Archive for Tuesday, May 6, 2008

People in the news

May 6, 2008

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Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds engaged

Los Angeles - Scarlett Johansson and her boyfriend, Ryan Reynolds, are engaged.

The 23-year-old actress and the 31-year-old actor have not set a wedding date, Johansson's publicist, Marcel Pariseau, said Monday.

Johansson's recent credits include "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "The Nanny Diaries." Reynolds recently starred in "Definitely, Maybe." He was previously engaged to Alanis Morissette.

Tom Hanks supporting Obama for president

New York - Tom Hanks is supporting presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Hanks has taken to his MySpace.com page to pledge his support for Obama, who is competing to be the first black president. Obama, who faces rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination, has also been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen and Scarlett Johansson.

"As an official celebrity, I know my endorsement has just made your mind up for you," the 51-year-old actor says in a short video.

"History with a capital 'H' is going to be made this November, no matter who the president-elect is. I want Barack Obama to be president of this country, a country that once said people with his skin color were only three-fifths of a human being."

Hanks, who won Oscars for his roles in "Forrest Gump" and "Philadelphia," explains his decision: "It's because of his character and vision, and the high road he has taken during this campaign. He has the integrity and the inspiration to unify us, as did FDR and Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy and even Ronald Reagan when they ran for the job."

Avril Lavigne sick, postpones concerts

Los Angeles - Avril Lavigne has laryngitis and has postponed shows on her national tour this week.

The 23-year-old singer, whose hits include "Complicated" and "Girlfriend," backed out of performances in Los Angeles and Anaheim over the weekend. She was supposed to perform in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, San Jose on Wednesday, Spokane, Wash., on Friday and Everett, Wash., on Saturday.

"My sincerest apologies to all of my fans," Lavigne said in a message posted Saturday on her Web site. "My intention was to complete the rest of the tour but tonight at sound check in Anaheim I realized this wasn't possible. Even though I have been resting my voice for days, when I tried to sing nothing came out."

Laryngitis also forced Lavigne to cancel dates last week in Phoenix and San Diego.

Prince working on book

New York - Prince the musical auteur is becoming an author.

"21 Nights," a "photographic essay" that offers "a rare glimpse into the life, lyrics, and mystique" of the maker of such hits as "1999" and "Purple Rain," will be published worldwide come fall, according to Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

The book, his first, is based on Prince's 21 sold-out concerts in as many nights at London's O2 Arena in 2007.

"Juxtaposing his dueling worlds of music and solitude, it ('21 Nights') will incorporate Prince's evocative poetry and lyrics to new songs and other selections, and 124 full-color, sumptuous, never-before-published images by celebrated photographer Randee St. Nicholas," Atria announced Monday.

"21 Nights" will include a CD of after-hours jams, "Indigo Nights," unavailable from any other outlet.

Kylie Minogue receives French cultural honor

Paris - France honored Kylie Minogue on Monday, making her Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to French culture.

The 39-year-old Australian singer received the prestigious title the day before kicking off a world tour for her album "X." Past recipients include Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Dylan.

Culture Minister Christine Albanel called Minogue the "princess of pop, the uncontested queen of the dance floor."

Albanel also praised Minogue for her personal courage in her battle against breast cancer.

"The heart, in French, also (refers to) courage, and I want to salute the courage you have shown in publicly revealing, three years ago, that you had been stricken with breast cancer," Albanel said.

"This is an exceptional moment for me," Minogue said in French.

Clay Aiken 'not trying to be Justin Timberlake'

New York - Clay Aiken is realistic about his niche in the musical landscape.

"I'm not cool, you know what I mean? I'm not gonna lie," the good-humored singer told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I'm not trying to be Justin Timberlake. Thank God we have him, but I'm not him. ... I'm not gonna bring anybody's sexy back."

Aiken embraces his pop-lite sensibility in "On My Way Here," his first album of all-new material in more than four years.

The 29-year-old "American Idol" alumnus - he placed second to Ruben Studdard in the Fox show's second season - was the first nonwinner to release a successful album, "Measure of a Man," which went double platinum in 2003. He followed that up with two cover albums: "Merry Christmas With Love" and "A Thousand Different Ways."

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