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'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek donates $100,000 to help Los Angeles-area homeless charity

No Comments National News

iStock(LOS ANGELES) — Despite an ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek is proving that giving back is something that will always be important to him.

The “Jeopardy!” host recently donated $100,000 to the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a Los Angeles-area organization with a mission to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness, according to its website.

“It demonstrates what a truly selfless man he really is,” Ken Craft, the president and CEO of the nonprofit, told Good Morning America in a new interview. “He recognizes that we are in a homeless crisis and he wanted to help. He wanted to make a difference.”

“Normally when we go through moments of pain, our focus turns inward — but not Alex,” he added. “He continues to demonstrate compassion and care for those in need.”

Craft said Trebek and his wife, Jean, have been supporters over the past three years, contributing around the holiday season. This time, though, he was taken back with “shock and joy” when he opened an envelope to find a check of such a substantial amount — an amount that will help many people.

“As a relatively young nonprofit, we lack the cash reserves and surplus to grow and expand. Alex’s gift will allow us to continue to grow and expand,” Craft said of the organization, which was founded in 2009. “In 2020, we will go from 182 year-round beds to 367 year-round beds. This would not have been possible without Alex’s generosity.”

To top it off, Trebek even invited him to the “Jeopardy!” set. During his visit, Craft said it became abundantly clear why the Emmy winner is so beloved.

“I was overwhelmed with the love and respect everyone on the set and in the stands has for Alex,” Craft said. “He is far more than a game show host — he is an ambassador for good and kindness. He is deeply loved and appreciated by all.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Garth Brooks to perform final Austin City Limits show at its original home

No Comments Country Music News

ABC RadioGarth Brooks is reuniting with Austin City Limits for a special showcase. 

The country titan is teaming up with the iconic PBS series for an intimate show on May 24 at ACL‘s current home, the famed Studio 6A on the campus of University of Texas Austin. Garth’s performance will be the final show at the studio before ACL moves to its new home at Austin Community College Highland Campus in the fall.

Titled “Farewell to Studio 6A: An Evening with Garth Brooks,” this will be the hitmaker’s third appearance on the legendary show.  He first appeared in 1990 during season 15 and then again for the show’s 25th anniversary. 

A limited number of tickets for the special event are available, with all of the proceeds going toward Austin PBS’ Moving Forward initiative to fund its new state-of-the-art location. 

Austin City Limits debuted in 1974 with an inaugural performance by Willie Nelson. In its 36-year-history, it’s become the longest-running music show in American TV history, and won a prestigious Peabody Award in 2011.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Taraji P. Henson on the "bittersweet" end of 'Empire' and "trying to keep [Jussie] alive without him being there"

No Comments Entertainment News

FOX(NEW YORK) — Tonight, Taraji P. Henson returns as Cookie Lyon for the second half of the final season of Empire. Henson, who’s played the illustrious character for six seasons, tells ABC Audio that saying goodbye to her “iconic” role wasn’t easy.

“It’s, like, bittersweet,” Henson says. “What else can I do with Cookie? She’s iconic. It’s one of those characters that will live on long after I’m gone. And it’s like, you want to go out on top. But it’s still bittersweet.”

“Bitter because, you know, for five, six seasons, I knew where my paychecks were coming from,” she jokes.

Even though Henson finds humor in her silly and provocative character, the actress puts on a serious face when it comes time to talk about how the season will proceed without her character’s son, Jamal Lyon, played by embattled actor Jussie Smollett.

As previously reported, after allegations that Smollett staged his own hate-crime attack in January, Empire series co-creator Lee Daniels announced that Smollett would not be returning for the sixth and final season.

However, according to Henson, she’s still like to see him somehow make a return before the show ends.

“We have to see Jussie. I feel like there’s really no way to wrap this show up without him,” she says. “He was such…and is, such an integral part of the show. And we miss him dearly.”

“That character was very important to our show, especially for the LGBT community,” she continues. “So we’re trying to keep him alive without him being there. I know Cookie is…[Be]cause that was her baby. Still is her baby.”

“And he my baby still in real life,” she adds. 

The sixth season of Empire returns tonight at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift sends love to Nashville after deadly hurricanes

No Comments Country Music News

Valheria RochaTaylor Swift has homes in a variety of cities and spends a lot of time in New York City, L.A. and London, but her heart still belongs to the town where she started her career.

After two tornadoes struck Nashville, TN on Tuesday morning, 22 people were killed and homes and businesses were destroyed.  Taylor wrote on Twitter, “My heart is with everyone in Tennessee who has been affected by the tornados [sic].”

As a teenager, Taylor lived in Hendersonville, TN, a Nashville suburb, as she got her country music career off the ground.  Many other stars weighed in on social media on Tuesday, including Dan + Shay, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, and the artist whose name inspired Taylor’s debut single, Tim McGraw.

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Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

"It's a celebration b****es!" Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart and more to attend Netflix Is A Joke Fest

No Comments Entertainment News

Athieu Bitton/Netflix(NEW YORK) — Thanks to Netflix, some of comedy’s biggest names will come together for a star-studded comedy festival.

Netflix has announced their first-ever comedy festival, Netflix Is a Joke Fest, which will bring comedians and entertainers to Los Angeles from April 27th through May 3rd for stand-up shows, special events and activations. The events, produced by Netflix in association with Live Nation, will be held across more than 20 local venues in Los Angeles, including the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Hollywood Palladium, The Largo and more.

Among the names included in the fest are comedians Dave Chappelle, Marlon Wayans, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart, Grace and Frankie stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Jamie Foxx, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Lawrence, and David Letterman, among others.

To close out the massive fest on May 3rd, Netflix will present the inaugural edition of The Hall, a hall-of-fame-type event that will honor the greats of stand-up comedy. This year the event will induct the late comedy legends George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams.

According to Netflix, eleven of the events, including The Hall: Honoring the Greats of Stand-Up, Chappelle’s An Evening of Music, and Kevin Hart in Conversation, will be recorded and available in their entirety at a later date on the streamer. 

Tickets for all events go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 6th at 10am PT at NetflixIsAJokeFest.com. Select pre-sales are available today.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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