plays the Evil Queen on the ABC show Once Upon a Time—spoke on HuffPost Live about her passion for LGBT rights. Parrilla said, "I have a lot of LGBT friends and family members and I've always supported the community—not only as a child but as an adult—and I think it's important to voice that." On the political front, she said, "Our president is the first one who has come forward in history who supports this community. ... I think every celebrity needs to get involved and speak up."

Whoopi Goldberg lost her cool on the set of The View when conservative Ann Coulter appeared to promote her new book, according to the Daily Mail. At one point, Coulter said that the United States' "legacy of slavery: had led to civil rights "only belonging to Blacks." Goldberg asked Coulter, "Tell me what you know about being Black." After Coulter said, "I don't think liberals ever cared about Black people," Goldberg shouted, "Bullshit. I'm sorry; that's bull, that's bull."

The Who's Pete Townshend talks about being part of a child-porn scandal in his new memoir Who I Am, according to the Daily Mail. Townshend— one of 3,744 people arrested as part of a 2003bnational police crackdown in Britain—said he was "insane" to pay to access a child-porn website four years earlier. He said he wanted to demonstrate the extensive presence of child abuse and pornography so he paid $7 to access a website; he said he cancelled the access but police tracked his credit card. Elsewhere in the book, he talks about the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger being "very well-endowed."

Arch Brown—recognized as one of a generation of gay playwrights who told the community's stories on off-Broadway stages—died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 76, according to Gay City News. Brown published 15 plays and three books; one of his best-known works was News Boy, a 1979 show. In reviewing the play, the Washington Post called Brown "a lesser Neil Simon who has come out of the closet."

Pro baseball player Yunel Escobar was greeted with boos in his first home game with the Toronto Blue Jays since an anti-gay incident, according to Advocate.com. Escobar was suspended for three games for writing an anti-gay slur on the eye black he wore. Before the game, Escobar met for 45 minutes with openly gay Boston College runner Jose Estevez and Patrick Burke, co-founder of the "You Can Play" campaign to encourage acceptance of LGBT athletes.

Simon Cowell's talent-competition show to find the next top DJ is no more—because he fought Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's company for top billing on the show's credits, according to the New York Post. In January, Cowell announced that his production company, Syco, would team with the Smith's business, Overbrook Entertainment, as well as Sony Pictures Television. However, producer stalled because Cowell allegedly wanted top billing.

Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed he had a "hot affair" with actress Brigitte Nielsen while he and Maria Shriver were dating and already living together, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Nielsen wrote in a memoir published last year that she and Schwarzenegger had an "outrageous affair" while making the movie Red Sonja, but she did know until later that he was involved with Shriver. Schwarzenegger confirms the affair in his new memoir, Total Recall.

George Michael, plagued by "major anxiety" following his battle with pneumonia last year, has cancelled the Australian leg of his tour, according to BBC News. On his website, Michael said that cancelling the nine shows "breaks his heart." The "Father Figure" singer confirmed he would still fulfill his UK dates this month but would then undergo treatment for his condition. Last year, he suffered from severe pneumonia and spent a month in a Vienna, Austria, hospital.

Shortly after giving birth to her fourth child, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak is about to embark on her own Bravo spin-off show, according to a Daily Mail item. The news came out after the "Tardy for the Party" singer was absent from the newly released season five promotional shots for "Atlanta." Co-star NeNe Leakes has followed her role on TV's Glee with a recurring part on the NBC freshman show The New Normal.

Actor John Travolta triumphed in court recently when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed a libel suit that author Robert Randolph brought, according to the New York Daily News. Randolph, author of You'll Never Spa in This Town Again, claimed a letter written by Travolta's attorney, Marty Singer, defamed him because it claimed Randolph had suffered brain damage and was in a mental institution. In his book, Randolph alleges Travolta has sex with men in Los Angeles spas in the 1990s.

Speaking of Travolta, he and longtime pal Olivia Newton-John for a holiday album called This Christmas, according to the New York Post. The pair—who sang "You're The One That I Want" in the hit 1978 movie musical Grease—is pictured on their new release smiling while holding teacups. Proceeds from the album, out Nov. 23, go to the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.

Tereska Torrès—a French author who wrote the United States' first lesbian pulp novel, Women's Barracks—died Sept. 20 at her home in Paris at age 92, according to the New York Times. "Barracks," published in 1950, is a fictionalized account of the writer's wartime service in London with the women's division of the Free French forces. The descriptions of liaisons the women had with male resistance members—as well as each other—drew much controversy.

Sony Pictures is in negotiations to turn the classic TV series Little House on the Prairie into a feature film, Deadline.com reported. David Gordon Green will direct with Abi Morgan writing the script, with openly gay producer Scott Rudin (The Queen; Moonrise Kingdom) backing the film with Trip Friendly. "Little House" is based on the semi-autobiographical classic children's book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder about farm life in the late 19th-century American West.

Sahara Davenport, who competed on the second season of Logo's RuPaul's Drag Race, has died at age 28, according to Queerty.com. Davenport was partner to fellow Drag Race participant Manila Luzon. As Antoine Ashley, Davenport was born and raised in Dallas, and attended Southern Methodist University, majoring in dance. She moved to New York, appearing on the TV serial One Life to Live and the video for David Guetta and Chris Willis' "Gettin' Over."

In her highly anticipated comeback movie role, Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls) stars as iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor alongside Grant Bowler (TV's Ugly Betty and True Blood) as husband/actor Richard Burton in the Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, making its world premiere Sunday, Nov. 25, according to a press release. Based on the true story of the couple's passionate and tumultuous love affair, the film is from executive producer Larry A. Thompson, with Lloyd Kramer (Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven) directing from a script by Christopher Monger (Temple Grandin).

Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane is hosting the 85th Annual Academy Awards, according to E! Online. It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," MacFarlane said in a statement. "My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don't find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast." The Oscars will take place Feb. 24, 2013, and will be shown on ABC.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is starring in a social-media push for marriage equality, the Huffington Post reported. The "Tunnel of Love" singer, 63, is in a new campaign by The Four 2012, which is focusing on passing same-sex ballot measures in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington state next month. Among those retweeting Springsteen's message of marriage equality is Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, who posted, "Yes, Bruce truly rocks!"

Out actor Rupert Everett has received hate email and death threats since saying, "There's nothing worse than being brought up by two gay dads," the Huffington Post noted. About the mail, Everett told the Telegraph, "All the queens out there now have it in for me. I'm loathed by them. I'm having to take evasive action." Several organizations criticized Everett's views, with GLAAD calling them "outdated."

Khloe Kardashian, 28, and Mario Lopez, 38, are finalizing deals to host the new season of X Factor, according to US Magazine. Kardashian and Lopez aren't the only new additions to the program: After season one's high-profile firings, Cowell brought in Britney Spears and Demi Lovato to fill the judges' seats left vacant by Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Kardashian and Lopez will be taking over Steve Jones' role after he was let go.

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