News Round-Up: May 22, 2020

(images via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Buzzfeed News: Mike Shultz (above), a gay nurse who attended the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach, shared side-by-side before and after photos on Instagram to demonstrate how COVID-19 had affected his body in six weeks. “I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have preexisting conditions or not. It can affect you.”

KIT212: Check out the what’s what in local LGBTQ publications like South Florida Hot Spots chatting with former American Idol alum David Hernandez (below).

(image via South Florida Hot Spots)

Gay Star News: On March 3, three men shouting homophobic abuse at a 37-year-old in the heart of London pushed him into the street and attacked him. The police have arrested three men, all aged 21 years old, on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

New Music: Superstar duo Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande dropped their new music video, “Rain On Me,” at midnight and it immediately shot to #1 in 26 countries on iTunes. “Rain On Me” is the second single from Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated sixth studio album Chromatica, which will be released on May 29.

New York Times: The W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, currently has just one occupant among its hundreds of luxury guest rooms. Maintenance engineer Daniel Ordoñez has lived alone in the hotel since March handling tasks that must be done on a regular basis like opening the 1,400 water taps every five days.

Washington Post: A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game-changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not. People treated with hydroxychloroquine were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death.

Entertainment Weekly: I found this look back at the “mad, sad, totally fab life of Paul Lynde” by EW a great read. Click the play button below to relive some of the comedian’s funniest one-liners on the iconic game show, Hollywood Squares.

Nyle DiMarco Drops ASL Version Of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Video

Deaf activist and model Nyle DiMarco has dropped his own special version of Ariana Grande’s latest music video, “7 Rings.”

Deaf activist and model Nyle DiMarco has dropped his own special version of Ariana Grande’s latest music video, “7 Rings.”

An outspoken advocate for the Deaf community, the dashing DiMarco tweeted Grande back in November when she released her “Thank U Next” video asking her to “add captions for 466 million people with hearing loss (deaf here and we do enjoy your music).”

When la grand Grande released her “7 Rings” video, the former America’s Next Top Model champ tweeted the good news: “@ArianaGrande dropped WITH CAPTIONS!”

Even so, DiMarco decided to take things a little bit further and shoot his own version of the video with director Jake Wilson.

DiMarco’s take on “7 Rings” uses Ariana’s as a guide, but shifts the color scheme from pink to cool blue, and features American Sign Language by the sexually fluid hunk. Along the way, he’s joined by some fine looking dancers who drop some ASL alongside him.

Through it all, DiMarco stalks the camera making eyes at me the viewing audience.

“Captioning enhances the viewing experience,” DiMarco recently told Out. “It should be a standard part of any filmed media, and not as an afterthought, but as a part of the ultimate golden standard of universal design.”

On the official website for his foundation, DiMarco shares, “Two percent (2%) of the world’s Deaf population has access to education in sign language.”

Additionally, only 25% of parents use sign language to communicate with their Deaf child.

Imagine living in a world where language was not available to you.

Check out Nyle DiMarco’s ASL version of “7 Rings” below.

News Round-Up: December 16, 2018

Broadway hunk & 'Daddyhunt' star Jim Newman (above) demonstrates that even Santa's elves have to do laundry some time...
Jim Newman (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Broadway hunk & ‘Daddyhunt’ star Jim Newman (above) demonstrates that even Santa’s elves have to do laundry some time…

• San Diego Pride is so successful, the organization has announced that it will be donating more than $170,000 to 59 different LGBTQ-serving charities and organizations around the world.

• Ann Coulter offered her description of the Democratic Party on Laura Ingraham’s show Tuesday night: “The Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers”

• Sexual abuse settlements could force the Boy Scouts of America into bankruptcy.

• A new poll by the Washington Post Fact Checker shows 70% of Americans don’t believe Trump’s lies.

• Frankie Grande teams up with his sis, Ariana, for this take on the Act Two opener from RENT, “Seasons of Love,” as part of the #RentSingALong initiative celebrating the upcoming live presentation of the hit musical

RENT will air live on January 27 at 8/7c on FOX. Hit play below.

Ariana Grande & James Corden Serve Up ‘Titanic’ Mini-Musical

Ariana Grande & James Corden

 Ariana Grande dropped by The Late Late Show with James Corden earlier this week to promote her new album, Sweetener, set to drop August 17.

But the highlight of the appearance was Grande and Corden bringing the story of Titanic to life in a short mini-musical utilizing 13 songs and 9 different sets in one non-stop take.

Using songs from artists like Styx (“Come Sail Away”), Hall & Oates (“Rich Girl”), Lady Gaga (“Just Dance”), Vanilla Ice (“Ice Ice Baby”) and NSYNC (“Bye Bye Bye”), the duo manages to tell the story of the 1997 blockbuster movie in just five minutes.

And, of course, the only way to close out the mega-mix was for Grande to deliver a soaring Celine Dion tribute with “My Heart Will Go On.”

The LGBTQ ally also made an appearance on Corden’s Carpool Karaoke on Wednesday where she sang some of her hits, shared that the theme of her second birthday party was the movie Jaws, gave Corden some coaching on riffing, and pulled out some of her fantastic Celine Dion impersonation with a bit of “All Coming Back To Me Now.”

Dang, this girl is fierce. Watch the fun below and check out her new album here on iTunes.

News Round-Up: July 14, 2018

InstaHunk Joel Green is ready to take you on a ride :)

Some news items you might have missed:

• It’s the weekend! Who wants to go for a ride with InstaHunk Joel Green?

• Scarlett Johansson has withdrawn from the upcoming film, Rub & Tug, after a backlash about the actress playing a transgender role in the movie. “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” she said.

• There’s going to be a Downton Abbey movie! Squeee! According to the BBC, the “original principal cast” will begin production later this summer, the film’s producers said.

• Republican Illinois Gov. Rauner is getting flack from conservatives for having the nerve to officiate the same-sex wedding of longtime friends. #srsly

• 80s super group ABBA just finished recording their first new tracks since 1982 and says ‘it was a fantastic experience.’

• From her upcoming album, Sweetener, Ariana Grande releases the female empowered music video for “God Is A Woman”, directed by Grammy Award®-winning director Dave Meyers.

The one-and-only Madonna offers a spoken-word cameo as ‘God’ along the way.

#divine.

Ariana Grande Pens Love Letter To LGBT Community For Pride Month

Ariana Grande

As part of Billboard Magazine’s 30 Days of Pride celebration this June, the magazine asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write ‘love letters’ to their LGBTQ fans.

Today, Billboard kicks off the month with a note of encouragement and acceptance from pop superstar, Ariana Grande.

There is nothing more infectious than the joy and love that the LGBTQ community exudes.

I grew up with a gay brother whose every move I would emulate. I idolized him. Everything Frankie did, I would do. I can’t remember a difference between Frankie before he came out and Frankie after he came out. He’s always just been Frankie.

Sexuality and gender were never topics my family and I were afraid to discuss. When Frankie came out my surprisingly unfazed (for his age) grandfather said “Congrats! Can we go to dinner now? I’m fuckin’ hungry.”

I was taught to do my makeup by queens in gay bars in New York City. I made my Broadway debut at 14 years old and did 8 shows a week but there was never a night I was too tired to run to a gay bar and do a quick Whitney cover before bed.

My music being embraced and celebrated by the LGBTQ community is all I ever truly cared about when I thought about my career goals early on. There’s no award I could win or accolade I could receive that would fulfill me more than seeing a 6-foot queen with a 4-foot ponytail walk into my meet n greet and say “hey girl” or meeting a young queer person at Starbucks and them letting me know that my music has helped them become who they are. Literally nothing.

Love is like music. It knows no boundaries and isn’t exclusive to any one gender, sexuality, race, religion, age or creed. It’s a freedom and a delicious luxury that all people should be able to sink into and enjoy every moment of.

I am eternally indebted to and inspired by the LGBTQ community. I hope to create anthems for you that wrap you up with comfort and make you get your best life for as long as I live. Thank you for celebrating me the way I celebrate you.

I love you forever.

In 2017, the recently-launched ‘Billboard Pride’ debuted the LGBTQ Love Letters Project which featured queer artists and allies sharing their love and support for the community. With letters from everyone from Barbra Streisand to Selena Gomez to Britney Spears (who wrote hers by hand) to RuPaul to Adam Lambert, the love letters fostered solidarity and acceptance in a year where it was sorely needed.

See my previous post about Donald Trump’s lack of support during Pride Month.

Under Pride Editor Patrick Crowley, Billboard continues to expand its coverage of LGBTQ artists and culture, from partnering with GLAAD to create a video of musicians speaking out against the military trans ban to shining a spotlight on rising queer talents who are often overlooked in the mainstream.

As an additional testement to Billboard’s devotion to their LGBTQ readers – GLAAD recently honored Billboard with an award for Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage at the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards in May.

Visit Billboard Pride for more coverage throughout the month.

Music Video: Ariana Grande Defies Gravity In “No Tears Left To Cry”

Ariana Grande’s new music video for “No Tears Left To Cry” is an eye-popping wonder of computer generated gorgeousness.

Directed by Grammy Award®-winning director Dave Meyers, the trippy video allows Grande to defy gravity as she floats, falls and pretty much stays off-balance through a series of CGI futuristic landscapes.

It’s easy to wonder if the metaphor was intended to represent Grande’s state of mind following the Manchester Arena terror attack during her concert last May, which killed 23 people and wounded approximately 500.

The new single represents Grande’s first since 2016’s Dangerous Woman.

Watch the video below.

Ariana Grande & Seth MacFarlane Belt Out “Suddenly Seymour” For Carpool Karaoke

I just found out the uber-popular “Carpool Karaoke” segments from The Late Late Show has begun transitioning into an Apple TV series.

Check out pop star Ariana Grande and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane belt out a terrific “Suddenly Seymour” from the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

Not only are the vocals on point, near the end of the song MacFarlane almost has a mini-crash while driving the vehicle. But no one drops a note!

“We almost died! But the belting was more important!” said Grande after finishing the song. “I like that we didn’t skip a beat. That is what comes from being a theater person. You stay in it!”

Watch the clip, below.

(h/t OUT)