Taylor Swift among Grammy performers
Nashville, Tenn. — Taylor Swift and Beyonce are among the artists set to perform next month at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, it was announced Tuesday.
Other performers include the Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell and country trio Lady Antebellum. The Recording Academy said other performers will be announced later.
Beyonce, a 10-time Grammy winner, has 10 nominations, including record of the year for “Halo,” album of the year for “I Am ... Sasha Fierce” and song of the year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Country singer Swift has eight nominations, including record and song of the year for “You Belong With Me,” and album of the year for “Fearless.”
A stage-crashing Kanye West (who has six Grammy nominations) interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards to say Beyonce should have won for best female video instead. West later apologized.
The Grammys will be presented at the Staples Center on Jan. 31. The show will air on CBS.
Murphy had several movies in the works
Los Angeles — Brittany Murphy was a hardworking actress who was juggling multiple movie projects in the months leading up to her unexpected death.
While none of the films boasted the big budgets of Murphy’s “8 Mile” or “Sin City,” directors who recently worked with the 32-year-old actress say she was dedicated, insightful and happy as she wrapped two indie thrillers and prepared to start shooting a romantic comedy next month.
Murphy was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after collapsing at her Hollywood Hills home Sunday morning. The county coroner’s office is awaiting the results of toxicology and tissue tests before releasing an official cause of death.
Murphy spent the month of June shooting “Abandoned,” a thriller in which she stars as a woman who embarks on a frantic search for her boyfriend when he disappears from a hospital after a routine treatment.
Director Michael Feifer said the actress was delightful to work with and dedicated to the project.
“She knew her material, and she was on her game,” he said Tuesday. “She was professional. She was there for me. She was healthy.”
The role required Murphy to sprint through a parking structure and run up and down stairs.
Vatican paper calls ‘Simpsons’ okely dokely
Vatican City — To put it as the devout Ned Flanders would, the Vatican’s newspaper thinks “The Simpsons” are an okely dokely bunch.
L’Osservatore Romano on Tuesday congratulated the show on its 20th anniversary, praising its philosophical leanings as well as its stinging and often irreverent take on religion.
Without Homer Simpson and the other yellow-skinned characters “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh,” said the article titled “Aristotle’s Virtues and Homer’s Doughnut.”
The paper credited “The Simpsons” — the longest-running American animated program — with opening up cartoons to an adult audience.
The show is based on “realistic and intelligent writing,” it said, though it added there was some reason to criticize its “excessively crude language, the violence of certain episodes or some extreme choices by the scriptwriters.”
Religion, from the snore-evoking sermons of the Rev. Lovejoy to Homer’s face-to-face talks with God, appears so frequently on the show that it could be possible to come up with a “Simpsonian theology,” it said.
Homer’s religious confusion and ignorance are “a mirror of the indifference and the need that modern man feels toward faith,” the paper said.
FBI helped Calif. officials in 1993 Jackson probe
New York — Newly released documents show the FBI helped facilitate interviews in the Philippines carried out by California authorities investigating Michael Jackson for the sexual abuse of young boys.
The files, released Tuesday, show an investigator from the Los Angeles Police Department and another from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office arrived in Manila in September 1993 to speak to two former Neverland employees who claimed they saw Jackson fondle young boys.
Their arrival in the Philippines came after the LAPD had asked the FBI if it wanted to work a possible case against Jackson for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes. The FBI checked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined.
The files say an FBI agent accompanied the California officials to the first interview to make sure there were no problems.
Cosby named Marian Anderson Award winner
Philadelphia — Bill Cosby will be the next recipient of the Marian Anderson Award.
The Philadelphia native is to accept the award and $100,000 prize at an April 6 ceremony at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
The comedian, actor and educator is being honored for his cultural impact as well as his work in encouraging academic achievement and calling for accountability in the black community.
The award is named for the famed singer and Philadelphia native who used her art in the service of social justice. It honors artists whose leadership benefits society.
It was first awarded in 1998 to singer Harry Belafonte. Other past winners include author Maya Angelou and actors Sidney Poitier, Danny Glover, Elizabeth Taylor and Gregory Peck.