Actor, playwright, director and acting teacher originated the role of Donald in the original Off-Broadway production of Mart Crowley's landmark gay-themed play, "The Boys in the Band" (1968). Combs we...
University officials in Washington, D.C. are standing by their decision to invite hip-hop mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs to address this year's (14) class of graduates following a backlash from students. Howard University President Wayne Frederick announced on Tuesday (15Apr14) that the rapper and entrepreneur will return to his alma mater in May (14) to pick up an honorary degree and deliver the 2014 commencement speech, but the news irked members of the student body who took issue with the fact that Combs had been a college drop out.
However, chiefs at the school are refusing to bow to pressure to replace the star.
A representative tells TMZ.com, "Howard University continues the tradition of identifying leaders whose work has clearly contributed to the advancement of their fields and the world... We are honoured to have Mr. Combs serve as our speaker."
Combs attended the university in the late 1980s but left to pursue a career in the music industry.
He follows in the footsteps of previous Howard University commencement speakers, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and poet Maya Angelou.
Officials at a university in America are facing a backlash from students after they announced Sean 'Diddy' Combs would deliver the commencement speech for this year's (14) graduating class. Howard University President Wayne Frederick confirmed on Tuesday (15Apr14) that the hip-hop mogul is due to return to the Washington, D.C. college where he studied in the late 1980s to pick up an honorary degree.
He will also give a rousing speech to students heading into the world of work, but the news has irked some members of the university community who are upset about the choice of speaker because Combs failed to graduate.
Many students have taken to Twitter.com to voice their opposition to the decision to allow a college dropout to give the prestigious address.
Combs follows in the footsteps of previous commencement speakers including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and poet Maya Angelou.
The ceremony will take place next month (May14).
Hip-hop mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs is set to receive an honorary degree from his alma mater, Howard University, next month (May14). The 44 year old will return to the Washington, D.C. school to deliver the commencement speech for this year's (14) graduating students, and he will be among those celebrating as he receives a doctorate in humanities.
A statement from Howard President Wayne Frederick reads, "We are honored to have Mr. Combs serve as our speaker. He sat in classrooms where our students sit, walked 'The Yard,' and like many students, his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at Howard."
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, transplant surgeon Clive Callender, jazz musician Benny Golson and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi will also be feted alongside Combs.
The rapper/producer studied at the historically black university in the late 1980s, before dropping out to pursue a career in the music industry.
Marginalized communities throughout history have had ways of communicating that are proof of clanship. But did you know the street slang used by queens the world over is at least two centuries old, and that you already know a few words of it?
There is disagreement about the exact origins of the gay ghetto slang known as Polari, but it rose in popularity during the 19th century in London's East End, and shares words with other street vernaculars like Cockney rhyming slang and Yiddsh. The language was common in professions that employed traveling male tradesmen, like the merchant marines and the theater. Gay men adopted it as a way to have sexual conversations safely and in secret.
If you feel ignorant, don't. You're already speaking Polari when you use words like butch, camp, and drag — and if you're paying attention, chicken, cottaging and zhoosh. Theater slang that is part of the lexicon, such as referring to dancers as "hoofers," also comes from Polari.
But if you hear someone say, "Vada the eek on that naff omi-palone," ask your local queen for a translation. And pray they aren't talking about you.
MD Governor's Wife Wouldn't Really Shoot Britney
According to a statement made by a spokesperson for Kendal Ehrlich, wife of Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, the first lady's remark that she would shoot pop star Britney Spears if she had the chance was an "inadvertent figure of speech," The Associated Press reports. Ehrlich made the statement Friday while speaking at a domestic violence conference at Hood College in Frederick, MD. Referring to her advocacy for more women to embrace education, Ehrlich remarked, "It is incredibly important to get that message to young women. You know, really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would." Meghann Siwinski, a spokeswoman for the first lady, attributed the comment to Ehrlich's concerns, as a mother, about the influence of pop culture over young children.
In Other Britney News…
A Santa Monica judge issued an injunction Tuesday ordering Japanese businessman Masahiko Shizawa not to come within 300 yards of Spears for the next three years, following accusations that Shizawa had been "tracking" the pop icon, sending her photos of himself, and attempting to contact Spears at both her and her parents' homes. While Superior Court Judge Alan Haber ruled that Shizawa was "abnormally obsessed and fixated with Spears," Shizawa's lawyer insisted that his client is merely "in love."
Beyonce To Delve Into Fashion
Pop diva Beyonce Knowles and her mother Tina are set to release two lines of clothing by next year Women's Wear Daily reported Monday. Beyonce joins artists Jennifer Lopez, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Jay-Z as the latest recording artist to try to cross over into the fashion industry. According to the Knowles design duo, the first collection of clothing will consist of more "funky and hip-hop" items, including T-shirts and jeans, while the second line will feature more dressy styles. "People my age love fashion and want to dress in designer clothes, but can't afford it. I want to do something that is affordable, but sophisticated and sexy and feminine--something I would wear," the 22-year-old pop singer stated.
Will "Siegfried & Roy" Go On?
Despite the fact that his co-star, Roy Horn, 59, was critically bitten and dragged off stage by a 600-pound tiger during their show in Friday, Siegfried Fischbacher, 64, insists that the team's performing career is not finished. "What happened does not mean it's ended…Our show will go on. We've always been fighters. The history of 'Siegfried & Roy' is nowhere near its conclusion," the illusionist said to Reuters. However, doctors at this point maintain that it is far too early to know to what extent Horn will recover. Neurosurgeon Derek Duke described Roy's condition as "critical" and added that his survival "is all but miraculous," considering the nature of his injuries. Prior to this incident, the "Siegfried & Roy" show had been performed some 5,700 times without any serious mishaps.
2 Fast 2 Furious Video Sales Explode Off the Line
After only one week of availability on DVD and VHS, the fast-paced action movie 2 Fast 2 Furious has pulled in $65 million in video sales and rentals. Since Sept. 30, when the film was released by Universal Studios Home Video, some 3.5 million copies of the DVD, and 700,000 copies of the VHS version of the sequel to The Fast and the Furious have been sold or rented. This surpasses the mark left by the original title, which sold 2.9 million copies on DVD. Together, the two films constitute Universal's most profitable DVD franchise to date.
CBS Takes Top Ratings Second Week in a Row
With CSI: Crime Scene Investigation leading the way as the nation's top show, CBS easily came out on top of the ratings race for the second week of the fall television season. Along with CBS, NBC has dominated series television, though some of that network's key programs, such as Friends and Frasier, have shown drops in their popularity. For the second week of the fall season, CBS attracted an average of 13.1 million viewers, followed by NBC (10.9 million), ABC (9.8 million), Fox (9.6 million), the WB (4.6 million), and UPN (3.4 million). The top 10 shows for the week were CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, Friends, NBC, ER, NBC, Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, Survivor: Pearl Islands, CBS, NFL Monday Night Football, ABC, Law & Order, NBC, CSI: Miami, CBS, Scrubs, NBC, and Will & Grace, NBC.
Spielberg To Team Up with Sci-Fi Again
Following the success of the Sci-Fi Channel's 20-hour miniseries Taken, which was co-written and produced by director Steven Spielberg, the two parties have announced that they will collaborate once again, according to Reuters. Though no details are available as yet, the cable network has said that the upcoming miniseries trilogy, titled Nine Lives, will be "an epic story of love, death, and beyond." Spielberg has signed on to executive produce the new series, along with Les Bohem, who will also write.
NBC, Vivendi Announce Final Merger Agreement
According to AP, General Electric's NBC and Vivendi Universal have reached a merger agreement that will create a new media giant, called NBC Universal, worth an estimated $13 billion per year. The finalized version of he agreement had not changed much from preliminary plans that were outlined a month ago. The deal will enable Vivendi to begin reducing the debt left under former management, and allow NBC to be more competitive against other media giants such as AOL Time Warner and Walt Disney.
Roll Call: "Real Women" Director Joins Halle Berry Film; Wilson, Vaughn Invited to Wedding
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Patricia Cardoso, director of the HBO film Real Women Have Curves, has signed on to direct an upcoming Halle Berry comedy/drama titled Nappily Ever After. Based on the Trisha Thomas novel, the story follows a woman's rediscovery of life after shaving off her hair and showing her boyfriend the door…The Hollywood Reporter also reports that actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are involved in talks to appear together in the romantic comedy entitled The Wedding Crashers. In the film, two friends routinely sneak into weddings as a way to meet women, until one of them falls in love. In January, Wilson will appear in the Warner Bros. thriller The Big Bounce.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is being criticized by the Los Angeles based organization Project Islamic H.O.P.E. for making negative statements about black women throughout his career. According to Launch.com, the organization released a statement calling Combs the biggest hypocrite in hip-hop for making millions off the denigration of black women nationwide by using sexist and misogynistic lyrics.
Actress Rose Marie, who played Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Associated Press reports. Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner attended Wednesday's ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard.
Singer Rhonda Vincent won three awards, including entertainer of the year, at the Annual Bluegrass Awards in Louisville, Ky., The Associated Press reports. Vincent also won best female vocalist and shared the best recorded event honor for her work on the album Follow Me Back to the Fold: A Tribute to Women in Bluegrass.
Stevie Wonder's ex-girlfriend has filed a $30 million palimony lawsuit against the singer, claiming Wonder gave her a sexually transmitted disease. According to The Associated Press, Angela McAfee alleges that Wonders concealed the fact that he had genital herpes and passed it to her through sexual contact in October 2000.
A man claiming to be Michael Jackson was arrested Wednesday after police noticed him sitting in the home dugout of the New York Yankees, The Associated Press reports. Frederick Oliverier and four other people were refused entrance into the stadium after telling police they were filming a segment for the VH1 show Sledgehammer. The group however managed to fool Yankee personnel, who then allowed them to pass by a security checkpoint and escorted them into the stadium.
Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay has been charged with common assault and criminal damage in a squabble with a photographer in April, Reuters reports. The incident happened April 14 outside the Attica nightclub in London.
Oprah Winfrey gave her viewers a quick course in Islam on Friday, in an attempt to ease heated prejudices about the religion after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Reuters, her guests included Muslim working women and two of the faith's more prominent adherents: Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Maleeha Lodh.
Britain's press watchdog is backing Harry Potter-creator J.K. Rowling's formal protest against OK! magazine for publishing photograph's of her 8-year-old daughter, The Associated Press reports. The magazine published three photos of Rowling's daughter Jessica taken while they were vacationing at a resort on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
Square Company Ltd. has stopped funding Square Pictures, the state-of-the-art CGI movie studio that created the photo-realistic animated feature The Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. According to Reuters, the film's poor box office results in the United States and Japan was to blame. The studio will continue to develop CGI projects funded by other studios.
Michael Jackson's official website is sponsoring a contest that will allow a fan to meet the self-proclaimed "King of Pop." According to Launch.com contestants will be required to answer 10 trivia questions about various Jackson videos. Ten winners will win a trip to a Jackson event and one winner will get to meet with the singer himself.
Australian music duo Savage Garden have called it quits, Reuters reports. Darren Hayes reportedly plans on launching a solo career, while David Jones will return home to Brisbane to return to a more private life. The band's single "Truly, Madly, Deeply" topped America's Billboard Hot 100 hits chart in 1998.
Singer Alanis Morisette performed six songs at a concert for high school students in Plainfield, Vt., The Associated Press reports. The concert was a prize for a 15-year-old student who designed a music video for the singer. Morisette spent the day with Elyse Bellamy and had lunch with her family.
Reba McEntire's new series Reba premieres on the WB Network tonight, The Associated Press reports. McEntire says she has not given up music, but would like to integrate music and acting.
Actor, playwright, director and acting teacher originated the role of Donald in the original Off-Broadway production of Mart Crowley's landmark gay-themed play, "The Boys in the Band" (1968). Combs went on to recreate the role in London and in William Friedkin's 1970 feature film. He appeared on TV in the soap "The Young and the Restless" and in various made-for-TV movies and miniseries including "The Users" (1978), "Roots: The Next Generations" (1979), and three titles directed by John Erman: "Moviola: The Silent Lovers" (1980), "Another Woman's Child" (1983), and "David" (1988). Combs also wrote several plays including "The Children's Mass", which he directed at the Cast Theater in Hollywood.
Combs received an award from L.A. WEEKLY for his direction of Harvey Fierstein's "International Stud".