TV mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award from U.S. leader Barack Obama. The accolade was established by former U.S. president John F. Kennedy 50 years ago to honour "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".
President Obama praised the media titan for promoting the message of "you can" and pulling herself out of poverty to rise to the top of the entertainment industry.
Winfrey was feted alongside country singer Loretta Lynn, jazz musician Arturo Sandoval and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (20Nov13).
Singer Loretta Lynn has postponed two of her shows in Iowa due to exhaustion. A statement on the 81 year old's website explains the singer fell ill after the Canadian leg of her current North American tour and is taking time off to rest.
A statement from Lynn's representative, reads, "Lynn started feeling poorly midway through her three week tour. Loretta is a pro and wants to give her fans the best show possible. She felt she physically was unable to do that."
In September (13), Lynn was forced to scrap two Oklahoma shows after breaking two ribs in a fall at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Veteran country star Loretta Lynn called off two shows over the weekend (06-08Sep13) after breaking her ribs in a fall at her home. The 78-year-old singer suffered a nasty accident at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee as she was attempting to take a guitar down from a closet prior to a show at her ranch on 31 August (13).
Lynn managed to perform, but was subsequently diagnosed with two broken ribs and ordered to rest up.
In a post on her Facebook.com page, she writes, "I'm like an accident waiting to happen these days. I was trying to get my guitar down out of my closet, and the dang thing fell on top of me, causing me to fall into my dresser. All this happened right before my big Labor Day concert at my ranch in Hurricane Mills. I didn't know how bad I hurt myself until the next day. Come to find out, I had broken two of my ribs... I hate more than anything to have to miss shows, but it's something you just have to do."
Lynn scrapped two shows in Oklahoma on Friday (06Sep13) and Saturday (07Sep13). The concerts have been rescheduled for December (13).
Country singer Melissa Etheridge has won a court battle allowing her to take her kids on tour. The star's ex-partner Tammy Lynn Michaels asked a judge for a hearing over the care of their six-year-old twins, who Etheridge wanted to take on the road with her.
A court date took place on 30 August (13) after Michaels expressed her fears that their kids were at risk of illness because they haven't been vaccinated for a range of diseases, and claimed they would be around drugs and rowdy female fans.
But the judge refused to take her concerns into account, and denied her request to ban the children from Etheridge's tour.
The children will only attend seven dates of Etheridge's latest trek - she closes the jaunt in Colorado on 15 September (13).
The couple split in 2010.
Country icon Loretta Lynn knew Zooey Deschanel would be perfect to portray the singer in a Broadway musical based on her life after hitting it off with the actress within minutes of meeting. The New Girl star thought the veteran's 1976 autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, would be great for the stage, and after discovering a production was already in the works, she reached out to organisers in a bid to have herself cast in the lead role.
She was invited to meet Lynn before a concert in Nashville, Tennessee in May, 2012, and immediately won the legend's approval, with the singer making the big casting announcement onstage during her gig at the Ryman Auditorium that night.
And Lynn reveals it was Deschanel's warm and bubbly nature which won her over.
She tells Marie Claire magazine, "We bonded right at the beginning - it's like meeting somebody and you feel like you've known them forever. She's young, and she's good. She can pull it off - I ain't (sic) worried one bit."
The show is still in development, but when Deschanel finally does step on the New York stage, it will be her Broadway debut.
Country music icon Loretta Lynn is mourning the loss of her daughter, who died on Monday morning (29Jul13). Betty Sue Lynn passed away from complications related to emphysema. She was 64.
It's the second time the Coal Miner's Daughter singer has had to say goodbye to one of her children - her son Jack Benny Lynn drowned in 1984 when he was 34.
The country music legend's husband of 48 years, Doolittle Lynn, lost his battle with diabetes in 1996.
Gay icon Melissa Etheridge's former partner is fighting to stop the singer/songwriter from taking their kids on tour with her. Tammy Lynn Michaels' request for an emergency hearing regarding the care of the former couple's six-year-old twins was denied by a Los Angeles judge on Friday (12Jul13), but a court date has been scheduled for next month (Aug13) to review the case.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ.com, the actress fears her kids are at risk of illness because they haven't been vaccinated against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, measles and chicken pox.
She is also worried the twins will be exposed to rowdy female rock fans, who "remove their shirts and bras and throw them on stage".
Lynn Michaels also doesn't want her kids being around drugs, claiming, "There is use of marijuana on the tour bus and in the dressing rooms."
The former couple split in 2010 and the singer/songwriter recently announced she was planning to make use of California's new same sex marriage laws and wed her fiancee Linda Wallem.
Lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge is celebrating the news gay people can now wed legally in California by planning her own nuptials. Minutes after U.S. Supreme Court judges declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) "unconstitutional" and High Court officials also overturned California's Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, on Wednesday (26Jun13), Etheridge went public with her plans to wed fiancee Linda Wallem.
The singer/songwriter told CNN, "It is about family and I love my four kids. I called my now-fiancee. I'm looking forward to marrying my partner of three years... I'm going to get married in the state of California. I woke (the kids) up this morning telling them the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA... I love everybody out there. It's a great day.
"Love is love and America is beautiful... I'm proud to be an American."
The Come to My Window singer also shared her wedding news with followers on Twitter.com, writing, "I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem."
Etheridge split from her former partner, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, in 2010. The couple shares custody of seven-year-old twins Johnnie and Miller. She also has two kids from a previous relationship with director Julie Cypher.
Actress/singer Zooey Deschanel spent months badgering the producers behind a new Broadway musical based on the life of country icon Loretta Lynn in a bid to land the lead role. The New Girl star reveals the idea to turn the singer's 1976 autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, into a stage show hit her one day while she was in the shower, and she immediately called her manager to see if the project was already in the works.
Lynn had already set the ball rolling on the production, so Deschanel reached out to the organisers behind the show - only to be told a casting decision would not be made for months.
She persevered and continued to regularly check in with the producers - and her efforts finally paid off last spring (12).
Deschanel tells U.S. talk show host Katie Couric, "It was fortuitous because it was being developed and I...(thought), 'Oh my god, The Coal Miner's Daughter should be on Broadway because it's such a good story and the music is so great.' So I called my manager and said, 'Can you check to see if somebody's developing this?' And somebody was, and they said, 'We don't attach actresses this early in the game', but we kept plugging away and finally they were talking to Loretta Lynn's camp and they said, 'Oh, Loretta loves Zooey!'"
The actress was invited to meet Lynn before a concert in Nashville, Tennessee last May (12), and she immediately won the legend's approval, and the singer made the big casting announcement onstage during her gig at the Ryman Auditorium that night.
But Deschanel is still waiting to hear when she will make her Broadway debut: "It's in development so I don't know exactly when it's going to happen, but I'm so excited."
Former 'N Sync star Lance Bass has launched a new charity initiative encouraging stars to donate their unwanted items and memorabilia to an online yard sale. The singer founded FamousYardSale.com, which went live on Sunday (14Apr13), and has called on his celebrity pals to clear their homes and raise money for their chosen good causes.
Former The Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler kicked off the initiative with the inaugural online yard sale and has offered up a personalised voicemail message, designer sunglasses and homeware to raise funds for The Art of Elysium, an organisation which encourages actors and singers to provide artistic workshops for children battling serious illness.
Bass took to his Twitter.com page to alert fans to the project, writing, "FamousYardSale.com has launched! First up, Jamie-Lynn Sigler! Happy bidding!!" while Sigler added, "Check out my yard sale... proceeds go to art of Elysium (sic). I had a lot of fun putting this together."