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Archive for February, 2012

Tyler Perry announces new “Madea” tour, discusses Whitney Houston’s funeral

Madea is heading for the Fox Theatre this spring

Madea is heading for the Fox Theatre this spring

Tyler Perry is taking “Madea” on the road again this spring, and discussed his role in Whitney Houston’s funeral during today’s visit with CBS This Morning.

“The family had asked me to do it,” Perry said during the discussion with Gayle King and Charlie Rose. “Our entire relationship was private. Nobody knew that I knew her. I would have much rather not have been there, or not even have been at a funeral for her, but since they asked I did.”

Perry was among the speakers at Houston’s service on Saturday, quoting Scripture as he eulogized his friend. After her sudden death the day before the Grammy awards, Perry arranged for Houston’s remains to be transported east by private plane.

King asked a follow-up question but Perry kept things close to the vest: ” Because as you know I have not said anything about this publicly, I have not talked about this. Our relationship was private and I chose to have it remain that way.”

He did …

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Did Dolly Parton dis Whitney Houston?

AP photo

AP photo

Soon after learning of the death of Whitney Houston, singer and songwriter Dolly Parton posted a comment on her blog:

“Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.”

She tweeted out the link to the message on her Twitter account, adding the hash tags, #iwillalwaysloveyou and #whitney.

Does that sound like a dis to you? It apparently did to someone.

TMZ reports that Parton “is eating her words” and “took a lot of flack” (from who, it’s not clear) for labeling the song “hers.”

Parton, who spent time in Atlanta last year filming the movie “Joyful Noise,” did pen the song, in the 1970s, although Houston’s cover of it, for the “Bodyguard” movie soundtrack, is no doubt the better-known version. It was the song that Jennifer Hudson sang in Houston’s …

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Whitney Houston prescription drug inquiry includes Atlanta doctors

Chaka Khan, left, says "dangerous people" should have been kept from Whitney Houston

Chaka Khan, left, says "dangerous people" should have been kept from Whitney Houston

Investigators looking into the medications prescribed to the late Whitney Houston have been in contact with several Atlanta area doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

Tune into Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. for more.

Toxicology results indicating what medications were in Houston’s system won’t be concluded for weeks, and inquiries into prescription medications are pretty common in cases of untimely deaths such as Houston’s, the Los Angeles Coroners Office says. She was 48.

The Associated Press quoted Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter noting that “similar measures are taken when a person dies in a car crash, shoots themselves or, as in Houston’s case, dies unexpectedly.”

This afternoon, Winter spoke with WSB’s Manuel Bojorquez, revealing that the investigation includes doctors and pharmacies in the Atlanta area, where Houston lived for many years. Winter did not identify the …

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Winning! Charlie Sheen in Atlanta with Denise Richards, kids

AP photo

AP photo

Charlie Sheen’s in Atlanta, having tagged along with ex Denise Richards, who’s here working on Tyler Perry’s latest Madea movie, “Madea’s Witness Protection.” Their kids are here, too.

“Packing the family..heading to Atlanta tomorrow to finish the movie. Kids coming & Charlie Sheen,” Richards tweeted this week, adding the hash tag “familytime.”

Sheen responded: “As always D… A great week coming!! XO”

The two have had a rocky past but have mended fences, Richards told Access Hollywood in January after spending the holidays together with the children.

“We’ve actually become like brother and sister, we really have,” she told Access Hollywood. “We’ve become very, very good friends and we wanted to have a trip with our daughters – and it’s Christmas for them, so it’s good. When we all spend time together, it’s great for the kids and for us too. We actually get along.”

She added that she and Sheen make things work by focusing on the kids.

“I think …

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Diddy discusses Whitney Houston

Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs will discuss his friendship with the late Whitney Houston today on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, which airs here at 4 p.m. weekdays on WXIA.

“I somehow got on her wedding invitation (list),” he said, according to a transcript of the visit provided by the show to the AJC. “I was just like, ‘oh my God. I’m at Whitney Houston’s wedding.’”

Diddy has been pals with Houston’s ex-husband, too.

“I was a big Bobby Brown fan,” he said. “Through out the years I got to meet her. She was so full of life. So full of just joy. She always made you feel that she noticed you and recognized you and spoke to you. She’ll definitely, truly be missed.”

Will he make the invitation list for her funeral, too? It will be held Saturday in her native Newark, N.J., in the church where she grew up.

Diddy tweeted a number of times about the singer’s death: “Whitney Houston!!! OMG!! I really can’t believe this.. This is one of the …

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Bobby Brown banned from Whitney’s funeral?

This 1998 AP photo shows Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown arriving for the Versace Fall 1998 fashion show in New York.

This 1998 AP photo shows Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown arriving for the Versace Fall 1998 fashion show in New York.

Bobby Brown isn’t wanted at Whitney Houston’s funeral, the gossip site TMZ reports.

The outlet, whose well-connected sources have provided various insider information, including photos of the bathtub Houston’s body was discovered in Saturday and the room service tray she’d ordered earlier that day, now quotes insiders saying Houston’s family has let Brown know that he should steer clear of his ex-wife’s memorial.

Houston’s funeral will be held Saturday at the Newark, N.J. church where she grew up singing. Earlier talks of having a large public memorial at a huge arena ended with a mayor’s spokesman saying the family did not want the large event.

ABC News quotes sources who countered the claims that Brown’s ex in-laws were trying to keep him from the service. In a statement, Brown asked for privacy:

“My daughter Bobbi Kristina is doing much better. We …

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Atlanta star sightings: John Travolta, Mehcad Brooks, Cam Newton

Photo by Jan Hickel

Photo by Jan Hickel

Here are some non-Whitney Houston celeb updates for you.

John Travolta dined at Market in Buckhead Thursday, with two other guests.

He was also at the Brookhaven Starbucks (photo at the right) and at Taka in Buckhead (photo at the left) this week. He’s in town filming a thriller called “Killing Season,” which also stars Robert De Niro.

While the shooting is taking place mostly in the north Georgia mountains (the film is set in the Appalachians) Travolta has been spotted a number of times in Atlanta.

Megan Hilty of the new NBC series “Smash” was in Park Tavern in Midtown with a group of friends last week.

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We’ve gotten a number of celeb sighting reports at STK, which is a swank new steakhouse in Midtown.

Actor Mehcad Brooks (”Necessary Roughness”), rapper Nas,Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and “Vampire Diaries” cast members Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder have all been by recently.

- Jennifer Brett/The …

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White House, Congress weigh in on Whitney Houston’s death

AP photo

AP photo

White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske called Whitney Houston’s death a “teachable moment.”

“Her death is absolutely tragic and this brings attention to the problem that she had talked about in the past and that certainly is prescription drugs,” Kerlikowske said during an interview with CBS News. “It affects a huge number of people in this country and has driven deaths to very, very high numbers – well over 15,000.”

You can view a video clip of the interview here.

Kerlikowske said the administration wants to remove the stigma associated with substance abuse, to encourage recovery.

“I think it is what we might call a teachable moment when someone passes – particularly as someone as highly thought of and such an incredible performer as Whitney Houston,” Kerlikowske said. “We can use this as a moment to help people understand. There are millions of Americans that are suffering from this problem. We can use this as a chance to move forward.”

President Barack Obama has …

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Jennifer Aniston discusses made-in-Georgia film “Wanderlust”

A still from the movie "Wanderlust"

A still from the movie "Wanderlust"

Jennifer Aniston’s Atlanta stint gets a brief mention in a GQ article she and co-star Paul Rudd recently did to promote the movie they shot here in 2010, “Wanderlust.”

Much of the filming actually took place north of here.

“I have to say that I felt a real connection doing this movie because, in a kind of parallel universe, I was escaping,” Aniston told the magazine. “We shot in this little town called Clarkesville, Ga.”

Added Rudd: “It’s right where they shot ‘Deliverance,’ which the town is very proud of. The kid from that movie with the banjo now works at a local Walmart.”

(Actually “Deliverance” was filmed in Tallulah Gorge, south of Clayton, which is where John Travolta and Robert De Niro are filming “Killing Season” right now).

GQ asked the stars if they had “any run-ins with the locals.”

Jennifer Aniston posed for this photo with Nava’s general manager, Jon Skinner, and assistant manager Lauren Heflin, while she was here in 2010.

Jennifer Aniston posed for this photo with Nava’s general manager, Jon Skinner, and assistant manager Lauren Heflin, while she was here in …

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Whitney Houston’s funeral: Invitation-only

AP photo

AP photo

Whitney Houston’s funeral will be an invitation-only event this Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she grew up singing with her mother, Cissy Houston, and her cousin, Dionne Warwick, TMZ reports.

It’s a good bet that Atlanta entertainment mogul Tyler Perry will make the cut; he arranged for Houston’s remains to be transported east via private plane.

There had been talk of some sort of public memorial at an 18,000-seat arena but that’s now scotched, according to a statement from the Newark mayor’s office: “In compliance with the family’s wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony.”

The church posted a statement lamenting Houston’s death and requesting privacy on behalf of her family.

“We are saddened and our hearts are heavy at the news that Whitney Houston has passed away,” the church’s pastor, Joe A. Carter, said in the statement posted on the church’s web site. “Whitney called Newark home and we know that everyone, both …

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