Tag: Ellen Degeneres

Terminally Ill Comedian Quincy Jones Lands Stand-Up Special on HBO

(photo via visualnews.com)
(photo via visualnews.com)

article by Meredith Blake via latimes.com

Here’s a bit of heartwarming news to start your Monday: HBO announced Monday that comedian Quincy Jones will headline a stand-up special to air this spring on the premium cable network.

What’s the big deal? In July, the 32-year-old Jones (not to be confused with the legendary music producer of the same name), an aspiring stand-up comedian, was diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma cancer and given a year to live. He is undergoing chemotherapy and performing when he is well enough.

His friends Nicole and Mickey Blaine recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to help Jones realize his dream of starring in a stand-up special. The campaign quickly reached its $50,000 target and also generated a flurry of publicity for Jones, who made a charming appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week.  To see it, click here.

The special will be taped in Los Angeles in April and will air on HBO this spring.

To read more, go to: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-comedian-quincy-jones-cancer-standup-special-at-hbo-20160321-story.html

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Donates Tons of Resources to Detroit Public School in Need

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The students and faculty members at the Spain Elementary-Middle School in Detroit (THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW AND SPAIN ELEMENTARY-MIDDLE SCHOOL)

article by Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele via theroot.com

There’s a public school in Detroit that is falling apart, literally, and Ellen DeGeneres just threw a bunch of money and attention at the problem, the Detroit Free Press reports.

According to a clip from the show, the Spain Elementary-Middle School is chock-full of students from working-class families that are “poor or homeless,” DeGeneres explained.

The technology at the school doesn’t work or is nonexistent, “their entire roof is falling apart [and] their gym is completely shut down,” forcing students to take their physical education class in the hallways.

At times, students wear coats in the classroom because the heat doesn’t work. DeGeneres donated and pooled together tons of resources for the school, which she says is her show’s “most generous giveaway.”

Those giveaways include a $100 gift card from Lowe’s for each teacher and staff member at the school, $50,000 in technology from Lowe’s, $200,000 worth of materials and labor to go toward a new roof, and a $250,000 donation from Lowe’s. Plus, the show started a GoFundMe page for the school with a $5 million goal (the GoFundMe team has already pledged $15,000 toward that goal).

DeGeneres surprised the school’s students during a live telecast of her show, in which she video-conferenced into their assembly. Check out the surprise by clicking here.

To read more: http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2016/02/watch_the_ellen_show_donates_tons_of_resources_to_detroit_public_school.html

Chris Rock Returns for Second Stint as Academy Awards Host

Chris Rock will host the 88th Oscars, the film academy announced today, returning the comedian to a gig that earned him wildly divided reviews in his one and only turn at the job 11 years ago.

Rock’s second stint as host had been predicted as a strong possibility since the academy hired Reginald Hudlin and David Hill to produce the 2016 show. Hudlin worked with Rock previously, directing the pilot episode of Rock’s TV show “Everybody Hates Chris.” Hudlin also produced the academy’s Governors Awards last year where Rock was on hand to  pay tribute to Harry Belafonte.

The academy will hope that Rock can deliver better reviews and, more importantly, higher ratings than last year’s show. The 2015 telecast’s audience dropped nearly 15%, with host Neil Patrick Harris struggling through a sluggishly paced evening. In 2014, the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show, with its star-studded selfie that temporarily disabled Twitter and other interactive skits and bits, drew an average of nearly 44 million viewers.

Rock’s previous stint as Oscars host produced a wide range of reactions, with USA Today crowning him “one of the worst hosts ever,” while Roger Ebert praised a “home run” opening monologue that was “surprisingly pointed, topical, and not shy of controversy.”

Continue reading “Chris Rock Returns for Second Stint as Academy Awards Host”

NBC Greenlights “Little Big Shots”, Kids’ Variety Show From Steve Harvey & Ellen DeGeneres

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JASON KEMPIN/GETTY IMAGES

Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres are teaming up for “Little Big Shots,” a children’s comedy variety show, which has landed an eight-episode order from NBC.

Harvey will host the series, which showcases some of the world’s most talented kiddos — young musicians, dancers, singers and more — who engage in hilarious conversations and interviews with the emcee. The pint-sized contestants will “slay with their cuteness” and “wow with their accomplishments,” proving that talent is born, and not made.

The series, exec produced by DeGeneres and Harvey, hails from Warner Horizon Television, East 112th Street Productions and A Very Good Production. Jeff Kleeman and Gerald Washington will also serve as executive producers.

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

Kerry Washington Accepts Vanguard Award at the #glaadawards (VIDEO)

Scandal star Kerry Washington accepted the Vanguard Award at Saturday’s 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the iconic Beverly Hilton. Ellen DeGeneres, who was previously honored with GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented the honor. The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone.

Check out the video of Washington below:

In an acceptance speech that had the audience on their feet, Washington said, “I don’t decide to play the characters I play as a political choice. Yet the characters I play often do become political statements. Because having your story told as a woman, as a person of color, as a lesbian, as a trans person, or as any member of any disenfranchised community, is sadly often still a radical idea. There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representations. That is why the work of GLAAD is so important. We need more LGBT representation in the media. We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation. And by that, I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. And this is big—we need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera.”

Washington continued, “We can’t say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity, and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other’s existence, and the truth of each others’ hearts. We must be allies and we must be allies in this business, because to be represented is to be humanized, and as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable. We must see each other, all of us. And we must see ourselves, all of us. And we have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is, until we are no longer ‘firsts’ and ‘exceptions’ and ‘rare’ and ‘unique.’ In the real world, being an ‘other’ is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that. Thank you GLAAD, for fighting the good fight.”

Washington is best known for her role as Olivia Pope on the LGBT-inclusive hit show Scandal, executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. In addition to the ABC drama, Washington has appeared in other LGBT-inclusive projects like PeeplesShe Hate MeThe Dead Girl, and Life Is Hot In Cracktown. The actress is a longtime supporter of equality for LGBT people. She has participated in GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day, a campaign to end anti-LGBT bullying, and has advocated for marriage equality both at-home and abroad.

Ellen DeGeneres presented the Vanguard Award to Kerry WashingtonChanning Tatum presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to director Roland Emmerich. Comedian Tig Notaro hosted the event. Guests included: Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy); Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber); TV producer Shonda RhimesViola DavisJack FalaheeMatt McGorryAja Naomi KingPeter Nowalk (How to Get Away with Murder); Portia de Rossi(Scandal); Graham Moore (The Imitation Game); Pauley Perrette (NCIS); Jill SolowayAmy LandeckerJay DuplassAlexandra BillingsRhys Ernst, Kiersey Clemons, Michaela Watkins, Alison SudolClementine CreevyBrett Parasol (Transparent); Michael HarneySamira WileyNick SandowAlysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black); Andrew Rannells(Girls); Murray BartlettDaniel Franzese (Looking); Ron Perlman (Stonewall); Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black); Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane GraceMichael MosleyKevin DanielsKevin Bigley (Sirens); Peter PaigeBradley BredewegGavin MacIntoshHayden Byerly (The Fosters); Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin); Serayah McNeill (Empire); Alex Newell (Glee); Gregg SulkinRita VolkMichael J. WillettCarter Covington (Faking It); Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles); Jessica St. ClairLennon Parham (Playing House); Wilson Cruz (Red Band Society); stylist Brad GoreskiGary Janetti (Vicious); Guy WilsonFreddie SmithChristopher Sean (Days of Our Lives); musician Our Lady J; model Nats GettyHannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen); DJs Sam SparroKim AnhDerek Monteiro;  GLAAD Board member Meghan McCain; GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr. and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Visit glaad.org/mediaawards/press for a complete list of award recipients announced on Saturday night.

article by Mariah Yamamoto via glaad.org

Pharrell Williams Honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

An honor: Pharrell Williams was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday for his acclaimed career in music

On top of his seven Grammy awards, Pharrell’s success is now cemented in the streets of LA.  The singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and fashion designer was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.

In line with his stylish reputation, the superstar appeared in a bright jacket from his line, Billionaire Boys Club, and acid wash jeans adorned with the Adidas logo on his bum.  He finished off the fun look with red Chanel combat boots and a hat with a graphic blue-and-yellow ribbon.

Family affair: The 41-year-old was joined by his family, including wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket
Family affair: The 41-year-old was joined by his family, including wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket

His wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket clapped as the 41-year-old accepted his award and listened to a speech by dear friend, Ellen DeGeneres.

“It’s not possible to experience constant euphoria, but if you’re grateful, you can find happiness in everything.  While I’ve expressed gratitude many times for what my song “Happy” did for me personally, I will never stop saying thank you,” he wrote.

 article by Ariela Kozin via dailymail.co.uk

Oakland Teen Akintunde Ahmad Receives $15,000 Towards Yale from “Ellen” (VIDEO)

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With news breaking of teens like Kwasi Enin and Akintunde Ahmad being accepted to several Ivy League schools, many people were proud of their success but wondered how the families would be able to afford the expensive tuition for these schools. Well Ellen may have eased those worries for the Ahmad family.

17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad defied the odds recently when he received a 2100 SAT score, maintained a GPA of 5.0 and was accepted to multiple Ivy League schools including Yale, Brown and Columbia.

Ellen Degeneres invited the Oakland teen on her show where he revealed his plans to attend Yale University. To help him with tuition and other expenses she presented him with a $15,000 check. Ahmad also told a story about how he decided to write an essay instead of attending a party where his brother was later shot at one night. His brother survived, but Ahmad basically revealed that hitting the books instead of the house party may have saved his life.

Kudos to Ellen for highlighting stories like this. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Akintunde! View his appearance on The Ellen Show below:

See more at: http://madamenoire.com/423975/ellen-gives-oakland-teen-15000-towards-ivy-league-education/#sthash.ABv7Oe8o.dpuf

Pharrell & Ellen Surprise Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Students with $50K

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Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS) students have a lot to be happy about today. In addition to dazzling web viewers with their now-viral rendition of Pharrell’s hit single, the kids got a huge gift from Ellen Degeneres today: $50,000!

According to DAAS CEO Maurice G. Morton, 80 percent of the schools’ students live at or below the poverty line, and 98 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. While many schools have shuttered their arts programs, DAAS uses music and art to ensure their students stay engaged and motivated to learn.

Like many inner-city schools, DAAS is strapped for cash. The school has been attempting to raise money to help the choir get to Disneyworld for a performance, but Ellen intervened, giving DAAS a $50,000 check courtesy of Shutterfly.

After hearing the news, DAAS students were, well, extremely happy. They even performed their too-cute version of the song, bringing Pharrell Williams to tears.  To see video of this story, click here.

article by Britni Danielle via clutchmagonline.com

First Lady Supports Robin Roberts Coming Out As Gay

Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama

LOS ANGELES — Michelle Obama (pictured) is leading an outpouring of support for Robin Roberts, after the “Good Morning America” news anchor gave her first public acknowledgement of her 10-year, same-sex relationship with massage therapist Amber Laign.

The First Lady wrote Monday on Twitter:

I am so happy for you and Amber! You continue to make us all proud.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Roberts thanked her “longtime girlfriend” for providing encouragement during Roberts’ battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease.  Many celebs also took to Twitter to send Roberts messages, including Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, “Good morning, America! Congratulations.”

Comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Go on with your bad self!”

Country singer Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, also expressed support through the social media site.

article via newsone.com

Eighteen Year-Old S.M.I.L.E. CEO Chosen As Newest CoverGirl

alexis harris next covergirl

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres announced that the newest CoverGirl model is 18-year-old Alexis Harris (pictured) on her show last Thursday.  Harris won the honor, along with a $20,000 award, in CoverGirl’s model search. During a mock press conference on the show, DeGeneres brought out Harris’ family to see her entry video, which featured her mother independently raising both her and her three brothers.

Despite growing up without a Father, Harris still managed to reach admirable heights. She is the founder and CEO of the S.M.I.L.E. Movement (Students Making Impacts In Lives Every Day), a nationwide student support system that pushes young people to enact change in their communities.  And if her words are any indication, this is only the beginning for the University Of Texas-San Antonio student. “We’re going to use the money to give back to different local organizations: Haven for Hope, different groups locally,” Harris said about how she plans on using the grant money.

Harris’ first project as a CoverGirl will be appearing with DeGeneres in a campaign shoot next month. Those pictures will appear in a future People Magazine issue.

article by Hannington Dia via newsone.com