Lin-Manuel Miranda pens song for Puerto Rico relief

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:06 AM

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 16:  Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks onstage during the #Ham4Ham featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Pantages Theatre on August 16, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 16: Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks onstage during the #Ham4Ham featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Pantages Theatre on August 16, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

He’s using his megastar power not for another blockbuster Broadway show, but rather to help those who lost everything when Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the hits of “Hamilton” and “Moana,” said he pulled every favor he could to get an all-star group together to help raise money to help out Puerto Ricans who are trying to put their lives back together.

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“We’re facing a humanitarian crisis right now. And the response from our federal government is not commensurate with the previous two hurricanes, much less up to the unprecedented danger of this disaster itself,” Miranda told Rolling Stone.

He came up with the song “Almost Like Praying,” which dropped to online music services like iTunes, Thursday. All of the proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund to take supplies to the island.

Included on the track are Hispanic stars like Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan and Rita Moreno.

The song is made up of the 78 towns on the island.

And Miranda himself knows first hand about the devastation. He has family and friends still living in Puerto Rico.

“I heard from my family four days after, five days after - some people are still waiting,” he told USA Today.

There’s a connection between the song and the hurricane, other than the hope of help it will bring. Hurricane Maria shares the name of the main female character in “West Side Story,” and Miranda used what he called his favorite song from the musical, USA Today reported.

“The name ‘Maria’ forever has a negative connotation for this island. It’s the worst storm in 100 years. It’s also the name of my favorite song from “West Side Story.” I kept thinking about that song, so I took a sample from the song “Maria,” to flip it. To literally flip the sample the same way we’re trying to flip the natural disaster into something positive,” Miranda said.

In two weeks since Hurricane Maria hit the island, only just over 9 percent of those living there have power and most homes still don’t have running water, CNN reported.

Irwin family returning to Animal Planet 20 years after ‘Crocodile Hunter’

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 8:52 PM

What You Need To Know About The Irwin Family

The Irwin family is returning to TV and Animal Planet 21 years after “The Crocodile Hunter” premiered in 1996.

In a Wednesday news release, Discovery Communications said Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin will be working on TV projects on Animal Planet, which is owned by Discovery Communications.

The Irwins are carrying on the legacy of their late patriarch, Steve Irwin, who spent his life learning about and educating others about wildlife, particularly reptiles. He died in 2006 when a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.

“Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature,” Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews said in a statement. “Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today.”

Soul mates - in this life and every other. True love lasts always.

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s widow and mother of Bindi, 19, and Robert, 13, said in a statement that she and her children are excited to be returning to the network.

“We look forward to the year ahead as we embark on new projects and adventures with Animal Planet,” she said.

“The Crocodile Hunter” aired from 1996-2007. Husband and wife Steve and Terri Irwin co-hosted and their two children frequently made appearances. Other shows the Irwins hosted included “Croc Files” and “New Breed Vets.”

In addition to TV projects, the Irwins will be global ambassadors for Discovery Communications.

Family forever❤️

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Playboy features first transgender Playmate

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:55 AM

French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.
Nicholas Hunt
French model Ines Rau is the first transgender Playmate in the history of Playboy magazine.(Nicholas Hunt)

Ines Rau became the first transgender Playmate, as the French model is in a pictorial and centerfold for the magazine’s November/December issue, the magazine announced.

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Rau previously appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 A-Z issue.

“It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” Rau told the magazine. “I took that chance, and then I signed with an agency.”

Although Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she isn’t Playboy’s first transgender model, Cosmopolitan reported. The first was Tula, who appeared in the September 1991 issue. 

Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, died on Sept. 27. He becomes the first man to appear solo -- and 11th overall -- on the cover of the magazine. A 1965 photograph by Larry Gordon was used to pay tribute to Hefner, the magazine said. The first six pages of the November/December issue are dedicated to Hefner, who published the first issue of Playboy in December 1953..

In a tweet Wednesday, Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s chief creative officer, said that the magazine and society “should be fighting for a more open world.”

Nickelodeon fires ‘The Loud House’ creator over sexual harassment allegations

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:44 AM

From left, producer Karen Malach, writer Karla Sakas Shropshire and executive producer Chris Savino speak during
From left, producer Karen Malach, writer Karla Sakas Shropshire and executive producer Chris Savino speak during "The Loud House" event presented by Nickelodeon n 2016. Savino was fired from the show after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.(Vivien Killilea)

Nickelodeon fired the creator of its animated show “The Loud House” after he was accused of sexual harassment, CNN reported.

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Chris Savino was suspended earlier this week after several women came forward with allegations against the animator, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Chris Savino is no longer working with Nickelodeon,” a network spokesman said in a statement late Thursday. “We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we are committed to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment that is free of harassment or other kinds of inappropriate conduct.”
A manager for Savino, Angela Cheng Caplan, did not respond to multiple requests for comment, CNN reported. A person who answered the phone at Caplan's office early Thursday told CNN they had "no comment" on the matter.
"The Loud House" is currently in its second season on Nickelodeon. The show revolves around the chaotic life of a young boy named Lincoln Loud, who is the middle child in a family of 11 children, CNN reported.
Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon Group, released a memo to staffers after Savino's firing, encouraging them to speak out if they experience or see mistreatment, CNN reported.
Nickelodeon said "The Loud House" will continue to air and proceed with production.
Season 3 is scheduled to premiere in early 2018.

Selena to receive Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on Nov. 3

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:46 PM

What You Need To Know: Selena Quintanilla

On the heels of a popular Google Doodle this week honoring Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the pop culture icon will now posthumously receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 3.

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“Before there was JLo, Shakira or Beyoncé, there was a transformative female artist called Selena,” said Otto Padron, president of Meruelo Media and sponsor of the tribute, in a statement. “Selena is one of the most influential music icons of the 20th century. Her music, style and smile are timeless, and now her star will grace (Hollywood, California) forever.”

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce last summer selected to honor Selena in its recording category, along with other performers including John Legend, Clarence Avant, Ice Cube, a posthumous honor for Jerry Goldsmith, Hall & Oates, *NSYNC and New Edition.

(PRNewsfoto/Meruelo Media)(PR NEWSWIRE)

On Selena’s Facebook fan page, music lovers expressed a similar sentiment that the honor was long overdue.

“A dream come true,” wrote fan Hadeer Sinawe. “She deserved this even before her death.”

Texas native Eva Longoria will join Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to proclaim Nov. 3 as official “Selena” Day in Los Angeles.

On March 31, 1995, Selena’s former fan club president Yolanda Saldivar fatally shot Selena at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi. But for many fans of the Tejano superstar, who was on the brink of crossing over to the English-language music market, Selena’s legacy lives on.

In honor of her Walk of Fame addition, check out our playlist of Selena songs: