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Tuesday
Feb082011

Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson to Honor Aretha on Grammys?

Photo Courtesy - RCA Records(LOS ANGELES) -- Will Christina Aguilera's first performance, post-national anthem debacle, be at the Grammy Awards?

The music industry blog Wayne's World reports that Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson will open the awards this Sunday night with a special tribute to Aretha Franklin.  According to the blog, three additional artists from different genres will also take part in the number, and the Queen of Soul herself is planning to appear on stage, showing everyone that she's alive and well following her surgery in December.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Tonight reports Barbra Streisand will also perform at this year's Grammys.  The music legend is being honored Friday night for her philanthropy and her storied career at the annual MusiCares Person of The Year gala in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Oscar Nominees Attend Luncheon in Beverly Hills

Photo Courtesy - Andrew H. Walker/ Getty Images(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- More than 150 of this year's Oscar nominees came together for the annual Academy Awards luncheon in Beverly Hills on Monday.

Nineteen of the 20 stars nominated in the acting categories were there, with the exception of The Fighter actor Christian Bale, who was in China filming a movie.

Jesse Eisenberg, who's nominated for his performance in The Social Network, said he felt out of place at the event.  He said, "I have this general sense of feeling like I don't belong, although I've talked to a lot of other people...who I think of as very much belonging, and they have the same feeling."

Colin Firth, who's considered a lock to win the best actor Oscar for his role as King George VI in The King's Speech, said his nomination has changed the way some people treat him.  He said, "I do get the odd bow, which I put down to either confusion or facetiousness.  I'm not quite sure which."

Nicole Kidman is already thinking of what she'll wear on Oscar night, though her two-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose, ultimately will have a say in the matter.  Kidman, a best actress nominee for Rabbit Hole, said, "She chooses what she calls 'pretty dresses.'  So she has a very strong voice in terms of what I will be wearing on the night of the Oscars.  Fingers crossed, guys.  I could be wearing a tutu."

James Franco, who's not only a nominee for 127 Hours but will also co-host the Feb. 27 Oscar ceremony with Anne Hathaway, joked about the initial reaction to the announcement that he would be the emcee.  He said, "A lot of the reaction was 'Oh, an obvious ploy by the Academy to bring in younger viewers.'  And uh, yeah, duh.  Like, is that a bad thing?  I mean...how is that a criticism?"

During the luncheon, the producers of the Oscars telecast said they would feature nominees' mothers in their 90-minute pre-show TV program.  The mothers, who are being called "mom-inees," will discuss the stars on the show.  They'll also post updates on Twitter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Super Bowl Watched by Record 111 Million Viewers

Photo Courtesy - NFL(NEW YORK) -- The Super Bowl lived up to the hype in one respect -- it set a record for the largest audience ever for a U.S. TV program.

The Fox telecast of the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 45 was seen by an estimated 111 million viewers, according to Variety.

This is the second year in a row that the Super Bowl has set a record for viewership.  Last year's game, won by the New Orleans Saints over the Indianapolis Colts, drew 106.5 million viewers.

The 1983 series finale of M*A*S*H now ranks as the third most-watched TV program of all time, at 105.97 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Simon Cowell's 'X-Factor' To Set Record with $5 Million Prize

Photo Courtesy - Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Simon Cowell's new high-profile reality competition, The X-Factor, will award the winner a $5 million record deal -- that's the most guaranteed prize money ever handed out in TV history.

And, in a major departure from American Idol, The X-Factor will pit singers of all ages against each other: the minimum age is 12, but there is no limit to how old a contestant can be.   In addition, groups -- not just individual singers -- will be able to compete.

Cowell said, "I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group.  I've never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent, and we are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract.  I'm doing this show in America because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar."

Another difference in The X-Factor compared with American Idol is that each judge -- and there are four of them -- will personally mentor groups of contestants.  For example, one judge will work with the vocal groups, one will work with the younger girls, one will work with the younger guys, and one will work with the older singers.  The judges are very much responsible for what "their" contestants do on the show -- they'll even choose the songs, the clothing, the choreography and so on.  That way, if the contestant bombs out, the judge bears some responsibility, which never happened on Idol.

Auditions for The X-Factor kick off March 27 in Los Angeles, with future dates to be announced later.  The auditions will actually take place in front of thousands of people, and the judges will take their reactions to each potential contestant into account.

The show is expected to premiere this fall on Fox.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Attorney: Charlie Sheen Returning to TV Show in 'Two Weeks'

Photo Courtesy - Jeff Vespa/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Charlie Sheen will be returning to the set of his CBS comedy Two and a Half Men before the end of the month, his attorney, Yale Galanter revealed to E! News.

Galanter said, "We are thinking Charlie will be going back to work two weeks from today."

"Charlie is fine healthwise and doing really well," Galanter added.  "Things are looking good.  Everybody's intentions are to get him back in the swing of things as soon as possible."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Report: U2's Manager Confirms New Album Release for May

Photo Courtesy - Interscope Records(CANNES, France) -- It looks like U2 is releasing a brand new album in May of this year.

According to the usually-reliable fan website AtU2.com, the band's manager, Paul McGuinness, confirmed during a music industry conference in Cannes, France that the album, which is "largely completed," will be released in time for U2's North American tour, which kicks off in Denver, Colorado on May 21.  He also stated that the group is now working at their studio in France to put the "finishing touches" on the disc.

In addition, McGuinness said the album is being produced by Danger Mouse, as had been reported, but that it wouldn't be called Songs Of Ascent.  Bono had previously said the band was working on an album of that name, which would comprise leftover songs from the No Line On The Horizon recording sessions, but it's possible that that may end up being a different project altogether.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Rihanna Upset Song Censored, Retitled by BBC

Photo Courtesy - Island Def Jam/Def Jam Recordings(LONDON) -- Rihanna's new single "S&M" is racy -- but the BBC considers it so racy that not only has it censored the lyrics, it's actually changed the title.

According to London's Metro publication, BBC Radio 1's Official Chart Show has retitled the song "Come On," and edited out the words "sex," "whips" and "chains."

Rihanna is not happy about this development.  Upon learning of the censorship, she wrote on her Twitter account, "Are you bleepin' kidding me???"  And when a fan asked her if she was okay with it, she responded, "Absolutely NOT!"

A Radio 1 spokesperson told Gigwise.com that they plan to play the edited version of "S&M" during the daytime hours, when children are more likely to be listening, but will play the original version in "specialist shows with an appropriate introduction."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb072011

New Lady Gaga Single Coming Friday, Not Sunday

Photo Courtesy - Streamline/KonLive/Interscope(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga fans have been waiting for months to get their first listen to her new single "Born This Way," but now, the wait is over.

Gaga tweeted on Monday, "Can't wait any longer, single coming Friday."

Initially, Gaga was going to debut the song during her performance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb072011

Charlie Sheen Tells Porn Stars: 'We're Closed'

Photo Courtesy - Jeff Vespa | WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- While he rehabs, Charlie Sheen is reportedly looking to put some distance between himself and his party pals. TMZ reports Sheen texted many of the porn stars he's been hanging with lately to tell them the party's over. "Please lose the number," one text reads, "we are closed...please drive through...thank you." According to TMZ, another reads "Right now we are on lockdown."

This comes just weeks after Sheen reportedly cooked up a plan to rent a mansion to house a veritable "family" of porn stars. The deal was allegedly torpedoed by Sheen's sobriety team.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb072011

Report: Regis Philbin Will Bow Out in November

Photo Courtesy - Stephen Lovekin/ FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Regis Philbin will retire from Live! with Regis and Kelly in November, not August, as initially announced.

Philbin had mentioned last month that ABC wanted him to hang around until November sweeps to say goodbye -- and Crain's New York Business has confirmed that's going to be the case -- in an effort to boost ratings by prolonging and promoting Philbin's sign-off.

The iconic TV personality made a surprise announcement last month that he will leave the show after 28 years.  It was later reported that he made the decision in part because Live! producers insisted he take a pay cut to stay on.

Philbin turns 80 on Aug. 25.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio