Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Wants Michael Jackson Funeral at Neverland

Fans of Michael Jackson may get a chance to take part in laying the superstar to rest.

According to a lawyer who works for the family, Brian Oxman, the Jacksons are looking into the possiblity of having a memorial service for the late singer at his Neverland ranch near Santa Barbara.

"They want something, but logistical problems are enormous," Oxman said of the family's hopes to have a public memorial on Friday, followed by a private funeral on Sunday. The lawyer stressed that it was "premature" to say whether the services can actually be held at the ranch.

Citing the Santa Barbara's Sherriff Department, E! Online earlier reported that plans were already underway to accommodate large crowds at the estate.

"Our guys are meeting as we speak with the California Highway Patrol to discuss the security issues," said Lt. Butch Arnoldi, a department spokesman, according to the Web site.

But Oxman was far from certain: "It could happen in Neverland or L.A.," he said. "The family will make an announcement."

Family Reviews Michael Jackson's Will

Michael Jackson's family is still reviewing the contents of his last will and testament, but People.com can confirm details of the 2002 document:

The deceased pop star left all his assets to the Michael Jackson Family Trust and has named his mother Katherine, 79, as guardian of his children – Prince, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7. Attorney John Branca and John McClain, a music executive, are named as executors.

The will does not list any charities as beneficiaries, nor does it specifically exclude Joe Jackson, Michael's dad, as had been rumored. "There are no numbers in the will," says a source familiar with the document. "The assets are going into the family trust.”

For privacy reasons, the source cannot name the specific beneficiaries of the trust.

Farrah's Funeral: 'Goodbye Sweet Girl'

A tearful Ryan and Redmond O'Neal joined Farrah Fawcett's closest friends and family for the actress's private funeral Tuesday afternoon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

Marla Maples, Joan Collins and Tatum O'Neal were among the 200 guests attending the hour-long Catholic service, where longtime pal Alana Stewart and Fawcett's doctor Lawrence Piro delivered the eulogies.

"Goodbye sweet girl," said Stewart. "[Farrah] never felt sorry for herself during her illness ... she fought cancer furiously."

'Angel in Heaven'

"She's the most beautiful angel in heaven," Stewart added. "She always seemed so indestructible."

With city police and private security lining the streets, Ryan and Redmond arrived at the cathedral around 3:50 p.m. and served as pallbearers, carrying Fawcett's casket, adorned with yellow and orange flowers.

A man in a kilt played "Amazing Grace" on a bagpipe at the beginning of the service, which also included Bible readings and prayer.

Ryan O'Neal sported a gold band on his wedding finger, despite never marrying Fawcett, as he read a verse from the Bible shortly after his son's tribute.

Fawcett's Charlie's Angels co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith were also at the ceremony to pay their last respects to the actress, who lost her battle with anal cancer last week aged 62.

The church and the coffin were decorated with orange and yellow flowers - the actress' favourite colours - and the funeral program featured a photograph of a smiling Fawcett in her hey-day, with a full head of her trademark curly hair and wearing a silk and sequined dress.

Entertainment Journalist, Eliot Tiegel said, "It was one of the most musical funerals I've ever been to, and that's what happens when you go to a show-business funeral. Overall, it was very stirring."

The intimate service lasted for an hour and the street outside the church was flanked with fans wanting to pay their last respects to Fawcett.

As the star's family and friends left the church after the funeral, Fawcett's 90-year-old father James had to be helped to a waiting limousine as he struggled to contain his grief.

After the service ended, vans shuttled guests to the reception at the Jonathan Club, where a band played Fawcett's favorite songs, including some from Van Morrison.

Michael Jackson Final Rehearsal for 'This Is It' Tour May Be Released as New CD

Michael Jackson's final rehearsal for his London concert tour was recorded in high definition video and audio on the eve of his death - and could be released as the King of Pop's final album, reports the NY Daily News.

The rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles were taped by concert promotion company AEG Live to produce an album and DVD of what Jackson had billed his 'final performance' tour called 'This Is It.'

AEG will be losing $85 mil from the ticket sales of the tour. So something like this could help recoup the costs - not to mention, how awesome would it be to have a taste of what the show would've been like?

Jackson had failed to appear at many of the scheduled rehearsals in Los Angeles over the past two months, but he was there for an 'electric' full rehearsal on the night before his death.

The rehearsal, which went on for several hours, included dancers, musicians and aerial performers. Three people close to the production said it had been captured by multiple cameras, and the audio was digitally recorded in a manner that could be used to produce surround-sound DVD and audio products.

Star Sighting: Bruno in Shining Armor

Sacha Baron Cohen is a knight in shining armor as his alter ego Bruno at the premiere of his comedy of the same name at the State Theatre on Monday in Sydney, Australia.

Vanity Fair on the Last Days of Heath Ledger

The world is mourning the death of Michael Jackson who died at 50 and of Farrah Fawcett who died at 62. Both seemed to be gone too soon.

Then you think of Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight star Heath Ledger, just 28 when he died last year. That was really too soon. Vanity Fair has Heath on the cover of its August issue and the article inside offers new details into his life near the end.

Here are some of the highlights:

How his relationship failed

Terry Gilliam—Ledger’s friend and mentor, and the director of Doctor Parnassus—agrees with cinematographer Nicola Pecorini, who worked with Ledger on that last film, that the romance between Ledger and Michelle Williams began to unravel during the Oscar campaign for Brokeback Mountain. “The whole machinery started growing up around them,” Gilliam says. “That was the moment when it changed, when he realized, Uh-oh. We perceive the world differently. He didn’t care about things like those awards.”

According to Pecorini, “Heath was always blaming himself [about the relationship], asking, What did I do wrong?” Adds Gilliam, “Because he’s a much nicer person than I am, he really thought he could do the right thing. He was trying to be decent and graceful, give her whatever she wanted—the house, every fucking thing. But once it started going south, it went very quickly. He was overwhelmed by lawyers, and there were more and more of them, as if they were breeding. I said, ‘This is bullshit. Heath, just end it. Get out—it’s bad. You’ve got to just walk away from it.’ The stakes kept going up. He wouldn’t listen to any of us.”

As Ledger’s relationship with Williams unraveled, and the pair started dealing with lawyers and custody issues, according to Gilliam, Ledger fell apart. “The thing that really made Heath snap” was legal wrangling over his daughter, Matilda, Gilliam says. “He said, ‘Just fuck all of you! I’m not giving Michelle anything.’???” Recalls another source, when it came to Matilda’s care, “there were definitely heated conversations, and emotions were high.” (Ledger’s lawyer declined to comment on any aspect of the separation or custody dispute.)

How chronic insomnia may have led to his death

Ledger’s use of sleeping medication to combat chronic insomnia at the end of his life was of more concern to vocal coach Gerry Grennell, who worked and lived with the actor during the filming of The Dark Knight. “I’d say, ‘If you can possibly bear it to stop taking the medications, do, because they don’t seem to be doing you any good.’ He agreed. It is very difficult for me to imagine how close he came to not taking them.”

Ledger would typically spend night after night awake, diverting himself with time killers, Vanity Fair contributing editor Peter Biskind reports, such as re-arranging the furniture in whatever space he happened to be living in at the moment. Grennell coached him in the Alexander Technique, which helped him to sleep for a few hours at a time, but he still struggled.

“Everyone has a different view of how he passed away,” Grennell tells Biskind. “From my perspective, and knowing him as well as I did, and being around him as much as I was, it was a combination of exhaustion, sleeping medication … and perhaps the aftereffects of the flu. I guess his body just stopped breathing.”

Star Sighting: Portrait of an Artist

How's that for a self-portrait! Lady Gaga keeps a level head – with the help of her latest headpiece! – while adding some finishing touches to her artwork during Body Positive North West's AIDS charity event in Manchester, England, on Monday.

Entertainer Fred Travalena Dead At 66

Entertainer Fred Travalena has become the latest star to pass away in a week of tragic celebrity deaths.

The impressionist and singer was 66 when he died at his home in Encino, California on Sunday.

Travalena fought non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002 and the disease returned last summer after going into remission.

Dubbed 'The Man of a Thousand Faces' for his ability to mimic stars like Jack Nicholson, Sammy Davis, Jr. and even Bugs Bunny, Travalena became a big name in America in the early 1970s.

He went on to become a mainstay headliner in Las Vegas, Reno, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey - and was a regular on the U.S. chat show circuit.

In one part of his beloved act, Travalena mimicked all the U.S. presidents, from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.

He was also famous for singing signature tune "Have I Told You Lately" as Kermit the Frog, Frank Sinatra and Katharine Hepburn, according to the Los Angeles Times. He even wowed fans with a routine, in which he played Sinatra imitating Boy George.

Flowers have been placed on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is awash with tributes to those stars who have passed away in the last seven days, like Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Gale Storm and Ed McMahon.

An American Werewolf In London Remake Planned

Moviemaker John Landis has confirmed reports a remake of his hit 1981 horror-comedy An American Werewolf In London is planned.

Dimension Films has acquired the remake rights to the movie, which Landis will release on Blu-Ray this summer.

Landis tells website Bloody-Disgusting.com, "Perhaps someone will make a brilliant movie out of it.

"Regardless, my film comes out on Blu-Ray this summer and looks amazing. I was afraid the digital cleaning of the negative would result in too clear a picture and hurt Rick Baker's make-up, when in fact the incredibly crisp detail actually makes Rick's stuff look even better."

A sequel to Landis' cult film, An American Werewolf in Paris, was a flop when it was released in 1997. It starred French actress Julie Delpy.

New Release Tuesday!

Here are this week's new releases on Blu-Ray, CD and DVD:

12 Rounds (B/D)
Dark Streets (D)
Do The Right Thing: 20th Anniversary (B)
The Education of Charlie Banks (D)
Flawless (B)
Home Front (B)
The Human Contact (D)
The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (B/D)
Marco Polo (B)
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (B/D)
They Call Me Bruce (D)
Tokyo (B/D)
Two Lovers (B/D)

Brad Paisley - American Saturday Night
Moby - Wait For Me
Rob Thomas - Cradlesong

Entourage - 5th Season (D) shown above
Eureka - 3.0 Season (D)
The IT Crowd - 2nd Season (D)
Secret Diary of a Call Girl - 2nd Season (D)

(B) - Available in Blu-Ray format only
(D) - Available in DVD format only
(B/D) - Available in Blu-Ray & DVD format

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick's Twins!

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are playing show and tell.

On Monday, the couple, who greeted twin daughters Marion and Tabitha June 23, released a picture of the beautiful new editions to their family. The girls, born via a surrogate, were joined by their older brother, James Wilkie, 6.

Debbie Rowe Reaches Out to Jackson Family

In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, Debbie Rowe, the singer's ex-wife and mother of his two eldest kids, has left multiple messages for the Jackson family in hopes of getting in touch – though she's been unsuccessful – a friend told People.

"We've been trying to reach them at different numbers," says Marc Schaffel, a former Jackson business associate who's close with Rowe. "But we don't know if who we've been leaving messages with have gotten the messages."

Rowe is the legal parent of Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11, and can get custody of them if she chooses. Jackson's third child, Blanket, 7, was born to an unnamed surrogate.

But the children's grandmother, Katherine Jackson, was granted temporary guardianship on Monday after filing a petition in Los Angeles Probate Court. In the 22-page document, Katherine claims the kids "have no relationship with their biological mother" and "have a long established relationship" with her since Michael's death.

"In all fairness I wouldn't say they are avoiding her," Schaffel says, adding that Rowe usually contacts the family through Jackson's business office. "Our understanding, though, is that the Jackson family does want to have contact with Debbie."

Schaffel says there were "several reasons" why Rowe reached out, including wanting "to offer her input into a venue where they could have a public memorial."

"Debbie was absolutely devastated by Michael's death," he says. "They had an incredible bond and friendship even prior to the marriage...Debbie was a very good friend to Michael during all those years."

While Schaffel won't comment on whether Rowe has had contact with the kids the past few days, "Debbie understands it's a very difficult time for everybody involved, including the children," he says. "I think everybody involved would say they want to see the children have no more disruption in their life until their father has been put to rest."

Heath Ledger's Last Days – From His Friends

In the days leading up to his death, Heath Ledger battled chronic insomnia, pneumonia and exhaustion, according to several members of Ledger's inner circle – who paint a portrait of a tortured man who struggled with personal strife and professional indecision, reports the August Vanity Fair, on sale nationally July 7th.

Apparently, one of the biggest struggles in Ledger's life was his deteriorating relationship with partner Michelle Williams.

"Heath was always blaming himself [about the relationship], asking 'what did I do wrong?'" says Ledger's friend and mentor, director Terry Gilliam. He was overwhelmed by lawyers, and there were more and more of them, as if they were breeding."

The stress of his personal life left Ledger unable to sleep.

Chronic Insomnia

Gerry Grennell, a vocal coach who lived with Ledger during the filming of The Dark Knight, said that the actor used sleeping medication to combat chronic insomnia. "I'd say, 'If you can possibly bear it to stop taking the medications, do, because they don't seem to be doing you any good,' " recalls Grennell, who said that Ledger would spend his nights finding ways to occupy himself, such as rearranging the furniture.

Grennell also says that everyone has a different view on how Ledger died. "From my perspective, and knowing him as well as I did, and being around him as much as I was, it was a combination of exhaustion, sleeping medication … and perhaps the aftereffects of the flu," he says. "I guess his body just stopped breathing."

Grennell and other sources claim that Ledger was no longer using illegal drugs or alcohol when he died.

Professional Indecision

Despite the actor's eventual success – and posthumous Oscar – as the Joker in the The Dark Knight, Ledger's friend and agent, Steven Alexander, tells the magazine that Ledger "was always hesitant to be in a summer blockbuster, with the dolls and action figures and everything else that comes with one of those movies. He was afraid it would define him and limit his choices."

Friends say that Ledger agreed to join the Batman franchise because it would be such a long shot that it would give him an excuse to turn down other offers. Ledger reportedly had a pay-or-play deal for Dark Knight, meaning that he'd receive a paycheck no matter what, so he took creative liberties with the Joker.

According to cinematographer Nicola Pecorini, Ledger hoped his performance would be so over-the-top that he'd be fired.

Michael Jackson's Last Concert Rehearsal

Photos from Michael Jackson's last performance, taken just two days before his death, have surfaced and show the King of Pop rehearsing for his upcoming London tour.

Jackson, dressed in several stage outfits and showing off his dance moves with backup dancers, was photographed at a rehearsal inside L.A.'s Staples Center on June 23 where "he had great energy," according to producer Ken Ehrlich, an executive at AEG, the company that was promoting the singer's tour.

Ehrlich, who watched the performance and met with Jackson, tells PEOPLE, "He was definitely in rehearsal mode [and] wasn't giving it full out. But vocally, he had started to really project. I thought he was in great form. He just seemed really healthy. He really looked good and he was very upbeat."

During their brief 20-minute conversation, Jackson was "cracking jokes," adds Ehrlich. "He was having a good time. During rehearsal, I could tell that he was feeling it. He was feeling good. He was on his way to giving a great performance."

The Jacksons Go to Court Over Michael's Estate

Michael Jackson's parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson, have filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to probate their son's estate.

According to legal papers, the Jacksons state that their son "died intestate," meaning without a will. Katherine Jackson, who has already filed for custody of her grandchildren Prince, 12, Paris, 11 and Prince Michael II, 7, is seeking to take possession of her son's assets for "for the exclusive use of [his] three children."

The papers also state that, according to California law, Jackson's children are the sole beneficiaries of his estate.

In her original custody filing, Jackson claims that her grandchildren have "no relationship with their biological mother" and have been in her care since Michael's death. A hearing on the custody matter is scheduled for July 6.

Redmond O'Neal to Attend Farrah's Funeral

Farrah Fawcett's son Redmond O'Neal, currently serving a jail sentence for violating his probation on drug charges, will attend his mother's memorial service on Tuesday.

"That's an absolute yes," says his attorney William Slattery about plans for the 24-year-old son of Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal to go to the funeral.

O'Neal will be allowed to leave the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California, where he is enrolled in an inmate treatment program, for the invitation-only ceremony, which will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels at 4 p.m. PST in downtown Los Angeles.

Fawcett, 62, died after a long battle with cancer on Thursday.

Mariska Hargitay & Christopher Meloni Back For More Law & Order

After months of reportedly tense contract negotiations, Emmy winner Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni – stars of Law & Order: SVU – have agreed to return to the popular NBC crime drama for another season.

The agreement means that starting in the fall, SVU will begin its 11th season with Hargitay and Meloni as stars. While terms of the deal have not been disclosed, both stars were reportedly earning $385,000 per episode before a new deal was struck.

Josh Duhamel on Nude Photos: So What?

Josh Duhamel claims even his friends were skeptical when he told them he was going to be on the cover of Men's Health. "You're going to be on the cover of Men's Health?," he recalls them saying. "You?"

In fact, Duhamel, 36, now appearing in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, tells the fitness magazine that he wants to be remembered for his talent, not just his rugged good looks. And he laughs off those widely-seen nude photos taken of him by photographer Greg Gorman in 2000. "To me, it's funny at this point. Whatever. It's done," he says. "It was very cold in the studio, by the way."

The actor also talked up married life – he tied to the knot with Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas in January – even if it means having to constantly dodge the prying press. "We try to stay away from the places where the paparazzi hang out. Still, they're outside the house every morning."

Duhamel recently landed a voiceover gig for the Nickelodeon show Fanboy and Chum Chum and, coincidentally or not, he seems eager to start a family of his own. "I want to do good work, but having kids and a life outside of that is important," he tells the magazine. "If you don't have anybody around who loves you, then what's it all for? You're just lonely in the end."

Star Sighting: The Show Man

Paying a personal tribute to the late Michael Jackson, evening emcee Jamie Foxx rocks the stage in the King of Pop's iconic red leather jacket and sparkling glove during a performance at the BET Awards Sunday night at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium.

Beyonce's Ave Maria Tribute to Michael Jackson

As a tribute to Michael Jackson, Beyonce performed “Ave Maria” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” onstage during the 2009 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday in Los Angeles.

If you missed it, check out Beyonce's incedible performance below.

Kevin Bacon Performs on 14,110-Foot Pikes Peak

Actor Kevin Bacon hiked the 14,110-foot Pikes Peak (in Colorado Springs, Colorado) to play a concert at the top as part of an event to raise money for a cancer charity.

Bacon and his brother, Michael, climbed Pikes Peak on Saturday with about 95 people as part of a fund raiser for the Love Hope Strength Foundation cancer charity.

The hikers made the event a tribute to Farrah Fawcett, who died Thursday after battling anal cancer.

At the mountaintop, their band, The Bacon Brothers, performed three songs.

The brothers also were playing a concert Saturday night in Denver to raise money for the foundation, which has held fundraising concerts at Machu Picchu in Peru and Mount Everest.

Janet Jackson Speaks at BET Awards About Her Beloved Brother, Michael

Last Night's BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium was turned into a tribute to the late Michael Jackson who died Thursday.

His little sister Janet Jackson, a superstar in her own right, made a surprise appearance on the show and tearfully said to the audience: “My entire family wanted to be here tonight but it was too painful.”

Here is the rest of what Janet said:

“To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family and he will forever live in our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself thank you for your love and support. We miss him so much. Thank you so much.”

After Janet left the stage, host Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo sang a tribute duet to Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”

Here is Janet's speech and the performance by Jamie and Ne-Yo.

Madonna's New Manhattan Pad

Everything about Madonna is larger than life, from her record sales to her glittery costumes, to her recent legal battle to adopt a child in Malawi, to the price she paid for a 57-foot-wide town house on the outer fringes of the Upper East Side.

Brokers scoffed at her foolishness when it was reported that she was in contract to buy a sprawling Georgian-style town house in the sticks, a k a far East 81st Street, for $40 million. The place was nowhere near the elite homes of Fifth Avenue, beyond the lower-status Lexington Avenue and many blocks from the hallowed soil of Central Park.

But last week, when she closed on the purchase, it turned out the hard-working Material Girl, sweating her way through another world tour at age 50, had not lost her street smarts. The rock star, born Madonna Louise Ciccone of Bay City, Michigan, actually received a significant discount. She paid only $32.5 million, according to brokers briefed on the transaction.

The final purchase price works out to a 28 percent discount from the $45 million price tag of the original listing, by Louise Beit of Sotheby’s International Real Estate. The property was listed last October, after the death of the longtime owner, Louise H. Saurel.

Wendy Maitland, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens who has represented Madonna in the past, declined to discuss the transaction.

The sale would still make it the highest town house sale in the anemic first half of 2009, but not out of line with recent sales of much smaller town houses in that neighborhood.

Last year at the peak of the market, a 19-foot-wide town house on far East 78th Street sold for $9.5 million, or about $2,750 a square foot. The price per square foot paid by Madonna in a weaker market was about the same, but one could argue she got a lot more in the deal.

With 57 feet of street frontage, her new mansion is one of the widest town houses in Manhattan, combining what appear to have once been three separate town houses. According to the listing, the house has 26 rooms, including a 38-foot-wide drawing room and 13 bedrooms. There are 9 fireplaces, 11-foot ceilings and, in the rear, a 3,000-square-foot garden. Who needs Central Park when your backyard is park size?

If the house isn’t big enough, its size can be doubled under current zoning, and unlike those precious buildings on Fifth Avenue, it is situated beyond the purview of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In any event, with a two-car garage on the premises, the new owner could whisk her children to the park by limousine in about as much time as it would take to go by elevator from a Fifth Avenue penthouse to the lobby.

Kris Allen & Adam Lambert Talk About Life After American Idol

American Idol is ready to hit the road! Season 8 winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert were on hand at a press day in Los Angeles on Thursday to talk about the Idols Live Tour, which kicks off in Portland, Oregon, on July 5, and will take the top 10 — which also includes Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver and Scott MacIntyre — to 50 cities in North America.

People spoke separately with Allen and Lambert about their upcoming albums, the tour and how their life has changed.

Kris Allen

Are you moving or planning on staying in Conway, Ark.?
My wife is going to move back home for the tour, so we still have to have a place to live, and still have our apartment. But things have changed completely. Four months ago, I could have never imagined ever doing anything like this. I don’t get much sleep now but there’s a lot of work to be done writing for the album and … rehearsals, as well. It’s nonstop but I’d rather be doing this than anything else.

How is the recording process coming along?
It feels great! It feels great to know that you’ve wanted to do this thing your whole life and to know that you have an album coming out in the fall that you’ve worked hard on that is you.

Can you tell us anything specific about the album — how many tracks, guest appearances?
None of that stuff I know yet. I don’t know if we’re going to have any collaborations and I have no idea how many tracks, but I think the CD is going to be great, I really do. A lot of good songs.

Do you think people will be surprised with your sound?
I actually do think people are going to be surprised, but in a good way, hopefully.

What’s been the hardest thing about recording?
It’s a lot of work. For me, I felt like the songs would come easier writing-wise and collaborating with people. It’s just a process and you kind of have to get used to it and we’re very, very new to this and you’re kind of just thrown into, “Hey, you’re going make a CD in four months. And You’re going to be on tour for three of those months.” … We are music industry virgins, but I feel like we had the best experience and you kind of learn a lot from Idol, and you got to work hard.

What are you taking on tour with you for those long bus rides?
If I got my iPod and my phone, I am perfect because you can talk to people and then you can listen to great music, which I like to do.

Are there any songs you’re excited to perform?
I think they let us say one. I’m really excited to perform “Hey Jude” by The Beatles just because it’s such a great song.

Adam Lambert

How is the album coming along?
I am so excited! I think it’s going to come out in November. We haven’t found a title yet. And I’m working with RedOne — he’s an incredible producer who did Lady Gaga’s hit material. I’m working with Linda Perry, with Greg Wells, with Ryan Tedder, Sam Sparrow — amazing writers and producers. And I’m getting to co-write. I wrote a song with Kara Dioguardi from the show. It’s awesome.

What will the vibe of your album be?
It’s really about finding the sound that I want to communicate my ideas to people. On Idol, you’re doing cover music that’s tried and true material. I went the route of doing a lot of classic rock because I knew that that was the more vocal and it was songs that everybody connected with. In creating new material, I want to do something modern that will stand the test of time, and something that’s new. I’m being careful not to stay stuck in that sound, because it could end up being dated. So, I’m going to try to take the best musically from that era and make it mix with modern pop electronic production. It should be really different.

What’s been the reaction since you came out on the cover of Rolling Stone?
The response that I’ve felt is mostly positive support, so I think that’s great. It’s a testament to us really trying to become a bit more progressive and focus on what really matters which is that I’m an entertainer and a singer and that’s what it really needs to be about. My private life really has nothing to do with my ability to entertain.

How will you pass the time on a crowded tour bus?
Definitely iPod. You know, escape in music is the best way to kind of be in your own little world. Books as well, I’ll probably grab some books.

Any specific artists you’ll have on rotation?
I’m such a music junky. I have everything all the time. You name it, I’ve downloaded it.

What would you put on your concert rider?
We’re not quite at the level right now where we get our own rider for this tour. I don’t know. I would love to have a masseuse on sight — that would be cool.

Any cities you’re especially excited for?
Connecting with people that are in different cities across the country is going to be really cool. I’m excited for the L.A. show. Obviously, I’ve lived here for eight years so this is my home base now. And then my hometown, San Diego, where I grew up.

What else are you excited for?
I’m looking forward to banking that paycheck. I’m not going to lie, I mean, that’s not my first priority, but, you know, I think for all of us, having gone through experience, to be able to walk away with some financial security in these tough times is really nice.

Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz Welcomes a Baby Girl

Ugly Betty star Ana Ortiz and her husband, musician Noah Lebenzon, have welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Saturday.

"She is elated and completely glowing," said Ortiz's rep. "She is surrounded by her friends and family and so happy to be a mom. She is just really enjoying the moment. The baby is absolutely beautiful."

The baby girl – Paloma Louise Lebenzon – was born at 4:25 p.m. in New York City and weighed 7 lbs., 10 oz.

The proud parents took their time deciding on a name and worked from a short list of five choices, wanting to get to know the baby before picking a name that fit. "We haven't decided on a name yet," Ortiz had told People from the hospital. "But we are getting close."

In the days leading up to the birth, Ortiz, 38, said she was "anxiously awaiting" but well prepared for the big day. "My husband's phone number is on speed dial, my deep yoga breaths have been practiced and my bags are all packed except for the toothbrushes, so I'm all set. I'm ready to have the baby!"

When asked what kind of mom she would like to be, Ortiz said she'll strive to be tolerant. "I hope to be a patient mother because I'm not a patient person," she said. "So I'm hoping to be a patient one, and it will be the most rewarding test ever."

With her Ugly Betty cast members already calling and sending gifts to the hospital, Ortiz's TV son, Mark Indelicato, could not be more thrilled and says she has just the right personality traits in being an incredible mom.

"She will be an amazing mom," Indelicato tells People. "Ana has the biggest heart and she's so loving. She's also laidback and chill but at the same time she's forceful and knows how to discipline someone if she has to be. It's the perfect combination in being a great mom. She's done it with me a bunch of times when I got out of line. She's definitely my second mom."

Informercial Pitchman Billy Mays Dies at 50

Billy Mays, the bearded infomercial pitchman with the trademark shout, has died in his sleep at home.

"Everyone [who knew] him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth," the Discovery Channel (which aired his series, Pitchmen with Anthony Sullivan) said in a statement. "Billy was a pioneer in his field … He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this time of incredible loss."

Authorities say the 50-year-old was pronounced dead Sunday morning after being found by his wife, Deborah Mays.

On Saturday, Mays was onboard a U.S. Airways flight that made a hard landing in Tampa, but Brenda Geoghagan, spokesperson for Tampa International Airport, tells PEOPLE none of the passengers sustained injuries. The flight "made an emergency landing Saturday because the two front tires blew out under the nose wheel," she says. "We had a rocky landing because of it, and passengers were taken off of the plane in a bus and driven to a secure area where they were interviewed then released to get their bags. There were no injuries then."

Lt. Brian Dugan, of the Tampa Police Dept., tells PEOPLE: "We suspect no foul play in the death of Billy Mays. We responded to a call from his wife at 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning along with Tampa Fire and Rescue. She said he was unresponsive. We are waiting for an autopsy report tomorrow or later this week."

He added, "He was under a doctor’s care for a recent hip surgery and was due to have his second surgery [Monday]. We have no reason to suspect his death had anything to do with the airplane's rough landing Saturday, but we can't comment until we have the autopsy report."

Mays, a married father of two, cut his teeth selling goods on the Atlantic City boardwalk in the 1980s, allowing him to develop a booming voice for such products as Oxi Clean and Kaboom. For some pitches, "My voice has gone for 16 hours straight," he told People in March.

Always proud of his work, Mays added that he never endorsed a product he didn't believe in, hawking everything from household products to insurance. "I sell products that help people out; I'm a problem solver," he said. "I'm not an actor, I'm a pitchman [and] it's been an exciting ride."

Joe Jackson Appears at BET Awards Tribute to Michael Jackson

There was an unexpected but most welcome figure on the red carpet of Los Angeles's Shrine Auditorium for Sunday night's BET Awards: Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson.

Sporting a black hat, sunglasses and a dark suit – and set to make an appearance onstage during the three-hour ceremony – the patriarch of the Jackson family told CNN about Michael: "I wish the world had recognized him when he was living. Right now, he's bigger than ever. But I wish he was here to see all this, to hear all this."

The memory of Michael dominated the gala. Host Jamie Foxx made his entrance in a red, leather "Billie Jean" jacket. "No need to be sad. We want to celebrate this black man," said Foxx. "We gonna go through all of Michael Jackson."

The host closed his opening monologue with his rendition of Jackson's signature Moonwalk. "I hope I can make it," said Foxx, adding that it was his first attempt at the fancy footwork since 1983.

Those that also tipped their hats to Michael included Beyoncé, Ne-Yo, Maxwell and Bobby Brown, set to reunite with New Edition to perform a Jackson 5 medley.

Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean received Humanitarian Awards. Early in the ceremony, LeBron James, picking up his best male athlete trophy, told the crowd, "My heart and prayers go out to the whole Jackson family. What they did for us ... was amazing."

Gale Storm ‘My Little Margie’ Star Dies

Actress Gale Storm died in Danville, California on June 27, 2009 at the age of 87. She was best known for her 1950’s television role in My Little Margie.

Josephine Owaissa Cottle was born in Bloomington, Texas on April 5, 1922. She won The Gateway to Hollywood Contest held at the CBS Radio Studio when she was 17-years old. The prize was a one-year contract with a movie studio. Her name was immediately changed to Gale Storm.

She made several films before her career skyrocketed from 1952-1955 as she starred in My Little Margie. The television series was to be a summer replacement for I Love Lucy, but ended up running for 126 episodes. She went on to star in The Gale Storm Show from 1956-1960, with 143 episodes. Both shows enjoyed many years in reruns.

In 1981, Storm published her autobiography I Ain’t Down Yet, where she spoke of her battle with alcoholism. She has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions in radio, music, television and motion pictures.

Gale Storm lived alone in Monarch Beach, California, near her two sons and their families, until failing health necessitated her move to a nursing home in Danville, California where she died on Saturday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Star Sighting: Beach Blanket Zachary

Heroes and Star Trek star Zachary Quinto and a mystery male "friend" hit the beach together on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Malibu, California. I don't know about yours, but these pictures have got my gaydar "pinging."

Remembering Farrah Fawcett: Guest Star with Lee Majors on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour

This is oh-so cheesy but great memories of 1970s fun.

The 1970s TV golden couple Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett-Majors (as she was then billed) appeared on "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour," the once-a-month 1976-77 ABC variety show.

Lee, who looks as hot as I remember, was ABC’s "Six Million Dollar Man" at the time while Farrah had just started ABC’s "Charlie’s Angels."

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall

That’s right, it was on this day in 1969 the patrons of a gay establishment in NYC had decided they had endured enough.

The Stonewall riots were a series of unplanned, yet often violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, which still stands today in the Greenwich Village area of New York City.

The riots are commonly referred to as the first time in American history that gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored police system that persecuted homosexuals, and were they have come to be the events are known as the beginning of the modern day gay rights movement not only here in the United States but across the globe.

Prior to laws that have been passed since the riots, it was illegal in many states for 3 or more gay men or lesbian women to congregate in any one place, and during the 50’s and 60’s the LGBT community faced an extremely anti-gay legal system which left our community virtually less than second class with literally no rights or legal recourse to challenge discrimination. This, along with the horrible treatment of lesbians gays by police and others set the riots in motion.

At the time of the riots, the Stonewall Inn, was owned by the Mafia and it served a variety of patrons, but it was best known as a popular place for the more “flambouyant” people in the gay community including trans, more effeminate men, male prostitutes and homeless youth.

Raids on gay bars by police were routine in the 60’s, on this particular day, officers lost control of the situation and the crowd broke into a riot. The tension between NYC police and gay NY residents continued to escalate and spurred on even more protests that would continue on for the next several nights.

In only a couple weeks, gay residents of Greenwhich Village organized themselves into activist groups who concentrated their efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.

You can read more about the Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights Movement at OUTHistory.org!

Farrah Fawcett Funeral Details

The family of Farrah Fawcett has released funeral details for the actress and 70’s icon who died on Thursday after a valiant three year battle with anal cancer. Her journey was skillfully documented by her friend of thirty-years Alana Stewart in the movie "Farrah’s Story."

A private funeral service will be held on Tuesday afternoon, June 30th, at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

Her long-time partner Actor Ryan O’Neal and their son Redmond O’Neal will be on hand at the invitation only service. The younger O’Neal received a special court sanctioned ‘furlough’ to attend his mother’s funeral mass.

Star Sighting: Madonna & Child

Madonna gives her newly adopted daughter Mercy James, 4, a piggyback ride after attending services at London's Kabbalah center. The girl, who arrived from Malawi last week, wears a bright African-print sun dress and a red Kabbalah string around her left wrist.

Photog Recalls Shooting Farrah's Iconic Poster

The frosted hair, the beaming smile and, yes, the skintight red swimsuit – all were essential ingredients to the bestselling 1976 poster of Farrah Fawcett that found its way into so many households across America.

Behind the lens, it was photographer Bruce McBroom. In front of it, the then-29-year-old Fawcett – who would go on to stardom and then, tragically, a lengthy battle with cancer that she sadly lost on Thursday this week.

"She had no idea of how beautiful and how attractive she was," McBroom recalled for Entertainment Weekly. "She was just like apple-pie, girl-next-door kind of girl, and in all the years I knew her she never changed."

Reflecting on getting the right shot during their session together (it took place at the golden girl's home in Los Angeles), McBroom said, "We'd been there all day … She comes to the door and she'’s standing in the doorway in that red suit. And she said, 'What do you think of this?'"

Describing the now-iconic suit as spray paint on her body, the photographer recalled, "When she did the series of sitting-up poses, I said, 'We've got it.' And I heaved a big sigh of relief."

He also got a lot of others breathing heavily. "I think she will be remembered as this wonderful, wholesome all-American girl that's on the poster," McBroom said, "and also now for her courageous battle against cancer, and the fact that she shared it with a lot of people who may be going through similar situations. I applaud her for that."

Time Magazine to Publish Special Jackson Issue

Time will publish a special commemorative issue on Michael Jackson to hit newsstands on Monday, the newsweekly has announced.

The issue, to sell for $5.99 (and to be available in addition to the magazine's regular edition), will contain interviews with John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Sheryl Crow, Tina Turner, Nancy Reagan, Lenny Kravitz and others speaking about the late pop legend.

The Jackson issue is the first such commemorative special from Time since its 9/11 edition in 2001. Stories from the Jackson issue will appear on Time.com starting Sunday.

Jackson Family Issues Statement to Fans

The Jackson family issued a statement Saturday, conveyed by family patriarch Joseph Jackson. In full, it reads:

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.

We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you – who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever."

In addition, Joseph Jackson wishes to personally convey: "My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."

- Joseph Jackson & Family

Deepak Chopra Says Michael Jackson Had Lupus

Spiritual teacher and medical doctor Deepak Chopra tells People that his longtime friend Michael Jackson suffered from lupus, an autoimmune disease, and a skin disorder for many years.

"He had been diagnosed with lupus and he had vitiligo," Chopra says. "There's some recent research that suggests that if children have experienced either physical or verbal, mental, emotional or sexual abuse, then 20, 30 years later they can develop these autoimmune diseases including lupus."

He adds, "Michael, he was never sexually abused but according to him, he was traumatized verbally and physically in his childhood, and it was a big issue with him."

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, and Chopra said it can cause skin discoloration known as vitiligo. "He had a lot of blotches on his skin, huge white patches all over his body. So he would cover up his body and that of course gave food for fodder to the press," Chopra says.

And Jackson was no stranger to pain medication. At various points in his life, he used Oxycontin, Vicodin and Demerol, Chopra said.

Chopra's son, Gotham, who was also close to Jackson, also says that the singer, 50, had lupus, but it was his skin disorder that bothered him.

"It was very disturbing to him that people thought he always wanted to be white and he was bleaching his skin. [But] he identified as being a black person and so it was troubling to him that everyone thought that he was a hater of his own race," Gotham explains. "And the lupus, why he didn't just come out more clearly and say that was the problem, I'm not sure. But I know it was something that bothered him a lot."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bruno Gives Conan O'Brien a Lap Dance

You gotta hand it to Sacha Baron Cohen, he certainly does live and breathe his characters! Here are some clips of Cohen visiting The Tonight Show where he gave host Conan O’Brien a lap dance on national television!

Remembering Farrah Fawcett: The Early Years!

We all know the super-famous Farrah Fawcett from Charlie’s Angels, The Burning Bed and Extremities. But she had already been around Hollywood for several years before becoming a superstar in 1976 doing tons of commercials with the likes of Joe Namath and appearing in guest spots on various popular series of the era.

She sure lit up the screen!

Above is a scene from one of her first movies, 1970’s "Myra Breckinridge." Her co-stars? Raquel Welch and Mae West. It seems as if some lesbian action was possibly taking place in this scene.

Farrah guest-starred on "The Partridge Family" and looked stunningly gorgeous in this scene with Danny Partridge and Rueben Kincaid! She was just 23 years old.

She was also a lovely bachelorette on The Dating Game in 1969. Can you imagine winning a date with a 22-year-old Farrah? What a lucky guy!

Farrah also appeared in several 1970s commercials. She did a Head & Shoulders shampoo commercial with Penny Marshall and one of her most famous commercials was shaving Joe Namath’s face with Noxema during a spot that aired during the 1973 Super Bowl.

Farrah was always a stunning woman and we will forever remember her for her beauty, inside and out!

Kate Jackson Remembers Farrah Fawcett

They only starred together on Charlie’s Angels for one season but Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett remained connected for the rest of Farrah’s life through the show;s enormous pop culture legacy and their personal affection for each other.

Kate, who is also known for her roles on the hit TV series The Rookies and Scarecrow and Mrs. King, talked to Entertainment Weekly on Friday about Farrah in a deeply personal interview.

Here are some excerpts:

“I didn’t plan to do any interviews today. I was just going to go to the place that Farrah and I were together the last time we were together during this three years and just sit. But I love her so much. There’s no way that I couldn’t be part of a tribute to her, and you know, just give people my impressions of who Farrah is.

“When the first year of Charlie’s Angels ended, our friendship didn’t. It just grew stronger and closer through the years. I don’t know what the connection that the three of us have is, but it is there, and it is something extremely special. I think that is the reason the show worked. I think it’s even better than the movies because we truly cared about each other and still do. It was a pleasure and a privilege.

“It was not easy at times to be able to be with her these last three years and to be able to continue laughing. There was always, if few words were spoken, a zinger, though. Then there’d be a little light laugh, even through everything. She was just extraordinary and bright and as sharp as they come and beautiful and her courage, I just… I don’t even know what to say about that. She was never a follower; she was always a leader. Her choices were her choices.”

Alan Cumming is Broadway’s Green Goblin

Alan Cumming has just been cast as lead villain Green Goblin (aka Norman Osborn) in the Broadway production of Spider-Man, opening March 2010.

The 44-year-old British actor joins Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson. The role of Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) has not been officially announced yet, although musician Reeve Carney is rumored to have gotten the part.

U2’s Bono and The Edge will be bringing the music and lyrics to the near $40-million production called Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. Director Julie Taymor, who staged The Lion King, has said that Spider-Man won’t be singing and dancing in tights and the show isn’t a musical, but a “circus rock-’n'-roll drama.”

Alan’s film credits include X2: X-Men United (Nightcrawler), the Spy Kids trilogy (scientist Fegan Floop), 1999’s Titus (directed by Taymor) and the soon-to-be-released The Tempest (also directed by Taymor)

Taymor is thrilled to be working with Alan again. She says, “I obviously love him as this is my third collaboration with Alan - and finally we get to do it on stage. He has such range and such charisma as a performer that I feel confident his Green Goblin will bring many surprises that will move and entertain us.”

Farrah Fawcett Said Goodbye to Son Over the Phone

Farrah Fawcett said goodbye to her jailed son Redmond during two emotional phone calls shortly before her death.

The 24 year old was missing from his mother's bedside when she lost her battle with anal cancer at Santa Monica, California's St. John's Hospital on Thursday, as he's serving a jail sentence on drugs charges.

But the late actress' doctor and friend Lawrence Piro reveals Redmond spoke to his mother over the phone on Thursday.

Piro - who was one of only four people with Fawcett when she died - says, "He wasn't able to be present in person, but he did speak to his mother by phone twice yesterday and he was able to say all the things he wanted to say. She heard him and was able to be responsive. It was a very nice moment for both of them."

Prison bosses revealed on Friday that Redmond - Fawcett's son with partner Ryan O'Neal - would be allowed out of jail to attend his mother's funeral.

Madonna's ‘"Celebration" CD Due in September

A reliable source has informed us that Madonna is getting ready to release her third greatest hits CD, "Celebration", in September – possibly September 22nd. It will be her final release with Warner Brothers and it will contain three new songs.

The timing of the CD's release may be bad. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are going to be releasing CDs around the same time. Whitney Houston’s "Undefeated" is due on September 1st, one week after Mariah Carey’s "Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel."

Then again, having three divas release CDs at the same time may be good for the music industry and the economy. But if Madonna and Whitney Houston go the Mariah route and release new material that is as uncreative and boring as Mariah’s new single "Obsessed," the music industry may suffer even more.