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Saturday
Jan082011

Elvis Presley's Birthday Celebrated at Graceland

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MEMPHIS) -- Fans are marking what would be the 76th birthday of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley with a celebration at his Graceland estate -- and one of Elvis' biggest fans is taking part.

Rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena is in Memphis for Saturday's celebration and will be taken on a private tour of Presley's birthplace and his boyhood home in east Tupelo, Mississippi.

During the 69 days that he and 31 other miners were trapped underground in Chile, Pena lifted the crew's spirits by belting out Elvis classics. While touring Graceland on Friday, Pena shot video on his cell phone and occasionally broke out into song, singing Elvis favorites like "Hound Dog." Although he knows little English, he treated the press to a rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes."

Pena's five-day visit to Memphis includes stops at a practice session of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and a stay at the Peabody Hotel, which lies in the heart of "blues city."

In addition to leading his fellow trapped miners in sing-alongs to Elvis' hits, Pena kept fit and active by jogging to Presley's music. He made headlines last November when he participated in the New York marathon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

'Jersey Shore' Delivers MTV Mega Ratings

Photo Courtesy - MTV/Josh Kessler(NEW YORK) -- Has MTV’s Jersey Shore jumped the shark? Not yet, according to the record-breaking number of people who tuned in Thursday to the premiere of the show’s third season.

Snooki, the Situation, and the rest of the Jersey Shore crew pulled in a total 8.45 million viewers, according the network, making the show MTV’s most-watched series telecast of all time.

The group is back in New Jersey this season, after spending the second season in Miami.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Petra Nemcova Engaged to British Actor

Photo Courtesy - Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Model Petra Nemcova is set to be married again, according to various reports, this time to British actor Jamie Belman.

The two were introduced by mutual friends and have been dating for eight months. A wedding date has yet to be confirmed.

Nemcova, 31, was previously engaged to photographer Simon Atlee, who was killed in the December 2004 tsunami that resulted from a powerful earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean.

The Czech model in 2005 established the Happy Hearts Foundation to aid children affected by the tsunami disaster.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Oscar Race Heats Up: Who Will Go for the Gold?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- As Oscar nominations inch closer -- they're set to be announced Jan. 25 -- newly-announced contenders for other film industry honors offer clues as to who the Academy might deem worthy.

This week, the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild -- two of the three best known Hollywood guilds -- announced the nominees for their respective annual awards. The Producers Guild's picks for best picture: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, The Town, True Grit and Toy Story 3.

The Writers Guild, which recognizes screenplay excellence, chose similar nominees: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right and Please Give for best original screenplay. 127 Hours, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Social Network, The Town and True Grit are up for best adapted screenplay.

Unlike the Golden Globes -- which were widely criticized for nominating films that were poorly received by critics, such as The Tourist and Burlesque, and snubbing those that won rave reviews, like True Grit -- the picks of the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild, which announces nominees for its awards next week, could offer a clearer picture of the upcoming Academy Awards nominees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Eminem to Star in Crime Thriller

Photo Courtesy - Michael Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Eminem's acting career is ramping up.  Both The Hollywood Reporter and New York magazine are reporting the rapper will star in a new crime thriller for 20th Century Fox called Random Acts of Violence.

According to the publications, the movie will cast Eminem as an ex-con just out of prison who's trying to keep his nose clean.  But he gets caught between his old crew, who want him to join them in additional criminal pursuits, and the FBI, who wants to recruit him to bring down the bad guys.

Though he's made a few cameos, Random Acts of Violence would mark Eminem's first big-screen starring role since 2002's 8 Mile.

It will be directed by David Von Ancken, who works on the Showtime series Californication.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Paramedic Testifies on Day Three of Dr. Conrad Murray's Hearing

Photo Courtesy - David McNew-Pool/ Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dr. Conrad Murray's hearing, which will determine whether he will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, continued Thursday in Los Angeles with testimony from a paramedic who claimed the cardiologist snatched three bottles of painkillers and placed them in a bag on the day of the singer's death in June of 2009.

KABC-TV reports the paramedic, Martin Blount, also said Murray told the crew who responded to the scene that Jackson had been passed out about a minute before 911 was called.  Blount said he thinks Jackson may have been dead for at least 20 minutes by the time he'd arrived to the King of Pop's home, in part because the singer was cool to the touch.

Earlier in the week, another paramedic testified that he had doubts when Murray told him upon the paramedic's arrival that Jackson's condition had "just happened."

Dr. Richelle Cooper, who tended to Jackson in the emergency room on the day of his death, testified Thursday that Murray told her he'd given Jackson the sedative lorazepam.  She said he did not tell her he'd given Jackson any other drugs.  Murray is accused of giving Michael a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as well as other sedatives.

According to the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors on Thursday also presented records that showed Murray had 11 phone conversations and sent or received five text messages in an approximately five-hour span before he discovered Jackson had stopped breathing.  He placed calls to his clinics elsewhere in the country as well as to other parties.  He also called Jackson's personal assistant after Murray discovered what had happened to Jackson, and he contacted his girlfriend while in the ambulance.

Prosecutors are arguing that Murray wasn't sufficiently attentive to Michael in the hours before he died.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

'Season of the Witch,' 'Country Strong' Hit Theaters

Photo Courtesy - Relativity Media(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* Season of the Witch -- Nicolas Cage is a 14th-century European knight who, with his friend, are ordered by church officials to accompany to trial a young girl accused of unleashing the Black Plague.  Hellboy actor Ron Perlman also stars in this PG-13 rated film.

Expanding into wide release:

* Country Strong -- Gwyneth Paltrow plays a down-and-out country music star seeking to revive her career with a comeback tour also featuring two young up-and-comers, including a male singer with whom she's connected.  Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester and and Tim McGraw also star.  The movie is rated PG-13.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Aretha Franklin Says Her Health Problem 'Has Been Resolved'

Photo Courtesy - Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Aretha Franklin still isn't confirming, or denying, those reports that she's battling pancreatic cancer, but in an exclusive interview with Jet magazine, she reveals that, when it comes to the health issue that required her to have surgery late last year, "The problem has been resolved."

The Queen of Soul states, "I'm not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business...[but] I know my fans are concerned.  Let them know I am feeling great and coming along."

However, Franklin does open up about the circumstances under which she found out that she was ill.  She tells Jet that she felt "a very hard pain in my side" during a concert in Canada last year, but thought it was a result of a colonoscopy she'd had a couple of days beforehand.  Her doctor told her that it couldn't have been that, and she'd better come in for a CAT scan.

Franklin says, "Thank God he said that, because that unfolded everything, what the problem was and everything."

Regarding the pancreatic cancer rumor, Franklin tells Jet, "I am not going to even deal with that.  I don't have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Beyonce Out-Earns Britney Spears, Lady Gaga

Photo Courtesy - Music World/ Columbia(NEW YORK) -- The term "music mogul" usually conjures up someone like Jay-Z, but it turns out his wife, Beyonce, has got everyone beat.

Beyonce tops Forbes magazine's new list of Hollywood's top-earning "entertainment moguls in the making" -- a roundup of celebrities at or under the age of 35 who make money from multiple revenue streams.  Beyonce took in a $87 million between June of 2009 and June of 2010, thanks to her income from touring and recording, plus her TV specials, movies, fashion line, fragrance and her endorsement deals with the likes of L'Oreal and Nintendo.

Number two on the list was Britney Spears, who made $64 million in a similar period thanks to a concert tour, her line of best-selling perfumes and her endorsement deal and clothing line for Candie's.  Lady Gaga came in third, raking in $62 million thanks to her sold-out Monster Ball tour, her record sales, her deals with Polaroid, Virgin Mobile and Monster Cable, and all those product placements in her videos.

Fourth on the list was Miley Cyrus, who brought in $48 million through her touring, movie roles and merchandise.  Taylor Swift was number five, thanks to her endorsement deals with Cover Girl and Sony, as well as her record-breaking album sales.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Taylor Swift Bestselling Artist of 2010; Garth Brooks Best Since 1991

Photo Courtesy - Big Machine Records(NEW YORK) -- The year-end numbers are out from Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard, and Taylor Swift is the best-selling artist of 2010.

Swift sold 4.47 million albums in the past year, besting second-place Eminem by more than 100,000 units.  Her album Speak Now was also the best-selling Internet album for 2010.

Nielsen Soundscan began tracking album sales digitally in 1991 and has released stats on album sales since then.  Garth Brooks still comes out as the biggest selling artist of the Soundscan era, with more than 68.5 million albums sold.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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