Australian star Dannii Minogue is ending her pop retirement after eight years to perform at the upcoming Mardi Gras party in Sydney. The singer/actress put her music career on the back burner to concentrate on her TV work, and she has gone on to enjoy long-running roles as a judge/mentor on shows including Australia's Got Talent and Britain's The X Factor.
Now she is dusting off her microphone and practising her scales in preparation for a high-profile spot at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on 07 March (15).
Minogue last performed at the event in 2007 but is now looking forward to her comeback after battling several health problems including appendicitis and an underactive thyroid.
She tells music writer Cameron Adams, "I'm sure there's some people who don't know I'm a singer! I've been wanting to do music for ages but something was holding me back. Now I feel really settled.
"I feel like I'm in a personal space where I can do it and it's going to be fun. Physically, I'm really well right now. I had all these health issues in the last few years, I just want to get out there and enjoy it...
"After sitting in the judging seat on X Factor this is a chance to show people this is what I've done for my whole life... There might be people who were there the last time I played Mardi Gras, but there might be people who'll have never seen me perform."
Other acts lined up for the event include Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears, U.S. pop star Nick Jonas, and Aussie R&B favourite Jessica Mauboy, and Minogue is hoping her superstar sister Kylie also puts in an appearance to give her moral support.
She adds, "It'd be awesome if she could be (there). I'm sure if she can she'll come. She would definitely be able to take away that nervous energy from me."
Nick Jonas has given his gay Australian fans an early Valentine's Day treat by confirming he'll headline this year’s (15) Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party. The former teen idol will join Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Sheers and native Aussie Betty Who among other acts at the party in March (15).
Announcing the news during a taping of radio show Smallzy’s Surgery, Jonas says, "I will be making my first appearance in Australia at Mardi Gras. I am so excited to perform. I know Mardi Gras is an amazing night... and I am just thrilled."
British singer Boy George was named an icon at the Attitude Awards on Monday (13Oct14).
The former Culture Club star was handed the Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement by British supermodel Naomi Campbell in recognition of his career at Attitude Magazine's annual ceremony in London. George was given a standing ovation as he took to the stage to accept the prize, and he dedicated his award to his six-year sobriety, telling the audience, "If I could choose to be gay all over again, I would." British athlete Tom Daley, who 'came out' via a YouTube.com video last year (13), was named Man of the Year, and Paloma Faith picked up the Music Award. Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst took home the Greatest Moment of the Year prize while U.S. comedy Modern Family won International Media Recognition for its portrayal of a gay couple. The ceremony, held at London's Banqueting House, was hosted by Scissor Sisters star Ana Matronic.
Game Of Thrones star Kristian Nairn has signed on to DJ at an upcoming series of raves staged for fans of the fantasy drama. The Northern Irish actor, who plays Hodor in Game of Thrones, will front the inaugural Rave Of Thrones events in Australia next month (Aug14).
The dance parties are expected to attract fans of the show, dressed up as their favourite characters.
Nairn is not new to the turntables - he was a popular DJ and producer before he was cast as Hodor.
Scissor Sisters, Mylo and Calvin Harris are also billed to perform at the Rave of Thrones events, which kick off in Sydney on 28 August (14).
Model/singer Carla Bruni is adding radio presenter to her resume after landing her own show for the BBC. The former French First Lady, who is married to Nicolas Sarkozy, will host Carla Bruni's Postcards From Paris on Britain's BBC Radio 2 in May (14).
During the three-part show, Bruni will share songs by some her favourite artists, including Edith Piaf and Francoise Hardy, and stories about her hometown.
She isn't the only star joining the BBC radio line-up - Scissor Sisters member Ana Matronic and British actress Sheila Hancock will also present segments as part of a series of shows by women from the world of music and the stage.
Jake Shears has a hidden treasure trove of material he recorded with Kylie Minogue which he hopes will form an album one day. The Scissor Sisters star and his bandmate Babydaddy have written a number of songs for the Australian pop star, including her 2004 hit I Believe In You, and he has now revealed there are plenty of unreleased tracks ready to be packaged up in a new album.
He tells Attitude magazine, "I love writing with her and always have. I'm really proud of all the songs I've written with her and I think someday I'm gonna, like, put together a Scissors-Kylie record.
"There's a whole album's worth of music. It's from over the years. There's some really cool stuff that no one has heard. We could definitely put together a fun little album. Someday I'm gonna be shifty and leak it."
Pop star and fervent gay rights campaigner Ana Matronic has called for protesters to target Gambia over the African nation's leader's "outrageous" homosexual slurs. The Scissor Sisters singer is disgusted after learning President Yahya Jammeh branded gay people "vermin" who should be stamped out like "malaria-causing mosquitoes" in an extraordinary rant this week (ends21Feb14).
She is adamant his remarks were unacceptable and predicts it will not be too long before "international attention" turns on Jammeh over the incident.
Asked if his comments will make Gambia a target for pro-gay protests, she tells the U.K.'s Channel 4 News, "I think with an outrageous statement like that, it will be. I think only in the last few years have any African countries come to the fore on the world stage politically, and with these kinds of incidences there will be a lot more international attention focused on them, definitely."
Singer Ana Matronic fears there will be "bloodshed" and death on the streets of Russia following the shocking militia attack on members of Pussy Riot. The Scissor Sisters star was horrified by the incident at the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Wednesday (19Feb14), when several members of the protest group and a photographer were beaten, whipped, and subdued with pepper spray.
Members of Russian's Cossack militia had moved in as the mainly-female collective began to perform a protest song about the country's President Vladimir Putin, and within minutes, film footage of the sickening attack went viral online.
Russian authorities are under increasing pressure to respond to the incident, and Matronic has now spoken out about the attack, telling the U.K.'s Channel 4 News, "I'm not exactly sure what should be done except for people to voice their outrage at this point. It's hard to say what the appropriate tack is. My only hope is that Pussy Riot continues to do what they do and continues to fight, because I believe in what they are fighting for.
"I think they are trying to provoke but I don't think they are asking to be beaten with whips... Nor do I think they should be beaten for voicing their beliefs, no matter what their beliefs are."
Matronic also predicted the "militant" response to the band's performance about oppression in the country could provoke a violent reaction from other protest groups and lead to severe unrest.
She adds, "And we are going to see bloodshed and we are going to see innocent lives lost in the crossfire and that is reprehensible to me."
Representatives from the International Olympic Committee issued a statement describing the images of Pussy Riot members being whipped as "extremely disturbing", but insisted any action should be left to Russian authorities.
Following the incident, the Pussy Riot stars vowed to continue with their human rights fight, saying, "We will shout the truth about Russia as loud as we can."
Scissor Sisters star Ana Matronic is celebrating after her stepfather was given the all-clear in his fight against prostate cancer. The singer was plunged into despair earlier this year (13) when her mother's husband was diagnosed with the deadly disease, and admits the family feared they were "going to lose him" in May (13).
However, he has since made a recovery and the Filthy/Gorgeous star admits he is finally getting better.
She tells Britain's OK! magazine, "It's been hard. We thought we were going to lose him back in May. He has since been given the all-clear, but he's still fighting the side effects of the treatment he's been having to get rid of the cancer."
Her stepfather's diagnosis brought back painful memories for the star, whose mother battled skin cancer when the singer was just a child, and she admits performing with the band has helped ease her agony.
She adds, "When you have a job like mine and you get on stage and see the expressions on people's faces who are so happy to see you, it makes you think of the joy you bring other people. That helps to relieve my pain. Performing on stage has helped me through some of my darkest moments - and I've had a few of those."
Model-turned-designer Erin Wasson has joined forces with Rihanna for the hitmaker's new reality TV competition Styled To Rock. Wasson will team up with Pharrell Williams as mentors on America's Style Network show.
The two fashion-forward celebrities will help to guide 12 up-and-coming designers as they embark on the opportunity of a lifetime - to dress some of the biggest names in entertainment.
Styled to Rock is slated to premiere later this year (13).
Texas native Wasson expanded her style career in 2008 by launching an apparel collection with skate-and-surf brand RVCA and her own line of jewellery, Low Luv. She has also appeared alongside Justin Timberlake in a series of short films for his William Rast clothing brand and Wasson made a cameo appearance in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. She also featured in a leading role in Timur Bekmambetov's Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
Styled to Rock launched in the U.K. last year (12) and featured singer and entrepreneur Nicola Roberts, fashion designer Henry Holland and celebrity stylist Lysa Cooper as mentors.
Contestants won the chance to style outfits for Kanye West, Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry, The Saturdays, The Scissor Sisters and Little Mix, among others.