culture and entertainment

Lady Gaga announces ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour

Listen up “Little Monsters.” Lady Gaga has just unveiled dates for her “Born This Way Ball” tour in Southeast Asia and Australia. Dates for Europe, Latin American and North America will follow shortly.

Gaga has been tweeting about the tour, revealing some details and photos. On Feb. 7, the singer unveiled a sketch of what the star calls “The Monster Pit,” a general admission area that she says, “Little Monsters unlock when they arrive to the arena or stadium.”

The tour kicks off with 15 shows throughout Southeast Asia and Japan through early June. Then Gaga heads to Australia for 15 more shows ending in July.

After traveling Down Under, Gaga will head to Europe in August. Latin America will follow towards the end of 2012, and then Gaga hits North America in the first quarter of 2013.

On Wednesday, Gaga said “The Born This Way Ball” will perform 110 shows around the world.

The tour will be guided by Live Nation Global Touring CEO Arthur Fogel and his team, who also manned the helm during Gaga’s monster “Monster Ball” tour in 2010-11, which grossed $188 million from 167 shows.

The “Monster Ball” tour landed Gaga at No. 84 on Billboard’s recent “Power 100″ list. It also put her on the map as a major focus in the music arena and as a high-grossing touring artist.

Shake up at the ‘X Factor’

Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones have all been x-ed from the “X Factor.”

The first season’s host, Jones confirmed his departure on Twitter Monday afternoon. Fox confirmed Scherzinger’s exit also on Monday, and confirmation that fellow judge Adbul won’t be back is imminent, sources say.

It appears that the show’s producers were looking to make a clean sweep and are looking for new talent to replace the two axed judges and host.

The show scored very decent ratings, but hasn’t lived up to creator Simon Cowell’s expectations.

Cowell commented last summer that he hoped “X Factor” would top “American Idol” as the country’s top-rated show. How, it failed to gain viewers from the roughly 12.49 million who watched its September debut. “X Factor earned only half of Cowell’s “American Idol” ratings in its first season, which wrapped in December.

Newt wants Brad to play him in movie

If they ever make a movie about Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential hopeful known for his ego wants Brad Pitt to portray him, TMZ reports.

Gingrich picked the A-list actor even though he admits they don’t look alike, and that Pitt is younger, better built, and better looking.

Gingrich said in an interview with the “Rich Stevens Radio Show” about selecting Pitt to play him, “Look if you’re gonna go for it… You gotta relax and just, you know, let your imagination soar.”

New Santas learn how to respond to kids’ requests during a recession

Instead of Ho! Ho! Ho!, today’s Santas are bellowing Woe! Woe! Woe!

It’s the tough economic environment and the high unemployment rate that has this year’s Santas changing their tune. At the nation’s oldest school for Santa wannabees in Midland, MI, Santas are getting trained in some new lessons.

For nearly 75 years, students at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School vying to wear the big red suit, fuzzy white beard, and big jelly belly, little has changed in Santa training. A proper Santa should have clean breath, his beard should be trimmed and styled just so, and his laugh should be deep and hearty.

But this year, Santas must learn how to gently scale back children’s Christmas gift expectations as lists grow long while wallet remain slim. They must also be prepared to answer a frequent request among kids during the current economic slump: “Can you bring my parent a job?”

Santa alumni say that Santas have to be sure to never promise anything. Sometimes they have to be creative and remind children that Santa specializes in toys.

And kids need to know that Christmas isn’t just about toys, gifts and presents. It is about spreading joy and cheer and giving and receiving the best gift of all–love.

Sinead O’Connor to wed for fourth time

Sinead O’Connor is walking down the aisle for the fourth time Thursday, her 45th birthday.

The Irish singer posted an announcement of her pending nuptials on her official website: ” With enormous joy myself and my boyfriend Barry Herridge will be getting married Dec. 8, 2011, at an un-disclosed location in my absolute dream wedding ceremony.”

O’Connor ended her third marriage to friend and collaborator Steve Cooney in April after just eight months.

The singer has four children from previous relationships. She was previously married to music producer John Reynolds and journalist Nicholas Sommerland.

Taylor Swift wins big at American Music Awards 2011

The American Music Awards is not as prestigious as the Grammy Awards, and it lacks the edginess of the MTV Video Music Awards, but it is a big awards show nonetheless.

This year’s ceremony was broadcast from Los Angeles on Sunday night. Performers included an out-of-breath Jennifer Lopez, a matured Justin Bieber and an over-the-top Nicki Minaj.

Taylor Swift was the night’s big winner. On the heels of her recent win for the coveted Country Music Award for Entertainer of the Year, Swift won for Country Female Artist; Country Album (Speak Easy), and Artist of the Year

Other winner included British artist Adele, who is recovering from vocal cord surgery. Nominated for four awards, the singer/songer went home with three: Adult Contemporary Artist, Pop/Rock Female Artist and  Pop/Rock album for “21.”  The Foo Fighters won for Alternative Rock Artist; Blake Shelton won Country Male Artist; Lady Antebellum won for Country Band, Duo or Group; and Jennifer Lopez received the award for Latin Music Artist.

Bruno Mars won for Pop/Rock male Artist. Maroon 5 took home the award for Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group. And Nicki Minaj won both Rap/Hip-Hop artist and Rap/Hip-Hop album for “Pink Friday.”

Beyonce was named Soul/R&B Female Artist and Usher took the male category. Rihanna won the Soul/R&B Album for “Loud,” and Hot Chelle Rae was named New Artist of the Year.

Oprah plans new show to boost her network

TV legend and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey will return to TV with a new prime-time show set to debut on January 1st. Oprah will ring in the New Year with the premier of Oprah’s Next Chapter, her first weekly primetime series on her OWN network

The show will mimic her long-running daytime hit chat show, but it will take Oprah out and about. Winfrey will take extended trips to experience her subjects’ lives and interview them on their own turf.

In the first season of Next Chapter, Oprah will explore the after-effects of the Haitian earthquake with actor-activist Sean Penn, visit the famously reclusive George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch and have a slumber party at the Georgia mansion of chef Paula Dean.

The premiere episode will be two-hours long and debuts on New Year’s Day. Featured will be a revealing interview with Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge.

Oprah’s OWN launched in January 2011 and has since languished. The hopes are that the new series, basically starring Oprah herself, will be the hit the network so desperately needs.

Black Eyed Peas just taking a break; deny they are breaking up

“I got a feeling” from reports that the Black Eyed deny rumors they are breaking up that “they don’t lie” when they say “they don’t want music” for a while.

At a launch party Monday for their video game “The Black Eyed Peas Experience” members of the group said they are not breaking up, they are simply taking a little break to focus on their own personal things.

Will.i.am told TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in an interview on Wednesday, that the band “always has two cycles of records and then we take a break.”

The rapper said, “When we take breaks you know, we work on side projects and get our personal stuff in order to then come back and make beautiful music.”

The band will perform their final concert in Miami on Wednesday before taking their break. Featured will be Marc Anthony, Cee Lo Green, Flo Rida, Sean Kingston and Jason Derulo.

The four band members, Taboo, Apl.de.ap, Fergie and Will.i.am, have all embarked into solo projects in addition to their music together as a group, including fragrance and shoe collections, and acting and philanthropic causes. Apl.de.ap., real name Allan Lindo, will be focusing on his duties as ambassador for education in the Philippines.

The band’s new video dance game on the Xbox 360 Kinect and Wii consoles allows gamers to learn the Black Eyed Peas dance moves while seeing their progress captured on screen.

The Black Eyed Peas have sold over 56 million records worldwide. In 2009, the group became one of only 11 artists to have simultaneously held No.1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

In 2010, the Black Eyed Peas were ranked 12th on the Billboards’s Decade-End Chart List and 7th in the Hot 100 Artists of the Decade.

Hollywood’s dream couple Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher are no more

After six years of marriage, Demi Moore, 49, announced Thursday that she is ending her marriage to 33-year old Ashton Kutcher.

The news is not a great surprise to many. The announcement comes after months of rumors that the couple has been having marital problems. Some speculated that Kutcher, the new star of “Six and a Half Men,” had been unfaithful.

In a statement, Moore said, “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton. As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that  I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life. This is a trying time for me and my family, and so I would ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone gong through a similar situation.”

Ashton tweeted, “Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail. Love and Light, AK.”

Moore was previously married to Bruce Willis. They have three daughters together, Rumor, Scout and Tallulah Belle. The two divorced in 2000.

The New York Post estimates the coupe will battle it out in a bitter $290 million divorce.

“Unacceptable” Ricky Gervais to host 2012 Golden Globes again

It looks like all you have to do is insult people, step on toes and ruffle a few feathers to get a returning gig on the Golden Globes. Ricky Gervias will return to host the 2012 Golden Globes for a third time despite the comedian’s stint in 2011 described as “totally unacceptable” by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

In his 2011 turn, the British comedian fired barbs at Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and others. The creator of the TV show “The Office” made it quite clear that he did not expect to be invited back.

After learning of his reappointment Wednesday night, Gervias tweeted that he had asked Oscars host Billy Crystal not to use all his best Holocaust and pedophilia jokes before he has a chance to deliver them. Gervais added “It’s gonna be biblical!”

Gervais may have upset some celebrities and members of the HFPA, but he also received enthusiastic backing from NBC, which screens the Golden Globe ceremony.

While Gervais’ 2011 performance was deemed controversial, it was also judged by critics to be a success.

The 69th annual Golden Globes awards will be held on Jan.15 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

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