A+ R A-


Aretha Franklin Reported to Have Pancreatic Cancer

E-mail Print PDF

(Reuters) - Soul singer Aretha Franklin, who recently underwent surgery for an undisclosed health issue, was reported to be suffering from pancreatic cancer, the Detroit News said on its web site.

Publicists for the 68-year-old singer, who has canceled all her appearances through May 2011, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Detroit News report on Wednesday cited a source familiar with the situation for the cancer diagnosis, an illness which the report pointed out has a poor prognosis.

Separately, the Fox television station in Detroit reported the same diagnosis for the "Queen of Soul," citing a close relative as the source. The report said she was doing "OK."

After the surgery, Franklin released a statement December 2 that she had undergone "highly successful surgery" but did not disclose the nature of her illness.

The legendary singer of 1960s hits like "Chain of Fools" and "Respect" had continued a busy schedule of touring and recording until late October.

In January 2009, she sang at the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

(Writing by Andrew Stern, editing by Greg McCune)

'I'm not a lesbian' says tearful Oprah Winfrey

E-mail Print PDF

(Reuters) - A tearful Oprah Winfrey has denied she is a lesbian, saying that constant rumors about her close relationship with a female friend were irritating "because it means that somebody must think I am lying."

The influential TV talk show host addressed her 20-year relationship with Gayle King, and her ongoing partnership with lover Stedman Graham, in an emotional interview with journalist Barbara Walters to be shown on ABC television on Thursday.

"She is the mother I never had. She is the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don't know a better person," Winfrey said of King, fighting back tears.

"It's making me cry because I'm thinking about how much I probably have never told her that. Tissue please," she added.

King and Winfrey, 56, met while working at a local Baltimore TV station in the 1980s and have been inseparable professionally and personally, sparking much media speculation that they are gay.

"I'm not a lesbian. I'm not even kind of a lesbian," Winfrey told Walters, in an excerpt of the interview released on Wednesday. "And the reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I'm lying. That's number one. Number two...why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life."

Winfrey, whose daily TV chat show is watched by millions in the United States and 145 other countries, said that businessman Stedman Graham was still her lover and mate after more than 20 years together, despite the fact they are now rarely seen in public together.

"I made a conscious effort around 2003, 2004 to pull back on my public appearances with Stedman," she said.

But denying speculation that the pair had split up, she told Walters he was "the love, the lover, the man, the partner, the mate" of her life.

Winfrey is launching a new cable TV network, OWN, in January in a joint venture with Discovery Communications. She will end her ABC TV talk show in May 2011 after 25 years.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Michael Jackson's Father Files New Wrongful Death Suit

E-mail Print PDF

(Reuters) - An attorney for the father of Michael Jackson on Tuesday filed a new wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in the pop singer's death.

The lawsuit by attorney Brian Oxman on behalf of Joe Jackson was filed in California Superior Court against Dr. Conrad Murray and companies with which he is affiliated. It includes the "Thriller" singer's mother Katherine Jackson and his three children as nominal parties.

As with a previous suit that was dismissed by a U.S. court, Joe Jackson claims Murray wrongfully provided the powerful anesthetic propofol and a "polypharmacy" of other drugs to Michael Jackson before the singer's death on June 25, 2009.

The suit also claims Murray asked a security guard to clean the room in which Jackson died of medication before police arrived, among other allegations, according to a copy of the suit obtained by Reuters.

The pop star died at age 50 in Los Angeles only days before he was to begin a series of comeback concerts in London. Murray was hired by concert promoters AEG Live to care for Jackson, but AEG was not named in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles coroner has ruled Jackson's death was caused primarily by two sedatives, propofol and lorazepam, and acute propofol intoxication was the principal cause.

Earlier this year, prosecutors charged Murray with involuntary manslaughter, and the 56 year-old Texas-based doctor pleaded not guilty. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

On the anniversary of his son's death, Joe Jackson filed an original wrongful death suit in U.S. court, but this month a federal judge rejected a portion of the suit and said the remainder would need to be heard in a California state court. Tuesday's filing stems from the federal judge's ruling.

(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

The American Music Awards 2010

E-mail Print PDF

By Lea Michelle Cash –

The music magic traditionally continued at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on November 21, as the country’s hottest hitmakers stepped out to attend the 2010 American Music Awards (AMAs). Performances were provided by the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Taylor Swift, Santana and Rihanna. Rihanna commanded the stage as she opened the award show. Recently on November 16, the singer debuted her fifth album, Loud.

Presenters were a variety of individuals: Christina Milian, Willow, Trey Songz, Samuel L. Jackson, Heidi Klum, Jenny McCarthy, John Legend, and Kelly Osbourne just to name a few.

The artist were honored in the categories of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative, Adult Contemporary, Latin, Soundtracks and Contemporary Inspirational. For the fourth year, winners were determined by online voting at the official Coca-Cola voting location designated by the AMAs.

An emotional Usher, backstage spoke about how proud he was of his lil brother, student and mentee, Justin Bieber who won four trophies including the Artist of the Year. When Bieber won the Artist of the Year Award, he asked Usher to join him on stage, calling him, “not only my mentor, but my best friend and my big brother.” Usher was kissing and hugging his mentee, not only on stage, but back stage as well with an army of security around them. They were both emotional and very happy for the young 16 year old, who two years ago, the world simply did not know.

Usher picked up two awards – for male soul/R&B artist and for his album, Raymond v. Raymond. Eminem also was a double winner for male rap/hiphop artist and for his album, Recovery.

Other winners included Lady Gaga for pop/rock female, The Black Eyed Peas for pop/rock group, Brad Paisley for male country artist, Taylor Swift for female country artist, Lady Antebellum for country group and Carrie Underwood for country album of the year for Play On.

Smucker's Stars On Ice Celebrates 25th Anniversary

E-mail Print PDF

America’s most beloved figure skating tour, Smucker’s Stars on Ice, has brought together a superstar ensemble of Olympic, World and National Champions from all over the globe to celebrate its 25th season. The “Smucker’s Stars on Ice 25th Anniversary Tour” promises to bring fans of all ages the ultimate live figure skating experience with a gathering of legends past, present, and future. The Emmy Award Winning Production will visit 25 cities nationwide. The Tour glides into Anaheim, CA on Sunday, February 20th, 2011 for a 4:00 PM performance at Honda Center.

Smucker’s Stars on Ice continues to be a pioneer in figure skating by offering fans the rare opportunity to witness some of the world’s most creative and cherished champions performing together in both individual and ensemble routines.

Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek and Olympic Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen will be joined by a stellar cast of world-renowned athletes, including Olympic Gold Medalists Jamie Salé & David Pelletier (Canada); Four-Time World Champion & Four-Time Canadian National Champion Kurt Browning; Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Ekaterina Gordeeva (Russia); World Champion & Six-Time U.S. National Champion Todd Eldredge; Olympic Silver Medalists Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto; 2010 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Joannie Rochette (Canada) and Two-Time World Bronze Medalist & Three-Time U.S. National Champion Michael Weiss.

The Smucker’s Stars on Ice Tour, founded and produced by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, is one of the premier entertainment events in the United States. The “Smucker’s Stars on Ice 25th Anniversary Tour” performance in Anaheim, CA will be at Honda Center on Sunday, February 20th for a show at 4:00 PM. Tickets go on sale Saturday, December 4th.

Special on-ice seating is available upon request. A portion of Smucker’s Stars on Ice proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling Honda Center group sales at 714-704- 2420. Tickets start at $25 and are available via Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone 1-800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and the Honda Center Box Office. Please visit www.starsonice.com for more information as well as exciting show announcements.

Page 22 of 102

BVN National News Wire