Top Story: Latifah and Zeta-Jones To Perform at Oscars
Queen Latifah and a very pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones have agreed to perform a duet from their musical Chicago at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, The Associated Press reports. The melody, titled "I Move On," is nominated for best original song. Zeta-Jones performed the number in the film with co-star Renee Zellweger, who declined to reprise her performance for the Oscar telecast. Latifah and Zeta-Jones, whose second child with husband Michael Douglas is due in April, are both nominated in the supporting actress category for their roles in Chicago. The musical has 13 nominations, including a nod for Best Picture.
Odds Makers Pick "Chicago" for Best Picture
An informal survey of three Las Vegas Strip odds makers determined that Chicago is the favorite to win the Oscar for Best Picture at Sunday night's 75th annual Academy Awards. Although no money is being wagered on the ceremony, odds makers said their picks add to the entertainment tradition of the Oscars. "There is such a buzz of excitement and worldwide interest surrounding the Academy Awards that we wanted to create another outlet for spectators and movie buffs to enjoy the event," Doug Casteneda, race and sports book shift manager at Stardust, told the AP.
Angelina Jolie's Oscar Dress: Stolen!
The dress Angelina Jolie was to wear at Sunday's Oscar ceremony has been stolen from British designer Scott Henshall's car in London Wednesday evening, Reuters reports. "There is no way I can remake Angelina's or any other dresses in time," Henshall told the London Evening Standard Thursday. "There were 20 outfits in the collection and now the nine most glamorous have gone." Jolie's outfit was described as a body-hugging corset dress decorated with cherubs.
Monica Lewinsky To Host Fox Reality Show
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky will host the hidden-identity dating show Mr. Personality, set to debut on Fox April 21. According to Variety, the show will follow a group of average-looking guys whose faces have been masked as they try to win one woman's affections. Their looks will be concealed throughout the dating process, as the woman eliminates a contestant each week until she narrows her choice to one man.
Kelly Ripa Heads to Primetime
Morning talk show host Kelly Ripa is finalizing a deal to play a former soap star in the ABC sitcom pilot Hope & Faith, Variety reports. If the pilot gets picked up, Ripa will stay on as co-host of Live! With Regis & Kelly, splitting her time between the talk show and the sitcom. In the pilot, Ripa's newly unemployed character Faith will move in with her non-pro fraternal twin sister Hope, who is married with kids.
Lawmakers Want Chicks To Give Free Concert
South Carolina House members think the Dixie Chicks should apologize for lead singer Natalie Maines' criticism of President Bush by performing a free concert for troops. According to the AP, Republican state Rep. Catherine Ceips introduced a resolution Wednesday, which passed the House on a 50-35 vote. "I think it's an olive branch to the Dixie Chicks," Ceips said. The group's publicist, Cindi Berger, had no comment on the resolution.
Ozzy Osbourne Gets New Bassist
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has joined Ozzy Osbourne's band and will hit the stage this summer on the Ozzfest tour, the AP reports. In a weird twist, Ozzy and Metallica have basically traded bass players: bassist Robert Trujillo left Ozzy's band to fill Newsted's spot in Metallica. Trujillo played his last show with Ozzy on Friday.
Role Call: Ratner Set for "Rush Hour 3," Freeman Joins Hip-Hop Musical
Director Brett Ratner will no longer direct Superman for Warner Bros. Pictures. Ratner will instead helm Rush Hour 3 starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, which he had previously agreed to make for New Line Cinema. The studio hopes to have a first draft from Bad Company scribe Jason Richman in eight weeks ... MGM is planning a contemporary hip-hop-themed musical titled Colors Straight Up, which is based on the Oscar-nominated documentary by Michele Ohayon. Morgan Freeman is expected to take one of the strong supporting roles in the film ... Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps are in talks to start in Paramount Pictures' The Honeymooners, based on the 1950s CBS television series.
Top Story: Crowe Tying the Knot on 39th Birthday
Australian actor Russell Crowe plans to marry longtime girlfriend Danielle Spencer on his 39th birthday April 7 in Australia, The Associated Press reports. The actor's publicist, Wendy Day, said Sunday that the Crowe and Spencer would tie the knot at the family chapel on his property in New South Wales. "It's definitely April 7 on his property at Nana Glen," Day said. "It's not a Hollywood, star-studded affair...it's a family and friends affair for about 80 guests." The couple met during the filming of the 1990 film The Crossing. They had an on-again-off-again relationship until Crowe publicly declared his love for her and proposed last November.
"COPS" Producer Feared Dead
Paul Stojanovich, a field producer for the long running show COPS and the creator of the reality TV series World's Wildest Police Videos, fell 300 feet from a cliff into the Pacific Ocean and is feared dead, AP reports. Stojanovich, 47, and his fiancée Kim Srowel were hiking Saturday on a bluff at Treasure Cove in Oregon when he slipped while stopping to pose for a picture. Officers searched for three hours but found no sign of Stojanovich, Sgt. Mike Zimmerman of the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office told the AP Sunday.
Scorsese Deplores Oscar Campaigning
Director Martin Scorsese told Time magazine that Hollywood has grown increasingly aggressive in campaigning for Academy Awards. "If one of the actors from your film is not talking on that screen in the middle of the night, there will be five other actors from five different films talking," Scorsese said, adding that he feels obligated to be interviewed about his Gangs of New York. "The reality is if I don't do PR, I'm hurting the picture. And as many things as I did, that's as many things as I turned down." The film was nominated for was nominated for 10 awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.
Bonnie Hunt, Brad Garrett to Sub for Ailing Letterman
The Late Show With David Letterman has announced a slate of guest hosts for the week of March 17 as Letterman continues to recuperate from shingles. According to Variety, Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett will take the reins on Monday night, followed by comedian Tom Dreesen on Tuesday and Bonnie Hunt from Life with Bonnie on Wednesday. The show will be in repeats the final two nights of the week due to previously scheduled CBS coverage of college basketball.
Gandolfini and HBO May Resume Negotiations
The Sopranos star James Gandolfini and HBO are considering a deal to drop their dueling lawsuits and proceed with contract negotiations, the AP reports. Network executives involved in the negotiations told The New York Times that Gandolfini, who had previously sought a $20 million annual salary, has now lowered his request to about $16 million a year.
Minnelli and Gest Postpone Anniversary Party
Looks like the looming war in Iraq may put a damper on Liza Minnelli and David Gest's first anniversary party. "We held off sending our invitations out because we want to have our party when the world is at peace and people can come and enjoy themselves," Minnelli said. The party was set for April 15 at New York's Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. Spokesman Warren Cowan told Reuters, "With the threat of war imminent and considering more than 1,200 guests would be traveling from many different parts of the world, Liza Minnelli and David Gest have decided to postpone their anniversary party."
Country Music Fans Irate Over Dixie Chicks' Comment
Radio stations nationwide are boycotting the Dixie Chicks because singer Natalie Maines, a native of Lubbock, Texas, told a London audience last Monday: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Maines apologized Friday, saying, "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President (George W.) Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect." But the apology seems to have come too late for some irate protesters. On Saturday in Bossier City, Louisiana, protesters used a 33,000-pound tractor to destroy Dixie Chicks CDs and other items, while Two Dallas stations took Home off their playlists and one station in Kansas City held a Dixie "chicken toss" party to trash the group's CDs.
Superman's "Curse" Plagues Casting
Josh Hartnett didn't want it, and neither, it turns out, does Paul Walker. Walker is the latest star to drop out of the running for the title role in Warner Bros. new Superman movie for director Brett Ratner, Variety reports. Perhaps the "Curse of Superman" is to blame for why the pic is having trouble casting the Man of Steel. The so-called "curse" is based on the misfortune many stars connected to Superman TV series and movies have encountered, such as Christopher Reeve's paralysis, Margot Kidder's nervous breakdown, Richard Pryor's multiple sclerosis and George Reeves' death. Reeves, who played Superman in the 1950s, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in 1959.
The 34th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards were deep in the land of Dixie --Dixie Chicks, that is.
The Dixie Chicks took home four awards including the top prize, Entertainer of the Year, at the 34th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show on Wednesday night, October 4th. In addition, they won best vocal group for the third straight year, and their newest release, "Fly", ended up winning the award for best album. The Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Siedel, have now scored nine CMA wins since their debut blockbuster album, "Wide Open Spaces", became the biggest-selling record ever by a country group.
The Chicks weren’t the only big winners of the night, though. The super couple of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill both won big, with McGraw being crowned Male Vocalist of the Year and Hill winning Female Vocalist of the Year. Lee Ann Womack and the group Sons of the Desert shared the award for Single of the Year, with their song, "I Hope You Dance," which also helped its writers, Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers, win the award for Song of the Year. Montgomery Gentry won for Vocal Duo of the Year.
Other big wins went to the titanic team-up of George Strait and Alan Jackson, as their duet, "Murder on Music Row," a tune that slams the country music industry for its pop-oriented productions, was named the Vocal Event of the Year. Brad Paisley, a new face on the scene, won the Horizon Award for his debut album. Finally, Hargus Pig Robbins was named Musician of the Year. Congratulations to all of the winners!