Stars including Lily Allen, Alan Cumming and Sophia Bush have thrown their support behind British actor Stephen Fry as he campaigns to have the upcoming Winter Olympics moved from Russia over gay rights issues. Fry has written an open letter to Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging them to move the 2014 games in Sochi or risk a boycott.
The actor is adamant the country's treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community should not go unnoticed, and a number of other stars have thrown their support behind the campaign.
British singer Allen has shared a link to a petition against the Russian Olympics with fans on her Twitter.com page, writing, "Do you want an anti-gay Olympics? Tell the IOC to stop Russia's LGBT crackdown," while singer/songwriter Sia Furler followed suit, adding, "Please please please take 20 seconds to sign this petition condemning Russia's anti-gay laws. Queers are awesome."
Scottish actor Cumming shared a link to Fry's letter and urged fans to pass it on, writing, "Read this by Stephen Fry and RT (re-tweet) it to everyone you can. People need to know what is happening in Russia."
Actresses Bush and Mia Farrow have also spoken out in a series of posts on Twitter, while Star Trek legend George Takei insisted Olympic bosses should consider moving the Games to Vancouver in Canada.
In a post on his blog, he writes, "There have been urgent calls for boycotts of the Olympics and of Russian exports like vodka. These are understandable... But a boycott of the games would punish athletes who have trained for years to participate... There is a petition gathering strength demanding the Olympics be relocated to Vancouver, which played host in 2010. All of the facilities are still in good condition, so this would likely be the easiest of possible alternatives... Please take a few moments to sign the petition... With enough support, maybe the IOC and the sponsors will realise that this is a disaster in the making, and the best course is to move immediately and decisively to relocate the Winter Games of 2014."
It is currently illegal to promote homosexuality in Russia, and Foreign Ministry's rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov says of the growing international furore, "The criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda... is absolutely invalid and groundless. It is an attempt to accuse us of violating international obligations that do not exist."
British model/actress Gabriella Wilde is engaged to marry her rocker boyfriend, according to a U.K. report. The 24-year-old blonde, who will next be seen onscreen in upcoming horror remake Carrie, has accepted a proposal from her longterm partner Alan Pownall, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
Wilde has been dating Pownall, lead singer of rising rock group Pale, for four years.
Singer Robin Thicke has turned his new song Ain't No Hat 4 That into a family affair by co-writing the tune with his actor dad Alan Thicke and inviting his young son to perform over the intro. The upbeat track from his forthcoming album Blurred Lines features Julian, his three year old with wife Paula Patton, repeating the song's title, as well as lyrics from former Growing Pains star Alan, who previously worked as a TV theme song composer, penning themes for U.S. sitcoms The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes.
The collaboration debuted on music website Rap-Up.com on Wednesday (17Jul13).
Chrissie Hynde, rapper Plan B and British singer Olly Murs are among the stars who have raided their closets for a charity auction. The Pretenders frontwoman has handed over a pair of Stella McCartney boots, while Murs has autographed one of his trademark trilby hats for the eBay.co.uk sale, which will benefit U.K. homeless organisation Shelter.
Murs says, "It's a great charity so get bidding guys!"
British TV stars Jo Joyner and Alan Carr have also donated personal items to the sale, which begins on 23 July (13).
Family and friends of Mandawuy Yunupingu gathered on Sunday (30Jun13) to pay tribute to the late Australian singer at a state memorial. The indigenous star, who fronted Australian band Yothu Yindi, died at the age of 56 on 2 June (13) after a battle with kidney disease, and more than 500 mourners turned out to remember him at an emotional ceremony in East Arnhem Land.
The service featured traditional dancing, including a performance by Yunupingu's daughters to the Yothu Yindi song Dots on the Shells.
His widow Yalmay Yunupingu, who wore her partner's trademark headband, delivered a speech to thank a nurse who had cared for the star, and she also heaped praise on Yothu Yindi's manager Alan James, who "always got my husband home safe and dry".
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd attended the memorial, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Singer/actress Demi Lovato is taking time off this summer (13) to have her tonsils removed. The X Factor judge has been waiting for a gap in her hectic schedule to undergo the much-needed operation to ease her pain after repeatedly falling ill with throat problems.
She tells U.K. talk show host Alan Carr, "I'm getting my tonsils out this summer. I've been meaning to get them out for years and years, but my career has just been going, going, going. The thing is, I keep getting sick. Like once a month I get really sick. They're actually not doing me any good, so they're being removed."
Lovato then joked that her enlarged tonsils are visible on Google Maps, quipping, "You can type it in and locate my tonsils, right here on your set. They're pretty bad."
The Stone Roses' drummer Alan 'Reni' Wren missed the premiere of the band's tell-all documentary on Thursday night (30May13) after falling ill. Director Shane Meadows' The Stone Roses: Made of Stone film, which documents the road to the band's big comeback gigs last year (12), was launched in Manchester, England, but Wren skipped the screening in a bid to improve his health before the group's concert in London's Finsbury Park next week (begs03Jun13).
Singer Rowetta attended the premiere and told her Twitter.com fans, "The boys are here... Reni not here as not well but 3 Roses and director."
Tickets for the film's launch event sold out in just one minute when they went onsale in April (13), and the rest of the band and the moviemaker hit the red carpet outside Manchester's Victoria Warehouse venue.
Meadows, who idolised the band growing up, hopes his movie broadens the rockers' fan base, and admits he was thrilled to see the broad range of the audience at their 2012 concerts.
He is quoted by Britain's The Sun as saying, "You only have to look at the film and see the kids that were at the gigs. There were plenty of people who weren't even born when they made that first album - so it's already happening."
Singer/songwriter Alan O'day has lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 72. O'Day was surrounded by loved ones when he passed away at his home in Westwood, California, on Friday (17May13).
He is best known for his 1977 number one hit Undercover Angel, and he also wrote pop tracks for acts including the Righteous Brothers and Cher.
A statement from bosses at 1st Phase Records to Reuters reads, "Alan continued to write and perform until his last days. Alan was a generous man who gave his heart and soul to the music industry."
O'Day's songs have been performed by a number of artists including Sir Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Three Dog Night and Paul Anka.
He is survived by his wife, Yuka.
Singer Adam Lambert was the toast of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in San Francisco, California on Saturday (11May13) after scooping two honours. Former Spice Girls star Melanie Brown handed Lambert this year's (13) top prize, the Davidson/Valentini Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media professional who promotes equality for the LGBT community.
The ex-American Idol contestant opened up about his experience of being a gay public figure during his acceptance speech, telling the crowd, "One person thinks you should be more this, one person thinks you should be more that; the label thinks this, the fans think that; your family wishes this; this community wants you to shut up, that community wants it louder; the conservatives, the liberals...
"The best we can do is keep it real, and to spread a message of acceptance... If we can inspire even one person to open their mind or another to be who they want to be, whether they are gay, straight, old, young, man, woman, black, or white, then it's worth being objectified by the sometimes frustrating world of media sensationalism."
Lambert also shared the Outstanding Music Artist prize with Frank Ocean, while other winners at the ceremony included Alan Cumming's indie drama Any Day Now, which picked up the prize for Outstanding Film - Limited Release.
Cyndi Lauper has added to her growing collection of awards after picking up top honours for her musical Kinky Boots at a Broadway prizegiving. The singer, who wrote the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots, was the big winner at Sunday's (05May13) 2013 Broadway.com Audience Awards when the show was named Favourite Musical.
Kinky Boots' Billy Porter was also voted Favourite Actor in a Musical, while his co-star Annaleigh Ashford picked up the trophy for Favourite Funny Performance.
Lauper, who last week (30Apr13) picked up 13 Tony nominations for Kinky Boots, took to her Twitter.com to share her excitement, writing, "Thank you Broadway.com!!! And thanks for Billy and Anna Lee (sic) too. I love you guys!"
Other big winners included Bette Midler, who scooped Favourite Actress in a Play for I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, and Alan Cumming, who was crowned Favourite Actor in a Play for Macbeth.