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Monday
Nov152010

Kal Penn Returns to White House Job After Leaving to Film 'Harold & Kumar' Sequel

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a brief hiatus to film the third movie in the popular Harold & Kumar series, actor Kal Penn (whose given name is Kalpen Modi) is returning to a job in the White House.

"The White House is pleased to have Kalpen Modi join the Office of Public Engagement as an Associate Director," White House spokesman Shin Inouye said in a statement on Monday. "While OPE works collectively on conducting outreach to the American public and various organizations, he will be the point person for those in the Arts, Youth, and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities." Monday was his first day of work.

Penn, who may be best known for his role as Kumar on the big screen, left a similar job in the Office of Public Engagement over the summer. He originally joined the Obama White House in July 2009 as a liaison to the Asian-American and arts communities.

The actor, who had a starring role in the film The Namesake and was also a regular on the television medical drama House, spent months campaigning for Obama in 2008, focusing his efforts on turning out the youth vote. His character was written off House in order for him to take the job in Washington in 2009.

Penn quit his White House job to fulfill a prior commitment to film a third Harold & Kumar movie -- A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas -- scheduled for release in 2011.

During his previous stint in the Obama administration, Penn took part in a variety of educational and cultural programs and wrote several posts on the White House's official blog. While he was filming this summer, Penn worked in his personal capacity to promote the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the passage of the DREAM Act. He also met with artists, arts businesses and youth entrepreneurs in the Detroit area where the Harold & Kumar movie was shot.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov152010

Jessica Simpson Gets Engaged to Football Player

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto(LOS ANGELES) -- Jessica Simpson is engaged to football player Eric Johnson. The couple has been dating for five months.

Simpson showed off her engagement ring as she promoted her new clothing line over the weekend.  Simpson's father, Joe, announced his excitement for his daughter on Twitter on Sunday night, writing, "So very happy for Jess and Eric.  May they have a lifetime of joy and happiness."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

New Michael Jackson Album 'Disrespectful,' Black Eyed Peas Singer Says

Photo Courtesy - Interscope Records(NEW YORK) -- Will.I.Am, of Black Eyed Peas fame, says the upcoming release of a new Michael Jackson album is "disrespectful" to the pop icon.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the singer -- who collaborated with Michael on the re-release of Thriller a few years ago -- says, "Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are...He just wasn't any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me it's disrespectful. There's no honoring."

The album, Michael, hits stores Dec. 14. The first single, "Hold My Hand," began streaming at MichaelJackson.com on Monday morning.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Singer Ne-Yo Welcomes Baby Girl

Photo Courtesy - Def Jam Records(ATLANTA) -- Singer Ne-Yo is a new dad. People magazine reports Ne-Yo and his girlfriend, Monyetta Shaw, welcomed their first child together, a girl named Madilyn Grace Smith, in an Atlanta hospital Friday night.

Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Chimere Smith, tells the magazine, "I've been in love before but this feels like nothing I've ever felt."

He celebrated Saturday on Twitter by writing, "Welcoming that lil' girl to the world last night defined for me what 'willing to kill and die for' truly means. My world, my life, all hers."

The baby was due in January.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

'Megamind' Retains Top Spot at the Box Office 

Photo Courtesy - DreamWorks Animation(NEW YORK) -- Megamind derailed Denzel Washington's attempt to claim the number one spot at the box office over the weekend.  The animated film was the top movie for the second weekend in a row, earning an estimated $30 million.  Washington's new runaway train thriller, Unstoppable, opened in second place, with $23.5 million.

The alien invasion flick Skyline premiered in the fourth spot, raising $11.7 million, while the romantic comedy Morning Glory, starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, debuted at number five, collecting $9.6 million over the weekend.  Morning Glory was released nationwide last Wednesday.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated ticket sales:

1. Megamind, $30 million.
2. Unstoppable, $23.5 million.
3. Due Date, $15.5 million.
4. Skyline, 11.7 million.
5. Morning Glory, $9.6 million.
6. For Colored Girls, $6.75 million.
7. Red, $5.1 million.
8. Paranormal Activity 2, $3 million.
9. Saw 3D, $2.75 million.
10. Jackass 3D, $2.3 million.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

First Official New Michael Jackson Single, 'Hold My Hand,' Released

Photo Courtesy - Epic Records(NEW YORK) -- “Hold My Hand,” the first official single from Michael Jackson's upcoming posthumous album, Michael, has been released globally.  The tune began streaming at MichaelJackson.com at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Monday.  The song will become available digitally later.

“Hold My Hand” is a duet with Akon that was recorded in 2007.  An unfinished version leaked in 2008, but this version is one that Akon recently completed.

Akon released a statement saying, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago.  We were devastated about it.  But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all-time idols.”

The new Michael Jackson album also features Lenny Kravitz on the song “(I Can't Make It) Another Day,” and 50 Cent on a tune called “Monster.”  Michael arrives in stores Dec. 14.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Former President Bill Clinton Shoots Cameo for 'The Hangover 2'

Photo Courtesy - Frank Polich/Getty Images(BANGKOK) -- Mel Gibson will not make an appearance in The Hangover 2, but a former president will.  According to People magazine, former President Bill Clinton will play himself in a brief cameo in the sequel.

According to the report, Clinton filmed his appearance Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand, while in the city to deliver a speech.

Gibson was originally slated to make a cameo as well, but he was replaced by Liam Neeson following backlash from cast and crew members.

The Hangover 2 will hit theaters next May.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Rascal Flatts Goes Back to Basics with New Album 'Nothing Like This'

Photo Courtesy - Big Machine Records(NEW YORK) -- Rascal Flatts is back with a new album out this Tuesday called Nothing Like This, featuring their latest hit "Why Wait."  If that tune brings to mind some of the Flatts' earlier hits, there's a good reason for that.

Band member Jay DeMarcus tells ABC News Radio, "It kind of harkens back to some of the older stuff that we first sang, like the 'Love You Out Loud' and the 'Everyday Loves' and things like that that were kind of more of our up tempo stuff."

The Flatts really focused on getting their signature harmonies back out in front on this project by stripping away a lot of the big production.  The band's Joe Don Rooney tells ABC News Radio that return to form was a suggestion from the fans.

"We've been talking to them through Twitter and Facebook and RascalFlatts.com, and it's like they've been talking about that, like 'We'd like to hear some of your old kind of sound again on this new album,'" Rooney says.

In addition to "Why Wait," Nothing Like This also features Rascal Flatts' collaboration with pop star Natasha Bedingfield on the tune "Easy."

Look for Rascal Flatts to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS Monday.  Their Invitation Only special also premieres Monday night on CMT. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Lady Gaga to Be in New 'Muppet' Movie? 

Photo Courtesy - Streamline Records(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga once wore a coat made out of Kermit the Frog dolls, and she took the real Kermit as her date to the MTV Video Music Awards.  So maybe it's not so surprising that there's talk she may appear in the upcoming Muppet movie, which is due out next Christmas.

The movie industry publication Production Weekly sent out a tweet late last week that said, "hearing [actors] Eric Stonestreet, John Krasinski and Ed Helms may be in in Lady Gaga's entourage for The Muppets."

If these actors are going to be in Gaga's entourage, then it stands to reason that Gaga herself might appear in the project.

According to published reports, actor Jason Segel, who's writing the movie and starring in it, has already said that in the film, Miss Piggy has become "a Lady Gaga-esque character living in Europe."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov142010

Zsa Zsa Gabor Home After Latest Health Scare

Photo Courtesy - WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Zsa Zsa Gabor is resting at home after having been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital Friday with what a doctor believed was a massive blood clot in her leg.

Gabor’s husband tells People.com that the 93-year-old actress is taking antibiotics and other medication to reduce the swelling. She is reportedly being observed by a pair of nurses.

The actress underwent hip replacement surgery in July and developed blood clots shortly thereafter. In August, Gabor was given her last rites before she was again rushed to a hospital when her husband found Gabor unresponsive. Doctors were able to stabilize her.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio